New East Devon Democratic Alliance formed

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 March 2020

Paul Arnott, who is leader of the new East Devon Democratic Alliance. Picture: Paul Arnott/Archant

Paul Arnott, who is leader of the new East Devon Democratic Alliance. Picture: Paul Arnott/Archant

Archant

A new democratic alliance has been formed in East Devon, becoming the largest political group on the district council.

Councillors from the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Independent East Devon Alliance, and an Independent have come together to form a new political group.

So far, 22 of the 23 councillors from those parties have combined to join one political group.

It means the Democratic Alliance is now the largest group on the council.

Cllr Paul Arnott, who has been elected as their group leader, said that they will now seek to become the official opposition on the council and may seek to form an administration at the Annual Council meeting.

The council is currently run by 18 Independents, with the largest group on the council being the Conservatives with 19.

Cllr Paul Millar and Cllr Joe Whibley were initially members of the Independent Group, but during 2019/20, had quit and currently sit as part of the EDA and an Independent respectively.

Cllr Arnott, who was the EDA group leader, added: “The members will retain their respective party or independent identities but have combined to form the largest group at EDDC of 22 councillors.

“After recent meetings, the Democratic Alliance has found common cause in seeking to reform the running of the council, to properly examine planning policy and practice, and to accelerate the delivery of appropriate housing fit for charitable, private and public sectors.”

Liberal Democrat Leader, Eileen Wragg has been elected Deputy Leader.

At present, East Devon District Council has not cancelled any of its upcoming meetings, with a meeting of the Car Parking Task and Finish Forum still set to take place on Thursday evening.

An extraordinary council meeting may be called to take place on Tuesday, March 31, ahead of the currently scheduled cabinet meeting, in which the Democratic Alliance would wish to become the official opposition and where the re-allocation of committee places would take place.

If the Democratic Alliance do become the official opposition, then they would be granted the chairman of the scrutiny committee position.


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