Bridgwater Town Council Forward Plan 2015-16

Bridgwater Forward Plan. Deputy Leader Cllr Kathy Pearce, Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Leigh Redman, Leader of Council Cllr Brian Smedley
Bridgwater Forward Plan. Deputy Leader Cllr Kathy Pearce, Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Leigh Redman, Leader of Council Cllr Brian Smedley

Bridgwater Town Council will operate a Forward Plan (adopted at it’s meeting of 11.6.2015) which reviews some of the council’s structures, increases opportunities for public engagement and opens the door for wider consultation.

1. More Leisure & Recreation amenities, Full and genuine consultation with local people for recreational and leisure development on Northgate whilst preserving the green space. Preserve Bridgwater’s heritage, work with key partner groups, support ‘Community right to bid’. The Town Council will set up Community Forums on issues such as transport, planning and new major projects as and when they arise so we can strengthen those links and harness the experience and knowledge of local people.

ACTION 1.1;- Our plan for ‘Full Consultation’ will be launched by setting up a series of Community Forums, opening the Town Hall doors to the people of Bridgwater and welcoming ideas, initiative and open discussion.

ACTION 1.2 The first tentative step towards this will be the establishment of a Town Development Forum as a forum for community consultation.

ACTION 1.3 The TDF should be delegate based from interested organisations (who wish to participate and have something useful to contribute) – this to be determined by the Town Council.

ACTION 1.4 The TDF should specifically – but not exclusively – focus initially on proposals for the Northgate site.

Preserving the town's heritage whilst planning for the future
Preserving the town’s heritage whilst planning for the future

ACTION 1.5 The Forum should consist of Town Council members (any), Civic Society, Canal & Waterways project, Military Boats, Bridgwater Forward, Senior Citizens Forum, Trades Council , Churches (via ecumenical body), Carnival clubs (through central ctte), Traders (through relevant body), Disabled users groups, youth groups, residents groups. 2 delegates per group.

ACTION 1.6 Meetings should be for consultation, ideas, discussions and consensus with recommendations to Town Council for approval or amendment.

ACTION 1.7 Other Forums can also set up specific working parties as needed. The benefit of this approach not only involves the community but makes use of the community to supplement our minimal existing work force. We should also encourage attendance and participation of relevant SDC,SCC etc officers to help information exchange.

Lead Member;- Cllr Smedley.

Target;- Launched during June-August 2015 –First report to BTC meeting of 6 Aug 2015 and thereafter to each BTC meeting as business requires.

Promoting the art's and cultural activities of the town
Promoting the art’s and cultural activities of the town

2. More amenities to cater for an increasing population whilst maintaining support for existing centres of culture such as the Art Centre and to help bring about new sports facilities such as the Kingsdown Pavilion.

ACTION 2.1;- Our representatives on existing outside bodies need to monitor and reportback whilst new projects need to have BTC reps on their management bodies.
3. Funding our neighbourhood communities

ACTION 3.1 ;- We will maintain core funding for Bridgwater’s community centres –Sydenham CC, Victoria Park CC, Hamp Community Association, and maintain BTC reps on management boards

Core funding for the established communities around the town
Core funding for the established communities around the town

ACTION 3.2;- We will promote a system of ward grants to support community development such as play schemes, luncheon clubs, the arts, cultural and educational links, public halls and a clean natural environment. Publicise and urge the take-up of these. Ward Grants will continue to be based on pre 2015 ward boundaries at £1,000 per ward x 7=£7,000 per annum

4. Developing Youth Provision

ACTION 4.1;- Retain and develop youth provision in the town such as the Rollercoaster & multi-use games areas, outdoor gyms, play equipment.

ACTION 4.2 Continue to campaign with young people to provide NEW youth facilities – like the town skateparks which were achieved through organising amongst the user group and working with the providers and funders.

Lead Member;- Cllr Diogo Rodrigues will be the Town Council’s spokesperson for youth

Target;- To take a special interest , monitor, report back, identify resources and build a Youth Forum. Initial report by BTC meeting of 29 October 2015

5. Revitalising the Town Centre – No more edge of town supermarkets. This will be maintained as Town Council policy. We will consistently oppose planning decisions that degenerate our town centre whilst supporting decisions that retain key town centre attractions. We will support policies that clean up the streetscape, that promote the celebration mile and will work with local traders to achieve this. We will support priority housing development on brownfield sites. We will support and promote policies that protect our parks and green spaces

Protect and enhance the Town Centre
Protect and enhance the Town Centre

ACTION 5.1- Consistency at planning meetings with a focus on the Town Centre

ACTION 5.2 A more hands on and accountable approach to town centre management building on the proactive work of the Town Team engaging with traders and regularly reporting back to Full Council.

