Friday: April 13th  Taking part in the Councillors Question Time at Stowford Community Centre 
An excellent attendance from local residents of the Sid Valley who raised a series of question on a wide range of topics including the Local Plan, Localism, Park and Change, Residents Parking, Feniton to Sidmouth Cycleway,Esplanade Zebra Crossing, Traffic Management and the future of Knowle.....much concern was expressed about the possible loss of East Devon DistrictCouncil if it were to move to Honiton......All concillors were as one in that whatever happens the grounds must remain public open space and ALL the trees should have TPO's placed on them.............I made the point that whatever happens we've got to ensure thatwe get the best deal for Sidmouth and that any development of Knowle should only be on the present footprint of the Council Offices.
I also mooted the idea that perhaps the Town Council should consider relocation to a more central location as localism will place more power on the Town Council and that we should see what elements of services at present  being provided at Knowle could remain in town.......The Police could also be part of any Town Council move as it is only a matter of time before the Police Station is declared surplus to requirement and we need to ensure that the Police have a base in Sidmouth....
What are your thoughts on this suggestion?? email me on stuart.hughes@devon.gov.uk 

As for the Esplanade Zebra Crossing I shall take another look to see if there is any possibility of moving this although this could be looked at as part of the forthcoming comprehensive look at a Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth.

 Sunday: April 15th 
Radio Show this afternoon between 2.00 and 4.00pm on Bay FM Online with all the regular features including the Countdowns and the Weird and Wacky News www.bayfm.co.uk 

Monday:April 16th 
I had the pleasure to carry out the ceremonial turf cutting marking the start on work on the £1.1million pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton which got underway today.

The new 90-metre long steel cable-stay bridge over the River Teign is being developed in partnership between Devon County Council and charity Sustrans, as part of the charity’s work in developing new everyday walking and cycling links in communities across the UK, with funding from the Big Lottery.

 “It's fitting that work should start on this bridge during the national Summer of Cycling which is aiming to get more people cycling than ever before. This bridge should do exactly that, making it much easier and more convenient for people to cycle to work or school. This new link will provide a safe alternative to the main traffic route between the two communities of Kingsteignton and Newton Abbot. That can tackle congestion, reduce carbon emissions, improve people’s health, and save people money. It will also support our local economy by attracting visitors to the area on the National Cycle Network.”

The development of a new path from Hackney Marshes, alongside the railway line, got underway a few months ago. Other connecting paths in the Hackney Marshes local nature reserve were opened last year.

The new bridge has been designed by the County Council following several years of negotiations, detailed investigations and design development. It is expected to be completed and open to the public later this year.

It will be constructed by Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd. Contractor South West Highways is carrying out the path construction.

The cycle/footbridge, and connecting paths will eventually extend along the North bank of the River Teign to Teignmouth, as part of the National Cycle Network.

Tuesday April: 17th 

Having taken advice from our PROW team at County Hall I have written to request that the East Devon District Council dedicate footpaths within the Knowle grounds as public rights of way, through dedication or creation agreements as the landowners with the County Council under section 25 of the Highways Act 1980. They (the footpaths) would then be recorded on the Definitive Map as public rights of way.
I am only too well aware that with the media interest on the possibility of EDDC relocating to Honiton that there is a vast amount of concern regarding this issue within the town and it is an easier procedure to record public rights of way than going through the investigation of evidence to add them to the Definitive Map by Modification Order as they are currently not recorded as rights of way, although I am led to believe that there have already been queries from members of the public about how to do that.

Wednesday April: 18th 
Have now heard from Chief Executive at East Devon that my request to dedicate footpaths within the Knowle grounds as public right of way will go to the next meeting of the office accommodation working party for assessment........It is worth pointing out that if agreement is secured and I see no reason why not ,otherwise we would have to go through the investigation of evidence route which is both timely and costly. That it does not allow wider access for the public to wander in open areas of land or parkland.......I am now looking into that aspect.
Town Council Planning at Woolcombe House this evening will be debating the replacement CARC Civic Amenity Recycling Centre at Bowd.

Thursday April: 19th 

Its the Town Council's Annual Assembly this evening commencing at 6.30pm at Sidford in the Social Hall giving the electors of the town, a chance to ask questions of your Town Councillors and raise any issues or concerns that they may have....It is also a chance to hear about the work of the Town Council during the past year. This year is particularly important as there are several important issues affecting the town which are being discussed at various levels particularly with regard to development matters. The Local Plan (LDF) which is the blueprint for development for the next 15 years for which the panel of East Devon Councillors have made their final recommendations to the Development Management Committee which will ultimately make a decision on the plan before it is submitted to Government for approval.
Tonight's meeting will be the final chance for electors and residents to have their say as the Town Council will be consulted prior to Development Management making the final decision and therefore we will be taking a 20 minute break out session for views to be put which will then go before the Town Council on the 21st May to formally respond to East Devon District Council.

