Firstly thankyou so much to everyone so far who has emailed their message of support. That will be very helpful. A number of you have also given some suggestions and offers of help which we would like to take up at some point.
There have been so many replies that it is impossible to reply to everyone individually at this stage but I have put you all onto a mailing list and will use that to keep you informed of progress. If at any time you want to come off that list please email me and I will remove your contact details.
We are in the process of setting up a more formal “Friends of Teignmouth Cemetery” so that we can put in an Expression of Interest to Teignbridge as a community group. I will post on here details of how you can join if you want (I know some of you may have already done that through another route).
We have now had four days of community action and a lot has happened in that time which shows that by putting pressure on our politicians and councils through social media like Facebook we can get things moving.
To bring you up-to-date:
I have been writing every day to all the Teignmouth town councillors and have had some positive response. Firstly, thanks to Alison Eden for having encouraged Teignbridge to extend the deadline. Thanks also to Paul Burgess for proposing a working party to take this matter forward. My concern would be that, even with the two week extension to the submission deadline, that working party would not be able to meet and act in time to enable a submission to be made. Special thanks to Jacqui Orme who has been fighting a sort of rearguard action for the last 2 years but has often been blocked.
I have spoken at length with Jeremy Christophers, the Leader of Teignbridge Council, who has allowed me to quote him and has confirmed that Teignbridge have no intentions to undertake commercial or residential development of the Old Cemetery site. That is very reassuring and will definitely allay the fears of many people such as yourselves and others who have raised the issue with me.
However, the buildings themselves may be a different matter. The Planning proposal for conversion of the buildings to residential use has not been withdrawn and so is still hanging over us like the sword of Damocles. Therefore we will need to put together a strong, coherent plan for renovation of the building and its subsequent use for community purposes.
I am also trying to track down the secret charity which has been quoted but not revealed by Councillor David Cox on Facebook to see if we can get together to work on a joint bid. I don’t know why there is secrecy. Contacts at TAAG have suggested that it might be the “Cave”, or Eastcliff Community Company. However, that would mean that the town council already knows about this because of their representation on the Board but David Cox has said that he has no connection. So I am no further forward but will pursue it. If anyone can shed more light on that please let me know. It is in everybody’s interest that community groups come together to present a common united front for the renovation and use of the buildings.
Once again thanks for all the support and don’t forget the photoshoot at the Chapel on Sunday at 12 noon.