Why Seaton is the poor relation

PUBLISHED: 13:40 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:09 16 June 2010

Further to the hysteria about Willoughby House, your readers might be interested in this paragraph from an advertisement for a current vacancy for a deputy town clerk in Lyme Regis:

Further to the hysteria about Willoughby House, your readers might be interested in this paragraph from an advertisement for a current vacancy for a deputy town clerk in Lyme Regis:

"In addition to the usual services provided by a parish or town council i.e. cemetery, play areas, public gardens, bus shelters etc, the Town Council is also a major stakeholder in the visitor economy, operating and managing seafront and beach amenities plus the necessary infrastructure including car parks and toilets. The authority has retained an extensive property portfolio which generates the larger proportion of an annual income of £900,000 leaving only 14 per cent to be found from council tax."

Lyme Regis has a population of around 4,000, Seaton has a population of just over 7,000.

Seaton Town Council's income this year (excluding bank interest and allotments income) was £9,400 - £2,400 from EDDC for the information point, £6,000 from EDDC as a contribution to work done by the town's handyman on behalf of EDDC and a footpaths grant of £1,000 (all of this information is freely available to the general public).

If Lyme Regis had not had its properties and had relied on council tax alone, its income would have been around £126,000 as compared to the £900,000 mentioned above. As a result of their higher income, Lyme Regis Town Council is able to redevelop its seafront to provide shops (which it will own and rent and add to its current portfolio, adding to their income), a community room and outside activity area.

Willoughby House and its extensive land had great, great potential for Seaton as an asset, as an income generator, as a site for community use and as a site for new offices for rent to start-up and incoming enterprises in Seaton - alas, we must now be the poor relation to Sidmouth AND Lyme Regis.

Sandra Semple

Seaton


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