Postbag: TIC closure is a big mistake

AFTER reading about the closure of the Tourist Information Centre in Huntingdon and verifying this by visiting the centre, I would like to ask why such an essential source of information for this area is to be closed. Not only does it provide invaluable

AFTER reading about the closure of the Tourist Information Centre in Huntingdon and verifying this by visiting the centre, I would like to ask why such an essential source of information for this area is to be closed.

Not only does it provide invaluable information to the local area, it offers a huge variety of sources from which visitors can find theatre, walks, venues, recreation, accommodation. And it is a mine of information for other areas of the country.

We have only just completed a successful year celebrating 800 years history of Huntingdon.

Many tourists, besides locals, were kept well informed of all the activities which so enriched their knowledge of what is an important area in the UK. Our tourist office was key to the success of the events and the numbers who attended.

I have personal experience of the staff who offer helpful suggestions to aid my voluntary role for the very active U3A by frequent visits to the centre.

Here I have been able to avail myself of brochures and leaflets and the welcome staff import for all inquiries.

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As yet, there appears to be no definite decision as to when the centre will be closed and, further, where it would be moved.

The loss of the centre is a poor indictment of those whose decision it is to close such a well-used facility, when indeed they should be encouraging and expanding the awareness of the rich culture and history Huntingdon has to offer.

The tourist office, which is so well placed in the area of the library, encouraged people to take part in local activities and be proud of living in the area.

KATHRYN KEYWOOD, J3A Events Organiser, Great Stukeley

IN our excellent Huntingdon library (soon to be demolished) is a superb tourist office.

It is one of the best in the area with very willing and knowledgeable staff busy with accommodation, general tourist and historical queries, selling tickets for local functions and generelly presenting, with the all important tourist publications, a wonderful picture of the facilities that the town and area have to offer.

Astonishingly, this office is soon to disappear from the Huntingdon scene. What on earth is our council thinking of?

The charter celebrations helped to put Huntingdon on the tourist map and brought many visitors to the town with subsequent financial gain to many and all-important good will. This was a considerable boost to our tourist industry.

The closing of the tourist office will have the opposite effect. I urge all those who agree that this is a short-sighted move to write in protest to Huntingdonshire District Council.

DAPHNE HERSEY, Braggs Lane, Hemingford Grey

SO Huntingdon is to lose yet another of its valuable services, the Tourist Information Office. Huntingdon, has a lot to offer and I earn some part of my income from tourism (like many others in the district).

The tourist office is a valuable asset to visitors, local people and businesses. How can it just be left to close?

I also note that the library is to be re-built with no parking facilities. Is this supposed to be progress?

Can we please have a councillor or Member of Parliament for common sense - that's if you can find one!

JILL PARVIN, Weir Close, Buckden

* AS A former employee of Huntingdon's Tourist Information Centre, I feel I must tell residents of Huntingdon some of the background to the closure of their centre.

There seems to be a belief by some in your district council that a face-to-face transaction is no longer what you want. The statement that the centre is to close due to the library no longer renewing its lease is only a very small part of the story.

The closure of the centres in Huntingdon and St Neots has been on the agenda for a number of years. The removal of the lease is the perfect excuse that will allow the tourism services department to divert the tourist information centres' funding into totally inadequate kiosks and a vast array of expensive marketing material. These kiosks should be used as a supplement to your tourist information centre, not a replacement.

Huntingdonshire District Council should be ashamed of their treatment of this worthy service. It does seems HDC can find vast sums of taxpayers' money to fund their new headquarters, but not keep a tourist information centre open.

This is an embarrassment for Huntingdon, and tourists will demonstrate this with their feet, taking their custom elsewhere. I encourage the residents of Huntingdon to start asking questions over this issue before it's too late.

NATHAN SAKER, Princes Drive, St Neots

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