The Country Squires were pointed to an article one reader had prepared in connection with the dubious approval of a proposed major planning development in the heart of Torquay, and then by another reader to a speech given by Alison Hernandez to a local gathering last July. Alison Hernandez is the current Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. She was formerly a Torbay Councillor representing the Conservative Party. It has been reported that some of the audience came away that day with the impression that Hernandez seemed to be suggesting there was corruption going on at Torbay Council.
This nugget of a story that followed our two articles requires an in-depth investigation, so we have taken the opportunity to have the readers’ stories corroborated by a former policeman and insiders at the Council.
Against the backcloth of a police investigation into some unexplained planning irregularities, the community’s concerns over Torbay Council’s attempt to stop re-designation of Neighbourhood Forums and odd behaviour by councillors and officers over submitted Neighbour Plans – amidst irregular promotion of various developer led projects – it turns out that the Country Squires are not the only ones investigating this Council.
We plan over the coming months to bring you, our loyal readers, regular updates on what we find, as well as background to what are fast-moving events. There will be occasions when we refer you to coverage of the story from media partners, who it is now clear already have considerable insight, and even TV footage of certain aspects of the subject matter related to these investigations.
We take this opportunity to be clear that in no way are we insinuating that Torbay Council is corrupt, has been corrupt or plans to be corrupt. However, we are stating here that the evidence as placed before us would suggest that, as defenders of the British Countryside, it is in the public interest for Country Squire Magazine to delve deeper and corroborate the information given to us.
We look forward to revealing more in due course, and of course if you would like to confidentially impart any information to us, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please use our contact form to contact us.