Articles Tagged with Ilfracombe

Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe businesses’ election wishlist

On Wednesday 1 April, businesses from Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe met to raise the issues they want candidates in the forthcoming town/parish, district and national elections to address.

Below is a summary of the issues raised and some of the points made. There was a full discussion with different views expressed on issues. As can be imagined, time ran out and these are just some of the issues affecting businesses and comments made.

COMBEbusiness requests local candidates and parties to consider these questions and respond as to how they will address them.

If you encounter a candidate, ask them about any of the issues below.

Update: Responses from candidates

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

We will add more responses as we receive them.

Business issues

Topic: VAT

Response: national. Although councillors should be more aware of this.

A comprehensive review of VAT and how it is applied to businesses is requested due to seasonal businesses deliberately closing to avoid crossing the VAT registration threshold. Businesses reaching the threshold have to start applying VAT, where applicable, to goods/services they supply. This can mean increasing prices by up to 20% or absorbing the 20% themselves.

An example of this is bed and breakfast establishments that block off accommodation in high season. It is paradoxical that the business community is working hard to attract more visitors to the area only for some businesses having to turn down this extra custom. It is also likely that some business transactions are not being recorded for tax so that they do not count towards the threshold. The present VAT regime is limiting the growth of the economy.

Suggestions included a lower rate of VAT for new businesses or certain sectors and extending VAT to all businesses so there is a level playing field. There was also a call for a friendlier regime for small entrepreneurs, balancing efficient collection of taxes with a fairer system.

Topic: Business rates

Response: national and local

A fairer system was called for as the present system is levied on a small base of businesses that occupy business premises. The tax is calculated on the property and does not take into account either business turnover or profit. Also it does not take account of businesses that can operate from any location, such as a desk at home or a laptop on the move.

One suggestion was for a profit-related tax.

Topic: Bus services

Response: local and national

As bus routes are being cut back, councils expect community transport groups to pick up the slack, but are themselves cutting funding to these groups. For example, Ilfracombe and District Community Transport is running an evening service to/from Woolacombe for seasonal workers who need to travel to/from work but don’t have their own transport. How can these groups continue without funding?

There was also concern that councils are not overseeing the management of bus routes effectively with evening buses frequently seen to be running empty while residents in small settlements have no services at all.

It was felt that councils should be doing more to encourage travel on services, eg effective marketing, and conducting higher quality market research into residents’ travel requirements. Perhaps funding/management of rural bus services should be reassessed at a national level too.

Topic: Business support and funding

Response: national and local

Concern was expressed at how councils and public sector agencies spend funding and provide support. One example was for a work hub in Ilfracombe. It was felt that business support provided regionally, such as previous Business Link support from Bristol and now GAIN in Plymouth, is not designed with the specific needs of this area in mind and provides untargetted generic support of limited value. There was also widespread concern about the effectiveness of funding channelled through North Devon+. Keeping up with a raft of initiatives and funding schemes is difficult for businesses and agencies need to improve their communications.

The feeling was that business support should be designed from the bottom up to answer the specific needs of the local business community rather than those of agencies.

Specific requests

  • North Devon Council must support the North Devon Marketing Bureau – it is a sensible economic decision which will generate more income through theatres, museums, car parking, etc.
  • An M5 brown road sign to advertise ‘Junction 27 for North Devon and Exmoor’
  • What more will a newly elected MP do to raise national awareness of the North Devon business community?
  • What more will MP/councils do to encourage inward private sector investment?
  • More marketing of North Devon at regional hubs

Topic: Parking

Response: local

There was concern over the cost and enforcing of parking with especial concern over the aggressive attitude not only of car parking enforcement officers but also of North Devon Council when residents contact it about parking.

Specific requests

  • Assess whether current charging levels are suitable as a business opportunity.
  • Introduce a single ticket that can be used in multiple car parks.
  • Look at introducing flat-rate charging.
  • For councils to improve the behaviour of their employees to the public and change the perception of people who see Ilfracombe as a place where parking attendants are rude.

These questions are vital for the area as a tourism destination.

Topic: Environment

Response: local and national

A specific request was made about litter collection in Woolacombe after a busy day and that the council services do not meet the demands of a tourism area.

There were also general comments about dog fouling, litter dropped by families/groups and problems caused by seagulls.

Plus more comments about maintaining cleanliness of road signs.

A number of business people said that they already took action to clean/maintain signs, pick up litter etc, but there was concern about public liability and health and safety concerns from government/councils. It was felt that there is a need for light touch regulation to enable the public to take responsibility for minor tasks in their area.

There was also an expression that there should be more education of children regarding litter in schools.

Specific question

  • What more will politicians at all levels do to increase citizen involvement in maintaining the environment?
  • A national guide is needed so citizens are clear on how they can help.

This was the extent of the issues raised after a full evening of discussion. There are, no doubt, many more issues.

