Campaigning for the positive and sustainable development of Radstock

News Archive - Page 3

[2nd January 2012]: Saving the Victoria Hall - Saturday 21 January 2012 - 10.00am - 2.30pm - Radstock Working Men's Club - Everyone Welcome

Saving the Victoria Hall is the first 2012 event in Radstock Action Group's series 'What's next for Radstock?'

Radstock Action Group wants to see the Victoria Hall continue as a community building. But before the future of the Hall can be guaranteed a lot of work has to be done on the building and on discussing the best uses for the Hall as it falls vacant when Radstock Town council finally leaves at the end of February.

A civic building with a proud history

The Victoria Hall was given to the town of Radstock and has witnessed the industrial history and social and economic development of the town since Victorian times. It is now in urgent need of our support and attention. Radstock Action Group wants to ensure that it can play an equally positive part in the town's future and believes that it is important that it remains the major community facility that it has always been.

The town needs a top quality community venue

Already people have been making suggestions about the sort of roles the hall could have in a regenerated Radstock: accommodation for a tourist and information office; a café; properly equipped meeting spaces for groups and businesses; a venue for weddings, parties and other big celebrations; library; snooker facilities; a place to show films; classes; a place to exhibit art; office spaces with state of the art IT resources - the list is amazingly varied and exciting. And with proper building restoration and possible extension, it is likely that all of these activities could be a part of the renewal of this, the key civic building in the town.

Getting involved, joining the discussions

The day will include speakers and discussion groups and will be the chance for more people to get involved in all aspects of saving the Victoria Hall. Time is short and rumours continue to fly around Radstock. The day will provide a chance for everyone who thinks that the hall is worth saving for the community. It was originally given to the community and provides the only major civic building in the town.

Everyone is welcome

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[12th December 2011]: BANES Information on Road Development is Suspect - Yes, We Know That, but More Evidence is Emerging

Christmas Crackers BANES Style

Last week Radstock found out again, this time through a hastily organised 'Exhibition' about the road scheme, that the last thing on the mind of BANES and developers is the regeneration of the town and the well-being of its residents and businesses. If the current proposals go ahead, Radstock will be reduced to a traffic junction, and if BANES has its way, it will be a high speed traffic junction. It seems like BANES has only two ideas for the town - a gridlocked centre or a fast-track traffic junction. Let's not even talk about the fact that neither of their alternatives bears much relation to the facts of the matter. The council makes statements about their intentions and then sets about creating a back up for their proposals. Here's some of the latest evidence.

Radstock Action Group has, in the past week, received two 'interesting' items from BANES in response to requests for clarification.

Parking

BANES tells us that the loss of parking spaces as a result of the current NRR scheme will be only 24. How have they arrived at this figure? By an item called 'New public car park within NRR development'. This will, they declare, provide 44 spaces. However, when we questioned them on this, they agreed as follows:

  • There is no parking specifically for residents in the new housing development
  • The 44 spaces on the NRR development will be on the public highway
  • Residents on the new development will have to park on this very same public highway

In other words, despite building new homes, the developer will not have to provide any parking for them and the already diminished number of parking spaces will have to be used by all those who live in the housing as well as everyone else who already regularly parks in Radstock. So it's fewer overall spaces and more housing.

Breakdown of Costs for Replacing the Mini-roundabouts at Frome Road

Site Clearance18,000
Fencing12,000
Drainage32,500
Earthworks230,750
Pavements124,790
Signs and Markings53,820
Toucans260,000
Highway Electrical22,000
Structural Concrete360,000
Masonry Wall75,000
Landscaping32,000
Dayworks122,000
Preliminaries/Traffic Management117,680

Both these items came from the office of Glen Chipp, BANES Strategic Director for Service Delivery.

The sleight of hand in the parking data doesn't really inspire confidence and we have to ask how many other little 'inaccuracies' and misleading impressions are lurking in the welter of information which they have recently put out. In the case of the sums for the mini-roundabouts, we do not think anyone can be any the wiser particularly as the total was 'circa £1,4000,000' - we may have missed something but the total seems to be £1,460,540. As for what it all means, no-one who has looked at the figures so far understands how these sums were arrived at.

We urge everyone to make sure that they respond to the latest round of 'information' and proposals by the closing deadline of 20 December.

The last round of responses made the council sit up and think. But they haven't thought far enough yet. We intend keeping up the pressure.

Additional information is continually being added to our website.

Press Release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[5th December 2011]: Clarification of Councillor Symonds' views on Rail Reinstatement

Radstock Action Group has received clarification from Councillor Symonds on his views about rail reinstatement. We are sorry that we misunderstood the original report and are pleased to publish his statement of clarification:

"My record of support for rail travel is well documented. Govt regularly point out the link between Transport and growth. Radstock does have problems with Transport, having no railway and difficult road connections with Bath and Bristol and motorways.

I hope the GBBN routes to Bath and Bristol will help, but a rail connection to the national rail network would help Radstock residents to be more flexible in their working practices and might encourage more employers to consider Radstock as a base for their businesses.

Of course we have to wait for the results of the study, but this administration is keen to use the railways in the area to encourage commuters off our overcrowded roads. We believe that opening the Radstock - Frome railway would aid this objective.

It may no longer be possible to have a station right in the middle of Radstock, but this should not preclude a connection to Frome."


[5th December 2011]: New BANES Plans have Little To Do with the Regeneration of Radstock

Latest Plans Raise the Question - Why is a New Road Necessary?

BANES has published its 'new' version of the plans for Radstock.

And the good news is that the Frome Road is to remain open. A 20 mph speed restriction is welcome, though many people doubt that traffic will be moving fast enough to require it at the times that BANES sees a problem.

However, BANES fails to explain how the overall proposals are going to aid the regeneration of the town.

Up until now, BANES has maintained that the new link road is necessary so that housing can be built on the railway land, but now we learn that 'Bath and North East Somerset Council wants to tackle traffic congestion and kickstart the regeneration of the town'. No wonder people are confused. Much of the traffic congestion referred to is the result of the proposals to build the new link road.

Virtually all the objections made by so many people are not addressed because BANES is sticking to its determination to put in a new link road and all the modifications are based on that and not on addressing public opposition to the road and the real needs of the town.

