Mayor accuses councils of not doing enough to help Seaton
SEATON town mayor has slammed county and district councils for not offering enough support during a time of need.
SEATON town mayor has slammed county and district councils for not offering enough support during a time of need.Cllr Sandra Semple said, during the annual town meeting, the resort had been designated one of the 13 most deprived towns in Devon - but was not marked as a priority by East Devon District Council or Devon County Council.She said: "We won't give up, we won't shut up and we won't leave any stone unturned. "But we need others, with more money and more staff, to work with us and unless this 'can't do' attitude - rampant in Devon local and regional government - is changed, I see a continued bleak outlook."She said the council had an annual budget of around �150,000 per year and needed to find co-funding for an Economic Development Officer. She accused EDDC of favouritism and called on the Knowle to put money where it was most needed."They need to work out once and for all - do they decide what regeneration is for Seaton and focus on quality of life for all of us?"Or do they blindly follow the mantra of 'supermarket-led' regeneration and leave it to a national supermarket chain, whose only objective is to make money for its shareholders, to decide what is best for our town?"She called on DCC to do more for the youth in town and said the two-day Fun in the Sun event was not enough.Both town and district councils agreed that the withdrawal of funds for the Seaton Visitor Centre had been damaging to plans.Margaret Rogers, county councillor for Seaton coastal and district councillor, reported to the meeting from EDDC and DCC. While she agreed with some concerns, she felt other matters were being addressed.In EDDC's report, she said she was disappointed that the district council did not propose to implement the government's policy of free swimming for over 60s and under 16s - particularly as Seaton has been frustrated in getting decent sporting facilities.She said she supported the concern of the two medical practices over the provision of minor injuries treatment in Seaton and district. She said despite her requests for the scrutiny committee to discuss the matter urgently, it had been deferred to May 13.Councillor Rogers said a meeting had been held regarding the West Walk toilets but that the matter should be discussed on site and in public.She said: "On four occasions I have asked Mark Williams (EDDC's Chief Executive) to hold a site meeting with the three district councillors and town council. "He did not reply to three of my requests and, when I was able to ask him face-to-face, he said he would 'think about it'."Reporting from DCC, she said it had had its lowest budget increase of 2.89 per cent since 1998 - but had been awarded four gold stars by the Audit Commission for its excellence in running services.She hit back at claims the county council was not doing enough for the youth. She said there was still an offer of two evenings' funding - which had been based on the EDDC notion of building an extra floor at the town hall - if a suitable venue was found.She said: "Soon an idea I have wanted to implement for a long time will begin once some necessary formalities have been completed - eg CRB checks. "This will be for young people on one evening a week in the computer room at the library with both a librarian and a youth worker present providing a kind of internet cafe.