Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre consultation
Dorset Council is looking for your thoughts on the future of the Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre (TIC). This service is currently run by Dorset Council and based in a building owned by Lyme Regis Town Council.
The Town Council has served notice on Dorset Council to vacate this building by 31 March 2020. We are now considering the options for its future. We would like to understand the public’s opinions to help shape that decision.
Frequently asked questions
What is the council’s perceived impact on the town, its local economy and businesses given that Lyme Regis is reliant on tourism?
Dorset Council continues to support Tourism and the Tourism sector across Dorset. The way in which visitors are accessing information about local events, accommodation and services is changing and we want to continue to invest through the digital channel - Visit Dorset. We are working with the Lyme Regis community to further develop the promotion and marketing of the Town that will be to the benefit of all.
Given that there is a preferred option detailed in the consultation document, hasn’t the council already made its mind up?
No. We have had discussions with community organisations, the Town Council and with Dorset councillors. To date, as the consultation materials set out, we are consulting on those options we feel are viable. The consultation approach seeks to maximise the opportunities for all people to provide their views. We will review the responses thoroughly and if the evidence suggests an alternative approach can be developed that we can support, then we will give this full consideration. This is genuine consultation and we want to hear the views of the local community.
What about the other three TICs managed by the council?
Dorset Council is a brand new council and is engaging through its Council Plan on the future priorities for Dorset. The future of TICs was a subject of much discussion at the district, borough and county councils prior to 1 April 2019. As we come together as a new council, all services will, at some point, be subject to a review and the Tourist Information Centre function is no different. This is about making sure Dorset residents gets best value for money reflecting the council’s priorities.
Why are you doing this consultation in winter when there are no tourists?
We have had to respond quickly to the changes that Lyme Regis Town Council are planning to take forward. We have to have moved out of the Town Council building no later than 31 March 2020. We have therefore had to begin consultation during December. Through the consultation, which will be promoted widely, we hope that everyone who has a view on this, will contribute.
Wasn’t the creation of the new council about ‘protecting frontline services’?
There are several reasons why we've come together as one Dorset Council:
- to protect important services for residents including bins, housing, road maintenance, schools and social care
- to reduce costs and give better value for money and cutting duplication
- to give Dorset a stronger voice nationally which will help attract business investment and government funding and support local economic growth
Significant savings have been achieved over recent months as a result of Local Government Reorganisation. Despite this, the council is currently forecasting an overspend for this financial year of £8.2m on its revenue budgets and £6.5m on the schools’ budget .
Extensive work is underway to address the forecast overspend. This includes:
- continuing to push for better funding from Government.
- ongoing work to reduce staffing and associated costs as a result of bringing six former councils together
- work to improve social care services provided for adults and children while reducing costs
- development of a council-wide transformation plan for 2020-24, which will identify new ways of delivering council services (for instance, with greater use of digital technology) to meet the needs of Dorset residents while enabling the council to live within its means.
Dorset Council Cabinet approved its draft Council Plan earlier this year, outlining the organisation’s aspirations and priorities for the next four years. The Council Plan outlines proposed activity to achieve these priorities, all contributing towards making Dorset “a great place to live, work and visit”. The five priorities are: Economic growth, Unique environment, Staying safe and well, Strong, healthy communities and Suitable housing.