Trop poll legal wrangle

CONFUSION reigns over whether there will be a costly poll on the Tropicana in Weston. Hundreds of residents turned up for a meeting last week to try to influence the future of the crumbling pool

CONFUSION reigns over whether there will be a costly poll on the Tropicana in Weston.Hundreds of residents turned up for a meeting last week to try to influence the future of the crumbling pool.But after rousing speeches, organisers were peppered with questions as they tried to conduct a vote on five proposals.In the end, the most popular vote went to a last minute proposal from the floor not to allow any residential development on the site.All but a handful of the 232 people there also voted for a motion calling on pool owner North Somerset Council to hand it to a public trust.Most people voted against the other three proposals, to demolish the pool, keep redevelopment in private hands with Henry Boot or have the council reopen it.Meeting chairman, Richard Whittington, handed North Somerset a letter with the results and calling for 'a poll'. But council officers and even a meeting organiser have been left scratching their heads about what the poll, if it goes ahead, will be on and if the meeting was conducted properly.Electoral services manager Mike Jones said: "We need clarification, particularly on what is the question to be asked in the poll."The legislation and rules require that certain criteria are met in terms of the calling of a parish meeting, the numbers present and the numbers voting. We will want to satisfy ourselves that we have a valid claim for a poll."Until we have had a chance to speak to Richard Whittington with regard to the exact question, we can't move forward."Weston Town Council will have to bear the £20,000 cost of the poll. Its clerk Linda Larter said: "I'm not clear on what question will be put before the public. I assume all five motions will be put forward."A meeting to hammer out the issue was due to take place between poll activists and North Somerset Council solicitors as the Weston & Somerset Mercury went to press.


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