EDDC watchdog calls for ‘independent’ Knowle survey

PUBLISHED: 14:58 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:37 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.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Rebecca and Philip Cooke have taken on the new venture at their farm in Sutton Barton, and are only a matter of weeks into their new journey.

Read more

Allan, who owned Allan Bright Sawmills and Son in Monkton, died on June 26 after fighting dementia for the last four years.

Read more
17:03

Seaton, Beer and District Branch of the RNLI thanks helpers and supporters for making the event such a great success

Read more
15:01

Residents are being asked to consider a link with Richmond - a rural port in western Queensland

Read more
13:01

The tradition sees lukewarm pennies thrown from the windows of several public houses and other buildings in Honiton.

Read more
10:10

Axminster showground packed for the community event in aid of two local charities

Read more
08:09

Pet labrador Suki gets the blame for causing yacht to sink

Read more
Yesterday, 17:36

County Council committee narrowly rejects calls to ask Jeremy Hunt to intervene in Honiton and Seaton inpatient beds closure plans

Read more
Yesterday, 15:01

The supported cause is Cots for Tots, the special care baby charity for St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol. which helps in transforming the lives of sick and premature babies and their families.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:03

Hospital League of Friends is delighted with the huge amount raised at the weekly Colyford sessions

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications