Community has 6 months to bid for Sidmouth’s Drill Hall

“Community groups have been given six months to make their submissions by January 11, 2019.

Exeter-based JLL, have been appointed by East Devon District Council as property marketing advisor, and will be offering advice and taking bids from non-commercial organisations immediately.

In the autumn, the company will open the bidding up to commercial property sector who will have only three months to put forward a bid.

Councillor Jeff Turner, of Sidmouth Town Council, said: “I’m pleased to see that the six month period has now started for the local community in Sidmouth to come forward with any ideas they may have.

“This commences the next stage of the process in finding a way forward for this area of the seafront which is of significant interest to a great many people in Sidmouth.”

It follows 18 months of consultation, which included a scoping study around the town’s Port Royal area to find out what the community would like to see there.

EDDC also carried out a marketing exercise to see about the possibility of adding attractions such as a high quality restaurant/bar development or something similar.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “As a result of hearing what local people wanted and also acknowledging the constraints of the site including increased risk of flooding, a lack of financial viability in relation to large scale mixed use development and existing covenants, it was agreed that the original proposals should be ruled out.”

Cllr Philip Skinner, Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council and its economy portfolio holder, said: “I’m delighted that we are now able to offer this opportunity for the local community in Sidmouth to come forward during the next six months with their ideas for the site.

“Our property advisor will be available to offer guidance to interested parties and I look forward to seeing a range of proposals when the marketing period concludes in January next year.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/bids-now-open-to-redevelop-sidmouth-s-drill-hall-1-5580801

EDDC street trading policy backfires

From “Positive Development for Everyone in Seaton” Facebook page:

“Seaton Markets in 2018 have been CANCELLED.

In view of the recent discussions and correspondence between the Market Organisers and Licensing Officers of East Devon District Council, both the Seaton Branch of the Royal British Legion and Seaton Lions Club have decided with regret, that they cannot proceed with organising Seaton Charity Street Markets in 2018.

These were going to take place on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May, Bank Holiday Monday 28th May and Sunday 15th July. Seaton Carnival Committee have yet to meet to discuss their proposed street market.

This of course will be a financial loss to the charities of between £400 and £800 per market. We have also had the expense of paying DCC Highways a road closure fee of £75 per market.

There will also be a financial loss to Seaton. We estimate that visitors on a market day spend at least £25,000 throughout the town. They patronise the pubs, cafes, coffee shops, ice cream sellers, fish and chip shops, souvenir shops, tramway and Jurassic Centre. This money will not now be spent locally to Seaton, perhaps not even in East Devon.

Although the Act of 1982 is still in force, EDDC interpretation of the requirements since October 2017 have changed. They have introduced a Street Trading Policy which prints out at 20 pages and covers everything possible, putting all of the responsibility onto the market organiser. The policy absolves EDDC of all responsibility. There is also a further 3 pages of another policy for the market organiser. Both of these policies hold the threat of prosecution if the organiser does not comply with the requirements.

The question is why would anyone want to organise a street market when they fully understand the responsibilities which are being passed onto them by EDDC.

EDDC have then combined this with a six page application form which has to be accompanied by an insurance policy, a letter giving permission to use this policy and a map which details exactly where every trader will go in the area being applied for 30 days BEFORE THE EVENT.

EDDC are also asking for proof of permission from the land owner. In the past was DCC Highways but now includes EDDC Street Scene.

To accompany this application EDDC are asking for each trader attending to complete a two page application form, submit photos of their stall and include insurance and hygiene certificate details. They have specified that the hygiene certificate should be level 3, this level applies to restaurants.

If you add all of this paperwork up, it now comes out at over 150 pieces of paperwork for an average street market. Last year we submitted a three page application form and insurance details, that was it.

We also now have to complete a six page application form from EDDC Street Scene which by the way doesn’t co ordinate with the Licensing application form. Street Scene are also asking for a £35.20 fee,so although EDDC Licensing are generously waiving the £20 license fee, it has been substantially increased in 2018 by another department.

The Seaton Charity Street Markets have been held four times a year for over 30 years. They are all organised by volunteers. EDDC increased regulation has turned the organising of a street market into a full time task fraught with extra responsibilities.

It feels as though EDDC have decided to shut down the street markets using over regulation to do so.”

Danger of Exmouth’s “temporary” attractions

Letter in Exmouth Journal:

“There is very important meeting at the Town Hall on Tuesday 6th March at 10 am.

The future of Queens Drive is at stake. Do not be deceived by the description that the planning application is for 12 months only and is “temporary”.

Our Town Council has been bullied and harassed by EDDC paid officials and members of the Regeneration team to try and force this through using the threat of dereliction if they don’t get their way.

