Call for council transparency

PUBLISHED: 15:18 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 01:12 16 June 2010

I note that a number of letters published in your paper recently have involved planning issues.

I note that a number of letters published in your paper recently have involved planning issues.

I addressed the full council meeting at East Devon in December 2009, and informed councillors of the Standards Committee's drive to promote ethical and transparent government in East Devon.

It is most important that the work of local councillors is both ethical and transparent, as it is now under closer scrutiny than ever before.

A large number of complaints in the last year against parish and district councillors have involved planning issues.

Many complaints have concerned the basic issues of transparency of decision making; respect for speakers by committee members and prejudicial interests when dealing with planning applications. Councillors have pleaded ignorance to any wrongdoing. This is simply not acceptable!

The Standards Committee's aim is to deal with allegations quickly and efficiently. In 2009, we received 15 complaints.

The Standards Committee will be adding a new web page to the council's website showing and promoting the work of the committee, which I hope will be useful for your readers.

I am not a councillor, but the independent chairman of East Devon District Council's Standards Committee.

Ted Butt,

(via email).


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