So Hugo Swire says he can’t influence planning decisions – that’s odd because …

…. look what he says on his website: “On Thursday 19 February, local MP Hugo Swire officially opened the new premises of Sheds Direct Devon – a manufacturer of quality garden buildings, ranging from sheds to garden studios, now based between Broadclyst and Whimple. Sheds Direct Devon Limited was previously based in Ebford, Nr Topsham, but owner Leigh Perry decided to look for bigger premises in order to accommodate a sharp increase in orders. Mr Perry found his ideal premises in Wards Cross, Broadclyst, Nr Whimple, well over a year ago but was initially prevented from moving by EDDC as the factory was not on a bus or cycle route. However, following the intervention of East Devon MP Hugo Swire, the council reversed their decision and allowed Mr Perry and his team to move. Commenting, Mr Swire said: ‘I was absolutely delighted to open the new premises of Sheds Direct Devon’. ‘Sheds Direct Devon has grown exponentially over the past two or three years and this excellent new factory will give the business the space to expand even further’. ‘I am proud of the small part that I played in persuading EDDC that allowing Sheds Direct Devon to relocate would be beneficial to the local area, not detrimental. We really should be doing all that we can to help local businesses to grow and take on more staff’. Sheds Direct Devon Limited’s owner Leigh Perry said: ‘It seemed apt that Hugo Swire performed the official opening of our wonderful new premises as we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. He was instrumental in getting EDDC to reconsider their decision and we are certainly grateful to him for that’.

Shame you couldn’t help the rest of us with the Local Plan, Mr Swire.