Tropicana vote - where was your councillor?
'MY CAR was in the garage,' 'it doesn't affect people in my ward' and 'I was knackered'. These are just some of the reasons North Somerset councillors have given for
'MY CAR was in the garage,' 'it doesn't affect people in my ward' and 'I was knackered'. These are just some of the reasons North Somerset councillors have given for failing to vote at an important meeting to decide the fate of Weston's Tropicana.North Somerset councillors agreed by 26 votes to 18 to go ahead and sign an agreement with bosses at Henry Boot Developments to allow them to spend £25million redeveloping the derelict seafront site. But seven councillors left before the vote was taken at the meeting on January 16, six never turned up at all and seven abstained from voting on the future of the development, which will be called Lifestation@Tropicana.The meeting started at 6pm and did not finish until about 11.15pm, with the vote being taken at the very end.The Weston & Somerset has received several letters from angry residents this week asking why councillors decided not to vote yes or no. So reporters Charlotte Richardson and Gavin Cox decided to contact councillors to find out why.Who abstained?* Peter Burden, chairman of North Somerset Council's planning and regulatory committee and councillor for Backwell, said: "I think this is a complicated issue but it is not in my ward and does not affect people in my ward."* Ann Harley, councillor for Banwell and Winscombe, said: "I wanted the decision to be deferred. If there is going to be a swimming pool there I think it should go to the town council."* Tony Lake, councillor for Banwell and Winscombe, said: " I felt the decision should be made by the council members for central Weston."* Hugh Parsons, councillor for Banwell and Winscombe, said: "I am not really a Weston councillor and I felt it was for central Weston councillors to decide. I am not sure if this is the right scheme for Weston."* Ian Peddlesden, councillor for Hutton and Locking, said: "An amendment to the agreement to delay the signing of agreement for two weeks to make further inquiries into legal aspects of the Tropicana was advisable. Because the amendment was refused I felt I had to abstain from the vote." * David Jolley, councillor for Portishead, said: "I felt it was a big issue for the residents of Weston and the decision should be down to them."* Roz Willis, North Somerset Council chairman and councillor for Milton and Old Worle, said: Councillor Roz Willis returned a no vote. As she was chairman at the meeting she may have needed to use a casting vote.Who left before the vote was taken?* Peter Bryant, councillor for Clarence and Uphill, said: "I have been advised by a solicitor that my house is too close to the Tropicana for me to be able to vote."* Mari Owens, councillor for Weston South, said: When the Weston & Somerset Mercury contacted Councillor Owens she said she had voted in favour of the Tropicana. Later she said: "I got confused as it was the sea wall I voted for."My husband had to go to work and I have a 14-year-old who I did not want to leave alone. If I had been there I would have voted in favour of it."* Ron Moon, councillor for North Worle, said: "Unfortunately I had a bad back and had to leave early as I was in a lot of pain."* George Morris, councillor for Clevedon, said: "I left because, quite frankly, it is a Weston matter and I live in Clevedon. Plus, I think it would be better to leave it as a hole in the ground."* Michael Nobes, councillor for Clevedon, said: "I was exhausted and I left at 11pm. My view is that if you are going to have a vote about the Tropicana why the hell were we debating it at that time? I had done a day's work. By 10pm I was knackered."* James Tonkin, councillor for Nailsea, said: "I had to be in work at 7am the next day. I had a very early start with a very technical job. Had I been there I would have voted in favour of signing the agreement."* Nan Kirsen, councillor for Easton-in-Gordano, said: "Although I'm a district councillors I thought it was essentially a decision for Weston councillors. Had I been there I would have abstained."Who did not turn up at all?* Andrew Wright, councillor for South Worle, said: "I had a prior engagement and couldn't be in two places at once."* Sally Tabrett, councillor for South Worle, said: "I couldn't attend because I was ill. I would've decided which way to vote based on information given on the night."* Ian Bates, councillor for Clevedon, said: "My car was in the garage and I did not have any transport." * Jon Gething, councillor for Portishead and North Weston, said: "I have a back problem and can't sit for long."* John Norton-Sealey, councillor for Clevedon, said: "I did not attend due to illness. I would have voted against it as it is not certain that what is being offered is providing the people of Weston with what is needed or wanted."* Chanel Stevens, councillor for Clevedon, said: "I could not attend as I was at a Portishead Railway Group meeting."Who voted yes?Elfan Ap Rees, Ian Baker, Bob Bateman, Jeremy Blatchford, Astra Brand, John Clark, Andy Cole, Alan Cotton, Isabel Cummings, Colin Golland, Jenny Gosden, Wendy Griggs, Alan Hockridge, Mike Johnstone, Peter Kehoe, Derek Kraft, Muriel Kraft, Tom Leimdorfer, Ian Parker, Ian Porter, Richard Skinner, Bob Steadman, Deborah Yamanaka.Who voted no?Nigel Ashton, Felicity Baker, Mike Bell, Mark Canniford, Robert Coleman, Bob Cook, Francis Pester, John Crockford-Hawley, Robert Payne, Howard Roberts, Michael Roe, David Shopland, Audrey Telling, Arthur Terry, Richard Tucker, Barry Walters, Clive Webb, Liz Wells.