The following extracts are from a report published in this week’s Sidmouth Herald (Friday 31 Oct). In it, MP Hugo Swire expresses his fluctuating stance on EDDC’s move from Knowle, and offers some surprisingly unsubstantiated hopes.
‘The Conservative MP previously called for East Devon District Council (EDDC) to put on hold its controversial plans to relocatefrom Knowle, but he says now it is a ‘done deal’, the authority needs to ‘get on with it’. Speaking last December, Mr Swire said it would be prudent for EDDC to wait before committing to a costly move from Sidmouth to Exmouth and Honiton – which would take jobs outside of his constituency.
Last week, he told the Herald: “It has been generally divisive. My hope is that the jobs that are lost from the town will be replaced by those in the new development. I was not convinced by the case
for moving it. The council has made a deal with Pegasus Life and thinks it will save money in the long-run. Although the grounds of the Knowle are walked in, the building itself is not [currently used by the community]. I hope the people in the town will be able to use the facilities more.” ‘