Town councillors agree to act on Exmouth seafront poll result

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:56 09 May 2016

Exmouth Town Hall.

Exmouth Town Hall.

Archant

Exmouth Town Council has agreed to write to district bosses calling for more consultation on the future of the seafront, following the recent parish poll.

The poll, held last month, saw a 94.9 per cent vote, from a 17.8 per cent turnout, for the town council recommending to East Devon District Council (EDDC) that before any further planning applications are approved for the Queen’s Drive development area, additional independent consultation should be carried out, in addition to that required by the applicant and planning authority.

The town council agreed on Tuesday to write to EDDC with such a recommendation.

Some Liberal Democrats had called for stronger wording, but Conservatives argued against this, saying they only had a mandate to write using the wording from the poll, and in the end this was unanimously approved.

Conservative councillor Bill Nash said: “We can only vote on the motion in the town poll. We can’t alter the wording as we don’t have a mandate to do that.”

Lib Dem Councillor Steve Gazzard had said: “I’m happy that we write a strong letter to the district council, but, having said that it has to include the wording that, it has to be meaningful, with openness and transparency, and has to be proper consultation, not just lip service.”

Some Lib Dems also said the town council should write to EDDC deputy leader Andrew Moulding, calling for an apology for comments which appeared in last week’s Journal, attributed to the EDDC Conservative group, citing the need to consider the views of the ‘silent majority’ who did not turn out for the poll, but this was defeated in a vote.

Councillor Brian Toye said: “Cllr Moulding has insulted the people who voted. It’s insulting to say the ‘silent majority’ have the final say on this one.”

In response, Cllr Nash said: “I don’t think it’s the responsibility of Exmouth Town Council to criticise one particular person on another council. If we start a precedent of writing to every councillor one or two of us might disagree with, then we’d never get any work done.”

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