Why all the good news? Because on 26 March “purdah” starts before local elections!

Expect a lot of good news from the majority party at EDDC for the rest of this month. Why? Because all political new from EDDC (not its individual councillors) has to STOP on 26 March 2019.

Why?

As local elections take place on 2 May 2019, a period of weeks before the election is called “purdah” and councils must stop pushing politicised events and publications to avoid charges of unduly influencing electors to vote for them.

A good explanation of purdah (and what to look out for if officers or councillors break these rules) can be found here:

https://www.local.gov.uk/about/our-meetings-and-leadership/political-composition/local-government-elections

“How to register to vote (spoiler: it’s very easy)”

“DON’T MISS OUT ON YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS

Deadline to register

for the May 2019 local elections across large parts of England:

Friday 12 April

To be able to vote, you have to be on the electoral register and to do that, you have to fill in a simple online form. Completing other official paperwork, such as getting a passport, paying Council Tax or getting a driving license doesn’t result in you being automatically added to the register. It is a separate process.

You only need to register once; you don’t need to register separately for every election. However, you do need to register again if you change your address, name or nationality.

You have to be 18 on polling day to vote (or 16 for Scottish Parliament and local elections, along with some but not all referendums). For that reason, you can register in advance of your 18th birthday so that if an election is called whilst you are under-age but you will be 18 on polling day, you can therefore still get your vote.

EU citizens are able to vote in the UK by the way – for council elections although not for the Westminster Parliamentary elections. Commonwealth and Irish citizens can also register to vote and they’re allowed to vote in all types of elections.

To register online right now, head over to the official registration site:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If voting in person isn’t the right option for you, either for a temporary or permanent reason, then once who are on the register you can also apply for a postal vote:

https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote/voting-by-post

or appoint someone to vote on your behalf (a proxy vote):

https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote/voting-by-proxy

Got 5? Register to vote in the 2019 local elections!”

https://www.markpack.org.uk/8456/how-to-register-to-vote/?goal=0_8f22492d8e-73a05f74d3-312639877

Beware politicians bearing gifts – just in time for local elections!

Owl was taken by this BBC news headline:

“Struggling towns to get £1.6bn post-Brexit boost”
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47435565

which reveals that mostly-Labour constituencies in the North are being offered (small) handouts post-Brexit.

Just remember people of East Devon that local elections take place on 2 May 2019 and promises are not always what they seem – and sometimes just nothing more than hot air blown at us by fake unicorns!

AND HERE WE ARE not 5 minutes later and the unicorn has made its appearance. The “Communities” Minister announces that the money will be spent over SEVEN years!

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2019/mar/04/brexit-latest-news-admits-16bn-for-poorer-towns-to-be-spent-over-next-seven-years-politics-live

Trek to new EDDC HQ in the evening if you want to be a councillor …

Just one small point. If you don’t have a car and no buses are running in the early or late evening (as happens now) how do you get to Blackout House (sic) for this meeting (or any other meeting for that matter) from Exmouth, Axminster, Seaton, Colyton or any outlying villages? Only Cranbrook and Sidmouth are served by late (after 5 pm) direct buses, and a train journey would be horrendously expensive.

Why do the people have to go to the Election Officer in the evening? Why isn’t the Election Officer going to ALL the people daytime and evening(so far Owl has heard of only one other town meeting in Ottery St Mary)? And making all those meetings accessible to disabled people?

Anyone would think people other than those in the very well represented Tory Party were being discouraged from standing …

“Representatives from East Devon District Council (EDDC) will be available on Monday (March 4) to discuss what the role involves and how residents can put themselves forward for the election.

The East Devon district is divided into 32 electoral wards, represented by 59 councillors who are elected for four years.

The next election for parish, town and district council positions will take place on Thursday, May 2.

The drop in session on Monday will be held between 4pm and 7pm at East Devon District Council’s new headquarters at Blackdown House in Honiton.

In attendance will be the returning officer, deputy returning officer and electoral services manager. They will be able to discuss the process, as well as whether a prospective candidate is eligible to stand.

Nomination packs will be available on the evening.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/drop-in-session-for-prospective-election-candidates-1-5910780

Large part of Seaton now in Branscombe and Beer electoral district!

Beer and Branscombe

Previous Beer and Branscombe District wards combined with part of the previous Seaton District ward. New part is called Beer Road.

Properties moved from Seaton to the Beer Road register:

Alleyn Court
Beer Hill
Part of Beer Road (53 properties)
Part of Castle Hill (10 properties)
Durley Road
Part of Fremington Road (18 properties)
Highcliffe Close
Highcliffe Crescent
Part of Marlpit Lane (19 properties)
Previous Beer Road
Paddock Close
Wessiters
West Acres
Westcliffe Terrace

This means that western Seaton will actually be considered an adjunct to Beer and Branscombe and will NOT be represented by “Seaton” councillors and people on the same road will have different councillors depending on which part of the road they live on! And those councillors for western Seaton will have far more voters in Beer and Branscombe!

Madness …

EDDC CEO is an “expert” on elections (Owl begs to differ)

Owl begs to differ – but the Sidmouth Herald (headline to article: ‘Expert to offer advice to potential election candidates’ seems not to know about his election officer past where he “lost” 6000 voters and had to explain himself (not too well) to a parliamentary committee!

Hopefully, this “expert” will also visit other towns!

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/05/31/those-missing-6000-voters-electors-jump-from-96000-to-113000-plus/

“Residents wishing to stand as a candidate for Ottery Town Council, but are unsure about the process and role can speak to an expert tomorrow (Saturday) at the community market.

Ottery Town Council has 11 seats to be contested during the election on May 2.

Mark William’s EDDC’s returning officer will be available to speak to between 9.30am and 12.30pm at The Institute to offer advice and assistance about the role.

An Ottery Town Council spokesman said: “As a local councillor you can become a voice for your community and make a real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the interests of the communities they serve. If you’re still undecided and feel you require more information before making a final decision, then there is an expert available who should be able to provide you all the answers.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/expert-to-offer-advice-to-potential-election-candidates-1-5901085

Vote for (Tory) me and the kid gets it!

… Which well-known, long-serving Tory councillor was overheard suggesting to children at a youth club that a vote for him would be a vote for a skate park?

Presumably meaning votes by their parents – not even an EDDC Tory would be that thick? Er ….. moving on …

Naughty, naughty councillor – your card is marked …!