Supporter of Folkweek

SIR - I was surprised to discover from D Johnson’s letter (Aug 20) that, as a supporter of FolkWeek, I am apparently in a minority of Sidmouth residents.

I have to say that my research over the last few days suggests otherwise. I have asked friends, acquaintances and anyone else who would listen what they think of FolkWeek and all of them, without exception, are in favour of it. Yes, it brings more people into the town – and thus an inevitable increase in litter – but it also brings badly-needed revenue to many businesses in the town. For some it is the difference between survival and bankruptcy, although D Johnson categorises this as “self-greed”.

As for the “gangs of undesirables”, “mindless disorder” and “real fear of local people to venture out”, one can only speculate as to the horrors D Johnson has witnessed. I personally feel safer on the streets during FolkWeek than I do during the other 51 weeks of the year!

I was also surprised to read, in the same letter, that my council tax is used to fund FolkWeek, so much so, that I contacted EDDC to inquire as to the level of this funding.

I was informed that EDDC makes no direct financial contribution to the Festival, nor has it done for several years, although the council does incur indirect costs through increased street cleaning, litter collection, etc. However, these costs would be incurred for any event held in the town.

May I suggest that, as D Johnson evidently finds FolkWeek so objectionable, he or she should consider taking a holiday elsewhere during the first week of August?

Joanna DeRemer

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