October to December 2017 event form

Please use this form to let us know which events you want to attend and participate in – one form for four events.

You can find full details of each event here.





Wednesday 1 November – COMBEbusiness monthly meeting

We’re hosting an informal meeting at Cook Island, Mullacott Cross to discuss future events and network. This is a free event and all businesses are welcome.

Please let us know if you will be attending and how many

Sunday 29 October – An Evening of Paranormal Activities

If you would like to attend this free event organised at Ilfracombe Indoor Market, please let us know how many places you want to reserve:

Please reserve place(s) at the Paranormal Evening.

Wed 22 November – Visit to Barnstaple Crematorium

To book a free place on the visit to Barnstaple Crematorium on the evening of Wednesday 22 November, please let us know below how many places you want to reserve:

Please reserve place(s) on the Crematorium visit.

Fri 8 December – Christmas Meal

Please let us know if you want to come to the COMBEbusiness Christmas Party Meal on Friday 8 December at the Carlton Hotel @ £22.50 per person (including glass of bubbly and 3-course meal), please select the number of places you would want. (We will get back in touch to confirm.)

I would want place(s) at the Christmas Party.

Christmas Late Opening & Small Business Saturday

In addition to Combe Christmas, there have been enquiries about late opening on a Thursday before Christmas. COMBEbusiness is happy to help publicise this and we need to know which shops and businesses will be opening late and on which days.

If you intend to open late, please let us know below and we will add you to our list:

Where is your business?

Thursday 23 November
Thursday 30 November
Thursday 7 December
Thursday 14 December
Thursday 21 December

What time will you close?

Saturday 2 December – Small Business Saturday

Will you take part in Small Business Saturday by displaying a poster, having a special offer or promoting on social media?

October to December events

Thanks to everyone’s enthusiasm we are getting busier with more events and activities.

We need your responses to know what you are interested in, so have created one form to save time by enabling you to reply regarding all four events below:

  • Ilfracombe Indoor Market’s Paranormal Evening
  • Visit to Barnstaple Crematorium
  • Christmas Party Meal
  • Proposed Christmas Late Opening & Small Business Saturday

These events and activities are open to all businesses in Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe, so please share with your contacts and get them involved.

Please respond as soon as possible, whether you wish to take part or not.

Sun 29 October – An Evening of Paranormal Activities

Member Sara Dyer is organising this Ilfracombe Indoor Market event at 7.30pm on Sunday 29 October.

This is a free pilot session to see if there is a ‘market’ for this activity in Ilfracombe and to see what format would be most likely to be supported and what people would be prepared to pay for such an experience. So please be prepared to tell us what you think if you come along.

Activities include: dowsing rods, use of a ghost box, pendulums, table tipping, human pendulum and temperature changing.

Rules: No alcohol / drugs or persons having recently consumed either. No under 18s. No pregnant persons.

Tea and biscuits will be provided.

Attending? Yes or no? Please let us know.

Wed 22 November – Visit to Barnstaple Crematorium

Member Andy Punchard of Braddicks and Sherborne is organising this as an additional free event from our main monthly meetings. If you are interested in finding out more about the crematorium, please let Andy know asap (if you haven’t already).

Attending? Yes or no? Please let us know.

Fri 8 December – Christmas Party Meal

Member Eliot Eliot Seabourn-Wren has asked if COMBEbusiness would like to have our Christmas meal at the Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe. The suggested date is Friday 8 December – the price for a glass of bubbly, three-course meal, DJ, dancing, party hats etc – with COMBEbusiness members’ discount – is £22.50 per head.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending.

Interested? Yes or no? Please let us know.

Christmas Late Night Opening & Small Business Saturday

In addition to Combe Christmas, there have been enquiries about late opening on a Thursday before Christmas. COMBEbusiness is happy to help publicise this and we need to know which shops and businesses will be opening late and on which days.

Suggested dates are: Thursday 23 & 30 November, 7, 14 & 21 December.

Small Business Saturday is also coming up on Saturday 2 December. To join in this national campaign, you can download a poster to display, have a special offer for customers or simply promote it by sharing on social media. The aim is to get as many people as possible using local businesses.

Participating? Yes or no? Please let us know.

Consultation on Ilfracombe Harbour Revision Order

North Devon Council is inviting comments from businesses on changes to Ilfracombe harbour in connection with the planned watersports centre.

On 9 February 2015 the Council granted planning permission (planning application number 57487) for the erection of a multipurpose watersports centre with boat and equipment storage facilities, showers, changing rooms, teaching space and café at Larkstone Cove, Ilfracombe. In addition to the facilities within the building, the design includes boat storage facilities within a new boatyard and a new slipway access to the water. It also provides for the relocation of the retaining sea wall, moving it forward. The construction of the new wall and the provision of the slipway access are the subject of the draft HRO (article 3).

Please download the three documents below explaining the consultation process:

Please send your comments to  before 21 July 2017 or forward to COMBEbusiness.