Yes, it may well be a good move that a mini-roundabout will replace traffic lights at the junction between the Street and the proposed new link road and that there will be a weight limit of 7.5 tonnes on this link. It may also be a good move that the proposed ban on right turns out of church Street is to be removed. But without the link road, none of these items would be an issue.

What Isn't New about these Proposals?

RAG has already published an initial response to some of the key issues (The_new_proposals_statement_03-12-11.pdf) which include:

  1. The proposed link road is still in the plans
  2. The Street will still have two way traffic
  3. Fortescue Road traffic will still flow in the opposite direction to the present
  4. The same number of parking space (and probably more) will still be lost
  5. All traffic exiting Fortescue Road will still have to turn left regardless of where it wants to go
  6. Traffic from Wells Hill going to Haydon or the town centre will still have to negotiate a right turn at the bottom of the hill, on a new roundabout
  7. Royal Mail vehicles using the Sorting Office will still not be able to access their depot or park outside
  8. The Jubilee Oak and the garden on the original war memorial site will still be lost

For further discussion and detail please visit our website which will be updated regularly - space doesn't allow great detail in this press release.

New Additions to Proposals Poorly Thought Out and Unconvincing

A plethora of roundabouts and pedestrian crossings designed to manage traffic on the new system and make pedestrians safe is poorly thought out and will only cause new problems. For example in the short distance between Charltons on the Frome Road and Hope House in the Street, there will be no fewer than two roundabouts, three pedestrian crossings and the bus stops for all services in both directions. The new pedestrian crossing in The Street will have zigzags which will automatically curtail parking even further. BANES says there will be lower traffic flows on the Street - we are not clear how traffic flows can be reduced by making a one way street two way.

RAG was invited to attend a BANES briefing on 29 November. There we were shown traffic modelling which was far from convincing - for instance, decreased journey times look highly suspect: one example put forward by BANES appears to suggest a decline in travelling time between the Camerton turn off at Peasedown and Westhill Gardens which would involve driving at at least 40 mph - and this through the area where the new 20 mph limit would be in place.

We have asked BANES to give us a breakdown of the calculations which show how moving the electricity sub-station would cost £1.4m. Talking to people in Radstock on Saturday there was no clear view on whether the mini-roundabouts should be replaced but at least we need clarification on why they've been eliminated on the basis of cost.

Feedback Form Asks the Wrong Questions

On Saturday morning, a leaflet dropped through everyone's letter box, entitled 'Tackling congestion in Radstock and kick-starting the economy'.

Far from being an objective account of the proposals it bears all the hallmarks of an unconvincing piece of pro-link road publicity. But the really unacceptable part is to be found in the 'Feedback Form' where members of the public are invited to answer a series of questions on proposed modifications and further improvements.

The first four questions ask respondents to express support or not for the retention of the double-mini roundabout at the Frome Road/A367 junction; the retention of Frome Road as at present; the replacement of a proposed signalised junction with a roundabout at the meeting of the Street with the proposed new link road; the removal of the right turn ban out of Church Street.

Radstock Action Group wants to know why respondents are not asked to say whether or not they want a new link road, or two way traffic in the Street, or the reversal of traffic flow in Fortescue Road. These are the central questions on which residents and businesses should be consulted. We urge everyone to tell BANES their views on these three key issues as they will all impact on the future prosperity of the town and the well-being of all those who use it. To introduce them threatens the heart of Radstock - its viability as a shopping centre (which is looking increasingly interesting and attractive) and the buildings of the conservation area which make the town unique.

Any Answers to these Questions?

  • Why is the new link road necessary now that the Frome Road is staying open?
  • Previously BANES argued that this was all for the new NRR housing development. Now they are justifying it on the grounds that it will improve journey times and reduce congestion. What is the real reason?
  • Councillor Crossley, leader of BANES, has said there will be no road unless the housing happens. So why this haste when the housing has not been agreed?
  • Wouldn’t the money be better spent on positive improvements to the town?
  • Why can’t the road system stay as it is? It’s not perfect but it’s certainly better than the proposals
  • Where are the 40 new jobs coming from?

Saving the Heart of Radstock

BANES has not explained how the 'new' proposals will lead to regeneration, simply because they clearly won't for all the reasons rehearsed so many times before. Radstock needs a proper public transport system with affordable fares and frequent services on the buses and the reinstatement of the rail link to Frome. The only real answer to traffic congestion is to enable people to leave their cars at home in favour of a really good public system.

Radstock needs jobs - even BANES says the scheme will only produce 40. It could well lead to the loss of jobs too, if businesses suffer and have to lay off staff or close down altogether.

Radstock needs affordable homes but it is doubtful that the new planning application will propose anything even to the specification in the previous round where very small flats were jammed into very limited space with a few houses.

The reasons for a new road are even less clear than they were before. We want to save the heart of Radstock not destroy it in the name of some vague, poorly thought-out road scheme.

We urge everyone to get involved, to write to their local councillors and MP and to attend the exhibition scheduled for 9/10 December.

On Wednesday 7 December, RAG will be presenting BANES cabinet with more signatures against the new road, with the total now over 2,000.

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[4th December 2011]: New BANES Proposals for Radstock: What We Think

BANES Take 2 is Not the Answer: It will still destroy the Heart of Radstock

Click here to view our response to the latest proposals (110Kb pdf)

One of the Maps produced by BANES showing the New Proposals:

BANES Radstock Map v2

Please note that this map is not consistent with other maps of the same proposals. It doesn't show all the proposals such as the roundabout at the junction of the Street and the proposed new link road. (Click map to view larger version (1.3Mb pdf).)


[26th November 2011]: URGENT: BANES up to its usual - calling important meetings at short notice in the run up to Christmas

PLEASE PUT THESE DATES IN YOUR DIARIES

Your help, presence and support are urgently needed for a couple of key events which are being planned by BANES (information leaked out late this week) in relation to the road. We are very concerned that these events are being called at very short notice and in the run up to Christmas when people are exceptionally busy.

EVENT 1: TUESDAY 29 NOVEMBER

A briefing session on the latest proposals for the Radstock Regeneration and Highway Improvement Scheme including modifications to the Traffic Regulation Orders.

We have been asked by BANES to invite our supporters to this meeting, notice of which was sent out late on Thursday afternoon.

