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New leader for civic watchdog

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 August 2013

Views of the Boulevard, Weston.

Views of the Boulevard, Weston.

Archant

WESTON’S Civic Society has appointed a new chairman following months of wrangling over finances and membership – and has launched two new projects for the town.

In May the Mercury reported Martin Taylor and Chris Barker had stood down from their respective roles as chairman and secretary after accusing other members of ‘making enemies’ instead of supporting the group’s traditional values.

However, a new-look executive, made up of 20 members, was agreed last month.

Following a ballot, Rosemary Dowie was confirmed as the new chairman, and David Agassiz as secretary while Bob Smart will continue in his role as treasurer.

Mrs Dowie has begun her chairmanship by announcing the society has reached an agreement with North Somerset Council to pay for the replacement of old and damaged trees in the Boulevard after a diseased tree was felled last month.

She said: “We were very aware of the public’s hope to have them replaced and being the civic society it seemed we would be doing a public service to do that.

“We are enormously pleased about it and hope everyone else will be too.

“Many of the trees are 50 or 60 years old and at the end of their natural lives.

“It’s desirable to replace them or we would not have them at all. That’s the choice.”

The Civic Society is also creating the Friends Of The Town Quarry, a group composed of people with an interest in the nature reserve who will lend their time and skills to different projects to secure its future.

Mrs Dowie said: “They are not going to change the nature of the quarry, but to make any improvements that are appropriate and help its financial position.

“It will respect the quality of the quarry experience which people appreciate.”

After months of disagreements over the society’s future and membership, Mrs Dowie said the projects bode well for the town.

She said: “The whole idea is to make good things happen, and appropriate things happen, which people will be pleased to see.”

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