Ottery students share concerns with town council

Ottery Town Council from left to right, Cllr Peter Faithfull, town clerk Christine McIntyre, Roger G

Ottery Town Council from left to right, Cllr Peter Faithfull, town clerk Christine McIntyre, Roger Giles, Stewart Lucas, Geoff Pratt, Richard Copus, Richard Grainger, Vicky Johns and Dean Stewart. Picture: Clarissa Place - Credit: Archant

A carbon footprint competition, planting bigger trees, and solar panels on new builds are among the environmental ideas put forward by youngsters to the town council.

Around 20 students from The King's School attended Ottery Town Council's meeting on Monday (October 7), held during school lunchtime, to hear about their concerns.

Youngsters spoke out about their concerns for the environment including the impact of new housing developments and reducing the town's plastic use and carbon footprint.

Keen cyclist Charlie asked about funding to set up a cycling club, a points card at Sainsbury rewarding customers for bringing reusable bags instead of plastic, and a carbon footprint competition.

She told the meeting: "Because there are lots of people trying to bring down their carbon footprint, we could almost set up a monthly competition in Ottery about keeping a carbon footprint log or similar to that, and they can bring it to you and at the end of the month, or even [every] six months, there would be a winner and you could win a voucher."

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Councillor Dean Stewart said the supermarket had already removed its plastic bags, with mayor Roger Giles telling the students about ongoing plans for a cycle path from Feniton to Sidmouth along the old railway line.

Cllr Giles said: "Cycling is something that we very much support especially sustainable transport and climate change.

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"A lot of money is needed to do it and it's not a short term plan and there is a group working to help bring that forward."

Councillor Stewart told the students about contributions from developers the council would like to spend on sports facilities including a new multi-use games area, updating Winters Lane play park and investing in the skate park.

He said the council would look at improving access to the skate park in the day time and whether it needed new equipment, cleaning or other items such as picnic tables and lights.

Ottery Town Council will host 'extensive' consultation into spending the money and urged the youngsters to come forward with the ideas.

Cllr Stewart, who also works with the group Greener Ottery, said the group would look at their proposals including more electric car charging points and would be happy to work with the school's green group.

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