Second chance to name new centre streets.

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

The new Keynsham Civic Centre
The new Keynsham Civic Centre

The outcome means the Cabinet member responsible must now reconsider her original decision  to name all the streets within the development ‘Market Walk’ 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.”

Friedrich Ludwig Bartelt Founder of Keynsham's Polysulphin Works.
Friedrich Ludwig Bartelt
Founder of Keynsham’s Polysulphin Works.

Meanwhile Cllr Dave Laming –  who is an Independent councillor in the Lambridge ward- has come up with one suggestion for a more ‘local’ feel to a new street name.

He’s Freidrick Ludwig Bartelt – born in Prussia in 1852 – who – as an industrial chemist – developed a revolutionary product from soda ash for the de-hairing of leather hides.

He founded the Polysulphin Company and built a factory to use the process in Broadmead Lane, Keynsham in 1881. It is locally known as ‘the old soap factory.’

Leather was an extremely important product in those days for things like military boots, horse harnesses, gun carriages and military informs.

The Virtual Museum is also keen to see other local connections like Keynsham Abbey, the Frys/Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory and the buried Roman town of Trajectus getting a look in too!