Wednesday 3rd June
The motion to delay the Knowle Sale by 6 months was placed before Full Council by Cllr Cathy Gardner and Cllr Matt Booth. They both presented very reasoned cases for the delay and were conciliatory in their approach. They stressed Transparency to the residents of East Devon and in particular Sidmouth. They did not oppose the move merely asked for more time to allow greater consultation to ensure that the Council made the right decision.
The reaction was set by Cllr Williamson who insisted that as the decision had already been validated by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (with a set of “independent” auditors) there was no need to delay – in fact he maintained that there was a need for greater speed. Other speakers opposing the motion spoke of the need to move and how inappropriate the current building was.
Tories – you just don’t get it! It is recognised that the current buildings are not fit for purpose AND SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE – but what that is and how due process is applied is the central issue in this motion.
Previous Committees and Councils sanctioned a move to Sky Park – not a mention of that! Then a sudden concept of two premises – why the change?
The appeal to the Freedom of Information request was scathing of the Council – no acceptance of that or any explanation of what was so important within the papers that they could not be released – I doubt most Tory members had even read (or been able to read) them.
Reference to election results and other “facts” but no concept of the Perception of the public – they rightly feel marginalised.
Tories – you seem to have forgotten that you serve your community – these assets are not yours – they are not even EDDC’s – they are owned by the Council Tax Payers of East Devon – you merely act as temporary custodians in the passage of time. You MUST consult with your Community – you have failed to do this as on other occasions. You were given the opportunity last night to make a fresh start with Openness and Transparency – you rejected that offer with your customary arrogance.
The motion was defeated by a recorded vote – this may come back to bite you!