Calls to rescind election vote turned down by Ottery Town Council

Josefina Gori at the Ottery library drop-in session. Ref sho 09-17TI 7956. Picture: Terry Ife

Josefina Gori at the Ottery library drop-in session. Ref sho 09-17TI 7956. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A move to appeal the appointment of the town’s new regeneration chairman has been thrown out.

This week, Ottery Town Council voted to stick by its decision to elect Councillor Josefina Gori into the role, despite two members of the regeneration group resigning.

Cllr Gori was voted in at last month’s meeting after Cllr Geoff Pratt resigned due to health reasons.

Following the decision, regeneration group members asked for the vote to be overturned to allow them to appoint their own chairman.

At Monday’s town council meeting Cllr Gori said: “I am the elected chairman of this working group because that was the process that took place here and the process took place based on a recommendation that the working group made to the council. So I think the working group cannot demand from the council to reverse the decision that the council made.

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“I have to say that when we had the meeting I had two choices, either stand at the head of the table and say ‘OK, I am your chairman’ and go ahead with the meeting, if you like it you stay if you do not like it you go but I gave everyone the opportunity to speak.

“That is the reason they are now asking to reverse the decision of the council.”

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Cllr Peter Faithfull said he had not been happy to elect a councillor who had not been in the group from the start.

He added: “Also if it means pretty much everyone is going to resign from the regeneration group how is that going to be a satisfactory outcome?”

Cllr Paul Carter told the meeting the decision had been made and that it was ‘out of order’ to be told to reverse it.

He said: “I don’t think its for anyone to tell us what we should be doing when we carried out what they wished in the first place.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson said in the regeneration group’s terms of reference it has the power to elect its own chairman but was ‘insistent’ the town council did it.

Councillor Dobson said: “I don’t think that is our problem [if people resign]. I know there are people waiting to come on the regeneration project. We were asked to make a decision, we made that decision.”

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