Torbay Labour Councillor, Darren Cowell, has hit out at the Mayor’s Forum event to be held later this month.
“Mayor Oliver wants to share progress to date with those who are passionate about improving life in the Bay. This clearly only applies to those who are passionate and not at work. The event being organised on his behalf is between 11am and 1pm. This is another example of how his words about being inclusive and open are becoming increasingly shallow.
“The event will hear of ways in which we can maximise the benefits of the Link Road – and yet the very forum set up last December to discuss this has still not met. Not only that, but despite the Council agreeing the membership of the forum, the leaders of the minority group have been snubbed.
“It appears it was ok to include politicians from all sides while bidding for the money, but now we need to look seriously at how we ensure economic regeneration the Mayor thinks he knows best.
“The agenda for the event includes the planting of ‘new iconic palm trees in the Bay’ which in themselves will be welcome, but we need to be hearing about the efforts being undertaken now to reverse the increasing number of residents who are losing their jobs and what he is doing to reduce the number of children living in poverty in Torbay.
“It is interesting that the bulk of this event will be taken up by issues relating to tourism, clearly an indication of where the Mayor’s priorities lie. Since he was elected he has identified £250,000 to promote the Bay, presided over a TV advert which the industry itself thought was ill-timed and created controversy over a proposed merger of the Bay’s successful Tourism Company with the ailing Riviera Centre.
“In that time we also saw McAlpines walk away from the LABV and no clear and concise regeneration programme put before councillors and the wider community.
“The event appears to be all gloss and no substance. I hardly think that the Mayor’s record to date gives any cause to celebrate.”Other news from Torbay Labour