Date: Tuesday 29 November
Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Wansdyke Business Centre, Unit 22 Midsomer Enterprise Park, Radstock Road, Midsomer Norton BA3 2BB - see map (255Kb pdf).

EVENT 2: FRIDAY 9 AND SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER

There is to be an exhibition on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 December in connection with new proposals for the road. We have nothing in writing and the following information has been given us by someone in the Transport Department at BANES.

Date: Friday 9 and Saturday 10 December
Time: Not confirmed but likely to be afternoon and evening of 9 and afternoon of 10 December
Venue: Radstock Methodist Church

Apparently views will be sought at this event which will be followed by a three week consultation which will end on 20 December.

Yet again, it was only when we heard rumour and spent an entire morning pressing BANES for information that they finally told us that this was about to happen.

WEDNESDAY 7 DECEMBER AT 6.30PM

Finally, we will be presenting the latest sheets of the petition against the road at the BANES Cabinet meeting on 7 December in the Guildhall in Bath at 6.30pm. Details of how to put your name down to speak and of our arrangements to protest outside will follow.

STOP THE ROAD T SHIRTS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT ALL THESE EVENTS - £5.50.

Radstock Action Group would like to point out that these very short deadlines, right before Christmas, are further evidence of BANES lack of commitment to full democratic consultation and involvement.

In addition, we regard the venue for the briefing as a further obstacle to participation and think BANES should have arranged the meeting in Radstock.

Nonetheless, we ask everyone to turn up for these events.

Please do let us know if you require further clarification or have questions.

Best wishes and many thanks for your continued support. See you at as many of the above events as possible.

Amanda Leon, Secretary, Radstock Action Group


[22nd November 2011]: Clarification Sought on BANES' Commitment to the Future of Rail Between Radstock and Frome

Our latest press release expressed concern that BANES has made up its mind on the possibility of rail reinstatement. Following a query from a recipient of this press release we have written to Councillor Symonds for clarification as follows:

In our latest press release we suggested that BANES had already made a decision about rail reinstatement between Radstock and Frome, But it has since been pointed out that the statement quoted in the Journal last week did not directly attribute to you the view that the case for reinstatement is hopeless. Can you, therefore, reassure us that BANES remains committed to the possibility of rail reinstatement as per previous decisions, and, if this is the case, accept our apologies for this misunderstanding? We look forward to receiving clarification on this matter.

We await a response from Councillor Symonds and will, of course, update everyone on the situation if/when we get a reply. Apologies for any confusion.

Amanda Leon, Secretary, Radstock Action Group


[21st November 2011]: BANES Decides Against Rail Reinstatement and then Commissions Initial Feasibility Study

Radstock Action Group finds BANES Councillor Roger Symonds' latest communication on the question of railways alarming on fundamental grounds. Buried in his statement to the press this last week is a statement that 'a full network reopening to Radstock/Midsomer Norton looks .... hopeless'. Since when has it been customary for public bodies to make decisions before receiving the results of studies they are about to commission?

A Whiff of Token Gestures Fills the Air

Let's leave aside all the inaccuracies and downright errors in the related Terms of Reference drawn up by BANES, for a preliminary study on the reinstatement of the railway between Radstock and Frome, Given the clarity with which Councillor Symonds dismisses, so comprehensively, the chances of the line between Radstock and Frome being reinstated, why is BANES about to pay out for an initial study into the possibilities? This is the latest indication that BANES doesn't take Radstock seriously. Undertakings are made and abandoned. Consultations are announced and don't happen. Future plans for Radstock are not communicated to the people who count. Radstock Action Group regularly requests information and updates on a wide variety of issues - most recently the fate of the Traffic Orders - but we never get replies. We are not the only ones.

Reducing Dependency on the Private Car?

Surely Councillor Symonds could be better employed than issuing congratulatory press statements for First Great Western, giving details of services to places which are fortunate enough to have a train service, but which are enormously difficult to reach from Radstock. If Councillor Symonds and BANES are serious about the council's integrated transport policy which includes encouraging more people to use trains and reduce dependence on the private car, then there are a number of additional actions which could be taken in relation to Radstock and the Somer Valley. Of course, the reinstatement of the rail link is absolutely central to future transport planning but in the meantime, it might be a good idea to stop cutting the bus services, stop hiking up ticket prices and start working for and with local residents and businesses. Plans to build a new main road through the centre of town should also be abandoned as this will militate against an integrated transport plan as gridlock takes over, the vestiges of the public bus service will grid to a halt and those who currently work in and visit Radstock will do their best to avoid it.

But first of all perhaps Councillor Symonds can explain why BANES is paying for a study for a proposal which they have clearly rejected already? Perhaps he could also clarify whether or not BANES has even the remotest glimmer of commitment to even considering promoting rail reinstatement between Radstock and Frome?

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[31st October 2011]: Lack of Planning coupled with Neglect and Contempt are BANES' approach to Radstock

Recently Radstock Action Group received responses to two questions they had posed to BANES cabinet - one regarding the progress of a previous decision to conduct a preliminary investigation of the options in relation to the reinstatement of the railway to Frome and the other in relation to the possible re-siting of the Electricity Sub-station and consideration of alternative road schemes.

Rail Study to go ahead despite BANES lack of commitment to the project

Even by BANES standards, the responses we received (from Roger Symonds, BANES Cabinet Member for Transport) show a total lack of joined up thinking and an apparent willingness to press ahead with proposals which have been overwhelmingly rejected by people who live and/or work in Radstock. BANES intends going ahead with a £15,000 investigation of the rail options, whilst elsewhere in their response apparently endorsing an committee report stating that the reinstatement of the railway line will not be possible if the development goes ahead.

RAG Contact with Western Power reveals that BANES has been less than honest about its figures for moving the Sub-station

Meanwhile, on the sub-station front, Radstock Action Group has been given figures for the moving of the sub-station by Western Power which suggest that the real costs would be considerably less than £100,000, as opposed to the £250,000 previously quoted by Peter Dawson (BANES Group Manager Transport and Planning Policy) at the most recent Radstock meeting at which BANES councillors presented a set of 'answers' to questions they had been asked by local traders and residents.

