Answers and funds needed to push on with vision for Ottery’s regeneration project

Josefina Gori at the Ottery library drop-in session. Ref sho 09-17TI 7956. Picture: Terry Ife

Josefina Gori at the Ottery library drop-in session. Ref sho 09-17TI 7956. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Calls demanding answers about funding for town centre projects have been made by the chairman of Ottery’s regeneration group.

Councillor Josefina Gori has hit out at Devon County Council, Devon Highways and East Devon District Council, following meetings last year.

The chairman of the group told Ottery Town Council, last week, that she was seeking clarification about the councils’ support and whether money had been allocated to the town’s projects or not.

The regeneration group wish to relocate the bus stops in the Square, manage traffic flow in Silver Street, have buffer zones for pedestrians in Hind Street and a pedestrian crossing near the newly relocated post office.

Cllr Gori also called upon her district council colleagues to play a ‘more active role’ in achieving their objectives.

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Cllr Gori, who was elected as chairman in March, told the meeting: “The group has made a tremendous effort to try to implement these things and make the right recommendations. We need a more active role to achieve the objectives.”

She added that other towns such as Budleigh and Exmouth had benefited from regeneration funding but Ottery seemed to be ‘at the bottom of the list’.

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After the meeting Cllr Gori said: “It seems that while other towns like Budleigh, Exmouth and Sidmouth have achieved something, Ottery seems to be at the bottom of the list in spite of all the efforts made by the working group.

“We need those answers to plan and to establish working priorities.”

EDDC member Cllr Peter Faithfull spoke at the meeting and said most of the proposals would be carried out by Devon County Council and not EDDC, and that money would not be allocated unless there were formal proposals put forward.

He said: “There is money around, but you have to have something specific to spend it on otherwise they are not going to part with it.”

EDDC Cllr Roger Giles told the group to keep pushing and results would come.

He said: “I’m just trying to take a practical view that you have to keep pushing at it like the Neighbourhood Plan. There was a lot of effort and a lot of expenditure and it happened in the end and it’s near to concluding. It’s a long process and it is difficult, a lot of effort over a long time needs to go into these things before they produce the fruit.”

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