Re-claiming Blake Gardens

Blake Gardens needs a re-vamp
Blake Gardens needs a re-vamp

Following a long list of complaints about a range of things involving Blake Gardens ward councillors called a meeting with the various agencies  including the Police, Sedgemoor ASB team and Licensing, the Fire Service, Clean Surroundings, the Town Council and the Library Service and agreed a course of action

Following works by Wessex Water there has been a lingering smell in the area. Wessex are aware of the issue and are in the process of dealing with it.

Anti-Social Behaviour is a major problem – partly due to the time of year and the good weather but also due to a  recent  concern by the public of using the place. Police numbers are down generally and that’s not very re-assuring but they agreed they would maintain cover and respond to incidents. However, we need to encourage people to report ASB when it happens so they can maintain a log otherwise they deny there’s a problem. This is a bigger issue because actually people often do report things but end up waiting on the 101 number for ages and getting nowhere so give up. But we will undertake to keep track and follow up all incidents people contact us about. If a matter needs an immediate response use 999. Email incidents to us as well and also contact the ASB hotline at Sedgemoor 0800 298 2009

Blake Gardens - now a priority site  for tackling anti social behaviour
Blake Gardens – now a priority site for tackling anti social behaviour

There are also regular ASB Blake Garden Beat surgeries at the Library. These are held fortnightly 10am-12. The next one is Wednesday 22nd June

A Family Friendly Park

The main way to deal with this issue is by Reclaiming the Park. Accordingly  we are launching a project to try to reclaim the park from the people who abuse it – and that involves a CIM (Community Impact Mitigation)  funding bid to make it family friendly again. This includes putting back rose beds, installing working fountains, landscaping, re-turfing, getting band concerts back there, linking with the Museum and the Library and sensitively lighting the riverside. The aim will be that Blake Gardens should no longer be the shady environment for the dodgy users to carry on as before and they’ll move on.

Some of the pumping station  images unpopular with residents
Some of the pumping station images unpopular with residents

The Pumping Station

The other big concern is the Wessex Pumping Station on the Old Taunton Rd side of the park. Last year we received petitions from almost everybody in Old Taunton Rd about the art project on the Wessex Pumping station. Quite rightly people are unhappy as they didn’t like the result they had to live with and actually they weren’t involved in the first place. Neither were us ward Councillors! This is why we want to solve it in an obvious way. We have made some of our Town Council ward money available and can get down an artist who’ll simply re-do it to whatever residents ask. However, we need to get it clear what that is. To this end we will have a site meeting at the Pumping Station at 7pm on  Monday 20th June and discuss the issue. If people can’t make this meeting they can write or call us in advance on