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Minutes of the Tourism Committee held in the Town Hall, Bideford on Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 6.00 pm

PRESENT:

East Ward:
Councillor J McKenzie
Councillor S Robinson

North Ward:
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor D McGeough

South Ward (Outer):
Councillor D Howell (Chairman)

IN ATTENDANCE:
Mrs L Dixon-Chatfield (Town Clerk’s Asst)
Councillor P Christie (North Ward)

042 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Mrs Ruth Craigie (East Ward) – personal
Mrs Ruth Benney (Atlantic Village)

043 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations made at this point in the meeting.

044 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

There were no members of the public present

045 MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday 12 September 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote For: 5, Against: 0)

046 TO RECEIVE A PRESENTATION FROM MR N WHITE OF NORTH DEVON MARKETING BUREAU

The Chairman introduced Mr Nick White of the NDMB and invited him to address the meeting.

Mr White referred to the letter he had sent through which was sent out in the Agenda. He wanted to reassure members that his intention was not to ask for money for the NDMB but to have the support of the Council to lobby DCC into recognising that North Devon and Torridge are good tourist destinations and need to be promoted at a higher level. He wants DCC to support the Visit Devon campaign.

He stressed that creating Partnerships was the way forward with as few barriers as possible. The NDMB are working with the South West Tourism Alliance and Visit Devon. They recently partnered Visit Devon on a North American roadshow. There is a huge American market to be tapped into and with the historical connections this could be the best reason for Americans to visit Bideford. As well as the USA, the NDMB are partnering Visit Devon on visits to Holland and Germany.

Mr White thanked members for their time and asked if there were any questions.

Cllr McKenzie asked how it would be possible to encourage visitors to the North of the region when South Devon has a comprehensive infrastructure by comparison.

Mr White explained that this is largely due to poor signage on the M5 and this is one of the issues that needs addressing at County level. He informed members that as far as Tourism goes it is not high on the priority lists of either County or government. This is where Partnerships will be so important to get the point across that Tourism is an industry and not, as is currently viewed, as a revenue stream.

Cllr Bushby asked how the Town Council could help. Mr White explained that through support and putting pressure onto Devon County Council, North Devon Council had written also to their North Devon MP. Cllr Bushby suggested writing to Devon County Council and to the Torridge MP.

The Chairman suggested to members that they consider joining the NDMB and would make it an agenda item for the next Tourism meeting.

The Chairman invited Mr White to present at a full Town Council meeting. Mr White agreed and would look forward to an invitation.

047 TO RECEIVE AN UP DATE ON GATHERING FOOTAGE FOR A FILM/VIDEO TO BE MADE OF BIDEFORD FOR PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES

The Clerk and the Chairman had drafted a letter to be sent to relevant event organisers asking them for high resolution pictures and/or video footage of attractive events in the Town.

The Clerk explained to members that she had sent out to a list of organisers for the Bike Show, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Lights Switch On, Wicked Week, Regatta, Carnival, Music Day, Massed Pipes and Drums, the Wellbeing Day, Armed Forces Flag Raising, Bideford FC. She was receiving good feedback from half the contacts and wanted to know if she had missed anyone out. She had suggested to contributors a deadline of mid-January, in order to take into account the College being closed for the Christmas break.

The Chairman would find photos from the Bideford Fair this year and would be able to offer footage from previous Heritage Days which would be relevant to the Fair.
Cllr McGeough suggested contacting the Rotary about the Water Festival.

Cllr McKenzie informed members that the deadline would work well with the College and would culminate in a finished film being ready in advance of the new season.

The Clerk asked the Chairman how the selection should be done for the material to go to Kingsley College for making the film.

The Chairman suggested looking at all the material at the next meeting and asked the Clerk to agenda it specifically.

