Business meeting on issues in Sidmouth high street cancelled

Local business owners Sharon Hobson,Steve Clarke,Stewart Hayman and Steven Kendall-Torry. Ref shs 13

Local business owners Sharon Hobson,Steve Clarke,Stewart Hayman and Steven Kendall-Torry. Ref shs 13 18TI 0294. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A meeting to discuss worries about rising business rates and other issues facing Sidmouth’s high street has been cancelled.

Businessman Steve Clark, of Rendevous, told the Herald that today’s (Thursday) event is called off as Sir Hugo Swire was not able to attend due to his Parliamentary commitments.

Every business owner in the town, Sir Hugo and representatives from town and district council had been invited to the talk.

Among the issues that were set to be discussed included business rates, footfall, high rents, parking and pavements.

Mr Clark said he would be contacting shop owners and council representatives about the cancelled meeting.

He added: “If we can get a day, I will organise something again.”

Sir Hugo said he was unable to attend due to discussions on future trading post Brexit.

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He said: “It is unfortunate that due to debates in Parliament tomorrow on the important issues of our future trading arrangements post Brexit and plastic pollution that I had to withdraw from the meeting with Sidmouth traders to discuss business rates in particular and more generally the future of Sidmouth’s independent traders. With the request for a meeting to be held on a Thursday evening (and with Parliament sitting on that day) this was always the possibility which was explained to the organiser at the outset.

I have undertaken to arrange a meeting in the very near future to which local businesses, town, district and the county councillor for Sidmouth, amongst others, will be invited to discuss how to ensure the future of Sidmouth as a thriving seaside town with a diverse range of small and independent businesses.”

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