From a Correspondent:
I spotted this tribute to Paul Diviani from EDDC Chief Executive in www.devonlive.com:
“EDDC’s Chief Executive Mark Williams added: “Paul was a joy and an inspiration to work with and I have many happy memories of much fun and laughter at the various events and meetings we attended together as leader and CEO over the years that I knew and worked with him.”
I too have memories of Paul Diviani and Mark Williams, slouched in their seats, laughing and talking together (they appeared very convivial and it was just after lunch) whilst a councillor was arguing the case for EDDC to cooperate with Dorset in the bid for a combined East Devon and Dorset National Park. As a member of the public I found this behaviour between the committee chairman, Paul Diviani, and the Chief Executive to be totally unprofessional, indeed unacceptable. It was obvious that they couldn’t care less about what was being said.
I felt so strongly at the time, but who could I complain to? All channels of complaint flow through Mark Williams!
I too have memories of Paul Diviani and Mark Williams, publicly disrespecting a member of the public (me) who was trying to hold them to account and who did not have any right of reply. As a member of the public I found this behaviour between the committee chairman, Paul Diviani, and the Chief Executive to be totally unprofessional, indeed unacceptable. It was obvious that they couldn’t care less about what was being said.
Our memories are similar to those of the last correspondent. The bromance between those two men whilst regularly showing complete disinterest in arguments and views of certain other councillors and members of the public was disgraceful .
Paul Diviani somehow managed to survive a vote of no confidence following his failure to represent his own council’s unaninmous vote that he should write to the secretary of state for health to try and stop the decimation of hospital beds and to save cottage hospitals in east Devon. He’d ignored his own council’s vote. Shameful, not praiseworthy.
Look where we are now.
That specific incident was a disgrace. As Leader he had an ethical and democratic duty to act as instructed by the Full Council. But because the Tories have no ethical bones and instead close ranks and deny accountability at every single opportunity, of course Diviani survived a vote of no-confidence, but surviving a vote of no confidence does NOT mean that you are not guilty, just that you have sufficient allies to let you get away with it.
I would also confirm memories of those two not just laughing and joking but sneering at the contributions of members of the public and minority group councillors. Where can Cllr Skinner’s attention have been on all of those occasions?
I remember that day well. It was more important to the Conservatives that they vote for a man who had betrayed them and the residents of East Devon, than it was for them to do the right thing. It was so hard to believe what was happening.
They had no courage, no integrity, no thoughts of democracy. Any trust and respect we might have had for them was lost that day – for evermore.
I don’t particularly like commenting about someone when they cannot answer back but I am afraid Diviani earned being an exception to that rule.
However, I’ve written and rewritten this comment but just cannot get away from the feeling I should not write anything negative about the deceased. I’ve ended up deleting my words time and time again and think I should settle for saying I do not recognise Diviani from the words of Williams or Skinner.
Tim’s words were right. It is a sad and difficult time for the family. At the moment they are the ones that matter.