Calls for ‘complete rethink’ of Keynsham town centre art project

Conservative councillors Keynsham have called for a ‘complete rethink’ over a proposed public art project planned as part of the town centre redevelopment.

Conservative councillors in the town have said the Council needs to listen to public feedback and go back to the drawing board on the current proposals.

The calls come after the results of a public consultation undertaken in August revealed that only a tiny fraction of respondents were supportive of the sculpture’s current design. Of the 107 responses to the consultation only 14 people said they either liked or really liked the design, with 50 saying they disliked the design and the remaining 43 either unsure or had no strong opinion either way.

In light of the public’s response, Conservative councillors have urged Lib Dem-run B&NES to call a temporary halt to the project and come up with new design options. They have said the Council should instead concentrate on bringing forward design proposals for a new clock in the town centre.

Keynsham councillor Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North), said:

“It’s clear from the public’s reaction so far and the results of the consultation that the art project’s current design is not popular amongst most residents.

“B&NES needs to listen to this feedback and have a complete rethink of this art project. They should go back to the drawing board and come back with options taking on board the comments made by the public.

“One of the main things people have said throughout the town centre redevelopment is that they would like to see a new Town Clock to replace the old clock tower. Rather than spending more money on a controversial art project, the Council should consider putting this towards bringing forward designs for a new clock instead. If there is money left over, they can then look at an additional art feature as well.”