Hughes Report

Welcome to this the online version of the 'HUGHES REPORT' which many of you have received through your letter boxes during the last 12 months. Unlike the hard copy which concentrated 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.




Some excellent news for those who had complained to me over the sighting of the Openreach

Communications box at the junction of Manstone Mead and Sidford Road A375 and which was obstructing vision of vehicles travelling towards Sidmouth from Sidford. Having taken this issue up last November 2016 with our Highways and Development Management teams at County Hall and following several internal meetings with our enforcement section Openreach have now agreed to relocate the box and will be setting it back into the grass bank.







The beauty of pounding the streets besides shedding a bit of weight, is you can take a good look at infrastructure such as Western Power Distributions WPD distribution poles. One pole in Arcot Road was so rusty that it was starting to fail at the bottom and so sent in my observations with a photo.... Hopefully they will check this out over the Bank Holiday weekend.




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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