Vision to make town a ‘better place to live, work, visit and do business’

Barnstaple Town Council has set out an ambitious vision for the town for the next five years.

Councillors have resolved to 'make Barnstaple a better place to live, work, visit, and do business, and to be a strong voice for the community'.

In total, the council will pursue 29 strategic objectives that will be written into a corporate plan due to be published later this month.

It plans to make a difference through its main areas of responsibility - the environment, heritage, culture, community development, planning and civic/ceremonial.

Key objectives include taking over responsibility for roadside verge maintenance from Devon County Council and securing a long term site for Barnstaple Fair.

It also hopes to expand partnership working, preserve and promote Barnstaple's heritage and make its heritage buildings more widely available for community uses

Mayor Val Elkins said: "I am delighted that councillors have set out such an ambitious plan for the next five years.

"It builds on recent successful work in areas like grass cutting and the records office, as well as improving the services we already provide.

"The council's committees now have a plan from which they will develop more detailed actions, and they will be well placed to deal with the challenges posed by reductions in services by the bigger councils, particularly the county council."

Town clerk Will Austin welcomed the direction offered by councillors.

He said: "The town council is the most local and smallest level of government in Barnstaple, and with just 19 employees it is important that staff know what they should and should not be doing to support the community.

"This plan gives us a clear framework to work from."

The plan has emerged following the elections in May and has been the subject of public consultation at community events.

Over the coming months, council committees will be asked to produce detailed action plans setting out how the objectives will be achieved.