Severe rains and flooding caused chaos for many in the Sid Valley

Stormy conditions on Sidmouth seafront

Recent storms have led to localised flooding - Credit: Jean Laidler

Whether you read the national newspapers or the local newspapers you cannot fail to have noticed the many column inches on climate change and the environment recently. As somebody said the other day, it's not just the future of the planet we are talking about but the future of every single one of us.

Even the Royal Family, who rarely discuss such things in the open, have been showing frustration about the lack of commitment from politicians worldwide. There are signs this is changing but when the United Kingdom is responsible for just 1% of carbon emissions you realise we are just a small part of this massive issue across the planet. I suspect the Chinese and Indians may be saying you’ve been burning fossil fuels for centuries and now we are doing it to a larger scale you don’t like it. Perhaps a fair point except the scientific evidence is very much against them. Hopefully the gathering of the World leaders in Glasgow is fruitful but I’m not holding my breath.

The heavy rains and flooding last week caused a fair bit of chaos in and around Sidmouth with several roads being closed at one stage. It was certainly very wet on the golf course last Thursday as we trudged back to the clubhouse from the 8th green to a welcoming shower and pot of tea! As a friend of mine has been known to say - it was wetter than an otter’s pocket!

So everyone has had a chance to digest the proposed plans for the new storm safety works that will hopefully help defend our town from the sea. I know a lot of discussion still has to take place but what a great thing it will be for the town if we don’t have to raise the sea wall. And it does leave some light at the end of the tunnel for the residents of Cliff Road and eastern town.

On the seafront theme I’m told the turnstone numbers have now reached 28! They were very active last Sunday and their camouflage against the pebbles is fantastic.

I’m not a great fan of persuading people to venture away from Sidmouth but we went over to Budleigh Salterton last week for a walk and mooch around. I was very impressed by the number of new shops and businesses that have popped up there recently. Most are independent and provide a great variety. Budleigh doesn’t have large hotels any more but the town is obviously thriving which is good to see. The extension of the wetlands at the mouth of the River Otter will also bring in more visitors. However the lack of planning in not removing construction vehicles was an expensive mistake as floodwater engulfed them a couple of weeks ago. Millions of pounds literally down the drain. The heavy rain and potential flooding was forecast.

The local employment situation is still difficult with many businesses still looking for staff. I have noticed two coffee houses not able to fully open in the past fortnight. This could be Covid related but the situation is worrying for business owners.

On the sporting front it was a good weekend for the city of Exeter. The rugby team won away at Gloucester last Friday evening by 18-16 and the soccer team won at Salford last Saturday by 2-1 with an own goal decider in injury time. This weekend the Chiefs play Newcastle on Saturday evening, Exeter City are at Bradford on Saturday in the FA Cup and Sidmouth RFC are at home to Thornbury at The Blackmore on Saturday with an earlier kick off at 2.30pm.

On the racing front it was great to see Devon jockey Bryony Frost ride the Paul Nicholls trained Frodon to victory in the big chase at Down Royal in Ireland last Saturday. What a gutsy performance from both of them.