East Devon leader should ‘step aside’ – former cabinet member

Paul Millar has reacted to the latest on parking proposals for East Devon. Picture: Terry Ife/Paul M

Paul Millar has reacted to the latest on parking proposals for East Devon. Picture: Terry Ife/Paul Millar - Credit: Archant/Paul Millar

Writing for this title, district councillor Paul Millar speaks out on the latest parking proposals.

The most common question I'm asked these days is whether I'm still a district councillor following my dismissal from the cabinet and resignation from the Independent Group. Just to clear things up,

I am, but sympathetic gestures from passers-by suggest my status has clearly taken a bit of a battering - not that I cared much about my status anyway.

Back in May, which seems a while ago now, I ran for election a leaflet which proclaimed it was time for change in local politics.

I have learned since that some people like to say one thing on their leaflet and do something very different in office.

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Insensitive and ill-judged plans to increase hourly tariffs by an almighty 50 per cent in East Devon's most popular car parks which include Queen's Drive and Imperial Road were put forward by the cabinet last Wednesday, and represent the only major change I've seen proposed by the new East Devon District Council leader Ben Ingham.

My first concern is that they will dissuade families living in the Halsdon, Brixington and Littleham areas from shopping in our centre and visiting the seafront. My second concern is for local businesses.

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My third concern is this whole thing is ill-timed as we consider a town residential parking scheme.

The council has a budget shortfall, but rather than turning people away from Exmouth town centre, why not increase revenue by reducing car parking in the less popular car parks as other places are doing?

Councillor Ingham might quite enjoy the office of leader, but he is failing to deliver workable policy, let alone the change people ask for. I call on Ben to do the right thing and step aside to allow someone more in touch with the reality of people's lives to lead the council.

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