... a brief mention of the reputation of East Devon (about 5 minutes into the interview on the video embedded within the article)
“being an absolute disaster area on matters like planning”
One particular disaster area unfolding is that (not) happening at Knowle.
The District Council's own 'Moving and Improving' pages are not moving particularly:
Moving and Improving: all you need to know about the office relocation - Project timeline - key dates - East Devon
We are, after all, awaiting the outcome of the appeal by developers PegasusLife:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife appeal >>> deadline for submissions: 6th September >>> further information
Meanwhile, the District Council's political leadership is talking 'transformation':
Relocate to new offices providing a presence in Honiton and Exmouth.
These offices will be designed to reflect the way we work.
Mid 2017: On target
The problem is that there is no cash and local authorities are being asked to 'transform' themselves - but, as the East Devon Watch blog notes, huge risks are being taken by ploughing ahead with the 'relocation project'.
Other authorities have put their transformation plans on hold:
“TRANSFORMATION PLANS” – A MORTAL DANGER TO THE PUBLIC?
14 JULY 2017
Our council talks a lot about its so-called “transformation plans” which are supposed to make it leaner and meaner – doing more with less. Except, of course, for its relocation plans, which get more and more bloated with every passing week (“doing the same with more”?).
It trumpets its plans – nay strategy, here:
There are objectives in it such as “WorkSmart”, “centred”, “clear”, “simple”, “fast”, “organised” and “rational”. As if our council was currently WorkDumb, off-centre, opaque, complex, slow, disorganised and irrational was the alternative. Hhhmm – let’s not go there!
But one word is missing – SAFE.
In the light of the Grenfell Tower disaster, we have seen that ALL of the above can impact directly on council tax payers to make them less safe – as cost-cutting (the REAL meaning of transformation plans) is the major driver.
The London Borough of Newham is so concerned that it has paused its transformation plans on hold saying:
“… Inevitably…in a programme of this scale there are certain areas which have associated risks to delivery both in timing and quantum. Due to the sheer complexity and scale of what the transformation programme is trying to achieve, there are risks attached with the programme being able to deliver fully against its target. Therefore, an adjustment of c£2m has been made to recognise potential non-delivery of savings/income shortfall for 2018/19.”
So, we (and EDDC) must ask: how far is too far?
And is the council’s relocation being done at great expense, when that money ought to be ploughed back into services that have been cut to the bone and may be much less safe for us all? In its race to be bottom of council tax bills has it also been a race to the bottom for our safety?
This is, of course, a national problem – driven by austerity cuts. But have our councils (DCC and EDDC) and other institutions such as the NHS been too passive or even too welcoming of these cuts and too conveniently blind to see their consequences?
“Transformation plans” – a mortal danger to the public? | East Devon Watch