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posted 15 Dec 2011, 08:34 by Westover Labour
  Traders alo
ng Bridgwater's stricken West Quay, which has been the subject of major repair works to the river wall since the Carnival night collapse are preparing to return to their bu sinesses following the decision by Sedgemoor District Council that the Emergency did not warrant the issue of prohibition notices and that residents and traders could return at their own risk.

Several shops have already re-opened including Cuts, the American Nailbar and AJ's hairdressing but trade had been slow as the street appeared to still be closed. Following a meeting with Ward Councillors, residents, traders and  Sedgemoor Corporate Directors this Tuesday, an agreement has been reached to tidy up the street, relocate unsightly hoardings and open up the pavement access to connect Castle street to Fore street via West Quay.

The Fountain inn, on the corner of West Quay and Fore street intends to open at the weekend.


Dogan Yildirim of the Green Olive restaurant is the latest trader to consider re-opening and is  aiming for   next week after he's cleared the position with his insurers . Dogan had been compelled to throw away his existing food stock shortly after the evacuation by Sedgemoor Environmental Health officers and is now having to totally re-stock the restaurant if he is to open in time for his christmas bookings.


Todays visit by Clinton Rogers of BBC West highlighted the plight of the displaced residents such as John of 7 West Quay who has now moved back into his flat. John Allen said "I'm very grateful to the YMCA but people want to be in their own homes for Christmas. You like to cook your turkey in your own oven and not with 6 other people. I was evacuated with no notice at all and it's all been very surreal. Now i'm back I'm staying here and if the wall decides to fall down after all this I'll be in the Parrett in me swimming trunks.


Sedgemoor District Council are attempting to assist the traders with making West Quay look open for business once more. Press officer Claire Faun spent much of the morning interviewing the shops to find how best they could help with publicity. She said "Some immediate, practical steps would be taken by SDC such as cleaning the areas along West Quay which were open; improving security; help with advertising the businesses which were open; improved communications with the tenants."


Other traders, however,  have opted for re-location such as Max from Parrett Furniture who has now opened at 2 alternative locations, the Indoor Market in Eastover and in Morland Road Highbridge. The interior of Parrett Furniture was damaged during the flood with much stock lost.