Sewage shock for parading Sidmouth scouts

06:00 05 May 2014

St George

St George's Day Parade. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 0704-18-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Archant

DISGUSTED MP Hugo Swire has called for action after flash floods caused a ‘lake’ of stinking raw sewage to seep across Sidmouth seafront – as 300 children marched along the road.

Young scouts should have been saluting Mr Swire and civic leaders on The Esplanade as the pinnacle of their St George’s Day parade, but instead held hands and neckerchiefs over their noses because of the ‘unbelievable’ stench.

Effluent and used sanitary products were among filth that bubbled up from drains and encroached on the procession on Sunday.

The unsavoury incident happened at the end of a huge parade of scouts from across East Devon that was a success despite downpours.

Mr Swire was so outraged by the ordeal he has called on South West Water (SWW) to ensure the problem never happens again - a demand echoed by John Hollick, the chairman of Sidmouth Town Council.

Both were on The Esplanade to take the scouts’ salute.

“There was sewage all down the front with tourists there,” said Mr Swire.

“The stench was unbelievable. All the scouts came past holding their noses.

“We, if nothing else, are a tourist destination and to have this happen is wholly unacceptable.

“I am contacting South West Water to ask why this happened and to ensure 100 per cent it never happens again. It was completely horrific, disgusting.”

Cllr Hollick added: “It was a great lake of sewage.

“You could see it bubbling up through the manhole covers.

“The salute became a non-event.

“The kids were more concerned with not walking through it.

“At one stage the road was flooded on both sides – there was just enough room to walk down the middle, shoulder to shoulder. It was quite horrendous.

“I’ve never, in all of the 47 years I’ve lived here, seen it like that.

“It needs investigating. It shouldn’t happen again – but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

Gareth Hughes, chairman of the 1st Sid Vale Scouts who organised the parade, said no children came to any harm – but the incident did tarnish a successful event.

“It’s a shame for the kids that the parade had to finish that way,” he added.

A spokesman for SWW said crews were on-scene within an hour, adding: “We apologise that sewer flooding occurred at The Esplanade on Sunday.

“The intense downpours cause hydraulic overload in the system.

“The network was extensively cleaned in September, but the pipes in this area are suffering from a build-up of fat, oil and grease which reduces the ability of the sewers to cope with heavy rainfall.

“We will be visiting businesses in the area to remind them of their responsibilities not to dispose of fat down the sink and reviewing the cleansing regime in this part of the system.”

Pictures from the event can be found in the May 2 edition of the Herald.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

The public bus currently makes a regular visit to Slade Close. Ref sho 7132-06-15SH. Photo Simon Horn

Ottery’s town bus has been saved after strong opposition was voiced over its proposed withdrawal – but funding is still needed to secure its long-term future.

Read more
06:20
Marlene Coachman and Helen Gibson-West with their camper vans. Ref shs 3484-08-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A one-woman campaign to lift the ban on campervans in Sidmouth’s central car parks spiralled into a town-wide debate this week, writes Eleanor Pipe.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Port Royal in 1956

A project to tackle cliff erosion and protect Sidmouth’s shores needs residents to act as its ‘eyes and ears’ - and share their memories.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

An amphetamine user has been jailed for attacking a tourist with an axe in a completely random attack as he filmed flower displays at a seaside resort.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Independants Matt Booth,David Barratt,John Dyson,Dawn Manley,Tony Cox,Cathy Gardner and Marianne Rixson. Ref shs 3689-09-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Standing up for the valley, safeguarding the town’s hospital and voting against the development of Knowle are among the elements of a Sidmouth charter drawn up by seven district council hopefuls.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:22
Straitgate quarry plans aerial view

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of construction and infrastructure materials says it is looking to secure jobs in Ottery and East Devon, ahead of consultation meetings about its development of a new quarrying operation at Straitgate Farm.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder