Town council reaffirms its commitment to provide centre

Honiton councillors vow to hold district authority to account for withdrawal of land offer.

HONITON Town Council aims to call East Devon District Council to account for its decision to withdraw an offer of land for a proposed community centre complex.

Members of the town council’s policy committee said the decision, by the district authority’s executive board, which has since been ‘called in’ for review, went against a partnership agreement.

They have reaffirmed their commitment to providing the centre, saying “facilities are needed by the town”.

At a meeting, held behind closed doors last Monday night, councillors vowed to explore possible alternatives – including existing buildings, as well as land.

Minutes of the meeting reveal Honiton Town Council is keen to find out if funding set aside by the district authority for the project is still available.

Councillors said there is a need for disabled facilities within public buildings in the town and that they would continue to consult with residents over the community centre project.

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East Devon District Council withdrew an offer of land off Dowell Street after a town poll revealed the vast majority of those who took part did not want the town council to proceed with the scheme.

l Councillor Vivienne Ash has asked us to point out that a statement in last week’s Midweek Herald incorrectly reported that she was present during an East Devon District Council debate on proposed land for the community centre and left the room during the vote.

In fact, Miss Ash and fellow councillor Marion Olive declared an interest as soon as the item came up on the Executive Board agenda.

Both left the room for the entire debate and only returned after the vote had been taken.

They did not see the minutes of the meeting until they became publicly available.

l Members of the public will be allowed to speak at a special meeting of the district council’s overview committee on August 19.

The meeting is being held to look again at an executive board decision to withdraw an offer of land for the community centre.

Those wishing to speak must notify the district council in advance.