A host of facilities in a North Somerset town have been shut down after a town council was dropped by its insurers.
People in Clevedon are now “strictly forbidden” from accessing their allotments, Herbert Gardens and its tennis courts, the Seafront tennis courts, and the town council’s offices and room bookings. All of these facilities will remain closed until further notice.
Clevedon Town Council, whose meetings have been marred by chaos and arguments since the 2022 local elections, was stripped of its insurance on Monday, August 14 at 5pm, leaving the local authority essentially unable to operate.
Activities at the Barn youth and community centre have also been cancelled but the Children’s Centre area will continue to operate.
The Salthouse Fields skate park and multi-use games area will also remain open after North Somerset Council stepped in.
In a statement posted to the council’s website, Clevedon Town Council chairman Trevor Morgan and locum responsible financial officer Bruce Poole, said: “The Council is working hard to resolve this as quickly as possible and will provide further updates.”
One councillor told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We are, as a council, in an existential crisis.”
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Town councils, along with parish councils in rural areas, are the lowest tier of local government in England but are often responsible for a number of locally valued services as well as being an important voice for the community on planning issues.
The town council’s current community grants process has been paused, but the council stated that it was making contact with suppliers and community groups and payments would continue to be made “for the foreseeable future.”
A spokesperson for North Somerset Council said: “Clevedon Town Council is a separate and independent organisation from North Somerset Council. We are contracted by Clevedon Town Council to carry out maintenance and safety checks on the Salthouse Fields skate park and the multi-use games area. We will continue this work to help keep these facilities open to the public.
“The other facilities remain the responsibility of the town council. However, we continue to work hard to help the town council to find a long-term solution and reopen services as soon as possible for the benefit of residents and visitors to Clevedon.
“If Clevedon residents would like more information, we recommend that they contact their local Clevedon Town Council ward member.”