North Somerset left with the ‘crumbs’ in plans to improve infrastructure

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 September 2017

Could North Somerset miss out on improvements to infrastructure?

Could North Somerset miss out on improvements to infrastructure?


North Somerset Council has ‘made life harder and shut itself out of key decisions on infrastructure’ as other districts in the South West look to tackle their road and rail issues.

‘Instead of compromising’ and joining the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), the council ‘has to take crumbs from the table’ while the other authorities involved progress with plans to improve infrastructure, according to Cllr Mike Bell.

WECA – made up of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils – has revealed a list of projects, including park-and-ride schemes, and road and rail improvements – with similar works, like the reopening of Portishead rail line, long called for in North Somerset.

North Somerset rejected the chance to work with the other authorities under a metro mayor last year – snubbing a share of £1billion of Government funding in the process.

WECA believes its ‘ambitious’ proposals will ‘help deliver economic growth’ through major infrastructure improvements – and Cllr Bell believes the council was ‘wrong’ not to sign up.

The LibDem group leader said: “Nobody on any council seemed to want a metro mayor, but it was take it or leave it. Instead of compromising, North Somerset shut itself out of key decisions and on £1billion in Government cash.

“North Somerset is left having to take crumbs from the table instead of being sat at the head. Officials are doing their best, but we’ve made life harder for ourselves, ignoring advice from industry and education leaders en route.”

Labour leader Richard Tucker also believes the district would be better off in WECA, adding: “Many of the wider issues concerning infrastructure planning can only really be tackled at that level.”

But council deputy leader, Elfan Ap Rees, says Cllr Bell is ‘out of the loop’. He said the council is working with WECA on housing, jobs and transport plans, like Portishead’s MetroWest rail scheme.

He added: “While WECA is having some difficulty getting up to speed with the wider West of England agenda, we have seen no evidence other joint initiatives shouldn’t continue.

“Meanwhile, we have the advantage of developing our own North Somerset agenda and funding with Government and other neighbouring authorities.”

Other News Stories

A cycling duo tackled Great Britain’s three tallest mountains in the Three Peak Charity Challenge to raise more than £1,000.

Read more

Hundreds of pounds will be spent on improving a busy road in Portishead.

Read more

Portishead rotarians have enjoyed a visit from representatives of their French twin town.

Read more

A school’s coffee van enterprise and had an amazing makeover.

Read more

Clevedon Pier will celebrate a historic milestone next year but is now appealing for people to share their stories and images of the landmark.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

A Clevedon castle opened to the public for a special music and arts event.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

A beauty therapist at a Congresbury hotel has been received an impressive accolade, being named the best in the country.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A 76-year-old woman, who was buried under rubble for 24 hours and lost her eye in World War Two, is hoping to find the Clevedon family who took her in when she was evacuated after recently being diagnosed with cancer.

Read more
Fri, 17:00

Some of the more obscure things activities you can take part in this weekend include shooting, cycling and a unicorn run.

Read more
Fri, 16:12

A Portishead physiotherapist has cycled almost 30 miles to visit clients.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the North Somerset Times e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Clevedon Tide report

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

North Somerset Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications