District council ‘should sell HQ’ says Exmouth mayor

EXMOUTH’S mayor, Councillor Darryl Nicholas, says the district council will have no choice but to work on a more equal basis with the town hall.

It follows the announced change of leadership at the district council this May and the possibility that East Devon’s Knowle headquarters could be sold to fill EDDC’s �2.4 million black hole.

A group of councillors have been tasked with finding the savings and one recommendation is relocating the Sidmouth headquarters.

Cllr Nicholas, also East Devon’s Exmouth champion, said: “The Governments agenda for localism, the up-coming financial re-adjustments and the decision of Sara Randall-Johnson to stand down after May are three key factors which ensure EDDC will have to adapt to the new way of doing business.

“If they do not understand the long-term importance of working on a much more equal footing with the town and parish councils then they are heading for the rocks.”

He added that the town council’s larger role in delivering services should not be underestimated: “A good start to this process would be to sell off Knowle and start finding ways for more EDDC staff to work in the towns and villages – providing direct personal contact and an easily accessible link between the local Council Tax payer and the services that they need. It will place EDDC at the heart of the communities it serves.”