I have been arguing that Exmouth should have an outsource centre, being the largest Town in Devon and is accessible by over 40% of the population of East Devon DC area since the discussions began on moving its headquarters from The Knowle, Sidmouth to more cost effective offices to reduce costs. EDDC is also using digital technology more. I am very pleased that this has now been confirmed by the last Cabinet meeting of EDDC.
The refurbishment has been brought forward as DCC vacated the top 2 floors. This was agreed at the last Cabinet Meeting. The building does need extensive works to upgrade it for modern offices and places where we meet the visitors – including a new boiler/heating system and new roof.
The housing needs and benefit teams have done some excellent work meeting face to face with people who are in difficulties. The Housing needs team is now doing excellent work in preventing people from becoming homeless making sure they have the correct benefits, the correct paperwork from landlords if they are being evicted – for several reasons not just rent arrears but also the Landlord wishes to sell the property etc. EDDC works very closely with landlords. We now have fewer people in temporary overnight accommodation now down to 4 per annum. Environmental Health have to visit the most food establishments within Exmouth and the surrounding area. Over 70 EDDC staff will be moving in. Digital working also means that we visit more people in their own homes or can fill in the necessary documentation on site.
The headquarters is proposed to be in Honiton on land EDDC already own. This will be modern offices. The building will have the up to date insulation etc making it much cheaper to run. EDDC has already reduced its back office staff and is working with other Councils in partnership to reduce administration costs. This is all to ensure we keep the frontline services that our residents wish to keep at a good quality. EDDC still has to make more savings as Government funding reduces another £2 million in the coming year.