A COMMUNITY consultation event to find out what residents think is important for the future of their town has been hailed a success.

More than 80 people attended the gathering of individuals and organisations in Tavistock Town Hall on Wednesday night (February 22) to discuss key points to be included in the Tavistock Local Neighbourhood Plan.

Ursula Mann, Tavistock Town Council member and lead on the plan, said: ‘I’m really pleased at the interest people have shown in the local plan. To come out on a dark wet winter night to discuss ideas for the plan shows commitment and enthusiasm.

‘The local plan steering group and me have been working on making it as relevant and meaningful as possible.

‘That means we need to know what people of all ages and backgrounds want for their town, both now and in the future.

‘It’s really motivating to see how passionate people are about their town. I’ve spoke to people with strong views on what Tavistock needs and what they love about where they live.’

Residents and groups were invited to discuss their ideas with steering group members under categories such as youth, transport and heritage and write down their suggestions.

Ursula said: ‘We’re heartened to see so many suggestions on our sticky notes. They will all help shape the posssible vision of the town as a place that responds to people’s needs and helps make it a vibrant place for people to want to live and bring up families and work, as well as visit.’

Jo Wright, a street pastor in Tavistock, attended the event. She said: ‘It’s been really helpful to me as mother of a teenager who loves skateboarding. Naturally, I’m worried that he might get mixed in with the wrong crowd who could be into drugs. I see the problems that youngsters have in what apears to be an idylic place. Youngsters have told the people behind the plan that they’d like a safe place to go to socialise at night. That could be somewhere for a burger and a shake may be. As street pastors we could have a role in that – we could take a BBQ to them in the summer evenings.’

Haze Curtis, 26, said: ‘I think a new skate is badly needed, the old one is outdated and doesn’t dry out fast enough after rain. It need a new surface and needs to be safer. We have great Olympic standard running and other sports venues in Tavistock – now that skateboarding is an Olympic sport, we need to keep up with that and give youngsters what they need.

Skateboarding has given me a place to socialise and I’ve made good friends there. It’s really good for mental health, a place to get away from pressures of college and family.’

Alfie, aged 14, has organised a petition calling on the town council to provide a new skate park: ‘The skate park needs replacing. It’s good for exercise and somewhere for us to meet.’

Youth worker Eloise Scaysbrook, 24,: ‘We’re really surprised how well the local plan people are listening to young people.’