Around 30 people attended a meeting organised by the Vision Group for Sidmouth (VGS), 'Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries' (CSC) on Saturday, January 13.

The aim was to discuss concerns including parking and access, nature conservation issues and maintenance of the cemetery, which was felt to have been badly neglected.

The VGS plans to organise a team of volunteers to help tend the cemeteries within the Sid Valley, keeping them tidy while ensuring there remains a space for nature.

The East Devon MP Simon Jupp was among those who came to the meeting, which was held at the cemetery.

He said: “This well-attended event showed how passionately people feel about Sidmouth Cemetery. The overwhelming message which I will share with East Devon District Council, loud and clear, is that people feel the cemetery has been abandoned and should be looked after properly.”

Ian Gregory, chair of the VGS,  said: “It's clear we need a proper management plan for the cemetery. The CSC group will be discussing this with East Devon District Council's Streetscene team at a meeting at the cemetery next week and will be reporting back.”

Attendees Angela Packham and Kevin Walker were interested in volunteering. Angela said: “This is a beautiful and very special area, and I would be willing to help maintain it.”

Anyone who would like to join the volunteer working party can contact the VGS through their website or social media.

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