Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: deciding to sell >>> Cabinet: Wednesday 11th March
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: deciding to sell >>> Cabinet: Wednesday 11th March >>> reports
This short report is from the latest Herald:
EDDC moves ahead with relocation plans
11:35 12 March 2015 Harvey Gavin
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn
The district council’s proposed relocation from Sidmouth moved a step forward this week after authority leaders unanimously backed the move.
The green light from East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet was the first of three hurdles the project must clear before it can proceed.
Yesterday’s (Wednesday) meeting heard from EDDC’s deputy chief executive, Richard Cohen, who said that all other options had been considered - including staying in Sidmouth - but moving represented the best value for council tax payers.
Members of two council watchdogs will scrutinise the proposals tonight (Thursday) ahead of a final vote on March 25.
See the full story in this week’s Herald.
EDDC moves ahead with relocation plans - News - Sidmouth Herald
Here are two speeches from the public from that meeting:
TWO QUESTIONS TO CABINET LAST NIGHT
13th March 2105
One was asked by Dr Cathy Gardner, a member of East Devon Alliance, who found a discrepancy in figures in the external auditors’ report. Her question to Head of the Relocation Project, Richard Cohen, was: “In paragraph 2 of the report from Grant Thornton and GLEES, the annual maintenance cost allowance is £145,000 per annum, but the maximum spend over the past five years was around £65, 000. How do you explain this?
The answer, from Mr Cohen and three of his colleagues, seemed to confirm there had been managed deterioration of the Knowle buildings (a familiar practice, some might say).
The next question came from possibly the youngest person ever to speak at an EDDC meeting, and who received a round of applause from the public present:
Here’s what she confidently said:
My name is Gemma Manley, I’m a Sidmothian, I am 16 and I am currently studying for my A-levels.
When it comes to the relocation project, like many others I am completely against it. However my question tonight is not why East Devon District Council think it is appropriate to refuse to prove to the public why this building is not fit for purpose. Nor why East Devon District Council feel it is appropriate to borrow millions to fund their absurd move. Nor even how they can sell one of East Devon’s greatest assets. But I want to simply ask, “Can the Leader of the council justify making the final decision on the project just weeks before the general and district elections? Does he honestly believe that this is the most democratic timing, especially when councillors will be asked to vote just BEFORE a Tribunal ruling on whether more documents, which EDDC wants to keep secret, should be revealed.
In case you missed our earlier post on the Cabinet meeting, you’ll find it here: “A very noisy group of people in Sidmouth” have irritated Cllr Tim Wood | East Devon Watch
2 thoughts on “Two questions to Cabinet last night”
Ben Ingham says:
12 Mar 2015 at 10:30pm
During the meeting, I pointed out to the Cabinet that no evaluation had been made of the risks involved regarding EDDC becoming part of a greater or unitary authority. Any such change would render the new HQ a financial liability. This was dismissed by the Conservative leadership as an irrelevance and therefore not a risk. I remain unconvinced. The fact that no debate has taken place suggests to me their sensitivity and vulnerability regarding unitary status. They do not seem to accept that they may have any choice on the subject. Ostriches spring to mind.
Two questions to Cabinet last night | East Devon Watch
Meanwhile, independent Cllr Claire Wright had asked the Leader of the Council Paul Diviani to delay the decision:
EDDC leader and chief exec urged to suspend office relocation due to disclosure judgement delay - Claire Wright
Here is the reply - plus comment on Cllr Wright's blog:
Diviani says “No” to request to delay office relocation until after secret information release - Claire Wright.