There have been questions about the viability of negotiations around devolution for Devon and Somerset:
Futures Forum: Breaking news >>> Devolution for Devon and Somerset? >>> Hinkley Point delayed
And there have been questions about the viability of relocating the District Council's headquarters when it comes to devolution in general:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... a summary of the issues so far...
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... revisted >>> the impact of devolution on the South-West
... and when it comes to the particular package on offer:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... Devon and Somerset to merge?
The biggest question has been the role of the Local Enterprise Partnership in the current Heart of the SouthWest devolution package:
Futures Forum: Devolution for Devon and Somerset? >>> "The council is not happy at all, but has no choice. They are being completely squeezed of funds and will have to go cap in hand to the Local Enterprise Partnership in order to keep functioning."
Much of the drive for devolution is being led by LEPs:
Chancellor unveils ‘devolution revolution’ - News stories - GOV.UK
Osborne’s devolution plans herald English revolution - FT.com
Why Osborne should be applauded for his business rate devolution proposal «
Although not everyone is convinced:
George Osborne Unveils 'Devolution Revolution', But Critics Warn It Means More Council Cuts On The Way
The truth behind Osborne's devolution "revolution" | openDemocracy
Osborne’s devolution revolution is a savage con. Even Tories know that | Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian
The East Devon Watch blog has asked a few questions about LEPs in the context of devolution:
Local Enterprise Partnerships: an alternative view | East Devon Watch
Devolution questions – does our LEP really exist? Or is it a figment of crazed imaginations? | East Devon Watch
The EDW has noted that the selling off of Knowle to private developers for a gated community for over-60s:
‘Better use of facilities’ at Knowle than making it a retirement community! | East Devon Watch
... began with allowing the building to run down through lack of investment:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the 'managed neglect' of valuable assets
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "How efficiently is this building being used?"
... which certainly made a lot of people angry, especially the councillors who felt the place was no longer 'fit for purpose':
Are EDDC Knowle offices really ‘not fit for purpose’? | Save Our Sidmouth
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "If Knowle is not fit for purpose, do they really think that Exmouth Town Hall is?"
Here is the piece from the EDW:
“DEFUND, MAKE SURE THINGS DON’T WORK, GET PEOPLE ANGRY – PRIVATISE”!
14 February 2016
Several media sites have recently quoted famous philosopher Noam Chomsky on privatisation (and devolution):
“That’s the standard technique of privatization; defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.”
So is that what happened with Knowle?
And will we see the new EDDC HQ in Honiton one day sold off to Clinton Devon Estates or Eagle One – or even Moirai Capital investments when district councils cease to exist!
“Defund, make sure things don’t work, get people angry – privatise”! | East Devon Watch
This is what Chomsky had to say five years ago:
The State-Corporate Complex: A Threat to Freedom and Survival
And, indeed, the media internationally has taken up this observation, for example:
Australia outsourcing Nauru to avoid accountability | Crikey