We must fight to keep 'old world charm' of town

SIR Re: the story about the fears of some town councillors that Sidmouth could open the floodgates" and become a town of candyfloss and kiss-me-quick hats" due to street trading in Folk Week.

SIR - Re: the story about the fears of some town councillors that Sidmouth could "open the floodgates" and become a town of "candyfloss and kiss-me-quick hats" due to street trading in Folk Week.(Kiss-me-quick Sidmouth fear, Herald, April 11)The following week, a tiny paragraph on page two announced that the town council had been asked for permission to change The Dove public house into an amusement arcade. Can there be a better example of opening the floodgates than allowing gaming machines to be sited in the centre of our town? It always feels as if Sidmouth is having to fight to retain the very thing that makes it special and almost unique among seaside towns - old-world charm. Why is this always derided and sneered at? Sidmouth has just received a massive legacy from a man who said Sidmouth was what holiday towns used to be like and this is why it has very few run-down properties and even has holidaymakers and vibrancy in the winter when other seaside towns are dead.Why do we want to encourage, particularly young people, to gamble, when we know the consequences of gambling addiction, eg crimes to feed the habit, the influx of gangs of youths congregating outside, under-age drinking, violence and the like. Why can't Government funds be sought to buy the property and turn it into a drop in (or chill-out) centre for young people, where they could have subsidised drinks and snacks with a designated advisor and yes, games - but not based on gambling?Please don't let our town be ruined for the sake of profit and progress. Sandra HutchinsonMoorcourtMoorcourt CloseSidmouth


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