Taunton hotelier criticises Christmas Castle Green funfair

This is The West Country: Kit Chapman. Kit Chapman.

A LEADING hotelier in Taunton has criticised the positioning of a funfair on the new Castle Green development during last weekend's Christmas lights switch-on.

Kit Chapman, proprietor of The Castle, made the comments on his blog following the Christmas Market and switch-on.

He wrote: “Sometimes I despair of the town I love. The town I grew up in.

“Our local authority tells us it has a vision for Taunton but there are moments when that vision evaporates into a crass failure of purpose and imagination.

“Our council has just spent millions converting a tired and scruffy Castle Green into the ‘cultural heart’ of Taunton.

“So what is laid on to give the town’s ‘cultural heart’ its first outing? A funfair no less! A grotesque assembly of plastic and metal graffiti crowned by a giant, purple Incredible Hulk set amidst 1,200 years of the history we are so passionate to conserve.”

Responding to the criticism, Taunton town centre manager Graham Love (right) said: “Castle Green is a great space for all manner of events.

“Working with Taunton Deane Council and local businesses, Taunton Town Centre Company has put together a programme of events with wide appeal in the five-week period to Christmas.

“This weekend sculptors will carve the mythical Wyvern from a large block of ice and on December 1 there will be community carols.”

Comments (15)

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1:25pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Monument says...

None is so deaf as those who cannot hear.

Taunton is doomed to slide into obscurity as a place to go to shop, eat and drink unless those in charge actually start to listen to people like Mr Chapman.
None is so deaf as those who cannot hear. Taunton is doomed to slide into obscurity as a place to go to shop, eat and drink unless those in charge actually start to listen to people like Mr Chapman. Monument
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sun 25 Nov 12

St. Austell says...

So what is contributing to Kit Chapman's despair about Somerset's county town? Is it just what has been proposed for Castle Green or the fact that he has made his hotel less attractive than formally and is concerned at his profit and loss account? He has turned away business for example some years ago, when living in Taunton, my wife and I enjoyed Christmas Day at Mr. Chapman's hotel paying well for the service. A few years later when wishing a repeat booking we were told that it was only open to those who wished a four day break with pricey accommodation: not for us only living a few miles away at the time! The upshot is that the man is to be forgotten having lost touch with reality.
So what is contributing to Kit Chapman's despair about Somerset's county town? Is it just what has been proposed for Castle Green or the fact that he has made his hotel less attractive than formally and is concerned at his profit and loss account? He has turned away business for example some years ago, when living in Taunton, my wife and I enjoyed Christmas Day at Mr. Chapman's hotel paying well for the service. A few years later when wishing a repeat booking we were told that it was only open to those who wished a four day break with pricey accommodation: not for us only living a few miles away at the time! The upshot is that the man is to be forgotten having lost touch with reality. St. Austell
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Sun 25 Nov 12

CosApp says...

£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.
£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park. CosApp
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Mi_Coc says...

CosApp wrote:
£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.
I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.
[quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: £5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.[/p][/quote]I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Bob Cockshaw says...

So Basil Fawlty is moaning again. Maybe they should redevelop the B&B and move it to a more desirable location away from all us mere mortals. Anyway, must go, I'm a very busy man!
So Basil Fawlty is moaning again. Maybe they should redevelop the B&B and move it to a more desirable location away from all us mere mortals. Anyway, must go, I'm a very busy man! Bob Cockshaw
  • Score: 0

4:39pm Sun 25 Nov 12

sopcannon says...

Well if businesses weren't suffering enough they now have to deal with flood waters. Taunton get ready for my businesses to shut up shop and leave. We need more businesses which provide more jobs and thus more revenue for Taunton.
Well if businesses weren't suffering enough they now have to deal with flood waters. Taunton get ready for my businesses to shut up shop and leave. We need more businesses which provide more jobs and thus more revenue for Taunton. sopcannon
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Sun 25 Nov 12

CosApp says...

Mi_Coc wrote:
CosApp wrote:
£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.
I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.
Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?
[quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: £5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.[/p][/quote]I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.[/p][/quote]Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government? CosApp
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Sun 25 Nov 12

St. Austell says...

CosApp wrote:
Mi_Coc wrote:
CosApp wrote:
£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.
I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.
Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?
Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days.
[quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: £5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.[/p][/quote]I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.[/p][/quote]Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?[/p][/quote]Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days. St. Austell
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Sun 25 Nov 12

St. Austell says...

CosApp wrote:
Mi_Coc wrote:
CosApp wrote:
£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.
I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.
Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?
Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days.
[quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: £5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.[/p][/quote]I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.[/p][/quote]Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?[/p][/quote]Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days. St. Austell
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Sun 25 Nov 12

St. Austell says...

CosApp wrote:
Mi_Coc wrote:
CosApp wrote:
£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.
I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.
Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?
Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days.
[quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: £5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.[/p][/quote]I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.[/p][/quote]Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?[/p][/quote]Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days. St. Austell
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Sun 25 Nov 12

St. Austell says...

