Food Bank in Urgent Plea for Permanent Home

Volunteer Ted Stock
Volunteer Ted Stock

Westover councillors made a special visit this week to the Bridgwater Food Bank in it’s new temporary location in a back lot opposite the Cinema soon to be transformed into yet another urban housing scheme. Having been turfed out of their former home at the former Enterprise centre on Northgate by Somerset County Council and temporarily rehoused, the days are ticking away for the towns foodbank unless it finds somewhere permanent.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the food bank was set up in May 2013 with funds raised around the district including a grant from the Town Council. During these past 8 months the foodbank has served 1,246 clients in a crisis situation. Of these 835 were adults and 411 were children. Continue reading “Food Bank in Urgent Plea for Permanent Home”


Flood - Wednesday 5 January
Flood – Wednesday 5 January

Severe Flood Warning Issued – Danger to Life

A Severe Flood Warning has been issued by the Environment Agency for the Salt Moor and North Moor including Moorland.

This Severe Flood Warning is for Salt Moor and North Moor including East Lyng, Burrowbridge, West Yeo, Moorland and Fordgate.

Flooding is expected to affect up to 100 properties in this area.

The River Tone is continuing to spill into Currymoor reservoir via Hookbridge spillway. The drain level at Currymoor pumping station is 7.8 m and is continuing to rise in response to this. There is an imminent risk that Baltmoor Wall will overtop resulting in a specific increased risk from flooding to properties in the Moorland, Northmoor and Fordgate areas. The police are currently on site advising the most vulnerable properties to evacuate their properties. Continue reading “Flooding”

Bridgwater Skatepark is here (at last)

Skatepark opening
Skatepark opening

It seems like years. That’s because it is. Years and years people have campaigned to get a skatepark in Bridgwater. Now they have one. It’s in Westover and it’s one of the biggest and best in the South West. It’s been designed by the users (who’ve had their names engraved into the concrete..with only one slight mis-spelling) and now it’s finally open.

The skatepark was opened today, Saturday 14th December 2013, with the cutting of the ribbon by long term skatepark campaigner and skater George Rollinson, who,several years back, had led a skateboard protest through the High Street with others wearing only their boxer shorts. Well, it’s probably what Trotsky would have done. Although when he asked Stalin for a skatepark it didn’t turn out too well. Continue reading “Bridgwater Skatepark is here (at last)”

The Year in Westover 2013

Westover News 2013On Friday 6 December, Councillors and residents met up at the Bridgwater Arts Centre for an informal chat about the years key events in the ward at a christmas social. It was a chance to see where we were on certain projects, introduce new developments and exchange forthright views on things that were contentious.

First item under scrutiny was West Quay. It was just over two years since the collapse of the wall on the riverfront had brought misery to many traders and residents but the repairs were now complete and the new pedestrianisation up and running. As far as the wall collapse went most people had now received some form of compensation and the wall itself looked like not collapsing again in the near future. The pedestrianisation,which had come about as a result of a petition by the West Quay Action Group, was now in place but having some teething problems. There were concerns at a newly installed gate which SCC wouldn’t let us lock and inevitably traffic still using the street as a result. Ward councillors had also managed to get the town council to extend the christmas light show onto the Quay this year for the first time. The general view was that pedestrianisation needed time to settle in and people should try to make it work. Continue reading “The Year in Westover 2013”

Long Awaited Bridgwater Skatepark Finally to Open

Skatepark being buildBridgwater people have been campaigning for a skatepark for years and now the grandchildren of those original campaigners (well almost) are finally to witness that dream become a reality. The new Bridgwater Skatepark will be at the YMCA on Friarn Avenue, and will officially open at 10.30am on Saturday 14th December 2013. The park will be opened by skate park users, staff from the YMCA, Sedgemoor District Council Chairman, Councillor Peter Downing and Bridgwater Mayor, Councillor Dave Loveridge.

Land and Freedom

Westover ward councillors Brian Smedley & Steve Austen were members of the Wheeled Sports Facility Panel that guided the final phase of the project in to it’s current location at the YMCA. Cllr Smedley explained the history, “The site wasn’t arrived at without complications and the main issue locally was always ‘land’. The campaign has been obviously going for years without that issue being adequately addressed and at one stage we thought it was solved when Sedgemoor gave planning permission to land at the College for the skatepark, then that use was suddenly changed, and then they suggested land at the Clink, but this land wasn’t really in their power to gift, so none of these happened. This is why the users formed the Skateparks Campaign Group to try to drive the issue forward. This resulted in the modest gain of the 2 mini-parks on Cranleigh Gardens and Victoria Park. However, there was a concern that the big park that everyone really wanted might never happen now that they’d provided the mini-parks so the pressure had to be kept on and crucially the issue of land addressed. Eventually we produced a comprehensive list of all possible sites in the town and put it to the users and partner groups and as a result they accepted the YMCA site. For the people of Westover it’s a good choice as it’s slap bang in the middle of our ward but also easily accessible to the rest of the town and also sufficiently out of the way to preserve it’s independence whilst at the same time being alongside the YMCA which is without doubt the leading youth facility in the town.” Continue reading “Long Awaited Bridgwater Skatepark Finally to Open”