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Philip Evans


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AXMINSTER: Meeting over the future of tourist information centre

Thursday, 03 April 2014

Staff and volunteers at Axminster Tourist Information Centre are reminding and urging all interested parties to attend an open meeting at the Senior Citizens' Centre on Tuesday April 8th at 5pm.
The aim of the meeting will be to give an accurate account of the present situation and elect a committee to run the TIC as an independent, not for profit organisation.
Former manager and current volunteer Sarah Crook said: "We have been overwhelmed by the goodwill shown by the general public since the surprise decision of the executive committee of Axminster Chamber of Commerce to withdraw their support for the organisation.
"The office has received numerous letters expressing shock that such a vital source of information is under threat. The general public are not only worried about losing the valuable services which TIC staff provide for residents, visitors and local businesses but also for the future of the planned Heritage Centre which is heavily dependent on a working TIC within its building.
"The TIC has collected over 800 signatures on a petition showing the good level of support from concerned residents of Axminster.
"They have had countless visitors to the office expressing their strength of feeling on this issue."
Chamber of commerce chairman Lisa Lyman said: "The huge local support for Jill Ruddick and Anne Seward (members of staff) has suggested that additional funding may now be available from local charities and possibly the town council next year. This is funding and support that the chamber simply did not have access to.
"The TIC now has the opportunity to go from being run with very limited, and sometimes uncertain funds, to a growing number of secure financial sources providing longer opening hours, and input from people within the local tourism industry working together to specifically promote Axminster."
Mrs Crook added: "Jill Ruddick, Anne Seaward and myself, are extremely grateful for all the good wishes and encouragement that we have received during this uncertain time.
"Please come to the meeting on April 8th as this is an opportunity for members of the public to share ideas, expertise and offers of practical and financial help. We can then move forward and do what we do best - serve our community."


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