048 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON THE PARTICIPANTS FOR THE BIDEFORD FAIR 2018

The Chairman had compiled a list of participants:

Kenwith Archers / Medicare SW / Tarka Radio / Taw & Torridge Vintage / P Lawrence, MC / Veteran Motorcycles / ND Falconry / Exmoor Morris / Devon Face Painting / Jamie Curtis & Dtr / Dave Hendy Snr / Dave Hendy Jnr / John Puddy Miniature Steam Engine / Sea Cadets / Appledore Am Radio / Family Dog Show.

These costs together with Marketing the event, Infrastucture and Licenses came to a total of £2,740.

The Clerk informed members that she had received a letter from TDC confirming that the damage deposit would be waived as requested by the Chairman.

The Chairman asked members to think about more attractions and especially as the regular visiting Fair would not be on site, there would be more space to fill. He asked Cllr Bushby about the Hot Air Balloon and the Austin 7’s. Cllr Bushby had made enquiries about the Hot Air Balloon and informed members that the Austin 7’s were on board.

The Chairman said he would speak to Mr Vanstone about his miniature fair.

Cllr McKenzie suggested a children’s play area with bouncy items and maybe ball pit.

Cllr Robinson suggested that space could be used up by the various youth organisations having taster sessions, particularly for children.

The Clerk said she would look through the successful Grant recipients list to see what organisation would be suitable to approach to join in the event.

049 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON A PRESS WEEKEND

The Chairman was keen to work with Visit Devon on this item. He explained that the venues, eateries and accommodation would be in place. He could update members at the next meeting.

050 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON A JOINT TOURISM/MARKET COMMITTEE VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS MARKET IN THE PANNIER MARKET

The Chairman advised the meeting that when he raised the subject with the Chair of the Market Committee he was told that Christmas activities were already in place entertainment.

The Clerk, however, informed members that the Winter Wonderland event at the Pannier Market had been cancelled.

The Chairman felt that there was not enough time to progress the Victorian Christmas Market, with only a few weeks to go.

051 TO DISCUSS A ROAD TRAIN AND ANY FUNDING AVAILABLE

Cllr Bushby explained to members that the idea was still in its infancy and that he was working with Mike Ford (through the BTCP) of TDC on funding possibilities.

He and the Chairman had received an example of a bid that had been used for Leader funding for a Road Train. He was looking at going through the paperwork with the Town Clerk.

Cllr McKenzie asked about using the Tarka Trail and the main Highways for the Road Train, expressing concern that permissions would need to be gained.

Cllr Bushby assured him that the Road Train would initially be used for the Town with the possibility of trips to Westward Ho! and Appledore.

There was some discussion about whether the Road Train would be robust enough for such journeys, whether it would cause traffic problems. Members were reassured that other towns and cities in the UK and Europe manage with the more robust versions of these Road Trains.

Costs were discussed and Cllr Bushby informed members that to have a strong and robust train the cost would be in the region of £250k. If we were a town without hills the cost would be significantly less.

052 TO GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE QUOTATION FOR THE PORT MEMORIAL PLANTS FOR THE WWI DECORATIVE BED.

The Chairman explained to members that the costs for the Port Memorial decorative bed were in excess of their agreed budget of £2k by £374.81(ex-VAT). A short discussion followed whereby it was confirmed that the bed next year would be to commemorate the end of WWI and that the picture had been chosen by the Tourism committee.

Members felt that if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well and that for such a slight increase it would be worth it.

The Clerk explained that the Company being used supply nurseries, she would, however try to negotiate a further discount.

Members agreed but said if she didn’t secure a further discount they would agree the quotation prices.

053 TO GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE BUDGET FOR 2018/2019

The Chairman distributed a copy of the minutes from 2016 budget setting meeting. He suggested to members that the budget be set at the same amount.

Members agreed.

Proposed by: Cllr Doug Bushby, seconded by Cllr D McGeough

RECOMMENDED: That the budget for 2018/2019 is set at £7,850

(Vote: For: 5, Against: 0)

054 DATE OF NEXT MEETING.

The Chairman advised members that the next meeting would be Tuesday 19th December at 6pm in the Council Chamber.

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.05 pm.


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