The Town Council’s Town Improvements Committee met last week to consider a matter raised by Cllr Gardiner White about the relaxation of movement restrictions and the impact on pedestrian safety in our towns and open spaces.
Over recent weeks, the Council has been in contact with the Police, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council Highways and our Member of Parliament about the growing number of people using the high streets and open spaces. Local Police patrols have been increased and Police are speaking with people on the street about how they can reduce risk when out and about. The Town Council accepts that the Police have faced a real challenge in recent weeks when addressing any breaches of Government guidance and social distancing, particularly as people have adjusted to the Government’s increasing number of reasonable excuses to be out.
The Government has announced a £50m grant fund for local Councils to help high streets and public spaces reopen safely. Although the Town Council is not the authority with responsibility for highways or large public open spaces, and the parish sector will not receive any of this Government funding in any case, the Town Improvements Committee agreed it is still able to take a pro-active role to drive the grass roots changes needed to make our towns safer and allow safe movement of people navigating our high street and open space facilities.
The committee will this week lead initial conversations with key groups, including county and district councils, residents and traders, along with their representative bodies, to identify the important safety processes required to be put in place to help protect our residents and visitors.
If you represent a business, local holiday park or community group affected by the re-opening of the high street and open spaces and you want to get involved then email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live on or near the high streets and open spaces and you want to comment, then please contact your ward councillor so that they can represent your position. All councillor contact details are available on request from the Town Council by calling 01278 788088 or via the website here: https://burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk/your-council/meet-the-councillors