Sidmouth Town Council provides important services for the people and businesses of the Sid Valley. They complement those provided by Devon County Council (DCC) and East Devon District Council (EDDC). A lot of what we do is not always very visible to people and so we have decided to provide a monthly update to explain how this part of your Council tax is spent. Sidmouth Town Council spend is the lowest of the 3 Councils and equates to £1.88 per week per Council Tax payer on Band D. The Town Council is usually consulted by the other Councils when important decisions are about to be made by them. We provide a more local view.
The Town Council meets monthly, and we have Committees and Working Groups looking after Tourism and Economy, Planning, and Environment that meet quarterly. Almost all our meetings are open to the public. The town is represented by 19 Councillors in the 8 Wards that include Sidmouth, Sidford, Sidbury, and Salcombe Regis. We are currently seeking additional Councillors as we have some vacancies. All Councillors are volunteers.
- The Tourism and Economy Committee promotes the town as a tourist destination and works closely with the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the voice of business is heard when decisions are made. They also oversee the workings of the Tourist Information Centre.
- The Planning Working Group reviews all planning applications and recommends acceptance, rejection, or modification, as a consultee to the District Council who are the planning authority.
- The Environment Committee seeks to protect the natural and built environment, working with other groups in the Sid Valley such as the Sidmouth Arboretum and Sid Valley Biodiversity Group. They also seek to engage the whole community with the environmental agenda.
- The Council runs Youth Services out of the Manstone Youth Centre and there is a Youth Provision group that oversees this activity.
The Town Council also owns land and buildings, or manages them as a Trustee, and the Council ensures these facilities are appropriately maintained and approves their use.
The Town Council allocates grants to many local organisations to help them provide services to the Sid Valley. Some of the bigger ones are the Folk Festival, Sidmouth in Bloom, SeaFest, Regatta and Airshow, Science Festival, and the Sidmouth Arboretum. All requests for funding are considered against published guidelines and a total of £50,000 was distributed last year.
Our October meeting was held on 2nd October and the following were discussed:
- Forthcoming consultation by DCC on changes to the parking controls on the Esplanade and Fortfield Terrace.
- The possible creation of a zebra crossing near the Arches to allow people easier and safer access to the toilets and café from the Esplanade. This would involve Sidmouth Town Council working closely with DCC and EDDC as each own different parts of the possible crossing.
- Possible installation of a disabled access walkway across the beach near Chit Rocks, similar to the one installed in Seaton.
- Concern was expressed about the cleanliness of the public toilets in Sidmouth, pending upgrade of many of them by EDDC. Sidmouth Town Council agreed to work more closely with EDDC’s Streetscene to ensure improved cleaning.
- Councillors were informed that a tender has been issued by the Town Council for a feasibility study on the replacement of the Manstone Youth Centre which is old and in a poor state of repair. The work is being funded by EDDC and will report in March 2024.
- The Council, acting as Trustee for the Ham, agreed that the Sidmouth Sailing Club could use the Ham on 5th November during the day to store trolleys whilst they hold a junior race session.
Please contact us if you would like to hear more on any particular topic and we will try to include it. But we will also inform you of the key decisions from our monthly meetings.