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General Discussion

What local democracy should look like.


Please read how Buckfastleigh town council go about their business.

If only Dawlish Town Council and Teignbridge District Council weren't Lib Dem Dictatorships and were truly inclusive and representative of the people. if only they followed this example.


Instead we get Wrigley's 'Community Powered Council' guff and a Rotten Borough.

The public's comments in Dawlish aren't even included in the minutes, where's the accountability?


From Susan Clarke Buckfastleigh Town Council


On Wednesday 22nd of May I was voted in as Council Lead and Mayor for another term with the wonderful Paul Georghiades standing again as a vey capable deputy. I am always honoured to represent our town as its Mayor, but, I made it clear to the meeting that I hoped that our new councillors may soon feel confident and skilled enough to step up into council leadership themselves.

I believe that democracy works best when no one person holds the leadership position for too long. Buckfastleigh Town Council does things very differently compared to how a lot of other councils manage their business. We don’t wear our chains or special robes at council meetings or bang gavels. We don’t say prayers and we certainly don’t limit members of the public to a timescale for how they can contribute to meetings or ask them to submit any questions in advance. We like as many members of the public to attend as possible and believe that they should actively help us to run the meeting. Those who attend are free to speak up at any point and are always listened to, included in debates and provide crucial feedback about what is happening locally. I would encourage anybody who would like to attend or contribute to come along and see how their council works.

I will also be very clear in letting you know whether our district and county councillors are attending our meetings as they should and what they are saying. On 22nd, District Councillor Stuart Rogers (Conservative) attended and we had apologies from District Councillors Nutley and Major who had opted to go to Widdecombe for their parish Council meeting instead. We received nothing from County councillor Parker-Khan nor have we seen or heard from her for over a year. This is particularly disappointing given the local concerns about the state of our roads and our awful public transport both of which are County issues.

On May 31st myself and a couple of other town councillors will be meeting with the Chief Executive of Teignbridge District Council (Phil Shears) to have a walk around town and discuss with him our concerns about lack of consultation, lack of local spending and lack of real democracy at Teignbridge.

I meant what I said when I vowed to keep fighting for this town when I stood in the recent election. I take my responsibility as your Mayor seriously. I will be keeping you all informed on social media but also hope that as many of you that can, come to our meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at 7pm.

Councillor Sue Clarke.

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