Sidmouth town councillors offer New Year resolutions

WITH the financial recession biting ever deeper, 2009 is predicted to be a difficult year for many.

WITH the financial recession biting ever deeper, 2009 is predicted to be a difficult year for many.

The Sidmouth Herald asked members of Sidmouth Town Council what their New Year's resolutions would be.

Here are some of the councillors' responses:

Chairman, Tom Cox: "I intend to walk more and ride less, listen more and talk less, trust more and doubt less."

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Ann Liverton: "My resolution is better time management so I don't try to cram too much into one day, therefore finding it hard to do justice to everything (including family). To enjoy the moment, it will never come again."

Christine Drew: I haven't slipped into complete retirement, I always feel I am learning something new. I take my profession seriously and don't take myself seriously. I just like to be who I am. My pledge for the New Year is: to have courage to lead and wisdom to listen."

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Mary Jolly: "I very rarely make New Year's resolutions but mine would be to master the computer and stop it mastering me."

Graham Liverton has three resolutions: "1.To lose weight is a definite priority, how is another matter! 2. To look forward not backward and be more positive; 3. To be grateful when the sun shines!"

John Dyson: "I've always enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, and the trickier the better. So my challenge for 2009 is to complete what has been described as the most difficult jigsaw commercially available.

"Apparently only three people in the world have completed it, including a Yeovil man. The jigsaw depicts four jungle scenes, has many colours in it, and measures about 10ft by 6ft when all the 18,000 pieces have been assembled.

"I have asked my sons to give me the jigsaw for Christmas, and it will sit in its box and bags until the longer, lighter days come."

We will let readers know if Mr Dyson succeeds in completing the puzzle later in the year.

Chris Gibbings: "I intend to keep reading the Herald and particularly the letters pages where we are given a broad feeling of the views of the residents not only of the town but East Devon as a whole.

"Having said that I think it would do some of your letter writers good to check their facts before writing and attend both town and district council meetings occasionally so they understand just what is going on and the restrictions put on local councillors by Central Government dictats.

"There is a public open question time at East Devon and Sidmouth Town Council meetings so why not use it? I for one am often as exasperated as local residents at some of the decisions we are forced to make because "that is the law".

"Yes we could ignore the rules but we would lose on appeal and waste taxpayers money or be "dragged" before the Standards Board.

"There must of course be standards in public life but one of the restrictions imposed for instance makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to say what you want to when you want to because that could preclude you voting on the matter later.

"It's all about perception, of even handed action, of being seen to have listened to all the arguments and that's important.

"I think we as councillors do need to put a shot across the bows now and then and make it very clear "that's not what this town or East Devon wants" and vote accordingly even when we know eventually we will lose.

"To express the views of the people as well as we can is after all what we were elected for. So more power to your letter writers who don't have to live with these restrictions and keep printing the outrageous ones because even if the facts expressed are totally at odds with reality I understand the sentiments.

"So my New Year resolution is to listen even more to what the people want and do my best to achieve it for them."

Chris Wale: "My resolutions are to aim to ensure that the welfare of our residents and town are upheld, to ensure that our beautiful town remains strong, a vibrant and tranquil tourism destination for all and that our precious hotels are protected.

"Maybe there is scope for new build in the longer-term future.

"I will support a solid answer to the increasing issue of car parking. Sidmouth needs a long-term sustainable answer and this may be an under ground car park coupled with park and ride which could provide our answers along with a wider review of our traffic system within the town to combat the issues which the town faces.

"In the main I will endorse and support the welfare of our residents, sustainable housing, car parking, tourism, coastal protection, the preservation of the character and natural beauty of our town and valley.

"On a lighter note to ride my bike in a straighter line; keep my weight at a manageable level; continue to enjoy the pleasures of music and drama, to balance my life between work, family, and friends. Finally, to be grateful for life itself as it's for living!

Stuart Hughes: "To continue giving 100 percent in representing the residents of Sidmouth, Sidford on the town, district and county councils and to carry on enjoying myself DJ'ing and entertaining at parties and events in 2009."

Simon Pollentine: "I'm going to practice my darts so that I appear on the back pages of the Herald as well as the front ones!"

Ian Mckenzie-Edwards: "As an antidote to the gloom and doom it is good to think of simple pleasures we can enjoy in Devon. I resolve to try and fit in a few more walks particularly coastal ones in 2009. Because of business commitments I can only manage this in the winter. So here is hoping for some bright winter days.

"I also enjoy swimming in the sea. With our climate this is very much a summer activity. I try to fit in a few swims in season but it rarely happens. I admire the hardy souls who do the Boxing Day swim but this is definitely NOT for me!"

Lois Kelly: "My resolution this year is seriously to aim to support our local economy in anyway possible.

"So on a lighter note and in this theme, with tourism and agriculture in mind I hope to advise one and all that eating clotted cream has fewer calories per 100gms than butter and so I will encourage the eating of cream teas which will promote happiness to the consumer as well as supporting our farmers and our tea rooms, cafes and restaurants and tourist industry!!

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