Letters to the Editor, June 2, 2016

PUBLISHED: 08:49 03 June 2016

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North Somerset Council (NSC) is reluctant to have a metro mayor. It is expected the other three councils will back devolution.

If NSC does not want to join, that is their decision. I cannot see the point in turning down devolution and £900million, £30million over 30 years. The region would receive £30million a year, spread over 30 years but the region could borrow more funding on the back of this money as well as attracting further investment.

I think we should go for a metro mayor. Councillors in Conservative-run North Somerset are against the deal because they argue that the new money will do nothing for their area.

New houses built at St Georges next to the Weston branch line, next to M5 junction 21. But no new railway station built at St Georges to help ease the gridlocked M5 junction 21 which has had £25million spent on it. This is not the first time the M5 junction 21 has had millions of pounds also spent on it. After millions of pounds M5 junction 21 is gridlocked. NSC is considering a new M5 junction 21A.

New houses being built near Uphill railway junction, yet no signs of a new railway station being built which is close to Weston General Hospital. Yet NSC is saying devolution money would not help North Somerset. Bristol Airport would like the A38 to have some new dual carriageway sections; Bristol Airport is in North Somerset. In my opinion devolution money could help North Somerset.

It is coming across to me that NSC does not have a railway plan? Has NSC put forward in the joint transport spatial plan for any new railway stations reopening in North Somerset?

I think the single branch railway line from Worle junction to Uphill junction needs to go back to the original two lines. It is a bottleneck and one late train could make all trains late. By investing in the single line Weston branch line from Worle junction to Uphill junction could help Bristol Airport and a new Bristol Airport Flyer Bus from Weston railway station.

DAVID WOOD

Greenwood Road, Knowle Park, Bristol

What wonderful news it was to read how Ollie Harrison, who has desperately been seeking a new kidney after being diagnosed with a rare kidney disease, has now had a successful transplant.

Ollie is living proof that organ donation, the gift of life, is worthwhile.

Sadly people across the UK are dying simply because the organ donation system is not working. We have the technology and the medical expertise to save lives yet sadly the suffering continues. This crisis is not because potential donors are not available but that not enough organs are being donated by relatives of people who have died. It isn’t that most are unwilling but they haven’t been asked. Dozens of the 300 intensive care units in the UK rarely or never take part in organ donation, mainly because of the acute shortage of Intensive Care beds.

A recent national survey carried out by the Transplant Partnership revealed that nearly half of the population (43 per cent) had not even heard of the organ donor register. Yet 21 per cent said they would definitely join if they knew how.

There is now an urgent need to change the whole organ donation infrastructure in this country. As in nine other European countries, hospitals in Spain now operate a system of presumed consent for organ donation. This means that a transplant co-ordinator approaches relatives with the assumption that there was a wish to donate and discussions start from this positive basis. It is then up to the relatives to make it clear that the patient had changed their mind.

At present in the UK every one of us has the opportunity to become a registered donor and carry a donor card. If just one person today donates the organs of a relative who has died, up to seven other desperately ill people could have a change at life.

D F COURTNEY

Victoria Park, Weston

Many people when the European Economic Community came into being felt this would be in the mutual interest of all those living within its borders, since then two major problems have arisen; the first is the movement to a political union, where each state has had to give up more and more sovereignty and the second; is a masterpiece of legal and financial manipulation whereby the administrators of the European Union (EU), mainly working in Brussels, have secured for themselves, ever increasing power without any financial responsibility.

Seeing our Prime Minister touring and begging member countries to amend the workings of the EU, with a referendum in the offering was very upsetting, especially so, as only a few crumbs were offered. What was even more upsetting was on his return, it was expected, having failed in his mission, he would call for the UK to leave the EU!

Yes, the future maybe a little more uncertain outside the EU, but the British have been masters of improvisation, especially when their backs are against the wall.

C J PEVERELLE

Edinburgh Place, Weston

Everything you could wish for...

Having had a visit to A&E this week and two further visits to the cardiology department.

I would like to say what caring, helpful and efficient treatment I received. The doctor and staff were everything you could wish for in seeing ill and frightened patients.

Well done Weston General Hospital.

VALERIE COLLINS

Oaktree Park, Locking

Still a lovely place to live... mostly

Like Roy Loud, I also remember the Central Cinema as I worked there for a short time and what happy days they were; the people were nice and friendly, unlike today.

Weston was also so much nicer with lovely shops. We had Lance & Lance, Butters, Trevers, Lennards and of course Lyons tea shop, to name but a few.

Yes indeed Weston was a lovely place to live in the 1940s and 1950s. It still is really... just some people spoil it.

