Buy-out bid for car park

DETERMINED councillors who are fighting to save an Axbridge car park will hold an emergency meeting to put together their own rescue plan to buy it.

DETERMINED councillors who are fighting to save an Axbridge car park will hold an emergency meeting to put together their own rescue plan to buy it.

The desperate measure comes after the owners of the Meadow Street facility, Sedgemoor District Council, revealed it would sell off assets to help plug a £1.8million funding gap.

Parking in Axbridge is such a problem that the town council decided to call the urgent meeting to save the car park.

On Wednesday evening, councillors will meet behind closed doors to discuss details of the bid to buy it, to send to the district council.


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Mayor Mike Taylor said: "We have a very short timetable and need to put together a bid now. It will be held in private as contract terms will be discussed.

"However, we will be involving the residents as much as possible and will hold a public consultation after we have worked out the details.

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"The bid can be withdrawn at any time and a public meeting will be held before we commit ourselves.

"Sedgemoor could still say 'no' or it could be that our bid is a long way out, so we might need to revise it.

"We will get approval from the town before we go ahead."

Residents in Axbridge are fighting to save the car park and the town's action group handed a 350-name petition to Sedgemoor and urged people to write letters as well.

As the town dates back to medieval times, roads are narrow and many houses do not have garages or driveways, and depend on the car park as a safe place to leave their vehicles overnight.

* The district council asked for expressions of interest for the car park at the end of January and closed the invitation earlier this month. It refused to reveal how many interested parties had contacted it.

Several district councillors have expressed their disappointment that there has not been more public consultation on the sell-off of Axbridge car park and facilities in Highbridge and Bridgwater and the topic is now set to be discussed at an executive meeting in a few weeks.

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