Bell Calls On Boris To Block Beach Visitors: Don't Visit Weston During Lockdown

Cllr Mike Bell, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group in North Somerset Council, has led calls to the Government and Parliamentarians to limit outdoor travel limits for outdoor exercise under the eased lockdown rules announced this week.We don't want visitors to come to North Somerset,” said Bell, the Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council, who commented on the need “to keep our open spaces for local residents only for the time being to keep our area safe.”

Under government rules, people can travel unlimited distances for outdoor exercise, sunbathing, picnics and sport as long as they stay in their household group and practice social distancing. This means that many people may choose to hit the beaches and open spaces of North Somerset.

Cllr Bell, who is the Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care added: “we'd like the government to clarify the rules and limit distances that people can travel and give police the power to enforce this. We all want to ease the lockdown and get our lives and economy back to normal, but it has to be done in a phased way and not risk a dash to the seaside or tourist areas.”

Cllr Bell’s comments followed the well-publicised Don’t Visit Weston Campaign launched by Tourism bosses in North Somerset Council. A Council Spokesperson stated: “We’re asking would be visitors to please stay away. Don’t visit North Somerset. Not yet. Not at the moment. We don’t wish you were here and we’re not open for visitors. Our priority and our main concern is protecting the health and wellbeing of our local communities.”

Mayor of Weston, Mark Canniford, amplified these messages, commenting: “We will be open again soon and look forward to seeing our visitors then but for now, stay away and stay safe”

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Council back new approach to Local Plan

North Somerset Council needs to produce a new Local Plan as the existing document expires in 2023. Attempts by the previous administration on the council to agree a Joint Spatial Plan with other West of England authorities collapsed last year due to problems with the details that were highlighted by planning inspectors.

Local Plans are about the big strategic decisions on planning for the future of communities over a 15-year landscape. They also spell out how housing development is to be achieved and where and help prevent a ‘free-for-all’ by housing developers that would occur if there was no Local Plan.

The government has imposed a target on North Somerset of building an extra 15,500 houses in the period 2023-38 over and above the current commitments of 5,035 houses - so an extra 20,535 houses in total.

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Council Coronavirus Update: Monday 27 April 2020

North Somerset Council have issued an update on key Coronavirus information in their weekly Coronavirus update:
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Developer launches preliminary Consultation for Clevedon Central proposals

Clevedon Councillors are calling for views of local residents on the Clevedon Central development proposals. The developer has begun a consultation on plans to develop a mixed-use scheme for land between Great Western Road and Queen’s Square in Clevedon has begun - with people being asked to share their views, both online and by emailing their local councillors

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CORONAVIRUS: How to access government financial support in North Somerset

The Government has announced additional help for people whose household income has been affected due to coronavirus.

Cllr Ash Cartman, North Somerset Council’s executive member for finance, said: “There is lots of financial help available to assist people through these unprecedented times. I would like to reiterate the message around paying council tax – we would ask all those who are able to continue to pay their monthly instalments to do so as council tax provides a significant proportion of the council’s revenue and enables us to run important local services, many of which are under pressure during this difficult period.”

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