A cross-party letter signed by Conservative, Labour, Cranbrook Voice and Independent councillors is calling for Blackdown House to reopen to the public.

After cross-party pressure, Exmouth Town Hall will reopen to the public in December but the multi-million-pound office in Honiton remains closed. A letter has now been sent to leader of East Devon District Council leader Paul Arnott.

Read the letter in full in the image gallery at the top of this article.

Blackdown House was a one-stop-shop for council enquiries before it was closed to the public at the start of the pandemic. Previous calls to fully reopen the building to council taxpayers have been ignored by the current administration, led by the East Devon Alliance Party and Liberal Democrats.

The current administration was recently defeated in a vote to keep holding council meetings virtually. Councillors returned to Blackdown House this week after opposition parties worked together to put an end to virtual ‘consultative’ meetings that deferred decision making to unelected council officers.

A spokesperson from East Devon District Council confirmed that the council is actively recruiting to vacant roles within our Customer Services Team.

"Assuming we are successful in our recruitment then we will look to provide a reception service at Blackdown House on a similar demand-led basis to that which we have announced for Exmouth Town Hall. We will give advance notice of this in due course."

"The council continues to operate an appointment system at both of its offices in Exmouth and Honiton for people to meet with officers and more details on how to do this can be found by visiting www.eastdevon.gov.uk/contact-us

Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon, said: “Cross-party pressure led to the council finally agreeing to reopen Exmouth Town Hall but it only adds to the case to fully reopen Blackdown House too. It is unfair to council taxpayers to keep the council office closed for residents in Honiton, Axminster, Seaton, Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Whimple and Cranbrook. I hope the council will rethink their indefensible decision to keep the council’s doors closed to the people who pay for it.”