Local people and businesses in a coastal Devon town are being asked to help pay towards the cost of a new £9m flood defence scheme.
Sidmouth’s eastern cliffs, which protect the town from flooding, are vulnerable and eroding at the rate of about a metre a year.
East Devon District Council is asking locals and businesses to contribute £3m towards the project.
But many locals do not see why they should pay, and are accusing the council of having wasted time and money over the last decade, “fiddling while Rome burns”.
“East Devon District Council is completely committed to this project. We have already invested over £500,000 of our own money into the research, investigations and all the other necessary work that is done. If we can find another £3m, we can then unlock funding just under £6m from Defra, who are the primary agency concerned with flood protection.”
Environment Porfolio, East Devon District Council