2. What are the main reasons for relocating?
The financial imperative for the council to move was a fundamental consideration in the decision taken by members. Like all public bodies, the council has a duty to live within its means, protect frontline services in so far as possible and ensure best value for council tax payers.
The council recognises the need to operate from buildings which are affordable and cost efficient, and the modelling demonstrated that the council will be much better off if it relocated, saving money from Day one of the move.
Detailed analysis showed that to remain at Knowle and carry out essential repairs would cost an additional £4.5 million over 20 years compared with the current costs. Relocating to our new headquarters in Honiton will generate savings of £1.4 million over 20 years compared with the current costs.
Knowle was much bigger than the council needed and the former hotel could only offer office accommodation/facilities which were outdated and not conducive to the way we work. Our new and refurbished office space reflects our new ways of working and includes functional and usable areas with fully accessible, modern reception areas for our customers and visitors.
There are better facilities for our members including a fully functional council chamber better equipped with audio/visual equipment to support council business and the democratic process.
The decision to relocate to both Honiton and Exmouth provides the council with a unique opportunity to operate from its two largest towns.