Hughes Report

Welcome to this the online version of  'HUGHES NEWS' which many of you have received through your letter boxes. Unlike the hard copy which concentrates on areas of the division/ward, the online version will cover all of the Sidmouth Sidford electoral division/ward and will be regularly updated on issues that I have been working on in and around the area.


04/11/20: PHASE 1 Flood Protection for up to 100 homes

and Businesses Nearing Completion


Phase 1 of these works at the Knowle which I successfully secured the funding for are now well underway with a completion date at the end of  November. The scheme will give flood protection for up to 100 homes and businesses and will also see the creation of an amphitheatre which will double up as a  storage area for storm water that will be slowly released back into the drainage system. 





Currently in the Sid Valley we have1,164 non - LED lanterns and another 536 that have       already been converted.

I can now reveal that Sidmouth will be one of the first towns after Exeter that is going to have the new CMS monitoring system installed. Devon County Council will be installing the Telensa “PLANet” system and will begin looking at suitable locations for the base stations in the near future.The lantern replacements will commence early 2021.

Those that aren’t “standard” i.e. the
Victorian style located in and around the town may take slightly longer to replace, as they will have to be ordered separately. And as the Esplanade were designed specifically for Sidmouth dialogue will have to be held with the manufacturer in order to find out if the existing gear can be replaced for LED or if we need all new lanterns.










Work has been taking place this week installing new signs outside entrances to the Vicarage Road Primary School & main walking route leading to Sidmouth College on Sidford Road requesting drivers to reduce their speed from 30 to 20mph when the Wig Wag lights are flashing at both before the start and after the school and college finishes.


The signs & new Wig Wag lights have been paid for from my locality budget.


I have received many representations from parents over the speed of vehicles outside the Primary School & Sidmouth College entrances which are both on the main A375 artery into the town & it has been proven in other areas of Devon that these signs included with the Wig Wags do actually achieve a lesser speed & any reduction has to be welcomed.. I would ask that motorists do take notice of these new signs and slow down, as doing so will improve road safety for everyone.


I have also arranged for a 20 mph roundal to be painted on Woolbrook Road to highlight the permanent 20 speed limit outside the other local Sidmouth schools & have provided funding for a safety railing at the top of Clayhanger Lane on the A375 at the rear entrance to Sidmouth College from my locality budget.





Plans for the second phase of a scheme to reduce flood risk to more than 100 homes and businesses in Sidmouth are due to be submitted next week.

Devon County Council is submitting the plans which will provide protection from surface water around the town area.

The County Council has updated Sidmouth Town Council on the latest designs to inform them of the scheme arrangements.

The proposals include drains across Station Road to capture surface water flows. This will discharge via a pipe to a swale, or channel, through the parkland to a storage area at the lower end which will be constructed in the form of an amphitheater. This design will also serve as a public amenity.

A filter drain will enable the water to be stored below ground with a capacity to contain water up to a one in 30-year storm event. The amphitheater tiers will also enable up to half a metre of water to be stored above ground during a one in 100-year storm event.

A first phase of the scheme, not included in this planning application, would upgrade drainage in the town, enabling it to discharge directly into the River Sid. New highway gullies would also be installed.

“This flood alleviation scheme is extremely important for the town. A lot of investigation work has gone into working up the design of this scheme in order to increase the standard of flood protection in Sidmouth, so it’s encouraging to see that the application is now ready to be submitted. This scheme is a win-win for Sidmouth as not only will it reduce flood risk but it will also through the amphitheater provide a performance area for events, including the Sidmouth Folk Festival.”

The scheme has been developed through the County Council’s Surface Water Management Plan for Sidmouth which was established after 18 properties in the town were flooded in November 2014.

Delivery of this scheme will be subject to planning approval and available funding. It’s hoped work on this first phase will start next spring.








