A load of old cobbles

Beautiful medieval cobble stones were ripped out of the Somerset village of Dunster to make way for plain paving. But the new paving stones caused annoyance among the locals who said they were too smooth and regular—and too blue. Now they are being torn up again to make way for paving more in keeping with the history of the village - and this latest work is set to cost £100,000 of local taxpayers’ money!

"I really hope we all agree on what the new scheme looks like," says a cabinet member for Somerset County Council (SCC). Maybe he should have listened to the residents of Dunster who were forced to raise a petition defending the old cobbled streets of the village at the start of the year. "These cobbles are part of our history and date from medieval times," they said. "Somerset County Council, in their stupidity, have decided and started to remove the cobbled pavements and relay them with grey paving slabs." In the end the stones chosen turned out to be expensive Blue Lias paving.

English Heritage then weighed in with their own criticism: "We think the paving works carried out harms Dunster’s historic qualities and we are contacting Somerset County Council to see if a more sensitive approach could be adopted."

As a result the pavement is being torn up for a second time and more taxpayers’ money being spent. "It’s important we get this as right as possible for Dunster so we are continuing to listen to the local community and exploring several options," said a spokesperson for SCC.

This is my last blog for the TPA. It’s been a great seven years and I must say a big thank you to all the wonderful TPA grassroots supporters I’ve worked with on our many campaigns. You’re all heroes!

Tim Newark is the South-West Co-ordinator of the TaxPayers' Alliance. From all of us here at the TaxPayers' Alliance, good luck in the future and thanks for everything Tim!

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