Please note: The deadline was 5th March, but has apparently now been extended to Tuesday 1st April 2014.
A reminder of how to send your own views, is on our original poster: appeal notice
Forty of the forty-one Representations which have so far been received, are in favour of keeping the the Community Noticeboard in Old Fore Street. None of the representations made are visible to others, so two samples sent are given below.
From Robert Crick: ‘I live ten minutes away from this noticeboard, which has been in use for over a year. I am one of those who occasionally tidy it up and remove out of date notices. I occasionally display notices of meetings or events on the board. I am the person responsible for another noticeboard at the northern end of the High Street at the Old Dissenting Meeting House. I am a member of several organisations in the town but am writing in a personal capacity.
The noticeboard on the blank wall at the northern end of Old Fore Street at the back of Pure Indulgence has been widely welcomed and used by many citizens and organisations including churches, town council, district council, AONB, County Council, Rotarians, sports clubs, musical events, campaign groups, small businesses and training organisations, Chamber of Commerce etc. Occasionally delivery vehicles or private vehicles pass by the noticeboard slowly.
Old Fore Street is a pedestrian-friendly precinct, opposite the entrance to the Health Food shop Ganesha. I shop there regularly and spend a few minutes checking the noticeboard three or four times each week. I have often seen town residents and visitors studying the noticeboards with interest. I have never seen any risk of collision or conflict at the noticeboard.
The noticeboard is professionally made, in good quality wood, and is enclosed by a wooden frame protecting it from the elements to a certain extent but with no glass or perspex cover, which makes it easily accessible for use by the wide range of groups mentioned above. During the extreme weather conditions of the past few months notices have occasionally been dislodged by the wind but there is a store of spare drawing pins available in the bottom of the frame. Dislodged drawing pins or flapping edges are quickly secured by public spirited passers by, such as myself.
I suspect that the allegation that this noticeboard is a risk to health ad safety has been made in bad faith by a small minority of citizens who object to the use of the noticeboard by popular campaigning groups “Save Our Sidmouth” and “East Devon Association” who have used the noticeboard to challenge some planning proposals from the District Council and to publicise exposes by the Daily Telegraph and other newspapers revealing apparent corruption, which is under investigation by the police but not yet “sub judice”.
There is no legal or rational basis for refusing permission for the continued existence of this noticeboard. Prior to its erection the blank wall where it was placed was, from time to time, covered in obscene graffiti, suspected to have been placed by a mentally disturbed resident. The noticeboard has significantly contributed positively to the look and feel of the town. The appeal should be upheld.’
From Marianne Rixson: Old Fore St noticeboard letter2