Petition launch on the Green
- By Elaine Bird
- 04 September 2020
The Civic Society has issues an open invitation to residents of all ages, businesses in the town and surrounding areas and all visitors for the launch of a petition for the reinstatement of a staffed Tourist Information Centre in Hunstanton on Saturday September 5th 11am-3pm
Reason for the petition
The decision to close Hunstanton’s staffed Tourist Information Centre (TIC) was made in June 2020 by only a few members of Hunstanton Town Council (HTC) and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (BCKLWN) without any consultation or communication with the local community – despite the fact that popular services provided by the TIC included processing of parking permits (not only for residents, but also for businesses and visitors to the town), radar keys for the disabled toilets, ticket sales for local attractions (often at reduced prices), promotion of local businesses and arranging accommodation bookings.
Extract of HTC’s Annual Report 2019/20:
“The excellent and knowledgeable staff ensure that local businesses are promoted by holding sample menus from local restaurants, arranging accommodation bookings for providers registered with Visit West Norfolk. A wide selection of leaflets are stocked for hundreds of local attractions as well as bus timetables, Holiday guides, ‘Where to Go’ guides and Hunstanton Mini Guide. Tickets are sold for all local events, whether purchased over the phone, in person or mailed out.”
Extract of HTC’s Annual Report 2018/19:
“Impressive visitor numbers from April 2018 to March 2019 included in excess of 1,000 international visitors and approximately 45,000 visitors from across the UK.”
In July 2020, an unstaffed Tourist Information Point was opened in the Coal Shed Gallery with just a selection of leaflets and posters – a poor substitute for what existed before and not meeting the established needs of businesses, residents and visitors.
For example, TIC staff also compiled the informative monthly events listing and sold a range of books and maps (walking and cycling) covering the area, as well as locally-produced items such as Norfolk lavender and honey. Perhaps most importantly they responded to a range of queries from both locals and visitors alike and dealt with issues such as “lost and found” items, sudden illness and car parking problems, to name just a few. A good working relationship with BCKLWN’s resort services meant that any queries or problems were dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Based on responses to a survey of members and businesses in the town, as well as feedback from other local residents, Hunstanton and District Civic Society is now supporting the launch of a petition as part of its campaign for the reinstatement of a staffed Tourist Information Centre in Hunstanton.
How to support the campaign
We would urge you to please come along on Saturday, September 5th between 11am and 3pm to show your support for the cause and to add your name to the petition to reinstate a staffed tourist information facility.
If you can’t make it on September 5th but still wish to register your support, the petition will also be launched online through Change.org (“Reinstate a staffed Tourist Information Centre in Hunstanton”). Please sign the online petition which can be found at: http://chng.it/J5SB2qXL
Your voice is really important in presenting the case for a U-turn on a decision taken without any consultation or communication with the people or businesses in the town and surrounding areas.