‘Incredible’ donor’s £7k for bus shelter

The Three Cornered Plot bus stop burnt down on Boxing Day

The Three Cornered Plot bus stop burnt down on Boxing Day - Credit: Archant

A mystery benefactor has stumped-up nearly £7,000 to replace a burnt-out town centre bus shelter - after the local authority refused to pay for one.

Budget cuts were blamed by East Devon District Council (EDDC) for its inability to repair the charred structure at the Three Cornered Plot, prompting an angry response from residents.

But a generous Sidmouth man, who regularly used the shelter before it was vandalised on Boxing Day, last week donated £6,840 for a replacement.

The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told EDDC’s StreetScene team that he ‘wanted to do something for the town’, adding: “It’s hard to find good causes to give money to, but Sidmouth is a beautiful place and I love living here.”

Councillor Matt Booth, ward member for Sidmouth Town, said: “It’s incredible.

“This says ‘community’ to me, and I think it says a lot about Sidmouth. It shows there are people who don’t want to make a big show that they are generous, and that contributes to what makes Sidmouth the place it is.”

EDDC had been waiting for the outcome of an insurance claim before starting any work, but last week learned that the shelter was not covered by its policy. The authority said budget cuts in 2009/10 meant that it had no money to pay for a replacement.

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On Monday, Sidmouth Town Council insisted it should be the district council that pays for a replacement, not the town.

Councillor John Dyson, who sits on both the district and town councils, said: “This gets everyone off the hook. It is a very generous gesture and I’m sure a lot of people will be very thankful for it.”

EDDC has already placed an order for the new shelter, which is expected to be ready to use within five-to-six weeks.

EDDC’s environment chief, Councillor Iain Chubb, said: “We cannot thank this person enough for stepping forward so generously with a cheque for nearly £7,000. It means we can get cracking with replacing the bus shelter.

“Having a burnt-out shelter in this lovely town does not give a good impression to visitors, plus it’s a local amenity that both locals and tourists need while waiting for a bus.”