‘Better together’ - Bid for West Hill independence failed to win town council backing


- Credit: Archant

Majority voted against supporting campaigners calling for greater autonomy

West Hill’s bid for independence failed to win the backing of town councillors as a majority vote determined that the parish is ‘better together’.

Campaigners calling for the woodland village to form its own council - separate from the governance of Ottery Town Council - say their proposal represents the ‘will of the people’ and is the next step in forging their own identity.

But questions over the financial implications for residents across the parish and whether it would be in the interests of the community as a whole ultimately determined the outcome of a public meeting held on Thursday [January 7].

Representatives from both sides spoke passionately as members struggled to reach an agreement on how to respond to East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) consultation on the bid.

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After a lengthy debate, councillor Elli Pang put forward a proposal that the town council vote against independent governance for West Hill on the premise the parish is ‘better together’.

Her motion was carried by a majority – but the three West Hill councillors present abstained from voting.

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The town council response will be submitted to EDDC – where the final decision will be made.

See Friday’s Ottery Herald for full details.

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