One in four residents 'unhappy' over their Sidmouth and Ottery influence

LESS than one in four East Devon residents, including those in Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary, believe they can they can influence local authority decisions in their area- an opinion poll has revealed.

LESS than one in four East Devon residents, including those in Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary, believe they can they can influence local authority decisions in their area- an opinion poll has revealed.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has ranked 168th out of 201 authority's of its kind in a survey carried by the council on behalf of the Government.

The poll was sent to 2,476 selected households, and only 24.8 per cent of the 1,263 who responded felt they can influence decisions made in their area.

Independent Ottery St Mary councillor Roger Giles has expressed concern at the "distressing" findings. He said: "We, councilors, have to work hard to engage with the electorate, to listen to what they want, and to try to meet their aspirations."


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"I suspect that they would have been even worse if the survey had taken place this year. Many people in East Devon and elsewhere were deeply unhappy at the behavior of MPs and the scandal over their expenses. Some of that feeling, unfairly, attaches to local government."

Cllr Giles wants Government to be pressed to devolve powers, so that

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"elected councilors, who live in and know their communities can make decisions based on their constituents` needs and desires." He added: "The bureaucrat 200 miles away in London most certainly does not know best.

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