Those that serve

SIR - I am one of the many serfs that make the whole town work, and work we do, shop assist, look after you and your grannies most intimate needs, defibrillate and rescue causalities on Fore Street and wherever else needed, wipe bloody noses of the much-maligned, high-spirited youths of the town on their way home from the only night spot in town, deliver your prescription, take away your refuse, fight your fires, mow your lawn, paint your walls, fix your boiler and service your car, deliver the post, take away and bring food and drink to your table at your favourite hostelry.

As for the constabulary, Sgt Andy Turner and his entire team are outstanding and dedicated to the community. Resources allowing, they could do so much more, sadly, however, their priority will always be the protection of life and limb before public property and ornamental plant pots. Drunk and reckless driving in rural areas is rife and a serious risk, they must, and do, protect the community from its most deadly threats.

In addition, their record for bringing convictions against recreational drug dealers (another generally unrecognised blight in rural communities, of which we are not immune) is commendable.

We have high-quality professional services, Accountants, Solicitors, Bankers, Estate Agents, General Practitioners, Vets and Dentists, all in tune with the demands and needs of the local market.

As for education, Independent and State, we have great schools from early starters to older ones, actively and intelligently tackling future challenges. We have a well-regarded International School, which brings valuable and not well-appreciated business and seasonal employment to the town.

I say, away with the naysayers and doom mongers’, ours is a beautiful, thriving, creative, bustling town, not a museum preserved solely for the diminishing ‘Rationing Generation’, the blue rinse brigade, who have so long dominated our politics, but quietly preparing for the rule of the ‘Baby Boomers’, well-travelled and discerning, shorts and sandals and not tweed for dinner, who value valet parking in higher regard than the poor effort at silver service by well-intentioned and hardworking eastern Europeans and other welcome members of our great commonwealth.

I trust the Baronial elite of Sidmouth, they have no intention of allowing it to become a ‘clone’ town, they fought off Bill Butlin in the 70’s and recognised that Tesco Express would be no more than a convenience store at the top of town.

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Costas arrival is great, as for Wetherspoons, bring it on; we needed a sit down Chinese more than we needed a bar. Tim Martin (Chairman and founder of Weatherspoons), although veracious, is not a stupid man, the days of the all-day drinkers in Sidmouth died with the demise of the Marlborough, Dove Inn and Mermaid. The hypocritical mourning of the loss of Woolworths on the High Street (a FTSE 100 branded chain store) is an example of the short-sightedness of many newcomers.

By the way, whilst I might seem like a bleeding heart liberal, I would gladly welcome a covert cull of the Herring Gull colony that oppresses us all and contributes more to the sleep deprivation of most town dwellers than a few wayward youths enjoying a night out.

Yes, build a multi-storey car park next to the swimming pool as an integral part of the future redevelopment of Port Royal (it worked in Brixham), relocate the Health Centre to the Knowle, provide care for the lost and homeless (as a seafaring town it is a long tradition), for God’s sake, The Riviera Hotel was a Doss House in Victorian Times.

Why can’t some members of our generally affluent, diverse, happy and well provided for community simply appreciate what they have and who actually provides it.

(Interesting fact, Sidmouth has, per capita, the highest employment rate of adults with learning difficulties in Western Europe, thanks to our abundance of hospitality business, who did you think washed the dishes, Doh! ?)

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