Sad farewell to Trevor Bartlett
PUBLISHED: 02:01 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 10 June 2010
What will the people do now? Thursdays will not be the same I am taking about Trevor Bartlett stopping writing articles in the Journal every week. Shame that he is hanging up his pen after 25 years all the best chum. Russell Buer, 4 Featherstone Road
What will the people do now? Thursdays will not be the same - I am taking about Trevor Bartlett stopping writing articles in the Journal every week. Shame that he is hanging up his pen after 25 years - all the best chum.Russell Buer,4 Featherstone Road, Exmouth.ASDA: A DELUGE OF OPPOSITIONThough I now live in Cornwall, Exmouth's future is still of great concern to me. I am appalled by East Devon District Council's reversal of its decision of February 2006 to shelve the proposal for a 40,000 sq ft (net) supermarket on the estuary site.Since the January 2008 announcement, the Journal has carried a deluge of sober and logical letters opposing this scheme, yet we have not seen a single answering letter from EDDC or Exmouth Town Council justifying the reconsideration of the estuary site for such a large store.The "Unlocking Exmouth" document of October 2004 used four arguments for building a large supermarket on the estuary site:1. Exmouth's population justifies a second large supermarket.2. The Government's "Sequential Test" process requires new supermarkets to be placed as closely as possible to existing town centres.3. A study made by Sainsburys (date not known, nor scope of study) apparently indicated the proposed supermarket might add some £3 million per annum of extra trade to the existing shops through "linked trips". 4. The sale (not lease) of council land would provide further substantial funds for other district council development work (in Exmouth? Well, um, er, perhaps).Point one above still applies, but the remaining three points have altered dramatically since first proposed and now a location away from the town centre seems a vastly better solution for Exmouth.Point 2. I understand the present Government has decided to shelve the Sequential Test.Point 3. In 2006, EDDC accepted that they had never examined the Sainsbury's study and could not obtain it or anything similar. Is this study relevant to Exmouth's situation - a tourist town with a "90-degree catchment" and Exeter nearby, ie nothing like a market town with a 360 degree field?Point 4. What is Exmouth's guaranteed additional benefit for selling this exceptional "family silver"? Is the offer merely a new meeting room and small visitor centre, with a replacement library and leisure centre? Who will then own the present library site and the small housing and retail units proposed for the estuary side of the new store? This superb site will be lost to the town. A major influx of cyclists and their cars is inevitable as the cyclepath is extended. Surely a transport hub, extra car parking capacity, a riverside promenade, plus scope for future opportunities seem far more likely to benefit Exmouth as a tourism and coastal recreational town than a vast supermarket there? Hello-o-oo, EDDC, are you tuned in - and listening? Please let your voters have enough information for them to make considered judgements. Please tell us whether the Sequential Test still applies, and justify the linked trips argument. Have you actively discussed any alternative sites (not owned by EDDC) with the preferred partner or any competitor over the past two years? Planning approval for such sites would presumably justify substantial "planning gain" for Exmouth. Hello, Exmouth Town Council! How many councillors (or members of the town management) have visited Newton Abbot to fully appreciate the immense size of this proposed supermarket? Does Exmouth really want ASDA in its entrance hall? Graham Cochrane, 18 Warrens Field, Camelford.ASDA WILL BUY OUR PUBLIC LANDAt Exmouth Town Council's Annual Meeting on March 18, John Wokersien, our town clerk, did a presentation about Exmouth Regeneration. When have any of these proposals been discussed in public open debate? I would also query the use of a professional facilitator for the secret meeting where the four supermarket proposals were put forward. How much did it cost and who paid for it? I also didn't realise that Asda were actually going to be buying our public land.J Simpson,Exeter Road, Exmouth.GARNERS - AN EXCELLENT SHOPWhile staying in Devon in January, I could not find the screws I wanted in Sidmouth, so I thought I'd try Exmouth when visiting to have my hair cut. Someone directed me to Garners Hardware and I'm so glad they did, because Mr Garner took so much trouble to find the right size screws. I also drew a blank in Sidmouth (and Brighton) looking for metal waste bins, so I rang Garners again and they ordered some in for me for my visit in March. They were just what I wanted, so thanks again, Garners! An excellent shop.Mrs Elaine Evans,19 Reynolds Road, Hove.SMALL BUSINESSES TO HAVE THEIR SAYIn all the lively discussions about the future of Exmouth, there has been an unfortunate lack of communication so far from one of the prime representatives of smaller enterprises, namely the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). This is now being rectified.The FSB is currently working on a policy in respect of the impact of supermarkets on small businesses and local environments and wants to provide a positive and realistic approach to a problem that needs to be handled in a balanced and intelligent way, promoting choice, competition and wise development in the local area. Recent FSB newsletters have requested members to make their views known on such developments, whether in Exmouth or other East Devon towns such as Seaton and Honiton. More input on this is requested, as the