What should the District Council do with its assets?
Futures Forum: The District Council and its assets: to 'release assets' or to 'invest in assets'?
It can sell them off cheap:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the 'managed neglect' of valuable assets
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: selling off assets for £1
It can cherish them:
Futures Forum: Of devolution, local assets and investing locally
It can try and manage them better:
Futures Forum: East Devon's beach huts and the Asset Management Forum
It can double their price:
Futures Forum: East Devon beach huts >>> and the District Council's 'Transformation Strategy'
Or it can give them away to another council:
If we own it, we can shape our future’
06:27 06 February 2016
Councillors have signed-off on a draft plan in the hope of securing ownership of some of Beer’s biggest assets and shaping the village’s future.
Councillor Geoff Pook (pictured) unveiled proposals to take over the management of the beach, Charlie’s Yard, Jubilee Gardens, the cliff-top car park and a number of open spaces around the village at a parish council meeting on Tuesday.
The plan identifies parts of the village currently owned by East Devon District Council (EDDC) which the parish council would like to take on itself. EDDC is investigating the transfer of assets and responsibilities to parish and town councils through the Asset Management Forum and is considering Beer as one of its pilot schemes.
Cllr Pook, who also represents Beer and Branscombe on EDDC, said that it would be easier for the village to give more to tourists and keep them in the area if the council had control of assets.
He said: “With ownership, I’d like to think we can secure the future and our ability to shape it - and that’s the important part. If we own it, we can shape our future.
“The feeling is we have to do something because today’s holidaymakers want more, they’re wanting to be entertained, they’re wanting events, they’re wanting a better selection - and if we want people to come more often, stay longer and spend more, we have got to give them more. Whatever we do do, we want to retain the character while enhancing the whole of the offering as a holiday destination - and it is enhancing the character that will be very important later on.”
Cllr Mike Green agreed and said tourism played a vital role in the number of businesses and shops in the village.
He added: “We wouldn’t have half the shops in Beer if we didn’t have tourism. Inside a decade, we would be down to two shops - the same as a lot of places. It really is important and I think the more assets we own and the more control we have, we have more chance of making a success of what’s going on.”
Cllr Darren Clinch said: “It is a huge leap forward for us. We’re the ones who have got to do it. It’s a massive job for us all. I’m not saying don’t do it, but be aware of what we are taking on and what we have to do to get through.”
Cllr Pook submitted the proposals to EDDC on Wednesday and said that the earliest the transfer of assets could begin was in April 2017. He said: “If we took over control for everything but the central car park, they could make an even bigger surplus. There is a good rationale, there is no reason why EDDC would not want to do it.”
‘If we own it, we can shape our future’ - News - Sidmouth Herald
This is the comment from the EDW blog:
BEER TO TAKE OVER BEACH MANAGEMENT, TOURIST AREA, OPEN SPACES AND CAR PARK, ANNOUNCES COUNCILLOR POOK
6th February 2016
“Councillor Geoff Pook (pictured) unveiled proposals to take over the management of the beach, Charlie’s Yard, Jubilee Gardens, the cliff-top car park and a number of open spaces around the village at a parish council meeting on Tuesday.
No doubt the news that Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Branscombe and Seaton will be taking over beach management, tourist spots, car parks and open spaces will soon follow, as Beer seems to have no unique or special qualifications to take over such lucrative assets.
“Independent” Councillor Pook is Chairman of EDDC’s Asset Management Forum – a currently secretive EDDC group which has only recently been forced to publish its agendas and minutes but does not allow public scrutiny by open meeting.
It was responsible for the initial idea to sell short-term leases on beach huts (which got thrown out after massive public outcry) and for the recommendation on new huge price increases that followed.
In his capacity as a member of Beer Parish Council, Councillor Pook stated that Beer was uniquely placed to take over management of EDDC-owned sites.
Watch this space.
Beer to take over beach management, tourist area. open spaces and car park announces Councillor Pook | East Devon Watch