Axe Valley mayors reflect on a year of highs and lows

PUBLISHED: 08:50 03 January 2013

Axminster mayor Andrew Moulding

Axminster mayor Andrew Moulding

Archant

Axminster and Seaton civic leaders prepare for the challenges of 2013

Civic leaders in the Axe Valley have been reflecting on a busy year as they look ahead to the challenges of the coming 12 months.

In their seasonal messages both the mayors of Axminster and Seaton have praised their communities for pulling together in some tough times during 2012.

Axminster mayor Andrew Moulding is hoping for better weather in 2013 as he looks back on a memorable year.

In his New Year message to Midweek Herald readers he says: “I am now half way through my second year as town mayor for my home town of Axminster.

“I reported at the end of 2011 that I hoped that the emerging local plan will lead to sustainable growth for Axminster, support the resilience of our local businesses, provide affordable housing for our local residents, promote the need for a north/south relief road and ensure the viability and development of our town centre.

“The draft local plan is now at its final consultation stage and residents can have their say until noon on Monday January 14 by making comments on line, at the library or the town council offices, at Axminster Guildhall.

“2012 has been an exciting year, with celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics and Paralympics.

“The residents of Axminster supported the Jubilee in style, despite the dreadful weather and throughout the year, supported local organisations and good causes with tremendous enthusiasm.

“I cannot complete this report without a further mention of the weather, which caused the cancellation of the Axe Vale Festival and the flooding in the town, which led to devastating consequences for some of our local residents. However, a flood relief fund in the town was well supported and enabled funds to be allocated to residents who suffered from particular hardship.

“I wish all residents of Axminster and its hinterland a successful new year and better weather!”

SEATON Mayor Peter Burrows says 2012 has been a very busy year for the town council with many schemes progressing well.

In his New Year message he writes: “The regeneration of Seaton continues with further acquisition of land for the Wetlands. The first stage of the development of the Jurassic Visitors Centre is set to begin this year and the first drawings of the seafront enhancement will be produced. This will enable residents to comment further on the designs drawn up and hopefully come up with a consensus view.

Seaton Town Council has also put money aside to support a new jetty that hopefully will support a waterborne transport system along the Jurassic Coast. A new Lottery grant will be submitted next year to support this.

The town council is hopeful of linking up with other Jurassic Coast towns to promote the area through a new leaflet paid by a Government grant.

This year should see a new application for 200 plus houses next to the Tesco stores, coming shortly after rejection of the housing development on the Racal site. Seaton Town Council supported the development but at a Planning meeting a change of conditions was defeated by one vote and has stalled the progress of this much needed development.

A great loss to the council was the death of Ray Morgan, my deputy mayor, and a man of integrity and for all things Seaton.

The town council reopened the TIC and has employed a marketing and events manager to promote Seaton to the wider community. In these hard times it is imperative that we promote Seaton as a coastal destination.

There are storm clouds on the horizon with another development proposed for the far end of Seaton abutting the boundary with Colyford. The town council has sent East Devon a 2,400 word objection to this application, especially the allocation of housing on the site.

On a personal note it has been a pleasure to meet so many people working for the benefit of Seaton. Working with the carnival team, helping with the Air Ambulance group and receiving the “Mayors slippers from Age UK” at No 1 were enjoyable and being able to support Seaton’s Voice promote the town hall keeps a valuable asset within the town.

Just don’t mention the access road across Windsor Gardens - a disaster!

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