TIC offers a quality service
PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 23:28 15 June 2010
You recently reported on concerns about the future of Seaton Tourist Information Centre in which reference was made to Seaton Town Council authorising their clerk to undertake a best value review of this service in order to make the centre more accountable and efficient"".
You recently reported on concerns about the future of Seaton Tourist Information Centre in which reference was made to Seaton Town Council authorising their clerk to undertake a best value review of this service in order to "make the centre more accountable and efficient".The justification for this seemed to be to reduce the burden of the town council's overall operations to the taxpayer. Since then, they have published their unaudited accounts for the year 2008/9 and East Devon District Council has produced its Working Together document in which the cost of running the town council during this financial year is detailed.Seaton is going through difficult times. We are a tourist town, a gateway to the Jurassic Coast. With the closure of the holiday camp, the job of the TIC would seem to be more pressing and important than ever before and, yet from their overall budget of £163,500 for 2008/9, the taxpayer's contribution to the TIC was a mere £20,000; and for 2009/10 this figure has been slashed by half to £10,000, despite the overall cost of running the town council rising. I think we need to know why the TIC is the target for budget cuts, in what way the council considers this excellent service to be inefficient and to whom or in what way they believe it is unaccountable. Any proposal to undertake a best value review of the TIC should be conducted through proper consultation with the service users with those staff who provide the service, ie the TIC manager and her team. Not - as was recently disclosed in the press - behind closed doors and without the presence of, nor the knowledge of, the TIC manager. Will the town council be offering residents and visitors to our town the opportunity to comment? And what do our struggling B & Bs and shops have to say about it?The town council has announced that it is aspiring to become a Quality Council. Its decision, therefore, to be reducing year on year the very successful, professional, extremely well-used and "quality" service that our town is fortunate to have, seems strange and is raising many questions. Heather SanhamSeaton