“The East Devon Alliance campaign group has long argued that the relocation project has had an air of “secrecy” surrounding it and has questioned why the council’s financial case has “never been fully revealed”.
Now, the group has welcomed the decision for reports into the “relocation financial model calculations and assumptions” to be made public: An internal report into the relocation figures by Andrew Ellins, audit manager of the South West Audit Partnership, and by external auditors Grant Thornton, will be made available to members of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny and Audit and Governance committees ahead of their joint meeting to discuss the findings on March 5.
… [EDA member] Mr [Tony] Green welcomed the forthcoming publication of the reports but criticised the time it’s taken for the financial case behind the controversial project to be scrutinised and revealed.
“There’s been a whole lot of secrecy surrounding the figures and a lot of suspicion about the move,” he said. I would have welcomed a detailed report a couple of years ago before the decision was taken to move. It’s extraordinary that it’s been left until the eleventh hour for auditors to look at the data in detail.
There was definitely a feeling at the meeting that the committee were waking up to the sheer scale of what could go wrong, and there was a genuine effort to get to the bottom of figures they had previously taken on trust.”
At the meeting, former chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, Richard Eley, questioned the council’s annual energy consumption prediction of around eight per cent increase a year. Mr Green added that the estimation was “ridiculous” and annual costs would be more like a two – four per cent increase.”
PS: Just because we’re divorced it doesn’t mean we don’t still love ’em!