Cliffs: will it take a death to get action?

MADAM - Hey Ho – no action on cliff erosion – so what s new? Once again it shows the complete lack of power in the hands of our elected members of Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council.

MADAM - Hey Ho - no action on cliff erosion - so what's new? Once again it shows the complete lack of power in the hands of our elected members of Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council.

I believe in local democracy, but the way things are stacked against the current system there is no point in placing trust in our elected members, however persuasive the arguments of Councillor Hughes. Clearly nobody who can make a difference is listening to the views of local councillors, residents or businessmen.

A Unitary Authority will have the power and then it will be up to local residents to fight hard for local causes. Those who shout loudest or who create the most havoc or bad publicity will get things done because elected members will do and say anything to get re-elected. It's laughingly called democracy.

I have come to the conclusion that nothing will get done about the cliffs East of the town until someone gets killed - even then I have my doubts. However, there are some things that residents can do, without wasting their time with councillors. One paragraph in the report on page five of the March 27 issue of the Sidmouth Herald states; "EDDC says, the National Trust which owns most of the coastline between Sidmouth and Branscombe has not been forthcoming".

I suggest Sidmouth residents show their disgust to the National Trust. And the local Chamber of Commerce can perhaps consider broadening out its membership to include residents without a business. We are all stakeholders in the future of Sidmouth and we rely on each other. Maybe this can be the focus of a new strong local lobbying group that will be able to make a Unitary Authority listen.

I also think the Sidmouth Herald (the only real bastion of local democracy in Sidmouth it appears) should sponsor a report showing the effects on Sidmouth of rising sea levels caused by global warming. The results can be presented in the newspaper and at a special conference held in the Manor Pavilion. I'm sure regional TV and radio would be most interested. Maybe that will wake up someone.

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