If Donald Trump discovers what Taunton Deane intend to spend on their old HQ he will probably go into tweeting overdrive, blame it all on the media, and accuse me of wiretapping Councillor Williams office. Thankfully, back here on Planet West Somerset, we can see through the fake news! I am greatly obliged to the Assistant Chief Executive of our councils for providing the unvarnished truth about the Deane House refurbishment programme. We already knew that Taunton Deane wanted to borrow over £5million pounds and would probably shell out £7.5millions and more. But the advocates argued that it would all be worth it because the value of the property was certain to increase and there would be tenants, the Police, helping to pay the bills. The facts, however, are different. Mr Lang replied to a recent email with his usual candour and has let the cat out of the bag:
From: Bruce Lang <BDLang@westsomerset.gov.uk>
Subject: RE: DEANE HOUSE REFURBISHMENT
I have been advised that the market valuation of Deane House following the proposed refurbishment works and anticipated lettings is £5.1m.
Assistant Chief Executive and Monitoring OfficerTaunton Deane Borough and West Somerset Councils
Tel: 01984 635200
In other words, the value of the tired old building, even AFTER they’ve spent millions tarting it up….and including the rent they hope to get from tenants, is £2.4millions LESS than what they’ve earmarked for the refit. This is lunacy. If they can’t do simple maths in Taunton how on earth can they be trusted to run West Somerset Council?