Council pressed on future of Keynsham town centre

The Liberal Democrat Cabinet on Bath and North East Somerset Council is to be pressed this week on the future of a scheme to redevelop Keynsham town centre.

Conservative Councillors have tabled a series of questions on the future of the town centre regeneration scheme which will have to be answered by the Lib Dem Cabinet when it holds its first public meeting on Wednesday.

Conservative Councillors have asked for confirmation on whether a new library and public services will still form part of any redevelopment once the Liberal Democrats have decided upon the future of the scheme. The pressure from Conservative Councillors comes after the Labour-backed Lib Dem administration put the project on hold whilst it reviews plans drawn-up by the previous Conservative administration, which would include new shops, offices, library and public spaces in the town centre. Before the local elections, the Liberal Democrats campaigned against these plans, calling them ‘grandiose’.

Conservatives have also raised concerns that if the Council does not show a commitment to the project by stationing staff in the town it may make it harder to secure private investment and encourage key retailers into the centre.

Conservative Group Leader Councillor Francine Haeberling (Saltford), said:

“We remain very concerned about the future of this regeneration scheme for Keynsham and want reassurance from the Lib Dem Cabinet that they remain committed to the key elements of this project. We will put every pressure on the Council to see this important project go ahead, as it is vital to the future prosperity of the town.

“We have asked for reassurance from the Liberal Democrats that a commitment to a new Library and a new One Stop Shop for public services will remain part of the plans. We have also sought reassurance that the Council and its staff will remain a key anchor in the development, as without this there is a danger that it will prove very difficult to encourage retailers and private sector investment.”