EDDC Leader Paul Diviani’s curious and unexpected recent praise for Sidmouth and its business community* requires further consideration.
His reference to Sidmouth town centre as ‘vibrant’ and his complimenting of the community for its ‘excellent management’ came as quite a surprise to townspeople who have grown tired of his repeated assertion that Sidmouth’s economic model was broken. He has argued consistently in support of the Sidford employment land allocation, on the grounds that Sidmouth needs to change direction, and move away from tourism, hotels and town centre shops. His view was that Sidmouth’s future lay with offices, warehousing and light industry, combined with a new out-of-town retail offer, all at the five hectare site at Sidford.
His pro-Sidmouth remarks, which indicate quite a volte face, were at a meeting of the Cabinet and thus a very orchestrated event, so they were certainly not off the cuff. So what has brought about this sudden and remarkable conversion?
We have our own theories…What do YOU think?
* See http://www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/news_view/32635/12/1/sidmouth-cranbrook-has-much-to-learn-from
and further comment here: http://eastdevonalliance.org/2014/06/11/eddc-leader-says-cranbrook-has-much-to-learn-from-sidmouth-but-doesnt-exactly-make-plain-what/