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


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.


Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:30

Chance to enjoy tea at the top of Golden Cap.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A fun session has been lined up at Colyton Library in half term

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

The festive season gets under way in Axminster when the ‘Cards for Good Causes’ shop opens its doors on Monday, (October 24).

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A donation of £500 has been made to Stockland Primary Academy’s new library by Honiton and District Lions Club.

Read more
Fri, 17:30

Honiton Senior Voice has launched a campaign to reverse the proposed hospital bed closures put forward by NHS NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Read more
Fri, 15:00

Plans for Uplyme’s long-awaited new primary school have been given the go-ahead.

Read more
Fri, 11:00

Music filled St Paul’s Church in Honiton as two choirs sang at a charity concert.

Read more
Fri, 07:00

Herald readers are being asked to help track down the family of a woman who was remembered on a memorial seat.

Read more
Thu, 15:00

More than 100 people squeezed into Honiton’s Mackarness Hall to lead the fight on a consultation that is proposing to close the town’s inpatient beds.

Read more
Thu, 11:30

There’s just a few days to go to Exmouth Means Business – the one-day networking event, aimed at businesses from Exmouth, East Devon and Exeter.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications