Call for public to get behind plan

Former mayor says Honiton desperately needs a community centre.

A former mayor of Honiton explained how he had called the first public meeting to moot the idea of a community centre.

Peter Blake called on the public to “get 100 per cent behind” the plan.

And he commended those “who are still fighting for it”.

“It’s for a good cause,” he said. “It is something Honiton so desperately needs.

“There is not a lot in Honiton we can put our hands on our hearts and say we are proud of.”

He said efforts were made 30 years ago to get slip roads onto the A30 from Dowell Street and Sidmouth Road.

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Mr Blake had personally travelled to London in a bid to get road improvements.

“They said no,” he told the meeting.

“If we had had our way, we would have got what was best for Honiton,” he said.

“Let’s, please, move forward.

“It will cost us, but nothing is for nothing these days.”

Following an earlier reference by a Honitonian to “outsiders”, Peter Hayward said: “I’m an incomer to Honiton and I’ve lived here for 25 years.

“I came here because Honiton is one of those towns that is in the right place. It’s grown and it now needs a community centre.”

Mr Hayward expressed concern that young people, who would benefit from the centre, would be excluded from the vote should a town poll be authorised by the returning officer.

Centre supporters went on to describe Honiton as “30 years behind the times”, saying it had “tired buildings that are not up to scratch”.