Event: Dr Molly Scott-Cato MEP to visit Ilfracombe

Member of the European Parliament for the South West Dr Molly Scott-Cato will be visiting the Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe from 6pm to 7pm on Wednesday 22 February to host an hour of informal discussion about what a future outside the European Union may look like.

COMBEbusiness members are invited to attend the event where Dr Scott-Cato will give a short introduction on the subject of the UK Post Brexit followed by an open discussion.

Refreshments will be available.

No reservation is required, but please attend promptly for a punctual 6pm start.

COMBEbusiness becomes Affiliate member of Devon Chamber

In order to expand our reach and ensure that businesses in the Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe area receive the best representation when dealing with Government and other bodies, COMBEbusiness has joined Devon Chamber as an affiliate member.

Devon Chamber of Commerce is an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce network. Representing over 40,000 employees in the county, Devon Chamber connects businesses to enable growth and success in the region. Working in partnership with local authorities, strategic organisations and British Chambers of Commerce, Devon Chamber of Commerce works to improve business conditions in the county.  Devon Chamber works with all levels of local and regional government, from officers working directly on projects to those who influence local decision making and strategic groups such as the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. Nationally, it has access to the Government through the relationship with British Chambers of Commerce, enabling it to add weight to local and regional lobbying activity. It seeks to address key issues impacting on business growth and development for the region.

What are the benefits of Affiliate Membership?

  • 2 Copies of Chamber profile
  • Free Chamber event promotion via Elink
  • Affiliate Chamber news feed on Devon Chamber website – for Chamber news & information
  • Access to free events for 2 members of the chamber committee
  • Access to paid events – member rate will be apply to committee members and non-member rate applies to all Chamber members
  • Inclusion in the BCC quarterly economic survey & other relevant surveys
  • Chamber profile and link on Devon Chamber of Commerce Affiliate page of website
  • Quarterly roundtable discussions with the CEO of Devon Chamber and briefings

COMBEbusiness directors will be meeting with Devon Chamber to develop a close relationship and involvement in events both in this area and across the whole of Devon.

Expanded board of directors

We are pleased to announce an expanded board of volunteer directors for COMBEbusiness.

Directors joined or about to join are:

  • Brendan Ashford (A1 Design Solutions)
  • Kyle Chivers (Firethought)
  • Clare Flint (Travel Counsellors)
  • David & Kathy Jones (Hele Corn Mill)
  • Sarah Lock (Sunnymead Farm Camping & Touring Site)
  • Tim Puttick (TDK-Lambda UK)
  • Paul Rogers (361 Energy)
  • Paul Yabsley (Robins Garage)
  • Robert Zarywacz (chairman) (Zarywacz)

In addition, Gloria O’Connell, Sarah Dullaghan, Paula Good, Tim Lamerton, Paul Hopkinson and Paul Clews have offered support with various activities.

We all look forward to meeting you at future events.

VACANCY: Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery NVQ2

Posted 21 July 2015

The Manor House Café is a friendly High Street establishment where locals and visitors alike enjoy to meet. After our successful Apprentice last year, we now feel able to offer again an apprenticeship to someone who could benefit from our knowledge and team. Working alongside our Chef and staff the right candidate will complete NVQ Level 2, a 1 year Course with day release to Petroc College. The successful student will also need to complete the functional skills level 1 in both Maths and English at Petroc who will also help you obtain your Food Hygiene qualification.

This role offers the right candidate the chance to train in the kitchen and café environment. While in the kitchen you will be assisting our Chef in the preparation, cooking, delivery and clearing of food including maintaining a clean working environment and ensure all systems are followed.

Main Duties

  • Preparation of foods for meals, snacks and takeaways
  • Serving and clearing in the Cafe
  • General kitchen duties to include, cleaning, and washing up
  • To be concerned about High standards of food and service
  • To be aware of stock rotation
  • All aspects of Food Preparation and Hygiene
  • Adopt safe working practices
  • To work as part of a team in the Kitchen and with all other staff
  • For further information about our business why not visit

Please apply in writing to Mr M. Cockram, The Manor House Café, 70 High Street, Ilfracombe EX349QE.


To apply, please complete in handwriting:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Parent’s Names
  • Subjects studying at school and any exam results.
  • A little about yourself and family and what you like to do in your spare time.
  • Why you would like to be considered for this apprenticeship?
  • What would you like to be doing in 10 years time?

Please return to Jill Cockram, The Manor House Café, 70 High Street Ilfracombe EX349QE

Labour candidates response to election questions from businesses

Following the COMBEbusiness event on Wednesday 1 April, when businesses from Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe listed the issues they want candidates in the forthcoming town/parish, district and national elections to address, below is the response from Labour candidates:

  • Mark Cann – Parliamentary candidate, North Devon
  • Toby Ebert – Ilfracombe Central
  • Marianna Holdsworth – Ilfracombe West

COMBEbusiness thanks them for taking the time to consider the questions and to reply.

Labour responses

These are the responses to the wishlist and questions put to all candidates:


Labour has no plans to change the rates of VAT – I support, however, the variation allowed and applied in many other EU countries to reduce the rates for tourism attractions and accommodation providers.

