Publicity about 'rogue traders' along Sidmouth Esplanade during Folk Week
Article from the local free newspaper 'View from Sidmouth' 8 April 2008
This report highlights that the Esplanade has been a 'prohibited street' for the purposes of street trading since 1983. It is now proposed to turn it into a 'consent street' - so EDDC can sell 'consents to trade'. A cynical observer might suggest that EDDC had smelt a business opportunity amidst the incompetence of its 'licensing and dog warden' services.
Despite hundreds of thousands of pounds being spent on salaries and overheads annually, Sidmouth is becoming renowned for an excess of dog dirt. EDDC used to operate a high profile dog warden service, but downsized it to save money - so now we have about 5% of the effectiveness for maybe 75% of the cost. Let's see if they do better with policing the Esplanade - if they choose to bother at all.
Opinion locally and in the folk world seems about equally divided pro and anti the street traders but with some folkies saying that the aggressiveness of traders has led to a reduction in the number of amateur folk musicians along the crowded Esplanade. This in itself is surely a good enough reason to limit on-street trading to specific 'non-prime' areas of the town?
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Questionnaire published in the Sidmouth Herald 28 March 2008
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