EDDC wants us to donate to Sidmouth beach protection!

Presumably so their £10 million vanity relocation doesn’t have to be cut! Note: only Sidmouth beach management plan is being dealt with this way (so far) – no other town. We pay council tax – now we are expected to make donations! Though perhaps they will soon install a “make donations to our relocation” boxes in the Knowle reception!

“East Devon District Council is asking you to help fund a multi-million pound plan to protect the beach in Sidmouth. The council is appealing to residents and visitors to Sidmouth to help contribute financially to the town’s beach management scheme via a donation box on the seafront.

A £5.7million grant from central government will go towards delivering a scheme to protect the coastline. But a further £3.3m of partnership funding is required for the scheme.

A donation box and its accompanying explanatory sign has been designed to help visitors understand the role of the beach in flooding and coastal erosion and has been placed on Sidmouth seafront, and the public are being asked to donate to help fund it.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/donation-box-installed-on-sidmouth-seafront-to-help-raise-3-3million-for-coastal-protection-scheme-1-4984794

Sidford hustings: strong performance from Councillor Rixson (Independent EDA)

Best candidate for County Council? It’s your choice. Voting’s on 4th May!

The Devon County Council hustings at Sidford on Wednesday evening (19 April),brought together five of the six candidates vying for the Sidmouth division, which now covers the whole of the Sid Valley.

They are Jeannie Alderdice (Green), Ray Davison (Labour), Stuart Hughes (Conservative), Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance) and Richard Wright (UKIP). Only Lewis Ragbourn (Lib Dem) was unable to attend the event, which was Chaired by Cathy Debenham of the Sidford-Sidbury Residents’ Group.

A common thread for most candidates was “transparency, accountability and listening to residents”; concerns about cuts to NHS, social care, and education; and inappropriate development. Despite passionate speeches from Jeannie Allerdice (“EU environmental rules should apply post-Brexit”); Ray Davison (“Conservative austerity policy is past its sell-by date”);and Richard Wright (“countryside not concrete”), just two serious candidates emerged based on their respective records as serving councillors: Marianne Rixson, and Stuart Hughes.

Cllr Rixson has a solid reputation for thoroughness and efficiency, much appreciated by local people in the successful fight against the planned Sidford business park. Long-serving Cllr Hughes offered promises such as “the long-awaited Sidmouth traffic management plan”, and “funding for Alma Bridge” this year.

On the basis of this hustings, Caroline Lucas’ suggestion this week of an informal coalition of e.g. Greens, Labour and Lib Dems, against the Conservative Party machine, sounds a sensible idea.

A second hustings, arranged by the Vision Group for Sidmouth, is scheduled for 28th April , 7pm, in the cellar bar at Kennaway House. For details, see futuresforumvgs.blogspot.com Voting for this DCC election is 4th May, 7am-10pm.

DCC Hustings: Sidford tonight 7 pm

From Save our Sidmouth website:

Who do you want to represent us? Quiz Devon County Council candidates at hustings TONIGHT, 7pm, Sidford Social Hall

All six candidates have been invited to answer the public’s questions at tonight’s hustings, organised by the Sidford-Sidbury Residents’ Group. Don’t miss this chance to assess who will be your best choice.

Jeannie Alderdice (Green)
Ray Davison (Labour)
Stuart Hughes (Conservative)
Lewis Ragbourn (Liberal Democrats)
Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance)
Richard Wright (UKIP)

Whatever happens at national level, your vote at the local Devon County (DCC) elections on 4th May will affect your daily life. Sid Valley has experience of this, having being let down by a flawed County Highways report, which initially supported a proposed Business Park site at Sidford. The report was only re-assessed, and the proposal rejected, after massive public pressure inspired by meticulous research from our newly elected District Councillors and the Sid Vale Association (a founder-member of the Save Our Sidmouth, SOS, campaign).

As reported in the Sidmouth Herald (14 April 2017), the date limit for an appeal on the Business Park refusal expired on 27th March 2017. Richard Thurlow, Chair of the Sid Vale Association (SVA) Conservation and Planning Committee , is quoted as saying, “We were all delighted when the application was refused in September last year, but there was always the chance that the decision might be appealed. We can now feel relieved that this ‘Sword of Damocles’ has been lifted. However, the site still exists in the Local Plan as an ’employment site’ and we must still be aware that other proposals might come forward–and we must be prepared to fight them if they do.”
Meanwhile, South West Water began drilling boreholes on the ’employment site’ in January this year. Results of their testing for water quality, apparently relating to a possible new supply for a rapidly expanding Sidmouth, are awaited.

Who do you want to represent us? Quiz Devon County Council candidates at hustings TONIGHT, 7pm, Sidford Social Hall

Sidford Fields industrial estate: no appeal by developers … but

… stay on guard! It probably simply mean that they are formulating a new planning application to overcome objections. And they have very, very influential backers and allies.

