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News for Weston-super-Mare Central Ward from local councillors Mike Bell and Robert Payne : serving you on North Somerset Council and Weston-super-Mare Town Council Learn more

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Councillor Mike Bell and Councillor Robert Payne – Reporting Back on 2018

by mikebell on 11 January, 2019

2018 has been another remarkably busy year. As your local Councillors, we’ve tried to work hard to fight for the residents of Weston Central Ward, to stand up for Weston and improve North Somerset.

Here are just some of the things we have done in 2018:

  1. Raised concerns about the number of homes left empty in North Somerset each year at a time when homelessness is rising and there is pressure to build more houses.
  2. Lib Dem Councillors asked more questions at North Somerset Council than any other group in 2018. Mike Bell asked more than any other of the 50 Councillors.
  3. Urged North Somerset Council to introduced tougher regulation of private landlords to improve conditions for tenants and tackle rogues operating in the sector.
  4. Highlighted the number of patients left waiting in ambulances outside Weston A&E in the winter due to pressures on bed availability.
  5. Opposed Conservative plans to increase Council Tax on the 7,000 poorest working age households in North Somerset.
  6. Demanded more action to support rough sleepers in Weston as new figures revealed a 33% surge in numbers.
  7. Backed a new levy on developments to help pay for much needed infrastructure improvements.
  8. Put forward alternative budget proposals for North Somerset that set out a plan for fairer parking for residents in Weston.
  9. Backed calls from the End Child Poverty Coalition for urgent help for the more than 4,500 children in Weston living in poverty.
  10. Urged the Government to fund more police on our streets as recorded crime levels in Weston rose.
  11. Lobbied GWR and Network Rail to improve access to Weston railway station.
  12. Demanded that the council consult local residents before driving forward changes to the Alexandra Parade area in Weston.
  13. Challenged North Somerset Conservatives over broken promises to ‘quickly’ deliver a second pool at Hutton Moor – now four years old and counting.
  14. Highlighted the lack of investment in roads and pavements, with national roads getting 52 times more Government cash than local roads do.
  15. Condemned another year of parking charge increased from Conservative-run North Somerset Council and urged a review of parking policies to deliver a fairer scheme for local people.
  16. Pressed for tougher action to tackle dog fouling in Weston, including supporting new powers to fine offenders.
  17. Supported a number of beach clean and community clean up days across Weston Central Ward.
  18. Backed Weston Town Council’s work to repair and refurbish the town’s war memorial.
  19. Supported the introduction of a new history app for Weston.
  20. Campaigned to keep Weston’s A&E department open and fight downgrading and closure, including attending and speaking at a protest rally and numerous public and private meetings with NHS bosses.
  21. Urged North Somerset Council to improve it’s customer contact services, especially telephone and online, to make it easier for residents to report issues and problems.
  22. Reported more than 100 potholes in roads and pavements for repair work.
  23. Asked residents to share their views on proposals for an extension to the Royal Hotel in Weston.
  24. Highlighted the £2.4 million record parking income collected from North Somerset from residents and visitors in Weston. Again called for a parking policy review.
  25. Tackled concerns about poor management of litter over the spring Bank Holiday in and around Weston.
  26. Urged the council to improve it’s approach to consultation to make it easier for residents to have their say.
  27. Asked the council to look again at the need for a park and ride scheme for Weston to ease pressure on town centre parking.
  28. Persuaded the council to clean up Marine Lake beach after complaints about its poor quality from residents.
  29. Visited Abbey Gate Care Home for a ‘pimp my zimmer’ event for Dementia Awareness Week.
  30. Secured a clean up to the gullies and drains around Clarence and Ellenborough Parks.
  31. Encouraged residents to engage with an initial consultation on new housing developments by Homes England at Sunnyside Road and Locking Road car park.
  32. Backed a £1 million grant bid for more improvements to the Tropicana.
  33. Worked to support the development of new Conservation Areas for Weston to protect and enhance our architectural heritage.
  34. Challenged Government for failing to provide any cash to North Somerset to help tackle rough sleeping.
  35. Urged the council to do more to support the ‘forgotten’ shopping areas in Weston including Meadow Street, Orchard Street and St James Street.
  36. Challenged the council on the performance of its special education needs and disability provision following a ‘shameful’ Ofsted inspection report.
  37. Held council leaders to account over failures in the new waste and recycling contract.
  38. Mike continued to support Walliscote Primary School as a Governor.
  39. Renewed calls for the Town Council to continue its investment and refurbishment programme for play areas in our parks.
  40. Encouraged residents to have their say on proposed road changes in South Parade and Knighstone Road.
  41. Urged the council to make greater use of new powers to tackle dog fouling after figures revealed only seven fines had been issued in a year.
