Owl sees that relocating is expected to save £1.4 million over 20 years, according to a recent DevonLive article, mentioned earlier by EDW:
Owl wonders whether they are comparing Honiton to Knowle, or whether they are comparing the running costs of Honiton and Exmouth to Knowle. Is it apples with apples or apples with pears or apples with pears and jackfruit?
At a very minimum, the total cost of relocation was £10 million, but nearer £15 million is more likely, since all costs have yet to be fully accounted for.
So the putative savings per annum of £70,000 will not even cover the interest payments on the relocation debt and, if so, East Devon’s residents will be saddled with an increasing debt burden as the years go by. The relocation debt will almost certainly never be repaid – certainly not by the trivial cost savings achieved by the new building.
As most East Devon residents live on the coast, particularly of course Exmouth, and most of their councillors do likewise, Honiton is quite a remote location, certainly much less accessible than Sidmouth, particularly by public transport at appropriate times. So getting to the new HQ is more difficult and costly. It will be interesting to see how the travel expenses of staff and members compare to the Knowle years. Will the increased travel costs wipe out some or all of the £70,000 ‘savings’?
How long before Blackball (whoops, sorry Blackdown) House is deemed ‘not fit for purpose’? Judging by the inadequacy of the main chamber:
and the seemingly insurmountable parking and access issues, not to mention unpopular open-plan hot-desking and general inaccessibility, it would seem that day has already arrived.
Where shall we go next? Skypark? Cranbrook Town Centre? Exmouth seafront?
Perhaps PegasusLife could be prevailed upon to sell Knowle back to EDDC? With a refurbishment of the newer section of the Knowle and an extended “green” parkland to offset the global heating crisis, EDDC would probably be quids in.
AND, of course, with a ground source heat pump, up-to-date insulation, proper maintenance and warmer global temperatures, there would be none of those pesky utility bills EDDC were so secretive about when they were previously there!