Friday, 24 July 2015

Knowle relocation project: looking after the staff

The debate around the District Council's proposals over Knowle continues.

EDDC reveal they don’t know where Knowle staff actually work!

Sidmouth resident Peter Whitfield is concerned by the reply from EDDC’s Information and Complaints Officer,Kate Symington, to his recent Request for information (ref 369093).
He asked EDDC
1. How many rooms in the old hotel/apartments building are currently in use as offices:
a. On the ground floor?
b. On the first floor?
c. On the second floor?
2. How many staff currently work in these rooms?
In her reply on behalf of EDDC, on July 1st 2015, Kate Symington wrote:
” I can confirm that, as at the last count (Jan 15), there were 375 officers listed as being based at the Knowle,” but said in a following e-mail to Mr Whitfield, on the 7th July,
“I am sorry but we do not hold information on how many officers are based within each room. Most of the numbered rooms on the floor plans provided are used as office space.”
SOS finds this state of affairs extraordinary. As Mr Whitfield says,”So we don’t really know where our staff actually work! What happens when checking after a building emergency evacuation?
There are about 115 numbered rooms on the three floors but I don’t believe that number are used as working offices. As “office space” maybe, but we still don’t know haw many staff are actually affected by the “not fit for purpose” old building.”

EDDC reveal they don’t know where Knowle staff actually work! | Save Our Sidmouth

Issues around staffing have been raised in FOI requests:
Hot-desking - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow
Staff Data - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow
Staff working from home - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

Here's the latest from the social network Streetlife:

Tour of the Knowle

Local Conversations in Sidmouth
I see West Dorset DC are giving tours of Shore Hall. EDDC could do tours of Knowle to demonstrate what a poor condition it's in etc

Letter in the Herald

Local Conversations in Sidmouth
Pining Lass 
In a letter it was said that at the Knowle relocation council meeting recently a Councillor told a sad story about office workers having to work in temeratures of 50F/10C.

It was suggested in this letter that halogen heaters should have been purchased, which is a good suggestion. However, what seems to have been missed is the fact that an employer making an employee work in this temperature is putting themselves at risk of being taken to court.

Although there isn't a law about working temperatures there is a presumption that 61F/16C is the temp that should be provided indoors unless manual labour is taking place in that area.

Fancy telling a sob story which shows you are breaking HSE guidance!

Streetlife | Letter in the Herald

Council meeting procedures ..............

Local Conversations in Sidmouth

Streetlife | Council meeting procedures ..............

The Knowle papers

Local Politics in Sidmouth
Pining Lass 
It was interesting to read in the first back of papers, reported in the Herald, that a report was commissioned in 2009 which stated that relocation was too expensive.

So in 2010 they commissioned another which told them what they wanted to hear!

I agree with the council spokesman that monetary values from 2009 can not be used as a straight-forward comparison with now ..... but attitudes can be compared!

Streetlife | The Knowle papers

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