Council say no room for potters
PUBLISHED: 16:43 11 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:28 10 June 2010
MONDAY, AUGUST 11: CIVIC leaders have admitted that they cannot give any tangible help to a 30-year old pottery group who have been kicked out onto the street. Last week The Exmouth Ceramic Group was told to vacate their Victoria Road home at the Kennaway Centre after the c
CIVIC leaders have admitted that they cannot give any tangible help to a 30-year old pottery group who have been kicked out onto the street.Last week The Exmouth Ceramic Group was told to vacate their Victoria Road home at the Kennaway Centre after the county council, who run their adult learning classes out of the building, said there were 'pressures on space'.The group have been an integral part of the town's cultural scene since 1978, contributing annually to the Exmouth Festival with their Clay in the Park and exhibition.So Liz Potter, chairman of the group, went cap in hand to the town council and said: "Any suggestions and help individual councillors can give would also be very much appreciated." She added they needed somewhere in the short-term to meet - and a long term solution, because of their heavy equipment, which includes kilns.But, at the town council's finance meeting, Chairman Sandy Sutton said that while they 'backed the group' they were unable to provide a venue: "We do not have anywhere we can offer (for a new venue)."And, as far as grant assistance was concerned, she said: "Unfortunately most of the money for this year's grants is already tied up."But she added that they could help with publicising their plight, while deputy chairman Vivian Duvall-Steer spoke of the 'inclusiveness'' of the group who welcomed everybody.Councillor Steve Wragg suggested they ask the Tower Street Methodist Church for space while former county chairman Brenda Taylor said she would 'take it up at the highest level' - and was waiting for the outcome of a meeting this week.Former mayor and county councillor Eileen Wragg said: "I admit it has not been handled well (by the county council).She pledged financial assistance from the county - but admitted that she could not be specific on the amount at this stage.This drew sharp criticism from town and district councillor Mark Williamson, who said that Exmouth county members, Lib Dem Cllr Taylor and Conservative Bernard Hughes had 'under spent' their £10,000 budgets for their wards at the end of the financial year by £14,291.But Cllr Wragg hit back and said that the figures were 'a month out of date' and she had gone 'overdrawn' and used her own money to make sure she honoured commitments in her ward.