This is Councillor John Berry glad-handing staff and residents at Orchard Lea care home in Cullompton a couple of years back. He recently voted to shut it down as part of Devon County Council’s project to evict 260 elderly from their council care homes and farm them out to the lowest bidders in the private sector. Then to add insult to injury he popped by to shed a few crocodile tears, which must have been tremendously comforting.
Some locals tell us that Cllr Berry was ‘a good bloke’. Presumably he sold his soul to Councillor Hart in return for keeping his job.
There is of course the chance that he’s simply an idiot. Silverton’s Parish Council minutes for April 2014 say: “With regard to the elderly, Cllr Berry confirmed no Residential Homes will be closed but there will be changes and consultations are being undertaken.” Who knows what planet Berry was on – by April we’d been told endlessly by councillors and DCC staff that closure was the aim, sorry, proposal. So when told to vote close them, he was presumably a bit surprised.
Cllr Berry represents himself and Cullompton Rural, in that order. The people of Cullompton wisely kicked him out of Mid Devon Council at the next election after this episode, but unfortunately they now also suffer the attention of his wife Rosemary Berry, so expect more of the same.