“Staggering” spend on Sidmouth ammenity

AROUND �20,000 of tax-payers’ cash being spent on maintaining a seafront amenity in Sidmouth was labelled as “staggering” by one civic leader.

But town councillors said an interpretation centre, toilets, and a shower facility on the Esplanade were well used when the body set its budget for 2012/13 last Monday.

The council set aside �20,000 for running and maintaining the trio of facilities.

Councillor Ian Barlow questioned the spend in comparison to the �17,000 cost of running the whole of the town council’s Woolcombe House headquarters.

“We’re giving �20,000 for something that is half the size of this room (the council chamber).

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“I find it staggering,” he told colleagues at an estimates and grants meeting.

Cllr David Addis questioned whether the interpretation centre needed to be open “when there are not people about”.

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Other councillors said the venue was well-used. “We’ve turned something that was useless into something that is really good,” said Cllr Graham Liverton.

“It’s being used all the time down there,” added Cllr Ann Liverton.

Cllr Simon Pollentine said he’d seen youngsters utilising the centre while on a field trip that day and added: “It’s the very reason the place should be open.”

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