BIDEFORD S new mayor Cllr Andy Powell is hoping the past will help bring a rebirth and regeneration of the town. It is time for Bideford to stand up and be counted and regain its own identity, he told the Gazette. A catalyst was needed to help the eco

BIDEFORD'S new mayor Cllr Andy Powell is hoping the past will help bring a rebirth and regeneration of the town."It is time for Bideford to stand up and be counted and regain its own identity," he told the Gazette.A catalyst was needed to help the economic regeneration that was necessary to get this rebirth under way and he believed this could come from the development of tourism. Key to this could be Bideford's rich historic background, he said."I think this could lead to all sorts of development, investment and employment and be big enough to bring a great deal more tourist trade. I don't see this as competition to what is already in the area, but a magnet which could draw in more people from farther afield."Bideford could draw on a wealth of history stretching from Elizabethan times to the coming of the GIs in World War Two, he said.Mr Powell, who is researching Bideford's long association with Roanoke in South Carolina, said these links could prove a particular draw for visitors from the United States.During his year of office he was intending to get out and about more in the town and to underline the message that Bideford Town Council was the people of Bideford's town council, he said.Mr Powell has his wife Amanda as mayoress and Cllr Philip Pester has been elected as deputy mayor.