more you make your views known the more valid will be the input to the discussion.The FSB in East Devon holds regular monthly breakfast meetings to promote such discussion and networking. If you are a member (or if you are looking to become one), do come along and make yourself and your views known. To book a place please send an email to Neil Thomson Enborne (firstname.lastname@example.org) and rest assured other members will welcome you and your opinions to the meeting.Doug Robertson,15 Pound Street, Exmouth.ASDA: MAJOR CHANGES NEEDEDIt is good that we all have a clearer idea through the plan released by ASM/ASDA (Journal, March 6) of what is proposed and that they will be holding a detailed consultation programme before the planning application, which is expected in the summer. But this must surely be, as they say, only an initial plan.The Exmouth Community Association considers that substantial changes are essential, before serious consideration is given to the proposed developments. For this is not just a matter of whether we want or need a new supermarket and exactly where it should be located. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop Exmouth in the way the community wants. Unless the people of Exmouth are listened to very soon in genuine consultation, we shall have a damaging negative response and every possibility of an imposed plan, which could well be regarded as a disaster for the rest of the century. The ECA has already said direct to East Devon District Council and ASM/ASDA that any plans must in our view: l ensure that the new supermarket complements rather than overwhelms good existing businesses and, to encourage linked shopping trips, is a part of the central business district. Re-routing Marine Way is vital. That would make it possible to provide direct and level access to and from the central business district without crossing the arterial road, ensuring maximum footfall and safety for everybodyl manage the anticipated increase in traffic and reposition the superstore closer to the town and further away from the estuary-sidel release significant land for extra parking, available to all visiting the town centre, with safe, convenient and attractive connection to the town shopsl develop the potential of our rail/bus terminal into a modern interchange for buses, trains, taxis and as the location for 'shopmobility', tourist information and people using the new estuary cycleway l include some realignment of the railway to provide a safe, attractive and convenient arrival point for visitors and shoppers.These issues go well beyond the remit of ASM/ASDA and are the responsibility of EDDC working with Exmouth Town Council and Devon County Council. We want to support them to get it right for Exmouth. So will EDDC, in the person of Councillor Philip Skinner as Champion of Exmouth and whoever else, please respond to our invitations to join us in face-to-face discussion? It is not good enough to leave it to ASM/ASDA to consult through the planning process. We need to be persuaded by our elected representatives that the outcome really is for the benefit of Exmouth. Roy Pryke,Chairman of Exmouth Community Association.CENTRE STAGE SHOW A 'MUST'The reputation of today's youth is not always a good one. However, we like to think that Centre Stage can be an exception. We are performing a fantastic show this week, which is called The Dreaming. We have been rehearsing vigorously over the past few months so we can perform this wonderful show to our local audience (Monday, March 31 to Saturday, April 5).We would greatly appreciate it if everyone would buy a ticket and come and see us perform. It is not a very well-known show, but it is brilliant and has been a great experience for all of us. The show is based on Shakespeare's famous A Midsummer Night's Dream, with music by Howard Goodall, the composer of the Vicar of Dibly. It was originally performed by the National Youth Music Theatre.It is definitely not one to miss. Please come and support your local youth amateur theatre society, as we hope you will.Many thanks, the members of Centre Stage.RETURN GARDEN CLUB TROPHIESWould you be so good as to allow the Exmouth Garden Club to appeal to all members and former members for the return of club property, especially cups and trophies that have been awarded in the past? The cups and trophies are meant to be held for one year until the next annual show. It is very easy, we know, to forget about a cup, vase or plate that may be out of sight in a cupboard.Our next show will take place on August 30 this year and we do need our full complement of equipment and trophies to make this event a success.Noel Allen,Chairman, Exmouth Garden Club.WHY MUST WE BUY BIN LINERS?Like most people today, I recycle everything I can, collect rainwater and make compost for the garden - and take my own shopping bag to the supermarket. Sometimes, though, I bring home a plastic carrier. This is the start of an interesting and useful life for the bag, which may next find itself on the way to classes with sports or swim kit or to a picnic or carrying a packed lunch - or back to the shops or market for the following week's groceries, or maybe even to a charity shop. Eventually, the well-worn carrier bag comes to rest in my kitchen bin before ending its career, handles neatly tied together, in the dustbin - which needs no black liner, of course.I can't be the only person to resent the unnecessary purchase of bin liners. Why has no-one raised this aspect of the great plastic bag debate? If I tip my unwrapped rubbish into the dustbin, will it be emptied? No. I phoned East Devon District Council to check. So I must go and buy kitchen bin liners and/or black bin bags. How environmental is that?Rita de Selincourt,33 The Parade, Exmouth.l More letters on page 20.