I'm calling for the whole town to unite and support the preferred Beach Management Scheme that recently received the green light to be worked up by the Beach Management Steering Group.
A huge, very complex and time consuming piece of work was undertaken by the previous Conservative administration at EDDC in developing and delivering a Beach Management plan for the town, where many options were explored, town’s people consulted and a preferred scheme agreed, this scheme got the green light to be worked up last week and the town now needs to get behind it”

“We’re in the last chance saloon, time is of an essence and all residents can get involved in helping design the raised splashwall element of the scheme which is needed to protect the highway asset and prevent the town and businesses from tidal flooding...I’ve managed to secure a contribution of £500k from the County Council but that is conditional and in addition the Conservative administration at Devon county council is already delivering the new state of the art Alma Bridge at a cost of over £1m over the River Sid which depends on the planned Coastal defence aspect of the scheme east of the Sid to protect it from the elements”.
“It is now down to the new Independent administration at the Council to deliver the agreed plan, securing the £1.5m shortfall needed to enable it to proceed and complete the work that has already been completed on the BMP by the previous administration. There is no reason for them to delay on delivering on election pledges made to the people of Sidmouth given this is currently the only impediment to it happening”.





I was delighted to be joined by both Cllr. John Mathews Chairman of Devon County Council & Ian Barlow Chair of the Town Council for the historical  turf cut on Monday to mark the start of the work to replace Alma Bridge. 
The new bridge will replace the original structure, which was designed by architect RW Sampson in the early 1900s.
The work is set to be completed in 2020.
 The former bridge has withstood the test of time and tide well, but time has come to build the new bridge across the Sid, linking to the South West Coast Path FP120. 
Residents and visitors to the town will see a huge improvement, with the new bridge wider, more accessible and with a viewing platform and seating area incorporated into the bridge design. 
It will also lift the Port Royal end of The Esplanade, which is seeing more investment with plans to redevelop the Drill Hall as a popular restaurant.






Devon County Council is asking road users to travel with care this weekend, as strong winds and heavy rain are forecast.
  Rain on Thursday night, leading to thundery showers in places on Friday and Saturday coupled with gusts reaching 50-60 mph could make weekend driving conditions hazardous, the council is warning.
  “The weather is already having an impact on plans, as we’re seeing organised events cancelled or postponed across the region due to the unseasonal forecast.
  “Strong winds are likely to make driving difficult for high-sided vehicles and caravans, and trees are also likely to feel the impact. 
  “Gusts will bring down tree debris, and could bring down branches and indeed any trees that may already be in a weakened state.
  “Rain as well, heavy at times Friday, could cause localised surface flooding on roads.
  “We’re asking people to remember not to attempt to drive through roads that have been temporarily closed, or floodwater, and to be aware of the likelihood of debris on the highway.  
 “Motorists should drive with caution and remember in wet conditions stopping distances will increase.
  “Plan your journey this weekend and allow extra time.
  “Our contractors are on standby with extra resources to cope with the conditions. We’ll be closely monitoring the highway around the clock throughout the weekend.”
  For more information and to stay up to date on any issues on Devon’s roads, follow @DevonAlert on Twitter.






 I have received requests from the residents of Balfours and also Sedemuda Close for  single yellow line restrictions Monday to Saturday. Knowle Drive residents are also seeking some traffic management toaddress various concerns and in particular parking on the footways.

Residents in Griggs Lane Fortescue have raised visibility issues which can be overcome with a short section of dbl yellow lines on Fortescue Road and a resident of Warrens Mead has expressed concerns about vehicles parking overnight too close to the junction of the A3052 Church Street and also blocking dropped kerbs.

These  requests if agreed with my Highways Technician will be considered later this year by the Highways and Traffic Orders Committee.



I have requested that both the bus stop posts which are in a poor state of repair at both Woolbrook Road near Stowford Rise junction and All Saints Road are replaced along with the flags at All Saints and Arcot Road.

If you see any others that require attention then please let me know.






My opening address laying out my mandate for next four years if re-elected as Sidmouth's County member on May 4th 2017

This is an historical election for the County Council as for the first time the Division will cover the whole of the Sid Valley something that I very much welcome.

 And so ladies and gentlemen if re-elected to represent you and in welcoming the news that the promoters of the Sidford Fields Business Park haven’t appealed the decision to refuse their application… This now paves the way to:-

 Resurrect the planning application for the Sidford to Sidbury cycle/footpath that was pulled following the submission of the application for the Business Park…It also allows the County Council to open dialogue with the land owner to try and secure land agreement.

