Torbay councillors' 'yes' to self-help group
FEARS that Torbay councillors would not support the vote to set up a self-help business organisation for Babbacombe, St Marychurch and Plainmoor have been dispelled.
Councillors from all parties have confirmed their commitment to a 'yes' vote from the council in the ballot which ends next Tuesday.
That would commit the council to making a contribution as well as local businesses in the area, being promoted at Babbacombe Bay.
Hopes are high of a turnout of up to 50 per cent compared with the national average of 43 per cent because of the exceptional interest generated with businesses voters in the area over the past 18 months.
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Ian Broadfoot, chief executive of the Torbay Town Centres Company running the ballot, said: "We thought there were reservations among some councillors but we were delighted to hear at a meeting with the Conservative group that they fully endorse the BID and will be recommending the authority votes yes for each of its assets in the BID area."
This follows hard on the heels of messages of support from both the Liberal Democrat group and the non-coalition group of independent and labour councillors.
Mr Broadfoot said: "Leaders of both groups had earlier confirmed to me their 100 per cent commitment to supporting the BID."
Arthur Christian, chairman of the BID Working Group, said: "It was reassuring to hear from the ruling group that they are also on side."
Robert Excell, deputy leader of the Conservative Group, said: "We are very pleased to commit to a yes vote for Babbacombe Bay because we know BIDs are a great way for the council and business community to work in close partnership.
"They help to stimulate the local economy with minimal demand on public funds but also empower local businesses to take greater responsibility for their own environment."
John Lawton, of Torquay Real Estate, said: "We know that 160 of the 300 local businesses have told us they will be voting — 120 of those pledged to vote yes. We are not being complacent though and chasing every vote so it is great to hear the council will be voting yes to support the BID."
Postal votes should arrive with the Electoral Reform Society before the October 23 deadline.