‘We are not being represented’

Budleigh Salterton Town Council has called for a meeting with the district council after questions were raised over ward members.

At this month’s Budleigh Salterton town council meeting members responded with ‘who, who?’ whenever councillors Ray Franklin and Malcolm Florey were mentioned.

Some residents have questioned how Councillor Florey, who recently moved from East Devon to France, can adequately serve the town.

A Budleigh Salterton resident, who did not want to be named, said many in the town felt misrepresented by Cllrs Florey and Franklin.

She said: “I think it’s quite surprising how Cllr Franklin attends East Budleigh meetings and very rarely attends Budleigh Salterton meetings.

“I would also like to know how can a man who lives in France know what’s going in his ward?”

After the meeting, Budleigh town councillor John Shiel said: “We are not being represented by our ward members. One’s a Francophile and one’s Where’s Waldo.

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“The other one is working his socks off for us. We’d be better off just keeping the one.”

The town council has called for a meeting with the district council to discuss its ward member concerns.

District councillor Ray Franklin said he worked hard for the town’s future investment through his role sitting on the district council’s planning committee.

He said: “They have got their view and I have got mine. Malcolm and myself are always positive.

“I hope a meeting takes place and I hope that something constructive comes out of it.”

Budleigh mayor Tom Wright said: “Since I have been mayor, Councillor Franklin’s not appeared to have shown any interest in Budleigh Salterton affairs, but that’s not to say he doesn’t do things behind the scenes for the people he represents.

“When Malcolm Florey was living in East Budleigh he was very active. He got the farmers’ market off the ground, he was behind the opening of the East Budleigh shop and very active and energetic in pursuing the youth club.

“Malcolm Florey did attend our meetings when he was here, but not now he’s living in France. I can’t remember Ray Franklin attending a meeting.”

Malcolm Florey was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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