Don't rush into Clevedon move, council urged

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

THE fate of hundreds of Weston council jobs is to be decided at the Town Hall tonight (Thurs).

THE fate of hundreds of Weston council jobs is to be decided at the Town Hall tonight (Thurs).

But with the number of jobs being taken to Clevedon still unannounced, town figures are backing the Mercury's call for North Somerset Council not to rush.

A meeting of all 61 councillors is set to vote on the resolution to start the £14.6million purchase of the former Clerical Medical building, while worries in Weston are still growing.

Weston Town Centre partnership chairman John Brentnal said: "It's a mystery to me that they are suggesting spending a lot of money, but the decision will be made in advance of who is going to work there.

"They ought to defer the decision until they know how many staff will move.

"I can't see why the council could not get an agreement to have the building held for six months."

Weston Chamber of Trade and Commerce president Chris Knight questioned why the council would encourage developments such as Weston Gateway and Dolphin Square but move its own workers away from the town.

He said: "If the major employer in the town is looking to move away and that employer is the council, then what message does that send to anybody considering moving here?

"The decision must be delayed."

Grand Pier owner Kerry Michael said the council should not go against its core strategy to bring more jobs to Weston.

He said: "There is no rush.

"They need to produce a report with exactly who is going to move, because to spend the money saying they don't know who is going or what is going is ridiculous.

"Whatever happens, jobs should not be leaving the town."

Town centre traders have voiced concerns that lunchtime shoppers would be taken away from Weston if the move goes ahead.

Claire Morris, owner of Coco Browns cafe, on Big Lamp Corner, said: "It would be a big blow for us as we get a lot of council workers in.

"I would urge the councillors to think about how hard it has been for Weston over the past two years and think again.

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