I refer to the letter in last week’s Journal entitled ‘Railing upset’.
It seems the town council is ‘damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t’ refurbish these railing and, contrary to the opinion of the previous letter writer, the town council does care about how the town looks.
The ownership of these railings is unclear, with both Devon County Council and East Devon District Council denying ownership, albeit they manage the beach and the adjacent footpath.
Rather than leave this eyesore in place while there was a protracted argument about ownership, the town council decided to take action by replacing the rusty poles and the attached rusty wire netting with posts that are the closest possible match to the existing ones.
The four original posts have been painted and will be retained. The only way new posts, that are an exact match to the old ones, could be obtained, is to remove one of the existing posts and make a mould from which to cast new ones.
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When this was mooted, there was immediate concern expressed by some residents who did not want even one post removed.
Additionally, the cost just to make the mould would have been in excess of �1,500 and then the price of casting new ones would have taken the total bill very close to �3,000.
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I said I did not think people would notice if we kept the existing four posts and then installed other new ones that were the closest possible match.
How many residents of this town have noticed that the existing posts by the Budleigh Salterton Club differ from the ones alongside the town brook, which, in turn, differ from those alongside Coastguard Hill?
The town council does care about how the town looks, but it is also careful about how it spends your money.
Therefore, the members agreed to a reasonable compromise to replace the rusty railings, but did not feel disposed to spend thousands of pounds on ‘Rolls Royce’ railings in times when many people are feeling the financial pinch.
Cllr Courtney Richards
Chairman, Budleigh Salterton Town Council Finance Committee.