Sustainable Ottery campaigning on local supermarket plans
It is now a month since we heard the news that Tesco had bought two-thirds of the St Saviours factory site. In response, SO’s Factory Future Group has launched a full-blown campaign against the Tesco convenience store plans because of the negative impact we believe such a store would have on local shops and suppliers, employment, traffic congestion and the social fabric of our community. Put simply, Tesco’s plans do not tally with SO’s vision of a more sustainable and self-reliant community fighting climate change and fossil fuel depletion. Many of you will have visited or helped on our stalls at Ottery’s Late Night Shopping Event on 28 Nov and outside the Tesco exhibition on 3-4 Dec, or seen photos of us in the local press standing grim-faced outside the factory site. Most of you, we hope, have now filled in our simple survey.
There is a huge amount to do in a short space of time as Tesco say they will submit an outline planning application to EDDC before Christmas! Please help us if you can. Up and down the country, there are examples of communities that have managed to overturn supermarket plans like these - but we will need a huge mobilisation of our local community to do this. Things you can do:Fill in the survey and ask others to. E-mail email@example.com for a soft (not sure if this is clear – electronic version may be clearer) version you can print out or ring 01404 814078 for hard copies (if no e-mail). We are keeping the local press informed of survey results and these could have a big impact on local councillors. We are aiming for 1,000 completed survey forms for starters. To date, out of 420 completed forms, only 13 are in favour of a Tesco convenience store on the old factory site.Put up our posters in your windows and hand out our leaflets at local events. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for soft copies you can print off or ring 01404 814078 for hard copies (if no e-mail).Come to SO’s public meeting on Fri 9 January, 7.30pm in the Old Boys’ School, Yonder St (opposite The Institute). More details soon.Write letters to the Ottery Herald, Midweek Herald, Ottery Advertiser and Express & Echo to raise your concerns. Respond to the Ottery Herald’s online survey and add your comments to these newspapers’ on-line discussion sites. Write letters to OSM Town Council (the Town Council will formally have to consider the planning application once it is submitted to EDDC).Help with our door-to-door delivery of our new leaflet which specifically addresses the arguments Tesco is using to justify its plans for Ottery. Make formal objections in writing to EDDC once Tesco and Churchill have submitted their planning application – we’ll send you more details about how to do this in the New Year.Contribute to our campaign fund. Donations can be left at Roberts DIY.Help us plan and organise our campaign. We desperately need more people to share this work. Please ring Helen on 01404 814078 or e-mail email@example.com if you are willing to get involved at this level.
And more supermarket news: we have just heard that Sainsbury intends to submit a planning proposal in the New Year for a Sainsbury’s supermarket adjacent to the Hind St car-park site! The Factory Future group has not had a chance yet to discuss its response to these plans – more from us soon. SO is committed to promoting local shops and produce and supporting local businesses – particularly in these times of economic recession - because we believe a strong local economy will help us confront the twin challenges of climate change and peak oil. This underpins all we say and do on supermarkets – whichever company is involved.
Friday 23 January, Hotpot Supper and Ceilidh, The Institute, 7.30pm
This is being organised by SO’s LOAF (Local Ottery Area Food) group to help raise funds for people so badly affected by the recent floods in and around Ottery.
The Band: `Stick the Fiddle’ with Caller Eileen Nightingale.
Dancing and Supper. Two courses, plus Bar and soft drinks available.
Tickets £5 – or more if you can afford it! – from Ottery Tourist Information Centre, Roberts hardware or Ottery Office and Computer Shop.
We are hoping to hold a raffle during the evening so if you have any unwanted Christmas presents that might make a suitable raffle prize then please contact Jill on 01404 811067.
More volunteers are needed. If you would like to help, email Tony on:
Friday 13 February, Jazz with `Ellingtonia, Ottery St Mary Parish Church
This must-see and must-hear band will play for one night only in Ottery’s beautiful parish church, at this fundraising event for Sustainable Ottery and Ottery churches. Definitely an unlucky day if you miss it! And proof that you don’t have to go all the way to Exeter to find high-class entertainment.
Ellingtonia are a stunning nine-piece band devoted to playing the music of the great Duke Ellington Orchestra with a collection of classic songs and swing tunes; a great band with a great sound and a fine female vocalist.
