Thank heavens for FORCE

PUBLISHED: 16:37 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 10 June 2010

How many times recently did you use the expression Thank God for that" or Thank heavens for that"? It's all right, I'm not preaching. But I am going to say: Thank God for FORCE,which is sheer heaven." I wonder if you know what on earth I'm talking ab

How many times recently did you use the expression "Thank God for that" or "Thank heavens for that"? It's all right, I'm not preaching. But I am going to say: "Thank God for FORCE,which is sheer heaven." I wonder if you know what on earth I'm talking about? Bet you've seen FORCE posters all over town and thought: "How odd, what does that mean?" Well, the literal answer is Friends of Radiography Centre Exeter. Now you know.And that peaceful, serene centre, just inside the grounds of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, is 'sheer heaven'. It is the tangible embodiment of all that we think of in a McMillan nurse - comfort, hope, example and support. It is a haven of reassurance for all who either themselves or their family are confronted by cancer. It is hard to describe a feeling of calm serenity. You must book an appointment to see and experience it for yourself. Then you will realise how vital it is to do anything to help in a practical way. Here's one way.Very soon, on Saturday, April 19, at 7.30pm, there is a most enjoyable and very inexpensive way - buy a £6 ticket to attend a double value-for-money musical evening in the Exmouth Community College Main Hall, Green Close Site. You will hear not only the renowned Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir, but also the college's much-loved Balalaika Group.Do please make up a party and come. By all means ring me for tickets if you wish, (01395) 272020.Anthony Robinson,222 Withycombe Village Road, Exmouth.SUMMERLANDS: NOT DEMOCRATICREGARDING the go-ahead given at appeal to build in the grounds of Summerlands in Budleigh Salterton. Councillor Ray Franklin has commented on the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to allow the new property to be built adjacent to Summerlands by saying: "This is very disappointing.... But that's democracy" (Journal, April 3). In my view, this decision is far more than disappointing and it is certainly not democratic.As you report, for almost two decades, both town and district councils have resolutely refused repeated planning applications and this has been with the full support of the majority of Budleigh residents. All this has now been overturned by an unelected government official, no doubt acting under direction from Whitehall. How can this be described as democratic?This is a black day for Budleigh Salterton. I hope others will remember it should Councillor Roger Bowen (the owner of Summerlands) offer himself for re-election.Ronald J Richards,17 Copp Hill Lane, Budleigh Salterton.LOCAL DECISION MAKING IS BESTI support the aspiration of some Budleigh town councillors to work towards Quality Council Status. This would increase capacity for local ownership of decision-making, enhance responsibility and accountability for delivery and quality of service.With the passing of time, it is to be expected that central government will devolve more and more powers to local councils as these are closer to local issues and concerns, and it is only to be expected that those councils which have shown initiative, confidence and competence will be so empowered. The acquisition of Quality Status will benefit our town and I hope that it can be achieved. Experience demonstrates that local decision-making is more effective in increasing participation in society and improving standards of service than the remote central variety.Our councillors should pursue the initiative with enthusiasm and not be fearful of taking on the additional responsibilities that go with it. Jim Madden, (via email).SUMMERLANDS: READ SMALL PRINTI was shocked and disappointed to hear of the Planning Inspector's decision to allow an additional house to be built at Summerlands in Budleigh Salterton. How could she conclude that building a house on a woodland site, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Conservation Area, would not adversely affect its character or appearance ? Then I read the "small print".Condition 3 says that a plan of "additional appropriate tree planting in the vicinity of the house" must be agreed with East Devon District Council (EDDC), to "replace trees felled on this part of the site in the past, and reinforce in the longer term, the secluded character of the site". Also, condition 7 prevents "alterations and extensions" to the plans, which hopefully means that the building we get on the site will be the one that she approved, and not some other version, enlarged and changed by subsequent applications, as usually happens.I now believe that it is possible to achieve a building on this site that meets both the objectors' desire to retain its character and appearance, and the applicants' desire to profit from it.To achieve this, the inspector has, in my view, charged EDDC with:l Negotiating and enforcing a tree planting scheme that the town and its visitors deserve.l Enforcing the section 106 tree management agreement, over both the short and long term.l Ensuring that "all trees as well as the boundary wall" are protected during construction.l Ensuring that the building is constructed to plan.l Rejecting any future plans for alterations or extensions. Is EDDC able and willing to deliver? Mike Crear, Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton.DUCK RACE RAISED £700With Easter being so early this year, it was not surprising the weather was a problem for our Annual Duck Race, but none of us expected it to be quite so bad. So the president and members of the Exmouth (Clyst Valley) Lions Club would like to thank everyone who turned out to support this popular local event, or who 'sponsored a duck' earlier.Net proceeds raised were just short of £700. A substantial donation has been made to the local RNLI, with smaller sums to various other local organisations, including the Fire Brigade Benevolent Fund, and balanceadded to our welfare account.Our thanks to the local Fire Brigade and cadets of 299 (Exmouth) Squadron Air Training Corps, both of whom gave valuable assistance on the day. A special thank you to Chris Wright, owner of Exmouth Fun Park, without whose generous use of his facilities the event would not be possible. Finally, a warm thank you to everyone who braved the elements to support us, including The Journal's own Simon Horn who photographed the event - we hope that the conditions will be kinder next Easter.The club is about to start a membership campaign, as we need a few more members if we are to achieve more. If anyone would like more information, please ring me on (01395) 276316. This is YOUR chance to help YOUR community, and have fun doing it. David Laskey,Flat 1, 7 Hulham Road, Exmouth.LET'S TARGET ALL THE CULPRITSFurther to your article in the Budleigh Journal last Thursday, headlined "Shop irresponsible dog owners", I would like to make the following response: I would be 100 per cent in favour of Councillor Tom Wright's proposal if it were applied equally and fairly, with a dollop (excuse the pun) of common sense. However, it appears that dog owners are going to be the only demographic targeted, or should that be victimised? I am regularly disgusted while walking my dog, to find that other dog walkers have bagged their dog mess and then left the bag slung on the ground or hanging in a tree for someone else to clear up. I agree that those people should be prosecuted, if proved to be guilty. But, however admirable the thinking behind Mr Wright's suggestion, I feel the zealots among us will take it to extremes without applying an ounce of common-sense. Will I find my local dog-hater hiding in the bushes, hoping to catch my Cocker Spaniel defecating on a cow-pat or my Labrador with his back end crouched among a bed of nettles? Do I really need to waste plastic bags, thus causing further environmental damage, trying to fish dog mess out of nettle beds or among sheep and cattle faeces when surely it would be better and more appropriate in these circumstances to let it rot away unseen?In this area, it is just as prevalent, if not more disgusting, to find abandoned picnics, take-away wrappers, used condoms, empty cans and bottles along the footpaths of the River Otter and in the local hedgerows. If Mr Wright's proposal is adopted, I for one will be taking photographs of all those people I find littering. I assume photographic evidence will also be sufficient in these cases and that these offenders and/or their parents will be dealt with equally as harshly as the dog-owners who allow their dogs to foul in public areas? If we are going to have a clean-up campaign, let's not do half a job, let's go after ALL the culprits, not just the easy targets. Lara Shaddick,Otterton.NEW TESCO CAFƒ PLAN QUESTIONEDOne year ago Tesco closed its cafe. Here is a quote from your paper: "Tesco say the closure, on April 7, is necessary because the restaurant is not making enough money." A spokesman said: "The store is building up for a 'refresh' and, due to declining use, the cafe has been closed." So why would Tesco provide another in-store cafe when the last one was such a business failure only a year ago? Mr P Burgess,(via email).FABULOUS AID FOR SEA FISHERMENPlease pass on my most grateful thanks to everyone who attended our fundraising evening night in aid of The Royal National Mission To Deep Sea Fishermen.The fabulous sum of £1,100 was raised. Please convey my very special thanks to Lisa Schunk and Alice Quicke who organised the event and raffle. In addition, Viv from Dockside Cafe who sorted and prepared an absolutely fabulous buffet, which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.The continued support of the Fishermen's Mission is always most welcome and I can assure you never taken for granted. Simon Jones,Honorary Agent.SUPPORT BEYOND EXPECTATIONSThe Exmouth Friends of the Royal National Mission for Deep Sea Fishermen would like to thank all the local businesses that generously supported our fundraising raffle. The proceeds of the event amount to £1,100. The local support for the fishermen's mission, with both prizes and turn-out, was beyond expectations and we wish to wholeheartedly thank all involved for their help, support, donations and everyone who came and made it a great night.Lisa Schunk and Alice Quicke on behalf of the Exmouth Friends of the RNMDSF.IRAQ: A SELECTIVE MEMOIRYregarding MP Hugo Swire's column in the Journal last week.He writes about the need for an inquiry into the Iraq war, and quite right too! Those responsible, mainly Tony Blair, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Sadly, however, that will not happen.Mr Swire does ask in his article however: "How did we proceed to war? How did we send our servicemen to kill and be killed without any serious planning..."Well, I can tell him.The parliamentary records, freely available to everybody, show that he (Hugo Swire) voted on February 26, 2003, against an amendment to stop the war, and on March 18, 2003, voted with the government to go to war.There's your answer to that particular question, Mr Swire. I believe that you and all those MPs like you who voted with the 'ayes' have a very selective memory. Mike Fairclough, 19 Withycombe Road,Exmouth. ASDA: LOOK AT NEWTON ABBOTI AM writing to say how much I enjoyed the informative Asda double page advertising spread in the Exmouth Herald. No doubt we will be treated to many more of these gems over the coming months. I'm assuming, in the interests of fairness, they will be alternated with similar sized features representing the views of Exmouth residents and local traders - who, I imagine, are right now calling upon their ASDA-like vast budgets and resources for media buying, market research, PR and graphic designers to demonstrate how the town and the estuary will be enhanced by 40,000 sq ft of supermarket, sensitively positioned on an area of outstanding beauty.I would suggest a trip to Newton Abbot to anyone who needed further reassurance on the impact of ASDA and to experience the thoughtfulness and sensitivity that has been afforded to the design and landscaping of this development.Natalie Hall,35 Phillipps Avenue, Exmouth.

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