About those questions...

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:32 16 June 2010

Page 6 of your November 4 issue was sub-lined HTC answers your questions about the proposed Beehive Community Centre . Who, I ask, raised these questions? I find it most curious that no names or identities of the questioners were mentioned. It seems

Page 6 of your November 4 issue was sub-lined "HTC answers your questions about the proposed Beehive Community Centre".

Who, I ask, raised these questions? I find it most curious that no names or identities of the "questioners" were mentioned.

It seems to me that the "answers" were prepared before the "questions" were asked! I suspect that Honiton Town Council recognised an opportunity to publicise the steering group's views through your paper for free.

I served on the council for over five years and rarely missed a meeting. I do not recall any report from any councillor that the council had "consulted widely with the public" over this matter. I do, however, remember a well attended but divisive meeting at Mackarness Hall a few years ago.

Oh, and another thing. Where has all the money gone? I know that the Arts Council made a donation in excess of £80,000 to the Honiton Community Centre Association several years ago. An anonymous donor is known to have kicked in £60,000 towards architects' fees. And what has happened other than that the architects got their fee and designed a centre which has since been rejected - they must be laughing their socks off.

In my time on the council I worked hard to protect public money and to discover where and why it was expended. I was blanked on this particular issue at every turn. Thousands of pounds of public money has been expended, and for what? I was criticised in council at one point for refusing to endorse cheques pertaining to the community centre as I was unaware on what exactly the monies had been spent - the term "professional services" just does not cover it in my book.

Many thousands of pounds and still not a brick bought!

Richard Gaughan

Honiton Page 6 of your November 4 issue was sub-lined "HTC answers your questions about the proposed Beehive Community Centre".

Who, I ask, raised these questions? I find it most curious that no names or identities of the "questioners" were mentioned.

It seems to me that the "answers" were prepared before the "questions" were asked! I suspect that Honiton Town Council recognised an opportunity to publicise the steering group's views through your paper for free.

I served on the council for over five years and rarely missed a meeting. I do not recall any report from any councillor that the council had "consulted widely with the public" over this matter. I do, however, remember a well attended but divisive meeting at Mackarness Hall a few years ago.

Oh, and another thing. Where has all the money gone? I know that the Arts Council made a donation in excess of £80,000 to the Honiton Community Centre Association several years ago. An anonymous donor is known to have kicked in £60,000 towards architects' fees. And what has happened other than that the architects got their fee and designed a centre which has since been rejected - they must be laughing their socks off.

In my time on the council I worked hard to protect public money and to discover where and why it was expended. I was blanked on this particular issue at every turn. Thousands of pounds of public money has been expended, and for what? I was criticised in council at one point for refusing to endorse cheques pertaining to the community centre as I was unaware on what exactly the monies had been spent - the term "professional services" just does not cover it in my book.

Many thousands of pounds and still not a brick bought!

Richard Gaughan

Honiton


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