New 'driver' for project

PUBLISHED: 01:01 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 10 June 2010

A NEW 'delivery vehicle' to monitor and drive Exmouth's regeneration will be in place by April. And although the new body will make decisions behind closed doors and have less representation from the town council than its predecessor the Joint Forum, it w

A NEW 'delivery vehicle' to monitor and drive Exmouth's regeneration will be in place by April.And although the new body will make decisions behind closed doors and have less representation from the town council than its predecessor the Joint Forum, it will include places for members of the private sector.Karime Hassan, EDDC's corporate director for the environment, told town councillors on Monday that an Exmouth Regeneration Programme Board only needed to be agreed by the town council - before it was given the green light by EDDC's executive.It would replace the Exmouth Joint Forum; a steering board which included three town councillors, and members of the county and district councils.In the past ten years it had successfully driven the regeneration of Manchester Street and the cafe quarter.Mr Hassan said: "Regeneration is a top council priority and there is a need to establish a board to monitor its delivery."We need to establish a local delivery vehicle; the town, county and district councils will still fulfil their roles and make decisions. "The board would make submissions for the funding on behalf of the project; not just for East Devon and not just for the county council."He added that the board would be made up of 14 seats; two from the town, district and county councils; and one from the Environment Agency, Natural England, the principal of the community college and the town management; and three from the private sector.He also suggested the possibility that the board could have an independent chairman, or have a rotating chairmanship for one year periods, and the board would meet once every three months. However, some councillors admitted they were uneasy about public exclusion from future meetings, and Councillor Trevor Cope said: "I am not happy about any kind of closed meetings at any time - the public have a right to know."Mr Hassan defended the board meetings being held in private and the exclusion of the press: "There needs to be the right balance between continuity and inclusion.

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