MRS M STANLEY

Constable Drive, Worle

The CQC Inspection report carried out on September 28, 2015 at Weston General Hospital resulted in a resounding ‘requires improvement’. For the local population aware of what this means, should they be given a choice of hospitalisation, Weston General Hospital would not be their first choice.

With no choice, I was blue lighted to Weston General Hospital last week with suspected bacterial meningitis or septicaemia. Within an hour of my arrival I had been examined and bloods taken to reveal an extraordinarily high white blood count of a level previously unseen by medical staff. The hunt was on to find the bacterial source before it killed me. Within 24 hours I was examined by three differing consultants and a MRI scan revealed the source in my left breast. I was rushed to theatre where an anaesthetic consultant with a further two from his anaesthetic team and a surgical registrar plus her consultant operated upon me. Such a bevy of high level medical expertise is unusual for an NHS patient. They did not know what they would find when they opened me up and with my 66-year-old small framed body fighting for its life, the chances of me having a cardiac arrest on the table would have been very real. A large abscess was found containing a particularly nasty and rare Strep A bacteria.

As a retired nurse educator from an educational institution and hospital of excellent repute I observed how some of the system and its processes at Weston are broken resulting in areas of inadequate care for patients. Where good care was given it was by dedicated nursing staff who had to fight the system or attempt to bypass it to provide the level of care for which they were trained where patient needs are paramount. However, that is the dichotomy and I write to you today for two important reasons.

Firstly, a small acute hospital the size of Weston despite its rating was able to respond and process me rapidly in an emergency situation. If I had been blue lighted to a larger over-burdened but better rated city hospital the response would have been slower with a very different outcome. This view has been verified by a consultant working in such a large city hospital. We, who live in North Somerset, are therefore immensely fortunate to have Weston General Hospital as our hospital for emergency and acute care.

Secondly, I wish to publicly thank the medical consultants and their teams at Weston General Hospital to whom I shall be forever indebted.

MRS M STEEL

West End, Wedmore

My understanding is that Great Britain is a translation of the French Grande Bretagne. It has nothing to do with whether or not we moan and groan, as Geoff Malham wrote. Simply put, Great Britain is so named because it is bigger than Little Britain, ie, Brittany. Great Britain refers to the island of Great Britain, while Britain is another way of saying the United Kingdom, and earlier, the British Empire.

Turning to his political point, most people are saying they will vote to stay in the EU, and they are not simply running scared as Mr Malham would have it. As the Daily Mail said on May 22, it is because the “Brexiteers’ logic is beginning to crumble.”

The majority of older voters, Conservative supporters and men now back the campaign to stay in the EU following a collapse in support for Brexit, a new poll ORB poll published in the Daily Telegraph showed.

The result of the outcome Mr Malham is hoping for would not be Great Britain, but Little England stripped of a seat on the Security Council and on its own. We might be a proud nation but we cannot stand alone.

ROBERT CRAIG

Priory Road, Weston

June marks the eighth anniversary of the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity saving lives across the region.

The charity was formed in 2008, when it was recognised that there was a need for an air ambulance to serve the counties of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and parts of Wiltshire.

Our first mission was on June 3, when the crew were called to a road traffic collision on the M5, at junction 21 for Weston. Since then our dedicated critical care paramedics and doctors have been there for thousands of people who were seriously ill or injured. In total we have attended 15,642 jobs, by helicopter and critical care car.

Whether someone was having a cardiac arrest at home, involved in a road traffic collision, or fallen off their horse or bike, we were able to be at their side within 20 minutes, providing life saving care and transporting them to hospital. This is often the difference between life and death, and is the reason that more people have gone on to make a full recovery.

I want to thank every single person who has donated or volunteered for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity as none of this would have been possible without you. I know that the people we have saved and their families are eternally grateful.

It is important that people know we need to raise £2.3million every year to stay operational. Thank you all for your unwavering support, and we look forward to being there for people in need for many more years to come.

JOHN CHRISTENSEN

GWAAC chief executive, County Gates, Ashton Road, Bristol

The Common Market which the British people chose to join has grown like a cancer to a semi-super state, whose tentacles invade every part of our lives, and which looks to turn itself into a total super state, destroying individual nationalities in its path. We have one chance to say no, after which if we choose to remain in this super state, then it will be no use complaining in the future. We have undergone massive changes in recent years through uncontrolled immigration from the Eastern EU states in particular, but this will be a drop in the ocean compared to what will happen in the future with Turkey, Ukraine and Macedonia queuing up to join the EU, it is by no means certain that these countries will be allowed to join, but make no mistake, the political agenda is to allow them to, irrespective of their suitability, as was the case with Romania. Germany already appears to have persuaded the EU to allow Turkey to have visa free travel in the Schengen zone. Also bear in mind that there are no rich countries waiting to join the EU. These immigrants naturally want to better themselves, and who could blame them, but at what cost to the social fabric of the UK, be it health care, schooling or social services, all are, and will be, detrimentally affected. I and all other working British nationals have paid National Insurance and local authority taxation, in the believe that it was entitling us to free health care and free schooling, and what do we find, immigrants coming in from the EU are entitled to these benefits immediately without payment of any kind. We should all be asking for a refund.

