Ottery council invite LDF chair to explain himself

The man accused of denying Ottery a voice on its future has said he will come and address the town over the matter.

District councillor Mike Allen, chair of an influential committee, was labelled an ‘autocrat’ by Roger Giles after barring him from speaking at a recent meeting.

Ottery Town Council has been left fuming by what it sees as unfair treatment by East Devon District Council (EDDC) at its Local Development Framework (LDF) panel.

Mayor Glyn Dobson was upset at being cut short by Cllr Allen when asked to give a speech outlining the town council’s feelings on future housing levels, and Cllr Giles was thrown out of by him at another after protesting at a lack of debate on Ottery’s future.

This was the reason Cllr Allen stopped Cllr Giles from speaking last week, at the final meeting before the latest draft of the plan, which outlines housing and employment land growth until 2026, was completed.

Cllr Giles said he was told by Cllr Allen he had ‘abused his position last time’, which the Ottery district councillor said: “Was an insult to the people of Ottery, and to the town council, as well as an infringement of our democratic principles.”

The Mayor said they had made a complaint to the chief executive at EDDC, and were waiting to hear back.

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But Cllr Allen has written to Ottery Town Council claiming he ‘sympathises with their views’, and said he would be happy to visit and discuss the LDF’s decisions with them.

Cllr Dobson said an invite has been sent for him to attend the next council meeting.

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