Friday April: 20th 

Once again the Connaught Gardens have been the target of wanton vandalism  causing around £3,000 of damage ....Around 130 15-16 year old youths gathered in Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth last Friday following invitations to a ‘party’ distributed by telephone text and Facebook. The youths were from schools across East Devon and Exeter, including Sidmouth. The Police had picked up on the invitation and had 7 officers in attendance. The Police broke up the gathering and conviscated considerable amounts of alcohol and a quantity of drugs. The smaller groups of youths roamed Sidmouth until the early hours of Saturday 14th leaving litter and broken bottles throughout the town. A group returned to Connaught Gardens at some point during the night to cause damage.

One memorial bench was destroyed, a section of paving was pulled up, a flowerbed was completely ripped out, 2 windows in a shelter were broken, 2 litterbins were pulled up and thrown over the cliff onto the Millennium Walk and bottles smashed throughout the gardens. The estimated t damage and cost of labour to repair/clean up is at around £3000.

This further spate of vandalism at Connaught Gardens is disgraceful and I sincerely hope that those responsible will be caught and dealt with by the courts as it is the Council Tax payers who are picking up the bill for making good this damage.
I personally believe consideration should be given to the provision of some form of CCTV system in Connaught Gardens which I would be happy to contribute towards from my locality budget. 

Saturday April: 21st

I have received confirmation from the officers at County Hall that they have agreed my request for the 40mph speed limit on the Bowd to Ottery St Mary road to be extended to the north of the proposed new state of the art CARC Civic Amenity Recycling Centre and that this will now be included in the planning application....I'm sure that the local Bowd residents will welcome this news.

Sunday April: 22nd 

On this afternoon's Sunday Jukebox Show on Bay FM Online I shall be paying a special tribute to legendary guitarist Bert Weedon who sadly passed away on Friday at the age of 91....All the regular features including the Weird and Wacky News and Countdowns to the Queens Diamond Jubilee, Olympic Games and Christmas..... Only a month to wait until I host the Breakfast Show between 7.00 and 9.00am on FM Monday to Friday and shall put a smile on your dial 107.9..... www.bayfm.co.uk 

Monday April: 23rd

Happy St Georges Day and got up with a rousing verse of Jerusalem.....I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rain will clear away by 1.00pm as I'm bowling the first bowl at Sidmouth Bowling Club....and then....It's off to the Knowle for a meeting of the Pennington Point Working Party which should be focussing on getting something done in protecting the toe of the cliff and Alma Bridge which is not only the lifeline for the Sidmouth residents who live on the east of the Sid, but also our local economy as the coastal footpath 120 generates millions of pounds. Shall of course keep everyone posted on developments.

Tuesday April: 24th

 Outcome from Pennington Point Working Group meeting was  a Technical Group of  officers from EA, DCC and EDDC has been set up and will report back to the Working Group at the end of June/ beginning of July to come up with some recommendations for the Beach Management Plan..The District are to continue perusing for other partners to contribute towards the plan.  EA are contributing and SWW haven't said no. I have suggested that the localism funding stream which has been set up by DCC of £1.00 per elector and EDDC have put a further 10p per elector could be considered and as the County member I would certainly support it if it were to be submitted for consideration by the Town Council. This plan is going to cost in the region of £80k to produce and will cover both the Town and Salcombe beaches.
May I assure everyone whether local or visitors that the County Council will continue to maintain the Alma bridge as long as it is viable to do so....and so lets hope its not too long before a scheme can be agreed and implemented that will protect this important asset for the next 50 to 100 years.....Someone at the meeting suggested closing the beach however I think that this should be avoided at all cost. 

Wednesday April: 25th

 Attended the official opening of a shared cycle and footpath which links to Exeter International Airport allowing employees from some of the biggest private businesses in the county  to make use of the 915 metre track which has been developed as part of an £85,000 scheme to provide a safe access running through the airport car park. The route runs from the roundabout off the A30 to the main entrance of Exeter International Airport, and the existing signal controlled crossing by the main entrance to the airport has also been widened to accommodate cycle use.
As it forms part of the Local Transport Plan for the area, it also connects to the existing shared cycle and footway which leads on to the Exeter Airport Business Park, and also links back to Exeter via Clyst Honiton  and the recently opened Redhayes Bridge. New routes are also currently underway to Cranbrook and Exeter Science Park.

