Council to take women's advice on 'millennium-old' safety concerns

North Somerset Councillor Mark Canniford.Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Cllr Canniford stated that any task force to support residents' safety will be community-led. - Credit: Archant

North Somerset Council will create a community-led task force to ease safety concerns raised by Weston women.

Following the death of Sarah Everard, the Grand Pier declared that its 24-hour security team are on-hand for anyone who may need their help - and the council hopes other town centre businesses will follow suit.

The council's executive member for community safety and mayor of Weston, councillor Mark Canniford, has expressed his gratitude to the pier for its initiative and confirmed work will begin on the council's side to ensure people's safety.

Big Lamp Corner.

Weston residents' safety concerns have been raised following the death of Sarah Everard. - Credit: Archant

Cllr Canniford said: "We are setting up a task force and will be contacting women's groups and collecting data.

"This is a millennium-old problem and the council need it to be led by the community and, ultimately, led by women as men have not suffered in the same way with these issues. These projects will aim to bring change."

The Grand Pier's head of operations confirmed that staff were deeply affected by recent events and offered its facilities to anyone who feels vulnerable in the town.

Remy Haudecoeur said: "At the pier, we always try to help and support the community.

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"We have all been very affected by Sarah Everard's story and thought about what we could do to help prevent this from happening again to anyone feeling frightened or vulnerable.

"As we have 24-hour security on the pier, we thought anyone in danger could be offered a safe place to wait for a friend, family member or a taxi."

Weston Grand Pier will shine pink in October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Grand Pier's security team is available for anyone feeling unsafe at night. - Credit: Weston Grand Pier

Pier bosses hope other businesses will follow suit.

Remy added: "We hope that other businesses in the town centre will also join us to offer a safe place.

"We believe little things like this can help our community. No one should feel insecure at night when walking home."

The council is still in the process of developing its plan and more details will be available in the future.

Anyone needing to contact the Grand Pier's security team can find a number they can call on the attraction's gates.