What's Next for Radstock? Save the Victoria Hall - Saturday 21 January

On a positive note, the next in our popular What's Next for Radstock? series will be on Saturday 21 January. The theme will be Save the Victoria Hall and will address the crisis which is looming for the town's key civic building. With rumours abounding, we will be looking at how to ensure that not only does the Victoria Hall continue to exist but that it will be radically transformed into a building fit for community use. We have lots of suggestions about its future but want others to be involved and for whatever emerges to be able to attract the funding and expertise necessary to make it a going concern. Put the date in your diaries.

Further details on all these matters will be posted on this website.

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group, 31 October 2011


[24th October 2011]: Radstock at Risk says English Heritage

Earlier this month, English Heritage launched its Heritage at Risk 2011. Radstock is on this list which baldly states that the Radstock Conservation Area, (including Braysdown and Clandown) has the following designations: Condition - very bad; Vulnerability - high; Trend - deteriorating. This is a sad day for the town described elsewhere by English Heritage as 'the best preserved mining town centre in the country'.

In September, a Radstock Action Group supporter approached English Heritage about the fact that the Radstock road plans could pose a threat to the centre of the town which is a conservation area. The reply she received was, 'We were not aware of any separate highways proposals which may be in mind but as has been pointed out by the Council these do not require planning permission and as a consequence English Heritage has no statutory basis for becoming involved. Nonetheless, the potential for harm to the setting and/or fabric of heritage assets is a source of initial concern and we will contact the Council to try to elicit further information.'

In a subsequent email to Radstock Action Group, English Heritage undertook to make further enquiries but since then, there has been no further news. RAG will be asking what has happened.

BANES must act now

Observers might think that a council with the weighty responsibilities of managing so may great buildings in Bath would be aware of the need to take a pride in all its built heritage, but BANES continues to press on with plans which will destroy Radstock, a site which it should be nurturing and promoting for regeneration, including tourist purposes.

Save our vibrant and historic town centre

As the petition against the road continues to grow, this is a sobering reminder that the people who work, live in and visit Radstock stand to lose a valuable, living town centre where heritage buildings continue to provide a base for commercial, social and tourist activity. BANES must decide now to stop the current plans and work with the people of Radstock to ensure that, eventually, the town can come off the At Risk Register and develop as a community which can show off its value to everyone. The Lib Dem administration must take a clear stand against the destruction of this valuable place and in favour of improving the reputation and tourist offer of the whole area covered by the authority. Only through such a stand will the regeneration of Radstock have any meaning.

You can find the English Heritage report at: www.english-heritage.org.uk/caring/heritage-at-risk/

Press Release issued by Amanda Leon, secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[17th October 2011]: STOP PRESS Radstock Action Group Petition against the Road hits 1800

No fewer than 238 people signed up to the RAG petition against the Radstock road proposals on Saturday - members of RAG had a lively session outside RADCO and got the opportunity to explain the proposed road layout in greater detail.

This brings the total signatures to date to 1800, so we are now pressing on to the next milestone - 2,000.

Thank you to RADCO and to all the people who showed their support for the campaign on Saturday.

Press Release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[10th October 2011]: New Man on the Block - can he sort this out please?

Last week Radstock Action Group was told by Glen Chipp, Strategic Director for Service Delivery at Bath and North East Somerset (BANES), that he is, in fact, the person overall responsible for Planning Approvals and Highway Matters. So we shall be directing a number of questions to him in relation to the situation in Radstock. Other members of the public may wish to do the same.

Meanwhile, Steven Moore, BANES Design Group Manager, Design and Projects Group, has recently answered enquiries about the proposed road scheme in Radstock, as follows:

'Following a number of concerns raised by local residents we are currently undertaking a complete review of the proposed scheme. As Highway Authority we are duty bound to comply with national and European standards of design for public highway construction. Accordingly, the proposals for Radstock will be to the relevant standards and therefore will be able to accommodate heavy goods vehicles. In addition, we will be following a safety auditing process which essentially identifies potential safety issues arising and appropriate mitigation measures necessary to reduce any unacceptable level of risk to road users.'

'Why should the town centre have to accommodate heavy goods vehicles?'

Radstock Action Group is not impressed. The question remains, 'Why should the town centre have to accommodate heavy goods vehicles?' We would challenge BANES to indicate any support in 'national and European standards for public highway construction' which endorse or encourage the introduction of heavy through traffic into a small town centre, let alone one with the history and the great shops that Radstock boasts.

Last week, Radstock Action Group wrote to Cherry Beath again saying we would like to know, in the light of the deferral of a decision on the road, when the renewed consultations and discussions about Radstock are going to start. We are also still awaiting answers to our questions:

'Given the decision to defer on the Radstock Traffic Regulation Orderss, please would you let us know:

  1. The timescale for the next stage of the consideration of these orders
  2. What form taking 'further opportunities to listen to representatives from the community' will take and how you intend identifying such representatives
  3. Which 'available survey data' the council intends considering
  4. What 'alternative options' the council has evaluated and where these can be viewed
  5. When this item will return to Cabinet.'

Please involve local people in discussions and listen to their ideas.

As we have already said, we welcome the fact that the decision on the Traffic Orders has been deferred but we do want to be involved in the next stages of the review. We look forward to the next stages in meaningful discussion and hope that there will be no more decision-making behind closed doors.

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[3rd October 2011]: Radstock Action Group Petition against the Road heading towards 1500 signatures

Sign the Petition!

Last Saturday, October 1st, Radstock Action Group members were in the town centre collecting more signatures against the road. The group has already presented sheets bearing almost 1,000 to Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) and those collected on Saturday, including sheets brought to our stall by supporters who'd been going round collecting on their own, will bring the total to almost 1,500.

Members of the public were able to see the plans (as prepared by BANES) and to ask questions and hear an explanation from RAG members of how the traffic would work. Common responses included, 'Who on earth thought this one up?', 'If it ain't broke ...', 'It's not going to work' ....

Our new 'Stop the Road' t-shirts (see below) attracted lots of attention from shoppers and other visitors to the town and there were plenty of willing signers, especially once the full scheme had been explained. T-shirts were also selling well.

These petition events show exactly the huge range of people coming to Radstock on a Saturday to shop and enjoy the local amenities, including the museum and walks and to visit relatives and friends. What was noticeable this week was how many people from neighbouring communities are worried about how the proposed changes would impact on their travel and their shopping experience in Radstock.

Many people who had already signed the petition stopped to say how pleased they are that someone is fighting the proposals.

