|Lukins, Cudlipp,Kendall & Tucker|
Bob Cudlipp (Independent, Wyndham) , Judith Kendall (Liberal Democrat, Victoria), Roderick Lukins (Independent, Victoria) and Ian Tucker (Labour, Dunwear) all expressed opposition to the demolition of the Splash and to the sale of the Northgate site to Tesco.
Apologies were received from the Green Party. Anger was expressed that an invitation to Conservative candidates to attend had been totally ignored.
Questions and discussion ranged from the lack of public toilets, bus shelters and facilities for young people, to concerns that Bridgwater is over-supplied with supermarkets and nuclear power stations.
“People’s lack of interest in local politics is shown in the increasingly low numbers who turn out to vote”, said Chair Glen Burrows, “ with numbers as low as 27% in some wards. This isn’t just because people are apathetic. It’s also because they have no faith in many of our local politicians. If you attend meetings of the local council you can generally understand why. There is an enormous gap between voters and politicians, and meetings like this are an important step in closing that gulf by bringing people together to chew over important local issues. Most of us don’t see candidates on our doorstep, don’t attend party political meetings, and the only contact we have is with a leaflet shoved through our doors during elections”.
Bridgwater Forward exists to put pressure on Bridgwater councillors to be more accountable, listen to local people and make sensible decisions about how to spend our money. Why, for example, don’t elected councillors arrange regular ward meetings to keep in touch with their electors? Why can’t there be information and training made available to help people understand how local politics works, and how they can get involved? 26th April 2011 was the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and a minute’s silence was held at the end of the meeting, in memory of the thousands of dead and dying who are the legacy of that event.