New way of working together hailed as ‘a blueprint others may follow’...
THERE is a new group on the streets of Ilfracombe bidding to make the town a cleaner and safer place.
The new Ilfracombe Town Team was officially launched today (Monday), made up of 33 familiar faces from the public services who already work in the town.
The team will include police, fire fighters and paramedics plus town and district council staff such as the street cleaning team, as well as Harbour Master Rob Lawson and staff at Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre.
The aim is to share resources and information to tackle any issue that blights the safety and environment of the town, from dog fouling and fly tipping to tackling crime or anti-social behaviour, with a number of initiatives planned for the coming months.
It has come about through the One Ilfracombe initiative and at Monday’s launch, Inspector Roger Bartlett, chairman of the Town Team planning group, said a great deal of work had gone into the project during the past 12-18 months.
“In times of financial challenge, we all need to pull together to support each other and make the best of the resources we have,” he said.
“A lot is made of partnership working, but I think often we only touch the surface and pay lip service to it – but in the last months I have seen in Ilfracombe the ways of doing it properly.
“I am convinced that if this team can work effectively, it will have a significant difference to our town and will provide a better service.
“If any member of the team sees something amiss, they will deal with it themselves if they can or if not will report immediately so that someone else in the team can deal with it.”
The Town Team will keep in contact with each other by radio and will be visible to the public by wearing armbands, t-shirts or baseball caps to identify them.
The team will be based at Ilfracombe Fire Station, and a street sweeping vehicle kept there, which until now had to be picked up from Barnstaple each day.
Councillor Rodney Cann, One Ilfracombe board member and North Devon Council portfolio holder for the environment described the scheme as a ‘leap into the future’: “We already put in a significant amount of effort in these areas already and it will be good to work together with our partners to reduce duplication and provide a better service to the public,” he said.
The police Commander for Devon, Chief Superintendent Paul Davies, was at Monday’s launch and said Ilfracombe had been mentioned at various meetings: “It strikes me as a place that has great community spirit and a lot of people putting effort into the town,” he said.
“This is a blueprint that I think others may follow.”