Some 4,000 people marched on the headquarters of East Devon District Council in Sidmouth last Saturday. They were protesting at council plans to sell off its offices and surrounding parkland for development.
Protesters chanted “Local need, not corporate greed” and “Conservation conga! They’re in it for the wonga!” The council also plans to build a new industrial estate on a site of outstanding natural beauty.
Tory councillors have said opposition comes from a small group of backward-looking pensioners. The large demonstration with people of all ages proved them wrong.
Campaigners have shown that several councillors who voted for the changes are also members of the East Devon Business Forum which has lobbied them. An investigation continues into a possible conflict of interest.
Retired UCU member Robert Crick was cheered as he told the closing rally, “We are winning this battle. And you are all leaders in this campaign.”