• New Year Message to Ellacombe Residents

    Dear fellow Ellacombe resident,

    I have not been keeping this site as up to date as usual over recent months as I have been working to get to grips with my new role as the mayor’s Executive Lead for Adults and Children, as well as keeping up with my ward work on your behalf. However, this message marks what I intend to be something of a re-launch of my diary and bulletins for 2016…

    Firstly, thank you once again for voting for me again back in May to continue as your councillor. Your support is nothing short of amazing. This time you voted for me in greater numbers than ever (929). Ellacombe residents are very special. They work hard and look out for each other. I am here to help when sometimes that is not quite enough. The fact that you trust me in that role is a matter of great personal pride.

    In addition to the Ellacombe vote, 11,325 voters from across the Bay supported my run for mayor, seeing me come third overall and just missing out on the second round of the count. Such results made what seemed a gruelling four months of campaigning well worthwhile.

    Some of my political colleagues have asked how it is that I feel comfortable accepting my role as the mayor’s special advisor on matters relating to adults and children. I am quite clear on this. The mayor won re-election in May and has asked me to do my very best to look after the interests of the most vulnerable people in our community. The older people and children of our Bay deserve the very best support that we can afford to offer. This has to be done against a background of rapidly reducing support from central government. It would have been quite wrong of me not to step forward to take up the mayor’s challenge in such circumstances.

    So what can we expect from 2016? I suspect that it will be another hard year. It is almost certain that council tax will increase. Having spent the previous four years fighting successfully to prevent increases, this time I will support an increase. The government has permitted local authorities the ‘freedom’ to add 2% to council taxes to support increased need in adult social care. A neat side-stepping of responsibility by Westminster! The costs of caring for an ever increasing number of older people with increasingly complex needs must be a priority for us all. I will, however, insist that council tax payers are told exactly what services will be protected as a result of such an increase.

    Next year need not be all bad news. The arrival of the new link road – on time – is already making a huge difference to journey times to the Bay. Early in the New Year, times will improve still further with direct routing to Torquay town centre returning. Expect to see new jobs and new housing projects getting underway as private sector interest in the Bay increases. Councillors will have to learn to say yes more often to take advantage of such opportunities. This is a message that I expect to see reinforced by a Local Government Association report on a recent visit to the Bay.

    Next year may see two referenda. As a member of UKIP, it has been like waiting for the metaphorical bus. Nothing for ages then two come along at once! First, David Cameron may pluck up the courage to ask us what we think of our membership of the EU, and the fact that he is dithering is testament to the fact that, as things stand, he is likely to lose. If, like me you want out, or are wondering which way you might vote, check out the www.leaveeu.com website.

    The second referendum will happen in May. This will ask whether we want to continue with a mayoral system of local government in the Bay beyond 2019. I think that I have been clear that I personally think we should stick with it. Watch out for a full article on this issue on this site as the vote approaches.

    Finally for this time, I would like to wish everyone in Ellacombe, and friends across the Bay a peaceful and happy 2016. I look forward to working with you throughout what promises to be an eventful and challenging year.

    All very best wishes as ever,


    Julien Parrott

    Councillor for Ellacombe



  • Is it

    The public gets what the public wants?


    The public wants what the public gets?

    At last night’s full council meeting, members discussed the forthcoming referendum on the mayoral system. Following a rushed-through and ill-thought out public consultation earlier this year (a decision taken by the majority of the Tories, with the Lib Dems and the Brixham ‘independents’) it turned out that the public wanted the alternative to the mayoral system to be a committee system on the referendum vote. No matter. Does the public ever get what the public wants? Not here, that’s for sure. The motion to put something else on the referendum ballot papers was passed by just one vote.

    Here are the names of those councillors who voted against the public’s wishes: Barnby, Bent, Bye, Cunningham, Ellery, Kingscote, Lewis, Morey, O'Dwyer, Robson, D Thomas, J Thomas, Hill, Tyerman, Winfield, Stockman, Sykes.

    And those who voted to uphold the public’s wishes: Oliver, Amil, Excell, Haddock, King, Lang, Manning, Mills, Morris, Parrott, Stocks, Stubley, Carter, M Darling, S Darling, Doggett.

    This made it 17 votes all, so the Chairman got a casting vote to decide the matter. Cllr Hill used this to vote against the public.

