Real Zorro

Mission - to challenge in East Devon. To hold elected representatives & their officials to account.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Councillor Diviani in politically motivated rush to sell the Knowle ahead of local elections

Very recently the esteemed Leader of East Devon District Council, Councillor Paul Diviani, gave, as an excuse why the much delayed but important Local Plan couldn’t be published this side of the May local elections the reason “...there is concern that the process (presenting the Plan to Councillors ahead of elections) could be seen as politically motivated...”

In parallel the District Council leadership has been ploughing ahead with the incredibly unpopular plan to sell off its Headquarters at the Knowle, Sidmouth, and relocate it on a split site basis at Honiton and Exmouth. At the last District Council meeting Independent councillors argued that any decision to accept the plan to move the Headquarters should be taken after the elections. Councillor Diviani and his majority Conservative group rejected that argument.

We now learn that in their quest to ensure that the relocation decision is made ahead of the elections three council meetings will be held in March. These meetings include the Council’s Cabinet which meets on 11 March to consider a final proposal which will then be put to a special full Council meeting on 25 March.

This raises the real question as to why presenting the long awaited Local Plan ahead of the local election could be seen, according to the Council Leader as “politically motivated”, whereas making a decision on selling off the Knowle couldn’t be seen as politically motivated”! It seems to Zorro that Councillor “Kim Jung Un” Diviani and his majority Conservative group want their cake and eat it, or to put it more straightforwardly making sure that the sale is agreed ahead of the elections means that a new administration cannot undo the decision. That is a "politically motivated" decision if there ever was one!

This has clearly got to be the Conservative group’s tactic, otherwise why else would the Leader set a special Council meeting to get the sale approved? This can be seen as particularly politically motivated” when one realises that once we get to 31 March the Council has to go into purdah. In other words the Council cannot take any new significant decisions after 31 March.

So to get around this inconvenience Councillor Diviani makes sure that the decision is pushed through just ahead of the cut off date of 31 March.

Zorro makes no apology for keeping comparing the way that Councillor Diviani and his majority Conservative group run the District Council to the way that Kim Jung Un runs North Korea – as a one party state.

If you ever needed a reason why the Conservative District Councillors ought to be removed, or culled, at the forthcoming elections Zorro cannot think of a better one!  Bring on the Independent’s challenge at the ballot box on 7 May. The arrogant politicisation of the District Council as exemplified by Councillor “Kim” Diviani and his Conservative majority group has to be brought to a halt.

To understand more about how Independent candidates will be challenging the Conservatives in the election go to East Devon Alliance’s website - Also check out two of our Independent Councillors blog sites – Claire Wright and Susie Bond

Don’t just get mad, get even! You can get even in two ways. Firstly, by lobbying the full Council meeting on the evening of 25 March when the Conservative District Council majority will be trying to railroad through the sale of the Knowle. Secondly, by voting for Independent candidates in the District Council elections on 7 May.

The Sidmouth Herald edition of 27 February carries the story of the impending special Council meeting on 25 March -

It’s time for change! It’s time for challenge!

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