Sidmouth Town Council held its Annual Council meeting on Monday, 16th May and elected a new Chair and Vice Chair of Council for the year. Councillor Chris Lockyear takes over as Chair of the Council, whilst Councillor Hilary Nelson was appointed Vice Chair. Ian Barlow, retiring Chair of three years, thanked Councillors for their hard work during a difficult period for the Town and wished the new Chair and Vice Chair well.

Following the meeting, Councillor Lockyear commented: “I am honoured to have been elected as Chair of Sidmouth Town Council. We have a dedicated group of Councillors who work incredibly hard, on a voluntary basis, for the people of Sidmouth.

"I would like us to continue to protect the beautiful environment in the Sid Valley that makes this a fantastic place to live and visit. We must also ensure our activities are sustainable in the wider context. The Council has done a superb job over recent years in promoting Sidmouth as a unique tourist destination. This must continue so we can have a thriving economy, and we will work with the Chamber of Commerce and others to achieve this. Sidmouth has a large number of very successful festivals that provide entertainment, education and enjoyment to residents and visitors alike, and we must ensure their ongoing success, and facilitate cooperation between them.

"Sidmouth Town Council will continue to work with East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and our local Member of Parliament so we have the infrastructure that supports both the community and the businesses we need to thrive. This cooperation in areas such as roads, beach, environment, and planning is vital to ensure all Council services, at whatever level, can be delivered efficiently and effectively.

"Having lived in various parts of the world, I think Sidmouth is unique in the breadth and depth of the clubs, societies, and organisations we have in the Sid Valley; I am very proud of this. They offer a huge variety of services to the community and the Council will continue to support them as best we can. However, I also know that there are still isolated individuals and groups, and we will seek to reach out to them so they feel included within our community. Your Councillors represent you, the people of the Sid Valley, and so it is important that your voices are heard. I will always be ready to listen to residents so we can continue to improve the services we offer.”