Perfect? What do you think?

'JUST PERFECT' is how some residents taking part in a survey by East Devon District Council describe living in Sidmouth.

'JUST PERFECT' is how some residents taking part in a survey by East Devon District Council describe living in Sidmouth "What a wonderful place to live" said some, while others said its virtues were "beautiful gardens, stunning views and friendly people".A Neighbourhood Assessment was conducted by Environmental Health staff from EDDC in September, who held a drop-in surgery at St John Hall, Blackmore Drive, and visited more than 350 homes.Residents were asked what issues concerned them about their neighbourhood and if they enjoyed living in the town.Now a newsletter has been published that shows the main areas of concern as dog fouling, anti-social behaviour, litter and recycling, the condition of some houses in the town, seagulls, noise and fumes, speeding boy racers and parking.Yet around half the residents contacted had no complaints at all, although some suggested changes or improvements of their neighbourhood.Numerous complaints were made concerning dog fouling in public open spaces, although most agreed it was no longer a major problem on pavements in town. Some asked for dog bins in The Byes to be emptied more frequently.The survey, carried out with support from Sidmouth police, registered complaints about abusive youths in the Arcot Park area.In response, the newsletter says: "PCSOs are aware of the problems and two individuals are being pursued for anti-social behaviour orders. They have recently signed behaviour contracts."A team of six police officers will target issues relating to vandalism, late night drunks and general unsociable behaviour following complaints by the public. They have already launched the operation and will repeat it at different times during the coming months.They will also deal with boy racers by using specialist traffic units.Many want to recycle plastics and cardboard and have it collected weekly. EDDC is set to begin weekly collections in the New Year in the east of the district and will include plastic bottles. It hopes to include cardboard in the future.As for seagulls' noise and nuisance, some have asked for them to be culled, although a leading gull expert has advised EDDC this would be ineffective.The council's pest control contract has been awarded to Rentokil and it will be asked to look at different approaches to tackle gull problems.Parking on double yellow lines, irresponsible parking by disabled drivers, causing obstructions and other parking problems were raised.Some asked for delivery lorries to be banned from the town centre during the day, although the council feels early morning and late deliveries would lead to more disruption and complaints.Others want the Esplanade zebra crossing made into an automated one with traffic lights to prevent long delays caused by a constant flow of pedestrians during the summer. However, DCC says this is out of keeping with the environmentally sensitive area along the seafront.Similar assessments have taken place in Axminster and Honiton.Do you agree with the result of the assessment? Write to the Herald at 106 High Street, Sidmouth, EX10 8EF or email with your views

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