Veto over Sidmouth Temple Street car park takeover

Proposal for Sidmouth Town Council to run Temple Street car park kicked into touch by chairman

A SUGGESTION Sidmouth Town Council takes on the running of Temple Street car park, was vetoed by its chairman on Monday.

After a split vote of seven each in favour and against, Councillor Stuart Hughes used his casting vote to keep the status quo.

It means the 30-space car park is likely to remain in the ownership of East Devon District Council, which is currently carrying out a review of its car parking across East Devon.

EDDC asked Sidmouth councillors for their views on two car parks, Temple Street and Manor Pavilion in Manor Road. The latter was included in talks over taking on the running of the town’s theatre, which councillors said should be part of that deal.

Regarding Temple Street, EDDC says it is “generally an under-used parking facility and alternative uses could be explored.”

Parking is free, except for 11 reserved spaces, that annually generate �2,310 income.

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Councillor Peter Sullivan, a former Temple Street trader, said one of the biggest problems was the car park wasn’t regularly policed.

He thought a way to increase revenue would be to provide more parking bays for permit holders. However, some regular users are not paying for permits because of the lack of policing, he added.

There are constraints on developing the site as one householder has a right of way across the middle of it.

Councillor Ian Barlow said the car park was “a big thing for Sidmouth.”

He asked: “Why do we have to rely on EDDC, which doesn’t have an interest in little things like that? Give it to us for �1.”

The town council could then use the income for the community.

Councillor Ann Liverton seconded his proposal and said it could be one option EDDC considered for the site.

Councillor Christine Drew was concerned about maintenance costs, while Councillor Graham Liverton said: “Just imagine who will police it. Joan or Sandra in uniform?” (council staff members). “Just leave well alone.”

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