Saturday, 9 May 2015

East Devon's new councillors looking forward to the future

Late last year, the District Council's members' working party put together an "Approach to induction/welcome programme following 2015 elections"
Standards Committee minutes for 28 October 2014 - Approach to induction/welcome programme following 2015 elections - East Devon

The Democratic Services Officer has now finalised the programme.

The East Devon Watch has published this:


24th April 2015

Wednesday 13 May 6-9 pm New councillor induction

Wednesday 20 May 6-9 pm – second new councillor induction meeting (NOT a repeat)

Wednesday 27 May 5.30 pm – Chief Executive Briefing

Wednedsay 27 May 6.30 pm – Annual Council Meeting


Do not be intimidated or misled by any information given to you, check it for yourself and sort out the subjective advice and objective advice, the wheat and the chaff.

Much is made of what councillors CANNOT or SHOULD NOT do rather than what they CAN AND SHOULD do. Always double-check what you have been told. You have wide powers and basically you are free to do anything that is lawful and of benefit to the district.

Some “old guard” councillors who may be re-elected may be very reluctant to let go of the reins of power – they may have to be wrestled from them.

The Chief Executive and his officers must maintain political neutrality throughout the life of the council.

Much will be made of ” this is how it has always been done”. To which the reply should be: “Why? Is there a better, more democratic and transparent way to do it in future”.

Important dates for new councillors | East Devon Watch

Further 'tips' have been provided at the SIN blog:

Localism and campaigning

20th April 2013

Some light (bedtime?) reading offered here, in this link to a Guide to Localism. It includes such riveting stuff as whether or not Councillors can campaign.

A plain English guide to the Localism Act - November 2011Department for Communities and Local Government

3 Responses to “Localism and campaigning”

Paul Hayward April 21, 2013 at 6:58 am #

Thank you Sidmouth Sid, 
and thank you by default to another person, shorter than I, for bringing the reference to my attention ( you know who you are – so many thanks to you personally )…. 

If as a councillor, I am unable to campaign on local issues – WE ARE GOING TO PUT A WIND TURBINE ON TOP OF THE MINSTER let’ s say – then how can I represent the people who elected me, and those who did not – both of whom deserve equal representation. Just because I believe in certain things, and object to others, that does not mean that I have ” pre-determination ” on those things, just that I have a view… Ergo, just as the Conservative Party does not believe that the Hammer and Sickle should fly on every flagpole, does that mean that 68% of the DMC should leave the room if a planning application for a HUGE statue of Lenin was proposed for the middle of Sidmouth? ( I have already raised £3.67 for this project by the way ) ….

Another little gem in the document hyperlinked above is the fact that communities and councils can, if they so choose, do away with the executive style of governance .ie. leader, mayor, deputy leaders, chief executives, and operate on a pure ( aahh, let me just wipe my eyes and stop laughing ) committee basis…. All it would require is a positive and definitive mandate from the people, a referendum perhaps. Cllr Twiss recently told me that a full referendum in East Devon would cost £100,000 – now on the strength of the £500k that was spent considering the move to Honiton, we could have had 5 referendums:

I am sure that everyone has a favourite that they could think of… Perhaps, we can start a postcard campaign so that local residents and tax payers ( their bosses ) can tell the Cabinet ( 100% Single party ) what the real local issues are ( not the pretend ones in their heads ) so when they next blow half a million quid, and then tell me that they can’t recycle a cornflake packet profitably, unlike the 6 other Devon districts, I can suggest a better use for the cash extracted legally from each and every one of our pockets each month – and that might possibly be a statue of Lenin, or maybe Trotsky, he was cuddlier!

Localism and campaigning | Sidmouth Independent News

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