Ray fights to protect town

Although I no longer live in Budleigh Salterton, I see the Budleigh Journal every week and I was annoyed to read the front page last week about the comments on Councillor Ray Franklin for supporting the planning application for the Longboat Cafe.

Although I no longer live in Budleigh Salterton, I see the Budleigh Journal every week and I was annoyed to read the front page last week about the comments on Councillor Ray Franklin for supporting the planning application for the Longboat Cafe.

The lady concerned obviously is not a native of Budleigh. If she were, then she would appreciate that Ray Franklin has been the one person who has fought to retain the character of this unique East Devon town.

Ray is an old friend of mine and, after a spell with the town council, he talked to the Conservative party about supporting him for East Devon District Council. They rejected him as he was only a "painter and decorator", but he proved them wrong by standing as an Independent candidate and was elected with so many votes that it was embarrassing for the other candidates.

He soon progressed within the district council and his interest in planning helped protect much of East Devon and not just Budleigh.


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His home town was his passion and he fought hard to prevent inappropriate development.

My wife and I regularly drive 20 miles to walk along the river to Otterton and then return for a crab salad at the Longboat Cafe.

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The cafe is unique, but this does not mean that it cannot be improved. Strict control of the design and size is very important, but it is 2009 and not 1959.

If Ray Franklin thinks that it is right, then I fully support him. He has always had Budleigh Salterton as his priority and the comments from one protester appalled me.

I was born in Budleigh Salterton, but my career took me away from there. Ray chose not to move away and his loyal service in local government is to be applauded.

It has not been an easy application to deal with, but it will bring considerable business to the town and it will put Budleigh on the map. I cannot wait to drive 20 miles to eat in the new restaurant and look out at the wonderful view.

Roger Hodge,

Little Acorn,

Dunsford, Exeter.

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