Lead Member ;-Cllr Dave Loveridge

Target;- To monitor the work of the Town Team and report back to BTC as and when appropriate.

ACTION 5.3 Building a wider representation across the Town Centre through an enhanced Town Team which should include a network of street representatives

ACTION 5.4 The promotion of Bridgwater, through the town guide, town app ,web, town centre events-ie snowflakes and shopping, fireworks, street markets etc with opportunities for wider input.

ACTION 5.5;- To develop a Town Transport Forum as a key consultation and campaigning body.

Lead Member ;-Cllr Brian Smedley

Target;- Identify and involve user groups on a delegate basis such as ‘Rail users, Cyclists, Motorists, Disabled groups, pedestrians, Relevant Unions, Residents Parking Scheme Champions with a feasibility report by BTC meeting of 24th September 2015

6. Benefitting from Hinkley C. We will strive to secure maximum Community Impact Mitigation funding for Bridgwater.

Getting something back into the community as a result of the Hinkley development
Getting something back into the community as a result of the Hinkley development

ACTION 6.1 ;- A Hinkley Impact Working Party needs to exist to monitor developments and to proactively seek projects that could achieve mitigation funding. This could work in conjunction with the SDC mitigation team .

Lead Member;- Cllr Leigh Redman will be spokesperson for all things Hinkley

Target;- To take a special interest in all related bodies , monitor and report back to each BTC meeting as appropriate.

7. High skilled well paid employment .To ‘promote’ the need for training opportunities , apprenticeships, well paid high skilled employment and local labour force agreements in the Bridgwater area.

Bringing quality jobs and training opportunities back to the town
Bringing quality jobs and training opportunities back to the town

Lead Member ;- Cllr Mick Lerry

Target;- Our Spokesperson for Employment & Training should take a special interest in all matters relating to employment and training, to work in conjunction with the SDC Economic development team and the local Trades Union movement, through the Trades Council and to monitor and report back as and when appropriate.


The Mayor of Bridgwater (2015-16 Leigh Redman) and Deputy Mayor (2015-16 Alec Glassford) will continue to operate as traditionally expected with a largely ceremonial role. The Mayor will control his own budget and operate his diary in co-operation with the Mayor’s Secretary.

Mayor’s office;- Should the Mayor wish to form a support group to assist in looking at the roles and functions of office he may draw together a group of members and/or officers to achieve this with any report to be presented to BTC meeting of 14 Jan 2016 in preparation for the following Mayors election.


Co-operating for the benefit of the Town
Co-operating for the benefit of the Town

The Political Structure of the Town Council be reflected by the recognised roles of Town Council Leader & Deputy Leader.

Town Council Leadership;- For 2015-16 Brian Smedley will be Town Council Leader & Kathy Pearce Deputy Town Council Leader with a brief to oversee the implementation and running of the Forward Plan

The Town Council will be administered by a workforce of Alan Hurford (Town Clerk), Judi Fisher (Mayor’s Secretary and PA to the Town Clerk) plus Gerry Steadman as Town Hall Steward and 2 part-time cleaners.

Admin & Buildings support;- The overview of staff and premises become a brief of the Town Hall Working Party under the guidance of the elected Chair.

Existing Town Council Committees .

There are currently 3 standing committees of the Town Council – Finance, Planning and Museum. These should continue to operate as currently.

FINANCE;-(8) J Turner (ch), K Pearce (Dep) , B Smedley, A Moore, A Glassford,S Wilson, M Lerry + 1 vacancy

MUSEUM;- (4) D Loveridge (ch), M Brown, L Leavy, D Rodrigues

PLANNING;-(7) M Lerry(ch), B Smedley (Dep) M Brown, P Morley, L Leavy, L Redman, P Johnstone


Representation on outside bodies across the town
Representation on outside bodies across the town

All outside bodies need to be relevant and accountable. This means they need to report back decisions either to the relevant committee, forum or to Full Council. We should seek to group these outside bodies into Forum themed groups and appoint key spokespeople/facilitators where practical.

