An invitation for Mrs Jones

PUBLISHED: 15:03 28 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:33 15 June 2010

Mrs A Jones doesn't know me (Your Letters, October 22) and I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting her, but I am sure we can meet on the common ground of wanting what is best for Seaton.

Mrs A Jones doesn't know me (Your Letters, October 22) and I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting her, but I am sure we can meet on the common ground of wanting what is best for Seaton. During my eight years living here I have observed a sad decline in the vigour and range of Seaton shops and facilities. In her 34 years, Mrs Jones must have seen a far greater change. What can we do to rejuvenate our town ?Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Mrs Jones does not like the holiday camp, but visitors come there in their tens of thousands each year. They spend so much money in the town and the district that local shopkeepers and licensees report a serious decline in trade when the camp is closed for maintenance. When Tesco closes it for good, many other local businesses may close also. There is also the loss of the swimming pool, the gym and other facilities extensively used by residents as well as guests.Tesco is a major landowner in Seaton: that is a fact of life, but there are serious technical objections to their plans and their closure of the holiday camp is unnecessary. They do not intend to build over it, and they say no one else will do so for many years to come. Why not keep it open to provide profit for Tesco and trade and facilities for the town? On the other hand, Mrs Jones likes supermarkets, and there does seem widespread support in the town for an alternative to the Co-op. We have seen the Tesco plans: I have not heard anything from Lidl or Aldi but Sainsbury's are shortly to show us theirs. Until then, we cannot make an informed judgement. When the Romans marched into Seaton they had no competition: and anyway, they brought good roads, underfloor heating and water-borne sewerage. Tesco want to take away much of what we now have, and there is at least one very able and determined competitor. At this stage I have an open mind about which plan is best for Seaton: I invite Mrs Jones to do the same.I also invite Mrs Jones, and any other of your readers, to come to the monthly meetings of the management committee of Seaton Development Trust from 7pm on the last Wednesday of every month at Seaton Hospital (Harding Room). James SempleSeatonBy email


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