Friday, February 15, 2013

'Tory Contempt for Bridgwater' as Tesco Application Voted Through

Enter the Tesco Reps.....
Those who wanted any further proof that Bridgwater is not safe in the hands of the Tories needed only to attend Tuesday’s Development Committee meeting, where members voted 8 to 3 to hand over the Northgate site and the future of our town centre to Tesco Ltd.

Every councillor present spoke of their concerns about traffic congestion at the Clink junction, where delivery lorries will make a sharp turn into the service entrance of the planned store development. Yet every one of them was happy to receive assurances from the County Council Highways representative that everything would be OK. The County Council will receive £4million from the sale of the site.

Tory Contempt for Bridgwater

Tory Neville Jones smiled broadly as he said he had grave doubts about the development, and didn’t feel qualified to speak for Bridgwa...ter, since he lives in Burnham and it won’t affect him. He then voted in support. Nothing could illustrate more strongly the contempt the Tories have for Bridgwater.

Committee member Dave Loveridge, Ward Councillors Kathy Pearce and Brian Smedley, neighbouring Ward Councillors Mick Lerry and Julian Taylor, and Town Clerk Alan Hurford spoke strongly and well against the application, but to no avail.

Sedgemoor Planning Officer Nick Tait spoke grandly about the “Docks Renaissance”, “ the Bridgwater Vision” and a “new retail and cultural offer”. Who do these people think they’re fooling? There’s nothing new or cultural about a supermarket, and the Renaissance didn’t tend to feature large sheds with cars parked underneath. While it’s clear that many people do have a vision for Bridgwater, it’s now clear those people don’t reside within Sedgemoor’s Development Committee or the ruling group of Sedgemoor District Council.

Two Slim Chances remain

"Passive Support is no longer enough" says
Bridgwater Forward's Glen Burrows
Two slim chances remain: firstly, the application for the Brewery Fields to become a Town Green will be heard on 19th February. If successful, no building will be permitted there. Secondly, Bridgwater Forward is asking the Secretary of State to call in the planning decision on the grounds that the parties involved have a pecuniary interest and therefore cannot be deemed to have made an objective decision.

But these are slim chances. The only real answer now is for people to take action. Are we going to allow valuable trees to be chopped down? Are we really going to allow a mammoth shed to obscure views of the historic docks and town centre? Are we going to allow Tesco to destroy the livelihoods of shopkeepers in our town centres? Is our town to be run for people, or profits?

                        HELP US PLAN FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR TOWN

 Passive support is no longer enough! Come to the next meeting of Bridgwater Forward on Tuesday 26th February, 7.15pm, Railway Club, Bridgwater, and help us to plan for the future of our town.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

TESCO FEE SCANDAL "We pay, and they profit. It's got to stop."

Glen Burrows "Double insult!"
Sedgemoor District Council remain unrepentant over their decision to collude with Somerset County Council to pay £20,200 of public money towards Tesco's planning application bill, just because Tesco argued about the amount! A Corporate Scrutiny Committee meeting tried to hold Chief Executive Kerry Rickards to account on Monday, but he insisted he was merely carrying out council policy.

So, the double insult is that not only do we have to watch Sedgemoor councillors - supposedly elected to represent the people, not giant supermarkets - selling off our open space and destroying our town centre, but we give Tesco a hand-out as well!

The moral of this story is that we pay, and they profit. It's got to stop

The question is: what are we all going to do about it?
The residents who live around the Brewery Field have submitted an application to retain the field as a Town Green and this application is currently about to be assessed.
Oddly, Sedgemoors monitoring officer has ruled that "it is entirely appropriate for the Tesco planning application to proceed to the Development Committee, irrespective of the Town Green application. "
Bridgwater Forward member, Glen Burrows has written to Melanie Wellman the Monitoring Officer at Sedgemoor as follows;
Dear Ms Wellman
You are,I am sure, aware that there remains an application for the Brewery Field to achieve Town Green status, on which a decision has yet to be made.

It seems irregular, unethical and undemocratic to many people that the application from Tesco Ltd to build on this site is to be heard in advance of a decision being made about Town Green status.

I am sure you will reply that, in spite of ethics, democracy and any other considerations based on humanity's need, rather than corporate greed, there is nothing in law to prevent this.

However,please can you assure me that, if Tesco's planning application is approved, and the Town Green application is subsequently also approved, the planning decision will be rescinded and no building allowed on the site.

I look forward to your reply.

Ms Glen Burrows