Bed closures at Honiton and Seaton – the final stitch-up by Tory Councillors

Councillor Martin Shaw (EDA, Colyton and Seaton) reports:

[Names of those voters have been amended – it does not affect the result]

“The 7 councillors who voted NOT to refer the decision to close Honiton and Seaton hospital beds were:

Sarah Randall-Johnson
Paul Diviani (Leader of East Devon District Council, representing Devon district councils), and county councillors
Richard Scott (Exmouth),
Rufus Gilbert,
Sylvia Russell,
Paul Crabb and
Ron Peart.

The 6 councillors who voted against this motion, i.e. to refer the decision, were Claire Wright (Otter Valley, Independent), Brian Greenslade and Nick Way (Liberal Democrat), Hilary Ackland and Carol Whitton (Labour) and Phil Twiss (Honiton, Conservative).

Jeremy Yabsley (Conservative) abstained as did John Berry. Two other Tories,
Jeffrey Trail (Exmouth) and
Philip Sanders, gave their apologies.

Six public speakers, Cllr Roger Giles (Chair of East Devon’s Scrutiny Committee), Paul Arnott (Colyton), Cllr Jan Goffey (Mayor of Okehampton), Cllr Mike Allen, Bob Sturtivant and Stephen Craddock (Honiton), spoke eloquently against the closures for two and a half minutes each. County Councillor Ian Hall (Axminster) and I also addressed the committee for five minutes each.

Three representatives of NEW Devon CCG and the RD&E (who run the hospitals and are working with the CCG) were then allowed to make a very lengthy Powerpoint presentation and contribute freely to the discussion – which none of the public speakers, Ian Hall or I were allowed to do.

Claire Wright had prepared a detailed motion to refer the closures and had submitted it to the Chair before the meeting. However when debate began, Cllr Randall Johnson chose not to call Claire to speak but called Rufus Gilbert who immediately proposed the motion not to refer, which was quickly seconded by Sylvia Russell.

This blatant manoeuvre by the Chair meant that the committee never considered point by point, as Claire’s motion would have required it to, the 14 questions on which it had asked the CCG to satisfy it. Despite an excellent report from Hilary Ackland which concluded that the CCG had failed to convince, the Committee basically abdicated its scrutiny role and blocked a referral without discussing most of the objections which we had raised.

Claire and I are planning to complain about the way the meeting was handled. If you want to watch it, it’s online at

Thank you all for your support for the hospitals over the last 9 months. Be assured, however, that this is not the end of the matter, since the CCG and RD&E are both developing ‘estates strategies’ which will centre on what to do with space freed up by the closures. “

2 thoughts on “Bed closures at Honiton and Seaton – the final stitch-up by Tory Councillors

  1. I am not aware what the saving will be due to these closures, or who picks up the tab if they were to be kept open.
    But i am aware that EDDC are prepared to spend some £3.5 Million on a diversion of Queens Drive so a developer can build on the beach side, so the Wind-Surfing member’s will not have to cross the Sea-Front Road.
    Am i right in thinking with all these financial cuts we are having to deal with, that EDDC feel this new development is so groundbreaking it will be a device which will be the savoir of the £125,000 spent on the Exmouth Master-plan in 2010 that was to bring the new vision for it’s aims and objectives that would make the sort of place Exmouth should be in the future.
    What has happened is we have seen all these cuts in social services and yet our Council has this fixation with this Exmouth Splash. So far little has been done to the run down parts of our Town which the Master-plan stated it’s Regeneration was paramount, but so far we have not really seen anything materialise other then cuts and delay’s.


  2. Pingback: Bed closures at Honiton and Seaton – the final stitch-up by Tory Councillors | Deirdre Dee Coaching

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