As the colder weather draws nearer and the community will once again be badly affected by high food prices and fuel poverty, Bridgwater Town Council has decided to re-run our popular ‘warm space’ from the Town Hall starting from Tuesday October 17th and going on through to the end of March 2024. Town Council Community Development officer Ann Marie Gould said “Last years warm space project was incredibly successful, and we enjoyed 20 weeks of opening the doors to the community and inviting organisations in to meet with the public. This year we will be following the same approach. There will be free hot and cold drinks, biscuits and snacks available, a provision to charge mobile phones, free Wi-Fi, a laptop which we can help visitors use, newspapers, puzzles, books etc. We will also be offering some free crafting sessions as they were really popular last year. Alongside this we like to signpost and support the visitors to the various charities and organisations which can help deal with not only fuel and food poverty but with the array of brilliant local support in many things including education, debt management, mental health and physical health, meaningful activities and food budgeting.”
Join us for an hour on Thursday 28th September at 6pm at the Engine Room to hear co-curators Yvette Staelens & Avril Silk talk about their exhibition:‘Born in the Wheel of a Wagon: Life & Leisure on the Road’ currently showing in the windows and cafeì of the Engine Room. This special display is timed to coincide with the annual Bridgwater St. Matthew’s Fair and reveals the lives of Travellers, as told by older members of the south-west Traveller community. It brings together photographs by Ted Franklin, recorded interviews and a book produced by MA Museum Studies students from Bournemouth University.
The 24th September 2023 marked a significant event for Bridgwater – it’s very first Pride March and event. Meg Boucher, founder of the Solidarity and Compassion Van project, was at the event.
“Walking through town today feels like an sauntering through the pages of Alice in wonderland or at times, the set of the Barbie movie. There’s an abundance of smiles, laughter, colour and an encompassing sense of pride and inclusion. As an ally of the LGBTQI+ movement, I was keen to join the Pride march. I was greeted by the one of the organisers (Bridgwater Independent Market joined forces with Taunton Pride to help us to accommodate the event) who gleefully asked if I would like to hold part of the trailing rainbow which would form the centre of the march.
It was at this moment I felt a little anxious; I considered what the reaction might be and how it would be received by the community. “
Bridgwater Town Council Transport Forum has been endeavoring to promote better linkages between Bridgwater Railway Station and Bridgwater Bus Station. Today a major step forward took place when an important meeting was held on site which involved Cllr Mike Rigby Somerset Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Digital; Luke Farley GWR Integrated Transport Lead; Local Transport campaigner and former Labour Councilor Glen Burrows; Cllr Mick Lerry Mayor of Bridgwater and Cllr Tim Mander Property Portfolio Holder. The main issue revolved around the design fault that means that despite a well laid our car park together with Bus Stop the ability to manoeuvre busses is very limited. However having had the opportunity to see the issues Cllr Rigby felt that with fairly minor alterations the problem could be overcome and he confirmed that integration of train and bus transport in Bridgwater was now one of Somerset Council’s top priorities.
Somerset people are having great difficulty in accessing dental services, and many practices have ceased taking new patients. This scandalous lack of dental care was discussed the July meeting of Bridgwater Labour Party, with reports of desperate individuals, some in serious pain, unable to gain access an NHS dentist. Lack of access can have serious consequences for health and well-being, particularly for vulnerable members of our community. Everyone must have access to an NHS dentist. The new requirement for dental practices to regularly update the NHS “Find a Dentist” service, with details of what categories of NHS patients they are accepting is clearly not working, with lack of information from many practices. Labour Party Branch Vice Chair Cllr Tim Mander (Westover) said “It does not take 5 minutes scanning the pages of social media to see that one of the greatest challenges facing the residents of Bridgwater is accessing NHS Dental care. It is nigh impossible to register with an NHS dentist and and registering with the private sector, even if you can afford it, is getting increasingly difficult. But after 13 years of Tory austerity is it surprising that the NHS is on its knees? Unfortunately, the health of the nation is suffering and it is clear only the election of a Labour Government will see steps put in place to address these basic shortcomings.”