More “Nasty Party” antics.
How many Tories are going to be standing as “Independents” in May? – Owl
Lewis Clarke www.devonlive.com
Mid Devon District Council has no cabinet, after the Conservative group resigned their positions, despite being told they would have been sacked anyway.
Speaking at Mid Devon’s scrutiny committee on Monday, February 13, leader of Mid Devon District Council, Councillor Bob Deed (Cadbury, Independent Group), confirmed that Conservative members Cllr Clive Eginton (Taw Vale, Conservative), Cllr Richard Chesterton (Lower Culm, Conservative), Cllr Colin Slade (Lowman, Conservative) and Cllr Stuart Penny (Yeo, Conservative) were no longer members of the cabinet.
Councillor Chris Daw (Cranmore, Independent Group) has quit as a Conservative party member and remains in her cabinet post as an independent member.
The move follows a disagreement between the Conservative former members of cabinet and the leader in backing Mid Devon’s Three Rivers Developments Ltd, with the Conservatives backing a proposal to continue their support for the company at a meeting on January 31.
Speaking at scrutiny Councillor Bob Deed said: “I have fired four members of the Conservative cabinet. At the moment the cabinet is not quorate, therefore until I appoint further members to the cabinet, there cannot be a cabinet meeting.
“In terms of ambiguity, they were fired, although at a meeting last week, one member did say they had resigned. I leave that thought with you. In terms of transparency, I do not see why we cannot tell the public what is going on.”
Cllr Clive Eginton, leader of the Conservative group responded: “Thank you for allowing me to correct the comments that Cllr Deed has just made. He tried to sack the four members of cabinet, and was unsuccessful because he sent an email via a third party, ie, via Councillor Chris Daw, which was inadmissible. Therefore, the four Conservative cabinet members resigned. End of story.”
Cllr Colin Slade added: “Some of us are a bit bemused about why he did, what he did. We in good faith believed that in his absence, that we were pursuing his policy. Then we find he’s decided to sack four Conservative members, one of whom wasn’t even at the cabinet and did not vote, so why was he sacked. We were told it was because we voted on party lines which we didn’t, because another member of the cabinet, Councillor Dennis Knowles, a member of Cllr Deed’s own group, voted with the Conservatives.
“How can Cllr Deed justify sacking members of the cabinet on the grounds they voted when they didn’t and keeping in a member of the cabinet who voted against his wishes.”
The chair of the committee Councillor Simon Clist (Upper Culm, Liberal Democrats) said he would allow no more discussion on the cabinet due to not being part of the agenda of the meeting.
This is the second time Cllr Deed has sacked large numbers of his cabinet as four Lib Dems were sacked from their positions in August 2020. It followed a full council meeting where the Liberal Democrats put forward a rival amendment to one that Cllr Deed had outlined over the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan, a strategy involving Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge.
Mid Devon District Council was due to hold a special cabinet meeting at 10am on Tuesday morning to discuss 3 Rivers Developments Limited and its Business Plan. That meeting now does not look likely to go ahead.