Dartmouth footfall – Week 44

Here is the Springboard report on footfall at the Quay in Dartmouth during week 44:

This report confirms a continued significant drop in footfall compared to last year. The WOW  figure reflects the end of half term but again the reduction compared to last year is over 20% which is a very significant drop.

With the DVC (Dartmouth Visitor Center) now being the only agency with the responsibility to promote the town, Dartmouth Business News believe it is vital that the town council, as the owners of the DVC, maintain oversight over its financial performance. Failure to do so could result in the DVC’s closure and the loss of a vital resource for the town.

Once again at last nights Town Council meeting I asked if there would be a financial report from the DVC. Again, for the third time, there was no report presented, despite the Council committing to requiring a monthly report during the March Council Meeting.  See extract from the minutes below:

Dartmouth Town Council minutes from 6/3/2017:

  1. CONFIRMATION OF THE STATUS OF THE CONNECTION BETWEEN DARTMOUTH AND DISTRICT GUIDE LTD AND THE TOWN COUNCIL.

         Cllr Hawke told the meeting that following the appointment of directors (Cllrs Coles and Hawke and Dr Fiona Ward) by the Town Council on 7th November 2016 to the Dartmouth and District Guide Ltd., and Cllr Bastone agreeing to stay on as a Director to provide continuity, the Tourist Information Centre would be run by the Directors as an autonomous company.

The Directors would report back to the Town Council at monthly meetings and would provide financial information as requested by the Town Council.  Dartmouth and District Guide Ltd. would be owned by the Town Council once the transfer had taken place but would not be subject to its standing orders and would not be a Town Council Committee.

         Cllr Bastone confirmed that the actual transfer had yet to take place.  The TIC’s accountant had promised to do this as soon as possible.

         Cllr Allen welcomed the statement that the TIC was an autonomous body as he had grave concerns regarding the recent appointment of the TIC Manager without the position being advertised.

         Cllr Coles, as a Director of the Dartmouth and District Guide Ltd told the meeting that the appointed candidate was perfect for the job and she had been very pleased to receive the application for the post.  Cllr Coles had previously worked with the new manager and therefore knew her credentials for the post.  The new manager was extremely positive and enthusiastic about the town and the future of the visitor centre. 

         Cllr Allen told members that this statement had only confirmed his concerns, as Cllr Coles previous association with the new manager could mean that she was biased when making the appointment.

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