Exmouth councillor joins Independent East Devon Alliance
- Credit: Archant/Paul Millar
An Exmouth councillor has announced that he has joined the Independent East Devon Alliance.
Cllr Paul Millar, who represents the Exmouth Halsdon ward on East Devon District Council, confirmed he had joined the East Devon Alliance (EDA) on Tuesday.
His decision to join the EDA means the group now has 12 seats on the district council. The ruling Independent Group has 18, the Conservatives 19, the Liberal Democrats eight, Green Party two, and there is one independent.
Cllr Millar had initially joined the Independent group that run the council after he was elected in May, but quit the group in September and had been sitting as an Independent since.
He said: "The Independent East Devon Alliance Group share a set of values and a vision which more closely represent the mantra I stood on last May, especially with regard to how the council ought to be run, and doing things differently from the former administration which too many people seem to forget were voted out.
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"I have been assured that by being part of this political grouping my ability to think for myself and speak freely, which is part and parcel of being independent, will not be stamped on by any Leader.
"I will continue to campaign for our taxpayers' money to be invested in projects that manifestly improve town and village life across the district, rather than shallow vanity projects such as the current plan for Exmouth seafront."
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Cllr Paul Arnott, leader of the EDA, added: "Paul has shown courage and integrity as a ward member for Exmouth Halsdon since May 2019, making a leading contribution at District in the fight for democracy, accountability and transparency in the context of a still opaque administration.
"I hope our experience as Independents and willingness to battle will help both Paul and his constituents.
"His presence will certainly help us too."
As a result of the change in the political balance, the next full council meeting on Wednesday, February 26, will be asked to approve changes to the committee memberships that have to be politically balanced.