DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT MAY 2016
Time flies! May and a year has passed since I was first elected as the District Councillor for the Chudleigh Ward.
It’s also a year since I was appointed to the Executive as the Portfolio Holder for the Economy, Skills and Tourism. The role is very much like a full time job, as I tend to be attending meetings daily, usually at Forde House in Newton Abbot, but also in Exeter, as the role is collaborative with my colleagues at Devon County Council as well as Exeter, Mid Devon and East Devon.
Working in collaboration offers many benefits, as we take the view that if the Heart of Devon is considered as one area, then we all do well.
To give some examples; every 3 months the Economic Development Officers and Portfolio Holders from the above authorities meet to discuss issues that affect their areas and consequently may impact on all areas. By working together, we also benefit from identifying employers who may want to move to the area but may not find exactly what they want in say Exeter, or Mid Devon but Teignbridge meets all their needs. I am currently working with a firm that wish to relocate to Teignbridge, bringing 30 to 40 highly skilled jobs and as a growing company, they need premises that will allow them to accommodate another 30 or so in the very near future
BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend 28 – 29th May 2016 at Powderham Castle.
On a lighter note, I think everybody must have heard the wonderful news of the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend. This has to be one of the best things that has happened to Teignbridge since Muse held their concert in Teignmouth some 7 years ago. Coldplay, Ellie Goulding, Mumford and Son and a whole host of star musicians at Powderham. The downside, is that not everyone who wanted a ticket could get one, the BBC controlled the allocation and they ’sold’ out in about 45 minutes. The tickets were free but a fee of £8.50 had to be paid to the organisation Ticketmaster, who administered the scheme. I think everybody would agree, to see these top named acts locally for the grand sum of £8.50 is nothing short of fantastic.
There will also be the chance for those youngsters who aspire to become musicians, or to be involved in the world of entertainment, to gain valuable insight at one of four training academies that the BBC will be running. At these academies; Dame Hanna’s at Seale Hayne, Coombeshead College, at Newton Abbot, Pavilions at Teignmouth and the Phoenix in Exeter, young people will be able to get advice and help from a plethora of experienced people already in the industry, information and skills that it would be almost be impossible to access without the help of the BBC.
It is fair to say there has been criticism from opposition Councillors, but when the modest investment of £100,000 is considered in the light of the projected benefit to the local economy of £3,500,000, a figure given to us by economists at Exeter University, I think every one will agree it represents value for money. The legacy of the free advice and training at the training academies is of course incalculable but who knows, the next Chris Martin from Coldplay or Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard from Muse may be one of those aspirants!
Doug Hellier Laing Tel: 01626 854892 or 07869066055. E mail hellierlaing@icloud.