This is from the minutes of last December's full council meeting:
"Councillor Stuart Hughes referred to a motion he raised in December 2012. This was to put on hold relocation plans until the Government had ruled on the recommendations of the Michael Heseltine report ‘No Stone Unturned’."
Minutes of the meeting of the Council - 17 December 2014
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: the promise of 'hubs' and putting the cart before the horse
Questioning the spending of millions in relocating a council HQ when the future of that council is in doubt has been going on for some time:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils...
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... revisted >>> the impact of devolution on the South-West
As has been pointed out, devolution could mean a refashioning of the pre-1973 system of local government:
Futures Forum: "If EDDC were abolished and Sidmouth Town Council became equivalent to what used to be Sidmouth UDC (with other responsibilities going to Devon CC) then we would get much better maintenance of Sidmouth's treasures and a better civic responsibility."
There are fears, however, that the latest proposals for 'devolution' will mean less democracy, not more:
Futures Forum: Devolution for Devon and Somerset? >>> "but it is certainly not democracy"
Futures Forum: Devolution for Devon and Somerset? >>> "instead, it must be a real process of deliberative democracy, with the ability for the public to change aspects of the deal which they want to be improved."
Within this context, the Herald reports on the Leader of the District Council's determination to press ahead with a form of devolution:
Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald
Agenda for Scrutiny Committee and Overview Committee Joint Meeting - Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Meanwhile, there has been comment on the Streetlife blog:
Streetlife | Sidmouth Herald page 24
In his previous incarnation as 'maverick', the current Chair of the District Council was very pointed in his criticism of the political leadership in sacking him as Chair of the Scrutiny Cttee over plans to look into the controversial East Devon Business Forum:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "spineless and arrogant"
Angry Hughes brands own Tory leaders ‘spineless and arrogant’ - News - Sidmouth Herald
Until recently, he was opposed to the relocation from Knowle:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the District Council elections
SIDMOUTH: Council move to blame for Conservative defeats at district election, says Hughes - View from Sidmouth.