Lyme residents invited to help shape resort’s future

PUBLISHED: 11:51 13 September 2017

Lyme Regis seafront. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Lyme Regis seafront. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Archant

A second ‘Time to Talk’ meeting has been called by the town council

Lyme Regis Mayor Michaela Ellis. Picture: SUBMITTEDLyme Regis Mayor Michaela Ellis. Picture: SUBMITTED

Residents in Lyme Regis are being invited to have a say on the future of the town and the local council.

A second ‘Time to Talk’ event will take place at Woodmead Halls on Friday, October 6.

The meeting will give the community the opportunity to tell town councillors what’s important to the resort.

Feedback from locals at the first ‘Time to Talk’, in 2015, helped shape the authority’s four-year objectives.

This follow-up public consultation, from 2pm to 7pm, will give the council the opportunity to update residents on the progress it has made so far, and its plans for the future.

Councillors and officers will be available to talk to the public about their proposals, listen to feedback on the projects completed so far, and listen to suggestions for upcoming objectives.

The mayor, Cllr Michaela Ellis said: “The first Time to Talk was a great success and lots of local people came to talk to us and helped inform our thinking.

“The feedback from the event had a direct impact on the council’s objectives over the next four years and it’s important we don’t lose touch with the views and needs of the community.

“The council has lots of ideas to improve the town, but it needs to know if those plans have the backing of the community and will work for the benefit of everyone.

“The council is encouraging as many people as possible to come along to the event and influence local decision-making.

“The council will start to think about its budget and objectives in late October, and feedback from this event will be vital in helping members make the right decisions.”

The re-development of Langmoor and Lister Gardens, to include a café and toilets, a concert bowl and a boules area, and pursuing with Dorset County Council the implementation of a one-way traffic system in the town centre are among the projects which could be achieved in the next few years.

Some projects are already in progress, including the refurbishment of the Millennium Clock, the installation of CCTV cameras to help tackle crime and disorder, and to install publicly-accessible WiFi on the seafront and in the gardens.

Many of the council’s previous objectives have already been achieved, including employing two apprentices, installing beach showers, introducing a discount card for residents, and increasing the amount of grants to local organisations.

All of this has been achieved without any increase in the precept, the proportion of the council tax residents pay to the town council.

Cllr Ellis added: “We’re proud of our achievements over the last few years, and although we have met many of our objectives, there are many other issues which have cropped up along the way which have proved challenging.

“These include the loss of the town bus service, which the town council has now re-launched and subsidised, and the lack of park and ride this year, which the council is committed to reinstating in 2018.

“Unforeseen events will continue to challenge and surprise us, but beyond 2017/18, the council has a blank sheet of paper when it comes to major projects planned.

“Time to Talk will be an opportunity for the community to suggest where the council should spend its money in the next few years.”

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