Yet again, we urge BANES to listen to the community and to get round the table with everyone concerned to plan for the future of the town with the people who know it best.

Our thanks are due to Brian Preston who took some photos as he looked on.

Temporary traffic controls cause more traffic queues

Temporary traffic controls (set up by BANES) at just above the Radstock Hotel on traffic to and from Bath, caused yet more delays (though minor compared with the Wessex Water fiasco of a couple of weekends ago) and showed just how difficult the situation will be if the road scheme ever goes ahead. At some points, Bath-bound traffic was backing up into Wells Road well beyond the bend and there were long queues for traffic coming in from Bath.

RAG meeting with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP

Last Friday, members of RAG attended Jacob Rees-Mogg's surgery and put the case for finding alternative solutions for the regeneration of Radstock. There was a wide-ranging discussion and Mr Rees-Mogg offered suggestions on various specifics; we explained how we would like to move on the redevelopment of the Victoria Hall and that there will be a public event to explore this further before Christmas.


1st October Petition Signing

1st October Petition Signing

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[26th September 2011]: Let's have facts and figures about move the electricity sub-station

Following on from the temporary deferral of a decision on the Radstock Traffic Regulation Orders, it is essential that opponents of the Radstock road scheme keep up the pressure - the reprieve must not be seen a comprehensive victory.

That's why Radstock Action Group is pressing Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) for answers about the possibility of moving the electricity sub-station to make way for a larger roundabout to replace the two mini-roundabouts at the corner of Fortescue/Frome Roads.

Does the fact that Western Power owns the sub-station means that only they would be able to move it?

It's too costly to move the electricity sub-station? Who says? Last week BANES was reported yet again in the press saying that the relocation of the electricity sub-station would be too costly (usually when figures are quoted they say £250,000) and that it would involve considerable disruption. As the move would be the most intelligent solution to the current traffic issues, allowing the replacement of the two mini-roundabouts with one larger one and the slight realignment of the Frome Road onto the strip of rail land behind Fortescue Road, these excuses must be examined more closely.

Has Western Power been approached about this matter and if so, what the outcome of the approach?

So far, Radstock Action Group is not convinced that any costings have been obtained and we have, therefore, asked the leader of the council, Paul Crossley, to answer a series of questions. The sub-station is owned by Western Power, and we have asked Councillor Crossley for information and clarification on the following:

  1. Does the fact that Western Power owns the sub-station means that only they would be able to move it?
  2. Has Western Power been approached about this matter and if so, what the outcome of the approach?
  3. Has Western Power been asked to provide any costings or proposals for any such move? If so, what was the answer? If not, why hasn't the question been asked?

A growing number of people have told Radstock Action Group that they do not think that the costs quoted by BANES are convincing and that it would cost far less and be much less of a practical problem than has been suggested.

Has Western Power been asked to provide any costings or proposals for any such move?

It is time that the council made public the grounds for its continued refusal to consider what many regard as the best option. If there are any faults in our logic on this one, then BANES should explain them. If not then they should either publish the estimates made by the agencies qualified to implement any proposal to move the road and let the public know what such agencies have said, and including the costs.

Meanwhile, we are awaiting news from Councillors Crossley, Beath and Symonds on how they are going to involved Radstock in new discussions about the future of the town. We are very pleased that the Traffic Orders have been deferred and hope this will mark the start of a new era of listening by the council to the views of the people who count - the residents and businesses of the town.

Press Release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group on 26 September 2011


[19th September 2011]: PRESS RELEASE: Decision to delay on Radstock Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) provides a chance for common sense and positive signs that BANES may be listening

Radstock Action Group welcomes the Cabinet's decision to defer a decision on the Traffic Regulation Orders which would have been another step in the destruction of Radstock town centre. In reply to our enquiries, Cabinet member Cllr Cherry Beath has said, 'We are in the process of setting up a meeting with the relevant Directorates within the Council to agree the next steps'. She has also said that, 'We.do not have precise timescales at present, but will be reviewing the Road Scheme and comments already submitted from Radstock residents.' This is encouraging. we would remind the council that the publication of a full professional analysis of the 2009 traffic survey is an essential first step in this process.

Hopefully this Cabinet decision will provide an opportunity for genuine consultation with everyone in Radstock. The timescales are not clear although Cllr Beath indicated on BBC Radio Bristol that the delay was not going to be long. We call on BANES to ensure that they now put in place a serious programme of consultation with the whole community and that this consultation takes as long as necessary to reach its conclusions.

Radstock Action Group urges everyone to continue to send BANES their suggestions on the future regeneration of the town. It has been all too easy to portray the huge opposition to the road proposals as the voice of people opposed to the genuine regeneration of Radstock. Hopefully, we can all work with the authority now to safeguard and regenerate our town centre.

This is just the beginning of a process and Radstock Action Group will continue to work with everyone interested in a prosperous and sustainable future for the town. We hope that the new administration will prove that politicians do listen - they will find Radstock brimming with ideas and pride in the town's past and future.

Radstock Action Group's next meeting is on Wednesday 21 September at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church. As usual, everyone is welcome. We will be looking again at how best to promote and refine our alternative proposals for the town.

Press released issued on 19 September by Amanda Leon, secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[15th September 2011]: PRESS RELEASE: BANES Cabinet Decision on Road Orders welcome - and the fight goes on

Last night, Bath and North East Somerset Cabinet members agreed unanimously to defer the decision about the (Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs). Radstock Action Group welcomes this decision and hopes that it marks the start of a more rational and Radstock-focused approach to the town's future.

Radstock Action Group says a big thank you to everyone who supports the campaign to save the heart of Radstock. This decision marks a victory for everyone who has written to BANES, attended meetings, contacted important people, got the petition signed up, and kept arguing in favour of a positive and imaginative development of the town.

We now have to keep up the pressure and work to ensure that businesses, residents and growing numbers of visitors will be able to enjoy a town which provides high quality jobs, homes and amenities. We know that BANES will be back with plans which may still include the road and other proposals which do not reflect our hopes and our belief in the town.

The decision to defer must be regarded as nothing more than a reprieve. It does not mean that the threat of the road has gone away, it is still very much on the agenda.

