The following press release was issued today, 30/12/2014:
Last week, East Devon MP Hugo Swire informed the Press that he has asked East Devon District Council to put their Knowle relocation project on hold. He thinks that more intelligent ways of using the building should be more thoroughly explored; that he could not accept the loss of jobs going to Honiton; and that a number of his constituents had concerns about the relocation project’s figures.
He said that “This is not the time to do anything”… and added that EDDC should see how the structure of and funding for local government pans out before pushing on regardless with moving their office headquarters.
Save Our Sidmouth welcomes his comments, which closely reflect their own views.
We also welcome the similar views of prospective parliamentary candidate Cllr. Clare Wright and of EDDC Cllr. Graham Troman, both of whom argued strongly against the relocation plan at a full council meeting on the 17th December.
EDDC leader, Paul Diviani has apparently stated that he will not back down.
Save Our Sidmouth believes that the relocation plans are foolhardy in the present economic climate; are based on blind ambition, rather than detailed analysis; and that the costs of the move have been underestimated. We have been constantly pointing out the deficiencies in the relocation project for over two years.
Although EDDC refuses to reveal the full cost of the move, it is now evident that the recent decision to go ahead has been based on manipulated figures of “cost savings” over 20 years which have no foundation in reality.
Naturally, we applaud the desire of EDDC to become more efficient, but we believe that relocation, based on spurious arguments and figures, will not be cost neutral as EDDC maintain.
The move, if it goes ahead will be a disaster for East Devon.
Chair, Save Our Sidmouth
For Hugo Swire’s statement in detail, and links to further comment, go to http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/mp_swire_put_eddc_hq_relocation_on_hold