Time for change


- Credit: Archant

On July 29, 2013, at the latest Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council meeting, a vote of no confidence in the chair and vice-chair was announced.

This vote had been taken by intelligent, rational, professional members of the public, not the sort prone to hysteria and hyperbole.

Votes such as these do not happen every week, and as such serve to demonstrate that something must be very wrong in the parish in which they occur.

One might therefore expect that there would be significant concern that a growing number of disaffected parishioners felt they had no other recourse but to do this.

However, true to form, the two men in question did not put themselves up for re-election to establish a mandate from the people, and would not even discuss what had prompted the vote in the first place.

Indeed, the vote was openly mocked and dismissed out of hand, and not just by the two councillors in question. Depressingly, this is how our parish council regularly conducts its business.

At the same meeting, the vice-chair was politely asked if his decision on a matter had been predetermined. He refused to answer, then stood up and left the meeting whilst the open session was in progress.

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I had hoped to be able to engage with an interested and understanding council. However, the shocking lack of willingness of the chair and vice-chair to enter into dialogue with concerned parishioners has led me to the conclusion that they do not truly represent the parish.

My aim now is to effect change upon the parish council with the ultimate goal of seeing representation and the democratic process restored.

This is a goal shared by a growing number in the community. It is time for change.

Matt Coppell

(via email)