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Tourism budget is reviewed
3:00pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
LEDBURY town guides could be asked to take on more duties during the tourist season under a “value for money review”, according to a town councillor.
Coun Tony Bradford, a member of the new Historic Tours Working Party group, which has met for the first time, questioned why the council’s budget for tourism was £10,000 a year; but donations from guided tours only brought in about £5,000 per year.
He said: “It’s not a loss; it’s within budget, but what we are looking at is value for money. Is there a way of generating extra income?
“How can we use the town guides to a greater extent?”
He suggested one idea would be to place the paid guides on occasions in the Church Lane Heritage Centre, in addition to their usual duties of showing visitors around the Elizabethan Painted Room and the Market House. But, although the working party has only just started its meetings, Coun Bradford did not rule out supporting cuts.
He said: “Do we need this budget? I’m more interested in our 13,000 residents and what their needs are. Are they interested in tourism?”
Ledbury’s town clerk Karen Mitchell said the £10,000 paid for the four town guides, who worked on a seasonal and part-time basis.
She said the guides were greatly valued and added: “The town council is providing a service.”
Mrs Mitchell said that the new working party had met once, but that any views being expressed on the matter at the present time were the personal views of invividual councillors.
Ledbury mayor, Coun Phill Bettington, said: “Tourism is a bonus for the town and we need people to show off the town, in all its aspects.”
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