“The chairman of Exmouth’s regeneration committee has refused to comment on the clash of “opinions” between the owner of Exmouth Fun Park and the district council. …
… The Echo previously requested details about how Mr Wright rejected the offer in a Freedom of Information request (FOI) to the council, and a subsequent request for clarification after the response was only partially answered: the council responded: “The offer was not accepted and was then withdrawn by EDDC.”
Independent ward member for Exmouth, Cllr Megan Armstrong, added: “I am shocked by this revelation and surprised at the way the negotiations came to an end. It is very puzzling for the council to say Mr Wright did not accept the offer of a lease, when according to him, this was not the case.
“I am glad that a journalist has been able to follow-up these discrepancies, but find it concerning that the FOI request was initially not fully answered, and only by the persistence of the journalist, was clarity provided.”
She added: “Cllr Skinner doesn’t seem to be taking what Mr Wright has said seriously and seems to have dismissed his position.
“Members of the council shouldn’t have been informed that Mr Wright rejected an offer made if this wasn’t the case.”
Leader of the opposition, Independent Cllr Ben Ingham [this is incorrect: the leader of Independent opposition is now Councillor Cathy Gardner] added:
“This is a most unusual story: the Wright family has a long history of commitment to Exmouth, which includes their business interests over the last 40 years on the seafront. As Exmouth moves into the future, we are all looking forward to positive changes for the better. As we do this, we must be inclusive, listening to our local community, taking on board their hopes and aspirations and trying to deliver a wonderful place for us all to live.
“We should be deciding our future together. Instead we are told what’s going to happen. That stinks, and badly.”