This path will provide a much safer route to the Airport for cyclists and pedestrians, giving people the choice to make short journeys without their car. It is another piece in the jigsaw of our extensive walking and cycling network that’s being developed as part of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point. I’m sure it will be particularly useful to staff at the Airport, the Business Park as well as the developments which are currently underway in the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.
Flybe, which has its headquarters at the airport, operates a scheme that encourages its staff to cycle to work.  A significant number of its 1,000-plus staff regularly cycle to and from work, many of them year-round.

Thursday April: 26th

 Rather fitting that Joy Seward has received the accolade of Sidmouth's Citizen of the Year having spent 40 years of her life taking part and organising Sidmouth in Bloom .....I believe we owe our flower lady a debt of gratitude for all her efforts and achievements, however we must remember the small team of Committee members without who's help the show wouldn't have taken place...the sponsors... and the Town Council who have put many thousands of £'s into floral displays and planters........Sidmouth is renown throughout the world for its floral achievements and so lets all raise a glass to Joy and also the new Sidmouth in Bloom Committee under the strong leadership of Lynette Talbot. 

Friday April: 27th

 Yesterday saw the 2012 launch of this years Tour of Britain  and while last year’s Tour of Britain was described as the best ever,  we’ll be aiming to go one better in September, particularly during the Summer of Cycling. With the event so close to the Olympic Games there’s sure to be an even bigger buzz about this year’s race and hopefully we’ll get to see some Olympic medallists racing through the county. It was fantastic to have some home-grown success last year with Jon Tiernan Locke’s heroics, and I’m sure he’ll do Devon proud again.

We're the only South West stage this year and as the penultimate stage on the 9th September, Devon could prove to be a decisive point in the race, which is an added bonus for spectators. The Tour is also an opportunity to demonstrate to everyone watching the race, whether it’s on TV or by the roadside, why we’re a cycling county. This year’s route passes through communities which are linked to some of our most popular cycling routes, such as the Tarka Trail, Granite Way and Drake’s Trail, and hopefully it will encourage more people to take up cycling or give it another go.

Last year was the first time an entire stage of The Tour had been held in Devon, having crossed the border into Somerset over the previous three years. According to an independent report, commissioned by The Tour, an additional £3.1 million was spent in the county on the day of last year’s Devon stage, with more than 125,000 spectators lining the route from Exeter to Exmouth, via Dartmoor National Park.


Saturday April: 28th

Nice to see Devon and Cornwall pasty makers have finally put their differences apart and getting together for the good cause of pasties no matter whether they are hot or cold......

Monday April: 30th 

Devon County Council’s highways teams are mopping up today as the county continues to be battered by storms.

 Heavy rainfall and strong winds have kept staff working around the clock after responding to around 175 incidents of fallen trees and branches, with the majority falling on minor roads.
Old Bampton Road, between Chettiscombe and Tiverton, remains closed this morning due to a fallen tree.
Other roads still affected by fallen trees and flooding are Station Road at Broadclyst, A375 Sidbury Hill, A377 Cowley Bridge, A3072 Bickleigh, Lower Ashton to Doddiscombe, Harford to Ivybridge and Hallaimore Lane Cornwood

 “Our Control Centre staff and those out on our highway network have been working extremely hard to deal with all of the problems thrown up by the weather. The County Council’s  contractor, SWH Roads, working closely with highways staff, are still clearing some roads which have been affected by flooding and fallen trees, but they are tackling them as quickly as they possible can. Conditions have been appalling and there is still a lot of surface water around, combined with strong winds. Conditions are difficult so I would urge everyone across the county to be cautious when travelling.”

 Early yesterday morning the A361 Bolham Roundabout to M5 Junction 27 had to be closed after four trees fell in quick succession. Other roads which had to be closed but were re-opened yesterday were the A396 North Bickleigh, A375 Putts Corner near Honiton, A383 Seale Hayne, A399 Combe Martin, B3180 Woodbury and A377 Eggersford.
The County Council’s Highway Operations Control Centre also liaised with BT Openreach and Western Power Distribution where trees brought down power/telephone cables.
Taw Bridge in Barnstaple was closed to high sided vehicles for the majority of yesterday when gusts reached 66mph. It re-opened late yesterday afternoon.
Another 12 flooding incidents were reported, as more than 20mm of rain deluged the county over the past 24 hours. One vehicle overturned at B3181 Gipsy Corner after hitting flood water.
 The lake at Zig Zag Quarry, Kingskerswell, also burst its banks into the brook, which then overflowed and brought mud and rocks onto the A380 yesterday. Properties at Moorpark Road and Primrose Lane were affected. 




Design by infomise.com