May 25 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Friday, March 8, 2013
The future of a Norfolk town’s Cittaslow branding appears to have been secured after a community interest company with previous involvement in the tourist initiative agreed to take on the running.
The Diss Community Partnership will be organising events to promote the town and attract tourists to ensure Diss remains part of the international tourist scheme, which was set up in Italy in 1999 as a badge of quality for market towns and means “Slow Town.”
The agreement means the May deadline, set by Diss Town Council to supporters of the movement to form a new group to run the project, has been met and the council will pay one more years funding, at £1,500, towards the scheme, which they had threatened to cut unless a new organisational body was established.
However, the partnership will have to look elsewhere for money when the next financial year ends on April 1.
The decision was discussed by the town council’s tourism, leisure and communities committee at a meeting on March 6, attended by the town’s Mayor Graham Minshull.
He said: “It is the same group that has been trying to do something with it for the last three or four years. What this is is a wake up call to them to make sure they can do the job.”
He said the council could still be prepared to provide funding for individual events after the annual subsidy had been cut.
“I do hope that the partnership does well with it because if they do well with it, it will bring money and tourists into the town,” Mr Minshull added.
Town councillors had previously raised concerns about what the benefits the branding brought to the town and whether the council’s annual subsidy would be better spent on other projects.
The movement, started in 1999 as a way of preserving traditional town centres against the influx of globalised brands, has been joined by 140 towns in 25 countries, including Aylsham in Norfolk, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Mold and Perth.
Terrorism returned to the streets of London today as two suspected Muslim fanatics butchered a man in broad daylight in the name of “Allah”.
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