5 February 2015 – National Voter Registration Day

Honestly, to read the EDDC webpage you wouldn’t think that our Chief Executive and Electoral Returning Officer had recently been brought before a Parliamentary Committee and hauled over the coals for doing little or nothing to register votes over the last few years! What’s that noise? Spinning, spinning!

“National Voter Registration Day is about spreading the word and encouraging people to take action by registering. However, it’s not only young people that we’re keen to register, we want all our residents that are eligible to vote to register, and we hope this day will focus attention on this aim.

Registering to vote is easy, just visit gov.uk/register-to-vote.”


EDDC’s “Strategic Management Team” decided what questions to ask staff and public

No, we didn’t know what or who the “Strategic Management Team” is either – they don’t seem to be mentioned anywhere but we are told it is the head honchos here

Click to access eddc_smt_structure_chart_sept_2014_with_salaries.pdf

Below is a question on survey design on the Whatdotheyknow website that mentions them and where EDDCs replies are “Sir Humphrey Appleton” masterpieces of using lots of words to give almost no information!

So basically the six very highest paid officers devise all questionnaires – presumably including the one that didn’t include staying at Knowle as an option – a very odd decision!

So when you read that just about everyone in East Devon is satisfied witheverything EDDC does, you know who designed the questions to give the most positive answers.

Are you: ecstatic, over the moon or very happy with their creations?


Cameron … Devon … Science Park … no Diviani

Promises … maybes … looking into … might … eventually … possibly … PM here twice in a week … panic … yabber, yabber, yabber, yabber … same old … .

… but no Diviani or other EDDC Tory councillors in the pictures – has Hugo had a quiet word with Dave? And did the words “Claire Wright … threat to my majority” figure?

South Somerset District Councillor lives in America, claims allowances

And there is nothing anyone can do about it as the rules say a councillor only has to attend one full council meeting every six months. And even if you never attend a meeting, as long as the Chairman accepts apologies they don’t actually need to do anything at all.

Some councils publish statistics about how many meetings their councillors attend – but not South Somerset or East Devon.


Tesco “culls” Head Office staff – should Councillor Twiss report them to Hertfordshire police?

See story re Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition below and recall that Tory Councillor and maybe-or-maybe-not Tory awhip Twiss reported Independent Councillor Claire Wright to Devon and Cornwall Police when a commentator on her blog suggested that Tory councillors should be culled. He went on to say that Councillor Wright was “beneath contempt” for allowing use of the phrase on her blog.

The Daily Mail online has now used the phrase in its headline about Tesco reducing the number of staff at its head office.

It appears Councillor Wright has been much more mature and has made no comment on Councillor Twiss’s actions.


Councils must speed up adoption of Neighbourhood Plans

This is not a great deal of help in East Devon at present as a Local Plan trumps a Neighbourhood Plan and we have no idea what will be in a final Local Plan and how anomalies will be dealt with:

Government introduces legislation aimed at speeding up the time it takes to designate a neighbourhood plan area

The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Amendments Regulations 2015 amends the existing regulations in particular by ‘prescribing’ the date by which a local planning authority must determine applications for designation of a neighbourhood plan area.

It has been introduced in part in response to the considerable variation in the time local planning authorities take to designate neighbourhood plan areas. While some authorities have taken 45 days to reach a decision, some communities (including parish councils) have had to wait over six months for a decision, with some waiting over a year.

It also adds to the list of documents that a qualifying body must submit to a local planning authority with a proposal for a neighbourhood plan.

A copy of the regulations can be found at

Click to access uksi_20150020_en.pdf

originally blogged at