FEAR for the future of Transform, the neighbourhood management scheme which covers Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and Bratton Fleming has been averted after a “missing” £290,000 was secured from the government.

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Transform’s seven year plan was set out by the previous government and designed to help provide better services in the three communities. It has been involved in numerous successful projects and initiatives.

The original funding runs out next year, but a more immediate funding crisis was looming and five jobs seemed to be on the line when it emerged this year’s money had not been paid.

North Devon Council leader Des Brailey told the Gazette the government money was paid through North Devon Plus, but having heard nothing he contacted communities minister Bob Neill MP, while council officers also tackled the problem.

“There was £290,000 missing from the government, which sent a letter to our finance people saying there was £3.9 million left in the pot, but they were not sure who had received what,” he said.

Officers working with North Devon Plus and Transform had even put together a stand by plan that would have helped fund the service until October.

Then on Thursday the news came through that the government money had been tracked down.

“I’m delighted the jobs have been saved and that we were able to in some small way ensure that Transform’s good work continues for the next 12 months, because I think they do a super job,” he added.

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