Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Stunned, absolutely stunned.

The Tourist Information staff have now been visited so that the exact situation can be described. 

The people, I understand, in our Tourist Information Office, the same people that have been providing this service for many years now,  at the Coronation have been instructed not to provide any tourist information to people that approach them. One apparently rational tourist was so upset with the refusal to provide that he was understandable furious. He was unable to control being abusive of the staff there instead of the true people that deserve abuse. Normally very helpful staff where also extremely upset by this behaviour and the manager offered no solution other than to tape over the notice outside  which advetises this service. The problem is in fact understanding who has made this appalling decision and why has the public been notified more effectively.

Ulverston has always had a thriving tourist appeal. What people love about our town is pur friendliness. So what message do we convey by refusing to give tourist information when the very people who have been doing so for years are sitting there in the 'Tourist Information Centre', ready and eager to give it?

A group of people, in July 2010, put a lot of work into organising an alternative to the way it was being run. A team of more than twenty people were ready to run the Tourist Office on a voluntary basis as is done at Grange over Sands. After a strong campaign this group was reassured that the office at the Coro  was going to continue to run as it had and that there was no need for an alternative voluntary group. SLDC provided staff for ticket sales so they could easily provide tourism information at the same time. Now we find that this promise was untrue and the groups willingness to run an alternative was in fact needed for a reliable service.

This work was documented here on this blog in a posting made on July 30 2010.

Again in a followup article urging the public to become involved at a Town Council meeting to be held on September 6th 2010, the detailed background on this campaign for Ulverston to keep control of the Tourist  Information Office was given. It was reported that Airey was "on radio cumbria after 5pm today saying he was going to push for the council to get on board.

So who is to blame for this sudden change? The person who must be the first to provide answers is Cllr James Airey who was the person at the centre of the decision at the time to not use a voluntary structure as is being used successfully in Grange over Sands.

Now by the back door - without consultation the tourist aspect of the office has been stopped.

So we have a very angry group who want answers.

Even if this is only an interim measure this disruptive action is unacceptable as a smooth transition to the town running this service must be secured. Our town wants to welcome tourists - they have a Stan and Ollie statue outside - for tourists - with tourist information just inside. The two go together.

While on the subject of the running of the Coronation and the formation of a Friends of the Coronation Hall : why is it that some people who joined at the very first meeting have not been informed of subsequent meetings so they have only found out by word of mouth after meetings have been held.

What is going on?

The following people should be able to provide answers:

James Airey
Colin Pickthall who is deeply involved with the Friends of the Coronation Hall
Jayne Kendall Clerk of Ulverston Town Council - Ulverston Town Council

and of course David Phillips the Coro manager - David Phillips

I suggest you contact them by email or even more effectively by phone or better still in the case of David Phillips, the Coro Manager in person. He's usually to be found in the back office.

Who can provide acceptable answers? - I am asking by email : David Philllips and his boss Michael Keane at Kendal, our Councillors and the Town Clerk to explain.


Anonymous said...

How about just ripping the black tape off that covers the words Ulverston Tourism off.

The office staff can then refer all enquiries to their manager - it's got nothing to do with them.

Another thought is that if the police are asked to get involved then they should consider if they haven't got better things to do: dealing with real crime - not this kid's stuff.

Geoff Dellow said...

Excellent idea - over to you!