A Letter from John John Loudoun Sidmouth Rural Ward Member. (Simon Jupp responds beneath)
Firstly, through your pages I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the voters in the Sidmouth Rural Ward who in last week’s elections re-elected me with a 73% share of the vote. It is humbling to have so many people to place their faith in me and in what I expressed to them through my election communications. I intend to continue to represent them, and our wider Sidmouth and Sid Valley communities to the best of my ability.
Secondly, in light of the election campaign that our MP Simon Jupp spearheaded on behalf of the Conservatives, not just locally, but also across much of the District, and in response to his comments to the Herald immediately after the election results that “I think everyone should work together”, I wish to speak through these pages directly to him.
The Conservatives ran their District wide campaign based around a set of core issues. The majority of electors decided that these issues were not ones that they felt able to vote in favour of. However one cuts it, be it by total votes cast across the District, or the total number of seats won by each party or grouping across the District, the Conservatives came third behind Independents, such as me, and the Liberal Democrats.
I agree with Simon Jupp, and I have expressed this to him personally previously, that everyone should work together. The Democratic Alliance coalition, that I was part of and which ran the District Council for the past 3 years, is anticipating retaining control of the Council. Collectively we have the mandate from residents to do so. Over the past 3 years our grouping has tried hard to positively reach out to Simon, after all he is one of the MPs within the District.
Regretfully, Simon has not sought to foster a positive dialogue or relationship with the Democratic Alliance. Rather, and the latest election campaign typified this, he has constantly criticised us at every turn. If we had made such a hash of everything over the past 3 years, wasted money or, to quote Boris Johnson “spaffed it up the wall”, surely the voters at the latest elections would not have voted for any of us.
But the voters did vote predominately for Independents and Liberal Democrats to represent them for the next 4 years. So, my plea to our local MP is to respect the
voters’ decisions, respect our mandates and not to continue just criticising every single thing we do. The Democratic Alliance has proven that it is fiscally responsible, delivers quality services and has the support of professional and well-motivated officers and staff.
Therefore, I respectfully ask Simon Jupp to end his partisan party-political bashing of the District Council and those elected to serve the residents. If you disagree with something then sit down and explain to us why you think we should do something differently. Come and talk to us, don’t just criticise through social and mainstream media. You can be better than that and you have my telephone number. The residents of East Devon have decided and that must now be respected by you. As you say, let’s work together for our residents and where we live and work.
Yours sincerely John Loudoun.
In response to this letter from John Loudoun, Simon Jupp said: “I wanted to respond directly to the letter from Cllr John Loudoun who represents Sidmouth Rural Ward on East Devon District Council.
First of all, congratulations to Cllr Loudoun on his re-election. We clearly both share the same passion for Sidmouth and the Sid Valley and want to do the best for the residents we serve.
Sadly, Cllr Loudoun has decided to spend significant energy in this week’s paper saying that I am not fostering a positive dialogue with the coalition of independent and Liberal Democrat councillors running the show at the council.
I would like to remind Cllr Loudoun that I have spent much of the last few years working with his political administration – even though we do not share the same colour rosette.
I’ve worked with the council to secure much-needed leisure centre and swimming pool funding from the Budget. I’ve worked with the council to secure £15.7m from the Levelling Up Fund to build the Dinan Way extension and regenerate the area around Exmouth train station. And I’m working with the council on important issues like Cranbrook’s district heating network and Sidmouth’s beach management plan.
Cllr Loudoun’s energy may be better spent on writing about what he plans to deliver for his residents. I’ll continue to work constructively with him and the incoming administration on shared objectives. It’s a great a pity the last administration accepted my support in private but refused to acknowledge it publicly.
Simon Jupp MP – Member of Parliament for East Devon