Sidmouth council chair’s message for 2012

THE chairman of Sidmouth Town Council says there’s a “huge amount to look forward to” in 2012.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, pictured, hopes the town can demonstrate its community spirit in the next year when the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Olympic Games and a string of local milestones take place.

“There has never been a better time for people to demonstrate how public spirit can benefit the town,” said Cllr Hughes.

“I’d love to see more people to take an active role in local community groups, which ties in perfectly with the localism agenda, or Big Society.”

Mr Hughes said Sidmouth can look forward to its town band’s 150th anniversary celebrations and Delderfields’ centenary.

Reflecting on 2011, he said it was a “great honour and privilege” to become chairman of the town council after 20 years serving the community.

Mr Hughes added the completion of the Arches project with a Jurassic Coast Interpretation Centre, and a play area revamp at the Ham were among the council’s notable achievements.

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He also praised the Sidmouth Hopper Bus for carrying 11,000 passengers during the summer.

“The continuing economic downturn has meant that 2011 has been a difficult year in many ways,” said Mr Hughes.

“But I’m pleased to say, that by pulling together, Sidmouth is weathering the storm. We’ve seen new investment and new businesses arriving in the town, which is encouraging for the long term future of our local economy.”

He said popular Sidmouth FolkWeek was again a boost for local business.

Mr Hughes added: “We’re already seeing localism in action through with a snow warden scheme. It’s reassuring to know additional resource is available should the weather turn severe.

“Hopefully we can also gain enough help and support to ensure Sidmouth represents the South West Coastal Town section at the Britain in Bloom finals.”

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