Civic pair to oversee resort ‘revolution’

THE next Mayor and deputy mayor of Ilfracombe have said they are looking forward to supporting ongoing efforts to lift the town and make it the master of its own destiny.

When councillors Lynda Courtnadge and Peter Rawle are formally installed into office in May, they will be looking to help guide the town through what could be a revolutionary 12 months.

A big part of this will be the Neighbourhood Community Budgets initiative, with Ilfracombe chosen as one of a handful of places to be part of the Government pilot - it is hoped the scheme will enable Ilfracombe Town Council and its partners to take charge of local services and finances.

Proposals for the “southern extension” of Ilfracombe with up to 1,000 new homes - including 500 proposed by artist Damien Hirst - a primary school, sports facilities, small business units and a medical centre on land to the south of the town are also on the agenda, with both Mrs Courtnadge and Mr Rawle keen to ensure the town benefits.

“It is a great privilege and honour to be serving the town and an opportunity to promote it among the other towns in the region. I’d like to publicly thank my husband Richard for supporting me, as we both know how much work and commitment is involved,” said Mrs Courtnadge, who served as Mayor in 2005.

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“There will be a lot of focus on the Community Budgets, because we should be able top cut out some of the bureaucracy and make financial savings so that decision making and spending power comes back to the town. People in Ilfracombe and those working for it will have the power to be masters of their own destiny.

“The southern extension will be anther big lift for the town. The plans are being drawn up at the moment and it is hoped an application will go in later this year.”

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Mr Rawle, who joined the town council last year said he was there to give the Mayor his “100 per cent support” and also hoped to help put Ilfracombe on the map and improve its infrastructure, including for walking and cycling.

“I want to encourage pride of place in where we live,” he said.

“We live by the tourists and die by the tourists and so to make the journey worthwhile we have got to make Ilfracombe a place to come to.”

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