Where were the councillors?
WHAT A missed opportunity. What sheer arrogance. What am I talking about? On Wednesday last week the town council's planning committee heard an application from North Somerset Council for the proposed sea wall. The meeting was attended by members of the
WHAT A missed opportunity. What sheer arrogance. What am I talking about? On Wednesday last week the town council's planning committee heard an application from North Somerset Council for the proposed sea wall. The meeting was attended by members of the public, who presented their objections to the proposed plan and this was supported by the members of the town council's planning committee, who sent it back to North Somerset with their objections.Also in attendance were Cllr M Kellaway-Marriott, a town councillor and Cllr M Bell, who sits on both North Somerset and the town council. No other town or North Somerset councillor came along to hear the debate, even though many of them have wards that abut onto the seafront.Last Thursday night some 227 people turned up at the Winter Gardens to hear and take part in the discussion on the Tropicana. One North Somerset councillor turned up and left after 10 minutes, three town councillors stayed for the whole meeting.What a wonderful opportunity for 61 North Somerset councillors and 31 town councillors to hear what the real people want for the town. Over 35 people spoke from the floor; there was no political comment, rumoured as the reason for non-attendance by the district councillors. The councillors were all invited, and on that evening there were no other meetings scheduled.The result of the meeting was to write to North Somerset Council with the results of the proposals taken on that night. No parish poll or referendum was called for, as suggested might be, as we have no intention to put any cost on the town council or the people of North Somerset.On Saturday, Barcode hosted a community service volunteers' day. The event supported by the young people of the town, so often maligned, was attended by our MP, John Penrose, one town councillor, and the mayor, and the chairman of North Somerset Council. Several officers of North Somerset and other agencies did attend, as did many members of the public. Where were the councillors? I think it is time we started to ask them what they are doing for us. Ask them when they last attended a committee meeting, or in fact a full council meeting. You might be surprised at the answer you get. Ask them when they had the opportunity to speak to so many people about things that affect their lives. North Somerset in particular and the town need a new approach.DAVID J EVANS Summer Lane ward councillor