Town Council Approves Forward Plan for 2018-19

forward plan
Bridgwater points the way

At the Bridgwater Town Council Meeting of  2nd August , members unanimously supported the Forward Plan for 2018-19, agreed the 5 key priorities for co-operation with Sedgemoor District Council and actioned key issues raised by members of the public at the Annual Town Meeting.

Moving the motion, Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) said “Following our meeting with Sedgemoor’s Chief Executive, Alison Griffin, we agreed what our 5 priorities for co-operation would be.”

Town Council Leader Brian Smedley

Tourism & Culture

“First Tourism -working to a new agenda to boost the image of the town by upgrading our tourism offer and in attracting facilities and amenities for tourists at the same time retain a legacy for the people of the town. We also want to boost our Cultural offer which we have encouraged through the Town Cultural partnership, which has worked on such new initiatives as the Quayside festival”

Town Centre

What kind of town do we want to leave to our children?

“Second we want to focus on the Town Centre. Our business heart has been harshly affected in recent years by the EDF roadworks and we have long argued that a By-Pass would have been better, but now we want to focus on regenerating this area by working together with Sedgemoor on the Northgate development – providing a major leisure facility, retaining the green space, upgrading the linkage from town centre to docks and ncluding a limited and compatible shopping offer. We want to make sure that we finally see some movement on the celebration mile, some attention paid to Eastover and crucially the Westgate of the town – where the Classic Buildings are in a sorry state, we want a major focus to bring an end to that eyesore.”

Hinkley Point

new dawn
A new dawn awaits….

“Thirdly we want to ensure that we get maximum mitigation money from EDF. We are using some of our Civic Enhancement Fund, which we have built up over the years, as matched funding to gain as much as we can back from the Nuclear project and it’s impact on our town. Already we have seen our town bridge lit up,  works on Fore street about to start and a new project which should bring Blake Gardens back into community use with an expanded library offer. But we also aim to hold EDF to account when their plans go awry such as the recent increase in HGV movements which resulted in extra compensation offers for people living on the through routes.”


Town Bridge

Fourthly we want to make sure Sedgemoor leaves enough room for future proofing with the imminent Tidal Barrier so that our ambitions for navigable rivers, and re-opening the docks and canal can turn the face of our town back on to our waterways. The Docks are a hidden gem, we want the Barge lock re-opened and we want to ensure the Bascule Bridge is saved from damage and protected so that once again it can open and be a feature of our town. we’ve had our Town Bridge finally lit up, now Sedgemoor can see to get those shopping trolleys out of the river!”

Bigger Bridgwater

Mayor Diogo puts Bridgwater in the driving seat

“Fifthly we recognise that Bridgwater is growing. We want the Councils and Government to recognise this and to expand the boundaries of the town to incude those edge of town developments that currently don’t pay a precept to us but use and rely on our infrastructure and amenities. We want to be part of the Unitary debate so that when the County Council finally rolls over in defeat, power is revitalised at the level closest to the community. This is where we believe Town Councils like ours can provide a key role in future. People fondly remember the old Borough Council and can rightly spot some decline in Bridgwater’s fortunes from when it ended back in the 1970’s. We want a ‘Bigger Bridgwater’ focus and that means greater powers at the locallest level.”

Peoples Comments

At the Annual Town Meeting on 10th May, members of the public raised key issues which the Town Council accepted they would address.

Key Policy  Action Terms of Reference
Police Cover BS Continue Police issues as 1st agenda item of each meeting
Post Office BS Campaign to maintain Town Centre Post Office
EDF roadworks LR Monitor EDF roadworks and target CIM funding options as mitigation
Trinity Hall LR Address cleanliness issues , Ensure best use , Public consultation and report, assess economic options
Celebration Mile ML Strive to ensure parts of Celebration Mile become a reality
Community Radio TH Ensure Town Council involvement in Community Radio and Sedgemoor FM
Bridgwater Station TH Support increased number of stopping trains and delivery of station enhancements
Recycling KP Campaign against single use plastics, throwaway society, extra throughput of recycling including food waste .
Northgate BS Monitor developments at Northgate including Leisure use, green space and Aldi move
Chilton Swimming ML Ensure availability for community use, access to hydrotherapy, monitor discrimination across sectors of community,

Forward Plan

Setting out the years work month by month, Cllr Smedley drew up a Forward Plan with a timescale and lead members to oversee the actions

Monthly targets Key BTC meetings Actions
June 2018 Committees, Outside bodies established, Forward plan agreed +5 Priorities identified

Review of Bridgwater Tourism & PR

Twinning Conference

BTC 14 June BS



July 2018 Town Hall -review of future works and costs

Co-operation with Sedgemoor meeting Review top 5 SDC/BTC priorities

Docks Gala Saturday 2 July

Quayside Festival





August 2018 Trinity Hall -Consultation and future plans

Mayor Live social media project

Introduce Community Toilet scheme




Sept 2018 Bridgwater Fair

Installation of Town Hall stairlift

Youth Council launch

State of the Town Centre – Walkabout


BTC 13 Sept





Oct 2018 Bridgwater Together Project

Outdoor International  art exhibition

BTC 25 Oct BS


Nov 2018 Carnival, Fireworks, Snowflakes & Shopping, Christmas tree & lights 24.11.2017

Bridgwater History Day

Priverno Twinning visit and signing

Launch of 2019 Tourism Brochure





Dec 2018 Outline Budget Core funding, Ward Grants, Staff review & Precept Budget options circulated   BTC 6 Dec BS
Jan 2019 Bridgwater Cup

Budget 18-19   BTC

BTC 10 Jan




Feb 2019 Civic Service  DR
March 2019 Deputy Mayor election for 2019-20 Mayor Making procedure BTC 7 March DR
April 2019 Environment review BTC 19 April KP

Annual Town Meeting Annual report  

Mayor Making –

2 May

ATM 9 May

MM 10 May


DR (2018-19)


David Mears
Newly appointed Bridgwater Town Clerk David Mears

New Town Clerk

Cllr Smedley added “This is an exciting year for Bridgwter and with the launch of our new Town Tourist Brochure in November, for carnival season, we also have a new Town Clerk -David Mears, who has done wonders at Langport Town Council, who we have liaised with over waterways issues, and now is exactly the right time for him to get on board and share some of that enthusiasm.”

For the David Mears appointment click here.