Below are parts of the speech made by Paul Diviani made when he was elected Leader of East Devon District Council in May 2011 :
“My experience has always been to ensure the business is based on economic fundamentals; for example, borrow only to create future wealth without overstretching your resource.
“Recessions do pass and our responsibility will be to help our many small businesses survive and prosper; our High Streets to retain or revert to smaller and unique outlets in the interests of local diversity; our youth to have the opportunity to live and work here; our many senior citizens to enjoy a quality of life they have earned; for the vulnerable to be protected; and for you as councillors to have the satisfaction of knowing you are part of that; and, more widely, for the people of East Devon to have the confidence that our aspirations are in harmony. Truly sustainable places are about happy communities, living and working together in wonderful locations. The future may not be orange, but it is bright.”
Some call it safe, clean and green – to which I would add seen.
“Safe comes through good design at the planning stage, through working with the police, fire and rescue and all the other services that deal with our society’s well-being, with particular emphasis on the vulnerable of whatever age.
“Clean is the public realm – paths and pavements on which we travel, the quality of our parks and pleasure grounds, efficient and convenient services, such as waste recycling and collection.
“Green will come as no surprise! Two-thirds of our district is nationally designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which makes East Devon such a fabulous place to live, work and play.
“Seen is about perception and reality and is all about effective communication. All too often we read that EDDC doesn’t listen, doesn’t care, sits in an ivory tower – the list goes on. The cynical view of the last government – decide, consult, do it all anyway – is not my approach.”
“Obviously, we [EDDC councillors] won’t all agree on everything but my path is one of consensus and inclusivity. I hope you will agree that we have a quite different looking Cabinet to align with the Officer responsibilities. We want to align talent and experience with positions rather than through patronage.”