Keynsham development street naming call-in upheld

Councillors have voted to uphold an official challenge to the proposed naming of the streets within Keynsham town centre development.

At a meeting last Friday, 25th July, a cross-party committee of Councillors voted to uphold a ‘call-in’ which challenged the decision by the Council’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet to name all the streets within the development ‘Market Walk’. The outcome means that the Cabinet Member must now reconsider their original decision and report back within ten working days.

The reasons for the call-in, which was led by Keynsham’s Conservative councillors, included:

  • That the information provided to the decision maker was factually incorrect, in that the area did not have ‘historical links to the market’, as Keynsham Market was on Bath Road, not Temple Street.
  • That the Council undertook detailed consultation with residents, but chose to ignore the outcome of this consultation and rejected alternative name proposals put forward by Keynsham Town Council.
  • That the rationale for rejecting the alternative proposals is inadequate, with the Cabinet report stating them only to be ‘unacceptable’ with no further explanation.
  • That the Council, as developer, and Cabinet, as decision maker, should take greater heed of the views expressed in the consultation with residents and the Town Council.

During the meeting, the panel of councillors received a range of written and verbal evidence, interviewed the Cabinet Member responsible for the decision, and received a representation from Councillor Brian Simmons on behalf of those Councillors who had signed the Call-In request.

Following the meeting, Cllr Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North), who led the call-in, said:

“We’re naturally delighted with this outcome, which will mean that the Cabinet is forced to review its original decision, having previously ignored the consultation carried out with residents and the Town Council.

“Our hope is that the Lib Dems will now actually listen to what residents and others have to say about the proposed names before reaching a final decision on the naming of the town centre. Preferably, they ought to put the various proposed names to a public vote, as they have done with the Town Clock design.”