    Here’s the text of the speech I gave in favour of upholding the wishes of the public, as stated in the consultation. Of course, it was a small number of the electorate who responded, but that is democracy: everyone had a choice whether to participate, and many chose not to.


    Of course, I never play politics!

    By way of clearing the undergrowth from around this item, some home truths about the mayoral system in the Bay. In reminding Council of these truths, I am doing so as one of only two councillors I know of who are outspoken in their support for the system, Councillor Lewis being the other. Kudos to Cllr Lewis for remaining such through thick and thin. Indeed, despite my support for the system, I was fully expecting four more years on the backbenches until Mayor Oliver showed such confidence in my passionate concern for the adults and children of our Bay. So…

    Truth no 1 about the Bay’s mayoral system:

    It was made possible by Labour government legislation; one of the few times that government did anything for real democracy. Such a good idea was it that the new Conservative government is developing the model further.

    Truth no 2.

    It came into being on the back of some of the most outrageous general mismanagement of local public affairs ever seen - under the Liberal Democrats and their absentee leader, Chris Harris I will not go into the full list of outrages again. A simple Google search will reveal all.

    And, Truth no 3.

    Only Conservative candidates ever win Mayoral elections here. As a candidate who did rather well in the May election, even I can see that the public, however much it may annoy some, wanted Mayor Oliver to lead the Bay until 2019 for a second term.

    So where have the calls for change really come from? Certainly not from anything like a majority of the people of the Bay! Consider the response to the August consultation:

    • Less than one one percent of the population eligible to vote responded;

    • Even of that less than one per cent, 22% wanted to keep the current system without holding a referendum!

    So where is the groundswell against the mayoralty? I suggest that there is none. This not a great democratic debate, rather it is a confection whipped up by disgruntled ‘lefties’ on social media who are given disproportionate coverage by other local media.

    It's from comments like these that the local paper picks up it's stories, so it's not hard to see why they often get it so wrong.

    I suggest to members that it is they too, and not the public that are so opposed to the system and are seeking to cloak their machinations in a fabricated public outcry.

    Why else would members, having been handed the inconvenient truth only in May that the public chose Mayor Oliver, rush into a consultation that Cllr King suggested needed more thought?

    Of course, Mr Chairman, we are where we are now. The Lib Dems are calling for the return of the ‘no one responsible’ anonymity of the soviet style committee system because this is the best way of exorcising the ghost of Chris Harris. And the rest of the anti-mayoral gang are apparently for the Leader and Cabinet system. Unfortunately, for both sides, there are major problems.

    On the one hand, there is support from the August consultation for the soviet style committee; 53% of the respondents support this. However, it is nearly twice as expensive to run as the mayoral system. In a full and open referendum, people will easily see that the mayoral system is far preferable in terms of cost, and in terms of public accountability.

    On the other hand, the cheaper Leader and Cabinet system is less democratic than the mayoral system; remember Cllr Harris again, and the public knows this, which is probably the reason that it was so roundly rejected by the tiny sample of the electorate that responded to the August consultation.

    I recognise that Mayor Oliver made an election promise to hold this wretched referendum, so please, let’s get on with it. The question has to be between the continuation of the mayoralty or – as chosen by the public in the consultation - a move to the soviet style committee system, or democracy will have been flouted by members. Why ask our residents for their opinion if we are just going to flagrantly ignore them?

    I am delighted there will be a recorded vote so that any enemies of democracy there may be among us will be highlighted for posterity. Let us reject this motion and get on with a referendum in the terms that the public have asked for.


    Here’s an example of the misinformation that is peddled on social media sites.



  • Desperation Stakes

    Whoever is elected to the seat previously held by the late Councillor Ruth Pentney for well over a decade, in Clifton with Maidenway, has a very tough act to follow. As the line-up for the by-election on 5 November crystallises, the early talk is all about the candidacy of our former MP Adrian Sanders who has announced his intention to stand for the Lib Dems. The most obvious question raised by the news is not whether he could do the job, but why would he want to?

    In thinking about why Mr Sanders wants to be a councillor, one possible reason leaps out at anyone who follows local politics at all closely. Perhaps the Lib Dems realise that, in the current political climate, with the Lib Dem brand so out of date, he is the only candidate the local Lib Dems think could hang on to the seat for them.

    But even given that these are truly desperate times for the Lib Dems, why would Mr Sanders want the job? He is surely on a hiding to nothing. If he loses, that will put the final seal on the Bay’s disillusionment with the yellow party and be personally humiliating for the erstwhile parliamentarian.

    If he wins, Mr Sanders faces three and a half years without any power whatsoever, in much more modest surroundings than the House of Commons. The council’s budget for expenses certainly does not stretch to dry cleaning!

    I suppose the one bright spot on his horizon, should Mr Sanders win, would be that he would be swapping his former leader Nick Clegg for the highly competent Councillor Steve Darling.



  • The curious case of the disappearing agenda item 11:

    The truth behind the Council debate that never was …

    Forgive me if what follows is a little convoluted, but it is a tale of political skulduggery that needs to be told somewhere and is unlikely to be told elsewhere. It is unlikely to be told elsewhere because yours truly happens to be one of very few councillors to think that the mayoral system is the right one for the Bay, and is the only councillor that is not subject to a political group leader.

    Last Thursday’s Full Council meeting was due to consider item 11 ‘Referendum on future forms of governance: to consider the submitted report on the different forms of governance and the outcome of the consultation exercise to enable the Council to determine which form of governance will be included in the referendum’. However, following a farcical and lengthy mid-meeting adjournment, it was pulled by one or more of the political group leaders (note: not by the mayor). The Chairman of the Council stated simply that the item had been withdrawn – omitting the key fact, by whom. By withdrawing the item from the agenda and depriving councillors of the opportunity to debate the item, the group leader(s) hope to get away with the most breath-taking piece of anti-democratic political fixing that I have ever come across in my nine years as a councillor.

    We have to go back to the Full Council meeting in July to find the root of the decision to withdraw item 11. Desperately frustrated that the voting public had once again endorsed mayor Oliver at the May elections, a rag bag of cross-party back-benchers rushed to force the mayor into the earliest possible referendum on the future of the mayoralty post 2019 (2019 is the earliest possible time for the dismantling of the elected mayoral form of governance allowed by statute, and which was introduced in 2005 following a referendum).

    The pretext for the rush was that the ‘only’ opportunity to do the referendum on the cheap was to do it next year (2016) at the same time as the Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Of course, this is completely untrue as, for example, there will also be an opportunity to hold the referendum at the same time as the in-out European Union election in 2017.

    At the July meeting, Councillor Mark King, supported by me and other democratically-minded councillors, suggested an amendment that enabled the Council to gather a little more information. The amendment wording included: While recognising that the current mayoral system of governance cannot be changed until 2019, there is a groundswell of opinion that the Council should review its current mayoral system of governance. We also need to take into account the new political landscape and the Government’s policy for greater powers to larger authorities with elected mayors; the current work of the mayor and his executive; and further guidance from central Government. Therefore the assistant director (corporate and business services) should provide a report to Council in September.

    This would have ensured a sound basis for public consultation on the future of the Bay mayoralty. However, the majority of councillors (including Conservatives, Lib Dems and the Brixham independents) decided that they would not be delayed by sensible caution, and threw out the amendment.

    The July decision was rushed through to enable a public consultation on what the alternative to a mayoral system at the town hall might look like. In order to decide what the final referendum question to the voters might be, we need to be clear what alternative system should be offered on the ballot paper. Should it be a Leader with Cabinet system (items decided in secret behind closed doors by the majority elected party), or should it be an old-fashioned Soviet style Committee system with no-one to blame for anything?

    This, essentially was the question that, following the decision of the July council meeting, was put out to public consultation. And guess what? The overwhelming majority of the public who responded to the consultation selected the committee system over the Leader and Council model. Small wonder really, I strongly suspect that two words, Chris and Harris, sprang readily to mind. Chris Harris was the last example of a Leader of a Cabinet-style of governance in Torbay. Yes, you remember – 16 per cent increases in council tax, peremptory closing of public loos, 60 per cent increases in councillor allowances, the cross being removed from the crematorium …

    However, and here is the rub, the Committee system is much, much more expensive than the mayoral system in terms of support from council officers and staff. In these straightened financial times, the group leader(s) have belatedly realised that asking the public to choose between a mayoral system, or a highly expensive Committee system (apparently more than twice as much as a mayoral system and almost four times as expensive as a leader and cabinet system) will see the mayoralty get voters’ support. In short, there is the strongest possible chance that their plans to bring down the mayoralty will be thwarted once and for all.

