Thornbury Town and District Residents Association

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High Street protests in April 2022

Apr 19, 2022

Thornbury High Street Public Protest Marches


The two protest marches arranged by Thornbury Town and District Residents Association on

Wednesday 6 April and Saturday 9 April were both highly successful. Despite the mid-week

date for the first march, when many people would have been working, nearly 100 local

residents took part. The Saturday march was much larger, and one onlooker counted nearly

400 protesters.

The message of the protest was directed at South Gloucestershire Council and its Leader,

Toby Savage, over their resolute failure to listen to and address the concerns of the people

of Thornbury, the majority of whom are up in arms over the Council’s plans for the High

Street. The placards made and displayed by the marchers showed their opposition to the

present scheme together with the demand for a local referendum to decide the issue

democratically and finally.

There have also been many complaints that the so-called “consultation” and “engagement”

sessions, which the Council has run, have been nothing more than “listening without

hearing” sessions, where no minutes were published. The Council has then selected the

outcomes from these sessions which suited them, rather than reflect the true level of

opposition which actually exists.

Both BBC Points West and ITV West Country News cameras were present at the Saturday

march, and interviews with two members of the Resident’s Association were broadcast on

the ITV evening news, alongside footage of the march. In addition, John Riddiford, who runs

the greengrocery and general store in the High Street, was very clear in his interview that

his business had suffered a disastrous reduction in sales since the High Street was closed to

through traffic.

The Residents’ Association, whilst waiting to see what South Gloucestershire Council will

produce as their Full Business Case for the changes to the High Street, is now considering

further moves to bring home to the Council and its leader the foolishness of not listening to

the people they represent.