The government, along with Rail Delivery Group, is proposing to close nearly all ticket offices at rail stations in England. They are carrying out a consultation survey, which we appeal to you to complete. Please use the link below to let them have your views. The consultation closes on 26th July but you can find it here. Cllr Tim Mander (Labour Westover) says “Bridgwater is a growing town and the Town Council wants to see rail services increased and improved. The station building is a fantastic asset and it’s absolutely crucial that we not only maintain but increase the ticket office opening hours. Having station staff on hand to answer queries and reassure the public and train passengers is fundamental to operating a successful and sustainable rail service. Stripping out staff and relying on passengers using online or machine ticketing excludes the vulnerable, elderly and disabled and is not the way to run a public transport system”
Joao Paolo da Costa Rangel has just become the East Timorese Ambassador to the UK. His second official visit (after Peterborough) is Bridgwater where he was greeted by Mayor of the Town Cllr Mick Lerry and a civic and community delegation. But why Bridgwater? In fact our town is one of the top 5 host communities in the country for the citizens of East Timor, or Timor Leste, as it’s also known, and as the new government of this new country seek to make friends around the world, it became a priority for the new ambassador. There are some 600+ people from this small Pacific Ocean island nation in Bridgwater, living and working and bringing their unique Oceanic culture to our cosmopolitan town. Later this year King Charles will be visiting East Timor on a post Brexit survey of potential trading partners, including this oil and coffee rich state, the their President and Prime Minister (and rebel leader) Xanana Gusmao will be visiting the Uk…and maybe Bridgwater.
“Bridgwater Town Council Labour Group were disappointed to hear through the Press of Cllr Richard Morgan’s decision to leave the Labour Party just a year after being elected with the rest of us on a Labour platform. It is particularly disappointing as the Bridgwater Town Labour Group and Bridgwater Branch had sought to support him through the process of his original arrest and subsequent suspension by the National Party following the receipt of a formal complaint. Whilst the Group absolutely supports the right of peaceful protest, actions can lead to consequences and in Labour Party procedures this involved a process of investigation into the complaint during which point we were not allowed to comment on the case. Cllr Morgan was NOT suspended for ‘peaceful protest’ nor for his membership of’ ‘Just Stop Oil’ but because of allegations of law breaking potentially incompatible with the councillor code of conduct. In terms of the legislation, he had not overstepped those conditions and we were prepared to defend him on this basis. In terms of Labour Party rules, it is up to the National Executive Committee, after a hearing, to determine if the nature of the offence brought the party into disrepute, and they can decide themselves if this constitutes a ‘serious’ offence. Because of Cllr Morgan’s resignation, that investigation and hearing will now obviously not take place.
Bridgwater Town Council is a Labour controlled local authority and Climate Change is naturally a priority, with one of our 8 Portfolios dedicated to the subject.
The Climate Portfolio holder is Cllr Kathy Pearce, and the Town Council is forging ahead with a green agenda under her direction.
Cllr Morgan was a valued member of our Climate Team and will be missed now as he chooses to be in opposition. His place will now be taken by Cllr Liz Leavy.
Similarly, we had only recently made him the Portfolio Holder for Transport, again a crucial role in the Climate struggle, but this post will now go to a member of the ruling Labour Group, in this case Cllr Dave Loveridge.
Whilst we share Cllr Morgan’s passion regarding the climate emergency and the need to act urgently, we feel that by working as a team to achieve our goals we are stronger together and that only a Labour election victory will ensure that the climate is put at the top of the government’s priority. We are on the cusp of the election of a Labour Government and as Sharon Graham the Leader of Unite the Union said now is not the time to walk away from Labour. It is also important for Labour to maintain control at local level, so we intend to regroup and continue to deliver the manifesto that we were elected on last year.”
Leader Bridgwater Town Council Labour Group