And DO remember that it has been DCC candidate Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance) that saw off this application – not ex-Monster Raving Loony Party member and current Conservative candidate for DCC Sturat Hughes.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said it is now up to the landowner to consider future options for the site off Two Bridges Road.

However, the wider 12-acre plot has a strategic allocation as employment land in the authority’s Local Plan, so EDDC expects the site will be developed by 2031, according to a spokeswoman.

EDDC refused plans for the major development in September.

Councillors said the proposed development would harm the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, depend on ‘unsuitable’ roads and impact on neighbours without adequate mitigation.

A petition to ‘say no’ to the business park attracted more than 1,100 signatures and 384 objections were lodged with EDDC.

The applicants had until last Monday, March 27, to appeal the refusal.

The Sid Vale Association was among the opponents.

Richard Thurlow, its conservation and planning committee chairman, said: “We were all delighted when the application was refused in September last year, but there was always the chance that the decision might be appealed.

“We can now feel relieved that this ‘Sword of Damocles’ has been lifted.

“However, the site still exists in the Local Plan as an ‘employment site’ and we must still be aware that other proposals might come forward – and we must be prepared to fight them if they do.”

The landowner and applicant were approached for comment.

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/no-appeal-against-refusal-of-9-3-acre-business-park-outside-sidford-1-4975241

Sidmouth “red line” Save our Hospitals pics – Tory councillors conspicuous by their absence

Spot the Independent East Devon Alliance councillors: easy
Spot Tory councillors – impossible!

Plans for apartments at Sidmouth hotel ‘misleading’

“Town councillors fear they supported plans for eight apartments at a Sidmouth hotel on the basis of ‘inadequate and misleading’ information – after claims the properties could be sold into private ownership.

Permission for the apartments was granted in 2011 – when it was the Westcliff Hotel – after an application from hotel owner Nicolas James Group Ltd.

The new plans are in the name 
of Nicolas Roach, the company’s executive chairman.

Mr Page said: “The application implies it is all part of the Harbour Hotel, but it was submitted not by the hotel, but by Nicolas Roach.

“The proceeds will flow not to the hotel to support its viability, but to Mr Roach’s own pockets.

“What’s to stop further flats on the site when the Harbour Hotel directors decide it’s failed as a hotel? It’s prime land for residential development.”

Mr Page said the architecture was ‘banal and unworthy of the site’ and raised concerns that the apartment block has been moved three to five metres towards Peak Hill Road from its approved position, adding: “I think the application is unacceptable, whichever way you look at it.” …”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/plans_for_apartments_at_sidmouth_hotel_misleading_claim_1_4935203

East Devon Alliance’s Paul Arnott challenges Stuart Hughes

“A leading figure in the East Devon Alliance (EDA) is to challenge Sidmouth’s long-standing Tory representative for the town’s seat on Devon County Council (DCC) – with a Labour candidate also standing.

The alliance is fielding three independents to challenge seats in Sidmouth, Seaton and Colyton and Axminster – and the trio have presented a united voice in their promise to fight for transparency and NHS services.

Independents are hoping to see a repeat of their success in the district council elections of May 2015 – when they gained 10 seats across the region and ousted six Conservative councillors in the Sid Valley alone.

EDA Paul Arnott, former chaoorman of the group, will challenge Councillor Stuart Hughes for Sidmouth’s county council seat in the elections on May 4.

An East Devon resident of 20 years and former parish councillor, Mr Arnott is a father-of-four who runs a television production company, along with his wife Lydia, and has had three books published.

As a ‘passionate and outspoken’ defender of the NHS in East Devon, he promises to fight at county level to address the ‘major issues of health, social care and education’ which, he says, are ‘now a matter of urgent concern’.

The EDA says it supports independent candidates who are responsible, and answerable, to the electors, rather than a national party machine.

A spokesman said: “Like all local authorities, DCC is facing an unprecedented long-term loss of funding and jurisdiction. Once elected, Independent EDA county councillors will use their positions to campaign for fair funding for local services and ensure local democratic control – rather than allowing central government and corporations to increasingly privatise everything which affects our communities.”

Cllr Hughes – who is also the cabinet member for highways and represents Sidmouth at town and district level – confirmed he will stand for re-election as a Conservative. He pledged to provide a strong voice for the Sid Valley and give 100 per cent in his community leadership role, working with residents, groups and the town and district councils.

Cllr Hughes added that he will continue to champion the cycle and footpath links across the Sid 
Valley, fast implementation of the town’s flood alleviation scheme and work on the traffic management plan and Alma Bridge.

Labour’s Ray Davison has also confirmed he will be standing as a candidate for Sidmouth and believes the Tories will be under fire in the upcoming county elections because of the ‘refusal’ by central Government to provide more social care funding.

The father-of-three has lived in East Devon for more than 30 years and pledges to focus on issues of education, transport and education investment in the region.

Further candidates were yet to 
be announced.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/east_devon_alliance_s_paul_arnott_to_challenge_tory_stuart_hughes_for_county_seat_1_4926330