The decision constitutes a small positive step in a much longer campaign in which we will continue to work for the sustainable and sensitive regeneration of the town. At a Radstock Action Group public meeting on Tuesday, attended by 37 people, everyone expressed the view that we need to promote an alternative, forward-looking plan. Many, varied ideas were bounced around - we now have an opportunity to press forward and get a dialogue going with BANES and other 'stakeholders'.

We remain totally opposed to the construction of the road and will be asking the council to:

  • Publish a full analysis of the 2009 traffic survey
  • Do a fully costed investigation of the moving of the sub-station at the mini-roundabout end of Frome Road
  • Develop a master plan
  • Identify alternative and better sites for homes in the town
  • Include the reinstatement of the Radstock-Frome railway in all future plans
  • Put the needs of Radstock people first

It is certainly a relief to know that the diggers will not be moving into town this week, but the fight has to go on. The NRR/Linden Homes Planning Applications are still to come (possibly in November) and we will be working for their rejection and in favour of a people-centred redevelopment of the precious railway land.

We hope that BANES is beginning to realise that Radstock matters to everyone in the town. It has a great future as well as a great past.

A postscript
At the Cabinet meeting, BANES was presented with the latest pack of petition sheets containing hundreds more signatures against the road and in favour of the moving of the sub-station and the conversion of the two mini-roundabouts into one larger one.

Press Release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[14th September 2011]: BANES attempts to answer some questions ....

See how BANES answered the questions that they said had been posed earlier on the visit Radstock Action Group had organised for them on 8 August 2011. At a hastily convened meeting on Wednesday 7 September, they read out these answers to the 30+ people who had turned up at very short notice but who nonetheless were able to prove yet again that this ludicrous proposal will not work. Even so, the councillors appeared hell-bent on supporting this plan which threatens the very future of the town centre.

Click here to download the document (7.8Mb pdf)


[12th September 2011]: PRESS RELEASE: Magic Roundabouts and Deserted Islands

Waterworks offer a glimpse of Radstock's Future

Anyone in Radstock on Saturday 10 September will have experienced, at first hand, the complete chaos caused by road works being undertaken by Wessex Water to repair/replace a storm drain in the town.

With a set up which included several sets of traffic lights (temporary) and the restriction to one way flow of traffic in Frome Road, it provided a foretaste of Radstock's fate should the new road proceed. According to one passenger, it took a bus an hour to get from Peasedown th Radstock; exhibitors travelling to an event at the Working Men's Club were held up by huge tail backs (at least 40 minutes at about 9.30am), and there was an eerie quiet in the normally busy town centre as shoppers abandoned plans for their usual Saturday trip to the shops. Even at 3.30 in the afternoon, traffic from Bath into Radstock was backed up beyond the Clandown turn off and drivers were performing risky three-point turns on the bend at the top of the hill to go back on themselves when they saw how long they were going to have to wait to get anywhere via Radstock.

B&NES Councillors tell the town a story of pure fiction

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday 7 September, at scarcely two days notice, Cllrs Paul Crossley (leader of BANES) and Cherry Beath (Cabinet member for Regeneration), accompanied by Peter Dawson, BANES Group Manager, Transport and Planning Policy, arrived in Radstock to feed back on their visit to the town which had been organised by Radstock Action Group three weeks earlier.

Given the short notice it was impressive to see 37 people in the audience. Unfortunately the visitors didn't have a chair for the meeting and they did not introduce themselves, so the session was chaotic and generally very worrying for those who want to see a constructive and logical plan for the regeneration of the town.

The two councillors took it in turns to read out, from a printed sheet, a series of 21 questions and their answers, prepared in response to the 21 questions which they said had collected during their visit to Radstock. Not an exactly helpful format, but it went ahead nonetheless. A copy of the paperwork will be available on our website shortly.

What emerged from the meeting was sobering evidence that they are not listening and that they appear determined to proceed with the new road regardless of public opinion, informed professional evidence that it won't work, or the provision of alternative solutions from those who live and work in Radstock.

Amongst the 'interesting' statements they produced was, 'The principle (sic) cause of traffic congestion currently being experienced in Radstock, is the sheer number of vehicles passing through the town centre due to the lack of an alternative route' The B&NES solution? Increase the amount of traffic by diverting a main road into the town centre. Brilliant.

Worries about the cellar of Automania? BANES has the answer, 'The cellar is positioned within the pedestrian footway. The proposed scheme widens the footway further resulting in road traffic being moved further from the area of concern'. They could not explain how the inevitable narrowing of the Street was going to help eight axle trucks to pass as they travel along the Street in two directions or why making the turn into the Street from Wells Road even more difficult was going to enhance safety in the town.

One member of the audience was heard to say, 'Magic Roundabouts' as councillors sought to explain their ludicrous plans, another painted a picture of a town deserted by shoppers as traders go out of business because no-one can get into the centre any more - our town centre will, indeed, be a deserted island.

THIS TUESDAY - A PUBLIC MEETING TO HEAR THE LATEST AND GIVE PEOPLE A CHANCE TO EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS This scheme must be stopped - the more we hear from B&NES, the less acceptable it is. This week Radstock Action Group will be present at all B&NES meetings addressing the matter and will be holding a public meeting OF THEIR OWN:

PUBLIC MEETING: Road to Ruin or Regeneration?
DATE: Tuesday 13 September
TIME: 8pm
VENUE: Victoria Hall, Radstock

Demonstrate outside the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 14 September at 5.45pm at the Guildhall in Bath

Everyone welcome at both events.

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[5th September 2011]: PRESS RELEASE: Road works start but under cover of shock conversion of BANES to Ecological Maintenance

Ever since the diggers moved on to the railway land on 24 August, it's been impossible to find any agreement at Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) on what is going on. But, undaunted, Cllr Paul Crossley (Leader of BANES) declared on BBC Radio Bristol on 2 September that 'it's not preparation for the road building' but 'ecological maintenance' and when pressed on no fewer than three occasions to tell listeners whether it had anything to do with the road or was a coincidence, he eventually replied that it was a coincidence.

Of course, in other circumstances, everyone would be delighted that BANES is now taking its ecological management responsibilities seriously, but these are currently being used as a smoke screen for the real activity of preparing the site for the proposed new road and follow hard on the heels of Nathan Hartley's unwarranted attack on those who seek to ensure that ecological matters are indeed taken very seriously.

