Back at events and on the council press bench

Nub News anniversary
Another celebration in our office this week as we marked the first anniversary of our Axminster and Seaton Nub News websites

AS I write today’s column the sun has finally decided to make an appearance after what felt like an endless deluge of rain, and with the town hosting Jazz Jurassica this weekend, it feels like summer is on the way.

As we gear up for the busy season, LymeOnline is preparing to put a greater focus on multi-media news coverage, especially our video coverage of Lyme’s major events which you’ll be able to view on our website and social media channels.

We’re starting this weekend and will be working alongside the team from Lyme Bay Radio at Jazz Jurassica to bring you video, radio and our traditional photo coverage of the festival – we really have all angles covered and you won’t find such comprehensive coverage of local events anywhere else!

In my last column I wrote about the re-launch of the printed LymeOnline newspaper, which had to be put on hiatus during the three national lockdowns.

This week we marked another momentous occasion in our office; this time it was not LymeOnline that we were celebrating, but our two other local websites – Axminster and Seaton Nub News.

The LymeOnline team were invited by Nub News chief executive Karl Hancock to provide editorial content for the Axminster in Seaton sites back in May 2020.

The additional work has helped to keep us afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, and this week we celebrated our first anniversary (any excuse for cake!).

Nub News is a national network of hyperlocal websites which is now covering more than 60 towns across the country.

The company shares many of LymeOnline’s values – foremost, putting the community at the heart of everything it does – so it was a natural fit for us to expand our coverage across the East Devon border.

For me, this has meant increasing the number of town and parish councils I cover from two to five, which can be tricky to keep up with at times.

During lockdown I was helped by meetings being held virtually so I could cover them from the comfort of my own home. But over the past two weeks local councils have returned to face-to-face meetings – so I have had to ditch the pyjama bottoms for now!

This week I attended an in-person meeting of Axminster Town Council for the first time in years and I have to comment on what a pleasant experience it was. The councillors even thanked me for attending when I left and, trust me, that does not happen everywhere!

Axminster council is a varied bunch of experienced and newer members; two women at the helm as mayor and deputy, and their youngest member just 18 years old.

I’m sure they have many differing opinions but they always speak politely and with courtesy for one another.

Sadly, the same cannot always be said in Lyme Regis and it was another meeting of awkward and uncomfortable moments on Wednesday night, leaving one councillor saying she feels “unsafe” at meetings.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, I’d hope it’s that now is a time to pull together and put personal differences and point-scoring aside.

Woodmead Halls

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