What a good idea

Reading the letter last week from ‘Name and address supplied’ who was replying to a previous letter, ‘Understanding the plight of homeless’, I agree what a great idea it would be to provide ‘facilities for the people who frequent the seafront’ and young druggies.

The letter put forward the suggestion that local businesses purchase property in town or in Temple Street, to convert to social (free) housing for these people.

I am sure that the residents of Temple Street would be only too happy if more of their taxes were spent to further subsidise this worthy cause. Admittedly, it would not do much for the adjacent property values, but think how good it would be, if Sidmouth could rival Torbay, and become a magnet for such deserving causes. The tax and mortgage paying residents of Sidmouth should be delighted at the proposal, which gives them the opportunity to illustrate their credentials as good citizens, and press their councillors into immediate action.

‘Name and address supplied’ also suggested that retired social workers, and other people with interest, skills and experience to do with these problems, could get together to provide ‘a service’ to these people.

What a splendid idea and we could further add to the list retired police officers and security staff. They could voluntarily police the streets so that Sidmouth does not resemble the perilous areas of Torbay, which are frequented by drug dealers and the unsavoury elements of welfare tourism.

Similarly, we could pay more council tax to develop purpose-built facilities at Connaught Gardens, another area which these able-bodied young people regularly frequent.

If you visit these gardens, as well as the end of The Esplanade, on quiet days, when few visitors are around, these vagrants can appear ominous and it does make some residents feel apprehensive and fearful. Nevertheless, I am sure that our tax paying residents and tourists will understand the situation and willingly accept any future developments to support this fine and worthy cause.

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Another bonus is that, because the benefit system is so generous, a greater number of claimants would be spending their ‘entitlements’ on alcohol, cigarettes and food in the area, and it would be a shot in the arm for the local economy.

Might I suggest that it would also set an admirable example if ‘Understanding the plight of homeless’ would surrender any received grace and favour, rent and mortgage free accommodation to these individuals. And for starters, ‘Name and address supplied’ should vacate their own home, and donate it to such a praiseworthy cause.

What a marvellous example this would be to us all...

G Clarke

By email