UPDATE: East Devon Business Forum may disband after council withdraws support
East Devon District Council is no longer providing financial or officer support to the East Devon Business Forum, at the request of the Local Authority's chief executive.
Mark Williams made the ruling after the furore surrounding its former chairman, former councillor Graham Brown.
Mr Brown, who owns a planning consultancy business, resigned as ward member for Feniton and Buckerell and as the chairman of the forum after he was secretly filmed boasting, that in his role as a planning consultant, he could secure planning permission for a fee.
However he maintains that he did not believe there was a conflict of interest between his professional work and his role as a councillor.
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In addition, Roy Stuart, vice chairman of the forum has called for members to decide at its meeting on Thursday, March 21, whether to disband the group or continue with an amended constitution.
The forum was set up to "improve communication" between businesses and the district council, to meet and agree, "so far as possible", a common approach. It received around £5,200 of financial support a year, by means of officer support, from the council.
A council spokesperson, said: "The chief executive decided that in light of the issues being raised about the forum, it would be fruitless to commit any additional support to the joint body until further notice.
"The funding does not take the form of a cash grant. It is there to cover the costs of officer time (secretary and minute-taker) and the cost of using meeting space at the East Devon Business Centre, which the council owns."
A police spokesperson has also confirmed that the matter, which was referred to them by the council, is in the hands of Action Fraud, and there is no investigation into whether Mr Brown may have acted illegally so far.