“Brave Hugo”?

From today’s Sidmouth Herald Opinion page:

‘Regarding last week’s front page story about our MP Hugo Swire’s ‘big vision’ for Sidmouth sea front.

It should be noted that Sidmouth has successfully resisted all such overwrought ideas for 200 years. It is this above all else that gives the town such a unique character. It’s unmolested and historic frontage with the sea is not only its greatest attraction and income generator; it is why tourists, visitors, writers, artists, home-buyers come again and again.

It is hard to believe that Hugo (or anyone) truly believes that a multi-story car park and a marina must adorn the nation’s best preserved Regency sea front – and effectively ruin its character (see the East Devon Watch website for possible examples). Will our Westminster representative be remembered as the one to place the first carbuncle?

Is he immune to the messages of Sir John Betjeman, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning who all treasured the town’s character and spoke out against such cultural short-sitedness?

This is not a ‘brave’ vision Hugo, it is a tragic one.

Peter Nasmyth

(author of ‘Literature and Landscape in East Devon.’)’

Oh, naughty Hugo ….

… who boasts on “his” Twitter account that he got on to a “Leader Board” whilst doing a publicity stunt workout … only to have someone post below his photograph that, actually, as only 38 people took part in the challenge, EVERYONE got on to the “top 40” Leader Board!!!




Mrs Liverton throwing stones in a greenhouse…..

From a Sidmouth correspondent:

“How ironical that a letter in last week’s Simouth Herald from Mrs Ann Liverton, former EDDC Tory councillor, should accuse independent councillors of East Devon Alliance (EDA) of not supporting local farming. (30 October, Opinion, “Must do better”).

She seems unaware that a key motive for the creation of EDA in 2012 was to try to protect what was left of the District’s prime farmland from being concreted over in the frenzy of destructive development that was assailing it.

In 2008 it was Mrs Liverton’s Conservative group on East Devon District Council that voted to relax planning rules to make it easier for agricultural land in rural areas to be converted into “business parks” often housing noisy and polluting industrial activities.

In 2009 she was a member of the planning (“Development Management”) committee that gave the green light for the massive –and continuing- expansion of Hill Barton and Greendale Barton business parks.

Many residents of Woodbury Salterton in Raleigh Ward were brought close to despair by the consequent loss of farmland and the destruction of their quiet rural environment.

And, final irony, the EDDC councillor representing this ward at the time was Ann Liverton!”