Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Knowle relocation project: "to be put on hold" .........? District Council meets Wednesday 17th December

Due to:
> the amounts being proposed to spend on relocation:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "Initial findings found the cost of relocation to be prohibitive"

> concerns about the accuracy of energy costs:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "How efficiently is this building being used?"
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project ... the Committee on Climate Change predicts an increase in energy bills over the next 15 years of 30-45% ... the District Council predicts an increase of 400%
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: Predicting energy price increases over the next 20 years

> disquiet about the relocation project:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "People in Sidmouth simply do not trust the EDDC and their spurious calculations."
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project............ online forums react to BBC Radio Devon interview with District Council Leader

> and uncertainties around local government reform:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... a summary of the issues so far...

... it has been suggested that relocation be 'put on hold':
EDDC relocation omnishambles: Last chance for common sense to prevail | East Devon Alliance

EDDC Conservatives urged to suspend office relocation project, over public concern

Sunday, 14 December 2014 3 Comments by Claire
I (along with Cllrs Roger Giles, Ben Ingham and Susie Bond) have proposed the following amendment to the EDDC cabinet recommendations, which propose to drive the office relocation project inexorably and possibly irretrievably, further forward.
The recommendations will be debated on Wednesday evening, at the full council meeting.

2. that the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the Office Accommodation
Executive Group, be authorised to take forward further actions in pursuit of the above
recommendations and Project Plan,

3. that further reports be produced for Cabinet and Council on project progress and to
seek formal approval for any disposal of Knowle.
Due to the:
- rapidly escalating costs at a time of financial austerity
- requirement to take out a loan of several million pounds to finance the project
- widespread public concern about the plans
- concern over the accuracy of the predictions concerning energy prices
- high likelihood of local government reorganisation which would probably mean that a new HQ will be redundant

that the Deputy Chief Executive, be authorised to put the office relocation project on hold until the outcomes of local government reform are known.
The debate will take place at the full council meeting at the Knowle, Sidmouth, on Wednesday 17 December, starting at 6.30pm. Public participation is at the start of the meeting. 
If questions are unrelated to the council agenda, two days notice must now be given to Diana Vernon - dvernon@eastdevon.gov.uk 
Photograph:  The Knowle and its gardens, which EDDC plans to sell to developers and build new offices - now at Exmouth and Honiton.
1. At 10:24 pm on 14th Dec Ian Mosley wrote:
The most sensible proposal yet in relation to this hugely flawed project. Good work Claire and fellow Councillors, hope you succeed but expect the EDDC Tories will block this.
2. At 09:17 am on 15th Dec Sandra Semple wrote:
This will be a great project for former EDBF members to get involved in when the housing market crashes as interest rates increase.  A sort-of legacy project for them that the current administration can leave them as a nice present for the next council termshoukd they no longer have the balance of power.  If the next administration is forced to take it on and costs spiral (as they will) I can just see the likes of Diviani, Bloxham et all braying about how it is a vanity project!
Think how many libraries, youth clubs, childrens services etc this could fund for the next 20 years or how many affordable houses it could build ( projects which will still be around when EDDC is long gone) and ask yourself:  who are they doing this FOR?  Certain,y not you or me.
And when all the family silver is gone to expensive second homes and expensive housing estates and a new HQ then what happens?  No assets for the next generations to use.
Perhaps the council should consider moving into the heavily loss-making Thelma Hulbert Gallery building.  When all else has been sold off why are we subsidising it each year?

EDDC Conservatives urged to suspend office relocation project, over public concern - Claire Wright

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