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuesday 13 September: Road to Ruin or Regeneration?
Victoria Hall, Radstock - 8pm

In the town centre last Saturday morning, Radstock Action Group found the mood angrier than ever as they collected signatures for the petition against the road. So to give people the chance to have their say, to update everyone on the road and forthcoming related issues of importance, Radstock Action Group will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday 13 September at 8pm at the Victoria Hall, Radstock. Amongst those invited to speak are Radstock's MP, BANES councillors and officers, the chair of Radstock Town Council, the chair of NRR and a range of businesses and individuals opposed to the road. Members of the public should come and make their voices heard too.

Road to Ruin or Regeneration? will be a crucial meeting on the eve of a meeting at which the Road Orders (TROs) will be discussed and where cabinet members will, therefore, have the opportunity to say no to them.

Radstock Deserves Answers

B&NES is still maintaining that it cannot do the analysis of the traffic survey undertaken in 2009 and that officer time is being spent instead on answering questions posed by councillors. However, it would be a very ill-advised authority which went ahead with a major road scheme such as that proposed for Radstock without undertaking full surveys and full analysis of the results.

B&NES says the road is needed for new homes access - unfortunately, even if you wanted to use a car, there will be total gridlock, so you'll never get in or out of the town centre.

Other unresolved questions include:

  • Why is B&NES apparently subsidising the NRR and any future developer by paying out for the road, when this should be the developer's responsibilty according to the outline planning permissions?
  • Why is B&NES so determined to pursue a scheme which is facing massive opposition from the community?
  • Why the moving of the electricity substation and the replacement of the two small roundabouts with one big one is so unacceptable to B&NES?

Crucial B&NES Meeting

Radstock Action Group will be protesting at the B&NES cabinet meeting on Wednesday 14 September and asks as many people as possible to join them at the Guildhall in Bath at 5.45pm - the meeting, at which we will be speaking, begins at 6.30pm but we will be talking to cabinet members as they go into the Guildhall beforehand.

Press release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[3rd September 2011]: Radstock Action Group supporters protesting on Thursday 25 August at the site of the BANES activity on the railway land.

Thanks to everyone who turned out at very short notice.

25th August railway land demonstration


[28th August 2011]: Press Release: You couldn't make it up - and you don't need to - it's happening right here in Radstock

What happened to recent undertakings about the road, to listen and investigate further?

Last Wednesday, to the alarm of very many people, unmarked machinery moved onto the railway land in Radstock and started removing the vegetation on the part of the site adjacent to the sorting office. This came as a particular shock as there are various planning applications and the road traffic orders which have yet to be discussed by BANES and voted on by elected councilors. Adding insult to injury, the move came barely two weeks after Cllr Paul Crossley, the leader of BANES, plus Cllrs Roger Symonds and Cherry Beath (cabinet members for Transport and Regeneration respectively), had attended an event in Radstock, organized by Radstock Action Group, where they assured traders, businesses and the general public, that they were listening and that they would examine alternatives to the current road proposals. Cllr Crossley even went as far as to say that he would not be in favour of the road if the houses were not going to be built. They promised to send a suitable engineer to have a further look at the situation and to keep everyone informed.

Maybe they were genuinely concerned having been taken round the proposed road layout and shown just how unsuitable it is for the town, as it will lead to total gridlock. The five coach companies at the meeting explained that their vehicles would be unable to negotiate the new layout, traders and residents explained in very great detail why they objected and they were left in no doubt that this scheme will be the death of Radstock town centre.

So Radstock Action Group and their supporters set about asking both officers and elected members what was going on. Neither Cllr Crossley nor Cllr Symonds had been made aware that this work was going on and only found out when concerned people from Radstock started contacting them. The development also came as a surprise to Radstock Councillors.

Councillors and officers tell different tales

One member of the public who phoned Cllr Crossley subsequently received the following email response:

‘Thank you for your phone call yesterday. I have been told today that the activity on the NRR site was the ecologist doing routine maintenance and checking work and that the JCB banger was to make ground vibrations so that the animals moved around.’

Meanwhile Geoff Webber, Senior Professional, Major Developments, who hhas responsibility for the NRR proposals in Radstock replied to other enquiries as follows:

‘The works to which you refer are being carried out by the Council in order to prepare the site in advance of the provision of highways works and a contractors' site compound. I understand that the works are being monitored by a Consultant Ecologist also employed by the Council.

This is not a Planning matter, and in order to ensure that you receive the most appropriate response to your concerns, I have been asked to forward your email to James Hinchcliffe, the Council's Communications Manager. James will be able to assist you further.’

Geoff Webber also told us that planning permission is not required as B&NES is acting in its capacity as highway authority and cited works such as road widening and resurfacing as not requiring any permissions. Midsomer Norton residents have just found this out for themselves in South St.

He also stated that the work was being undertaken by B&NES Parks department on behalf of B&NES Major Projects - we subsequently learned that Parks had to contract out the work to another agency.

Radstock Action Group thinks it is high time that councilors pointed out to officers that this is not a done deal. After all, councillors are the elected representatives and the officers are surely there to support and implement decisions made by these same councillors, rather than going off doing their own thing. This appears to be a clear case of democratic deficit – there are only two explanations for the different responses. If, in fact, the councillors did order the work to begin, they have not been honest about their intentions; if they knew nothing then the officers should be told to stop interfering with the democratic process.

Major issues at stake

We are particularly concerned by the following:

  • By initiating this work, B&NES is effectively pre-empting the decisions which could be reached by normal democratic means, in cabinet and in full council. the Road Traffic Orders are to be discussed in September and the Linden Homes applications in November, according to information given to one of our supporters.
  • In the event of the project not proceeding, they will have wasted public money.
  • B&NES officers appear to be undermining the elected councilors, by making and implementing their own policies
  • The road, if built, will be achieved by diverting money for the homeless (see Vic Pritchard’s letter in last week’s press) to an unwanted and inappropriate road scheme which will help no-one.
  • By undertaking work which should be undertaken by the developer, B&NES appears effectively to be giving an indirect subsidy to the NRR.
  • The NRR is allegedly the organisation responsible for the development, so we are entitled to know why BANES is now steering it.
  • B&NES has committed £15,000 to an initial study in relation to rail reinstatement and yet they are now pursuing the road without even looking at rail issues
  • The work was allegedly being supervised by an ecologist. He certainly was not present for most of the time and, even more serious, he is the same ecologist as Linden Homes is using, thus being a focus for a major conflict of interest. top soil which may well be contaminated has apparently been taken to a local farm - is the farmer aware of the possible dangers?
  • Linden Homes, which has yet to sign a full contract and/or receive any funding to finance the proposed housing, or else certain developments are not being made public.
  • So this is 'not a planning matter' - brings a whole new meaning to the fine art of buck passing.

