Angry councillors have walked out of a Teignbridge Council meeting.

Angry councillors walked out of a Teignbridge Council meeting after the Liberal Democrats appointed Cllr Suzanne Sanders as scrutiny board chair. Opposition argued the role should go to a non-Lib Dem. Cllr Richard Daws and Cllr Phil Bullivant condemned the decision.

Angry councillors have walked out of a Teignbridge Council meeting in protest over the political appointment to chair a key committee.
Liberal Democrats voted in Cllr Suzanne Sanders (Lib Dem, Chudleigh) to lead the overview and scrutiny board, which monitors the work of all other council committees.
Opposition councillors argued that the post should have go to a member who was not part of the council’s ruling Lib Dem administration, but they were outvoted.
“It’s a disgrace,” fumed South Devon Alliance group leader Cllr Richard Daws (Ambrook).
The council also voted another Lib Dem, Cllr John Parrott, who represents Kenn Valley, as vice-chair of the same committee.
Cllr Daws argued that the move goes against best practice, as well as against the recommendations from a recent review of the council by the Local Government Association.
But Cllr Sanders said that while the peer review said appointing an opposition chairman should be considered, it isn’t compulsory.
Cllr Daws said the Lib Dems had failed to take on board the views of the LGA review and now dominated all positions of power in a council where they hold just over half the seats.
The Lib Dems have 26 seats, compared to 21 held by the opposition.
“This is unsurprising from a council that has ignored the town of Newton Abbot on Queen Street and NA3,” said Cllr Daws, referring to a new traffic scheme planned for the town centre and major housing developments on its outskirts.
“This isn’t democracy but just a dressed up form of dictatorship.”
Conservative group leader Cllr Phil Bullivant (Bradley) led the walkout, but not before saying: “It is extremely perturbing that we are seeing a domination by the Liberal Democrats. We are completely losing the bi-partisan approach this council should be having.”

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