Council to consult Samaritans over cliff signs

Exmouth Town Hall. Exmouth Town Hall.

Thursday, February 20, 2014
2:05 PM

Exmouth Town Council is to take advice on whether signs giving the contact details of the Samaritans should be placed at cliffs in the town.

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The idea was brought to the council this week by Councillor Steve Gazzard, who told councillors that several people had over the years used the cliffs to end their lives.

Cllr Gazzard suggested that signs providing contact details for the Samaritans, which offers counselling to people having suicidal thoughts, might help prevent future cases.

Cllr Gazzard said: “My request is quite simple – to ask the National Trust in conjunction with East Devon District Council and Devon County Council to erect information signs to inform people of the contact details of the Samaritans.

“I fully understand there will be a cost implication to this, but if we can save one person’s life the cost will be worth it.”

While the council was united in sympathy for those who have died, several councillors said they were unsure if erecting signs was the right course of action, with some fears raised that such signs might have the wrong effect on the minds of vulnerable people. The council therefore agreed that before it went any further it would consult directly with the Samaritans to find what course of action the charity would recommend.

Councillor Sandy MacQueen said: “I feel inadequate to decide on this. I have heard that where such a sign is put up more cases happen than before.

“I am pleased it has been raised, but I think we need to take advice from people like the Samaritans, who have a lot of experience with this, and see what they think.”

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