Tuesday, 12 May 2015

No real threat to Tories

THE Tories retained control of East Devon District Council, albeit with a slightly reduced majority.

No surprises there then and we should congratulate all those who won a seat at last week’s election.

A majority reduced from 25 to 15 seats will make little or no difference to the running of East Devon but we should not underestimate the performance from the Independents who between them grabbed 16 seats.

Although they failed to unseat too many of the big hitters with leader Paul Diviani, deputy leader Andrew Moulding, chairman Graham Godbeer and planning chairman Helen Parr, all retaining their seats, the East Devon Alliance did win 10 places on the council, the most successful challenge by a rival party since the council came into being in 1974.  With the Lib Dems’ six seats, down from 10, the Tories are unlikely to get it all their own way - and that’s good for local democracy.

One unacceptable part of the local elections was the failure of EDDC to announce the results of the town and parish elections until mid-morning on Monday. All the votes were counted on Saturday but not posted on the EDDC website.

A number of candidates were up in arms over this, describing it as an affront to the parishes. I tend to agree.

Neil Parish and Hugo Swire, as expected, retained their parliamentary seats for the Conservatives, but a word of congratulations here  to Claire Wright, county councillor for Ottery St Mary, who polled more than 13,000 as an Independent without party machinery behind her.

I was personally disappointed that David Laws lost his Yeovil seat. I am not a Lib Dem but I thought he was a great constituency MP and always handled the press superbly.

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