Ellingtonia was summed up by Ed Welch, patron of the Dartmouth Music Festival, who said: `I doubt there is a better nine-piece band in the South West…all in all, wonderful value.’
Tickets will be on sale after Christmas at £10 (£12 on the door) and will be available from the Tourist Information Centre and various venues around Ottery.
Put this date in your diary and don’t miss this `irresistibly stylish music penned by the coolest jazz composer of them all! on Friday evening, 13 February.
Urgent e-mails needed to support Feniton-Sidmouth cycleway proposals
A big thank you to all those SO supporters who wrote letters to DCC and EDDC chief execs to try and get things moving on the Land of Canaan to King’s School cyclepath and footpath (which is included in DCC’s and EDDC’s agreed programme of projects and will be part-funded by Sustrans). Ottery’s Cllr Roger Giles says this definitely helped to progress the discussions between the two authorities on this project.
Now there is an urgent need to write letters again – this time in support of the Feniton – Sidmouth cyclepath along the disused railway line. This exciting plan has been talked about for many years and now there is a chance it could happen if we really push for it, because Devon County Council (DCC) has earmarked £5 million from the sale of Exeter Airport monies for cycleway creation.
The DCC Executive Committee meeting on Tues 16 Dec, 1.30pm, is to include an item on cycling. This is likely to include discussion of a report about the creation of cycleways on disused railway lines. Please e-mail the following key County Councillors urging them to create a cycleway on the disused Feniton to Tipton to Sidmouth railway line:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please `cc’ our two local County Councillors (Roger Giles - Ottery; and Stuart Hughes - Sidmouth): email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; please also `cc’: email@example.com
The meeting is open to the public and members of the public can ask questions if they give sufficient advance notice; the meeting will be webcast.
Points to raise in your e-mail:Recent feasibility studies have found this route to be very suitable for a cycleway. Most of the disused railway line is intact.The land ownership issues are surmountable – most of the local landowners consulted over the cyclepath plans are in favour of them.It would boost the local economy in these difficult times. Cyclists from other parts of the UK can catch a train from London Waterloo to Feniton and then cycle down to Sidmouth and back, stopping at pubs, cafes, restaurants and B+Bs along the way. Also possibilities for cycle hire and repair outfits.It would fulfil a number of DCC’s existing commitments: reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions (as people take to their bikes instead of driving), healthy living and physical exercise, and would benefit children and families who would be able to cycle in safety along this route.There is huge popular support in the Ottery area for this cyclepath. In 2007 Ottery’s Town Council commented that they had almost never received so many letters on a single issue as they had on this one – and all letters were in favour of it. Ask for the Feniton-Sidmouth cyclepath plan to be included in the next DCC Local Transport Plan.
Roger Giles does not think that DCC Cllrs will receive e-mails about any other proposed cyclepaths before this meeting so our e-mails will have an impact.
Community Market, Saturday 13 December 9.30 – 12.30
Forget Cribbs Causeway and Princesshay - come and do your Christmas shopping at SO’s monthly Community Market this coming Saturday! Ideal for stocking fillers and for those unique and special presents you won’t find anywhere else. Stalls vary from locally grown vegetables, herbs, flowers, jams, fair trade produce and pizzas to jewellery, cosmetics and body creams, handcrafted bags, handknitted cardigans and soft toys, reclaimed furniture, and local artwork. Plus the kids can have their faces painted while you visit the stalls. And why not meet a local friend there for a tea, coffee, home-made cake (or a seasonal mince pie, no doubt) provided by the WI.
If you would like to have your own stall at our markets (charge = £3) or would be willing to help with the set-up or the clearing up, please phone Beatrix Godfrey on 01404 812 213.
Look out for alternatives to plastic bags soon at the Community Market but better still remember to bring your own!
Next SO monthly Steering Group meeting, 7.30pm, URC Hall, Thurs 18 Dec.
All welcome! We will go for a well-earned Christmas drink after a short meeting!
Sustainable Ottery welcomes new members. Anyone interested in finding out more or in joining one of the working groups (energy, resources, food, art and creativity, transport, factory future, communications and awareness raising) can e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.sustainableottery.org.uk for future events.
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