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Stand Up For Seaton (SU4S)

Community Action for Seaton's Regeneration Area, 80% owned by Tesco - a floodplain on a World Heritage site bordered by nature reserves, tidal river, the sea and the unspoilt town. SU4S is a state of mind - no members, no structure, no politics. SU4S has objected to 2 planning applications by Tesco, including one for a massive superstore/dot com distribution centre which led to the recent closure on the site of 400 tourist beds with the loss of 150 jobs,a gym and pool - all used by locals.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Seaton - worst town in Devon for diabetes and heart failure

I just got a document from the Devon Primary Care Trust about health trends in Devon. Seaton is the worst town in Devon for diabetes and heart failure. This can mean one of two things: one - that doctors here are much better at spotting these things than doctors in other areas; two - that we do have the highest amount of diabetes and heart failure in Devon.

Either way: what do we need? A gym - because people with diabetes MUST have exercise and, no, not everyone wants to walk up and down the seafront 20 times a day!

Anyone out there prepared to start up a gym when our only one closes in January 2009? I'm sure we could persuade Hollybush to offload their equipment for little or nothing!

It's a health thing and its serious.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The press release from Seaton town councillors after the Tesco meeting

Below is the press release issued by the Town Clerk on behalf of those Seaton town councillors who attended the meeting with Tesco last week:

Some Seaton Town Councillors Meet with East Devon District Council and Tesco

On 17th April 2008, six Seaton Town Councillors attended at short notice a meeting with Members and Officers of East Devon District Council at the EDDC offices in the Knowle, and later they also attended a meeting with EDDC Members and Officers with Tesco. The meeting took place with EDDC and Tesco as landowners on the site, not as planners.

The meeting with Members and Officers of EDDC was to discuss the aspirations of EDDC and Seaton Town Council for the regeneration area and for the town in general. This discussion covered all the usual areas that councillors and residents have considered over the years. It included a wish list of what both groups would like to see from the site.

When the two groups met Tesco, they put forward their various ideas and Tesco gave an indication of their thinking so far about the site, with particular reference to the District Council land, the supermarket and the Visitor Centre only in very much draft form. There is no planning application ready and currently Tesco are still doing geological surveys on the site to see precisely what the make up of the site is and whether infill from the site can be used and whether it will need to be imported.

The list of what EDDC and Seaton Town Council would like to see on and off site included:

On site: a supermarket, a Visitor Centre with a Sustrans cycle terminus, Seaton tramway, overnight tourist accommodation, and housing.

Offsite: replacement facilities for those lost on the site, provision for a resited nursery and improved school facilities, a Town Centre Manager, extended wetlands recreational facilities, youth and community facilities.

These aspirations were communicated to Tesco and both councils expressed willingness to continuing to work with Tesco whilst they worked up their planning application.

P J Higginson
Town Clerk

21 April 2008
01297 21388

Note that Seaton town councillors present wanted replacement of those facilities to be lost on the site.

Rural towns new "creative hubs"

An interesting item on the BBC News website yesterday here.

In part it says that "Rural towns with unique shops and cafes and beautiful scenery nearby scored highly, whereas some city centres were criticised for being too "bland".

The North East scored worst as a whole, while the South East and South West scored highest.

Matthew Owen, who led the research said: "Rural areas are benefiting because young people are moving out of cities in search of lower house prices, better quality of life and good schools."

"We've also seen huge changes in communication technology which mean businesses can now start up in small communities even if they are hundreds of miles away from big cities."

Well, we all knew Seaton is the place to be!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The East Devon District Council press release concerning last week's meeting with Tesco

Below is the full text of the EDDC press release following the meeting between some members and officers of East Devon District Council and Seaton Town Council with Tesco. Some paragraphs have been assimilated to save space but this is the press release in its entirety.

Seaton Town Council's own press release and that of Tesco will follow when issues concerning the Tesco press release have been dealt with.

The EDDC press release:

A clear picture has emerged of the facilities that Seaton’s elected Members want to see delivered by Tesco on land within its ownership and as part of the town’s preferred regeneration programme.

On Seaton’s “shopping list”, as agreed by elected Members this week are:

· A medium-sized supermarket

· A visitor centre to include a cycleway hub

· Contributions to improved school and health facilities

· A seamless move of Seaton’s nursery provision

· Funding for a Town Centre Manager to assist the town in managing the change process

· A financial contribution to EDDC’s wetlands nature reserve tourist attraction

· Provision within the application site for a hotel or other overnight accommodation

Members supported the active involvement of Tesco on the new Seaton Regeneration Programme Board in its capacity as a key land-owner and prospective developer. In addition, Members identified as a priority from any capital receipt from Tesco, the provision of youth facilities and refurbishment of the Town Hall to provide first class community facilities in the town centre. Members acknowledged that provision of employment land and sports / recreational facilities was a key element of the wider regeneration programme that must be driven forward. EDDC wants to see employment and sports provision off Harepath Road as a product of the overall regeneration programme.