The total lack of transparency and the apparent determination of BANES to pursue the NRR plans is absolutely unacceptable. It reveals, yet again, total cynical and offensive contempt shown for Radstock businesses and residents. We invite Cllr Crossley, the leader of the council, to come to Radstock again, as a matter of urgency and explain what is going on.

We urge everyone to phone and email B&NES to demand explanations.

Press Release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[20th August 2011]: Image Gallery: The Councillors visiting Radstock to see the situation regarding the changes to the road situation

Click here to view the gallery


[5th August 2011]: Press Release: BANES Councillors to visit Radstock about road Monday 8 August

Councillor Cherry Beath (BANES Cabinet Member, Regeneration) and Councillor Roger Symonds (BANES Cabinet Member Transport) are visiting Radstock at the invitation of RAG. They are going to be given a tour of the proposed road routes and will then go to the Working Men's Club for a discussion with local traders, businesses, residents and anyone who is interested in the future of the town. The aim - to enable them to see for themselves that this plan just won't work.

Meeting Monday 8 August

Date: Monday 8 August 2011
Time: 1.30pm
Venue: Meet outside Museum for tour of Radstock,
with attention to the road proposals.

To be followed by a discussion with councillors at the Working Men's Club from 2.00 - 3.00pm.

Everyone welcome.


[5th August 2011]: Press Release: What the Road will mean for neighbouring communities and for businesses

Although most people are aware of the proposed NRR plans for the Radstock Railway Land, there are still many who are only now beginning to realise how it will impact on them, even if they do not live or work in Radstock.

Which is why Radstock Action Group has begun talking to local businesses including haulage companies, coach companies and businesses which need to transport goods to and from their sites in the area. RAG has also started contacting parish councils to alert them to possible negative impacts on their own communities.

The principal points that a growing number of people are becoming aware of are:

  1. If you have to go through Radstock for work or leisure purposes, your journey times are going to be longer. this will mean increased fuel consumption, longer working hours and uncertainty on schedules as drivers try to negotiate the gridlock which the road scheme will inevitably bring
  2. Many drivers, once they see this, will start looking for ways of avoiding going through Radstock, leading to rat runs developing in rural areas and through adjacent communities
  3. Large vehicles such as articulated lorries will not be able to use the road system as it involves such obstacles as having to go right round roundabouts
  4. Emergency services will be held up trying to get through the town
  5. If you enjoy dropping into one of the shops, maybe to get your breakfast or lunch on the way to work, this will no longer be easy as parking is going to be reduced
  6. Some companies may prefer to relocate, thus losing local jobs, rather than deal with the ludicrous road scheme.

Businesses RAG has spoken to are extremely concerned about the plans and are being urged to make their views known to Bath and North East Somerset before it is too late. The prosperity of the whole area is something that everyone wants to see and everyone must urge the council to listen to people who actually use the road system in Radstock - they know what it needs and it doesn't need the present proposals.

This is an ideal moment for communities to join together and plan strategically for the future - with current business trends and pressures, this is clearly preferable to being isolated. Roads are meant to join people up, not divide them or bring activity to a halt.

Press Release issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group


[2nd August 2011]: An Open Letter to Lesley Mansell from Radstock Action Group

The following Open Letter has been sent to Councillor Lesley Mansell, the Chair of Radstock Town Council, in order to highlight how Radstock Action Group is working with decision makers, namely Bath and North East Somerset Council. It does not attempt to cover all our activities which obviously go far wider than BANES.

Dear Lesley,

We read your recent intemperate statement to the local press with serious concern. Although you were addressing a far wider audience than RAG, we thought your remarks showed a lack of insight into how much Radstock Action Group contributes to the debate over the future of the town. Radstock Action Group provides just one of many local voices in dialogue with policy makers including BANES. We would like to give you some indication of how we are working to build good relations with BANES and would like to stress that we are not the only ones.

For example and in no particular order:

  • We have a representative on the Somer Valley Partnership, a BANES group, where we have given presentations about our work, shown the rail film and reported back on our activities
  • We piloted the BANES Energy Champions project, we were present at the awards and got an award for our efforts
  • BANES has given us in-kind support for printing costs for our last two Saturday events
  • BANES provides speakers and displays to the Saturday and other events
  • We were approached by BANES right at the beginning to be a core member of the Radstock and Westfield Economic Forum
  • We are recognised formally as a stakeholder for BANES planning purposes and are invited to participate in events as a result
  • Our contributions to the RSS and the Draft Core Strategy have been welcomed and we have had regular dialogues with the nominated officer for Radstock from the department of Planning & Transport Development
  • A BANES Councillor set up and ran a meeting between us and a leading rail expert to discuss the potential steps in reinstating the railway
  • BANES' logo has appeared on our publicity and they have just requested our logo to put on some of theirs
  • We regularly speak at Cabinet, Full Council and Development & Scrutiny (formerly Overview & Scrutiny) meetings.

We believe that all this has come about because we have shown that we want to be involved in developing the future of our town. This doesn't mean automatic agreement with whatever BANES say/propose. But we are building positive bridges with BANES, and we think it is fair to say that they engage with us as an organisation willing to bring ideas to the table.

We are unclear what you mean about 'Radstock is ignored and changes made without our involvement'. It seems more accurate to say that some matters have not been agreed on. For example, we disagree with the proposal to run a road through Radstock and are sure that you will accept that this appears to be the view of most people - the press last week and this have failed to find a single letter to print in support of the road.

It is a matter of considerable regret that Norton Radstock Town Council failed to develop such positive working links with RAG which regularly contributed to meetings; it is even more regretful that the new Radstock Town Council has got off to such an inauspicious start with the chair giving offence to so many well-intentioned and committed people.

Best wishes.

R.Knight, Chair
A.Leon, Secretary
Radstock Action Group

Open Letter issued by Amanda Leon, Secretary, on behalf of Radstock Action Group