Cann loses place on fire authority
A COUNTY councillor from Barnstaple has been removed from the Devon and Somerset Fire Authority.
Deputy leader of North Devon Council, Rodney Cann, was taken off the fire authority on Friday.
He believes the decision is politically motivated.
Devon County Council said that as an Independent, Mr Cann's group was no longer entitled to appoint members to the fire authority because it now had less members.
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Mr Cann said: "I've been on the fire authority for the past seven years and this happens now with just ten months to go until the elections.
"I can only assume it is politically motivated.
"I don't think I am in a position to challenge this decision, I think it is politics at its nastiest."
Mr Cann thinks it is ironic that he led the opposition to a 25 per cent increase in councillor allowances on the fire authority earlier this year when a supporter of the increase, Andy Boyd, was removed from the same body for his actions.
Mr Cann said: "I've been opposing a number of county council initiatives and I think this is retaliation.
"The fire authority position was a role I really enjoyed and I was chairman of the human resource management committee.
"I am very bitter about this. We took a view in the fire authority that politics were put to one side and this decision does not make sense."
A county council spokesman said the decision was about numbers.
"Mr Cann is the leader of the Independent group which had three members. As such, they were entitled to seats on committees and outside bodies, such as the fire authority, based on their strength on the county council," he said.
"Following the recent defection of Paula Black from the Greens to Labour, the Independent group has reduced from three to two.
"As leader of the group, Mr Cann retains his county council special responsibility allowance.
"However the group is no longer entitled to appoint members to the fire authority because of its reduction in numbers."