Time to act now!

SIR- With reference to the excellent letter in last week’s Sidmouth Herald ‘Green Outcry’ the sleepy town of Sidmouth is beginning to wake up! I also write as a resident of Sidmouth, an individual with a voice.

It is still not too late for everyone and anyone who feels strongly that the draft Local Plan is inappropriate and needs revising to act NOW. We must stop the deals that are going on behind closed doors and have fair democracy.We must stop the AONB being gobbled up by greedy developers because new Government legislation has made it even easier for them to do so.We must save the parkland which is our responsibility to care for.

The SOS meeting at the Manor Pavillion on Thurs night will have ongoing repurcussions and action. The site at Alexandria Rd has apparently been allocated for a supermarket, the land belonging to Sir John Cave at Sidford has probably already been promised to Fords for 12 acres of industry.

We only have seven Sidmouth councillors on a team of 50+ to represent us on the EDDC, so they need all our support right now. The STC also feels helpless but supportive in this groundswell of feeling and activity from various local groups.

So what can YOU do?

1. Join the Sid Vale Association, the oldest civic society in England,with more than 2400 members,and have a counted voice. They have now joined with the chamber of commerce, the Vision Group for Sidmouth and the Hospitality Assoc. to form “SOS.” Add your name to any list at meetings.

2. If you are already a group; a church group, a carers group, a toddler group, a school group, a freemason, a local residents group or a small business working out of an inadequate garage, and want to be heard, link your group now to SOS. This is now the time!

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There is the month of May to have your voice heard, by:

a) writing to the EDDC;

b) writing to Hugo Swire;

c) writing to Sir John Cave;

d) writing to Fords;

e) signing the petitions which will be out and about in Sidmouth and door to door callers;

f) writing to the paper;

g) talking to friends and family about it;

h) attending meetings at the council offices [next one May 21 6.30;

i) reading the blog and possibly joining in a demonstration march up to the Council Offices;

j) becoming involved in many practical ways, not least forming a new Neighbourhood Forum eventually to work within the remit of a good wholesome Local Plan. Once the beautiful views are gone and we are surrounded by concrete it will be too late to moan, so ACT NOW!

Angela Bea

(address supplied)