It's a mass of contradictions

PUBLISHED: 01:01 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:54 10 June 2010

Mike Hinds (letters March 6) does well to criticise Councillor Philip Skinner s opinions on re-generation plans for Exmouth. Not only is the councillor s letter patronising, it is also a mass of contradictions. On the one hand, he states that East Devo

Mike Hinds (letters March 6) does well to criticise Councillor Philip Skinner's opinions on re-generation plans for Exmouth. Not only is the councillor's letter patronising, it is also a mass of contradictions. On the one hand, he states that East Devon District Council listened to the views of residents, had no intention to promote any supermarket site in the town and that we should remain 'open-minded'. On the other, he tells us that Exmouth members have agreed to work exclusively with ASDA on developing the bus depot site. This has been agreed in spite of the town referendum held only one year ago and the 10,000 signature petition presented to Parliament two years ago by Hugo Swire MP. Together, these were violently opposed to any supermarket on the estuary and ASDA as a developer. We are talking here of the gateway to the Jurassic Coast, Britain's only World Heritage Site. It is hardly appropriate that the first glimpse a visitor would have of this important natural phenomenon would be an enormous supermarket and a sea of trollies! As for benefits to the town in terms of much-needed local employment and business, the proposal is still for what is essentially an all-purpose 'out-of-town' hypermarket where people would purchase all their shopping and never enter the town at all. Perhaps we 'Exmouth folk', as Councillor Skinner calls us, would prefer a range of smaller supermarkets dotted throughout the town, thus encouraging use of existing retail outlets and no commercial dominance. How would we know? In the recent round of decision-making, we have been kept in the dark as to which companies put in tenders and what they proposed.Regarding the improving of employment prospects in Exmouth, Philip Skinner and his fellow councillors would do well to view Robert Greenwald's excellent documentary on Walmart, ASDA's parent company (Wal*Mart - The High Cost of Low Price, available on Tartan DVD) before they welcome ASDA/ASM into our town with such open arms!Roderick Gill,12 Bicton Place, Exmouth.IN DEFENCE OF SHORE ANGLERSWITH reference to the front page article in last week's Exmouth Herald entitled 'Beach danger' about fishing tackle being discarded on beaches. I am a keen beach angler and secretary of the Exmouth Sea Angling Association. As such, on behalf of the vast majority of sea anglers who are responsible fishermen and fisherwomen, I can only apologise to Mark Gould and Sharon Howe for the item of dangerous fishing tackle they found 'discarded' recently. From their brief description and at a guess, it sounds like the rig in question included a treble hook and this was most likely lost from a boat drifting for sea bass and washed up or was possibly lost by an angler spinning from the shore. Regardless of where it came from, I can assure them and all beach users that no responsible shore angler would simply discard their 'unwanted' fishing tackle on the beach. Not only because the vast majority of anglers are fully aware of the obvious danger and environmental impact of discarding hooks and line etc, but also because rigs can cost up to £5 a throw. Yes, there's an irresponsible element in every sport and pastime, but please don't tar us all with the same brush. The vast majority of sea anglers are extremely responsible, taking home all their rubbish and safely returning inedible or unwanted fish to the sea. Incidentally, in the ESAA we encourage members out fishing to take away more rubbish than they actually bring and this often includes dangerous lost, discarded or abandoned commercial fishing items like monofilament nets etc. Furthermore, our regional body, the Wyvern Division of the National Federation of Sea Anglers, has recently launched its 'Take Five' initiative, asking members to remove five items of other people's junk from the beach every trip. With the right guidance, like using a shock leader and non-stainless steel hooks which degrade extremely quickly, all anglers, whether with a club or not, can easily avoid contributing to the very small percentage of lost angling rigs included in the vast daily pile of man-made jetsam washed up on our local beaches. Simon Boeree, Hon Secretary, Exmouth Sea Angling Assoc.VOICE YOUR VIEWS OVER ASDAThere have been lots of letters in the Exmouth Journal over the past few weeks with various views on the proposed ASDA development. A lot of people in or around Exmouth obviously have strong opinions.Exmouth Citizens' Forum will be holding an open public meeting on Tuesday, April 1, in All Saints Church Hall, Exeter Road, at 7pm. The tenor of the meeting is to allow people to voice their views and perhaps hear the responses from others.If you would like to contact Exmouth Citizens' Forum, our email address is: exmouthcitizensforum@live.co.uk or telephone me on (01395) 269163.Heather Lane,44 Camperdown Terrace, Exmouth.LACK OF PARKING FOR RAIL USERSI read your article last week on the outline plans for the new Asda store, shortly after returning from Exmouth railway station. There, I had noticed that the station car park reserved for rail users was full to and beyond bursting with over 50 cars. With road traffic increasing by leaps and bounds, and no likelihood of improvement to the A376 to Exeter for many years, the train will soon become the fastest way for Exmouth-Exeter commuters to avoid the inevitable gridlock by driving to Exmouth station to catch the train. I see no provision in the ASDA plans for any car parking for rail at all, let alone enhanced provision. The car park for the new store itself seems to be the municipal car park confiscated. Please could someone enlighten me? Richard Giles, Kilntop, Lympstone.PS Where are the buses to go? As of now, we have a rare example of a bus-rail interchange station. Will this facility be lost too?ENJOY THE VIEW FOR NOW...It was amusing to see our local and district councillors and MP admiring the views of the estuary as they attended the opening of the new cycle route. Obviously, a wonderful photograph opportunity for all of them, but I wonder if it even crossed their minds, as they glanced across the magnificent views, whether an Asda built right beside one of our greatest assets and adjacent to a sight of Special Scientific Interest might just be a blot on the landscape? A word of advice to all of them, please listen to your constituents before you sell Exmouth off to the highest bidder. Mrs Susan Tully,25A Albion Street, Exmouth.DOG BAN IDEA LUDICROUSI felt compelled to write regarding the headline of a recent Budleigh Journal: "Ban dogs from Green". I agree with Cllr Sismore-Hunt that dog owners should take responsibility for clearing up their dogs mess, but to suggest a ban from The Green is ludicrous. Does Cllr Sismore-Hunt walk around town with her eyes closed? If not, then she must surely be able to see the on-going problems of dog mess around the town. I seem to remember not so long ago that Mrs White, of Shortwood Close, fought a long and hard battle against the council to install more dog poo bins - would this not be a far better action, together with a full-time dog warden, rather than to ban dogs from The Green? I have owned a dog for three years and often walk my pet on The Green and, while I accept that not all dog owners pick up their dog's mess (and they should), I have never seen a dog warden there - or anywhere else around town for that matter. Maybe Cllr Sismore-Hunt should go the whole hog and ban dogs altogether from the town, then there would be no mess to clean up and no need to spend "wasted" money on extra dog bins or dog wardens!Mrs Andrea Gatter,9 Armytage Road,Budleigh Salterton.

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