Building an accessible Portishead

Paul Welton demanding better for Portishead East

For the community in Portishead to thrive, we must empower our residents. We must enable them to be independent, ensure equality of opportunity, and remove any barriers in our town- including from poor design or implementation of projects and policies- which hinder people’s daily lives.

This does not only encompass providing better access for people with mobility issues. It includes having access to information, the ability to enjoy public spaces freely, efficient communication support, and access to a full education, including through high-quality SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) provision. Nobody should face exclusion or encounter unacceptable barriers to having their needs met.

Read more

Let's Protect the Environment The Portishead Way

Paul Welton demanding better for Portishead East

It is hard not to feel helpless in the face of environmental crisis. A global challenge can seem huge and distant, disconnected from our real lives. Breaking free of that helplessness is not something any of us can do alone. The only way to meet the challenge is together. The only place to do it is here. I will be part of that. I am asking you to join me.

During my time studying landscape architecture, I saw how attention to seemingly small details transforms the way we experience and appreciate our outdoor spaces. It is also fundamental to how we protect them.

To create change at the scale we need, it is vital that we share the work. That means sharing the benefits too. We must make sure that all residents can access nature and that protecting the wildlife we love is at the heart of design. We need plentiful opportunities for every resident to appreciate, understand and share our wildlife and natural spaces so that the value of protecting these is relevant and meaningful to all.

Read more

Building an inclusive Portishead

Paul Welton demanding better for Portishead East

We are surrounded by a diverse range of people. People in our community integrate so well that you can’t tell who is from where, and anyone could be from any background. That is what makes Portishead special. Regardless of our background, we are embraced as part of a strong sense of community, and that is how it should be. But, for many reasons, that is not always the case. 

As a British Sign Language user, I know how it feels to struggle to fit into an established community. I have faced barriers with access to services, participation in social gatherings, and more, leaving me feeling excluded for being different. I can fully empathise with anyone who has experienced similar struggles, who feel as if they are not on par with others who can easily fit in within a community. 

Read more

Portishead Past, Present and Future

If you look around in Portishead carefully, you will find constant links to the past, whether it is the Old Lockgate in the Marina, the old bridge for the Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway, the old sea wall by the Old Mill pub, or the old railway line behind Sainsbury’s. These are reminders of Portishead’s Past, of what it used to be.

Some of you will know I have a passion for local history, and Portishead is full of it. I love to explore the past, buying books and old maps to understand how the town has evolved over time. I administer the Portishead Past online community, which has given me a wealth of knowledge of Portishead’s enriched industrial history and I delight in sharing them with everyone. But not everything can be discovered online. 

Regrettably, much of Portishead’s past has been swept away by deindustrialisation and through modern developments, with the loss of many jobs, businesses and services, the old railway stations, the power stations and old factories like the Mustad's Nail Factory and Albright & Wilson. These ghosts of Portishead are now confined to photographs and stories. I do not think that is enough. 

While we can’t bring back the past, we can preserve the history for the future. A partnership of residents, the town and district Council, and local history groups like the Gordano Civic Society, have the potential to add mix Portishead’s Past and Present by adding more information boards and plaques around Portishead, developing Portishead’s Heritage Centre in the Folk Hall, and by working together to restore local landmarks like the Old Lock Gates, and the Old Railway Bridge so that they enhance and build up Portishead’s unique identity. 

Read more

Demanding Better for Portishead East with Paul Welton

Paul Welton is a local Liberal Democrat campaigner in Portishead working to improve our local services and environment. Paul is profoundly deaf and a British Sign Language user and is working to improve provision for people with disabilities in North Somerset. 

Read more

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.