ALPHINGTON FORUM | Ombudman’s Decision

The Alphington Viilage Forum have had serious concerns over who the consultation for Exeter’s Core Strategy , our local development framework, was carried out and make an application to the Local Government Ombudsman over the matter.

I had sight of the Ombudsman’s decision today.

The complaint
1. Mr A complained that the Council failed to consult residents in Alphington over a proposal to build 500 homes there and that local elected members did not inform residents of the proposals.

The Ombudsman’s final decision:

I am satisfied that Exeter City Council conducted an appropriate level of consultation with local residents and groups over proposals to build new homes in their area as part of its Core Strategy.
Final decision
For the reasons I have explained, I do not uphold the complaint. I am satisfied that the Council’s notification to residents was in keeping with what it was required to do and there was no maladministration in the process it followed.
An interesting comment is found in the What I Found section.
I cannot say whether the three local ward councillors passed on information to the local residents about the proposals once they were provided with the facts. Any concerns about the performance of their duties could have been referred to
the Council’s Standards Committee.
Just to note -without comment – that the councillors at the time were all Liberal Democrats, namely:
Cllr Vanessa Newcombe;
Cllr Paul Smith; and
Cllr Peter Wadham, who as Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Development and Transport was responsible for delivery of the Core Strategy [and any consultation on it ] between April 2008 and September 2010.
The full decision is due to be published here in the near future