Town Forum to look at Fore Street Enhancements

cllr smedfore street
Cllr Smedley contemplating Fore street

Plans are afoot to upgrade Bridgwater’s pedestrianised Fore Street shopping centre with the help of EDF CIM money and Bridgwater Town Council are keen that the traders, residents and members of the public have their say in this project, led by Sedgemoor District Council and so are inviting anyone and everyone to attend the next Town Development Forum which will be held on Tuesday 13th March at 7pm at Bridgwater Town Hall.

Town Council Leader and Westover Ward member Cllr Brian Smedley , who chairs the Forum, has hand delivered invitations stating  “As part of a successful  CIM bid (Community Impact Mitigation money provided by EDF) Sedgemoor District Council will be embarking on a programme of enhancements to Fore street which will be taking place later this year.”

Fore st
Fore street Bridgwater

“Bridgwater Town Council has invited the Sedgemoor Officers responsible to present these plans to us before they take them any further. Naturally we want to get YOUR views and input on this and so we are inviting you to attend the next meeting of the TOWN DEVELOPMENT FORUM which will be held at the Town Hall on Tuesday 13th March 2018 at 7pm and will look solely at this issue.We hope you will be able to attend. The meeting is open to anyone and contribution and discussion is welcome.”

Sedgemoors officers leading on this topic are Sam Harper and Carla Modley. Both will be in attendance to present their plans and answer questions. The recommendations of the Forum will go forward to the next Town Council meeting.

Some images of Fore Street throught the years

Severe Weather Updates: ‘Major Incident Declared’

town bridge
Town Bridge

The latest ‘Severe weather update’ from Somerset County Council says  a major incident was declared last night in the Avon and Somerset area following severe weather across the region. This was at the request Musgrove Park Hospital, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Somerset Partnership NHS Trust and South Western Ambulance Service due to concerns over essential staff being unable to get to work today.

A multi-agency response is underway and motorists are advised to avoid driving unless it is essential.

Our Highways and Traffic Control Teams have been working throughout the night and various services have been in regular contact with district colleagues and other partners, notably in health.Staff have been encouraged to make use of the technology for flexible working in discussion with their managers.

District Offices:

Sedgemoor District Council’s Bridgwater House: Open for staff, but advising that only staff who can walk in should come to the office
Taunton Deane Borough Council’s offices in Taunton and Wellington: Closed
West Somerset Council’s office in Williton: Closed
South Somerset District Council, including Brympton Way, Petters House, Chard Lace Mill, Wincanton Area Office and Crewkerne Community Office: Closed
Dillington House: Closed
Mendip: We’re waiting for confirmation and will update when we can.

Key highways points

Routes to hospitals have been ploughed and are reported passable.
During the course of the night A37 Shepton Mallet, A39 Kilve and A358 Crowcombe became unpassable. A39 Kilve now opened. Crews are assessing A37 Shepton Mallet. But A358 at Crowcombe cleared but A358 between Bagborough and Bishops Lydeard now impassable
Town Centres generally passable with care
A39 Minehead to Porlock difficult to pass through

Roads currently closed:

A39 Porlock Hill
B3224 Wheddon Cross to Raleghs Cross. Routing via Dunster instead. Likely to require digger during daylight hours because drifts are so high
South Molton to Simonsbath
Cheddar Gorge – crews intend to explore opening up from the north
A37 Shepton Mallet – being assessed
A371 Prestleigh Hill (nr Shepton Mallet) – abandoned vehicles to be recovered
A371 Westbury sub Mendip – abandoned vehicles to be recovered
A358 Bagborough to Bishops Lydeard

The Civil Contingencies Unit have been supporting the initiative to assist motorists in stranded cars during the evening – full update later.


-Running a minimal service and advising not to travel.

Check your local station here


-Bristol Airport. Most flights cancelled. Check here

Key Council links for weather advice

click here


Bridgwater Food and Drink Festival cancelled . Organisers say “This has not been a easy decision but tomorrow Bridgwater food and drink festival is cancelled. It’s not 12 months of hard work down the drain , the festival has made some amazing friends over the last year and we will work together to bring to Bridgwater a festival fit for a king on the 2nd March 2019” Details here.

Waste collections postponed. details here.

Cold Weather Advice

Weather warning across Somerset

As severe weather hits the Bridgwater area for the first time in years, the local councils have been circulating advice for people regarding what precautions to take, where to find information and what contact numbers to use in the event of various situations.

Town Council Leader and Westover Ward councillor Brian Smedley said “The weather will only get worse and people shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security and set out to travel unprepared, if they need to travel at all. The major danger will be ice, particularly dangerous in the dark. There are stories of people ‘panic buying’ in shops and while there have been busier than normal scenes in the supermarkets it appears to be manageable, and maybe exaggerated. Airports are open at the moment as are railway lines but the imminence of ‘Storm Emma’ tonight could well change all that. There is grit down but people need to take extra care particularly as wet paths freeze and then additional light coverings of snow might hide the dangers. People need to take note that this is a ‘Red Warning’ and that means ‘risk to life’, so whilst the snow might look lovely, there is also considerable cause for concern.”

