Firm Proposal For Local Copule To Run Stow VIC

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Firm Proposal For Local Copule To Run Stow VIC

The Stow Visitor Information Centre Working Group partnership comprises of officers and Councillors from Cotswold District Council (CDC), Councillors from Stow Town Council (STC), Trustees of St Edwards Hall, Gloucestershire County Council officers, representatives from Stow Business Association and later Stow Festival staff.

This Working Group was formed earlier this year to explore the opportunities of delivering a long-term sustainable solution for the provision of Visitor Information in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Over the past few months a number of options have been investigated, including an un-staffed VIP in a refurbished disused toilet block in Stow, sharing space with the local Police and Church, both a staffed and an un-staffed point in the Library in St Edwards Hall and sharing shop space with a local business.

On Monday June 1st 2009 at the Group's latest meeting, Stow TC representatives, strongly supported by the Stow Business Association representative, urged the working group to support the proposal from a local business couple, Sue and Walter Hasler, who are keen to provide a more proactive visitor information service in the town.

All group members support the proposal but, due to employment legislation, CDC are unable to provide any financial support unless Mr and Mrs Hasler are able to take on the management (and costs) of the staff previously employed at the VIC.

Town Councillor Chris Turner has been working closely with Mr and Mrs Hasler and is currently working with them on a bid for grant funding to support the set-up costs that will be needed to get the proposal off the ground. A decision on the success of the bid is expected by the end of July/ early August.

Sue and Walter said “We are very much looking forward to a positive outcome to all the hard work which has gone on behind the scenes by all parties involved.

“We feel there is now huge scope to create a proactive information service for Stow and the Cotswold area in general. We plan to partner with local individuals and businesses to showcase the best that the area can offer”.

CDC officers had been working with Gloucestershire County Council and the Trustees of St Edwards Hall on a proposal for a scaled down visitor information service, which would operate from the Library in Stow. The trustees have shown support in principle to the proposal.

However, strong views from the local business community, which were put forward by Stow Town Council representatives, concerning the operating hours and impact of the scaled down service, have resulted in the rejection of this proposal unless the operating hours could change.

The new proposed service will be provided by Sue and Walter and promises to for open 7 days a week, provide information, sell books and maps and help customer’s book accommodation.

Councillor David Fowles, Portfolio Holder for Customer Services said: “Councillors and officers from CDC have provided a huge amount of advice and support for many months and are delighted that the Town Council and local businesses in the town have come together to find a solution."

Posted : 16/06/2009 21:22:51

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