Is it time for some more rebellious towns?

Colyton proudly announces itself as “the most rebellious town in Devon” for its part in supporting the Duke of Monmouth against James the Second.

Is it now time for another rebellion?

EDDC is the largest District Council in Devon with a population of about 140,000. It is growing rapidly. All this is happening against the backdrop of relocating EDDC’s headquarters and possible mergers amongst councils, in particular the creation of Greater Exeter.

Does everyone in East Devon want to be part of this process of rapid population growth and incorporation into the Exeter conurbation?

Residents of Exmouth, Honiton and Cranbrook may well look towards Exeter and work in the city, but our more rural and coastal communities increasingly see crowded and congested Exeter as something of which they do not wish to be a part. They tend to look towards the slower population growth and protection of the environment that can be found across the border in Dorset.

Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Beer, Colyton and Seaton, and perhaps Ottery, seem to see themselves more as operating in an economy linked primarily to tourism and agriculture. They have no wish or requirement to be absorbed into the Exeter behemoth. Cleaner and greener.

These communities also have little representation in the hierarchy at Knowle, (or even acknowledged by Greater Exeter) where the leadership is dominated by councillors from Exmouth, Honiton and Axminster.

In such circumstances, and with relocation offering a timely opportunity, is it not time to seriously consider splitting the District Council and introducing a healthy dose of localism?

We already see many functions and services involving cross-authority cooperation. Such sharing of services could and should continue were coastal East Devon to secede. But those coastal communities would have far greater control over their own affairs.

Is it time for Eastern East Devon, or perhaps “Jurassic Devon”, to secede from EDDC and withdraw from the Greater Exeter project?

And maybe join with Dorset’s idea of a Jurassic National Park?

All it takes is a few rebellious people to get it started!

2 thoughts on “Is it time for some more rebellious towns?

  1. Democracy? Ah yes, I remember that. All those years ago. When politicians understood that they were there to represent their voters, when they saw the role as a public service, when they had integrity, when they would admit to mistakes, when they were willing to be held accountable (and indeed thought that was an essential part of democracy), when they would resign if there was the slightest evidence that they had done something dishonourable.

    Not like the current crop of party politicians who are there for their own benefit, either directly through large salaries & expenses and revolving door employment, or indirectly by voting as they are told in order to get a ministerial job (again – you know who I am referring to), who have no compunctions about doing whatever it takes to get their ideas implemented, whether it is outright lies (BJ: £350m a week for the NHS), disregarding democratic process (BJ: bulldozing through a “garden bridge”, PD: signing a partnership deal with neighbouring councils without other councillors even knowing about it, CP: attempting to bulldoze through Academy Schools without any manifesto mandate or debate), being economical with the truth (PD: fudging a business case for an office move, CP: calling education privatisation “Academy Schools”) etc. etc.

    If you go back far enough in history, you learn that people fought and died to be granted democracy, but we current citizens are quite prepared to let it be flushed away by a governing party who will do anything, ANYTHING, to stay in power.

    Plato: “The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

    So true.


  2. We don’t need District Councils. What we need is County Councils to take care of county-wide matters; and Urban District and Rural District Councils to reflect the local needs of residents. Just like we used to have. That would be local democracy in action. Of course we would need a much better calibre of UDC/RDC councillor than is found in our town councils now.


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