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

14:21
April Fools window at Pure Indulgence. Ref shs 5091-14-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Passers-by were appalled at an apparent smashed window at a town centre shop – but a closer look revealed it was a cracking April Fools Day trick!

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Take part in our General Election survey.

We want to know YOUR views ahead of the General Election - take part in our survey here.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Patient Participation Group chairman Di Fuller with members of the Sid Vale Association

Building work is almost complete and the Sid Valley’s new £2.1million surgery is set to open in early June – but a new funding bid is under way to improve the look of its car park.

Read more
Mon, 16:30
The former SES stationery shop of Sidmouth. Ref shs 7143-42-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The new owner of Sidmouth’s SES building has revealed how his ambitious plans to renovate the ‘eyesore’ have been tied in red tape for six months – with no end in sight.

Read more
Mon, 12:30
WESC intern Harry Roberts and manager Sharon Green

Working at charity shop and social enterprise gives visually impaired young people hands-on work experience – and has one intern aspiring to manage a store of his own.

Read more
Mon, 11:00
Jo Earlam from Tipton St john, who is running the New York marathon next month to raise money for 10 charities, seen here after completing her first marathon in London in 2005

The finish line is in sight for a long-distance runner who is set to clock up her 50th marathon just after a milestone birthday.

Read more
Mon, 06:37
Cllr Paul Diviani and Richard Cohen at the Knowle. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 8232-30-13AW

Controversial plans that will see the East Devon District Council (EDDC) sell its Knowle HQ to a developer and relocate from Sidmouth have been given the final go-ahead.

Read more
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Tommy Duffy

The community is pulling together to ensure the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of a homeless man are not repeated.

Read more
Sunday, March 29, 2015
XXXX

As a boy, he wore his grandfather’s medals with pride. Today, Colin Kingman tells the story of a man who overcame adversity to become a Victoria Cross holder.

Read more
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Aidan Corfield on the rugby themed obstacle course at the world cup warm up event at Sidmouth rugby club. Ref shs 4241-13-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Rugby Club put on a ‘spectacle of all levels’ with a family fun day.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder