Tidy-up delay defended

PUBLISHED: 02:01 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:57 10 June 2010

HOTEL managers are angry with the delays in cleaning up the debris left by the great storm. Exmouth seafront was battered by the greatest storms to hit the area this year and a mess of sand, rubble and seaweed was left in its wake along The Promenade. Ea

HOTEL managers are angry with the delays in cleaning up the debris left by the great storm.Exmouth seafront was battered by the greatest storms to hit the area this year and a mess of sand, rubble and seaweed was left in its wake along The Promenade. East Devon District Council and Devon County Council defended their response to the storm debris.The storm hit the town at the beginning of the Easter season and hotel proprietors are concerned that the wreckage will deter tourists from re-visiting the town - their first impressions of wreckage rather than a fresh esplanade. John Thorogood, owner of Clinton Guest House, said: "It took 10 days for the DCC to clean up the mess. We are a seaside resort. You can understand it takes time, but 10 days? Many hotels have approached me to express their concern at our council's laziness."Mr Thorogood, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, contacted the council in an effort to make them address the debris situation faster, especially after the Sidmouth storm damage was dealt with within two days.A spokesman for the EDDC said: "Due to the composition (Exmouth: sand, Sidmouth: pebbles) and the difference in the size of the beaches at Sidmouth and Exmouth, it is not really appropriate to compare the clean-up process for the two. EDDC was responsible for clearing debris from Sidmouth seafront, whereas Devon County Council was responsible for the clean-up process in Exmouth."The sand also covered parking lines and key road markings.A spokesman for DCC said: "Strong winds and heavy rain took its toll on Devon, which has the longest network of roads in the country, and the county council had to respond to a great many emergency situations that week, including trees down in roads, localised flooding, and emergency works to clear drainage systems, to keep the highways safe and usable. In just two days we dealt with over 100 trees down, and 185 localised flooding issues. In such circumstances we do everything as soon as we can, but we have to prioritise the work, which is why some situations were dealt with before others."The debris was cleared up on Thursday, March 20.

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