Apologies for the late notice for this public meeting to be held Monday 14 July 7pm St Nicholas Church Hall, Buxton Road. People living locally in Weymouth should have already had something through the door, but this is an invitation to all those who have signed the petition online (over a thousand people).
The aim of the meeting is to establish what courses of action we feel still can and should be taken to try and restore public access to Castle Cove beach, and whether there are people willing to take these forward, as part of a sort of 'working group'. I will be chairing the meeting.
At the Full Council meeting on 5 June, councillors discussed my petition which asked the Borough Council ‘to work with Dorset County Council, local businesses, local landowners and the local community to re-establish public access to Castle Cove Beach’. I was allowed to speak for 3 minutes and argued that it would cost them virtually nothing to:
• Look again at the stability of the top half of the path, which the County Council’s Senior Ranger says is stable
• Assess a plan for new steps costed at just £7,000-£8000 and
• Talk again to the owners of the private slipway in light of the clear strength of public feeling
None of the councillors responded directly to any of these points but half voted for the ‘Take no further action’ option - i.e., just give up on our beach. All the others abstained, with one honourable exception, Paul Kimber, who voted against this.
I am very disappointed, as I honestly thought they would get all the interested parties together to see if we can, together, find a cost-effective solution.
Several of the councillors will be at the meeting on Monday, so hopefully it will also provide an opportunity to persuade them to think again.