Seaton’s councillors still have concerns about the design of the buildings and the issue of infill to raise ground levels to an acceptable height for a coastal town. These are issues that will have to be robustly tested during the planning application process, as and when it arises.

In its role as a land-owner and community leader, East Devon District Council yesterday (Thursday) brokered a meeting Seaton’s district and town councillors and representatives of Tesco, which owns a large proportion of the land within the regeneration area off Harbour Road. The aim of the meeting was to compare the ideas of the supermarket developer and the aspirations of the town and to see how much common ground exists. If a consensus could be reached, this would enable Tesco to go away and work up an outline planning application, in the knowledge that the shape of their proposals had general approval.

Bright future

At the same time, the town could feel more confident that the supermarket proposal might indeed be the catalyst that would kick-start a bright future for Seaton. The 4½ - hour meeting was chaired by Councillor Peter Halse, EDDC’s Portfolio Holder for Economy. Proceedings were led by an independent facilitator from outside the district.

Members of Seaton Town Council, including Mayor Councillor Mrs Sandra Semple, met first with the three Seaton ward members of EDDC – Councillor Jim Knight, Councillor Mrs Steph Jones and Councillor Mrs Margaret Rogers, who also represents Seaton on Devon County Council. This group explored Seaton’s past, present and its future aspirations before agreeing on a set of general improvements it wanted to see from regeneration. There was general agreement that the town enjoyed a beautiful setting and a glorious past, but had suffered in recent decades from under-investment and some indifferent development. There was also agreement that a supermarket could help Seaton’s economy by reinvigorating the retail offering, so long as the design was in keeping. One Member summed up the mood, saying: “Seaton is no longer prepared to accept second best”.

Tesco’s representatives were then given an opportunity to update Members on the company’s latest ideas, based on discussions that have already taken place. From this presentation, which included a summary of a recent telephone survey taken in the town, Members could judge whether the Tesco proposals were on the right lines. Their presentation complete, the Tesco party left the room and there followed a session where Members could discuss their impressions of the Tesco proposals and agree a set of priorities that the Tesco development, should it happen, must deliver.

Finally, the Tesco group were asked back into the room to hear these priorities. The supermarket representatives were invited to indicate whether these priorities could in principle be delivered. They also had several opportunities to ask their own questions. The meeting ended with the Tesco party being told that the proposals they had outlined thus far gave Members grounds to continue working with the developer, dependent on Tesco being able and willing to deliver the list of priorities Members had put forward.

Direction of travel

After the meeting, EDDC’s Portfolio Holder Economy, Councillor Peter Halse, said: “We all welcome the outcome of these cordial discussions and we thank Tesco for attending. I want everyone to be clear that these discussions do not in any way mean that Tesco have been chosen as the preferred regeneration partner, nor that they are guaranteed planning permission. Both those issues are to be dealt with by this Council further down the line. Planning in particular is a completely separate issue.

“EDDC brought the interested parties together to seek a consensus on the direction of travel. This we have achieved. We acknowledge that Tesco, as a significant land-owner in Seaton, has a right to a civilised debate. They can now bring forward more detailed plans for public consultation. “While this outcome does not shut the door on the aspirations of other commercial interests, I am delighted that Seaton’s elected members have given a clear indication of the priorities they want the overall regeneration scheme to achieve.

“EDDC is also a land-owner in Seaton and we wish to play our part in delivering a comprehensive regeneration scheme that provides employment and recreation opportunities. We are a step closer, but it still remains to be seen just exactly how this can be made to happen”.

For information, please contact:
Nick Stephen, Communications Officer, on 01395 517559
East Devon District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8HL

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Meeting with EDDC, Tesco and some Seaton councillors

For those looking for an update on the meeting between East Devon District Council, some Seaton town councillors and Tesco last week, please be patient for a day or two. There are currently some issues of contention between those councillors who were present and the Tesco PR company about the press release put out the next day on behalf of Tesco. As soon as these issues are resolved (or if they are not resolved, as soon as we can let people know what the issues are) an update will be published here.

To clarify a point: it was NOT a meeting of Seaton Town Council with Tesco.

Those council members who were able to attend the meeting (at very short notice) did so as individuals and NOT as Seaton Town Council. Seaton Town Council cannot take decisions unless a proposal is put to the Town Council in the proper manner. No proposal has yet been put to full council and no decisions were taken on behalf of Seaton Town Council at the meeting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Looking for someone...

