Call for council leader to resign

PUBLISHED: 07:03 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:00 15 June 2010

A PROSPECTIVE parliamen-tary candidate for the Liberal Democrats has called on the leader of East Devon District Council to quit after massive spending was disclosed.

A PROSPECTIVE parliamen-tary candidate for the Liberal Democrats has called on the leader of East Devon District Council to quit after massive spending was disclosed.Dr Jon Underwood, would-be MP for the new Tiverton and Honiton constituency, hit out at Sara Randall-Johnson over the council's £250,000 court battle with the independent Boundary Committee.The council has been told to pay most of the other side's costs and may well incur bigger bills after their appeal is heard.Dr Underwood, of Axmouth, said: "The buck has to stop somewhere, and the leader of the council is ultimately responsible. This madness has to end. "Councillor Randall-Johnson needs to make way for somebody untainted by the council's problems. She must go now."He said the cost had increased five times, from £50,000 to £100,000, within weeks.He said: "The propaganda operation was expensive enough but this is insane. It seems to be a scorched earth campaign to leave a giant financial mess if the council is abolished."This blows a huge hole in the Conservatives' claims of sound financial management. I know a lot of their supporters and even some of their councillors were appalled when they found out."Miss Randall Johnson said the decision to challenge the Boundary Committee's support for a unitary council for Devon had been thought through - with a full council meeting in 2007 and a budget of £250,000 to cover all costs.She said: "We have taken democracy seriously throughout this whole process and, with the backing of our residents, want to make sure that two-tier government remains."You only have to look west to Cornwall to see what could happen if we follow the unitary route. "A five per cent council tax increase is on the cards for some of their residents - we don't want that to happen here.


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