Marina will be for the greater good of our town

SIR I despair of the bigoted attitude of some of your readers who appear to believe that all those who own boats are rich and hence should have no say in the future of Sidmouth.

SIR - I despair of the bigoted attitude of some of your readers who appear to believe that all those who own boats are rich and hence should have no say in the future of Sidmouth.As a resident who has worked very hard all my life in order to follow my hobby, I resent being castigated by those who assume that, because I own a boat, I am necessarily a rich layabout. Quite the contrary; I am not rich because I own a boat but I forego other pleasures - in which your other readers may participate - in order to enjoy my sailing.I note that some of your readers doubt the commercial viability of a marina at Sidmouth. To them I would point out that there is a real dearth of deep water marina berths in this part of the south coast and, provided the charges are affordable, then there will be no shortage of 'takers'. There will, undoubtedly, be a constant trail of visiting boats glad of another stop on the passage west to buy supplies, fill up their tanks and visit the local hostelries and restaurants. Exmouth will be no competition as its marina has a long waiting list and requires the bridge to be raised even if there were a berth.Why do we not take leaf out of the French book? They charge modest fees to encourage sailors into their harbours believing, as I am sure they are correct, that each berth is worth two jobs in the local community. These jobs include those in restaurants, clothing and engineering as well as the usual goodies, which other visitors take back home.I am not at all surprised Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce supports the creation of a marina - it would revitalise Sidmouth and create wealth to all of its inhabitants, regardless of whether they are sailors themselves or not.Let us get behind this project and help to revitalise Sidmouth with much needed opportunities.John BurgessWinslade RoadSidmouth


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