I was elected as an Independent East Devon Alliance councillor. Here I explain about the EDA.
The East Devon Alliance is a movement which campaigns for transparency, accountability and democracy in local government. It supports Independent candidates who are responsible, and answerable, to the electors rather than a national party machine.
In the 2017 election, I supported the following EDA platform agreed with candidates in Axminster (Paul Hayward, left, above) and Sidmouth (Marianne Rixson). Paul Arnott of Colyton, my agent in the election, is also pictured right.
1. We will speak up for our constituents and campaign for local community needs, not be bound by a national party line, nor controlled by a locally appointed ‘whip’.
2. We will work with Devon County Council to support proper funding of the local NHS and the restoration of a fully free-at-point-of-use National Health Service, and oppose any further privatisation of NHS services and closures of community hospitals and beds. Communities should not have to fight each other to retain their local hospital services.
3. We will fight to deliver need-based adult social care, especially for Devon’s growing population of older people, in the face of continued underfunding of this and other key services including mental health and children’s services.
4. We oppose the reductions in funding for many East Devon schools which will result from the supposedly ‘fairer’ National Funding Framework, and any new proposals to force local schools to become academies and we will strenuously lobby your local MPs’ to speak up for Devon when at Westminster.
5. We will work to protect library services in the new mutual framework.
6. We will support local residents campaigning for essential road maintenance and highway safety improvements in the face of continued underfunding in these areas.
7. We believe that County-generated rises of 9% in Council Tax over 2 years are unfair to many residents, yet not enough to protect services. Until there is a fairer local tax system, the Government should restore national funding for local services.
8. We also believe that small businesses should be protected from the Government’s proposed changes to business rates which are ill thought out, economically unsustain
able and which favour corporations over smaller, independent retailers.
9. We will support genuine devolution of powers from central Government to Devon but we oppose the merger with Somerset in the so-called ‘Heart of the South West’ and the central role which the current opaque and secretive devolution proposals give to unelected businessmen in the Local Enterprise Partnership. We oppose the priority to the outdated and ruinously expensive Hinkley C project in these proposals.
10. During the forthcoming negotiations with the EU, we will work to represent the interests of all residents, especially concerning healthcare, tourism, farming, and rural affairs. We also support initiatives to develop Devon’s tourism economy, welcoming visitors from home and abroad.
AGREE? Then why not JOIN the EAST DEVON ALLIANCE?