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'Bitter disappointment' over Wimborne's Tourist Information centre decision
WIMBORNE’S town crier and former mayor said they were “bitterly disappointed” by a decision on the future of Wimborne’s Tourist Information centre.
Despite a 5,136 signature petition urging the council to keep the centre open, Wimborne’s tourist hub faces closure on November 30 if a third party cannot be found to take over.
East Dorset’s resources committee voted on Wednesday to refer the decision to the audit and scrutiny committee and community committee, by eight votes to one, with one abstention.
Former mayor, Anthony Oliver, said: “I am bitterly disappointed, but also very sad that the committee has clearly not listened to what the people of Wimborne want.”
Priest House Museum has been recommended as a potential third party as it could deliver a voluntary-based information service from the existing centre in the High Street.
Vice President of Priest House Museum, John Myers, said: “I just don’t know how we will be able to deliver this.”
As part of the cost-cutting measures five part-time and one full-time job are now under threat and will be subject to review. The cost of operating the tourist centre is approximately £100,000, with around £74,000 coming from staffing.
Residents have condemned the plans and are calling for action to halt the closure, with town crier Chris Brown and Anthony Oliver leading the charge.
Chris said: “I’m upset that members of the committee have clearly not listened to us. “Wimborne attracts around 100,000 visitors a year and in my opinion moving the centre from being run by trained staff to volunteers will be a retrograde step and the proposed savings will be small.”
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