Farewell Redwing but hello Manor
PUBLISHED: 02:01 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:06 10 June 2010
No matter how anticipated, I was so sad to read in your columns of the closure of The Redwing in Lympstone. To me, it was the nearest inn with really good food to Exmouth. A warm welcome was assured. It had character and so had mine host. New Year s Eve
No matter how anticipated, I was so sad to read in your columns of the closure of The Redwing in Lympstone.To me, it was the nearest inn with really good food to Exmouth. A warm welcome was assured. It had character and so had mine host. New Year's Eves were really special - now no more, how sad. But hope is at hand for Exmothians. There is now a venue, open to all, at 5 St Andrews Road. It is still called Manor Cottage, but it is no longer a private club with membership.The standard range of food is still available midday and evenings, the opening hours having been lengthened. But, best of all, is the tasty range of blackboard specials conjured up by an excellent chef. Although now open to all, this is no place for hooligan drinkers because, for a start, the range of beer is (too) limited. But also they would not be at home in the quiet cosy carpeted cottage ambience - still so much the envy of all. The new owners, Stuart and Anita, are to be congratulated for not dropping standards. Their welcome is warm and sincere. At last Exmouth has a restful warmhearted pub of real character that has no local equal with a full bar and delicious food.Goodbye Redwing - long live Manor Cottage. Anthony Robinson,Bosvigo,222 Withycombe Village Road,Exmouth. LEARN FROM THE LONDON ELECTIONSI am indebted to Mr David Owen for his interesting letter detailing the results of the London Mayoral election in last week's Exmouth Journal, and for his predictions on the fate of fringe parties and the outcome of the next general election.Unlike most general elections, it was good to see that there was a strong relationship between the percentage of votes cast for a particular party and the number of assembly seats gained. With a high, 45 per cent turnout and a proportional voting system, the Conservatives gained approximately 37 per cent of the vote and Labour about 28 per cent, giving 11 and eight assembly seats respectively. The great benefit of this system is that should Boris Johnson and his chums propose anything too extreme, they could be easily defeated by an alliance of other members. For me, this is a sign of real democracy at work, with the preferences of the voters reflected in the composition of the assembly and the various power groupings therein. While I take Mr Owen's point that it is hard for single issue fringe parties to make progress, if they do get over five per cent of the vote, they can at least get their voice heard, uncomfortable though this may be to many people in some cases.Sadly, a result that truly reflects the wishes of the voters is unlikely in the next 'first past the post' general election here, whoever wins. Thus I strongly believe that our current electoral system is no longer fit for purpose. Over the past 25 years or so, we have seen parties gaining unassailable majorities and pursuing often quite extreme policies when they command little more than 30 per cent of support in the country. Sadly, under the Conservatives and an equally Thatcherite New Labour, this has heralded the wholesale privatisation of large sections of our public services and utilities under the false assumption, to my mind, that the market always knows best, is the most efficient and best value for money.The results are clear to see today, both in Exmouth and all over the country. Post Offices are closed because the most profitable parts of their business were 'given' to the private sector in the name of competition. The social cost of such closures is just ignored. Our railways were crippled in a last cynical act of vandalism by the Major government and are costing us tax payers a fortune to restore. South West Water, which has a total monopoly and therefore is able to impose some of the highest charges in the country, is privately owned and thus seems more interested in shareholder value than value to customers. Under this system, we had the idiocy of the poll tax and the even crazier invasion of Iraq. We still have a monstrously unfair taxation system and a costly and dangerous erosion of our civil liberties with the ID card proposals.I would also contend that, because the outcome of our first past the post system is in the hands of voters in a few marginal constituencies, their perceived needs are pandered to, making for bland 'me too' policies and disenfranchising those with differing political views. No wonder turnout at elections is so low. No wonder politicians feel the need to pander to a largely middle class, business orientated right wing media.To my mind, all this happens because one party has far more representation in Parliament than they deserve from their percentage of the vote. So, why should the capital, Wales and Scotland have a fairer voting system based on proportional representation, when we poor English are stuck with an unrepresentative system that allows such political excesses? I say welcome to the Greens, UKIP and, yes, even the Monster Raving Loonies. They may have little chance of winning, but it must be right that even the so-called fringes have their say and, if their votes potentially counted, politicians might have to focus