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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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

County Councillor draws attention to cost of dealing with flooding

Midweek Herald 31 December 2008 [Ottery St Mary Floods cost at least £500,000 to clear up and may cost up to £600,000]

"The County Council Executive Member for environment, Margaret Rogers said she had been "staggered" at the cost of the flood clean-up and added"It just shows the effects new weather conditions are having on the county. The costs are rising and I don't see them diminishing"."

Well, at least Devon County Council KNOWS the cost of flood clean up so they won't be able to say that it comes as any surprise if and/or when it happens in Seaton and fortunately Mrs Rogers is a District Councillor Seaton and our County Councillor. The Environment Agency can't say that it is a surprise either.

The article goes on to say that Ottery residents fear insurance premium increases and have called for action to be taken to protect their homes and businesses.

Again, at least EDDC, DCC and the Environment Agency have seen the devastation and heard these comments and can take them into account for Seaton when deciding what to do here in future.

That's lucky for us - isn't it?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Happy" New Year to all our readers

2008 has not been the best of years for any of us, particularly the 150 people who are about to lose their jobs at the holiday village and those tourists and locals who use the holiday camp's facilities. 2009 promises to be not much better as the major supermarkets battle it out as to which of them is to win the prize of Seaton.

It will be more and more important in 2009 to ensure that your voices are heard above those who have armies of people - pr, communications, corporate affairs, call it what you will - whose job it is to impose their views on us - and those who make decisions for us - whether we like it or not.

The people of Seaton have shown countless times that they are prepared to stand up, shout and be counted. Please carry on doing so - public opinion is a powerful tool, especially when it gains the interest of the media.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Robin Hood attraction 'may shut'

Following on from my post Rent free xmas this article is of some interest.
(click post title)
The item doesn't go into the history of the situation so I won't speculate on it, but it's also interesting that the tenant appears to be at the end of a chain of landlords!

ht: bbc


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Plans unveiled to support firms

OK not East Devon (as an aside EDDC has a business "champion" somewhere in its org), no this is Teignbridge DC...click title for full article, but here's the intro...

A Devon council could offer free parking as part of a plan to help firms cope with the economic downturn.

A Credit Crunch Commission, set up by Teignbridge District Council with private and voluntary organisations, came up with a range of measures.

Among them are free or reduced parking charges, financial counselling and increased promotion of help services.

The commission also proposes providing new allotments to enable more people to grow their own food.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Kelso - part 2

As you will see below, Tesco and Sainsbury's have been slugging it out in the small Scottish town of Kelso, each one trying to deliver the knock-out blow.

What is interesting is that in November 2007 (see here) Tesco were promising to build "the most environmentally-friendly supermarket". "Tesco are reported as having said: "We've had some meetings with the council and are proposing to build a full eco-store, the most environmentally friendly store in the whole of the UK, which the council is very keen on and which we are very keen to deliver."

It also seems from another report that Kelso is surrounded by Tesco stores and the majority of people preferred to have a different supermarket in Kelso.

Now isn't this strange, not only because of all the similarities to Seaton but because they are now promising to build the first small eco-friendly Tesco in Ottery St Mary and the first large eco-friendly Tesco in Seaton - that must upset Kelso who presumably want to be first! Anyone else think that "eco" is overused!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

When Supermarket Giants Collide

Probably the best bit of the article is>>>

"One intriguing question of this particular struggle has to be: "Why Kelso?".

With a population of about 6,500, the cobbled town is not obviously ripe with development potential.

However, it currently lacks one of the major supermarket chains, making it a prized target."

Click title to read whole article.
Wonder if Kelso gets any amenities. Of course we had some, now we have less.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Results of Ottery St Mary Tesco consultation 21% yes, 79% no

According to the Express and Echo, Ms Melanie Chiswell of Tesco has announced that 600 people visited the Tesco exhibition held at the offices of a local estate agent. 180 people filled in questionnaires of whom 70% were in favour of the store. I'm not good at maths but that seems to be 21% of 600 people were in favour of the store, 79% were not in favour (unless there were some "don't knows" but the article gave no indication that there were any). (If anyone is better at maths, please correct me quickly!)

I have seen a press release from Sainsbury's on the result of their consultation in Seaton - 1,800 visitors, 950 questionnares sent back just under 95% in favour of a Sainsbury's. Seems around 50% of people who visited the Sainsbury's exhibition reported back in Seaton, less than a third filled in forms in Ottery. Seaton can always be relied upon to give its views!

