NEWTON Abbot Town Council is set to hold more of its meetings in community halls and similar venues in a bid to boost public attendance.

The first trial of the new initiative took place on August 8 when the Planning Committee met at The Courtenay Centre, Kingsteignton Road.

Members were joined by residents and representatives from several organisations to hear proposals for the Bradley Lane redevelopment project.

Now the next meeting of the same committee will convene at The Buckland Centre at 2pm August 29.

Further dates are set to follow for other committees, with locations across town being considered.

‘We’ve said for some time that we want to hold meetings in places other than the council chamber and now find ourselves in a position to do that,’ said Town Clerk Phil Rowe.

‘While members of the public are welcome to join us for most of our meetings, we feel the likelihood of that happening will improve if we’re gathering at locations they’re familiar with or are closer to home.

‘Public participation is encouraged, provided we’re given notice in advance, and we want people to see how their town councillors are working hard to tackle the issues which are important to the community.’

Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker said: ‘With the recent election of a new council it’s the right time to get on the road and bring our meetings to the people.

‘I doubt we’re going to be a more attractive proposition for an evening out than watching a great movie or meeting up with friends, but it’s important we send the message that this is your town council, working for you, with complete transparency and a commitment to serve.

‘We are already probably the first authority anywhere in Britain to stage the annual town meeting in the heart of the town centre on a Saturday, and now we’re going one step further.

‘If you’ve a venue you’d like us to consider visiting then please, let us know!’

Details of all council meetings are published at Email [email protected] or call 01626 201120.