The West Street development in Bridgwater was devised and built in the mid 1960’s as a kind of William Morris modernist social housing project which included open plan streets and the only skyscraper in Somerset outside of Bristol and was intended to replace the slum courts that had occupied the street for 100 years beforehand.
Residents remember the 60’s and 70’s as a positive time to live in West Street with everything in the ownership of the Borough Council, well run, well maintained and with a strong sense of community.One resident recalled “Even 25 years ago, it was lovely up here. Flowers and planters on the balconies,everyone chatting to each other. But it seems these days that everyone has lost their community spirit”
Homes in Sedgemoor
It may be that this came with the introduction of the ‘ALMO’-the ‘arms length management organisation’ that Sedgemoor brought in to replace the old system of the area being council owned and council run. For West Street residents the new supremos are ‘Homes in Sedgemoor’ and Neighbourhood officer Ashley James is one man who has to take on an increased responsibility for dealing with the problems of the residents.
Ward Councillors undertake regular ‘walkabouts’ with Ashley along with other agencies who have a role in the area including the Police and Clean Surroundings. Residents join in these walks and Ashley is tasked with dealing with the issues.
The most recent walkabout was on Monday 11th May.
Ashley James listed the most recent problems picked up and agreed to raise orders which should be enacted within 28 days.
• Damaged wall outside 114-116 West Street
• Blocked drain outside 83-101 West Street
• Drain blocked outside 21-31 Halswell Close
• Wall surrounding Westfield House car park is damaged & a brick is missing
• Vent in laundry door at Southborne House needs securing from inside.
• Plastic trunking damaged next to laundry door at Southborne House
• A surveyor is due to go and inspect the following next week:
• Water pools inside entrance at Southborne House when raining – next to number 1
• Concrete base from removed spinner in laundry is a trip hazard;
• Wall cracked in communal area outside 38 St Matthews Green
• Damaged wall on the canal on Albert St has been passed to SDC.
Cllr Kathy Pearce, who Chairs the West Street Residents association, said “We work closely with Homes In Sedgemoor to make sure any issues are resolved. If you feel we have missed anything, please let us know and we will arrange to visit. We’ll be posting future West Street walkabout dates on the web, so if you live in the west street area, please feel free to join us.”
The next meeting of the West Street Residents Association will be on Tuesday 16th June at Milton House, 7pm.