Putting Weston 'on the map'

IT'S hard to believe it's been 12 months since Weston's Grand Pier pavilion was claimed by fire. Time has moved quickly – and thankfully, so have the pier owners.

IT'S hard to believe it's been 12 months since Weston's Grand Pier pavilion was claimed by fire.

Time has moved quickly - and thankfully, so have the pier owners.

Ambitious plans have been drawn up, attractions sourced worldwide, planning approval secured, and rebuilding work is already underway.

Michelle Michael, who co-owns the landmark with brother Kerry, told the Mercury this week their blueprint is designed to 'put Weston on the map'.


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"It will kick-start the regeneration of the town - Weston looks shabby at the moment," Michelle said this week.

Indeed it does. Yet the Michael have demonstrated what can be achieved through vision, determination and direction.

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What a pity for Weston that other key regeneration projects have not been handled with the same alacrity and clarity of purpose.

"WE are caring for the elderly for the equivalent price of a pint of lager" - that's the claim of a nursing home boss locked in a cash battle with North Somerset Council.

As chairman of the regional branch of the Care Homes Association, Gordon Butcher is representing the views of 18 homes pushing the council for a rise in funding for local authority residents.

The council maintains it already provides generous settlements - and the two sides are in deadlock.

"If it continues then some of the homes will have problems - significant financial problems," says Mr Butcher, who goes on to warn of a 'severe risk' to the future welfare of more than 500 vulnerable, elderly people.

The council's admission that it is 'not actively promoting' these 18 homes is tantamount to 'blacklisting', according to Mr Butcher - and to the public, that is perhaps the most worrying aspect.

Placing a loved one into care will be the toughest decision many of us will ever face - we deserve to have comprehensive information available to ensure we make the best choice.

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