Words fail me, is this the 999th cut of the 1,000 that SBC is wielding to kill off Whitby ?
It reminds me of the fight we had over the Marina development.
I understand there will be consultation over the next few weeks, but we have seen SBC consultation exercises before and I don’t hold out much hope that it will be in depth and far reaching.
It seems ironic that the possible closure would be in March, just when the very busy tourist season begins.
There are several questions/points to be asked/made:
How much does the TIC cost to run per year?
How much revenue does SBC receive from Whitby’s tourism take?
What is the real reason for closing the centre? Have they done a deal with the off-shore company to lease the building for their use.
Is there a plan for the future of the site?
How is SBC going to offer a full service to Whitby residents through Customer First? The space is under used and a large section could be sub-let to share costs. The National Park is a possible option.
An online petition should be undertaken – possibly by the Whitby Gazette to reach all people affected.
A Facebook and Twitter campaign should start.
Whitby, for its size, is a massive tourist attraction –what other services does SBC offer to those tourists?
Whitby parking income and fines could be ring-fenced to run the TIC.
Tourists arrive in Whitby from all over the country and world, they need local information from people who know the town and area.
The staff at the TIC offer an exceptional service to locals as well as tourists.
It isn’t possible to get all information about Whitby online, local knowledge and face-to-face interaction is essential.
In addition to the TIC, it could be used as a real community facility to show how Whitby is a vibrant, innovative and far-sighted community which can resolve difficult issues.
I do hope our town councillors and Whitby councillors on the borough council will put their backs into fighting this very short-sighted plan.
The knock-on effect will be devastating for local businesses of all types and the local economy.