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Nailsea Town Council

In his letter to the North Somerset Times this week, R Thorne, quite rightly points out that I stood for council twice and resigned twice and I hold my hands up for that. They also said I did very little before throwing my toys out of my pram and leaving.

I could defend myself and point out things I led like the networking event, cctv upgrade, the campaign for better roads, my social media reports, or my community work but ultimately as an individual I don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and R Thorne is entitled to their opinion.

It’s impossible for one person to change the Town Council. It can only be done as a community and only if the majority feel that a change is needed.

So, I ask R Thorne and every other Nailsea Resident this question:

Are you happy with the way that your Town Council operates and how it invests the £565,000 that residents pay in Council Tax every year?

If the answer is yes than fine, if it’s no then vote for change but if the answer is, “I don’t know enough to make a decision” then go along to some meetings and decide for yourself before the election next year.

There’s one tonight at the Tithe Barn and most Wednesdays starting at 7.30pm.

I’ve lived in Nailsea for over 10 years and during that time there has been no real investment and North Somerset openly say our Infrastructure is in ‘managed decline’.

The Town Council with millions in the bank, nearly £300k in staff costs each year and 20 councillors should be our first, loudest and strongest voice when it comes to demanding change from the likes of North Somerset.

Do you hear their voice?

Sadly, I don’t have it in me to keep quiet so feel free to use the block button if you are fed up hearing me rant!!!

James Steel

former Nailsea town councillor

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COMMENT BY NAILSEA PEOPLE

 

In early 1980s the then Clevedon Mercury ran a front page headline which said APATHY RULES IN NAILSEA.
Most of the town councillors had resigned and no one wanted to stand for election.
A new young(er) council was eventually elected and it was very green - the clerk ran rings around us.
Get the feeling of deja vu?
Nailsea Town Council agendas and minutes are published here https://www.nailseatowncouncil.gov.uk/ and all correspondence except for those deemed commercially sensitive are a matter of public record and available to read.
It is annoying that the half million annual budget gets mostly spent on staff salaries and we are told the cost of setting up No65 High Street nears £1m.
However there are statutory (legal) requirements the council has to fulfill with limited powers so it is almost impossible for it to please everyone.
Please before you complain check who is responsible for what because social media is full of groans about things which the town council has no jurisdiction.
Some councillors aren’t elected but ‘chosen’ by cooption which flies in the face of democracy but unlike district councillors they are all unpaid volunteers.
Meetings are time consuming and so-so boring and for councillors with a full-time job it is taxing on their time.
Hence the majority of councillors are retired people.
Unfortunately some councillors like the sound of their own voices, some come to meetings unprepared but from our observations most are good, honest, well-meaning people.
Perhaps in a modern world many are not as efficient or effective as we may like but we believe the majority try hard and have devoted decades to the town.
However it is galling when councillors are only there to promote their own business/hobby horse/politics and this does happen.
Mostly they do have the good of everyone at heart although a lot of business is done in the pub after meetings, we are reliable told.
T’was ever thus.
None of this would be of particular concern if they didn’t have £4m of our money (and it is our money) to spend…

COMMENT ON NAILSEA FORUM

 

Any of us on this forum over the past year would have to have had their head in the sand to have avoided the discussions surrounding our town council.

It is a very sad indictment indeed that the one person who has been vocal about challenging them is now subjected to personal attacks in the local press (North Somerset Times, why would you publish a letter like that, I do hope you are going to offer James the right of reply?)

Regardless of whether we all agree it is clear that James is challenging some very set and well established ways of working that don't progress projects that matter to our town.

That's a good thing, right? Engaging with us on here, keeping us all updated, encouraging us to attend council meetings and trying to get us engaged.

Why is it like this though?

  • We haven't helped matters. The average turnout over our 5 wards in the 2019 elections was 40.2%

  • 60% of us didn't vote.

  • 60% percent of us didn't engage with the process.

Why? Town Councils have long been stigmatised as being the joyful playground for the older retiree (remember the furore created by the wonderful Jackie Weaver?

That may or may not be reflective of our town council, and they are also giving up their own time to benefit us, which is laudable.

That said, what's becoming increasingly clear is that we need some "fresh blood" on our town council.

Some progressive, decisive councillors who are willing to push projects to completion.

One person isn't going to cut it despite their very, very best efforts.

It takes more of us.

If enough of us were willing, we could completely refresh our town council at the next election. There are 8,700 people in this group. The winner of the Golden Valley ward elections in 2019 won with 1200 votes.

Who's in?

And if you're not in, could you be persuaded to vote?

We all have a chance to make this better.

Sarah Davies published on social media

Scouts May fair cancellation 2022

Dear Nailsea People readers, there are various suggestions circulating on social media speculating on the reasons May fair has been cancelled this year. 

This statement is to clarify the specific reasons for the cancellation.

2nd Nailsea Scouts did not cancel may fair without very good reason. 

We realise how important this event is to our local community, none more so than this year after two years of lockdown.

The whole community needed a lift and we were looking forward to getting back to running the event. 

The local charities and community organisations that we offer free space to will also regretfully lose out.

However, every year the administrative burden of running the event gets bigger, taking up many hours of precious volunteer time.

This year the new application procedure and licencing restrictions placed upon the organisers by North Somerset Council officials requiring all sellers to hold a street trading licence at £63 each, made the car boot sale financially unviable and the new application process proved insurmountable given the short time available before the application deadline. 

We are as disappointed as the rest of our community that we cannot run the event as usual. 

Hopefully we might be able to negotiate workable arrangements with NSC for next year.

As these negotiations are on-going, meanwhile rumours and speculation are not helpful in securing the future of Nailsea May Fair.

The fairground will be running as usual, please go along and enjoy that, we are very grateful to the Rogers Funfair for the generous support they have given 2nd Nailsea Scouts over the many years we have run this joint event.

2nd Nailsea Scouts will be running a scaled back event at its HQ in Hannah More Road on the bank holiday Monday, with most of the usual attractions but unfortunately without a car boot sale. 

Please come along and support that, we did our utmost to run the event again this year for the benefit of our community but were presented with impossible obstacles to overcome.  The decision to cancel our normal event was taken with the deepest regret.

Rich Simmons

chairman 

2nd Nailsea Scout Group

Hannah More Road HQ

Nailsea

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