Welcome to Old People Dog Town

Following recent news items I wonder what the future is for Sidmouth – is there a strategy and if so what is it?

The emphasis seems aimed for old people and self-interest groups to the exclusion of young people and working families. The power brokers are now pressure groups for the elderly.

The Save Our Sidmouth pressure group has succeeded in convincing East Devon District Council to move and take with them well-paid jobs and career opportunities.

The claim Knowle is an area of outstanding natural beauty is rubbish – nobody ever goes there. When you drive down Station Road you enter a dark, damp, depressing area.

It would have been better to have EDDC build in the middle of the park. It is nothing more than not in my back yard.

A very vindictive campaign has been conducted against people who should have been engaged to the benefit of all.

There is the lifeboat organisation which the authorities wanted to close years ago and was taken over by a group of enthusiasts.

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Lifeboats were for deep sea fishermen – there aren’t any off Sidmouth any more. There is a need for a small craft which can be launched quickly to rescue people in difficulty just off the front – the present boat takes much too long.

Sidmouth earns much of its income from holidaymakers, but what are they doing to encourage them?

“Jacob’s Ladder beach” is now for dogs except for a small area they walk over anyway. Holidaymakers I came in contact with certainly were not happy with this.

Children and dogs don’t mix – it’s dangerous. Beach huts cannot be booked by the week, these are let out for a season. There’s not a drop-off area to unload.

The shelters are out of bounds to shelter from the rain or even a very hot day. The prom is very wide but nobody can be bothered to let children have a section to cycle but dogs on leads are permitted.

Somebody should take a trip to Beer or Lyme Regis, who have moved well ahead.

Where is a decent play area in the middle of town? Maybe some of the tennis courts next to the bowls club could be used.

Why can’t efforts be made to encourage one of the large chains like J D Wetherspoon, where cheap meals and drink would help struggling families.

Nobody seems to want to help the young. We read about help for dementia and now a centre for the elderly.

Very worthy causes, but it’s all one way – mainly for people who have had their best years – in most cases away from Sidmouth.

Even jobs once done by locals are filled by people through agencies used by large chains.

The Comforts Fund has done a wonderful job, but much of the money they raise comes from legacies. If a fund for young people existed would it attract money in the same way?

Where is the enthusiasm for the Drill Hall project – maybe a partnership with Wetherspoon’s could be the answer.

Recently money was allocated under Section 106. Much went to the cricket and rugby club. Surely they can raise their own or apply for a lottery grant? Most others do.

The council said the people have spoken. Did they mean the organisations with most members have grabbed the money?

Mr Orchard in his recent letter made many good points and is worth taking note of. Over the years others have done the same, but who listens?

The Byes is another area taken over by dogs, and you wonder if Sidmouth should not be renamed Old People’s Dog Town.

If you have so many initiatives for the old people, that’s all you will attract.

J Tucker

(via email)