Whoops! 'Embarrassed' Scouts dig up field in Sidmouth to plant raised beds - without telling town council

PUBLISHED: 11:02 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 13 June 2019

The raised beds installed at Salcombe Regis Recreation Field. Picture courtesy of Sidmouth Town Council

The raised beds installed at Salcombe Regis Recreation Field. Picture courtesy of Sidmouth Town Council

Archant

Scout leaders have apologised for digging up a section of a Sidmouth field to plant raised beds - without consulting with the town council first.

Six raised beds now comprise a plot at Salcombe Regis Recreation Field - a move which 1st Sid Vale Scout Group has admitted to be a 'failure to act appropriately'.

In a letter to the town council, the group 'sincerely' apologised for the creation of the raised beds.

It said: "It is clear to us now that we have badly let you and the council down in our failure to act appropriately in this matter.

"We appreciate the great working relationship we have had with you and the council in the past, and the last thing we wanted to do was to jeopardise this by acting carelessly and disrespectfully.

"We have spoken to the team of volunteers who built the raised beds and we all agree that we charged on without thinking about the necessary steps that we should have taken once the initial idea of the beds was floated by our Beaver and Cub leaders.

"In our enthusiasm we ran ahead of ourselves.

"It was clearly wrong of us not to consult the town council and seek permission at the ideas stage and we are truly sorry."

The group offered some mitigation to the council, explaining that the idea was born to support parts of the scouting programme they offer to its young members.

Through using the raised beds, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers would all gain different badges, leaders wrote in the letter.

The council has now been asked by the group to grant retrospective permission for the beds, so they can be used by its members.

The letter said: "We know that we should have contacted you for permission before we built the beds… All the Scout group volunteers in this situation are very embarrassed to have messed up and keen to do the right thing."

At a town council meeting, members resolved the following:

- Any such requests for building/ground works must be made in advance and not retrospectively.

- Permission to install raised vegetable beds in their current position be refused.

- That in consultation with the Ward Members, an alternative position for the raised beds be discussed with thegroup and a fresh application submitted to the trustee.

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