Tory councillor puts many Tory cats in front of a single Tory Diviani pidgeon!

Tonight sees the vote of no confidence in EDDC Leader Paul Diviani, who, with his former EDDC pal and DCC Councillor Sarah Randall-Johnson, sabotaged a last-ditch attempt to keep beds at Honiton and Seaton hospitals open.

Now EDDC Tory Councillor Mike Allen has written an extraordinary letter in today’s Midweek Herald claiming Diviani acted alone at DCC and, in fact, all other Tory councillors at EDDC backed the action to try to keep the beds open.

We know Diviani acted alone when he voted at DCC, as he was supposed to consult all the other councils in this part of Devon (8 councils in all) about his vote, which he admitted he did not do (see post yesterday on his censure for this).

So, tonight he faces a vote of “no confidence”.

What will Tory councillors do?

Diviani allegedly refused to follow their unanimous instruction about how to vote at DCC. Which councillors will vote to keep him in his job and why?

Could it be like the national Tory situation – where Mrs May stays in power only because her party has no-one better to offer so her bodge-jobbing is the best bodge-jobbing they can muster?

Or will we someone emerge from the shadows to oust the Leader – and, if so, will it be an improvement?

We note that Councillor Twiss voted against the motion that Diviani voted for at DCC (though maybe because he valued his Honiton DCC seat more than the community beds). Is he waiting in the wings?

Tonight will tell.

3 thoughts on “Tory councillor puts many Tory cats in front of a single Tory Diviani pidgeon!

  1. Opposed to bed closures plan

    I am very concerned that there has been no report on the strenuous efforts made by East Devon District Council to oppose the closing of beds in the rural towns and our south-eastern coast.

    We formed a joint committee with town and county councillors, with an independent chairman, to oppose proposed bed closures in our cottage hospitals in 2015. The CCG ignored our representations for Axminster, Budleigh Salterton and Ottery St Mary but accepted the recommendation that Honiton was the most accessible site for an emergency unit.

    When the further consultation was announced in 2016, I was asked to lead our opposition and Neil Parish MP co-ordinated with Councillor Paul Diviani and Hugo Swire MP an intense lobbying exercise to Jeremy Hunt including a Westminster debate.

    I worked with all varieties of political parties in many protest meetings to maintain a non-partisan
    united opposition.

    The CCG refused to listen despite being proven wrong when stating Honiton was excluded for reasons of access (it was coupled with Sidmouth, which was far less accessible.)

    Finally, after the closures across the Eastern area were announced, our councillors were part of the protest and, apart from Cllr Diviani, we all united in a letter which I circulated to the health and adult care scrutiny members.

    Throughout, with the exception of Cllr Diviani, the East Devon Conservatives, including our MPs, have fought these closures.

    Finally, I have asked Neil Parish as chair of the Rural (EFRA) Select Committee to raise the issue because the Department of Health from Cumbria to Dorset and Cornwall has ignored the needs of rural communities.

    Local Conservatives are furious at the CCG for bulldozing the people of East Devon. All this for ‘marginal’ financial benefit according to their own finance committee.

    I just ask that you publish this letter and my comments to maintain our balanced and total objection to these closures.

    Councillor Mike Allen
    East Devon District Council


    • It is not credible to say that Diviani acted alone – he may not have consulted other district councils, but remember that three of the East Devon Tories on Health Scrutiny (Randall Johnson and Richard Scott as well as Diviani) voted for ditching the hospital beds, with only Twiss against and Jeff Trail absent. Even at the time of the County Council elections in May, E Devon Conservatives advocated ‘bedless hospitals’, so Mike Allen’s story doesn’t add up. If they back Diviani tonight they will be consistent with their party’s betrayal of Honiton and Seaton.


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