Exmouth Town Council is going ahead with a new town management plan, which it says will get traders and residents more involved in how decisions are made.

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There had been little movement on town management for more than 18 months, since previous town manager Tony Collins left the post, with a proposed Business Improvement District being scrapped earlier this year after mass opposition from businesses.

The new scheme will be based around four forums, with each representing different groups in the town, and will be coming up with projects to boost their activities.

There is the town team, representing independent traders; the arts forum, representing artists and cultural projects; the tourism team, representing businesses that rely heavily on tourism; and the large business forum, representing national businesses and blue chip companies that operate in the town.

These forums will be able to fund projects themselves, or seek additional town council funding through the new town management panel.

This will be made up of town, district and county councillors, a representative from each forum, the chamber of commerce, the federation of small businesses, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, and the Exmouth Residents and Traders’ Association.

The town clerk Colin Poole, Exmouth town management officer Suzanne Birkett, and East Devon District Council’s economic development officer and Streetscene, will also be on the panel as non-voting members.

Town councillors say they hope the new structure will improve trade, by giving businesses the chance to address issues that directly affect them.

Councillor Pat Graham said: “It’s important that town management comes from the community around us, rather than from the top.”

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