Futures Forum: District Council: annual meeting >>> Wednesday 27th May
The following week, there will be an extraordinary meeting to consider the relocation project.
Here is the agenda, just published:
Extra Ordinary meeting of the Council of the District of East Devon on Wednesday 3 June 2015 at 6.30 pm
This Extra Ordinary meeting of the Council has been requested by Councillors Cathy Gardner, David Barratt, Matt Booth, Matt Coppell and John Dyson.
6 Office relocation
Motion to be debated:
“This Council resolved to suspend all processes relating to the sale of the Knowle site for six months so that the following matters can be fully addressed:
1. Development of comprehensive plans to show the distribution of services between the two proposed offices and the impact of this on staff, service users and residents;
2. Comprehensive EDDC staff consultation on the specific details and impact of the proposed office relocation to Honiton and Exmouth;
3. Full public consultation (three month process) on the proposed option;
4. Open invitation for an examination of further options for office refurbishment and location, including those which could be cost neutral, by a sub-committee comprising of at least 12 elected members with cross-group proportional representation;
5. Fully costed proposals for the entire relocation process including the new build, refurbished premises, removal, parking, equipment and facilities. To be prepared, reviewed and approved by full Council;
6. Detailed consideration by full Council of the implications and ramifications of the recent Freedom of Information (FOI) cases.”
As the motion is to rescind a previous decision made at a meeting of Council within the past six months, it is required to be signed by at least 15 members. (Council Constitution 13.1)
Motion proposed by Councillor Cathy Gardiner, seconded by Councillor Matt Booth and supported by Councillors: Megan Armstrong, David Barratt, Susie Bond, Matt Coppell, John Dyson, Peter Faithfull, Roger Giles, Ben Ingham, Geoff Jung, Rob Longhurst, Dawn Manley, Val Ranger and Marianne Rixson.
report of the Deputy Chief Executive as referred to Cabinet (11 March 2015) and combined Audit and Governance and Overview and Scrutiny Committee (12 March 2015)
full minutes of the above meetings - Cabinet
and combined Audit and Governance and Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Minutes of the Extra Ordinary meeting of the Council held on 25 March 2015.
Resolution of Extra Ordinary meeting of the Council held on 25 March 2015 in full:
A) that the following be agreed:
1. the findings of the audit exercises conducted by South West Audit Partnership and Grant Thornton in response to issues raised by December 2014 Full Council and the conclusions set out therein be accepted.
2. the analysis and conclusions on the financial basis for relocating contained within the report be accepted
3. On the basis of the valuation advice and price offered, the Knowle site be disposed of as this would represent ‘best value’ in accordance with the requirements of Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.
B) that the following be approved:
4. the Knowle site (as defined in reports submitted to Cabinet within the red line and excluding land identified at C13 below) is no longer required for the purpose of public walks or as a pleasure ground under the Public Health Act 1875.
5. On the basis that the land is no longer required for those purposes to appropriate the Knowle site to housing purposes pursuant to the powers contained in Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972.
C) that the following be approved:
6. To dispose of the Knowle site for housing / extra care assisted living pursuant to Section 32 of the Housing Act 1985.
7. The Deputy Chief Executive – Development, Regeneration and Partnership in consultation with the Office Accommodation Executive Group be authorised to agree on behalf of EDDC appropriate Heads of Terms with Pegasus Life Ltd.
8. Subject to agreeing the Heads of Terms the Deputy Chief Executive – Development, Regeneration and Partnership be given delegated authority to enter into contract for sale of the Knowle site conditional upon subsequent satisfactory planning approval and such other matters as the Service Lead (Legal and Democratic Services) may advise.
9. EDDC operations be located to Honiton and Exmouth.
10. The Council to conduct consultation with relevant and interested parties to ensure Best Value outcomes are addressed within the relocation to Honiton and Exmouth.
11. A net project budget of £2,221,445 be noted and agreed, (the target being to achieve a break even position) , this being the estimated cost for a new build office accommodation in Honiton (BREEAM very good option) and for the modernisation of Exmouth Town Hall as identified in the table in paragraph D5.6 (of the Cabinet and combined meeting report) less the Capital Receipt for the Knowle. In addition, a budget of £900,630 is required to meet loan interest costs relating to short term and long term funding. Short term cash flow funding will be required totalling £9.2m to meet design and build costs prior to receiving the sale proceeds of £7-8m from the Knowle (financial risks are mitigated by Gateway 7 process detailed in the report). Once the capital receipt is received, the balance of funding required is £2.1m to be funded from a long-term loan over a 20-year period.
12. Officers investigate and progress the opportunity to bring forward the refurbishment of Exmouth Town Hall and take forward new offices in Honiton.
13. Commence detailed discussions on the Council’s intention to transfer the retained 3.5196ha of Knowle parkland and the lower car park to Sidmouth Town Council following disposal of the Knowle site and if the principle is accepted by Sidmouth Town Council to progress such transfer including compliance with the relevant statutory procedures for disposal of open space.
14.As part of the negotiations with Sidmouth Town Council on land transfer, a covenant be proposed to ensure that the land is not built on and remains as public open space
And here is the report from the Herald:
Move to suspend EDDC HQ sale
17:24 22 May 2015 Chris Carson
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn
Independent councillors call for extraordinary meeting to debate the office relocation
An Extraordinary meeting of East Devon District Council to debate the office relocation has been requested by 15 newly elected independent councillors.
The meeting, which will be open to the public, will take place at Knowle on Wednesday June 3 at 6.30pm.
Full council will debate a motion to suspend all processes relating to the sale of the Knowle site for six months, in order that a number of actions can be carried out:
• Comprehensive plans to be produced, showing the distribution of services between the two proposed alternative office sites of Honiton and Exmouth and the impact of this on staff, service users and residents.
• Full consultation with East Devon staff on the details of the move and the impact of the office relocation.
• Full public consultation for three months on the proposal to build a new office in Honiton and refurbish Exmouth town hall.
• Examination of further options for office refurbishment and location by a sub-committee comprising 12 elected members with cross-group proportional representation.
• Full council to review and approve fully costed proposals for the entire relocation process including the new build, refurbished premises, removal, parking, equipment and facilities.
• Full council to consider in detail the implications and effect of the recent Freedom of Information cases.
Councillor Paul Diviani said: “While I am mindful of the fact that full council debated and approved the council’s relocation back in March and that internal and external stakeholders gave the proposed move a clean bill of health, this issue needs to be debated as quickly as possible, in order that the council can move forward and embrace modern working practices, which will reduce operating costs and prove an investment for the future.
“This motion is part of the democratic process and, as such, can happen at any time. It is not unusual for a council that is considering relocating to go through this procedure.
“We have already consulted with our staff, but we are happy to debate the relocation in further detail at the request of councillors who have been elected on this single issue, which was part of their manifesto commitment. Our ultimate intention is to provide the best solution for the people of East Devon and our staff.”