Rob Longhurst
Ask me a question?
Any non-relevant questions will be deleted after 5 days.  To get you going here are 5 questions I would ask of an upstart
standing in my ward!!
1.   Why are you standing for Broadclyst Ward and not Woodbury & Lympstone?
A good question with a slightly complicated answer.  Up to the Middle of March I was due to stand as an Independent
Councillor for EDDC in Woodbury & Lympstone and look to retain the seat I have held for 4 years.  I had even started to get
my flyers together. So why the change of direction?
The Boundary Review got rid of Raleigh Ward making Colaton Raleigh, Otterton and Bicton part of Budleigh Salterton and
Woodbury Salterton part of Woodbury and Lympstone.  About a year ago the Leader of the Independent Group met with the
Member for Raleigh Ward who decided not to contest the Budleigh Ward and stand down from EDDC.  In my opinion not a
clever move as he would have been welcome in Budleigh.    He lives in Woodbury Salterton – it would have meant an
Independent standing in Budleigh (for 3 seats) and  2 existing Ward members standing in Woodbury and Lympstione (+
Woodbury Salterton) for 2 seats.  A sensible suggestion.  Until the Member for Raleigh decided he was going to stand in
Woodbury and Lympstone.  
Whilst this decision was perfectly justified – and he is Independent, it meant 3 Independents for 2 places but worse (in my
opinion) he reneged on a promise he had given to The Leader.  In the middle of March I was invited to a meeting to talk
strategy only to be confronted with a “discussion” on the 3 into 2 decision.  The Member for Raleigh stated he had worked for
12 years on “Greendale” and wished to continue the fight!!  He was quite adamant and supported by some EDA Members.  
Call me old fashioned if you like but I have always honoured my word, and this was against my principles.  I also do not
believe that the political arena is one into which you take personal vendettas.  
2.  But why stand as a Conservative and not an Independent?
Since elected in 2015 as an Independent I have been just that – spoken my mind and represented my Ward.  Where
appropriate I have supported other parties, without fear or favour, where their objectives or motions have been in the public
interest – including Conservatives.  I have built bridges with the Conservatives and used these to the benefit of my constituents
in assisting with their problems.  After the debacle of mid-March I awaited developments – nothing from the Independents.  
The Conservatives approached me – the bridges had been worthwhile.  I could not stand by my principles and stand as a
Conservative in Woodbury and Lympstone and many other Wards had sitting Conservative Councillors – I was asked to stand
in Broadclyst and accepted at once.  
3.  A politician with principles?  
Yes we do exist and most Conservatives do not have two heads!  I own my house but no other land or property – I am
“retired” and I am not a member of any clubs or societies that conflict with my EDDC responsibilities. The majority of
Members I know in EDDC stand to represent their Ward Communities – they work hard within their wards on “casework” for
individuals who, for whatever reason, need assistance with benefits, housing, rubbish or planning.  I stick by my principles and
why I joined EDDC – I will not let you down.
4.  So what are your “principles!”
  • Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit
    themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
  • Openness – Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should
    give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
  • Honesty – Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take
    steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  • Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to
    gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
  • Integrity – Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside
    individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Objectivity – In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or
    recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
  • Leadership – Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

These are “The Nolan” principles and still make sense after 20 years – subscribe to them all with the first 3 being, to me, the
most important.  
Additionally, I would add “My word is my bond” – whatever I promise I deliver or be held to account.

5.  What do you think of the new "Broadclyst Ward"
Numerically it works but I have reservations on its content ;-
  • I do not like multi Councillor wards as a principle
  • It may be expedient for numbers but it covers a huge area
  • The 3 smaller parishes have little in common with Broadclyst
  • The challenges faced by each parish are unique and different
I am open to questions - I will publish all legal questions and give my answer -
Click
HERE for questions raised about Farringdon
Click HERE for questions raised about Broadclyst (awaited)
Click HERE for questions raised about Clyst Honiton (awaited)
Click HERE for questions raised about Clyst Hydon (awaited)