Thursday, 6 February 2014

Knowle relocation project: moving to Skypark: comments

Not everyone is pleased with the decision last night by the District Council cabinet to move from Knowle to Skypark:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: moving to Skypark
Location of new district council HQ revealed - News - Exmouth Journal
Sky Park near Exeter "preferred choice" for East Devon District Council HQ move | Exeter Express and Echo

One sticking point is the cost:


Today’s press release from EDDC announces last night’s Cabinet decision to select Skypark as their choice for a new HQ. No financial details are given.
This is in clear defiance of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s vote last week that Councillors should be properly informed about the cost calculations, based on real concerns that a move is neither financially viable nor necessary.
The O&S recommendation that an independent survey of Knowle buildings, particularly the 1970s offices, has also presumably been ignored.
This undemocratic decision completely ignores staff wishes,too, according to EDDC’s own survey: see http://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/astounding-figures-re-knowle-relocation/
Skypark choice ..another costly error by EDDC? | East Devon Alliance
Knowle to be sacrificed to Skypark? Relocation costs remain obscure. | Save Our Sidmouth

Another area of contention is the location:
EDDC to sell family silver to move to Skypark? How will YOU get there? | Sidmouth Independent News
Public transport to Skypark | Sidmouth Independent News

And there are questions about due process:
Democracy flies out of the window as Skypark is chosen | Sidmouth Independent News
Cabinet v. Overview and Scrutiny Committee: are the guards being guarded or not? | Sidmouth Independent News

EDDC cabinet votes to build new office at Skypark

Thursday, 06 February 2014 1 Comment by Claire
EDDC’s cabinet last night voted in favour of building its desired new offices at Skypark.
The debate took place without the press and public present.
Last week my proposal for an independent survey of the Knowle buildings was agreed by the overview and scrutiny committee by eight votes to none. The recommendations for the move will be debated on by full council on Wednesday 26 February, starting at 6.30pm.
1. At 07:23 pm on 06th Feb Sandra Semple wrote:
Only the Executive Board makes decisions now.  It doesn’t even take any notice of its own other councillors now.  The various committees might just as well fold - they are redundant now.

Whatever happened to the proposal for a surveyor to independently assess Knowle buildings?

Thursday, 06 February 2014 0 Comments by Claire
Some of you may be wondering why EDDC’s cabinet has not only completely ignored the concerns and recommendation made by its own overview and scrutiny committee last week, but appears to have speeded up the moving process considerably!

Yesterday evening, myself, Cllr Roger Giles and some residents, attended the first part of the cabinet meeting under the impression that the subject would come up under an early item of the cabinet meeting relating to items referred from the overview and scrutiny committee.
But there was no mention of it.
Today’s press release even states that EDDC will now “market Knowle promptly!”  Has someone put their foot on the accelerator? If so, why might this be?
It really isn’t good enough for the conservative cabinet to ride roughshod over its own scrutiny committee, which has a serious role in local government, to hold the decision-making cabinet to account.
Today’s announcement - and its apparent acceleration of the moving process - makes a total mockery of the scrutiny function.
Watch this space.

EDDC’s full council meeting will be on Wednesday 26 February and starts at 6.30pm.


See also:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: getting the figures straight
EDDC watchdog calls for ‘independent’ Knowle survey - News - Midweek Herald

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