Is a cost over-run of £1.1 million or £10 million more serious than a Section 106 loss of £250,000?

Owl asks because an elector successfully petitioned EDDC’s external auditor over Section 106 discrepancies. A sample found a wrongly-attributed bill of some £400,000 and an uncollected sum of around £250,000. As a result, the auditors have requested many changes in procedures:

Click to access item-12-management-of-s106-contributions-report.pdf

Now we hear at Cabinet this week that, in two years, development costs for Exmouth seafront have risen from £1.5 million to £3.2 million. Yet Cabinet apparently found this totally acceptable and, without detailed figures, nodded it through with no explanation of:

– what did the £1.5 million cover


– what does the extra £1.6 million cover.

Added to this, the projected cost of HQ relocation has risen from cost-neutral (zero due to sale of Knowle HQ for around £7 million) it is now said to be nearly £10 million – or at least that was figure a few months ago.

These are eye-watering numbers yet majority party councillors and auditors (internal and external) appear unconcerned.

Some scrutiny (internal and external) needed here, Owl thinks.