  42. Challenged the council to be open and accountable as it took the decision to effectively buy the Sovereign Shopping Centre.
  43. Attacked North Somerset’s decision to spend £250,000 on salaries for new senior managers plus £27,000 in recruitment consultant fees.
  44. Urged NHS and council leaders to deliver health care improvements in the town centre.
  45. Backed a new £1.1 million specialist project to support vulnerable children in North Somerset.
  46. Welcomed the new contract signed to bring Icescape back to the Tropicana.
  47. Supported £320,000 of improvements to historic parts of the sea wall.
  48. Challenged the Conservative Council Leader to again deliver fairer parking and an urgent review of parking policy.
  49. Backed the introduction of a new handy person service for older and more vulnerable residents.
  50. Secured a commitment to new funding and support for children with special education needs and disabilities.
  51. Campaigned to save GP services at the Locality Health Centre.
  52. Tackled Police and Crime Commissioner on need for more police resources, especially to tackle drug dealing, in Weston.
  53. Backed a Town Council bid for funding to improve the public space outside Weston railway station.
  54. Mike continued to Chair the Partnership Group at Weston Central Children’s Centre and work to support families with children under 5.
  55. Welcome a new service to enable reporting of rogue landlords online.
  56. Condemned the council’s failure to deliver a cross-party parking review or to consult residents’ as a review of parking policy finally got underway.
  57. Welcomed the reopening of the Sunnyside Road entrance to Weston Railway Station.
  58. Succeeded in helping to secure £3 million in new funding for a central Weston health care centre, hopefully to be delivered in early 2019.
  59. Secured £130,000 in road repairs for Walliscote Road.
  60. Campaigned to save sustainable GP services at Clarence Park and Graham Road GP practices.
  61. Challenged the council on support for homeless households, as figures shows that 26 families with children were homeless at Christmas.
  62. Presented a 500-signature petition opposing car parking charges increases to council.
  63. Tackled parking problems in High Street near the job centre.
  64. Resolved missed recycling collections in Stanley Grove and Stanley Road.
  65. Worked to tackle parking problems affecting businesses near Big Lamp Corner.
  66. Asked the council and government to do more to support teachers following news that one in 45 local teachers are on long-term stress leave.
  67. Resolved missed recycling collections in Clarence Road South.
  68. Supported the successful Eat Weston food festivals in Weston.
  69. Supported numerous residents in commenting or objecting to planning applications across the ward.
  70. Assisted residents to obtain numerous ‘keep clear’ H-bar markings in front of drives to improve access.
  71. Resolved problems with waste collection at Beach Court.
  72. Asked the council to take action on motor homes parking around our parks and leaving litter behind.
  73. Was shadowed by a care leaver as part of the national ‘shadow a councillor’ scheme.
  74. Resolved an employment issue for a council apprentice.
  75. Undertook an investigation into budget overspends and poor management practice at the Tropicana.
  76. Supported numerous residents with housing issues including landlords, housing benefit and tenancy problems.
  77. Raised concerns with the police about speeding traffic in Quantock Road.
  78. Tackled fly tipping issues in several town centre areas.
  79. Helped residents to highlight problems caused by nesting seagulls!
  80. Secured a bank holiday clean up of Princess Royal Square and the Rozel rockeries.
  81. Helped numerous residents resolve council tax problems.
  82. Met with representatives of families from other EU countries about their concerns about Brexit implications.
  83. Raised issues with recycling collections in Wilton Gardens.
  84. Raised concerns about the lack of maintenance at Milton Road cemetery.
  85. Took the chief executive of North Somerset Council on a walkabout of the town centre to look at housing, parking, litter and children’s services issues.
  86. Highlighted problems caused by overnight camping in Ellenborough Park.
  87. Raised concerns about the charging policies at Weston Town Council’s sea front water park.
  88. Raised concerns with First Bus about the speed and condition of buses using Quantock Road and around Ellenborough Park.
  89. Tackled ongoing litter problems in Orchard Street.
  90. Supported a local nursery in trying to tackle issues with litter in their area.
  91. Backed campaigners urging the council to oppose fracking in the Mendips.
  92. Organised a beach litter pick.
  93. Raised concerns about the impact of town centre housing developments on neighbours and urged council to develop a safe construction scheme.
  94. Met with a local charity to discuss options for setting up a mental health service hub in the town centre.
  95. Secured a new policy on memorial benches in our local parks.
  96. Raised concerns about parking in Little George Street.
  97. Tackled pavement parking issues in Palmer Row.
  98. Solved problems with green waste collections in Milton Road.
  99. Resolved problem with delivery of non-recyclable waste bags at Hildesheim Court.
  100. Highlighted increase in antisocial behaviour in Weston and urged the police to take more action.
  101. Solve problems with uncollected waste in George Street.
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