As published in Express and Echo today) (rejected by Midweek Herald)
“Former Conservative District Councillor, Mrs Liverton has recently (in the local press) accused East Devon Alliance (EDA) Independent Councillors of “constant negativity” and lack of positive action.
• Was it (and is it) “negative” to campaign for greater transparency, democracy and accountability in local government as members of EDA and other Independents are constantly doing? This is clearly necessary and was done by other local groups supported by EDA during the EDDC office re-location affair when the District Council repeatedly withheld information from the public and was twice castigated by the Information Commissioner.
• Was it (and is it) “negative” to campaign against the closure of hospital beds (and local hospitals) across the district? Again, this was done and is being done by EDA councillors and other Independents at both district and county level and has been supported by many concerned members of the public.
• And is it now “negative” to campaign for more action against the huge rise in poverty and homelessness in this country as recently revealed by the United Nations Observer and as EDA Councillors Cathy Gardner and Marianne Rixson did at Full Council recently*?
• And is it “negative” to campaign, (as members and councillors of EDA are doing), for a National Park for “Wessex” to include the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) of East Devon which currently lacks proper protection against inappropriate development?
Thanks to you, the voters, EDA is a positive new force at EDDC. Meetings are open to the public. Come and see for yourself in 2019, at the new Honiton offices you are paying for (with a long-term loan).
* The attached photo shows how the EDA motion brought complete cross-party unity, unheard of in Mrs Liverton’s time, to the Full Council recently.
Mike Temple, Sidmouth”