EDDC watchdog calls for ‘independent’ Knowle survey

14:58 31 January 2014

The EDDC offices at Knowle in Sidmouth as it is today. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

The EDDC offices at Knowle in Sidmouth as it is today. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24


A DISTRICT council watchdog has called for ‘independent’ professionals to carry out a survey of Knowle over concerns about the amount of money being spent on the authority’s relocation project.

Overview and scrutiny committee members last night agreed to make the recommendation to cabinet.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has decided to leave Sidmouth – saying Knowle is not ‘fit for purpose’.

But concerns over the £800,000 of tax-payers’ cash already spent or budgeted on the project prompted calls for a re-think.

Councillors called for evidence to back-up the main argument that is driving the argument for a purpose-built new HQ elsewhere.

Councillor Claire Wright told committee colleagues at last night’s meeting: “It does feel to me as though the council made a decision to go and its getting out of control. The finances are getting out of control. It’s very worrying.”

She said the council had a ‘huge PR problem’ and the public ‘don’t trust’ that Knowle is in a dilapidated state.

She called for an ‘independent person’ – a qualified engineer - to come in and carry out a survey of Knowle and suggested campaign group Save Our Sidmouth could be asked to pay for it.

EDDC’s deputy chief executive Richard Cohen pointed to a previous technical report by experts, commissioned by the authority, that showed £1.5 million would be needed to ‘do the basics’ at Knowle. This report is to be re-circulated to al councillors.

Committee members agreed by eight votes to none, with four abstentions, that a motion would go to cabinet recommending a professional survey of the building be carried out – not undertaken by EDDC.

The Sidmouth Herald was the only newpspaper at the talks and will publish a full account of the meeting in its next edition.


Other News Stories


Police are appealing for information after a silver Jaguar car was scratched while parked overnight in Brixington.

Read more
Mark Paver and sister Nikki will be taking on the commando challenge for charity

A Budleigh Salterton man, who suffers pain all over his body, is taking on a gruelling assault course for one last challenge.

Read more

Police are appealing for information following the theft of marine equipment worth £900, between Sunday, August 30, and Saturday, October 3.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Exeter Magistrates' Court

A mother has been banned from driving after she took her 10-year-old twins shopping when she was two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
DJ's Cafe on the seafront in Exmouth. Ref exe 4318-40-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A seafront business owner, who believed he could trade ‘for the foreseeable future’, was shocked to find his café boarded up without warning by district bosses.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:37

A man has been found safe following an overnight search in Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

A gang of cunning professional thieves has been jailed after a sharp-eyed Exmouth B&Q cashier caught them red-handed.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Crwods gathered to view the Rolle proposal plans at the Ocean suite on Saturday.  Ref exe 2692-41-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Hundreds of Exmouth residents have turned out to have their say about the future of the Rolle College site.

Read more
Wed, 16:30
Sue Stoneman at chamber pizza event

Against the backdrop of a stunning blood-red sunset, viewed from the ‘mediterranean’ surroundings of the Ocean Suite, Exmouth Chamber of Commerce held another very successful networking event.

Read more
Wed, 15:55

Firefighters from Exmouth teamed up with the RSPCA to rescue a sick fox trapped beneath a garden shed in Colleton Close.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications