Andrew Moulding and Steph Jones’s election leaflet issued in Axminster, seems designed to misinform.
A close look at the leaflet (above..click to enlarge) reveals some apparent misconceptions and economies with the truth:
Moulding/ Jones: Imply East Devon Alliance is centred in Sidmouth.
Incorrect: EDA Chair lives in Colyton; Vice-Chair in Feniton; vast majority of East Devon Alliance Independent candidates are from other parts of the District.
Moulding/Jones: Suggest Knowle is just adapted bedrooms and bathrooms.
Incorrect: Only the old part, which was once used as a hotel, then as flats. No serious attempt has been made to market this individually to fund update of the newer building, which consists of purpose built offices in 1970-80s, with outside space for extension if required.
Moulding/Jones: Move will save £6m over 20 years.
Figures are disputed ( posts on http://www.saveoursidmouth.com may explain why ‘Sidmouth’ is a painful subject for EDDC Deputy Leader, Cllr Moulding) – and some withheld documents concerning office relocation are still under legal review (Tribunal decision imminent: Information Commissioner and J. Woodward vs East Devon District Council).
Moulding/Jones: Why Honiton and Exmouth? “Because Honiton is more central, and Exmouth is the largest town.”
Then why did they previously support Skypark (which could not be less central) and selling the site in Honiton? In reality, a newbuild office at Honiton is just the fall-back plan, as the Honiton site couldn’t be sold for enough money to make a move to Skypark financially viable. And Exmouth has only now come into the equation, as space at the Town Hall has become available. The leaflet makes no mention of the issues of running a split site; nor of existing air pollution problems where the £7m newbuild HQ at Honiton would be sited (no such problem in Knowle parkland!), etc.,etc.
Moulding/Jones; Why is Local Plan taking so long? “Because we want to get it right”
Or is it because EDDC are struggling, having got it so wrong in the past, and exasperating the Inspector, who rejected the previous one? (Remember the 53 ‘minor changes’ which the Inspector found to be ‘major’? SIN blogged the story: https://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/sum-thing-amiss/)
Moulding/ Jones: Why so much new housing in Axminster? “Because you wanted it!!”
Who are ‘you’? Does it embellish the town and help it to thrive? Or is it symptomatic of consequences when deciding where to build the massive number of new houses EDDC has chosen to opt for?
Moulding/Jones: Do you have a plan for the future of Axminster. “Yes, we have a vision.”
Who are ‘we’, and has the vision, with no neighbourhood plan yet in place, been led by speculative development?
This leaflet, along with quotes from Hugo Swire in the local press yesterday (https://eastdevonwatch.org/2015/05/02/east-devon-alliance-responds-to-hugo-swire-misinformation/), show tired tactics which are looking rather stale. On May 7th, East Devon voters may well show they’ve had enough of them.