PUBLISHED: 10:15 17 June 2011
Rarely do I write of late, but, on this occasion, I picked up last week's copy of the Journal and was faced with a quantity of ammunition of "Biblical proportions" which forced me to put quill to paper!
Pages six and seven of this week’s Journal read like some warped script from an apocalyptic Mad Max movie, with its Mystic Meg-like foretelling of Exmouth’s future.
LDA design have succeeded in rewriting Exmouth’s future with some Albert Speer-like blueprint of the Utopia that we are all due to inhabit. This Utopian draft contains more “buzzwords” than a Whitehall quango meeting and little real substance.
Smoke and mirrors, carrot and stick are the order of the day when one runs one’s hands through the muddy puddle to find the lumps. We find an awful lot of water and very few solids as we trawl through their ideas (and that is all they are!)
How can it be that we, the council tax payer, have funded this company to produce an Aesop like fable of what Exmouth will become, when we actually have a council which is incapable of running the town properly from day to day, let alone predicting what the town will become by 2035!
Buzzwords are the order of the day, with “transport interchanges”, “high-quality space”, “town centre estuary spine”, “cultural hub”, “waterfront gem” etc tossed at us, like lifebelts to a drowning man, as if to keep our idea of a utopian Exmouth afloat.
When what we really need is proper management now, not in 24 years’ time, when the town will have continued on its slippery slope into oblivion, led by the people who have been voted into power by those with no ability to think further than their own wallets.
We are currently seeing the results of “out-of-the-box thinking” with our desolate town centre and our concrete wasteland-cum-skate park and vomitorium. For God’s sake, what faces us if the same people who brought us this carbuncle carry on in power?
By 2035, I foresee some “post apocalyptic Exmouth”, patrolled by armed centurions loyal to Emperor Cameron the 5th and his legions, rounding up northerners from the internment camp (formerly Sandy Bay) to take part in gladiatorial combat in the former Strand, now “Coliseum Strandinium” for the entertainment of the Exmouth Senate, made up of residents of the Avenues whose villas are worth enough to gain them a vote as Exmouth’s ruling class.
These northern tribes will spill their blood among the encrusted kebab juice and beer stains that mark the Terrazzo tiling of the Strand, to win the ultimate trophy of the “Gregg’s Meat Pie”, the Northern equivalent of the Holy Grail, which will mark them as men of substance amongst their fellow men.
Separated from the villa-dwellers of The Avenues, the ordinary mob will struggle for survival, as the rest of Exmouth falls in on itself, with no jobs, no investment and no hope, merely a retirement population whose income is not reliant on local business and, therefore, have no care of those who need real jobs to survive.
Like the Roman Empire, Exmouth and its leaders will carry on fiddling while Exmouth burns...
Ian R Woolger
5 Parkview, Wotton Lane, Lympstone.