Full steam ahead for Brixham. The jewel in the bay properly valued.
Loads of jewels filling the treasure chest with more to come, but over recent years has still been treated as the “Cinderella” of the Bay.
This has to change, and will if I have my way. But it is also facing some challenges in the near future, instigated by Mayoral decisions that could have terrible effects on Brixham if the wrong turn be taken.
If you are like me, I have been fed up with broken promises from the last election, and it troubles me when they then claim ‘I am proud to have delivered on my previous election promises’.
Here are five; the breaking of 2-5 leading us all into dangerous waters.
- A promise of sympathetic regeneration (used to oust Nick Bye) yet blocking of Covenant for Cary Green and pressing forward with NJG 14 storey scheme that has English Heritage and thousands once again against.
- Reduce the anti-car policies yet still car parking charges the no.1 complaint by business, visitors and residents; driving out the shopper, rather than driving in. Just ask Brixham Chamber Chairman!
- Make Mayoral system more democratic and transparent yet……..!
- Value for money yet spent £2.5 million + on repair of Banjo that could have been demolished for <£100,000 and time and again we can find savings within council, that could have reduced the impact of cuts and also maintained other services.
- Expand marketing of the Bay yet has systematically undermined organisation (English Riviera Tourism Company) set up to ‘turn the tide’, where under its 3 years there has been a growth in value to economy of a staggering £81 million per year (2010-2013). Now the Mayor cuts their budget to nil, effectively closing by end of March 2016. Previously we had falls of £77 million per year (2005-2010)
I have loved the relationships built up with likeminded people in Brixham, with a passion for their town and its well-being. In particular relationships with Brixham’s Chamber of Commerce, where you see something thriving with ‘right people’ in the ‘right job’ doing the ‘right thing’ with an attitude of ACTION rather than just words. A great model for Council!
Taking the attitude of ACTION…
7 ACTION Plans that can make a BETTER BRIXHAM AND TORBAY
- Weak Governance: End Brixham treated as the poor relation and End Petty, Party, Politics that so weakens the Bay. Stop ‘solo’ Mayoral mentality. Brixham is politically “Independent” but struggles in Council dominated by “Parties”. Your ‘Independent’ Mayor WILL change that. Your vote CAN change it.
- Listen: To solve problems you need to hear, care, and find solutions. I did that in ‘rescuing Plainmoor pool’ from imminent closure in 2011 (now used by ‘000s). For Brixham…Solutions to issues heard so far – Car Parking Policies, Central Car Park / Tesco, Oxen Cove, Shoalstone, Litter, Marketing, £37,500 grant, Community Events, Fishing, Business being heard…..
- Tourism: Whilst Conservatives say continue to support, current Mayor (Con) has no mention of Tourism in his main statement page on his flyer. He has cut fully ERTC budget. In 2013 Tourism worth £41.5m to Brixham across Tourism and Retail, up approx. 20%. This is at risk. I pledge real support to the 450+ Brixham businesses directly linked by funding operations costs of proposed TRTBID (or similar) up to £250k (or 0.25% Net Budget) plus matching funding via £263k from Coastal & Communities fund. Ps We believe the Mayor has already earmarked this money without consultation on its best use and it looks like none, once again at the moment to come over to Brixham yet with TRTBID money would be considered for Bay wide events obviously including Brixham. Any decisions without consultation would be stopped with money being discussed and appropriate best value decided.
- Business: I hear over and over if only had someone in business in power; who listens and understands. Business needs a real bridge between business and Council, to remove hurdles placed by Council. I am a businessman with one of my businesses within Tourism where I send my guests over to Brixham to enjoy! I would, for example, introduce actual parking scheme that deals with no.1 hurdle; reversing the flow – driving customers in – and drive charges down. Parking ‘Do’ not merely review again! I would set up surgeries with regular meet the town, with also ‘business team’ linked into council and actual decisions made within.
- Community: Local communities who know their areas best can deliver more and better for less. Look at ‘Pride of Brixham’ team as example. Place community at the heart of decision making; bringing together the right people – councillors, public servants, businesses, voluntary and community organisations and the community itself – to revolutionise the way a neighbourhood works.
- Protecting Services: Our Mayor blames all cuts on Government, but in fact there have been huge wastages e.g. Banjo at £2.5m+ against demolish at <£100k! Also multiple solutions that, when introduced, can continue delivery of services even at reduced costs. Need to look outside the Bay & mimic initiatives already successful in other councils (e.g. one council has cut costs of litter management by > 80% that could be introduced to Brixham and solve the over flow and mess blowing into the beautiful harbour).
- Community events: Brixham is famed with community spirit and events. Fishstock, BrixFest and Pirates Festivals, but many under strain with rising costs. Propose a pilot scheme that could raise funds to sustain and take the pressure off.