This plan reduces the play and recreation of this area to about a quarter. The bulk of the site is to be cheap food outlets and a big screen and spurious as yet unnamed and untested events. To this end to also force the issue EDDC has signed a contract for some play equipment and hired an events manager without consulting our elected representatives.

This area up to now has been protected by the Masterplan for Play and Recreation. Even in the wonderful, could now say fantastical, plans in Reserved Matters last year there is a huge area put aside for water play and other recreational activities. All this can now be lost forever if this so called “temporary attractions“ application goes through in its current form.

If you care about our Seafront, send someone to this meeting. We must stand up to bullying. We must stand up for democracy and above all we must continue to stand up for our lovely Seafront.

Sally Galsworthy, Exmouth”

Given its large subsidy to Thelma Hulbert Gallery, should EDDC now save Exmouth museum?

“Exmouth’s museum faces a race against time to raise £200,000 if it is to secure the town’s heritage.

If the six-figure sum cannot be raised, the museum’s Sheppards Row home could be sold on the open market and the town may lose some of its historic artefacts, such as the original mechanism from the seafront clock tower.

Landowner South West Water (SWW) is looking to sell the Victorian building after the museum’s lease expired at the end of 2017.

The Museum Society of Exmouth has been told it needs to raise at least £130,000 to buy the building, but has set its sights on £200,000 to allow them to undertake ‘much needed’ renovation works.

Brian Leader, steward organiser at the museum, has warned that if the money isn’t found, the artefacts could either be transported to other museums out of town or may even have to be ‘dumped’.

He said: “The museum contains a unique collection of artefacts and documents dating back hundreds of years to the present day – to lose this would be unthinkable.

“If we were not able to raise the funds, we would probably have to distribute the artefacts to other museums.

“The town would definitely lose them and they could be dumped because we haven’t got anywhere to store them.

“We’re pushing for £200,000 because we need to do a lot of work to it. …”

http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/exmouth-museum-to-launch-200k-fundraising-bid-1-5378010

Council 2018-2019 budget – many elephants in the room!

Recent comment on “pay to pee” article (below):

“Notice the contradiction here: one councillor says the idea is not being looked at, another group of councillors say town and … [quote from original article]

Might I suggest that there is fake news (or misdirection).

Instead of concentrating on the big savings – the biggest costs/budgets under management, we are being misdirected to something we actually understand (don’t forget the seaside towns are over endowed with the elderly, whose needs include lavatories) so that we can gain a small ‘win’ by demanding the facilities, so that we forget the elephants in the room. And there are several of them.

A gallery that only Councillor’s want.
A move of headquarters that only Councillors want.
A drastic reduction in healthcare services, that only Councillors want.
Seafront developments that only Councillors want.

William of Occam would say I have over-made the point.

Do you suppose there is a picture developing here?

I could add the absolutely fantastic budget demand coming from a Police body that has a management cost out of all proportion to its actual size. You could make significant savings by firing the bosses and not lose any quality of service?

And what about getting rid of the LLP [LEP] which, in my view, has achieved precisely nothing since it was created (except increase the salaries of the leaders although they have yet to achieve any results). That would make some tidy savings.

Maybe we can afford a health service after all!”

BBC to highlight ‘Save Our Devon Seafronts’ campaign this Thursday (27 July). Port Royal, Sidmouth, will be featured.

“Campaigners from Devon’s seaside towns have united in an initiative to ‘Save Our Seafronts’. Sidmouth is included. This Thursday, BBC Radio Devon breakfast show will include an interview with Sidmouth Councillor Matt Booth, one of the four East Devon District Councillors who are leading the 3Rs campaign for an alternative vision for Por Royal – Retain,Refurbish,Reuse’.

The debate may continue on the radio lunchtime phone in programme (tel 0345 301 1034) and possibly on Spotlight TV on BBC 1 that same day.”

BBC to highlight ‘Save Our Devon Seafronts’ campaign this Thursday (27 July). Port Royal, Sidmouth, will be featured.

A tale of two seaside towns

Exmouth

BIG seafront development plans, unpopular with locals, lots of income for land-holding EDDC and big income potential, quick tender and choice of partner:
http://www.devonlive.com/here-s-what-the-exmouth-seafront-development-will-look-like/story-30067091-detail/story.html

Seaton

SMALL seafront development plans, popular with locals, almost no EDDC land- holding or big income potential, no tender, no progress:
http://www.devonlive.com/multi-million-pound-seaton-seafront-redevelopment-plans-revealed/story-30194330-detail/story.html

Gung-ho Exmouth, inertia on Seaton

If anything illustrates EDDC as business-led rather than resident-led this is it.