2. What are the main reasons for relocating?
The financial imperative for the council to move was a fundamental consideration in the decision taken by members. Like all public bodies, the council has a duty to live within its means, protect frontline services in so far as possible and ensure best value for council tax payers. The council recognises the need to operate from buildings which are affordable and cost efficient and the modelling demonstrates that the council will be much better off if it relocates and saving money from Day 1 of the move.
The detailed analysis also shows that in direct comparisons of operational expenditure between staying at Knowle (with no repairs) and moving to Honiton/Exmouth offices, there are savings of £6m over a 20 year period if the council moves.
Knowle is much bigger than the council needs and this ex hotel can only offer office accommodation/facilities which are outdated and not conducive to the way we work. Our new and refurbished office space will reflect our new ways of working and will include functional and usable areas with fully accessible, modern reception areas for our customers and visitors. There will be better facilities for our members including a fully functional council chamber better equipped with audio/visual equipment to support council business and the democratic process.
The decision to relocate to both Honiton and Exmouth provides the council with a unique opportunity to operate from its two largest towns.