September 30, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea Town Centre Manager role to finish in October

Burnham-On-Sea will no longer have a Town Centre Manager from the end of October when funding for the position runs out - and town councillors have this week been debating the future of various town centre activities.

The two-year contract for Bev Milner Simonds, Burnham's Town Centre Manager, will finish when regeneration funding from Tesco, to offset its store development, is due to run out.

Town councillors have this week been considering whether to continue some of the town centre events that the Town Centre Manager has been running - or seek the involvement of other groups in the town.

Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton, who declared in his involvement with community events group BEST before Wednesday's meeting, said: "I am aware of an events group in the town that will take over most of these, it not all of them - the Christmas events most definitely, the support of Spray Jam most definitely, Chase The Sun most definitely, St George's Day most definitely, and Somerset Day. The paper aeroplane championships and pancake race could be taken on by another organisation."

Town Clerk Denise Emery told the meeting that the council is "keen to see the events continue in some form or another" and that the matter will be further considered at its next full meeting.

Bunting in the High Street and Victoria Street will be taken down at the end of October in time for carnival and will need to be replaced in 2017. The Somerset Flags will be removed at the end of October, while the art flags have got into storage at the Town Council. It's been proposed that management of footfall cameras in the town will be part-managed by the Chamber of Trade.

Bev, pictured above, told "There can be few roles where you get such variety on a day-to-day basis. From litter collections and business rates queries to writing economic plans looking ten years hence and co-ordinating public events."

"I have been attempting to deliver benefit to the 211 businesses in the town centre whilst being answerable to elected town councillors. It's been a balancing act and I don't think I have pleased all of the people all of the time - but I have tried to!"

She added: "One area that has been visible to the most people has been the events that councillors have commissioned to drive footfall into the town centre. Each event was carefully costed with aims, objectives, target markets, advertising, partners, deliverables and success measures defined and agreed beforehand, plus lengthy reports back afterwards."

"They have been fun to deliver, but hard work too - I hope that the Council will think some of them are worthwhile continuing and will act as the commissioner for a variety of events, however funded in the 'post-Tesco' world."

Burnham-On-Sea's Town Centre manager was appointed in October 2014 and has run for two years.

Meanwhile, Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade & Commerce has organised a meeting on Monday October 17th when businesses in the town centre will be able to hear more about town centre events and management after Burnham's Town Centre Manager finishes her role.


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