Western Morning News

Town council intent on living in the past

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IT looks like the Bideford Town Council is holding back local investment opportunit­ies because of their lack of vision and diversity.

Eight years have passed since my many discussion­s took place as a county and district councillor to attempt to bring Bideford into the 21st century – especially as we were, and are still, sitting on an asset of wealth and prosperity – but, the local town council is still intent on keeping us in centuries past.

At present the town council representa­tives are citing their rejection of the current planning applicatio­n by Red Earth Developmen­t for Bideford on losing existing car parking and affordable housing – but what they aren’t telling you is that the car parking fees go direct to the town council and affordable housing projects are already in place.

They are not considerin­g the possible advantages of what could be available for existing and new residents and what could pave the way for further investment­s.

Barnstaple are way ahead when it comes to investment and Central Government are continuing to fund £millions in support of the area, yet four years ago the Local Government Associatio­n (LGA) consulting with all party leaders, district council and the town council, said that Torridge had a lot to offer and was in a unique position to move forward and should look at investing in the estuary and harbour whilst they had their funds already in place unfortunat­ely.

Nothing has been done to benefit the residents or encourage visitors to our unique area of outstandin­g beauty.

Red Earth is offering a £20 million investment to help turn the town around but, the town council refuses to put any further decent investment to encourage people to either want to live or visit the Torridge area.

Cllr Robin Julian (Independen­t) Hartland, Bideford

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