A Full Council meeting last night, that began with repeated warnings from senior Councillors about tough financial times ahead, terminated with a swift show of Tory hands which will result in a multi-million pound spend of public funds. The marketing of the Knowle, and pushing on with the relocation ‘ambition’, were voted mindlessly through with the Cabinet minutes.
Independent Councillor, Ben Ingham, had shrewdly said earlier,”I do not believe you know what you are doing”. Debate had been initiated by Independent Councillor Claire Wright and colleagues, but was persistently stifled by the Tories, with some appalling personal attacks and as Councillor Roger Giles had to point out in one instance, downright lies. The Council’s audio recording of the meeting will make interesting listening.
Not a single question from the public was answered.
Here’s a summary of the first question, from Ron Roberts of Exmouth, illustrating that objections to the relocation are not about nymbyism:
Before deciding on building offices on a new site, has the ‘Beyond Retail’ report (Nov 2013) been taken into account? It has the latest strategies for future-proofing towns, by concentrating business and services in existing centres. Examples are given where some Councils have decided to re-relocate back into the town, to benefit from the network of local services.
This interview with Mark Williams (no, not that one, sadly) explains the new thinking: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&ved=0CFcQtwIwBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DZbpkWZgAUmI&ei=u5IOU6XsDJCRhQfN9IDIBQ&usg=AFQjCNEdD8o9deN0-3tE6mfhXP9TXWwq9A&bvm=bv.61965928,d.ZG4