Council open to ideas for future funding

10:00 28 May 2014

Archant

Residents are sharing their ideas for spending without limits as civic leaders create an ambitious vision for a future Sid Valley.

Town councillors want to know what individuals and groups would do with anything ‘up to a billion pounds’ as they prepare for future funding allocations.

Suggestions so far range from pedestrianising the whole of the town centre to building a wharf for docking boats – but ideas big and small are being invited from all walks of life.

Councillor Ian Barlow, who is behind the consultation, said: “Sidmouth is owed half a million pounds but ideas could be for a billion pounds – the whole point is trying to get people enthused.

“I joined the council because I always moaned nothing was getting done – now this is residents’ chance to get involved. I want to show them we are their council.”

He added: “We want a vision of the future – what do you want to see? We are giving people the chance to stand up and shout.

“We’ll take the ideas to a vote, then when everyone’s agreed we can all say ‘this is the scheme we are going to back’ – that’s democracy.

“We’ll have a project that the whole town is behind and we can go to developers, or Government or the Keith Owen Fund, and say this is what we want.

“Imagine them all pulling together.”

The consultation is for no specific funding due to come through – but councillors say they want to be ready with a ‘shopping list’ of ideas when it does.

The consultation could prove a second chance for schemes that failed to win backing before, such as a multi-use games area up at Stowford Community Centre, or to revive a particular part of town.

Suggestions are being sought for Sidmouth, Sidford, Sidbury and Salcombe Regis.

Councillors are offering to meet with representatives of community groups before they apply, which can be arranged by calling 01395 512424.

They are asking people to think about how ideas will improve the area, who it will benefit and what it will cost – but there is no upper limit.

All ideas must be received by Monday, June 30.

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