Communit cash to be spent on Sidmouth flood defence


- Credit: Archant

Community cash could be spent on sand for flood defences if Sidmouth can team up with another town.

The district council provides sand bags but parishes across East Devon have to source their own sand.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, who is also the county council member for flooding, said it was the ideal candidate for the Parishes Together Fund as he put the idea forward at last Monday’s town council meeting.

Cllr Christine Drew said: “I’m very keen to support this if we can find somewhere to keep it. The way things are going it’s becoming more apparent that we need sand bags.”

Sidmouth has a Parishes Together Fund allocation of almost £13,000, which it can make a joint application for with another town or village.

Cllr Ian Barlow, who owns Sidmouth Garden Centre and has stored sand there in the past, said: “We would be very happy to store the sand again. It’s the bagging up that costs money and takes time.”

But Cllr Peter urged caution, saying the funds may not be around forever.

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“We have to be careful with this,” he said. “What is going to happen in a year’s time?

“That’s what the authorities are going to expect – this money may only be around this year.”

Town clerk Christopher Holland said they were only drawing up a shortlist for the cash, and the members would be able to budget for sand bags next year if the funding was no longer available.

The councillors backed the proposal.