Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The East Devon Business Forum and the Overview & Scrutiny Committee: meeting Thursday 11th September: questions to be asked

The EDBF is under the spotlight once again:
Futures Forum: The East Devon Business Forum, housing numbers and greenfield sites

And there is growing pressure for the District Council to return to scrutinising the EDBF:
EDDC East Devon Business Forum Task and Finish group – even greater need for it to reconvene: | East Devon Alliance

This follows extraordinary news that the erstwhile chair of the EDBF (and of the committee overseeing the Local Plan), former Cllr Graham Brown, might not have been what he seemed:
Disgraced former councillor seeks to make Ottery St Mary farm house lawful - after a decade breaching planning condition | Exeter Express and Echo
Disgraced ex- councillor Graham Brown breached planning conditions on his own home for more than 10 years! | East Devon Alliance
If not agriculture: what? | East Devon Alliance
National Farmers Union confirms disgraced ex-councillor Graham Brown was their rep on the East Devon Business Forum | East Devon Alliance

A year ago, the chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee's subgroup looking into the EDBF decided to put matters on hold:

Business Task and Finish Forum

What does this Forum do?

The Overview and Scrutiny  Committee can set up a Forum to specifically undertake a detailed review into a topic.  Membership can be drawn from the entire Council to best use the skills of individual Councillors.  Experts and witnesses can be called to provide evidence to the Forum.  The Forum produces a final report, containing recommendations, for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider.  If agreed, these recommendations go on to the Cabinet and/or Council for a decision.
This Forum has been set up to look at the East Devon Business Forum, to include all business engagement and its relationship with the Council.
PDF file See the current scope of the Business TaFF here. (44KB Portable Document Format - 17 May 2013 - PDF Help)
The public are welcome to attend and public speaking will be permitted for the first 15 minutes of the meeting, limited to 3 minutes per speaker.
NOTE from Task and Forum Chairman - Postponement of 2 September 2013 meeting:
"Would you please note that I have decided to postpone the next meeting of the Business Taff arranged for Monday 2 September. This is to await the outcome of discussions within the business community on the setting up of a forum. We will invite representatives of the proposed business forum to a future meeting of the business task and finish forum with them to outline their plans. The Forum can then refer back to its previous discussions with business representatives and decide on any principles of good practice it would like to recommend in managing its relationship with the business community.
In terms of the Local Plan, further specific consultation has been recommended by the Planning Inspector. The launch of a new consultation exercise was agreed by the Development Management Committee on 20 August 2013. The consultation is in respect of changes to the earlier version of the plan, including
a) the amended wording on the section dealing with the proposed business park at Sidford which is now more restrictive on commercial activity at the site than had been the case in the previous version of the document, and
b) the removal of zones A & E from the proposed development at Knowle.
Members of the Forum need to defer consideration on any employment land issues until the new planning inspector has completed his work."
Councillor Graham Troman
Chairman of the Business Task and Finish Forum
PDF file 24 June 2013 (432KB Portable Document Format - 17 June 2013 - PDF Help)PDF file 24 June 2013 (13KB Portable Document Format - 27 June 2013 - PDF Help)
PDF file 12 March 2013 (261KB Portable Document Format - 05 March 2013 - PDF Help)PDF file 12 March 2013 (29KB Portable Document Format - 25 March 2013 - PDF Help)
PDF file 11 December 2012 (5959KB Portable Document Format - 06 December 2012 - PDF Help)PDF file 11 December 2012 (91KB Portable Document Format - 17 December 2012 - PDF Help)

Membership of the Business Task and Finish Forum

Graham Troman (Chairman)
Mike Allen
Peter Burrows
Vivien Duval Steer
Steve Gazzard
Claire Wright
Page last updated on 31 July 2014
East Devon District Council - Business Task and Finish Forum

The O&S Committee meets tomorrow...
The final pages of the agenda are as follows:

Work for scoping and allocation to the Forward Plan: 

On completion of TaFF: 
Business Task and Finish Forum final report


It is understood that questions from Members and the public will be tabled: 
asking when the Business TAFF will reconvene, as it is now one year since it was due to meet (2nd Sept 2013), but the meeting was postponed.

See also:
EDBF | Sidmouth Independent News
Committee to investigate East Devon Business Forum - Claire Wright
Scrutiny councillors probing East Devon Business Forum are GAGGED! | Exeter Express and Echo

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