14 November 2022

Community Consultation - Survey Results

Community Consultation - Survey Results

We would like to thank you for taking the time to complete our consultation survey this Summer. Your input helped us to decide what kinds of projects we should be focussing on for the next few years.

We held our consultation exercise over seven weeks and almost 10 per cent of the town’s population responded, so this has given us a good steer in our thinking.

You offered lots of brilliant ideas and we will be taking forward some of the most popular ones.

These included a multi-use games area to include a basketball court, a children’s play area and splash zone in the Seafront gardens, monkey bars in the play park, a beach volleyball court, and more water ‘refill’ stations in the gardens and Anning Road playing field.

The great thing is that all of these suggestions came from the pupils at St Michael’s Primary School and the Woodroffe School, and lots of others who responded had the same ideas.

We also had some suggestions of our own and asked the public to tell us what they thought of them.

To see an overview of the survey results, please click here.

  • The highest priority was to explore the options for a post office service in the town, with 96% of respondents supporting this proposal, so £30,000 has been allocated in our budget to help achieve this. However, we understand the former Post Office building has been bought and the new owner intends to run a Post Office and shop, so the council’s input might not be needed after all.


  • Improving the town bus service was the second most important priority for respondents, with some people asking for a weekend service, others asking for the service to be extended to neighbouring towns and villages, and some asking for the route to be extended. We have already set up a working group of councillors to discuss the options with the bus operator Damory and benefit as many passengers as possible.


  • Using the seafront gardens for outdoor entertainment, particularly the flat roof area, was the third most popular idea, with an open-air cinema being mentioned many times. We’ve been talking to the Marine Theatre about how we could work in partnership to bring some exciting live music, theatre and other entertainment to this area, so watch this space!


  • Deciding on future uses for Strawberry Fields was also important to those who responded and ideas for its use included allotments, tennis courts, a swimming pool, football pitches and nature areas. We agree we need to get on and decide what to do with this land so we’re employing a consultant to tell us what the possibilities are. We will then carry out a further public consultation to help us make a final decision.


  • The idea of a repairs’ café was well supported, with a view to reducing waste, improving sustainability, bringing the community together and helping with the cost-of-living crisis. This isn’t something the council would run but we would look to work with other organisations locally to support this initiative.


  • We asked if we should reduce or remove the precept – the proportion of council tax which pays for services delivered by the town council – and this had a mixed response. We debated this in the council chamber and agreed we would continue to charge the precept so we could deliver projects and services for the benefit of the community, but we will not be increasing it in 2023-24.


  • Less popular was the idea of introducing covered eating areas to help protect people against seagulls so we will not be pursuing this project.


  • Respondents were also unsure about us hosting annual event aimed primarily at local residents and businesses to say thank you for sharing the town with visitors, so this is unlikely to be progressed, although we are planning some kind of event in 2023 for the Coronation of King Charles.


  • The principle of installing free-to-use gym equipment in the town was popular but people didn’t think the seafront gardens were the right place for it and there were strong concerns about vandalism. We’re going to talk to other towns that have installed this kind of equipment to get some ideas about the best locations and find out if vandalism has been an issue before considering it again.


We have lots of other tasks and operational requirements which we’ll be getting on with over the next couple of years, including installing solar panels on council buildings, improving CCTV, enhancing the ‘welcome to Lyme Regis’ signs and replacing our ageing tractor.


Another project we’re particularly keen to pursue is family bursaries and we have set aside £20,000 in our budget next year. We recognise some local families are struggling to make ends meet and paying membership fees for things like football, drama club, the majorettes, rugby, ballet or taekwondo might be seen as a ‘luxury’. We feel strongly that children in Lyme Regis shouldn’t have to miss out on these important experiences so by setting up a bursary scheme, we hope to help local children continue to do the things they love.

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