• FINANCIAL & STATUTORY BODIES(need to report to Finance ctte or Full Council as appropriate)
• Blake and Gilbert charity (5) JOHN TURNER & GRAHAM GRANTER ( 4 years from 2015)- Mrs Briscombe, Ms Pearce Mr Taylor (proposed from 2012)
• Brent Marshall & Mansfield Charity (5) LIZ LEAVY & GRAHAM GRANTER (4 years from 2015) Mrs Briscombe, Cllr Loveridge Cllr Turner (proposed from 2012)
• Tamlin Charity (4) life term Mayor & Dep Mayor + Adrian Moore & Ken Richards
• Towell Charity (2) life term ms Pearce & mr Smeed
• Bridgwater Memorial Homes (1) ADRIAN MOORE
• Friends of Wembdon road cemetry(1) Mayor as President
• SDC standards ctte Town & Parish member (1)PAT MORLEY (nominated)
• BTC grievance & Disciplinary panel(report to BTC) (5) Mayor + 4 MICK LERRY,ADRIAN MOORE,JOHN TURNER, BRIAN SMEDLEY
• BTC Appeals panel (report to BTC) (3) Dep Mayor +2 GRAHAM GRANTER,PAT MORLEY
• Cheque Signatories GRANTER,LOVERIDGE,TURNER, REDMAN, Town clerk
• Internal auditor Mrs Geri O Loughlin


Friendship links with far off places
Friendship links with far off places

• Bridgwater Homberg & Bridgwater Marsa (1) Mayor as president
• Bridgwater la Ciotat (1) Liz Leavy
• Bridgwater Czech/Slovak (1)Mick Lerry
• Bridgwater Priverno (1) Diogo Rodrigues
• ‘Bridgwater Town Twinning Forum’ Mayor as Chairman, Cllr Brian Smedley as Twinning secretary (non voting) & each link nominating a delegate currently as below
• France-Keith Giles Germany- Ros Holman Czech-Tim Mander Malta-Pat Morgan Italy-Hilary Bruce
• Twin Towns should be limited for the moment to the current 5 above. Sarvar (Hungary) should revert to a Bridgwater International remit with BTC (Hungary) funding going instead to support the annual Town Twinning Conference

TOWN DEVELOPMENT & HERITAGE (Town Development Forum)

Respecting the town's heritage
Respecting the town’s heritage

• Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce & Trade DAVE LOVERIDGE
• Bridgwater Heritage Regeneration Partnership (1)LEIGH REDMAN (+ Dave Loveridge as deputy)

• Wyndham Lecture trust for the schools of Bridgwater (1)MICK LERRY
• Bridgwater Arts Centre (observer) (1)MOIRA BROWN
• MUSEUM;- (4) DLoveridge (ch), MBrown, LLeavy, DRodrigues
• Carnival Ctte;- (1) Mayor of Bridgwater


Focus on transport
Focus on transport

• Bridgwater Transport Strategy review and connect 3 (when est) (1)ADRIAN MOORE
• EDF/HPC Transport Forum Adrian Moore

• Hinkley Point (ex liaison ctte) site stakeholder group (1)LEIGH REDMAN (+sub MICK LERRY)
• EDF energy Working Party ADRIAN MOORE,LEIGH REDMAN.MOIRA BROWN, SOIBHAN WILSON +Town clerk+ 1 vacancy
• National Grid HPC Connection Project South Local Community Forum – LEIGH REDMAN
• EDF/HPC Community Forum Adrian Moore

• Meads Steering Group;- LIZ LEAVY
• Inland Waterways Association;- KATHY PEARCE


Community development
Community development

• Hamp Community Association (1)JOHN TURNER
• Cluster group (SDC)(4)JOHN TURNER PAT MORLEY + Town clerk . This group should add Liz Leavy, Diogo Rodrigues, Siobhan Wilson, Peter Johnstone (NB AM as Chair)
• Sydenham 1 ;- DIOGO RODRIGUES
• Victoria Park CC ;- Mick Lerry
• Sedgemoor Youth Forum (if invited) Diogo Rodrigues
• Kingsdown pavilion Leigh Redman
• Youth services working group (South Sydenham)-Dave Loveridge, Leigh Redman, Diogo Rodrigues, Alex Glassford + Town Clerk

Co-operation with Sedgemoor District Council

Working with partners to achieve the things we all need
Working with partners to achieve the things we all need


The Town Council should establish a Town/District Liaison body to focus on 5 key priorities for the civic year and develop a mutual works programme to achieve these.


The Liaison Panel should consist of BTC Leader, BTC Deputy Leader, BTC Town Clerk, SDC Leader and SDC Corporate Director

BTC’s 5 identified priorities for 2015-16 are;-
1. Northgate & Town Development Forum
2. Bridgwater Town Centre
3. The Meads project & Community Green spaces
4. Hinkley Point + Mitigation funding for Bridgwater
5. Employment, training & Local Labour agreements

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