Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Council claims town is left short

07:30 12 March 2014

At a meeting last week, Ottery Mayor Glyn Dobson said he felt the town had been overlooked for help with funding community projects

At a meeting last week, Ottery Mayor Glyn Dobson said he felt the town had been overlooked for help with funding community projects


Ottery St Mary is being overlooked for community funding by Tory district council bosses because of the town’s independent representatives, claim civic leaders.

Town councillors this week heard that the involvement of either Roger Giles or Claire Wright in bids to the authority ‘could signal the death knell’ to any application – a situation lamented as ‘sacndalous’.

Both have been critical of the Conservative East Devon District Council (EDDC) hierarchy over several issues – including controversial relocation plans.

Mayor Glyn Dobson was giving colleagues an update on correspondence between himself and EDDC’s chief executive Mark Williams at a meeting last Monday when the claim was made.

He said: “I believe that Ottery Town Council does not get its fair share of money from EDDC, and I have thought that for a long time.”

Cllr Dobson said EDDC currently spends more than £200,000 across the district, subsidising running costs for public toilets in more than 10 towns and villages – but Ottery has to pay an annual fee of £2,500.

He added: “I put the case to Mark Williams at a meeting in July last year, and asked if they could help with other projects too – insurance for our skatepark, a reduction in parking charges for coaches at Land of Canaan and help with the pavilion at Strawberry Lane.”

Mr Dobson only received a response from Mr Williams on February 21 – with no offer of any financial help – and added: “I think it is appalling. We certainly don’t get our share of public funds – everything we ask for they say ‘no’.”

Deputy mayor Ian Holmes said: “At the meeting [with EDDC bosses in July] it was said to us that if either of our independent councillors were involved in a project it could signal the death knell for it.”

Long-serving Cllr Giles, who represents the Ottery town ward on the district council, said the situation was ‘scandalous’ and added: “It’s totally unacceptable and unimaginable that council spending priorities would be decided in this way.

“Projects put forward should be decided on merit, not on whether you are a Conservative or independent.”

The town council agreed to take advice from the Devon Association of Local Councils to resolve the situation.

Cllr Wright, representative for Ottery Rural, told the Herald: “Serious questions need to be, and will be, asked at the highest level.”

Both Mr Giles and Mrs Wright bagged resounding victories in the 2011 district council elections.


Other News Stories

The Mason Arms in Branscombe has been named number five in a poll by The Times.

The Masons Arms in Branscombe has claimed fifth spot in a national newspaper poll.

Read more

An ‘indicative allocation’ of funding has been made towards protecting Sidmouth from flooding and coastal erosion – but the options are still being costed.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:45
Sidmouth Royal British Legion raised the Union Jack which was donated to Sidmouth Conservative Club. Ref shs 5980-19-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth’s Royal British Legion chairman said it was ‘bloody horrible’ to see that the Union Flag had been stolen from the town’s Conservative club.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:02

District leaders are to make the case for a major project which could see East Devon join forces with other South West authorities to gain more independence from Westminster.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:17
Thomas King with his WW2 Medal. Ref shs 6995-48-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

France’s highest military award has been bestowed upon two 91-year-old war veterans from Sidmouth.

Read more
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Eastleigh shed, 8 May 1959 (c) C Boocock

Enthusiasts have a unique opportunity to invest in part of Sidmouth’s rail heritage as a £300,000 locomotive restoration project has been put back on track.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
New Kennaway House manager, Nikki Dawkins, with Michael James, David Leach, Bryan Dawkins and Michael Gordon-Lee. Ref shs 4446-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A new manager and chairman have taken the helm at a charity-run arts centre with a growing reputation in and beyond the Sid Valley.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Betty Williams with Lamb and Flag landlord, Ron Miles, and Ottery mayor, Glyn Dobson. Ref sho 4475-52-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A widow, whose generous gesture to people facing Christmas alone last year touched hearts around the world, has spoken of her delight that preparations are under way for another festive feast.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
An ariel view of the PegasusLife plans for Knowle.

A developer lined up to buy the East Devon District Council (EDDC) offices at Knowle has unveiled its vision for a retirement community on the site.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
The Sidmouth Friends of the Samaritans held their AGM this week. Pictured are chairman Sue Kensdale with from left Ron Harbour (treasurer), vice chairman Gerald Hayne and Denis Jones (sec). Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3446-08-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

The loss of Sidmouth’s Samaritans support group will have a ‘major impact’ on the running of the service, says the leader of the charity’s Exeter, Mid and East Devon branch.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find a job in Sidmouth

Find planning applications