‘We want action’: resident calls for council to tie up loose ends

Lyme Regis resident Nigel Ball (inset) has called for the council to clear up the town before summer

A LYME Regis resident has said there’s a number of “loose ends to tie up” and has called for the council to take action to ensure the town looks its best before the summer season.

Nigel Ball, a Talbot Road resident and keen follower of the town council, reeled off a litany of complaints at this week’s meeting – from the condition of the seafront gardens to the lack of park and ride facilities.

Mr Ball raised the points in the public forum of a full council meeting, when members of the public are allowed to speak for three minutes. After reaching his three minutes, Mr Ball was stopped by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, but he said his wife and son were also present at the meeting and he continued to speak for a further six minutes on their behalf.

Mr Ball emphasised that he did not like to complain to the council and was instead keen to work with authority, encouraging members to interact more with the public.

He said: “I’m always sorry to have to come to the council and moan, as you know that is not my way of doing things. I think a lot of this town but I’m just a little miffed about some of the things that don’t get done.”

Mr Ball’s concerns included the following:

  • New seafront benches had not been bolted to the ground.
  • The condition of Langmoor and Lister Gardens – Mr Ball, a horticulturalist himself, expressed concern that the council’s gardening team had recently stopped working in the seafront gardens to help repair steps at the Town Mill during a period when the gardens needed a lot of attention. “A gardener and a horticulturalist is not a maintenance person,” he said.
  • Weeds growing in roads such as the Cart Road and Cobb Road.
  • New lengthsmen – Mr Ball questioned what the two newly-appointed lengthsmen had been working on and said the council had not made clear what the job entailed. “We’re employing all these people without any notification of what they’re actually doing,” he added.
  • Agendas and minutes had not been uploaded on the town council’s website since November.
  • Sidmouth Road park and ride – Mr Ball pointed out that the planning application submitted this month for continued use of the park and ride site would be the council’s sixth temporary application. He commented: “You keep blaming East Devon District Council but it’s not been submitted in the right way. You can’t keep asking for a temporary park and ride, it’s a full planning application or nothing.”
  • Management of staff on snow days – Mr Ball expressed concerns that staff were told to stay home during the snow, the council’s tractor was not put to use and several areas of the town has no grit.
  • Dredging – Mr Ball questioned why town council workmen were on the beach during the harbour dredging works, which he said they had nothing to do with.
  • Council staff wages – He expressed concern that the town council was “racking up a bill for nearly £500,000 in wages” which he described as “quite a chunk of money” for a town of 3,500 people.
  • Drains blocked in Colway Lane and Charmouth Road area.

Mr Ball added: “There are jobs which are not getting done before the season starts. There needs to be a bit of a shake-up here to find out who’s doing what, because seriously I don’t think some of the jobs are getting done.

“It’s a detriment to the town and we’ve got people here who pay good money to come to our town. We need to be looking at this a little bit stronger.

“We have got to get to grips around Lyme Regis. There’s a lot of things that are great about Lyme Regis but there’s a lot of loose ends that have got to be tied up to make the place run a little better.”

Mr Ball asked for the council to interact with the public more.

“I have always wanted to work with the council, I don’t point fingers. We want action, we want to work with you. Please take it on board and we can all work together,” he added.

The mayor said that several of Mr Ball’s comments would be taken to the Town Management & Highways Committee.

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