Unitary decision: EDDC will protect its borders
East Devon District Council s Leader was disappointed that the Exeter Unitary proposal had been brought back from the dead and she wanted assurances that this would not prompt a land grab over the borders into neighbouring East Devon.
East Devon District Council's Leader was disappointed that the Exeter Unitary proposal had been brought back from the dead and she wanted assurances that this would not prompt a "land grab" over the borders into neighbouring East Devon.
Councillor Sara Randall Johnson said: "It is regrettable after all the time, effort and money spent on this exercise that we find ourselves back with the proposal that was first mooted three years ago - and which was thrown out by this Government.
"I can't help wondering what can possibly have changed to make this option viable now, as we emerge from a recession, when it was not considered viable then.
"In terms of the bigger Devon picture, it would be disappointing to see our county broken up into yet smaller pieces. Nationally, Devon is the only county to have three unitaries imposed within its boundaries. But, if the Government is hell bent on continuing to destroy the county, this option is the lesser of two evils".
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EDDC's Leader was in no mood to see a Unitary Exeter achieve sustainability at the expense of its neighbour. Exeter's revised bid on extended boundaries into East Devon has not been supported by the Government. She said: "I want an assurance from the Government that if this proposal goes ahead it will not be the precursor to a crude land grab in which the boundaries of Exeter are moved so that the city can expand into East Devon.
"We already know that East Devon has the space that a growing Exeter will need if its economy is to thrive. We are happy to be a good neighbour and to collaborate with the city on an equal basis, but we would be very protective of our borders and I wish to serve notice on that point from day one".
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