COUNCIL chiefs stand accused of scuppering plans for West Bay's long-awaited sea angling jetty.

West Dorset District Council has promised to set aside £100,000 towards the project from the resort's £1.25 million regeneration budget.

But it insists that first a Community Trust must be set up by people in Bridport to oversee the £500,000 funding bid and then run the pier.

Bridport plans committee chairman Ros Kayes says for minnows like the town council organising a project on that scale may prove too great a challenge.

"We must be careful not to be naïve in taking the deal that is being offered for West Bay at face value," she warned.

"Reading between the lines, the district council are abdicating their responsibility.

"They removed the facility but they are expecting Bridport Town Council and a community trust to replace it.

"This would be a huge undertaking and probably impossible for a body the size of the town council."

Coun Kayes said she understands that there have already been attempts to establish a trust but that they have fallen by the wayside because of the complexity of negotiating with the Crown and other planning authorities involved.

The condition that a trust is set up to oversee the project was imposed by West Dorset Council's executive committee when they gave the go-ahead for the Bay's regeneration scheme last week.

Coun Kayes added: "The only positive thing to come out of the meeting was an undertaking by the committee to discuss with the stakeholders involved.

But I don't see anglers at West Bay jumping up and down with joy at this result. We must commit the district council to taking more responsibility on this issue.

"To put all this upon a body as small as the town council and then blame them when they can't make it happen is at best neglectful, at worst deliberately designed to attract all the blame to the people of Bridport who have been arguing for a different option all along."

Fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Dave Rickard also spoke out this week about the Tory controlled district council's decision to impose its own regeneration scheme.

He said: "They are also visibly flexing their autocratic muscles with their imposing an unwanted compromise solution to the development potential of West Bay.

"It has been clearly pointed out to them by the people of Bridport and West Bay that a piecemeal solution is unacceptable and the town council are yet again being ignored. Be assured we will continue to fight our corner."