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EDDC relocation update . Latest resolve to proceed with move to Honiton, based on increasingly shaky ground.

EDDC last night agreed on a ‘spend now, pay later’ plan, by rubber-stamping a move to Honiton, despite having no sale in place for Knowle.

More info and relevant issues noted here : http://futuresforumvgs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/knowle-relocation-project-and.html


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Who do you want to represent us? Quiz Devon County Council candidates at hustings TONIGHT, 7pm, Sidford Social Hall

All six candidates have been invited to answer the public’s questions at tonight’s hustings, organised by the Sidford-Sidbury Residents’ Group. Don’t miss this chance to assess who will be your best choice.

Jeannie Alderdice (Green)

Ray Davison (Labour)

Stuart Hughes (Conservative)

Lewis Ragbourn (Liberal Democrats)

Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance)

Richard Wright (UKIP)

Whatever happens at national level, your vote at the local Devon County (DCC) elections on 4th May will affect your daily life.  Sid Valley has experience of this, having being let down by a flawed County Highways report, which initially supported a proposed Business Park site at Sidford. The report was only re-assessed, and the proposal rejected, after massive public pressure inspired by meticulous research from our newly elected District Councillors and the Sid Vale Association (a founder-member of the Save Our Sidmouth, SOS, campaign).

As reported in the Sidmouth Herald (14 April 2017), the date limit for an appeal on the Business Park refusal expired on 27th March 2017. Richard Thurlow, Chair of the Sid Vale Association (SVA) Conservation and Planning Committee , is quoted as saying, “We were all delighted when the application was refused in September last year, but there was always the  chance that the decision might be appealed. We can now feel relieved that this ‘Sword of Damocles’ has been lifted. However, the site still exists in the Local Plan as an ’employment site’ and we must still be aware that other proposals might come forward–and we must be prepared to fight them if they do.”

Meanwhile, South West Water began drilling boreholes on the ’employment site’ in January this year. Results of their testing for water quality, apparently relating to a possible new supply for a rapidly expanding Sidmouth, are awaited.


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More ineptitude by EDDC Cabinet as the relocation project limps on?

Will Paul Diviani’s Cabinet* be shown to have chosen the worst option for taxpayers last night?  Their recommendation to Full Council is to move to Honiton, despite having no Knowle sale agreed and with no guarantee of what price the current site will eventually fetch. This situation, and the obligation to now take out a loan, smacks of continued clumsy handling of the ‘ambition’ to relocate. Whether or not Pegasus Life has lost interest, any potential buyer of the Knowle, one of Sidmouth’s prime and prized sites, is set to drive a hard bargain.

As the Sidmouth Herald headlined last week, the figure for the famously declared   “cost neutral” Council HQ move, has now topped £10,000,000. And not a brick for the Honiton newbuild has yet been laid ……

Related information at links below:

https://saveoursidmouth.com/2016/12/22/eddc-relocation-has-hallmarks-of-a-dodgy-project-full-council-is-advised/

https://saveoursidmouth.com/2017/01/18/council-chambers-compared-continued-would-seating-capacity-be-fit-for-purpose-at-proposed-new-honiton-hq/

http://futuresforumvgs.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/knowle-relocation-project-district.html

and on EDDC website:

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/access-to-information/historical-information/relocation-project-documentation-archive/project-document-archive/

*Current Cabinet membership, as listed on EDDC website:
Iain Chubb, Conservative
Paul Diviani, Conservative – Leader of the council
Jill Elson, Conservative
Andrew Moulding, Conservative – Deputy leader of the council
Geoff Pook, Independent
Philip Skinner, Conservative
Ian Thomas, Conservative
Phil Twiss, Conservative
Eileen Wragg, Liberal Democrats
Tom Wright, Conservative