Town poll votes all important'

PUBLISHED: 13:58 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 01:07 16 June 2010

At the meeting on March 30, when Honiton residents voted to hold a Town Poll for or against a community centre, there appeared to be two main problems against the present plan.

At the meeting on March 30, when Honiton residents voted to hold a Town Poll for or against a community centre, there appeared to be two main problems against the present plan.

Location/traffic: In the early 1990s, when EDDC offered Honiton the long-term car parking site of Dowell Street, plus £333,333 towards setting up the centre, the traffic flow in Dowell Street was quite different to what it is now. Now, it is one of the most air-polluted areas in town. Through-traffic from Cullompton and the M5 has greatly increased. Honiton Community College has expanded, as have Honiton Sports Centre and businesses in the Northcote Lane area. All their traffic flows into and along Dowell Street.

No research into future traffic flow appears to have been done in preparation for a new centre. Extra traffic created by an auditorium seating 300 will have a serious impact on the street. Neither has it been suggested where the 42 displaced local business season ticket holders might move their cars to.

Cost/ongoing maintenance: Main concerns were a) what provision would be made for local individuals of all ages; b) could small local organisations afford the fees charged for renting space; c) the cost of permanent staff (paid by Honiton Town Council/ratepayers) and d) in the present economic climate could support from tourists be relied upon?

It is extremely important that all Honitonians should have their say in the forthcoming town poll. We do not want the town saddled with an expensive white elephant nor have a centre that snarls up central town traffic damaging the health of town residents.

On the other hand, Honiton desperately needs a central hall of some standing for the future.

Please, turn out to vote at the poll. Every vote will be important, and will count!

Joanne Maxwell

Honiton


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