Everyone will have their own personal views on this question. I want to raise some related points for you all to consider that have been brought to my attention recently. As a Seaton resident and business owner i get to hear regularly from fellow business owners, residents and visitors to the town.
A recent project for the town council has been to get 'Coach Friendly' status for the town. Updates on this project have been posted by one of our hard working local Councillors who seems to be spearheading the project. It looks like this project is near to completition with an inspecition due soon. Only time will tell as to how this will impact on local businessess but the theory is that it will be a positive step for Seaton and will increase tourists to the town.
Seaton hasn't had an events organiser or a promotional team working for the town now for some months. It looks like from what i can understand from the meeting minutes (available to the public here) that there has not yet been any effort made to even look for replacements to these roles. So Seaton has been left without any promotion or events organisation now for quite some time.
It looks like without an events organiser the council plan to run the popular 'Artizan Markets' as an in house project. Though i've not yet seen any activity in terms of dates being put out there to the public or a call for stall holders or any work being done on organising them i have been notified that the council are going to stop offering gazebos for the events! This is in my opinion a terrible mistake. The gazebos were purchased for the council with funds specifically aimed at helping the town to put on such events and yet they are going to be left in storage and not used. One of the 'excuses' made for this decision was funding related which i've had many point out to me is ridiculous as the charges they make to stall holders should cover this with some leftover. (I'm no expert here, i'm simply going on what i've been told and what i've read on the council website)
*You can read here about the meeting held, note it looks like they spent around 15 minutes on the whole meeting including discussing this point?
Totally Local Seaton & Fiverfest this has been put together by a local business owner, I thought when I first saw it being organised that the council were helping but I've since heard different. That infarct it is a local business owner and other businesses, not the council doing the work involved in this.
Art @ the gardens events, again another event that was fantastic for Seaton last year but I have not heard or seen any efforts to plan this for 2020. These sorts of events need to be arranged well in advance to ensure they are successful.
Do you feel like the local council interact enough with the community? Do they ask for help when needed to fund projects? Do they keep you well informed? Do they give enough feedback?
Do they interact enough with local businesses? Do they promote and showcase local businesses enough?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. Do you feel the council are currently doing enough to support independant businesses in town? Feel free to leave comments here on my blog.
*Please note that i am not making any judgements here on Seaton Town Council or the councillors themselves i'm simply raising awareness of current concerns of myself and the local community and hopefully getting people talking about them. What i will say is that i know some Councillors personally and i know that some are very hardworking with Seaton's best interests at heart.