Updates on all things Exmouth.
I’m off for a couple of weeks and the council phone will be turned off - it’s been a long year in my school day job and I need a little time to recharge.
So here’s a few updates on some of the things that, I imagine, matter to you.
Refuse and Recycling
You may have noticed that some of your rubbish and recycling collections have been late or missed over the past few weeks. EDDC have been pretty good at communicating the reasons why, but in case you missed it, SUEZ, who are the contract holders for recycling, have massive staffing issues. They don’t have enough HGV drivers due to a notional shortage of around 60 - 70,000 lorrymen. Coupled with large swathes of the rest of their staff being ‘pinged’, they’ve been struggling to cope. They’ve tried agencies, advertising for staff and everything else they can think of, but to no avail. If anyone knows of any lorry drivers kicking their heels or potential refuse collectors looking for a job, let me know and I’ll point them in the right direction. Cheers for your patience.
The Queen’s drive saga continues, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as now the District council are able to meet virtually again, we’ll be looking to move things forward again in the Autumn. This year, I think the council officers have, with our encouragement, made the best of the place, and hopefully by the time you read this the exercise area will also be in use. The play area remains really popular and I’m glad it’s still there.
This year has seen what is, effectively, an enforced experiment in the Strand area. COVID led to the government encouraging the use of outside space and Councillor Millar and myself, as chair of licensing, with EDDC officers, worked with local traders to make it happen here, expanding their floor space outdoors when their indoor areas were closed. From some of those businesses I’ve spoken to, it’s basically prevented them from going under - and tourists appear to appreciate the continental town square style thing. Personally, I think it’s been successful and we should be looking at something similar for next year. I’d be interested to know what you think.
COVID - Grants
As usual, thanks to you all for your patience and for mostly everyone doing what they can to combat the spread of this nastiness. As we regain our freedoms, whatever your view, the government are drawing back their support for businesses. As of now, despite the fact that businesses are having to close due to pinging, no grants are currently available. If that changes (hopefully they soon won’t be necessary any more) I’ll be sure to let you know.
We await the next round of levelling up funding, having been awarded diddly squat last time around. Currently we have a bid in for money to finish the Dinan Way extension and redevelop the area around the railway station as a more integrated transport hub. However…. We already had funding for the Dinan Way extension secured. The levelling up fund has, however, replaced the scheme that had promised some of those funds, the Pinch Point Fund. So, if we’re not successful in this bid, Exmouth will have, effectively, lost millions of pounds. Not just ‘not been awarded any money’, but lost money…. I have everything crossed that we win, and thank Simon Jupp for his support of the bid. But this is another example of promises and pledges being made and not being fulfilled. I may sound like a broken record but at least be honest - if there’s no chance of funding, don’t tell us there is.
The Magnolia Centre Clock
It’s gone, as you may know. Little victories, but I’m pleased I managed to make it happen. I was hoping that we’d be well underway with replacing it by now. However, because the government required councils to meet in person a couple of months ago, but Exmouth town hall is not big enough for us to legally do so, town council meetings have all been postponed. As soon as there’s a space on the agenda, I’ll get something on there.
Cheers for reading, and have a great rest of Summer.