Why did Cllr. Stuart Hughes, Chairman, EDDC cancel the May Annual Meeting?

Owl has made a number of posts recently explaining the formation of the Democratic Alliance; the new power grouping in EDDC;  and the reasons why those who formed the Independent Progressive group felt they had to leave Ben Ingham’s group.

Owl has also posted the cancellation of the EDDC Annual Meeting scheduled for 13 May, but has been unable to find out why, until now.

The comment below, from the Democratic Alliance, is appearing on various twitter feeds.

It doesn’t look to Owl that Stuart Hughes has been acting other than in the narrow interest of himself and his party – the sooner he goes, the better for democracy in East Devon. Owl has refrained from using stronger language, with difficulty.

twitter comment reads:
“Unfortunately Cllr Stuart Hughes, the Conservative chairman of East Devon District Council, has caused democratic chaos by cancelling its annual meeting just at the time when current council leader Cllr Ben Ingham’s administration has fallen apart. In a situation entirely of Cllr Ingham’s own making, 10 of the 20 members in his ruling group (including 3 of his cabinet members) have decided over recent months that he cannot be allowed to carry on as council leader, and have left. 
At this time of crisis it is imperative that democracy is protected and restored so that the public’s best interests can be safeguarded. Therefore it is critical that a proper majority administration be voted. We are three dreadful months into the pandemic crisis, but we are far from out of the woods and must have clear majority leadership both for now and as we plan for the future based on stronger foundations of collaboration and transparency. The formal coalition of the Democratic Alliance and the Progressive Independents contains more than half of all council members who share this vision and will be able to lead the district, seeking consensus with other groups too. A breath of fresh air for EDDC.
 If Councillor Hughes had not made the political decision to cancel the Annual Meeting for no good reason this would have been an unremarked routine changing of the guard. Instead, like many “disrupter” figures in world politics he has created havoc in the hope that he will be able to cling to the chair for a second year.”

One thought on “Why did Cllr. Stuart Hughes, Chairman, EDDC cancel the May Annual Meeting?

  1. Is it allowed by the EDDC Constitution to cancel the Annual Council Meeting?

    The rules for the Annual Meeting are enshrined in Part 4 of the Constitution https://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/3453999/part-4-rules-for-procedure.pdf and they state that it MUST take place in May. They also state that it is the responsibility of the CEO and not the Chairman of the Council to call meetings. Given that Council meetings need to be announced at least 5 days in advance (and assuming that the CEO will only do this on working days), that leaves only 5 working days left to call the Annual Meeting.

    Or are we simply going to see the same disregard for Constitution and Democracy from the current leadership that we see from the Conservative Government?


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