There were 1200 people at the Tesco exhibition and many of them filled in questionnaires. When will we get the Tesco results Ms Chiswell? It has been a LONG time and presumably you counted ours as quickly as you counted those at Ottery St mary

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Retailer buys the wind

click title for article.

ht:bbc scotland

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pound buying less than a euro

OK, what's this got to do with us?
For whatever reason (discuss in the comments if you like!) the pound has now hit parity to the euro...at least as far as tourists are concerned. The cumulative effect of the credit crunch is that any UK resident who might be going on holiday next year has two stark choices...go abroad and take the exchange rate hit, or holiday in the UK. (ok I leave out the do neither option)
East Devon is uniquely placed as a holiday destination with the jurassic coast on the doorstep and open countryside on the other. Seaton (of course) will not be in a position to capitalise on this..wonder if EDDC, SWRDA and SW Tourism can help out...

..ahem..meanwhile, for those interested in the euro, and say have an old keybaord on the pc, the "€" symbol is either (hold together)Ctrl-Alt-4 or Alt- and type "0128" on the numeric keypad, thus proving there is a workaround to most things, if people in the know commit themselves.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rent free Christmas

A commentator in the previous post suggested that landlords in and around Seaton, in particular those whose tenants are the local shopkeepers, might look to help said tenants.
These are difficult times, even the big successful retailers are attempting price cuts on a massive scale...so what would be in the interest of those landlords?

High street retailing is suffering no matter where you live in the UK, small businesses report difficulty getting support from banks, startups might well not happen this coming year... so come on landlords, a lower income is better than none at all, and you don't have to be the first..see here

+++update+++ Dorset Echo appear to have SNAFU'd the article; for those who missed it, the headline was...

A HOUSING company has given 2300 tenants a Christmas gift of two weeks’ free rent to help with the credit crunch.

Although a quick google reveals other locations looking at this idea.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Starbucks forced to close in Brighton because no planning permission

A Starbucks cafe which opened without planning permission in Brighton has been forced to close by the council. Protestors say that the big chain will take business away from the small, independent cafes of which there are enough in the area. (Good to see a council which takes its planning responsibilities seriously!).

In these difficult times, it falls to local people to support local shops wherever they can.

If it were true, as many people say, that large retailers bring benefits to the community can anyone tell us what they are? All profits are remitted to head offices (and then, just as often, abroad). They don't use local people such as plumbers, electricians - they have their own; they don't use local builders or shopfitters. Even if they buy from local suppliers, often all the stuff goes back first to a mega warehouse somewhere else (food miles) before being transported back again and local food is a minute amount of the stock in the store. Yes, they provide jobs - but here in Seaton, with 150 jobs about to go at the holiday camp and many shops having lost staff (and with Woolworths on a knife edge) that just doesn't wear - not to mention that many of them are low paid, part time and there is even a growing trend to employ agency workers rather than permanent staff.

The 400 tourists from the holiday camp spend in Seaton - you see them in the pubs, you see them in the coffee shops, you see them in the newsagent, you see them in Rainbow. Our guess? Watch late January and early February and see how many of the shops that depend on the tourists at the camp go to the wall. No, you can't blame the holiday camp owner, who was given an offer he had no intention of refusing. Why was he made the offer? Well, one Seaton resident apparently asked that question at the Tesco exhibition and was apparently told "Well, if we hadn't bought it, another supermarket might have".

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The end of holiday camps?

Britain’s holiday camps are seeing a revival of their popularity, and are set to bring in more than a billion pounds annually, new figures suggest.

Part of the resurgence of the centres is due to families making alternative and less-costly choices for their annual holiday break. A record 6.5 million people are now choosing holiday camps each year, according to a study released by industry analysts.

The camps have had to rework their image, though, from the days of the leaky chalets seen on the BBC sitcom Hi De Hi, set in the 1950s.

Over the last five years, the number of holidaymakers choosing camps such as Butlins and Center Parcs has increased in number by nearly 500,000 annually, a rise of eight per cent. At the same time, spending on these destinations has increased to £1.3 billion, up 22 per cent, according to analysts at Mintel.

What the figures suggest is that the holiday camps are attracting more holidaymakers and bigger spenders as well – a major difference from the days when a week at a holiday camp was clearly a low-budget break.

Holiday centres feature on-site restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as children’s clubs and numerous other facilities, and are now attracting many travellers who had previously been taking their family holidays abroad.

The revival in holiday camps started a couple of years ago, as air duty increased, airlines started to fail and the pound dropped against the euro.


HT: Dave Smith/asap.co.uk