Best intentions thrown in our face

I WISH to reply on behalf of Seaton Valley Council to the list of points raised by B Thompson (News Post Leader, letters, November 1).

Mrs Thompson complains at some length, in the main, about county council services to which we, as a council, have no control.

As for the current county council offices, yes we did ask to work with the county to be told we could not share with them.

We were then on the cusp of signing an agreement to share our new offices at the Avenue Head, with the county when, the day before the signing they pulled out, their reasons based on the wishes of the Liberal group at County Hall.

The old offices are being emptied this month with the two remaining staff transferring to deal with public queries and complaints inside Astley High School.

Those empty offices and Mary’s Clock will be demolished by the county council at a future date.

In the jargon we have ‘bent over backwards’ to help the county council only to have our best intentions thrown back into our face. The thought of two council offices within 400 metres of each other is asinine in the extreme, but the authority must have its reasons.

The Jubilee clock on the roundabout has been widely acclaimed with a list of e-mails and letters complementing us on the initiative reaching over 200, when I stopped counting.

Yes, we get the very occasional letter having a ‘go’ over costs of our council, but since the council was formed not one penny has gone to councillors’ allowances, even though we are now expected to take over more and more services from the county council, which gave its own councillors a £4,000 rise to cover these very same items.

I suggest Mrs Thompson gets in touch with me (I live just round the corner) and I will spend as much time as needed explaining how the full Seaton Valley Council agreed the items of expenditure complained about, including the small Liberal enclave in our midst.

I save the best for last.

I admit I did ask a member of the public to be quiet and leave one particular meeting of the council in Holywell.

Every meeting is open to the public and I allow time for questions at every meeting, but I will never allow personal insults and verbal attacks on any councillor.

If Mrs Thompson believes that sort of behaviour is acceptable then will have to agree to disagree.

As always I am open to discussion with her to explain how the council operates and spends its precept and how anyone can take part, in a reasonable and orderly manner.



Seaton Valley Council