CosApp wrote:
Mi_Coc wrote:
CosApp wrote:
£5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.
I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.
Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?
Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days.
[quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CosApp[/bold] wrote: £5m would've cleared a lot of drains or even built new ones then people wouldn't have suffered so much with flood waters. Oh, and please Councillors don't give me drivel about the money coming from Government Central Funds for the Castle Green fiasco as it is all TAXPAYERS' money and it should have been spent on necessities in this financial climate instead of digging up a revenue generating car park.[/p][/quote]I agree totally however the money was only available for regeneration projects so in this case your anger should be with the government as they dictated how the funds were spent.[/p][/quote]Very true. What we need an injection of common sense into Westminster and Local Government and it certainly doesn't exist in ANY of the main political parties. Fancy forming a government?[/p][/quote]Whilst local and central government is filled with career politicians, often those who made no money from their original pursuits, little will change since winning votes is paramount. As a result the "Jim will Fix it" attitude aimed at currying favour will continue with little sops like the Castle Green improvements being handed out to what is no more than an electorate that have not graduated from "Cyder City" - Tone Vale Tea - days. St. Austell
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Mon 26 Nov 12

johnbks says...

This from the man who not so long ago was pictured in the Gazette holding a large 'save our car park' placard. Now he describes it as previously having been 'a tired and scruffy Castle Green'. People are perfectly entitled to be pro or con this development, but to try to be both for one's own vested interests, is plain hypocracy!
This from the man who not so long ago was pictured in the Gazette holding a large 'save our car park' placard. Now he describes it as previously having been 'a tired and scruffy Castle Green'. People are perfectly entitled to be pro or con this development, but to try to be both for one's own vested interests, is plain hypocracy! johnbks
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Somerset_BTGOG says...

If I was him I'd be more worried that someone will be knocked down and injured (or worse) by one of the many cars going to his hotel.

Don't these people realise that it is now a pedestrian zone, but then again they probably think we're all Plebs.

I think the local authorities need to introduce some traffic calming measures before it's too late for someone!
If I was him I'd be more worried that someone will be knocked down and injured (or worse) by one of the many cars going to his hotel. Don't these people realise that it is now a pedestrian zone, but then again they probably think we're all Plebs. I think the local authorities need to introduce some traffic calming measures before it's too late for someone! Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Fri 30 Nov 12

localmcnocal says...

I find Kit Chapman pompus and a snob. Perhaps he should find an 'exclusive' hotel in a more rural setting with some land so he isn't surronded by 'rif raf' and 'tat' found in normal town centres.
His attitude stinks of self intreast and not that of attracting people to the town.
I find Kit Chapman pompus and a snob. Perhaps he should find an 'exclusive' hotel in a more rural setting with some land so he isn't surronded by 'rif raf' and 'tat' found in normal town centres. His attitude stinks of self intreast and not that of attracting people to the town. localmcnocal
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Fri 30 Nov 12

St. Austell says...

localmcnocal wrote:
I find Kit Chapman pompus and a snob. Perhaps he should find an 'exclusive' hotel in a more rural setting with some land so he isn't surronded by 'rif raf' and 'tat' found in normal town centres.
His attitude stinks of self intreast and not that of attracting people to the town.
I have to agree with “localmcnocal”. Chapman and so many of his contemporaries still believe that Taunton, being the County Town of Somerset, should be considered to be “Up Market” and thus attract a premium rating and charge accordingly. Unfortunately this is not the case. For example the town has even failed to attract such as John Lewis and Waitrose whilst local long established traders appear to continually downgrade in the face of competition confirming its poor standing. Moreover Chapman’s hotel fails to provide some of the facilities that are offered, often at much less cost, by other not too far distant hotels. He would be well advised to sell then move to a location were he can provide full “Five Star” accommodation with facilities to match such a rating leaving “Cider City” to host the poor at the likes of ”Travelodge”.
[quote][p][bold]localmcnocal[/bold] wrote: I find Kit Chapman pompus and a snob. Perhaps he should find an 'exclusive' hotel in a more rural setting with some land so he isn't surronded by 'rif raf' and 'tat' found in normal town centres. His attitude stinks of self intreast and not that of attracting people to the town.[/p][/quote]I have to agree with “localmcnocal”. Chapman and so many of his contemporaries still believe that Taunton, being the County Town of Somerset, should be considered to be “Up Market” and thus attract a premium rating and charge accordingly. Unfortunately this is not the case. For example the town has even failed to attract such as John Lewis and Waitrose whilst local long established traders appear to continually downgrade in the face of competition confirming its poor standing. Moreover Chapman’s hotel fails to provide some of the facilities that are offered, often at much less cost, by other not too far distant hotels. He would be well advised to sell then move to a location were he can provide full “Five Star” accommodation with facilities to match such a rating leaving “Cider City” to host the poor at the likes of ”Travelodge”. St. Austell
  • Score: 0

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