Situation Advice Contact
General Information Round-up information from Somerset County Council
Clearing pathways/pavements Where possible, follow government advice and clear snow or ice from pavements to help pedestrians, kerbside collectors and other users.
Homelessness The numbers to phone if someone requires accommodation


0900 hrs to 1700 hrs – 0300 303 7793

0900 hrs to 1700 hrs  for 16-24 year olds 01278 451204

After 1700 hrs –  01823 368 244

Rough sleepers Sedgemoor District Councils has a Severe Weather and Extended Winter Provision (SWEP) which is triggered by low temperatures and the risk of snow. When SWEP is in place Sedgemoor District Council encourages anyone sleeping rough within the district to access its Streetwatch Scheme. Sedgemoor District Council runs the Streetwatch Scheme in conjunction with the YMCA and Taunton Association for the Homeless.    Streetwatch provides bed spaces in a room of an existing supported hostel. This scheme runs throughout the year even when SWEP is not in place. In the event Streetwatch is fully occupied during SWEP, further accommodation will be provided through the YMCA or local Bed and Breakfasts. Sedgemoor District Council and Taunton Association for the Homeless also provide an outreach service for rough sleepers on Monday and Thursday mornings based at Westfield Church, Bridgwater. At the outreach mornings, rough sleepers can get access to hot food/drinks, a shower, a washing machine and housing advice. 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs – 0300 303 7793

0900 hrs to 1700 hrs  for 16-24 year olds 01278 451204

After 1700 hrs –  01823 368 244


Recycling and refuse collections ·         If severe weather means your waste is missed, put out containers again by 7am as we will try to make a return collection for four calendar days (recycling) and seven days (rubbish).

·         Alternatively, if it is safe and you have time and transport, take it all to any open recycling site, or if you have space, store your waste until your next planned collection.

·         Recycling site will remain open where possible –check our website for the latest update

·         Please help friends, family and neighbours if they are struggling with waste and containers in the bad weather. or SomersetWaste Facebook page or Twitter

School closures Head teachers make the decision about closures and have responsibility for informing parents about disruption. They are encouraged to record any closures on the SCC  webpage but the list may not be definitive
Roads – gritting see gritting routes on a searchable map from SCC
Roads/Travel For the latest on roads and travel – Somerset County Council’s website or by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter

Tenants in Private rented accommodation If tenants have problems such as frozen water pipes and therefore no water etc in particularly cold conditions, due to poor or non-existent insulation, they should contact their landlord. Contact the landlord.

EDF Lorry Increases Approved by County

It’s beginning to look a lot like GRIDLOCK

The eagerly awaited ‘last chance’ to stop the 250 extra movements per day of EDF HGVs through Bridgwater came and went today with a simple rubber stamp of the EDF proposals by Somerset County Council Portfolio Holder for Resources and Economic Development (and, as it happens, Bridgwater Tory) Cllr David Hall (Con, Bridgwater East & Bawdrip). Despite pleas from Labour leaders at Town, District and County level, he simply agreed to the whole package of extra congestion.

David Eccles, EDF said: “We continue to work with authorities to minimise impact of Hinkley Point C project. “

EDF currently runs 500 HGVs through the town each day. The proposal was to increase this to 750 a day until September 2019, what EDF calls a ‘temporary period’.The Chair of Policies and Place Scrutiny Ctte Cllr Tony Lock (Lib Dem,Yeovil East) had  the option to intervene on the proposals but agreed that the measure was to be treated as ‘urgency’ and waived that right.

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said “The Leader of the Council and the Chairman of Scrutiny Committee for Policies and Place have already agreed the use of ‘urgency’ to enable the immediate implementation of this decision i.e. the scrutiny ‘call-in’ provision cannot be used. A number of representations were received since the publication of the notification report on 8 December and the decision maker was made aware of these along with receiving advice from officers. Written responses will be issued regarding the representations received.”

Continue reading “EDF Lorry Increases Approved by County”

Town Centre Cleaner Honoured by Local Councils

Cllr Cresswell and John Parker

Today, Cllr Kathy Pearce was chairing a meeting of the Town Council’s Environment Working Party to consider proposals to give a boost to Town Centre cleaning. One of the key men in the know and in the room was cleaning operative John Parker, one of Sedgemoor District Council’s longest serving employees clocking up a magnificent forty years today, December 12th.

Cllr Pearce (Town Council Deputy Leader)  said “Suddenly it was like ‘This is Your Life’ as SDC Chairman Mike Cresswell appeared out of the blue and presented John with a long service award. And well deserved it is too!”

John Parker started working for Sedgemoor on 12th December 1977 and has been a familiar face around Bridgwater, where he has been keeping the town spic and span for four decades. Continue reading “Town Centre Cleaner Honoured by Local Councils”