    So what to do for the group leader(s) who are now in disarray? Well, they are now claiming that they need more information (funny that: Councillor King and others, including me, pointed that out back in July but we were voted down); and that the debate needs to be put on hold (funny that: Councillor King and others, including me, pointed that out, too, back in July. Again, we were voted down).

    Make no mistake, group leader(s) have taken a leaf out of the EU’s book: if the public don’t come up with the ‘right’ decision, ignore them. Or make them vote again until they get it ‘right’.

    Apparently, the enemies of democracy are everywhere.

    Remember, you read it here first. And, probably, nowhere else at all.

    It is a source of chagrin to me that the vast majority of people in our Bay are being kept in the dark over this, and many other important matters. Social media means that, often, a perverted version of what is going on is put out as ‘truth’ by certain people; a similar thing might be said to be going on at the local paper where they simply don’t have the journalistic staff to properly research stories; and – almost a decade since I was first elected – I am still the only local Torbay Council councillor with his own website with a properly searchable archive of news, opinion and assessment, dating back to 2006.


    1 comment

  • Refugee crisis

    I have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks talking to people about the refugee crisis. Like any sane person, I am determined to uphold our country’s noble tradition of taking in refugees and doing what we can to help.

    There have been calls for Torbay Council to make its position clear. Indeed, I was one of the councillors who suggested that last week’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee (the first major council committee meeting held here since the refugee crisis escalated) to openly debate the issue. The chairman of that committee declined to add the item to the agenda.

    At the Mayor’s Executive Group meeting this morning – which is routinely attended by senior council officers as well as others, depending on the agenda items – we discussed the following statement, which the mayor will be announcing at the Full Council meeting being held next Thursday, 24 September at the RICC:

    Torbay Council – Mayoral Statement

    Refugee Crisis

    Torbay Council is committed to supporting the current Syrian refugee crisis and will support local people and partners to provide an appropriate response, in particular to orphans and unaccompanied children. We will work in partnership with other Local Authorities in the South west to maximise our support and the opportunities available for individual refugees.

    Torbay Council will respond within the financial envelope provided by central Government and note that the existing commitment to financial support for the first year only will not provide the long term support that will be required to allow refugees to really take advantage of the opportunities available in Torbay.

    I have appointed a senior officer to lead on our response and an implementation plan and briefings s will be arranged as more information becomes available.

    I entirely support and wholeheartedly endorse the mayor’s statement. I am pleased that particular reference is being given to children, especially those orphaned or separated from their families by this crisis.

    I am also pleased that Torbay Council’s considered and sensitive response is in direct contrast with that of the leaders of the European Union whose kneejerk responses have led to a dreadful mess through most of Europe.



  • Dateline 13 September 2015

    Now that Council is back in full swing after the summer break, I hope to be able to update this website a little more often. As many of you will already know, in May, Mayor Oliver asked me to take on the post of Executive Lead for Adult Social Care for Torbay Council, a job I was happy to accept. Since then, and because of the council’s commitment to joint commissioning in order to improve/streamline services and save money, he invited me to add the Children’s Services portfolio to my responsibilities. This, I too accepted.

    I was aware that it would involve a huge amount of challenges and commitment, something you know I have never shied away from. In making the decision, I knew that I would not be prepared to allow the needs of Ellacombe residents to take a back seat; I know that they – you - expect me to serve the whole Bay community to the best of my ability, and are proud that I am in a position to do that.

    Of course, this has meant that I have spent a great deal of time over the past couple of months getting to grips with things, and this website has had to take something of a back seat. In Ellacombe, you know I am still available to you six days a week through my local business or by telephone (and if I’m not there, there is always someone to help or to take a message). I don’t think there are any other councillors in the Bay who are as easily accessible.

    Why we should celebrate the arrival of ‘Tom and Jerry’

    As a member of UKIP, I know all about the sneering attitude of the mainstream media towards conviction politics. Any deviation from the grey, unappetising soup of the middle-ground consensus is treated with disdain and barely hidden animosity.

