Councillors put forward motion to suspend sale of Knowle site for six months
An Extraordinary meeting of East Devon District Council to debate the office relocation has been requested by 15 newly elected independent councillors.
The meeting, which will be open to the public, will take place at Knowle on Wednesday 3 June at 6.30pm.
Full council will debate a motion to suspend all processes relating to the sale of the Knowle site for six months, in order that a number of actions can be carried out:
- Comprehensive plans to be produced, showing the distribution of services between the two proposed alternative office sites of Honiton and Exmouth and the impact of this on staff, service users and residents.
- Full consultation with East Devon staff on the details of the move and the impact of the office relocation.
- Full public consultation for three months on the proposal to build a new office in Honiton and refurbish Exmouth town hall.
- Examination of further options for office refurbishment and location by a sub-committee comprising 12 elected members with cross-group proportional representation.
- Full council to review and approve fully costed proposals for the entire relocation process including the new build, refurbished premises, removal, parking, equipment and facilities.
- Full council to consider in detail the implications and effect of the recent Freedom of Information cases.
Councillor Paul Diviani said:
While I am mindful of the fact that full council debated and approved the council’s relocation back in March and that internal and external stakeholders gave the proposed move a clean bill of health, this issue needs to be debated as quickly as possible, in order that the council can move forward and embrace modern working practices, which will reduce operating costs and prove an investment for the future.
This motion is part of the democratic process and, as such, can happen at any time. It is not unusual for a council that is considering relocating to go through this procedure.
We have already consulted with our staff, but we are happy to debate the relocation in further detail at the request of councillors who have been elected on this single issue, which was part of their manifesto commitment. Our ultimate intention is to provide the best solution for the people of East Devon and our staff.