A RANGE of agencies across the North Devon business, community and voluntary sectors are getting together to offer free advice and support in a new style Credit Crunch Forum to be held in Bideford. The agencies attending will be able to talk on subjects f

A RANGE of agencies across the North Devon business, community and voluntary sectors are getting together to offer free advice and support in a new style Credit Crunch Forum to be held in Bideford.The agencies attending will be able to talk on subjects from how to protect your property and how to claim council tax benefit to healthy eating and how to stop smoking.They include North Devon+, Business Link, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bideford Chamber of Commerce, Devon Primary Care Trust, Devon & Cornwall Police, Torridge District Council, Devon Care & Repair, Citizens Advice Bureau, and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman & Families Association. Representatives from these agencies will be available to give advice and support at the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford from 5pm to 8.30pm on Tuesday, January 27.Torridge District Council Leader James Morrish said: "In the Torridge district we are all fortunate to live in such a great place. However, business and the economy can not survive on the view alone, so as a council who really cares about our businesses and residents we are keen to help where we can." Nicola Quill, Access Programme Manager at Torridge, added: "We want to provide an opportunity for our residents and business owners to discover all the avenues of assistance available to them. We're also hoping that this will enable people and businesses to access the support and advice they need, with opportunities to discuss with each other solutions to problems they are experiencing."Dawn Milner of Torridge Voluntary Services said: "Volunteering may not come top of people's agenda during this very difficult economic climate, but it could be a route into new employment. It is a brilliant way of building on networking skills, an opportunity to keep existing skills up to date or to learn new skills and take advantage of training opportunities. It can be used on your CV." Gallery 2 of the Burton will be open to all from 5pm until 8.30pm, with a presentation being held exclusively for local business owners in the workshop from 6pm to 7pm.For more information, contact Nicola on (01237) 428755.