Business Rates

To support the growth of local businesses in our high streets and town centres, Labour will cut business rates on properties with an annual rental value of less than £50,000 in 2015 and freeze them in 2016. This will mean an average saving of nearly £450 on 1.5 million properties.


Buses are the lifelines of our cities, counties, towns and villages – they reduce congestion, get people to work, drive economic growth and keep communities alive. The bus market is not working – many areas are seeing their bus services disappear and the Competition Commission has said failures in the bus market are costing taxpayers up to £305 million each year. The next Labour Government will give city and county regions greater control over the buses in their area. This will give local areas more control over the way buses are operated so that they can decide routes, set fares, drive improvements in services and bring together trains, buses and trams into a single network with smart ticketing

Business Support

We want to empower communities to take back their high streets, and to work with businesses and landlords to build town centres in which people want to live, shop, work and invest. We believe communities have the knowledge and are best placed to shape what their high streets look like, and determine the balance of shops, entertainment, leisure and housing needed for their area. Labour will give local communities greater powers over permitted development and use class designations and changes.


Local parking charges are too often seen as revenue streams rather than offering a service. We need to recognise that holiday destinations need to encourage and not discourage visitors and sensible parking regimes need to reflect local and visitor needs. Motorhome parking is often overlooked and it’s good to see there is provision in Ilfracombe but more could be done generally to encourage these visitors. We also need to do more to encourage public transport use to cut down on the number of car journeys that have to be made.


More needs to be done by way of education and public awareness to encourage us all to take better care of our local environment.

Something that we also need to consider is the need to improve the quality of the air we breathe.  Labour will give local authorities the power, as well as the responsibility, to tackle air pollution, and work with them to develop a holistic strategy to meet EU targets on air quality.

Other party responses

Click to read the responses from candidates from Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP parties.

Liberal Democrat candidates response to election questions from businesses

Following the COMBEbusiness event on Wednesday 1 April, when businesses from Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe listed the issues they want candidates in the forthcoming town/parish, district and national elections to address, below is the response from Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Sir Nick Harvey.

COMBEbusiness thanks him for taking the time to consider the questions and to reply.

Liberal Democrat responses

These are the responses to the wishlist and questions put to all candidates:


I strongly support a cut in VAT for tourist business from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, which has been implemented by 25 of the 28 EU member states already – they have taken advantage of this flexibility and so should we if we want to stay competitive. I have been involved with the national Cut Tourism VAT campaign and locally when John Fowler started this campaign 10 years ago. Tourist businesses are caught between a rock and a hard place when in either staying just below the threshold and absorbing costs themselves or hiking prices up which potentially deters visitors. There is a great deal in this for UK PLC if we could just look a little further ahead and wean the treasury off the thought of where the next pound is coming from. It would cost money in the first year but by year three it is making money and making £3-4billion a year within a decade. Nearly everyone in the UK would benefit from this.

Business rates

I agree that we need a much fairer system than the current outdated model. In Government the Lib Dems have put £1bn in to reducing the cost of business rates in this financial year for small businesses and pushed for a fundamental review of business rates which is ongoing. Our policy is to extend this so it also consider the implementation of Land Value Tax (a tax on the unimproved value of land, favoured by many economists).

Bus services

Cuts to bus services are concerning. People obviously want regular services on key routes but often these services run with very few passengers which is hugely inefficient. As local businesspeople suggest, high quality market research into local people’s travel requirements is key to getting this right in an era of squeezed council budgets.

Cuts to bus subsidies nationally have made things far more difficult for rural bus operators. I would like to see the costs of this to central government absorbed by a number of departments – e.g. Transport, Work and Pensions and the Treasury – because rural bus services are so key to achieving many of the Government’s objectives i.e. getting people to work and training and improving the local economy.

Business support and funding

With them covering such a huge geographical area it is certainly the case that the Heart of the South West LEP need constant pressure to focus on North Devon, which I have been exerting over the course of the last Parliament and will continue to do if elected. We must also keep taking advantage of schemes like the Regional Growth Fund and opportunities like Assisted Areas, secured last year to boost North Devon’s manufacturing industries as these are vital boosts to business. North Devon Council should get right behind North Devon Marketing Bureau’s initiative. There is a huge amount of potential if we can increase the fairly scarce resources it is currently working with.


I am frequently contacted by a number of business owners in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe about heavy-handed parking enforcement by a few specific individuals. This is something I have tried to take up with the council: it is counter-productive as the perception of parking attending is very negative, it is a headache for businesses who may occasionally run just over their allocated time for loading and unloading and are regularly saddled with fines. The whole system of parking charges and enforcement needs a thorough review.


Increasing citizen involvement in maintaining the environment is vital – a national guide would be an excellent initiative, and local variations even better – so for areas like Woolacombe with specific environmental features and needs there would be far more clarity on what people could do to help. Already we have a number of great initiatives locally like Tidy Our Town and the Big Beach Clean which really stimulate involvement in the community and environment for people of all ages. More local support for and advertising of these initiatives would be good place to start.

Other party responses

Click to read the responses from candidates from Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP parties.