At a very boisterous and tetchy full Council last night, my attempt to address the housing land supply issues currently being faced by East Devon sunk like a stone, as I knew it would.
My Motion was a simple one that as a Council we make use of an existing power to condition developers to start work on housing developments within two rather than three years (https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/my-attempt-to-help-address-the-housing-deficit-in-east-devon/).
The Motion was seconded by Cllr Ben Ingham who pointed out that as councillors representing wards outside the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) we do everything in our power to protect our areas from inappropriate development, but developers take advantage. He finished by saying, ‘You’re crazy if you don’t support this Motion!’
My main purpose in tabling the Motion was to air the issues we currently face in this period of developer- and landowner-led planning. And to that end I achieved what I set out to do.
So what happened to my Motion?
The vote was 9 votes in favour and ‘more than 9’ against … there were so many votes against the Motion that it really wasn’t worth counting them!!
At the same meeting, I submitted a written question which was ‘Is the Leader in possession of any information relating to the police investigation into former Councillor Graham Brown?’
The written answer I received was, ‘Along with everyone else, I await hearing from the Police on the outcome of their investigation. As and when there is further information I would expect the Chief Executive to update the Council.’
The reason I raised the question was because of a recording I listened to of the Audit & Governance meeting of 26 June (http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/webasp/recordings/auditgovernance/ag260614recording.mp3), which suggested that the investigation was closed. Full information is available on Cllr Claire Wright’s blog (http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/doubt_cast_over_police_investigation_into_activities_of_former_councillor).