Get your cash out

having just read about plans to yet again attempt to build some sort of cafe in the middle of The Strand, I would like to comment.

When will councllors understand that the vast majority of Exmothians do not want this and, subsequently, will not ever use such a place out of principle and support for the surrounding businesses?

The comments and reasons, that it is necessary to pay for the up-keep of the newly developed Strand, are deeply flawed.

The authorities intend to spend over �300,000 of taxpayers’ money on this ultimate white elephant, at a time when the town council is continually telling us they do not have enough money for seafront lights, the Exmouth carnival or Christmas lights and decorations.

Also, remembering that the reason given for a delay in this ill-thought-out, revamp, cafe idea, was because the project had gone over budget, how can you go over budget before a foundation has been dug or a single brick laid? Goodness knows what the final cost could be!

It is true that some people did think spending �3million-plus (an exact figure having never been properly made public) to create a barren wilderness in the town centre was money well spent, so surely it is only right that these people should put their money where their mouth is and pay to build this cafe.

This idea is not without precedent, for, when Exmouth wanted a sports centre, the people and businesses raised the money.

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Similarly, and more recent, the majority of people were unhappy to lose the main building of the Rolle Campus and set about trying to buy it for the town out of private contributions (an action only necessary because the Conservatives reneged on a promise made to the people of Exmouth).

Perhaps councillors, who have been so vocal in their support, could start the ball rolling by making a personal contribution of about �5,000 or so.

I am sure that, at the end of contributions, there would be enough for a two-man tent, picnic table and a second-hand barbecue set.

D Lawash

(via email).