Great news!

GREAT news! So often in recent months, the Mercury has had cause to lament the latest cuts, closures and catastrophes facing Weston – but not today.

GREAT news! So often in recent months, the Mercury has had cause to lament the latest cuts, closures and catastrophes facing Weston - but not today.

Instead, this week, we're buoyed by a promise from North Somerset's culture chief Peter Bryant that will leave people in Weston rejoicing.

That's because a week ago we revealed the council's plan to close North Somerset Museum, sell off the building, place many exhibits into storage and replace the attraction with a touring display and small-scale visitor centre.

But this week Cllr Bryant has completed an astonishing U-turn on the idea - scrapping the idea of placing artefacts into storage and promising they'll instead be moved 'lock, stock and barrel' into a new 'bigger and better' museum.


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We're elated at the news - and judging from the deluge of letters we've received on the issue this week, we know the people of Weston will be too.

"Museums are not something of the moment, to be taken up and cast down on a whim," wrote one of our correspondents this week, former museum curator Jane Evans.

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"Weston cannot afford to lose this part of our children's birthright."

And it's gratifying to see that recognised in the council's new pledge, and the words of Cllr Bryant: "It is essential that we keep hold of North Somerset's culture."

We know that the people of Weston will be looking on with great excitement to see this future - enriching our past - unfold.

CONSOLIDATING operations seems to have become a bit of a trend - North Somerset Council is doing it by moving hundreds of staff to a new Clevedon office block, and now the police are at it too.

Weston is to lose its custody suite, and its Bournville-based road unit, with both set to be swallowed up by a new district hub in Bridgwater.

The upshot of this is that the greater efficiency offered by this specialist base will free up officers' time to spend more hours on other police work.

And at a time when the police are preparing for a significant hike in their council tax precept, it's encouraging to see steps being taken towards what we all want to see: Police out on the beat, keeping our streets and communities safe.

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