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South Hams residents demand end to SHDC secrecy

September 3, 2018 5:07 PM

Petition in TotnesSouth Hams Liberal Democrats have delivered a petition to the leader of South Hams District Council asking for an end to the secrecy over future development plans. They request the council reveal the identity of several sites it is considering for new development.

Over 200 people signed the petition in Totnes, Kingsbridge and online, as concerned citizens 'urging SHDC to act now to disclose and identify the proposed development sites in Totnes, Ivybridge, Kingsbridge and Salcombe which are currently being kept secret'.

The Tories on South Hams District Council recently voted to spend £150,000 on consultants to advise them on the development plans, but they wanted to keep the plans secret. The Lib Dems are strongly opposed to this and called on SHDC to disclose the proposed sites.

"The council is elected by the residents of the South Hams to serve their best interests. It is not in the interests of residents - those who pay council tax - to discuss such plans behind closed doors," said Councillor John Birch.

"To vote to spend such a sum of money on outside consultants, without giving the electorate any idea what they are consulting on, is an abuse of trust," said Birch.

Caroline Voaden, Parliamentary Candidate for Totnes, said: "People want SHDC to be open and transparent about its plans. If the council think the public will support their ideas then what is the issue?

"Honesty and transparency seem to be sorely lacking in Conservative politics - at all levels - and we would like to see council business at least being conducted in a more grown-up and responsible way."