Felicity Jane ‘Polly’ Colthorpe, to give her full name, gets the award for most amusing profile picture on the Devon County Council profile pages for councillors (see image at bottom of this page). Perhaps our Polly thought she was auditioning for Strictly, or maybe the photo was originally destined for another site altogether. This smiley and disturbingly racy image is belied in the flesh by a remorseless political machine.
Your correspondent had the misfortune to sit through two public meetings during the so-called consultation period ahead of the decision to close all Devon County Council care homes and evict 260 vulnerable people from their homes. During these meetings, anguished relatives stood up one after another to detail the excellence of the care and their fears for the future, whilst Ms Colthorpe smirked away behind her hands. Unprofessional, Olympic-standard smirking.
Cllr Colthorpe had little hesitation in informing these meetings that as their elected representative she had no absolutely no intention of representing their views and that they should just get used to the idea that the homes were unsustainable.
Watching Ms Colthorpe unable to contain her impatience and contempt during these meetings told us two things: 1) The decision was already a done deal; 2) Ms Colthorpe isn’t a very nice person.
Pointless Polly, as she’s known to some in Bampton, knows all about ‘weasel words’ when it suits her agenda, but has no hesitation in deploying them herself.
About proposals to downgrade Tiverton Hospital maternity services, Cllr Colthorpe said the managers were full of ‘weasel words’ like ‘listening’, ‘involvement’ and ‘engagement’, but questioned whether they were really prepared to listen to and act on the views of the public. Yeah, we know how that feels.
Cllr Colthorpe is 67, and lives near Crediton. Cllr Colthorpe is the Conservative councillor for Tiverton West. She’s currently experiencing a little local difficulty over some minor planning irregularities involving a rather controversial anaerobic digester. A complaint has been made to the council about Cllr Colthorpe’s failure to disclose an interest in the planning application.