Reckless …

17 Feb

Letter from Beryl Temple:

East Devon District Council’s cabinet decision to re-locate its offices to Skypark (or else ClystHouse which is larger than Knowle although its offices are older than the purpose-built ones at Knowle) represents yet another phase of an ill-thought-out project taken in the face of common sense, in direct opposition to the wishes of the people of East Devon and in reckless disregard of the financial risks and costs involved.Public assets are to be sold off right left and centre to fund a move to an area which is almost outside the limits of the district – these include Knowle, with its historic house and precious community asset, its purpose-built modern offices, together with the best of its heritage park, plus the Manstone site and the Heath Park site at Honiton; and hubs are to be set up around the district, all adding to the enormous costs incurred so far, not to mention the huge borrowing costs over the next few years.No doubt, too, building costs will rise as in nearby Dorchester, North Somerset and elsewhere. Moreover, jobs will almost certainly be lost to East Devon residents, these being taken by people nearby in Exeter. (I gather, too, that in a recent “survey”, current staff did not vote for the move to Skypark and they were not even allowed to vote for the option of staying at Sidmouth).And what is all this for? EDDC claims it will save council-tax payers money. And if it doesn’t, who will pay? You got it – we the taxpayers. Perhaps, if the Cabinet, the leader and Mr Cohen, for instance, were prepared to underwrite any loss, we might be convinced, but we see no reason to trust their maths, especially as they were unable even to count the number of jobs that would be lost to workers from Sidmouth and have signally failed to estimate the costs of renovating the purpose-built 1980s offices at Knowle or to consider selling/renting the historic hotel building to fund this.

Why has there been no independent survey done on the current offices?

In the meantime the EDDC has failed in its duty of care in maintaining its present offices over the past few years with the result that it has inflated the costs of repairs. Was this deliberate or sheer neglect?

It was clear, when EDDC announced the optional sites for re-location, that a key consideration was the “need” for a business centre which presumably will be incorporated into the new offices.

Why is this?

Read more: http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/opinion-Council-ill-thought-financially-reckless/story-20642736-detail/story.html#ixzz2tZzbaWms

5 Responses to “Reckless …”

  1. Tim February 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    What is the betting that EDDC are cutting back on maintenance at The Knowle in an effort to make its retention less attractive. If think they wouldn’t use such dirty tactics then look at what they did with Elizabeth Hall in Exmouth.

  2. Cattitude February 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Unfortunately, it will be very cold by May 2015 but none the less satisfying.

    Anyone else willing to vote for Independents, Greens and Lib Dems at the next election? This has to be a better choice than the donkeys in charge at present!

  3. Michael Temple February 18, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    One possible answer is that EDDC intend to return to “business as usual”, as in the heyday of the councillor who chaired the Local Plan Panel while also being the Chairman of the Business Forum, which was an unelected “joint body” representing mainly large developers.
    Is this what the people of East Devon voted, and will vote, for?

  4. Not A Developer February 18, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Yes, I can well imagine pland being drawn up for an “East Devon Residents Forum” made up of people from the defunct EDBF perhaps, who, with full funding from the council of course, will replace us as “the voice of the people” at Shytepark.

  5. C Gibbins March 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Councils are notorious for throwing away money carefully saved by us the community charge payers. This project already stinks because of the refusal of the Tory councillors to have a proper debate and the bully tactics towards our honourable independent and lib dem councillors who were also voted in. It has been suspiciously rushed through.Try running a business in the real world and you would surely fail and that’s a certainty. Easier to spend someone else’s money than than your own.Over staffed on the so called top end should be severely cut back then we would have funds for essentials like maintenance and social services and getting things done for the good of the community.

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