 I've already been instrumental in getting some funding in this years programme for negotiation of land and to continue the design that is required to take the trail through the wooded area and which will  come out within the village boundary.

 Secondly to secure the funding to carry out an HGV survey at the Hare and Hounds Putts Corner to see why hauliers are using this road and their destination.  A similar survey that I secured back in the 90's threw up some interesting results and I shall provide that information to officers to compare then and now. 

 The ultimate goal would be to secure a weight limit similar to that on the A3052 into Lyme Regis and for HGV’s to continue to the Daisy Mount junction.  I should also like to secure a similar weight limit on Fortescue Road as this sub standard route into Sidmouth continues to be used by several HGV Sat Nav providers and I recently supported the recent Local Government Association campaign calling on government to address this issue ….. Such measures would improve the quality of life for those residents affected.

 The upgrade of the Sidford Cross traffic lights to the mova system along with two pedestrian phased crossing points.

 And of course measures to help stem the rat running around Frys Lane … I would add  that the bollard scheme has been rejected by residents, there is however support for a table top speed hump ….

 I shall kick start the long awaited Sidmouth Traffic Management Plan so that it dovetails the Neighbourhood Plan this procedure will look at everything from possible pedestrianisation, residents parking and parking in general.

 I shall also continue to champion the roll out of further LED street lighting around residential streets …. on top of the 386 lanterns and 118 columns that are being replaced this year in Sidmouth and Sidford (started this week) and a further 38 lanterns through Sidbury. Such a move will be of considerable benefit to the Norman Lockyer Observatory’s  dark skies initiative…….I shall also work with the Chamber of Commerce for  Victorian type columns to be used in the town centre.

To work towards and secure the relevant support of the replacement of the beleaguered Alma Bridge and see a start during this financial year.

 Also to work up the Sidmouth Flood Alleviation scheme which I succeeded in bringing forward from 20/21 to 18/19 in the EA’s Six Year Programme …. The scheme will protect over 300 properties and businesses from the devastating effect of flooding.

Finally I shall continue to give 100% in my role as a Community leader in working with residents, community groups, schools and my town and district collegues in securing, enhancing and safeguarding local services.






I believe the record shows the results achieved on a wide range of issues that I am someone who stands up for what is right for both the individual and wider community.

Re-elected on the 4th May I shall continue to provide a strong voice at County Hall for the Sid Valley and give100% in my Community leadership role working with residents, community groups, schools  and Town and District Councils in securing, enhancing and safeguarding  local services such as the transport evidence I provided in securing our hospital beds. I shall continue to champion the implementation of the cycle/footpath links between Sidbury and Sidford  and Sidmouth to Feniton , the Sidmouth Flood Alleviation Scheme, new Alma Bridge and pedestrian phased lights at Sidford Cross. I will continue to support our library and P3 funding for our Public Rights of Way.  

Improve the shopping experience of our town centre through the Traffic Management Plan and the Vitality and Viability of tourism industry and creation of further job opportunities.




Have you signed?

Each pupil in Devon received £290 less than the national average. Conservatives in Devon believe this is not right. The current Government consultation is flawed and does not improve the situation. I would ask you to support the Conservative Groups petition for increased funding for the young people of Devon.

Ask the Government to increase funding for Devon school pupils.






Having been successful in bringing forward the Sidmouth Flood Alleviation scheme in the 6 year programme to 18/19. We’re now determining a preferred option to maximise the number of properties that will benefit from a reduction in flood risk from surface water runoff. One of the options being considered is to use the green space at the Knowle to attenuate flows, if sufficient benefits can be achieved. Other localised improvements are also being reviewed to tackle issues identified in the completed Surface Water Management Plan or which have arisen as a result of recent flooding incidents. The preferred option will be developed into a detailed design to take advantage of the Flood Defence Grant in Aid indicatively allocated in  2018/19 of Defra’s 6 year programme (2015-21).




Watch out for a message on your iphone or android phone purporting to be from the DVLA
text of which is URGENT: DVLA Swansea have been trying to contact you. Click below for
more information.....There is a website link which takes you to a very realistic page advising that they are notifying you of a Vehicle Tax Refund that you still have outstanding and that despite supposed previous letters sent to you that you still haven't made your claim.

There is a link similar to those used by the DVLA saying Get Started.

Whatever you do don't access this link and if you do don't give any details which will most probably asking you for bank details etc


If you do receive this message I would advise that you notify the DVLA at Swansea.





Following the recent 'Your Future Care' consultation on the future of inpatient beds and care the CCG Board met today at Exeter Racecourse where they approved that inpatient beds would be located at Tiverton 32, Sidmouth 24 and Exmouth 16 ..... This was option B in the consultation document.

 During the consultation process I had spoken out at various meetings of misinformation contained in the consultation document of access and parking difficulties at Sidmouth Community Hospital and had researched and provided written information for the CCG that was fed into the sieve process...I am therefore delighted with the news that 24 beds will be here at Sidmouth. This is excellent news for everyone involved with Sidmouth Community Hospital and I’m delighted for the Comforts Fund led by Graham Vincent who have put their hearts and souls into the campaign for beds to remain here at Sidmouth, My concerns raised over inaccuracies on access have been addressed by the CCG and I’m pleased that they listened. The CCG also looked at the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment which is collected by Devon County Council that showed that in terms of inequalities, Sidmouth has an larger and older population than Seaton and this also tipped the balance in our direction.


19 towns and villages are covered by multiple bus routes to and from Sidmouth and all stop in All Saints Road - approx 60 meters from the hospital. As for Car Parking there are 51 spaces at the hospital and during the evening the Health Centre and Library Car Park is available and of course there is various limited waiting in the near vicinity of the hospital.

The Comforts Fund can now move ahead with their plans to build a Sensory Garden in the hospital grounds which will help aid patients recovery..



Having agreed to the funding from my 'Investing in Devon' fund to provide a much needed dropped kerb in The Grove off of Vicarage Road Sidmouth which will improve the Quality of Life for local residents and especially those less mobile.
Can now confirm that weather permitting the work will take place on the 20th/21st February



I’m delighted that Sidmouth and Sidford are to benefit from a successful bid to the Department of Transport  made by the County Council that secured £10.2 million Challenge Funding to upgrade 24,000 streetlights across Devon.

The works will see all the higher wattage lanterns on main routes into Sidmouth & Sidford replaced with the more energy efficient LED’s and we are also taking the opportunity to replace the older columns along these roads with new. The works total 386 lanterns and 118 columns. Also included on the orders for the contractor SSE are the locations that were identified last year, to install the festive units and outlets to enable the Town Council to use the new streetlights to mount Christmas light decorations on.

We are also taking the opportunity to replace some other lanterns in roads that are currently on all night operation so as to reduce energy consumption on these too.

 The order to carry out the work which commences in March are with a 6 month timescale on, meaning that the works should be completed by the beginning of August.

 These are the roads that are part of the replacement programme:-
Alexandria Road, All Saints Road, Arcot Road, Fore Street, High Street, Radway,
Old Fore Street, Manstone Lane, Sidford Road, Station Road, Temple Street, Vicarage Road, Winslade Road, Woolbrook Road Stowford Rise and The Bowd to Core Hill Road.

 And at Sidford
Sidford High Street, Two Bridges Road, School Street, Church Street and Trow Hill to Stevens Cross.






I am providing the funding from my 'Investing in Devon' fund to provide a much needed dropped kerb in The Grove off of Vicarage Road Sidmouth. This will improve the Quality of Life for local residents and especially those less mobile.
 The work will be programmed and hopefully carried out before the end of this financial year.





A cost effective solution to resolve an ongoing flood risk that contributed to significant flooding of properties in 2012 has been carried out by Devon County Council.

An issue in the Bulverton Park area of Sidmouth was causing increased runoff and risk of flooding to properties. Following investigations the existing pipe and channel in the field between the B3176 and the abandoned railway line adjacent to Ridgeway Mead was found to be discharging across the field and potentially backing up flows onto the highway. To resolve the issue a more formal channel has been created along the line of an existing ditch to ensure flows are retained within the watercourse and not uncontrolled towards properties. The new channel then discharges via a deep chamber back into the watercourse as the ditch did previously.

