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'Ask the last person to leave Torbay to switch off the lights'

By Herald Express  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

Comments (6)

MORE Bay business people have criticised proposals by Mayor Gordon Oliver to cut to zero council funding for tourism.

The English Riviera Tourism Company has been told the council — which used to run the tourist board — will no longer contribute to tourism in the Bay from 2016.

The proposals, out to public consultation until tomorrow, have angered owners in the business.

Garry Midmer, of the Shirley in Braddons Hill Road, Torquay, said: "Despite the year on year cuts made by the council, the ERTC has worked miracles with ever decreasing resources.

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"It has won national awards for its work and most importantly of all can point to independent market research showing the English Riviera is out-performing its rivals in the south west.

"In this year's budget the mayor has proposed cuts which kill off the ERTC completely by 2016 and takes away a massive amount of its resources in 2015, leaving it only able to perform its most basic functions during 2015.

"We had a terrible start to 2014 as a result of the winter weather and government initiatives to stop children being out of school in term time. Now we need our ERTC to be strong so it can continue to market the Bay successfully in the winter of 2014 and throughout 2015. Now is not the time the mayor of Torbay should be proposing a zero budget for tourism."

Nick Elmer, of Abbey View holiday flats in Walnut Road, Torquay, said: "I want to express my anger at the ridiculous proposal by the current mayor to remove ERTC funding.

"If the cuts are approved, I for one shall put my property on the market immediately, as I am sure will others.

"Good luck to whoever is left after this, perhaps the mayor can ask the last person to leave Torbay to switch off the lights and save a few extra pennies."

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  • KeithDonkey  |  August 28 2014, 11:10PM

    Helping addicts to stay addicted and providing them with accomodation in the heart of a family holiday resort is the strange set of values. You can often see the residents camping out on the pavement in front of the town hall spaced out. UKIP will get my vote not our set of pretend tories in the town hall.

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  • eponym1  |  August 28 2014, 7:19PM

    @KeithDonkey..........Indicating that local authority funding for a commercial tourism organisation may be more valid than support for a charity specialising in providing accommodation and support for vulnerable people suggests a rather odd set of social values. Some of those helped by the Leonard Stocks centre may have lifestyles that fall foul of the law but it is a valuable resource which offers help to those who are probably not as fortunate as yourself.

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  • KeithDonkey  |  August 28 2014, 2:33PM

    Let's not forget that the Leonard Stocks centre is also a private body that relies on public funding. I know which one is working to make Torbay a better place and which one is just a hotel for criminals and addicts from around the country.

  • eponym1  |  August 28 2014, 2:25PM

    As this story is being reiterated again by hoteliers and others associated with the local tourism industry I will repeat my previous comment on this subject. Perhaps Mr Midmer and Mr Elmer could explain why the local authority/taxpayers should pay towards the cost of the ERTC which is a private body that primarily benefits the commercial tourism industry. While tourism is a significant sector of the local economy, local authority funding of private organisations is a hangover from the distant past and in the current economic climate it is certainly not sound use of public funds. It must be up to those who enjoy the profits from the hotels and related businesses to provide the necessary financial support for their own marketing body if they feel it is so valuable.

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  • KeithDonkey  |  August 28 2014, 9:42AM

    The Tories in Torbay are just a bunch of useless self serving liberals who are filling the bay with drugged up zombies in social housing. I'm switching to UKIP, millions are.

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  • madmo55y  |  August 28 2014, 9:05AM

    Considering the bay relies on tourism for a vast majority of its job, castrating the industry by cutting the funds available to numerous important sectors, clearly shows how little Mayor Oliver knows about the working class and how far out of touch he is. Clearly he's only interested in one thing. Lining his own pockets even if it is at the expense of everyone else.

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