on the underlying concerns that draw voters to such parties.Now, I wonder what percentage of the electorate supported the ruling party on our own esteemed East Devon District Council? And who knows, under a fairer voting system, might we even be able to influence the location of ASDA?Mike Hinds,The Brambles, Cranford Avenue, Exmouth.SPORTS CENTRE FOR ROLLE GROUND?Maybe I am being too simplistic in my views, but why hasn't the soon-to-be-disused sports grounds of Rolle College (I'm old school) been considered as a relocation site for the sports centre? There's plenty of space there for parking and acres of land ripe for redevelopment as a sporting oasis. For those who would need transport from town, I am sure that Asda/Tesco/Lidl etc would be more then happy to provide it. Come on, Exmouth, let's design our town. Let's not leave it all to the money men. Jon Watson, 24 Durham Close, Exmouth.PO CLOSURE WILL HIT THE ELDERLYBy now, most of the residents of Budleigh Salterton will have become aware that their post office in Greenway Lane is one of the 45 facing closure in Devon by this inconsiderate government. Knowle and East Budleigh post offices have already closed and, if the Greenway Lane post office goes, the only one remaining is in the High Street, which is very far away for elderly or infirm people. The Greenway Lane Post Office is situated in the midst of a fairly densely populated area, with hundreds of residents dependent on its services.The United Kingdom Independence Party has decided to campaign against this government's unacceptable cost-cutting operation, resulting in the Royal Mail and its network of 14,000 post offices being systematically broken up by the European Union. Other main political parties support the closures.The truth is that, since 1997, European Directives have forced the Royal Mail to surrender the bulk of its profitable business to private companies, resulting in post offices being deliberately made less profitable and only able to survive because of government subsidies. These subsidies are now gradually being withdrawn.Things will get worse when, in 2009, all postal activity will be opened to private competition. The closure of 2,500 post offices, which provide a lifeline to poor, elderly and infirm people, is down to the European Union and it is time to take a stand. I am among those UKIP members who are starting to take action by leafleting householders in the locality to make them aware of the facts and to initiate a campaign to fight against this iniquitous closure and others throughout the land.Maurice A Hillebrandt MBE,2 Stoneyford Park, Budleigh Salterton.IT'S ONE MORE IDIOTIC IDEAHaving lived in Exmouth all my life, I have come to expect the type of planning that is forthcoming from so-called council planning officers. The Chapel Hill pedestrianisation plan is just one more in a long line of idiotic plans put forward by planning officers. These plans include the siting of Asda, the proposal to site the Jurassic Coast building on the end of the green space west of the rugby club and now a possible gypsy site somewhere in the area, not to mention the obvious lack of thought about traffic in the town. Then there is the placing of a pedestrian crossing at the bottom of Chapel Hill. The pedestrian walkway to the seafront is up Tower Street from the town centre. People now have to walk down towards the town to cross at the bottom of Chapel Hill. Might I be so bold as to suggest that, instead of wasting money on the plans proposed for the roundabout at the top of Chapel Hill, the powers that be place a crossing at the top of Chapel Hill so as to allow pedestrians to cross the road via an island in the middle. From the top of Tower Street pedestrians could then cross the road and carry on to the Manor Grounds or seafront, as they wish. The Manor Grounds are a place for entertainment, NOT the top of Chapel Hill. You have only to read what the landlord of the Heavitree Inn has to say about the idea to see what would happen to the proposed site if it went ahead.I have always thought that to pedestrianise The Strand and part of Rolle Street was a good idea. The flow of traffic could continue up High Street, as it does now, and down to the town, via St Andrews Road/Imperial Road/The Parade and back the same way. Taxis could still park in The Strand and be the only cars allowed, with The Strand and Rolle Street closed from 10am to 7pm to allow for deliveries before and after these times. Rolle Street would be closed from its junction with Imperial Road/The Parade to the High Street turn off and The Strand at the end of Victoria Road at Lloyds Bank and at Thomas Tuckers. Buses would have to start from the depot or The Parade and would have to enter the town via the seafront from Budleigh Salterton during the times that The Strand is closed. They would have to return to Budleigh/Sidmouth the same way, as would other traffic if it wished to go in the Budleigh/Sidmouth direction, as High Street would continue to be one way as now.This idea would, of course, depend on whether the planned ASDA goes through.PS. Why not put a gypsy site at Sidmouth. It was still in Devon the last time I looked.R D Hatten,20 Trinfield Avenue, Exmouth.WHERE'S THAT...ATTEMPTING to track down the local retailer of a particularly attractive greetings card, I received a reply from the publisher, suggesting I try W H Smith, MONGOLIA Centre, Exmouth. Easy mistake!R P Langton,13 Springfield Road, Exmouth.