 "Im sure that this cost effective scheme will be welcomed by the local residents of Bulverton Park who have seen flooding in the past and are on tenterhooks' every time we see prolonged rainfall or a storm such as Angus. as part of the works a new catch pit has been created upstream to ensure flows are retained in the watercourse and avoid them flowing onto the highway"




Widening and resurfacing work, which will form part of a planned new walking and cycling route, will be carried out as part of the £35,000 scheme while dropped kerbs for an informal crossing will also be constructed across Two Bridges Road.

 Upgrading Laundry Lane will enable it to become a shared use walking and cycling link, providing a safe and attractive connection to The Byes cycle route

 The work follows the installation of Devon’s first “Tiger Crossing” in Sidford at the end of last year which provides a safe connection to the Byes for residents north of the A3052 in Sidford.

 I have provided £3,500 from my share of the Investing in Devon fund toward the scheme.

 Following the installation of the Tiger Crossing in Sidford, the improvements to Laundry Lane will see the completion of the first phase of the development of an attractive walking and cycling link between Sidbury and Sidmouth. This will create a safer route for pupils travelling to the College and should encourage people to leave their cars at home for short journeys, which will provide health benefits and improve air quality.

 The work in Laundry Lane will be carried out by contractor SWH Ltd.



Devon’s fleet of gritters will be heading out on all of its precautionary salting network from around midday today (Thursday 12 January).

 More than 2,000 miles of the county’s roads will be treated multiple times by Devon County Council over the next 24 hours.

 Persistent rain, combined with the forecast of plummeting temperatures and potential wintry showers and snow later on this afternoon is making for challenging conditions for the gritting teams. Primary salting routes, on Devon’s busier roads, are being treated as a priority and secondary routes will be salted from around 2pm in anticipation of the forecast conditions.

 Higher ground is at most risk of a few centimetres of snow and the County Council has deployed extra resources to Telegraph Hill and the North Devon Link Road.

 Road surface temperatures are likely to fall below freezing across the county from early this evening, with temperatures dropping below -3  overnight, and people are being urged to take extra care on their journey home.

 As skies clear this evening there is also potential for widespread ice to form overnight and tomorrow morning, particularly on untreated surfaces. Main salting routes will be treated again later this afternoon, with further treatments overnight.

 'Our gritting teams are going to be busy working around the clock on our precautionary salting network. The persistent rain is making conditions difficult for our gritters and, as some of the salt may be washed away, we are erring on the side of caution and carrying out several treatments on our gritting network over the coming hours. We’re also working with our partner agencies to monitor vulnerable locations in the county, particularly the A380 Telegraph Hill and A361 North Devon Link Road, and we’re prepared to escalate our plans should we need.

'The combination of wet conditions and freezing temperatures will mean that there is a serious risk of ice this evening and tomorrow morning. Everyone should be prepared for the possibility of waking up to icy conditions and snow, and we would advise people to avoid travelling overnight and to take extra care tomorrow.'

 The County Council is reminding people of the following advice:

•        Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures;

•       Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;

•       Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed;

•       Drive with care and according to the conditions;

•       If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;

•           Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over;

•       Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you are stocked with food and medications.

 To find out more about the Snow Warden scheme go to https://new.devon.gov.uk/communities/opportunities/snow-warden-scheme





The large expanse of the grassed area as you approach the Bowd junction on the A3052 is to be turned into a haven for bees, butterflies and other pollinators this summer.
The project which I am promoting  will in part form part of remedial works that are being carried out by the County Council's contractor who had temporary used part of the area to place soil that had washed out of  nearby fields onto the B3176 Bulverton Road during storm Angus and which had forced the road to be closed.
I am funding the seed required through my locality budget and I believe this area of land lends itself to becoming a wild meadow with a ray of different colour flowers attracting many varieties of butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects and it will both add and compliment the sterling work that the Sidmouth in Bloom committee carries out and which has seen our town win top bloom accolades over the years"
I am also looking at another area of land in the Fortescue area and would welcome any other suggestions of roadside verges in and around the Sid Valley that could also be considered to be turned into an area of colourful pollinator flowers.
Contact me on 07725 708891 or by email stuart.hughes@devon.gov.uk




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