‘Talking Bridgwater Up’ as New Tourism Brochure Launched

Cllr Brian Smedley launching the Tourism Brochure at Bridgwater Town Hall

The long awaited new Bridgwater Tourism Brochure was launched at Carnival weekend at a special event at Bridgwater Town Hall by Mayor Diogo Rodrigues and Town Council Leader Brian Smedley hearalding the start of a push to ‘talk Bridgwater up’. 5,000 of the brochures have been sent to tourism offices and other outlets around the country and the others will be  sent out around Somerset and available at the Town Hall for people to pick up and help promote the town.

Launching the guide, Cllr Smedley said: “We have been aspiring towards bringing in more tourism to Bridgwater and this is another step toward that goal.The message is Bridgwater is a fun town with a proud rebel history and a unique cultural offer, located close to amazing landscapes.  We want to focus on tourism and attract visitors to stay in the new hotels springing up and by providing facilities for them we are creating a legacy for our own people. One of the key aims is to revitalise a town centre that welcomes visitors, provides for locals and is clearly vibrant and different.” Continue reading “‘Talking Bridgwater Up’ as New Tourism Brochure Launched”

Westover Hosts Bridgwater Syria International Football Friendly

Bridgwater and Syrian footballers. (tbc)

For a while now, refugees from the war ravaged middle eastern country of Syria have been resettled around the globe giving them a respite from the suffering and the chance to start a new life. Clearly they’ve been through a lot. But that didn’t stop us offering them a friendly football match here in Bridgwater at the new Northgate school astroturf pitch, Westover. The Syrians jumped at the chance to play and to mix with the local community and Bridgwater ‘meticulously’ drew up a team from all walks of life.

The game was sponsored by Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Diogo Rodrigues, himself transported from his Madeiran place of birth at a very early age and forced to work in Portuguese restaurants ever since and the team was captained by Town Council Leader and Westover Councillor Brian Smedley, still longing for the blue, white and yellow remembered hills of Leeds, from where he was exiled. By his mum. Continue reading “Westover Hosts Bridgwater Syria International Football Friendly”

‘Enough is Enough’ says Town Council on Old Taunton Road ‘Over-Development’

Cllr Brian Smedley backing Old Taunton Road residents campaign against over development

Bridgwater Town Council Planning Panel today backed calls from Westover Councillor Brian Smedley to say ‘enough is enough’ to any more housing in the overdeveloped area of Bridgwater’s Old Taunton Road  and to save what land was left their for community use, open space and leisure. An application to put 4 new dwellings on the ​old disused allotment site alongside the canal was opposed by the Town Planning Panel supporting residents and other community groups.

Cllr Smedley said “The piece of green land here is overgrown and was a former allotment. There are major problems of access, which would be alongside the dangerous canal bridge which is tricky enough for pedestrians and cyclists never mind adding several more houses into the mix. The point here is that Old Taunton Road is on peak capacity and developers should simply stop ‘infilling’ and instead provide breathing space, recreational land and a community area for this part of town. It’s also true that RTL money from the previous developers here was meant to offset the impact of that development by providing community facility as compensation but in fact this money went to the other side of Hamp which was of no use here in Westover. We need Sedgemoor to accept a formula that identifies compensation funding for developments right here and one of the most hard pressed parts of Westover is right here in Old Taunton Road.” Continue reading “‘Enough is Enough’ says Town Council on Old Taunton Road ‘Over-Development’”

Frack Free Bridgwater ‘Ups The Ante’

Town Council leader Brian Smedley gives response to Government proposals on Fracking legislation

At last nights Bridgwater Town Council meeting members voted to raise the stakes in the war against ‘Fracking’  and voted to challenge new proposed legislation that reduces community influence in planning decisions relating to the controversial topic. In 2017 Bridgwater Town Council became the first Town in Somerset to declare itself a Frack-Free Zone.

Town Council Leader, Cllr Brian Smedley (Labour,Westover) said “The government is proposing massive changes to planning rules that could give the fracking industry a green light to cover swathes of the country in drills. If these changes went ahead, fracking companies could start drilling across the country without local planning applications, threatening communities and the climate in the process.This flies in the face of local democracy and threatens to slash community involvement in decision-making. We can’t allow fracking to be forced on communities, and our countryside to be turned into a gasfield. Bridgwater Town Council has declared itself a Frack Free Zone, we need to now join the national ‘Let Communities Decides’ campaign and support this motion.” Continue reading “Frack Free Bridgwater ‘Ups The Ante’”

Raging Against Rubbish in Bridgwater

Rage Against Rubbish team on the banks of the Bridgwater Taunton canal

This year, Bridgwater Town Council wants to focus on tourism. Proudly promoting our lovely town to the wider world. There are six new hotels on their way, the population is growing and people are interested in Bridgwater, its heritage, its history, its unique cultural offer and its wonderful scenery. Especially people are excited at the prospect of a renaissance for our waterways, the river, the docks, the canal, the coastal path. So it was great news when recently the town bridge was finally illuminated…only to reveal at least 20 shopping trolleys glistening in the waters below the bridge. Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Diogo Rodrigues, when asked, said simply ‘Well, people shouldn’t throw shopping trolleys in the river in the first place’. Which is absolutely right. They shouldn’t. Not everyone does. It’s a small minority. But they do. People will also have seen the same in the docks and the canal. But for one group of people enough was enough and they decided to do something about it.

Continue reading “Raging Against Rubbish in Bridgwater”