COMBEbusiness looks forward to receiving responses from candidates in the forthcoming elections at both a national and local level responding to the questions raised above.

Responses can be made to .

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this debate.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: Ilfracombe Community Transport Association

Meet Ilfracombe Community Transport at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Ilfracombe Minibuses

We are a charity that operates minibus services to meet the needs of the local community, including Ring and Ride, social trips out and a theatre transport group bringing people into the Queens and Landmark.

We provide private hire for community groups including self-drive, as well as operating a late-night bus service to bring employees from Mortehoe and Woolacombe back to Ilfracombe.

Meet Ilfracombe Community Transport at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: Watermouth Cove Cottages

Meet Watermouth Cove Cottages at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Watermouth Cove Cottages

Watermouth Cove Cottages are a group of eight pretty self-catering holiday cottages, built in the 17th century and
once the coaching houses and stables of Watermouth Castle.

Watermouth Cove Cottages are situated beside the castle grounds, just 200 yards from the cove, harbour and South West coastal path between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe.

Pets are welcome.

Meet Watermouth Cove Cottages at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: Zarywacz

Meet Zarywacz at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Zarywaxz

Do enough people know about your business? Zarywacz provides marketing, PR and communications to increase
awareness and attract more sales.

We write, produce, maintain and publish blogs, brochures, case studies, magazines, newsletters and web sites. We handle ad hoc and ongoing projects and provide regular weekly or monthly support.

Want to see what we do? We produced the OPEN FOR BUSINESS event guide.

For a free one-hour consultation – see our advert on page 9 of the OPEN FOR BUSINESS event guide.

Meet Zarywacz at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: Robins Garage

Meet Robins Garage at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Robins Garage

Robins Garage is located just off the roundabout at Mullacot Cross on the approach to Ilfracombe.

Services include: air conditioning servicing, car servicing & repairs, MOT tests, motorhome repairs and servicing – Ilfracombe, quality secondhand cars and tyres, exhausts and batteries. RMI approved member.

Meet Robins Garage at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: Sunnymead Farm Camping & Touring Farm

Meet Sunnymead Farm Camping & Touring Site at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Sunnymead Farm Camping & Touring Farm

We are a friendly, family-run camp site set in four acres of glorious North Devon countryside with direct access from the B3343 between Mullacott Cross and Woolacombe.

The farm is ideally situated for visiting either the Victorian seaside resort of Ilfracombe or for using as a base to explore the rest of North Devon and Exmoor.

Meet Sunnymead Farm Camping & Touring Site at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: pressme

Meet pressme at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

pressme

pressme raises the profile of businesses using public relations so people know who they are and what they do. We do this through affordable, fixed-price PR packages.

We also produce printed and online magazines.

SHOW DAY OFFER: we will write, edit and design an 8-page A5 magazine, print 1,000 copies and publish online for £799 & VAT – see z2z.co/o4boff for details.

Meet pressme at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: Mother Earth’s Minerals

Meet Mother Earth’s Minerals at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Mother Earth's Minerals

Ever heard those reports of the dramatic fall of mineral content in our food since the war?

Whether you are a farmer or a gardener, Motherearthsminerals is the answer: 100% natural volcanic basalt rock dust, tried and tested by nature for growing healthy plants since dinosaur times.

Meet Mother Earth’s Minerals at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: 361 Energy

Meet 361 Energy at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

361 Energy

361 Energy is a new community based organisation that is working with schools and communities in northern Devon to reduce energy and carbon emissions. The organisation was set up by a group of like-minded sustainability and renewable energy consultants and is supported by the SEACS project.

361 Energy’s first project has been to engage with 40 households in Braunton and Ilfracombe in collaboration with local schools. Our partner schools are Ilfracombe C of E Junior School and Caen Community Primary School in Braunton. Pupils and households will be supported to learn about reducing gas and electricity consumption through behavioural changes and technical solutions.  The group have also received funding to set up a project advising those in fuel poverty in Ilfracombe thanks to a grant from the Devon Funding Network.

Further projects being developed include a buyers club to enable local residents to join a bulk buying discount scheme for products ranging from LED light bulbs to solar panels.  We are also investigating  the potential for setting up community energy projects.

Meet 361 Energy at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.

2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS exhibitor: Clare Flint of Travel Counsellors

Meet Clare Flint of travel counsellors at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Thursday 5 March 2015 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Clare Flint of Travel Counsellors

Clare Flint is an independent travel agent with many years of experience providing financially bonded trips for both Holiday and Business Travel.

She can offer a 30-day credit account for regular business travellers as well as airfares worldwide in all classes. Clare prides herself on being approachable, efficient, discreet and friendly.

Meet Clare Flint of travel counsellors at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

See all 2015 exhibitors

From 4 February 2015 we will add one exhibitor a day to the list of exhibitors.

Visit OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Free entry for businesses and the public.