High Spring Tides forecast – warning issued for parts of Westover

As the waters rose through the manholes extra sandbags are brought out in front of the Fountain pub.
Bridgwater’s West Quay – sandbags remain in place.

High spring tides are predicted between Saturday 1 and Tuesday 4 March. The highest is likely to be about 8am on Monday. The levels are similar to those predicted for the high tides in early January and early February. The impact of the January / February tides was increased by a tidal surge caused by the weather conditions at the time (low pressure and strong winds). The strong winds also caused large waves in exposed places.

As long as there is no tidal surge and no significant waves, the levels next week are not expected to cause any flooding issues on the Wessex North coast. It is therefore really important to review the tides and the weather forecast to make sure we can predict what the impact might be. The EA is working closely with the Met Office to get the latest information.

As a precaution, temporary defences are in place where flooding occurred on the previous high tides. This includes Blake Gardens in Bridgwater, and sandbagging along the lowest spots of the River Parrett, near Burrowbridge.

Resident Parking : The Zones take shape

parking ticket street
The petitions are out there to decide which streets do or don’t want residents parking schemes

After a two year campaign to help streets which want residents parking schemes to make that dream become a reality the process is now well and truly underway. Scheme champions have been active in identified streets with 60% support and Somerset County Council have set up a 10 point procedure as to how to achieve the desired result. Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) chaired today’s meeting with scheme champions , county and district officers , resident observers along with the county ward rep Cllr Leigh Redman (Bridgwater South) and reports the progress as follows.

Which streets will be part of the resident parking scheme?

So far no street is in or out because first there is a compulsory process of consultation  to go through. Stage one of this is to identify which streets want to be considered and which streets want no part of it. This is determined by streets, through the work of a scheme champion,who could initially be self nominated,  that present a petition which has 60% of households asking to be considered. By ‘considered’ this means that they are included in the initial process of consultation.

At today’s meeting the streets that were identified as  + 60% and therefore to be considered were agreed along with the following scheme champions.

Friarn street/Silver street (62%) Liz Edwards eelizabeth711@aol.com

Castle street/King Square/Bond street (73%) Tony Heywood tonyh@gmail.com

Chandos street/Homecastle House (78%) Karen Llewelyn karen.llewelyn@btinternet.com

Dampiet street (85%) Mark Postma markpostma@btinternet.com

St Saviours Avenue/St Mary street (83%) Andy Slocombe andy35@btinternet.com

Blacklands (72%) George Weston george.weston@hotmail.co.uk Continue reading “Resident Parking : The Zones take shape”

Residents Parking Zone Could Be With Us by Summer

Cllr Smedley submits the Westover scheme to Bev Norman at SCC
Cllr Smedley submits the Westover scheme to Bev Norman at SCC

On Tuesday 25th February there will be a meeting of the Westover Resident Parking Campaigns ‘Scheme Champions’ at Sedgemoor District Council offices (2pm). The meeting will involve officers from Sedgemoor and Somerset councils who will steer the plans for this lengthy campaign to a reality.

But how did we get to where we are now?? Westover Councillor Brian Smedley tells the story of the campaign.

Civil Parking Enforcement

In June 2012 the way the authorities dealt with on street parking was drastically changed as Civil Parking Enforcement was introduced replacing the previous virtual amnesty. Residents , who suddenly found their usual routine had changed forever as regulations were enforced rigidly and fines were handed out enthusiastically, started contacting their councillors in great numbers demanding a residents parking scheme to solve this. Here in Westover we were the most badly affected as our ward includes the town centre which requires a rapid turnover of parking for shoppers but also includes edge of town residential streets where shop workers and now increasingly shoppers, fill up the parking spaces. Continue reading “Residents Parking Zone Could Be With Us by Summer”

Campaigners Win Reinstatement of Town Centre Christmas Tree

Bridgwater's Xmas tree is back!!
Bridgwater’s Xmas tree is back!!

Bridgwater Town Council’s finance committee today voted in funds to bring back the Cornhill Christmas tree after a proposal by Westover Councillor Brian Smedley was put on the agenda and debated.

Cllr Smedley said “We haven’t had a Christmas tree in the town centre for several years and the reason was basically that it was being vandalised by drunken idiots and then looking a mess or costing even more to repair. However, this christmas there was a campaign started by Westover  town centre resident Steve Coram, who simply posted on the Bridgwater Past and Present facebook page bemoaning the lack of a tree and suddenly hundred of people were clamouring for it’s return and specifically that we shouldn’t give in to the vandals. I undertook to bring this to the Town Council and today they supported me which means we’ll have a christmas tree  once more next December.” Continue reading “Campaigners Win Reinstatement of Town Centre Christmas Tree”

High Street Jazz Cafe back on Planning agenda

Jazz Blues Cafe
Jazz Blues Cafe

Back by popular demand is the application by dedicated local music promoters SRL to establish a Jazz Blues cafe on Bridgwater’s High Street. Despite being rejected narrowly by the Sedgemoor planning committee at it’s pre-christmas meeting amidst much controversy the SRL team are committed to having another go at making their case to boost the High Street economy.

The plan, which is supported by Westover councillors, is for  change of use of the ground floor of 18 High Street from use class A1/A2 to use classes A3-A5 (a Jazz, Blues and Soul Themed Venue, also trading as a brasserie restaurant and coffee shop (day time) and licensed bar with music (evenings).

The application can be viewed and commented on on-line here;–

Jazz Cafe Planning Application Continue reading “High Street Jazz Cafe back on Planning agenda”