Not a party person? Become an independent councillor

Fed up with “same old” ways of doing things in East Devon? Fed up with political party coming before people? Want to do something about it?

A good start would be to attend the East Devon Alliance AGM on

Saturday 23 February 2019
11 am
Dissenters Hall, Sidmouth

(on the corner of All Saints Road at the top of Sidmouth High Street, EX10 8ER – opposite Tesco Metro)

You can talk to current EDA councillors and, if you are interested in making a difference in YOUR community, they will tell you how EDA can provide help, advice and support.

No whip, no toeing a party line, no party politics – just a group of independent-minded people working together for the benefit of everyone in East Devon.

Or, if you want to discuss this now, contact

Do things the 21st century way, not the 19th century way!

Guess which council is very picky where it (sort of) recruits new councillors?

Teignbridge District Council is actively promoting new councillor candidates via numerous events throughout the district.

When challenged, EDDC it seems is not – choosing instead to send CEO (and supposedly neutral civil servant) Mark Williams to selected events, only upon invitation. Like trueblue Budleigh Salterton.

It’s almost like they don’t want any new candidates signing up – thus allow the incumbents to romp back home without a contest thus maintaining (their trueblue) status quo…

Odd that …..

And maybe time to check that electoral roll again.

We don’t want to find ourselves with 6,000+ too few voters again do we, Mr Williams.

As Private Eye might say: Shom mistake shurely …

Want to change things in East Devon – become an independent councillor

You don’t have to do it alone – East Devon Alliance is happy to help those who want to help their communities, who have that necessary independent streak, and who are happy to adhere to the Nolan Principles of Public Life:–2

Elections take place on 2 May 2019.

Young people, women, minorities and people with disabilities are particularly unrepresented on councils – there is a government fund for helping disabled people to become councillors:

If you are interested, you can attend the EDA AGM on Saturday 23 February 2019 at 11 am (Dissenters Hall, Sidmouth) where you can meet current councillors or you can contact EDA at:

The more independent councillors there are, the sooner East Devon can be changed for the better. No following party lines, no party whip, no instructions from people who know nothing about your area and care only about party policies … what’s stopping you!

East Devon Alliance AGM – Sidmouth, Saturday 23 February 11 am

East Devon Alliance Annual General Meeting

Saturday 23 February 2019

11.00 am – 12.30 pm

Dissenters Hall, The Old Meeting Unitarian Chapel,
All Saints Rd, Sidmouth EX10 8ER

All East Devon Alliance Members & Supporters are cordially invited to attend the Annual General Meeting

Further information available from the EDA Secretary:

“Number using food banks in part of Devon doubles in six months”

“The number of people using food banks in the Sid Valley has more than doubled in the last six months.

The Sid Valley Food Bank’s co-ordinator Andie Milne told East Devon councillors on Wednesday night of the alarming numbers of people and the stark rise in numbers of people they are seeing.

She said that six months ago, they were dealing with 15 families a week, but last week, more than 30 families came through their doors, with 36 children being helped.

And she added that last week they helped a family from Axminster as there was no help available in the East of the county for them, and raised concern over what would happen to the emergency food bags located at the council’s Knowle HQ, that sometimes are refilled four times a week, when the council offices move to Honiton early in 2019.

Her comments came prior to the full council unanimously supporting a motion brought forward by Cllr Cathy Gardner, of East Devon Alliance, calling for a report on the potential impacts of benefits changes and spending cuts on people in East Devon and whether there was a need for further support from the council in supporting the roll-out of Universal Credit, homelessness prevention or for local food banks.

Proposing her motion, Cllr Gardner said: “Most of us are doing okay and are comfortable, some are doing extremely well, but some are struggling, and we have a civic duty to see if we can do more. I would be horrified to learn if a child suffered as we failed to something in some way to help.

“I am not criticising the council or the hard work that our officers do to help people but simply to ask if there is anything more that we could do, as we know that people are struggling with Universal Credit.

“If the report says it is all perfect, then we can rest easy, but I want the report to come forward so we can be seen as outstanding, caring and vigilant.”

Cllr Marianne Rixson, supporting the motion, added that some people are being forced to use food banks just to make ends meet, even though they are in employment. …”

“County Council leader tells me he ‘hasn’t got a clue yet’ about No Deal Brexit planning” says EDA Independent Councillor

At yesterday’s DCC Cabinet meeting, Leader John Hart answered three questions I had put in writing about estimated risks from Theresa May’s Brexit and No Deal, about help to businesses for No Deal, and emergency planning for disruption to fuel, food and medical supplies in Devon as a result of No Deal.

The questions and answers are attached. It will be seen that Cllr Hart did not answer any of the questions. When I asked when he would answer them, he said ‘We haven’t got a clue yet’ about what is going to happen, and that there would be a meeting next week, with just 10 weeks left to when the UK will crash out of the EU with No Deal if no change is made.

It can be seen that there are no protections in place to protect Devon from the effects of a No Deal. Economy Cabinet member Cllr Rufus Gilbert said ‘we can’t plan for a hypothetical’ but at the moment No Deal is the default scenario for 29th March.

This is why Devon and Dorset MPs like Ben Bradshaw, Sarah Wollaston and Oliver Letwin are absolutely right to try to block No Deal. I told Cabinet it was irresponsible of them not to support these moves.

Martin Shaw
Independent East Devon Alliance County Councillor for Seaton & Colyton”

dcc leader’s replies on no deal brexit 9.1.19

EDA Councillor calls out Highways Department for inconsistency in Sidford

“‘Inconsistent’ highways bosses have been slammed for supporting a plan to build 40 homes when they refused to support one house being built just down the road.

District Councillor Marianne Rixson raised concerns about two cases where she claims the county council’s highways department’s decision making had been ‘inconsistent’.

Highways objected to an application to build one home in Sidford Road because the proposed development was next to the A375 Sidford Road, which connects to Sidmouth and Honiton, as well as to the A3052 Exeter to Lyme Regis at Sidford Cross at a staggered traffic light junction. At peak times, the signalled junction can cause long tailbacks past the new home.

However, Highways supported an application to build 40 retirement flats at Green Close in Sidford, just 0.2 miles away..

In its report Highways said the development at Green Close would ‘potentially’ generate a slight increase in traffic compared to the site’s former use as a care home.

Cllr Rixson said the South Lawn access to the development ‘in effect is single track because of parked cars’.

“There will be 40 apartments with 24 car parking spaces. These additional vehicles will be entering and exiting via South Lawn and this could cause tailbacks at the junction of South Lawn with the A375, yet Highways raised no objections,” she said.

“I really cannot understand why Highways raise no objections to major developments yet for a single dwelling produce arguments which would be applicable to all three of the applications listed below.

“The Herald attended the meeting on December 4 and heard East Devon District Council members being sympathetic toward my objections to the change of access but stated that, as highways had not objected, it would not succeed at appeal.”

A Devon County Council spokesman said: “Despite the close proximity of the two developments the implications of the two schemes on the highways network were very different, site specific and not comparable. When as the highways authority we give our observations regarding developments we follow the National Planning Policy Framework, the National Planning Policy Guidance and the Manual for Streets to ensure that our recommendations are consistent as possible.”