Two issues that require our attention

SIR - I am responding to a letter, ‘Repressing dissent’ and an article, ‘Time to focus on empty buildings’ in the Sidmouth Herald on November 30.

Repressing dissent was about China. In the summer, I attended the Dartington Literary Festival where a book called Chinese Whispers by Hsiao-Hung Pai was promoted. This book looks at the true story behind Britain’s hidden army of labour. The words ‘cockle pickers’, `Morecambe Bay’ and ‘Chinese illegals found dead in lorry’ will ring a bell. I remember some time ago in Sidmouth, Chinese restaurants were raided because of suspected illegal workers. They may have travelled here because of desperate poverty. This book reveals the terrible world in which such human beings exist in our so-called civilised twenty-first century.

Secondly, the empty buildings issue. As I am not in the position to take photos myself to submit on the internet, perhaps someone else could do so. Number 30a Park Terrace, Temple Street, Sidmouth, appears to have been empty for many years. Adjoining this property is a falling down building looking as if a bomb has hit it - distressing for local residents. It has been like this for many years and the roof has been removed to avoid council tax payment, so it is rumoured.

Please read the book and visit the buildings.

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