Wednesday, 23 October 2013

EDDC, EDA and SOS revisited

This is the speech given this evening - at the full District Council session - by Richard Thurlow, the chair of SOS and the SVA's conservation and planning committee:

Chairman, thank you for allowing me to ask a question. I am the Chair of "Save Our Sidmouth" and also of the Sid Vale Conservation and Planning Committee.

About two weeks ago I received a copy of an email sent, in early October, by Cllr Diviani to about 100 people. The email was about budget cuts. In that email he said that  

"The Ottery Councillor and her allies in the political opposition groups EDA / SOS are running campaigns which simply do not deal in the facts, invariably giving half a misinformed, (sic),  story and making no useful or positive contribution to the debate"

I, on behalf of SOS, wrote to Cllr Diviani.

I explained that SOS is a totally non-political umbrella grouping of organisations in Sidmouth, including  the Sid Vale Association, the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Sidmouth Hospitality Association, and other non political bodies. We have not and do not comment on political issues, nor on any possible budget cuts. All these issues are beyond our remit.

I explained that SOS do oppose  certain proposals contained in the Local Plan and those which would desecrate the Knowle, but any comments and objections SOS makes are to the Council as the originating authority for these proposals. All SOS comments and objections, none of them "political", are based on facts, not on "half a misinformed story".

In view of this, and the fact that the email had been sent to  a number of people,  I asked for the withdrawal of his comments and allegations, that we are political in nature, do not deal in the facts, and that we are allies of Councillors.

Cllr Diviani in an email from EDDC, using his full Council credentials, (and many more!), refused to apologise, saying that he stood by his comments, and was entitled to his opinion.

Of course he is entitled to his opinions, and if he keeps them private to himself, then we have no objection, (I imagine that he has many private opinions in which we would not wish to share!). But it is a different matter when these are offensive in their implications and inappropriate from a man in his position and  also not kept to himself but sent to over 100 other people.

Since Cllr Diviani has rejected our complaint, we have to pursue the issue more widely.

Consequently my questions to you, the Chairman are;-

> Do you approve of Cllr Diviani's words and views as regards SOS?
> Do they represent the views of the EDDC?

If not, will you put the record straight?

 The Leader of the District Council replied that each has his own opinions and that they must 'agree to differ'.
The Chair of the Council said that he would be replying to the chair of SOS in writing, copying in all Councillors.

SOS asks Chairman of EDDC to put the record straight | Save Our Sidmouth

See also: Futures Forum: EDDC, EDA and SOS

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