An all too typical letter expressing views from an anti-festival Sidmothian - born and bred here and perhaps with a dislike of all outsiders. This person writes a similar letter every year.

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Festival brings congestion, noise and filth

Once more we are in the midst of the festival. I am surprised to see again all the food outlets on the Ham, Blackmore Gardens and in the Arts Centre.

I thought these venues were let to the festival for entertainment, not to be sub-let to catering concerns. As the charges for these premises are probably subsidised, the festival could be making a profit from EDDC.Why are we continuing to give a grant of many thousands of pounds to the festival?

We are not asked if we want the festival to receive a grant. It is our money and there are many residents who are unhappy about the grant being paid to this highly commercial enterprise. When it was a small struggling English folk song and dance festival it was deserving of being helped. How does the average Sidmouth resident benefit from this festival? Congestion of roads, streets, no green spaces free, noise and filth.

The council says it brings income to the town. Yes to the pubs. Not all the shops profit, as everything is catered for by the stalls at the arena.

Unfortunately, it also attracts street traders along the Esplanade who I believe pay no dues. The attitude appears to be "it's only for a week anyway".

Does this rule apply to any other infringements? Can we all be criminals this week without fear of charges or imprisonment?

The time has come to move the festival to Westpoint or similar.

201 Manstone Avenue

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