An obviously well informed reader has asked us to post the following, please, if you know anyone or can be of asistance, get in touch either with Glen (email address below), or with ourselves via the contact address over on the right

Re:- Warners Holiday Camp, Seaton, Devon

Dear Sirs,

Back in the 1960's and 1970', i spent many a holiday at the Warners Holiday Camp and my parents and i became good friend with the entertainment's manager there Taffy Pugsley ( who i know was a resident in Seaton for many many years - with his wife Toni and daughter Lisa).

I am trying find out two things. One if Taffy is still around, and secondly if there are any PHOTO's around of the old Camp.

I know it maybe a long shot on both counts, but i am writing in the hope that you may be able to help me.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Tesco studies in geography GCSE

On the curriculum here


Sunday, April 13, 2008

the boundary commission and East Devon DC

all councils in Devon have been asked for their ideas about how Devon should be carved up so that you have only one council instead of 2 to stop the problems about who does what

East Devon DC has put their choice here

a bigger East Devon that includes Exeter
people are going to have a chance to have their say later

so probably soon East Devon DC wont exist any longer and there will be one big council instead other councils have put in different ideas about what you should do but everywhere the district councils would all go

the leader of East Devon DC says

The eastern Devon area should be developed so that the range, quality and scale of cultural, retail and other facilities enhance the strategic needs of the wider sub region.

The eastern Devon area will be a focus for strategic economic development. opportunities for job growth within Exeter and the other main towns in the area should be promoted and encouraged, reducing existing imbalances between population and employment and reducing dependence on commuting.

The vision for the area also seeks to improve the quality of life and opportunities within the other communities in the sub region. While local employment opportunities, facilities and services in these communities should be enhanced, improvements should also be put in place to complement transport links between these settlements and Exeter, particularly public transport links and rail services.

Clear benefits

Councillor Randall Johnson added: “Our vision is about the future of local government, not self-preservation. Both East Devon DC and Exeter CC have established reputations as deliverers of good high quality services but with a low council tax. Neither of the two councils could be described as proponents of high tax and hyperbole. This will be to the benefit of those current residents of Mid Devon DC and TeignbridgeDC who would form part of a new authority but would also see clear benefits in terms of their levels of council tax.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gran in Tesco boss planning war

A grandmother from Merseyside has applied for planning permission to demolish the home of Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy.
Full article here

Friday, April 11, 2008

'Guardian' CEO resigns from Tesco board

More info on the alleged tax-avoidance

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Resort given £1.5m in man's will

No, no, not us....Sidmouth
This article here is worth a read all the same.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tourism statistics

I have been in correspondence with Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of South West Tourism about tourism statistics (by the way, I am still awaiting clarification of the "Seaton area" from the authors of the document recently quoted in this blog but have not yet received a reply). Here is what Mr Bell is happy to be quoted as saying:

"tourism statistics on bed stock are famously dated and all to often inaccurate and many more important considerations should be taken into account when making planning decisions than simply making decisions on questionable data" .

I am sure that Mr Bell will be more than happy to confirm that he has said this, since he indicated this to me in the email he sent to me with the above quotation.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

“Facts” and the article in today’s View from Seaton

It is regrettable that “facts” are being bandied about to suit the originator – however, it is what one should expect when there is a great deal of money to be made and a great deal of sensationalism can be whipped up. Let us examine some of these “facts”:View says: “No-one has been sacked at the holiday village”. All 152 staff have received redundancy notices and they have been told that they will no longer have jobs after 2 January 2009. The pool, gym and nursery will all close at the same time.View says: the town is /not/ losing its only nursery, there are other pre-school facilities. The nursery is NOT a pre-school facility. Pre-school facilities are for children 2 – 5 before they start school and are free; a child can attend for a maximum of 12.5 hours a week for 38 weeks a year (usually closing during school holidays). The nursery in Seaton takes children from 6 months to 8 years old for working parents (who pay for it) from early morning until evening five days a week including school holidays . It IS the only facility in Seaton that does this.View says: “a “vacate” clause was written into the site’s purchase document seven years ago. This is true *BUT *the “vacate” clause could only come into operation *AFTER* planning permission had been secured for the site, then Hollybush would have had up to 17 months to leave. No such planning permission has been secured therefore Tesco must have bought the holiday village under some other arrangement. Anyone can get a copy of the "vacate clause" lease from the Land Registry in Plymouth to check this.Oddly, the View made no mention of the loss of the pool and gym. But then, of course, their reporter doesn’t live here.