Bring Closure on Canal Closure NOW Says Town Council

Albert Street Cutting – closed too long

Following concerns from members of the public, the Bridgwater & District Civic Society, Inland Waterways volunteers and Westover ward councillors, Bridgwater Town Council has called for a firm time plan for opening the Albert Street cutting otherwise they will not support a further extension. Town Council leader Brian Smedley visited the site with fellow Westover councillors Tim Mander and Kathy Pearce and issued the following statement .” Bridgwater Town Council, along with myself and Kathy as Unitary ward members, have been actively advocating for progress in carrying out the necessary work. We recognise that there are complexities involved in reopening this footpath, but, this has been going on since 2021 and it is crucial that we now start to see tangible progress. We understand that CRT (Canal & River Trust) has an ongoing competitive tender exercise to award a contract for these works. We are engaging with CRT to prevent any further delays and working with Somerset Rights of Way to demand any further extension only with a firm time limited plan in place and at the very most a 3 month completion.”

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Top Roles Again for Westover Councillors

Kathy Pearce & Brian Smedley. Re-elected to Town Council leadership roles

At this years Annual Meeting of Bridgwater Town Council Westover ward councillors were elected to a range of key jobs on the new bigger and better local authority. Town Council is stepping into the role previously occupied by Bridgwater Borough Council, surrendered to Sedgemoor and then to County who immediately devolved powers back to towns and parishes as the extent of the financial setbacks became obvious. Bridgwater Town Council on the other hand are financially solid, and have more staff and assets at the disposal of the town since 1974.

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Blacklands Finally Gets its Yellow Lines

Tin of paint, yellow lines, Boer wars nearly finished, job done!

How long does it take for Somerset Council to turn up with a pot of yellow paint and paint some yellow lines? Probably best we didn’t say. A LONG time. However, the equally long suffering residents of Blacklands now have them back and the chronic over parking in illegal areas can be properly monitored. Westover Ward Councillor Tim Mander says “Excellent news after lobbying by ward members and residents that Somerset Council have at long last repainted the double yellow lines at the end of Blacklands. This will make the control of illegal and double parking much easier to control. Local residents have been frustrated at the actions of a limited number of “fly Parker’s” with parking enforcement powerless to do anything as a result of the faded disappearance of the double yellow lines. I am glad to say it is now clear where you can and cannot park.”

Brewery Field Trees – Now it’s MURDER

Following the mindless, callous, thoughtless, but sadly not bladeless, attack on trees at Brewery Field, Town Council inspections have shown that the trees will not survive. Scott Mason, new Head of Amenities at Bridgwater Town Council which now has the brief for Parks and Open Spaces in Bridgwater, said “Unfortunately, due to the severity of the damage, these trees will not recover. However, they are not a risk to public safety as they stand, and so urgent action is not required.”

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Brewery Field ‘Tree Mugging’

The new Brewery field has not long been opened for the public to use as a town centre park with a water feature and a stone crossing (known locally as Tarr Steps), childrens play areas, benches and crucially numerous trees. Today residents woke up to find two of the trees had been vandalised. Mindlessly. And if not mindlessly then in a premeditated way that would have had the intention of killing the trees. Bark had been blatantly stripped from 2 trees in the centre of the park by a youth “looking to be about 11” in full view of residents and of CCTV cameras. Ward councillors immediately launched an investigation. Councillor Brian Smedley (Westover) visited the scene and took pictures submitting them to new Town Council amenities boss Scott Mason who immediately undertook an inspection by tree experts to see if the trees could survive. Cllr Smedley said “These days we’re all of us tree huggers as they’re so important and we don’t have enough of them. But some of us it seems are tree muggers. I guess it’s education. It’s your own world your destroying.”

Fellow ward councillor Tim Mander  said “Hugely disappointed to hear of and see the damage to two recently planted trees which are an important part of the redesigned Brewery Field. Trees are an essential part of the ecosystem and stripping them of bark can be devastating to a tree’s chance of survival. I hope the culprit is identified and is forced to face the consequences of their actions. Such wanton vandalism is unacceptable and totally unwarranted”

Cllr Jacqui Solomon  (Eastover, Labour) will be Mayor of Bridgwater from this Thursday. A keen environmentalist she adds “Very sad to see the damage done to these well established trees. I’m sure that it was only done out of curiosity not malice but unfortunately removing bark in this manner is likely to be the death of these trees. This act that probably only entertained for a few minutes will have sad consequences and funds will need to be found to replace the trees.”