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

Archant

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.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:40
A rugby themed easter egg trail is taking place along the Exe Estuary

A special Easter egg hunt inspired by the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off along the Exe Estuary Trail on Saturday, March 28.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:45
Ocean Blue. Ref exe 1212-33-14SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Leisure East Devon (LED) has announced it has agreed a 25-year lease to manage the Ocean Blue complex on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:13
Topsham Devon Air Ambulance Trust is open for business again after a recent shop refurbishment. Cutting the ribbon is Tom Robertson, Chrissie Peel, Nigel Hare, Martin Bell and Sarah Woolfenden. Ref ext 1296-13-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

One of Topsham’s two Devon Air Ambulance shops held its grand re-opening on Saturday, March 21.

Read more
Wed, 15:11
Bus service cuts have been opposed by Budleigh Salterton Town Council.

Cuts to bus services in Budleigh Salterton could leave the town ‘cut off’ and affect its young people, representatives have warned.

Read more
Tue, 11:20
Exeter Crown Court.

An ambulance driver based in Exmouth has admitted driving on a forged licence. Eion Crowley, who was sacked from his job by managers, was given a two-year conditional discharge at Exeter Crown Court.

Read more
Tue, 09:32
Ref exe rolle college

Rolle College will almost certainly re-open in May, seven years after it was mothballed, and host the Exmouth Festival .

Read more
Tue, 09:09
Bassetts Farm primary school year four pupil Abbie Clarke arranged a fund raising cake sale event for Red Nose Day at school this week and is pictured with her classmate Poppy Rowsell who helped her out  Ref exe 9431-11-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Brixington schoolgirl has raised £1,372.41 for the Red Nose Day appeal.

Read more
Mon, 14:51
Gun found in Littleham

An old sawn-off shotgun found in a garden in Littleham could have been used in a robbery, police said.

Read more
Mon, 12:37
Hugo Swire

East Devon’s Conservative MP, Hugo Swire, has welcomed ‘common sense’ measures to make sure drivers are treated more fairly when parking in the region.

Read more
Mon, 11:54
Claire Wright launched her manifesto this week. Ref exe 6325-05-15SH. Photo Simon Horn

Independent parliamentary hopeful, Claire Wright, revealed this week the policies she hopes will see her voted in as East Devon’s MP in May.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder