Real Zorro

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

Monday, 2 March 2015

Claire Wright challenges politically motivated rush to sell the Knowle ahead of local elections

An update on Zorro’s posting on 28 February under the heading – Councillor Diviani in politically motivated rush to sell the Knowle ahead of local elections”.

In response to the Leader of East Devon District Council, Paul Diviani, calling an extraordinary meeting of the Council on 25 March to stream roller through a decision to sell off its Headquarters at the Knowle, Councillor Claire Wright has written to him and the Chief Executive, Mark Williams.

Claire Wright is calling upon Councillor “Kim Jung Un” Diviani not to push for this decision to be taken ahead of an imminent decision (on 27 March, two days after the Council meeting) by the Information Commissioner on whether key documents relating to the sale of the Knowle can be made public. Claire Wright is also citing the impending purdah period (after which the Council cannot take significant new decisions until after the May elections) that starts on 31 March.

The Knowle. It is owned by the residents of East Devon.....

Councillor Wright is absolutely correct to make these challenges as these two significant dates take place 2 and 6 days respectively after the District Council’s majority Conservative group look set to push through the decision to sell the Knowle.

Clr "Kim Jong Un" Diviani. ....absolutely determined to bulldoze through sale of the Knowle.
Zorro fully expects Councillor “Kim” Diviani to act with his usual political arrogance and to dismiss Councillor Wright’s request.
This is the text of Claire Wright’s request to Paul Diviani

“When I was reviewing the answers to the written questions at Wednesday’s full council meeting last evening, I realised that the judgement on key reports of the state of the Knowle that the Information Commissioner has ruled must be public, will be made two days after the decision on the office relocation.

The move to schedule an extraordinary meeting to make a final decision on unpopular office relocation, just a few days before purdah and the council elections - seems to me and many people to be profoundly undemocratic and quite wrong, as I outlined in my speech at full council on Wednesday evening.

But the fact that a decision on publishing key reports on the state of the Knowle buildings won’t be made until two days later, deeply compounds that wrong.

Given that a tribunal hearing took place on this issue last August, we all reasonably expected to receive the judgement long before now and most definitely before any decision on office relocation was made.

Neither were we expecting a decision on the move to be forced through with such alacrity before the elections.

The decision on office relocation being made without the benefit of the outcome of the judgement being known means that councillors cannot refer to those key reports, unless the debate takes place with the public and press excluded. A move that would be quite unacceptable on a decision of such magnitude.

It also means that members of the public would not have any sight of such documents until it was too late for them to consider them and make representations at any such meeting.

There are now surely overwhelming reasons to suspend a decision on the office relocation until AFTER the elections.

I hope that the council will consider its own reputation on this matter, and be fair to its councillors – and its electorate – the people who effectively own the Knowle buildings – and are likely to pay dearly for any relocation – and defer the decision.

I urge the council to suspend this process and review again after 7 May”.

If on 25 March, as we expect, the Conservative majority group bulldoze through the sale of the Knowle, electors will need to exact their revenge on 7 May ..... 
This box exacts revenge on arrogant politicians.
It’s time for change! It’s time for challenge!

1 comment:

  1. It is really disappointing that none of the cabinet stand up to Kim. They must accept the consequences in May.