Sedgemoor sports plan neglects Burnham and Highbridge

This is The West Country: Bob Filmer said plans for Sedgemoor should not just focus on Bridgwater Bob Filmer said plans for Sedgemoor should not just focus on Bridgwater

BRIDGWATER receives the lion's share of the Sedgemoor District Council's attention and funding for sports facilities while the rest of the district is forgotten, local councillors and clubs have said.

The council unveiled its district-wide plan for providing sports facilities and funding in Sedgemoor at its executive meeting on April 23.

The Sedgemoor Sports and Recreation Facilities Strategy and Action Plan include recommendations for new football, rugby, cricket and all-weather pitches for Bridgwater.

However councillors representing the Burnham and Highbridge areas felt that the plan was focused almost entirely on Bridgwater and paid little attention to the rest of the district.

Speaking to the Weekly News, cllr Bob Filmer, councillor for Brent Knoll, East Brent, and East Huntspill, said: “They were saying there was a shortfall in Bridgwater which needs to be addressed but I think it's important that that when we have a Sedgemoor wide plan, we need to make sure we take into account all of Sedgemoor rather than just Bridgwater.

“In the rural areas it's harder to be heard. Those who represent rural areas need to make sure those areas are listened to.”

Cllr Chris Williams, councillor for the Highbridge and Burnham marine ward, said: “We weren't sure they made the correct assessment on the likely demand in my area. We know a lot of our facilities are very well used.

“There are other areas outside Bridgwater and you have to remember they exist. You have to speak up and be heard.”

Speaking at the council's executive meeting, Robert Semple, reporting officer on the action plan, said: “If you look at the figures, when you take Bridgwater out of the equation, Sedgemoor has more than enough pitches.

“When you take Bridgwater into account, for which there are about 70 teams, that's where the over-use of current pitches comes in.”

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