Tough time ahead

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 May 2012

The Exmouth Masterplan, as many residents are aware, is in fact a combination of several plans over several years, for the 'Regeneration of Exmouth', therefore it does contain some suggestions that we have all seen before.

This ‘Masterplan’ is about delivery in a very difficult financial climate. East Devon District Council has to act as a business by reviewing all its assets within its area – not just Exmouth – by selling some to be able to invest in others.

EDDC is putting £700,000 investment into the Exmouth Masterplan, to ‘oil the wheels’ and make it happen.

The whole point is to attract fresh investment that, in turn, will spur further investment to increase business, create more jobs and to provide for residents and visitors alike.

This investment will mainly have to come from the private sector. We need to provide for the future and it will be very difficult.

I, like you, live in Exmouth, shop in Exmouth and spend most of my leisure time in Exmouth. I have spoken to many people of all ages. The common theme seems to be that they do not wish to pay more council tax but do want local jobs for our residents. Attracting visitors is vital for Exmouth’s economy.

Honiton Town Council is providing a community centre that received a grant from EDDC (promised more than 10 years ago). Honiton Town Council is using its reserves and taking on a loan of £975,000 and increased its council tax by £9 per annum which is now at £40.38.

It still has to raise over £100,000. (EDDC Cabinet agenda October 5, 2011) Exmouth council tax is £30 per annum.

The Kennaway Centre in Sidmouth raised all its own funds and had a loan from EDDC which it is paying back from its income.

The suggestions in the Exmouth Masterplan have all come from the people of Exmouth, including EDDC tenants and local businesses.

Jill Elson

East Devon District Council Councillor, Exmouth Halsdon Ward.

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