It’s Twinning Week in Bridgwater

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All on board for Bridgwater Twinning week!!

Every year for the past 3 years Bridgwater Town Council has sponsored a week to celebrate the 5 international twinnings that we have with France, Germany, the Czech Republic,Malta and Italy. This year Twinning week is launched on Saturday 26th May at Bridgwater Library where there will be a permanent display throughout by all the Town Twinning Organisations which will be launched at 11am and will finish on Saturday 2nd June with a ‘Talking Twin Towns’ event where people can drop in and chat to the people involved.

On Saturday 2nd June there will also be a major event at the Bridgwater Arts Centre from 7.30pm. The evening will feature entertainment by the globe-trotting ‘Voice of the People’ choir  and a singalong with the ‘Dave the Milkman Big Band’ plus on stage presentations by the 5 twinning groups, an Internationalist quiz and a Portuguese finger buffet provided by Bridgwater’s new Mayor Diogo Rodrigues. All this, which includes free entry in the raffle, will come to £5 and tickets can be bought on the door.

Internationalism, youth and promoting tourism  are some of the priorities of this year’s Mayor. Cllr Rodrigues, Bridgwater’s youngest ever Mayor at 28 and Britain’s first Portuguese Mayor launched his term in office by visiting students  at Chilton School where a dozen Portuguese students  were there to meet him along with a group of students elected to serve on his new ‘Youth Council’ project designed to enthuse young people with a sense of civic involvement. Diogo followed this by a trip to the Czech Republic where he took part in an international funding conference in Bridgwater’s twin town  of Uherske Hradiste and visited the Portuguese Embassy while he was there. For a full report click here.

If you would like to find more about Bridgwater’s twinnings and how you can get involved drop in at the Library during the week, come to the Art Centre event on 2nd June or take a look at the twinning website here.

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Stay of Execution for Post Office as all sides renew commitment to find solution

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Celebrations as Post Office stays open

After a weekend  of uncertainty and pressure from all sides, Bridgwater’s Eastover Post Office has been given a stay of execution and has re-opened with everyone involved pledging to work together to maintain the service.

A Post Office spokesperson, said: “We are pleased to announce that Bridgwater Post Office has re-opened this morning with a temporary Postmaster at the same location, the branch had been temporarily closed since Saturday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure, which was beyond our control. We have worked hard to restore service to the area as quickly as possible. We are also looking for a permanent solution. The vacancy is advertised on our website https://runapostoffice.co.uk – we would encourage anyone interested in this new business opportunity to get in touch with us.”

Town Clerk Alan Hurford who has been on the case on behalf of Bridgwater Town Council, said “‘With valiant efforts all round, the Post Office has reopened and BTC with partners will continue to work towards a permanent long term solution”. Continue reading “Stay of Execution for Post Office as all sides renew commitment to find solution”

Aldi Reveal Northgate Plans to Town Council

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Aldi makes it;s case to Town Council

At a specially arranged meeting this week, Supermarket chain ALDI, presented plans to Bridgwater Town Councillors confirming their intention to relocate their Eastover store onto the Northgate site. Elliott Saunders, from Aldi properties and David Williams from Planning Potentials, said a decision had been taken and planning permission was now being sought which would enhance Aldis shopping opportunities in Bridgwater and fit in nicely with Town and District proposals for the much heralded Northgate site.

Northgate had been the site of a major battle between town and district council for several years over the latters plan to put a gigantic Tesco Extra on the Brewery field and the site of the former workhouse which Town Councillors feared would be disastrous for the existing town centre and instead the site should encompass features which were leisure led whilst enhancing the green open space. A compromise position was reached over the years and the Tesco proposal withdrawn in favour of a new primary school , which is now up and running, and a leisure complex based around a multiplex cinema and associated outlets on the former Splash site. With plans to increase and landscape the green area of the Brewery field in the pipeline along with the celebration mile access from town centre to docks, the last piece of the jigsaw was the Glass Cone end of the site, earmarked for either a hotel or a small supermarket. The Aldi proposal to purchase the site is now on the table. Continue reading “Aldi Reveal Northgate Plans to Town Council”

Town Anger at Latest Plans for Post Office Closure

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Eastover post office to close

News that Bridgwater Post office in Eastover will close on Friday May 4th was met with anger by Bridgwater Town Council leaders who had fought to secure this site for a Town Centre Post Office in a fierce campaign back in 2012. Bridgwater Town Clerk Alan Hurford said “BTC has  been working  throughout to keep the Post Office in town – ideally where it is and have done more than most in trying to keep it open where it is and to offer alternative solutions, some of which show promise – two or three interests so far – all passed onto PO people.  We are making every effort including next Tuesday and the objection to the planning application at the SDC Development Ctte where we will again make representation

A spokesperson for the Post Office said: “Regrettably Bridgwater Post Office will be temporarily closed from this Friday due to circumstances beyond our control, as the company operating the branch on our behalf is ceasing trading.This unfortunately means that the premises, that we do not own, will no longer be available for Post Office use.We are very sorry in advance to our customers for any inconvenience caused by this unplanned closure.We are working hard to restore Post Office service to the area as soon as possible, and the vacancy is advertised on our website https://runapostoffice.co.uk – we would encourage anyone interested in this new business opportunity to get in touch with us. In the meantime, alternative branches in the area include Dunkery Road, Parkway, Hamp and Wembdon.”

The Eastover Post Office branch, had been subject to much debate after a planning application was submitted to convert it into a new tanning salon Continue reading “Town Anger at Latest Plans for Post Office Closure”

Bridgwater Town Council Seeking New Town Clerk as Hurf Hangs Up His Boots

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Alan Hurford Outgoing Bridgwater Town Clerk

Bridgwater Town Council was set up in 2003 and since that time its only Town Clerk has been local footballing legend Alan Hurford. Now at the age of 70 , Hurf is hanging up his boots and Bridgwater needs a new enthusiastic and dedicated Town Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer with a brief to “achieve Council objectives, and to drive high quality initiatives to further improve the well being of the community.”

With application forms now available and candidates recommended to drop in to the Town Hall Office on Bridgwater’s busy High Street to have a word with Hurf about what the job entails,some things are already clear. Alan Hurford says “The successful candidate will have a flexible approach leading a small team with the ability to motivate, and develop excellent working relationships with Councillors and the local community. Good asset and project management, office administration and financial management skills are essential coupled with a knowledge of council procedures and local government law. The Town Clerk will be required to respect and uphold the traditions and ceremonials of the town.To be considered for this key role, the applicant will be expected to demonstrate wide ranging experience at a senior level. A background which shows continuing development is highly desirable. Knowledge of the town of Bridgwater and appropriate qualification(s) e.g. CiLCA would be an advantage but not essential. As all BTC appointments the post will be subject to a three-month probationary period.” Continue reading “Bridgwater Town Council Seeking New Town Clerk as Hurf Hangs Up His Boots”