Government minister praises Ilfracombe

Don Foster MP and some of those involved in the One Ilfracombe project pose for a picture at the pie

Don Foster MP and some of those involved in the One Ilfracombe project pose for a picture at the pier under the shadow of Verity. - Credit: Archant

Visitor ‘very impressed’ and announces more funding for the One Ilfracombe pilot scheme.

A Government minister has given his seal of approval to Ilfracombe’s efforts to take charge of its own destiny after a visit to the town yesterday (Thursday).

Don Foster MP from the Department Communities of and Local Government was in town to find out how the One Ilfracombe neighbourhood community budgets pilot scheme was progressing and meet the team behind it.

It was part of a North Devon visit that also included a trip to Lynton to find out its Neighbourhood Plan pilot scheme was going.

In Ilfracombe, Mr Foster was shown around the town and harbour before joining town councillors, One Ilfracombe team members, Pride in Ilfracombe winner Ivan Frances and Harbour Master Rob Lawson to watch the paddle steamer Waverley set sail.

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He declared he was ‘very impressed’ with the town’s approach and achievements so far as one of only 12 neighbourhood budget pilot schemes in the country.

He also announced a further £65,000 in funding was being made available to help take the scheme forward.

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“I am delighted to visit Ilfracombe to see first hand the fantastic work they are doing and hear about how the community are coming together with the public sector to improve things in Ilfracombe,” he said.

“Whether that is the appearance of the town, finding work for local youngsters or volunteers coming forward to support isolated elderly and vulnerable residents.”

Chairman of the One Ilfracombe board and town councillor Ron Ley said the programme was about local people regaining influence over how public services were delivered in our town.

“Working with agencies and our fantastic community we will change how we look after people, their health, job prospects and the environment they live in,” he said.

“We are extremely proud to have been chosen as a national pilot and thank the Government for recognising and continuing to back our ambitious plan, that will serve all our residents better for generations to come.”

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