‘Pounded’ Sidmouth railings paint plea

SEAFRONT railings at Jacob’s Ladder are in a “poor condition” and will need to be replaced if no action is taken, district council scrutiny members also heard last Wednesday.

They recommended a further �5,000 be included in EDDC’s budget to paint the railings – which have been pounded by shingle – after their maintenance was initially omitted.

A report to members said: “Painting will increase the life span of the existing railings.

“They will require replacement at a much higher cost if they are left any longer. These railings need to be in place and in a sound condition as there is an approximate two metre drop on to the rocks.”

Councillors voted a “special item bid” should be included in EDDC’s budget and service plans for 2012/13.

The meeting heard EDDC maintenance budgets had been “stripped back” to the “bare minimum”.

Councillor Sheila Kerridge said of the railings, and Jacob’s Ladder itself,: “It’s far better to pay out a small amount than have to replace them eventually.”

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Cllr Christine Drew added: “It’s really important these are kept to a high standard. They bring tourists in.”

Cllr Stuart Hughes said neglecting the landmarks would “damage our assets quite severely”.

EDDC’s cabinet will make a final decision.

The Herald reported in March last year how the council spent �16,000 painting a 750metre length of railings along the Esplanade.

Those at Jacob’s Ladder were not included in the project.