Published:
January 7, 2016
Highbridge shop owner's sit-in protest over council pavement work

An angry shop owner in Highbridge has held a sit-in protest outside his shop this week during a dispute over safety with Somerset County Council.

Russell Chedzoy of Baytree Upholstery is fuming that the council is refusing to resurface the small tarmac entrance to his shop in Church Street at the same time as it carries out pavement resurfacing.

He claims the council's planned work will create a trip hazard for his customers at the edge of the tarmac area.

Russell, pictured here, set up a chair outside his shop this week to prevent the contractors from starting their work outside his business while he continues talks with the council.

He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I came outside on Wednesday morning to find the council contractors cutting a line in the pavement running along the front of my shop's doorway and the flat next door. I couldn't believe that they were planning to do half a job and not a full job."

"By not tarmacing the whole section, they are potentially going to create a trip hazard just to save a few pennies for a tiny bit of extra tarmac. I am in favour of them doing the resurfacing of the pavement - it's been desperately needed for years - but they should be doing a full and proper job."

He added: "I phoned the council and they said they'd see if they could sort something out in a couple of days, but I explained that won't be any good because they're digging up the pavement today."

"Within an hour a man from the council who's in charge of the contractors called me and said he'd try to sort something out. But then I looked outside to see the contractors trying to start to dig up the pavement. I said no, put a chair outside and sat there and asked them to send someone from the council to sort it out."

He added: "I've had no notice about this work - I didn't know it was going on until they tried to start the job."

A spokesman for Somerset County Council told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We are currently carrying out some footway resurfacing works along Church Street in Highbridge. Regrettably, these works were disrupted by a member of the public who wanted us to resurface an area of private land outside his property."

"We have a responsibility to maintain our roads and pavements, but we are not able to carry out work on private land for obvious reasons. We hope to return and complete the footway resurfacing."

 


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