Honiton councillor resigns over community complex

Councillor Cecily Young calls on Honiton residents to raise their objections to plans for a community complex in the town.

AFTER less than six months in office, a Honiton town councillor has quit - following the council’s decision to apply for planning permission for the proposed Honiton Community Centre.

Councillor Cecily Young says she was left disgusted by the council’s decision to move the project towards the tender stage during its meeting last month and told Mayor Vernon Whitlock immediately afterwards that she would be resigning from the authority.

She told the Midweek Herald: “I was appalled at the about turn of the council to put in for planning for the community complex, even though they had not received any assurances from East Devon District Council over the extra costs of the foundations.

“I believe that this project is being rushed through, regardless of the consequences, by this over- ambitious, unelected council.

“They have ignored the burden of debt that the council tax payers (and only those who live in the town will be liable) will be put under for generations to come.”

Mrs Young has had a short stay on the town council after taking on the role as a councillor for St Michael’s ward following the uncontested local elections in May.

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During her time on the council she has raised her concerns over the impact building the complex could have, especially for the buses, coaches and HGVs that use the Dowell Street site for parking.

She added: “The parking for buses, coaches and HGVs will virtually disappear, which will be a great loss to our town.

“So, fellow town dwellers, if you care about this, please write to East Devon District Council and object to these plans being passed.”

In her letter of resignation to the council, Mrs Young stated: “When I decided to put myself forward as a councillor, it was because I felt that there had been a deep injustice done to the electorate over the issue of the community centre.”

Referring to the town poll, she wrote: “The poll might have been low, but it reflected the wishes of the people and should have been heeded.”

Mrs Young said she had come to realise that she stood little chance of influencing future council decisions - because most councillors are community centre project supporters.

She added: “I was appalled at the amount of money that has, and still is, being wasted just trying to get this project off the ground.

“It is quite obvious to me that your business plan cannot fulfil your expectations and it seems incredible that so few councillors are aware of this.

“What a pity that there are not more business people on this council. The whole country is suffering from the result of improvident spending. Why does this council think that this does not affect them?”

l The town council is now looking for a new councillor to take on the seat in St Michael’s ward.

For more information about joining the council, call the town clerk, Lyn Hargood, on (01404) 42957 or email towncouncil@honiton.gov.uk