    I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Labour Party and its new leader and deputy leader on yesterday’s election results. Their election marks a return to conviction politics that we have not seen since Margaret Thatcher. The fact that the media - led by the BBC - is so outraged is, in my view, a very welcome consequence.

    I look forward to UKIP and Labour standing shoulder to shoulder against the anti-democratic forces of the European Union and a return to honest debate in Parliament. That honest debate never went away in communities across the nation and I suspect it is the reason that Labour is finally returning to its roots.

    Councillor Ruth Pentney

    Still on the subject of conviction politics, one local politician for whom the need to avoid the non-politics of consensus was never in doubt was Councillor Ruth Pentney (long-serving Councillor for Clifton with Maidenway).

    Councillor Ruth died last week of Motor Neurone Disease. She will, I believe, be sorely missed by everyone in the Bay who values genuine debate as a means of understanding and solving the issues we all face as a community.

    On a personal note, I remember thanking Councillor Ruth for her support for my nomination for Chairman of Council back in 2013. “That’s all right,” she said. “I just wanted to see what you look like in a dress!”

    I will miss Councillor Ruth, and am proud to have served on the same council as her for over eight years.



  • TUFC kick-off 2015-16 season

    Tomorrow afternoon at 3.00pm, together with many of my fellow Ellacombe-ites, I plan to be at The Launa Windows Stadium, Plainmoor, for Torquay United’s season start against Macclesfield Town.

    “Just another season kicking-off” or even, “Here we go again” some less enthusiastic folk cry. But this time, it is not just another season. As those of us who have followed the recent and close-season machinations at the club well know, we are very lucky to be kicking off the new season at all.

    At one stage, it genuinely seemed that our proud club would be going into administration. This is a fate that has become an almost occupational hazard for clubs at lower league levels. As the ongoing downturn and austerity hit, and as disposable income disappeared for so many in the Bay, paying for live football obviously came under severe pressure.

    However, thanks to a new group of fan investors, we have a club, we have a new manager - Paul Cox - who really means business, we have a largely new squad of bright young players, and we kick off the season in what this year is known as the Vanarama National League (to old hands like me, aka the Football Conference) with optimism.

    I do not normally mix business with this bulletin, but Sue and I are proud that, this year, our Ellacombe business is sponsoring commanding new defensive signing Exodus Geohaghon for the season. We wish him the very best of luck – as we do all our brave lads – and we especially look forward to seeing plenty of clean sheets and examples of his famed long-throw technique!

    Finally, spare a thought for club captain Luke Young, who will be sitting out the kick-off with injury. We hope he is back very soon. We will certainly need him. I see that Arsenal will be without Jack Wilshire for the start of the season - Luke is at least an equivalent loss for us!

    Come on you Yellowwwzzzz….




Julien Parrott, UKIP

Councillor for Ellacombe Ward, 2007 to date
Executive Lead for Adults and Children
Torbay Borough Council Unitary Authority

julien campaign

11 November 2017

A brief update ...

I realise that I keep apologising for not maintaining this website! I really hope that I will be able to do something with it in the near future, but I know that my fellow Ellacombe residents understand that my priority is with my ward work and with my work for children and adults across the Bay as Executive Lead councillor.

In the meantime, an update for my fellow Ellacombe residents: please note that my contact details have changed. If you want to discuss a local issue with me, please see below for my new contact arrangements.

Email me:

Write to me:
Cllr Julien Parrott, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Torquay TQ1 3DR

Telephone me:
01803 389624 (Mon-Fri, daytime)

Come and see me:
I am also generally available each Monday between 12 noon and 1pm at the Office of William Dartmouth MEP, at 49 Market Street, Torquay TQ1 3AW

Julien in Regalia

During the Civic Year

2013-2014, I had the honour of being elected Chairman of Torbay Council.

Click on the logo to go to the UKIP.org website

Passport crop

Where I have used photos not taken by me or given to me to use for my material, I have credited both the source of the picture and the photographer, where I can. If a photo is yours, and you would like a credit or would prefer me to remove it, then please let me know via the ‘Contact me' page on this site and I will do that.

This website is
Copyright Julien Parrott
and is published
and promoted
on behalf of
Cllr Julien Parrott
c/o 63 Princes Road

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