Motion of no confidence lodged against EDDC leader Cllr Diviani

Cllr Paul Diviani

Cllr Paul Diviani - Credit: Archant

A motion of no confidence in the leader of East Devon District Council (EDDC) has the backing of 16 opposition members of the authority.

Newton Poppleford and Harpford’s Councillor Val Ranger has seconded the call for Conservative Cllr Paul Diviani to resign following a meeting to discuss referring the closure of 72 community hospital beds across East Devon to the Secretary of State.

EDDC has called an extraordinary meeting to vote on the motion on Wednesday, September 13.

Proposed by Cllr Ben Ingham, it says: “On Tuesday, July 25, Cllr Diviani chose not to represent the opinions of this council or the people we represent at the Devon County Council (DCC) health and adult care scrutiny committee meeting when he was clearly expected to do so.

“This council no longer has confidence in Cllr Diviani’s commitment to represent our collective interests nor lead our East Devon communities as the figurehead for local government.

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“We call for his resignation.”

The scrutiny committee voted by seven votes to six not to refer the NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to close the inpatient beds to the Secretary of State.

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Cllr Ingham told the Herald Cllr Diviani’s vote was ‘critical to the decision’ – and EDDC had collectively condemned the bed closures. He said the EDDC leader had admitted not asking the opinion of other district councils before he claimed to speak on their behalf, adding: “He [Cllr Diviani] clearly failed to represent East Devon’s views. It is hard to understand how anyone who behaves like this can consider himself fit to continue leading EDDC. If the vote of no confidence fails, then the Conservative group at East Devon will fail, losing any remaining credibility in the eyes of the people they claim to represent.

“The people come first, not party political vested interests.”

The motion, supported by independent and Liberal Democrat members, follows DCC’s confirmation that is investigating the scrutiny committee meeting, prompted by Cllr Ranger and ‘numerous’ other complainants.

Conservative Cllr Diviani said he was sure the investigation would find that the allegations are unfounded.

The Herald approached him for comment about the vote of no confidence.

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