Seaton’s Voice critic: ‘It wasn’t me’ says Sandra Semple

And nor was it her husband.

May I state that, contrary to popular opinion, I am not the person who made the Freedom of Information request that Seaton’s Voice has for the Town Hall, nor was it my husband.

I will reiterate: I have not been involved with matters regarding the town hall since I resigned as a councillor in September 2010.

However, someone with obvious concerns did ask East Devon District Council for a copy of the Seaton’s Voice lease and I have been sent a copy of Schedule 5 of that lease. Schedule 5 makes it clear that the town hall should be overseen by a Board of Management (members: Seaton’s Voice, EDDC, town council) which should meet quarterly to “monitor the operation of the facility and the financial position of the CIC”, that there should be monthly meetings “to discuss day to day matters arising from the management of the facility which shall be minuted and copies of the minutes shall be submitted to the Board of Management at each quarterly meeting”, that Seaton’s Voice should hold an annual general meeting before May 1 each year, that it should have a complaints procedure and a “steering committee” comprising two representatives of Seaton’s Voice CIC and representatives of the users of the town hall which shall meet at monthly intervals to consider requests for the improvement of the facility and services offered with the view to seeking the continued improvement and accessibility of the facility”. It also mentions that a complaints procedure should be available to users and other requirements such as a health and safety policy, equality of access, etc.

I gather from the press that Seaton Town Council was not aware that there should be a Board of Management and it has taken this up with Seaton’s Voice and EDDC, both of whom it seems were aware that it should be created but seem to have left the other to tell Seaton Town Council.

I would assume that now Seaton Town Council, EDDC and Seaton’s Voice are aware of this mistake, they will act quickly to bring the Board of Management into operation and that main users of the town hall will volunteer to be members of the Steering Committee. It is just past the time that Seaton’s Voice should have had its annual meeting but it is not too late to arrange it - a little late. The issues of the complaints procedure, etc can be dealt with by having the appropriate policies on display in the town hall foyer along with the current charges (also a

requirement) - together with the most recent minutes of the monthly meetings, the users meetings and the Board of Management meetings, since none of these is listed as requiring or warranting confidentiality.

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These are simple issues that the people running the business, all of whom have a great deal of administrative experience, can address relatively quickly.

Sandra Semple

East Walk