North Devon business skills survey – win £400

North Devon+ is conducting a survey on behalf of the Northern Devon Employment and Skills Board to learn about local needs and issues so that it can improve support for local employers. It is keen to get as many businesses as possible to take part.

Please complete the survey to help produce an accurate evidence base of training requirements in the area.

The time to complete this survey will differ for each business. As a guide, it may take only six minutes for small businesses, 10 minutes for medium-sized businesses, but 18 minutes for larger businesses. You will be able to save your answers and complete the survey at another time if you need to. Answers will be handled in the strictest of confidence and anonymised (you and your business will not be identifiable).

As a thank you for taking the time to complete it, you’ll have the chance to win £400 cash – complete survey now.

North Devon Council seeks business views on council tax support scheme

In conjunction with proposed changes to the country’s welfare system, the government is asking local authorities to devise new local council tax support schemes to replace council tax benefits. At the same time, the government is reducing the sums of money given to each district to pay for this council tax support.

In response to this, North Devon Council is asking local residents for their views on the proposed changes, which will directly affect working-age people who currently receive council tax benefit.

North Devon Council also invites businesses to express their views on the proposed council tax support scheme, as the impact of these changes could affect their customers.

The major changes will need to take into account a 10% reduction in what North Devon Council has to pay for council tax support. It is proposed this will mean people of working age will face a reduction in support from April 2013, while pensioners and some other vulnerable groups are protected from the cuts.

An eight-week consultation is now taking place, with a general survey available at, as well as a copy of the full draft scheme. If you would like to share your views, please go online and complete the survey before Monday 1 October 2012.

Participate in the HotSW Local Enterprise Partnership forum

The Heart of the South West (HotSW) is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Devon and Somerset. It replaces the former Regional Development Agency and represents businesses across the two counties.

Because it covers such a large area, it is important that the views of businesses in Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe are represented and taken into account when policies are created.

One way of doing this is for individual businesses to participate in the online HotSW forum. You can do this by registering at The more businesses that participate, the more the needs of this area are likely to be considered.

Businesses in Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe need to express superfast broadband needs

To make sure that we do not get left behind, Connecting Devon and Somerset is asking businesses around Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe to complete a survey testing current broadband speed (where applicable!) and expressing our need for superfast broadband.

This will be used to demonstrate to broadband suppliers the demand for their services and so convince them to invest in our local infrastructure.

It’s important that we have superfast broadband to maintain our competitiveness so please complete the survey at and ask all other businesses and residents to complete it as well.

Could Somerset County coastal bus withdrawal damage South West tourism?

Somerset County Council is currently consulting on proposals to withdraw funding for certain bus services. Included is the proposal to withdraw all funding for the daily 300 service between Minehead and Lynton.

Apart from the implications on communities, what impact will this have on business? Will this disrupt the plans of visitors looking to travel along the coastal route from Cornwall across North Devon into Somerset and vice versa? Will this impact on visitor numbers to specific coastal towns?

You can comment on the proposals on the Somerset County Council web site.

You can find the full list of proposed withdrawals of funding to bus services here.

This has been drawn to COMBEbusiness’ attention by a business in Lynton.