Big 'no' to plan

MORE than 80 per cent of town and parish councils oppose the idea of a single unitary authority for Devon.

MORE than 80 per cent of town and parish councils oppose the idea of a single unitary authority for Devon.The map (shown right) shows the level of opposition to the plans put forward by the Boundary Committee.It has been put together by North Devon District Council and is based on the feedback sent to the Boundary Committee.East Devon District Council has opposed the plans for a 'super council' and took legal action to call for the Boundary Committee to offer the status quo as an option in its plans.The proposal put forward had been for the abolition of the eight district councils and Devon County Council, and replace it with one authority to provide all the services for the county.An EDDC spokseman said the map reflects the opinion of EDDC, which, in the latest response to the pre-paid postcards it sent out, there has been a similar results.By the morning of Tuesday, May 12, EDDC had received 10,794 reply-paid cards.Of these, 9,313 (86.2%) were in favour of Option three - the Integrated Devon approach, which would retain the existing structure but see greater co-operation between districts in service provisionEight per cent (867) preferred a Single Devon unitary council and 614 (5.6 per cent) were in favour of a two-unitary countyCouncillor Ray Franklin, Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council, said: "The number of cards we have received this time is, in market research terms, a wholly reliable sample of East Devon's feelings on this important matter of democratic representation. This result supports our consistently held view that the vast majority of residents do not want the flawed unitary model foisted on them. It also agrees with the Devon-wide view among parishes, with the same ratio - 86% - in favour of the Integrated Devon option. I hope that the Boundary Committee will take note of this overwhelming vote of no confidence in their two current options, which should now be dropped".