Last week’s paper covered problems encountered by Brixham’s new regeneration group, ‘BRIXHAM FUTURE’, or BF for short. This sub-committee of Brixham Council (BTC) was set up a year ago by BTC to replace the existing re-gen organisation, Brixham21.
BTC asked for people to apply to join the new group, then selected 10 to become members. This was the council’s first mistake, as most of those selected were good people, well qualified for the task, but some were not. Those volunteers rejected by BTC, many of whom with great expertise, were quite rightly a little upset by the council’s actions, and said so.
The sensible course for BTC would have been to welcome all volunteers, accepting that the number would reduce over time, leaving the best of the bunch. The original 10 BF members has now dwindled to 4, who complain of no meetings for months, and frustration caused by a wasted year and a lack of direction and objectives from the council.
The realisation is dawning in BF, that they were set up to fail. All bar one of those re-elected to Brixham Council are committed to keeping Brixham exactly as it is. These are the politicians who betrayed their “trusted partner”, the highly successful Brixham21.
Achievements of B21 include the new fish market, high speed broadband, the children’s skate/BMX park, and much more. The town centre redevelopment, £30M investment in Brixham, would have been added to that list but for the actions of BRATS, supported by those same councillors.
These politicians need to pay lip service to progress, so after betraying the Brixham volunteers of B21, BF was formed. B21 had both BTC and Torbay councillors as members, but were free to act totally independently of councils. In that lay their success. Brixham Future is bound by such strict council ties, that it was doomed to failure from the outset.
It is vital that our town, like others, regenerates and progresses. If you try to stand still, you’re really moving backwards! BF must stand firm and insist that it is given a structure that can succeed. Although our offers of help were rejected before, B21 will give any help needed to make BF, and thus Brixham, the success it deserves to be.
Chris Lomas (Chairman B21)Follow