Time to fight for Weston
SOME missed meetings, others got behind with paperwork, and most don't know the details – so what exactly is the point of our Weston councillors?
SOME missed meetings, others got behind with paperwork, and most don't know the details - so what exactly is the point of our Weston councillors?
North Somerset Council - Weston's largest employer - plans to move hundreds of jobs out of the town, and shift them to a �16million site in Clevedon.
Let's put aside the obvious question about how a council which claims to be so hard-up it's closing libraries and offloading facilities like the Playhouse and museum can find the money to make this happen.
Instead, let's ask how an authority entrusted with safeguarding Weston's future prosperity can justify withdrawing this huge workforce from the town - and what Weston's councillors doing about it?
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Altogether, the closure of a number of council buildings is likely to see 762 people forced north to Clevedon.
The blow to Weston's economy would be enormous.
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This idea is the brainchild of the council's seven-strong Conservative executive. However, only one of this group - Cllr Peter Bryant - is based in Weston.
And where is he at this crucial time, when the town needs him to fight for its future? On holiday, apparently.
Fear not, though, for there are 17 other Weston-based Conservatives to speak up for the town. No doubt they'll stand up to their party bosses and oppose this move - won't they?
In the majority of cases, it seems unlikely. When contacted by the Mercury, most told us they didn't know the details of the proposal, or had missed meetings, or even intended to back it. Two didn't even return our calls.
Which begs the question - what did we elect them for? So they can sit on the periphery of decision-making, raising their hands when told to, and then trot home (from the meetings they do actually attend) with their �8,000-plus allowance?
Now, arguably more than ever before, Weston needs a voice. It needs someone to fight this potentially-disastrous move.
We urge those 18 councillors to set aside their party allegiance, and remember their duty to their electorate.
Weston, already struggling through the recession, cannot afford to lose these jobs.
The power to save them lies with these 18 people.
Let's hope they find the time to catch up on their paperwork, go to some meetings and earn their money - by saving Weston from a catastrophic loss.