I am writing on behalf of Honiton Town Council in response to the comments made by residents in last week’s Herald concerning the Portas Pilot scheme.

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Unfortunately, the headline in the paper appears to have misled people into believing that this was an offer from Mary Portas to visit the town and help it – an offer which the town council would wholeheartedly have accepted as it had previously written to Ms Portas with that very suggestion.

However, the scheme being discussed at the moment is not that – it is a government scheme (called the Portas Pilot following a report written by Mary Portas) that has been sent out to all town councils across the country so that they could bid to become one of 12 pilot schemes. Taking into consideration that there are hundreds of town councils across the country and, compared to a number of these, Honiton is doing well in the downturn in terms of closed shops and already having a group concentrating on town development, it was decided that it was very unlikely that Honiton would be considered and for that reason the town council decided not to go ahead at this time.

This followed the decision by the chamber of commerce not to go ahead. Should the pilot be widened and extended, it would, of course, be looked at again.

Lyn Hargood

Town Clerk

Honiton Town Council

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