“Waste of money” by Town Council

Hillside councillors have criticised Weston Town Council’s decision to spend around £4,000 on distributing a free booklet to homes across Weston which will sell advertising.

Ashcombe Wood town councillor Ray Armstrong attacked the plan at the town council meeting complaining at the waste of money, and at the fact that the council has not even used a local firm. This booklet will be using public money to compete with existing businesses in the town.

His ward colleague John Crockford-Hawley agreed and criticised the quality of the Town Council’s communications. He added that this scheme is simply throwing money down the drain.

Protecting Prince Consort Gardens

Local councillors have supported the newly formed ‘Friends of Prince Consort Gardens’ in their aims to protect these historic gardens for present and future generations.

The gardens, along with other parks and public areas owned or controlled by North Somerset Council, have been decimated by the council’s decision to axe flowers and floral displays. These displays in the past have contributed significantly to what has made the gardens to special.

So with the future of the gardens under threat this local group of volunteers has stepped in to provide additional maintenance and planting.

Councillors for the area, Mark Canniford, John Crockford-Hawley and Robert Payne have praised the group for taking the initiative when the council has let us all down.

The Friends are also looking to get the gardens registered as a Town Green which should provide additional protection against possible future development. If you want to lend your support to their campaign, you can contact them at [email protected]

Council threat to Birnbeck area

Weston’s local hillside councillors have become aware of a plan by North Somerset Council to dispose of 0.9 hectares of land which constitutes part of the public realm between the site of the former Royal Pier Hotel and Birnbeck Pier.

Although a very small piece of land, it is potentially very valuable to developers. It is already known that the owners of the Royal Pier Hotel site are hoping to gain ownership of Birnbeck Pier. It is obvious to local residents that the intention is to develop the whole area. Many of these residents are very concerned about inappropriate development at this very special and historic area, and have voiced concerns.

Locals have formed The Friends of Prince Consort Gardens, one of whose aims is to protect the gardens from such development. But they remain frustrated that the council insists on keeping locals in the dark about what’s going on.

Councillor for the area Robert Payne, who also lives nearby is furious that the council is acting in such a secretive manner and that it wants to take action which could potentially lead to the destruction of the character of the area. He said: “All negotiations with the developer taken in secret and with no consultation with local residents or the councillors for the area. I remain absolutely and resolutely against the disposal of this ‘ransom strip’ until all plans for the wider area are made public and local residents can be satisfied with these plans.”

His colleague John Crockford-Hawley contacted the council’s solicitor to demand answers as to why local residents and local councillors have not been consulted.