• Councillors deny £4.8m loan is needed for office move

    25th October 2013 | News | Claire
  • I raised the issue under the forward plan once again at last night’s overview and scrutiny meeting and asked that the office move be brought forward for scrutiny next month instead. I highlighted the question of Barry Sangster at Wednesday night’s full council meeting re the £4.8m loan, and said it was a scheme of significant financial risk that needed urgent examination.

    But several conservative councillors said that there was no truth in the statement relating to an £4.8m loan.

    Cllr Ray Bloxham said he had never heard of that figure. 

    Cllr Tom Wright said plans to move offices had not been conducted in secret and referred to the stakeholder event held earlier this year.

    He urged councillors to attend a briefing next week about it (before the cabinet meeting), which he thought would be very informative.  (The briefing, is of course, confidential!)

    Cllr Peter Halse agreed that he did not recognise the figure mentioned by Mr Sangster.

    Cllr David Cox (finance portfolio holder) replied that no decisions had been made about where the council was going and it was “misleading” to suggest £4.5m might have to be borrowed because EDDC may not have to borrow any money at all.

    But, if this figure wasn’t recognised by so many councillors, why did no one set the record straight at Wednesday’s full council meeting?

    The overview and scrutiny meeting was recorded so the discussion, which took place during the last agenda item – forward plan – will be available here in a few days – http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/overview_scrutiny_remit_agendas_mins.htm