urges council to fund new £10,000 coach project in Burnham
petition signed by 50 businesses has been handed to town councillors
this week calling for the relaunch of a £10,000 project
to bring coaches back into the town.
at a council meeting on Monday evening (June 6th), resident Gaynor
Brown urged councillors to consider giving £10,000 to re-start
'Project Coach', a successful scheme that launched
three years ago to encourage coach companies into Burnham.
says the project has "stalled" since funding for the
project ran out earlier this year, despite Burnham winning the
coveted title of 'Coach Friendly Destination of the Year' in the
2016 National Coach Tourism Awards.
right, told councillors at Monday's meeting: "We sometimes
welcomed 10, sometimes 15, coaches every day and each of these
brought 50-70 visitors spending money in our local businesses
- a total of 700 people a day."
despite winning the most prestigious award in the coach industry,
our coach traffic has drastically reduced and Project Coach is
being stalled into oblivion."
added: "Following the loss of 50 per cent of the town's footfall
from the closure of Morrisons, we should be pulling out all the
stops to encourage every bit of footfall we can capture."
know Ian Jefferies and Les Barber, who ran the project, vastly
increased our tourism traffic - they proved it - so why are barriers
being put in the way of a simple agreement now to allow them to
get on with the job."
have been recruiting the 'meeters and greeters', the insurance
is in place to start tomorrow, and we are just waiting for the
can't wait until the end of July or August. If you don't make
a decision now, the season will be over and the opportunity to
cash in on the award will have been lost forever."
only have Ian and Les never been thanked by this council, but
we don't have a sign up saying 'welcome to the most coach-friendly
town in the country'."
added that she has been sought support for "an immediate
start-up of Project Coach" and said that "every single
shop in the High Street has signed up, wanting this re-started
a council, you gave a £7,000 grant for a one-off drama event
which 30 people watched at most."
Coach needs £10,000 which will attract 700 people a day
- it would be quantifiable and guanateed, not guesstimates - and
we have two proven individuals who can oversee it. Burnham needs
Project Coach and it needs it now."
Clerk Denise Emery responded: "Project Coach was not in fact
the Town Council's project, it was run by BIARS specifically.
When they won the coach award, this Town Council did send an email
offering them congratulations. We have had nothing in writing
asking for anything to go on the agenda. We have nothing to say
what they want the money for or how it would be used, so it cannot
be put on our agenda."
Michael Clarke added: "I would like to formally congratulate
Ian and Les in obtaining the town coach friendly status - I think
it was a great achievement after all the hard work they put into
it. I look forward to working with them again and am sure they
will be back before this council in the not too distant future.
Hopefully, between us as a town council and their enthusiasm,
we can grow what they have already started."
Project Coach's Ian Jefferies told Burnham-On-Sea.com after Monday's
meeting: "I did it for three years without proper wages,
but I can't afford to do it on those terms any longer. The council
needs to pay up for a new scheme or it just won't happen."
Town Centre Manager is apparently promoting coaches in coach magazines
in the meantime, although that's nowhere near the scale that we
were doing it. If the council approaches me I would be interested
if I was properly paid."
added: "It is sad to see such a massive drop in coaches in
Burnham after all the work we put in to bringing them here."