The building, which is owned by Devon County Council, was vacated last month and the 45 staff have been relocated to Tiverton.

The council wants to declare the building surplus to requirements, with a view to selling it.

However, I asked for this decision to be referred to cabinet last week and went along to speak in favour of delaying the decision.  My reason is because of the ongoing consultations relating to cuts to the library, children’s centre and youth centre.

Both the children’s centre and library buildings have been described as “unfit for purpose.”

And Devon County Council is inviting community groups to step in to take over such services.

I told Cllr Clatworthy that I had hoped for longer – such as six or eight months – but this was as far as he would go because of the running costs of the building and the council’s estates strategy.

Leader, Cllr John Hart added that declaring a building as surplus did not necessarily mean it would be put on the market quickly.

I am working with council officers to take this issue forward.

Here is the cabinet discussion (see the last item), which took place last Wednesday (14 May) – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/118256