Council to publish next tranche of relocation information, covering period up to September 2016

East Devon District Council has taken the decision to withdraw its appeals against the Information Commissioner Office’s (ICO) decision, which ordered the council to release details of the bidding process for its council offices at Knowle, Sidmouth and the contract it has with PegasusLife, the buyer of Knowle. The council previously stated in November 2016 that the appeals were lodged due to the way the ICO handled these requests and because of the sensitivity of the information at that moment in time. With the PegasusLife planning application having been refused, it is considered that this sensitivity has now been reduced and that publication of the information is acceptable. In addition, the ICO, through the appeal process, has clarified that the council was right to question the way the decision was made and, as such, the council has now obtained much needed clarity on the position relating to the confidentiality of tendering processes, not just for Knowle, but for all its commercial activities.

Mr Jeremy Woodward has been provided with the information that he requested and copies of the documents in question will be available on the relocation pages on the East Devon website.

The council would like to reaffirm its commitment to publishing information relating to the relocation project as and when it is appropriate to do so. The next tranche of paperwork, which covers up to September 2016, should be available online very shortly.

Furthermore, we can confirm that there has been no cost to us - or East Devon taxpayers - for undertaking this appeals process. Each of the parties to the appeal agreed to bear their own costs and our costs were all internal.