Then we have the failed politicians looking to further their own careers by trying to persuade us to remain in the EU. Tony Blair, who remember said that 15,000 Polish were likely to come to the UK when Poland joined the EU, well almost 1,500,000 have come, also remember how he lied when taking us into the disastrous Iraq war. Then we have Gordon Brown, who proved pretty useless as a chancellor and a Prime Minister, or Sir John Major, who is only remembered for his distasteful private life. Or the head of the IMF, who, whilst claiming that the Greeks are not paying their taxes, receives her massive salary tax free. The list is endless and includes the likes of Neil Kinnock, who has done very nicely out of the EU, after failing here in the UK. If any of these influence us in any way it should be to do the opposite of what they advocate, remember too that many of these people, like many of the business and political fraternity advocating to stay in the EU, are millionaires, with private health care and education, not for them the everyday problems caused by mass immigration that affects the lives of ordinary citizens. The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is now saying he wants to stay in the EU, although previously he wanted to leave, he now claims it will protect workers’ rights if we stay. Strange we have 600 MPs in Parliament yet we cannot protect workers’ rights? If these 600 MPs are incapable of running the country and want to divert more of their responsibilities to their EU masters, then perhaps it is time to reduce these posts by a substantial amount. Or take David Cameron, who ludicrously pledged to bring down immigration to tens of thousands, when he knew full well that he didn’t have the power to do this under the EU rules. Big business leaders are also obviously keen to stay in the EU as they have benefited from cheap labour and increased profits.

With regard to foreign non-EU leaders, such as President Obama, he is keen to encourage us to take all and sundry into our country, but he would never dream of opening the USA borders to uncontrolled immigration from the South American countries. Especially people who are not even vetted before being allowed in, as in the case of the EU free movement scheme. The ‘remain’ group want to frighten us as to the consequences of leaving the EU when in fact we should all be much more frightened of the consequences of staying in the dysfunctional, undemocratic, money wasting, meddling EU.

Immigration has its place, no one denies this, but it needs to be controlled immigration, with proper checks on the suitability and background of those applying for a work permit, not the present fiasco, where it is unknown if the people entering our country are criminals or have criminal backgrounds, is it any wonder that half the prisoners in Wandsworth Prison are foreigners. Would any of us open our front doors to allow anyone to enter our homes, irrespective of their status, of course not, so why does our Government open the doors to our country in such a manner? The Government has concentrated their scare propaganda on finance as they know they couldn’t possibly win an argument on immigration, but even their finance arguments are suspect, as they make no mention of the financial implications for the Criminal Justice System, NHS, education, and social services that is caused by having uncontrolled immigration.

Those worried about travel in the future after leaving the EU need not worry, the EU has visa free travel arrangements with many non-EU countries and it is inconceivable that this would not also apply to the UK. With regard to currency, any fall in the value of the pound that may occur would be more than matched by a fall in the Euro if the EU was no longer receiving the substantial financial support it currently received from the UK.

GEORGE HILL

Rochester Close, Weston

Some of last week’s Mercury letters on the referendum debate made depressing reading. With so much information now in the public domain it was surprising to discover how little folks still seemed to understand. For example, Mrs J Edwards suggested that the European Union (EU) failed to prevent the last Balkan War. But none of the hostile protagonists were EU members at that time. Eventually the United Nations and NATO (the UK included) intervened but the peace-keeping comparison ended there. Equally, John Ley-Morgan patronisingly suggested that young people were incapable of having an opinion that would define their future. He maintained that they should be treated ‘in the same way that we wouldn’t let a small child stray too near a cooker or cross the road on its own’. Clearly Mr Ley-Morgan leads a sheltered life because many young people I know are surprisingly well-informed and enlightened about the issues determining their destiny. They’re educated by the wide-ranging, non-partisan internet rather than the narrow, inflammatory tabloids. But Mr Ley-Morgan didn’t stop there. He also described the Governor of the Bank of England as ‘a Canadian’ as if that makes any difference to how he does his job. In doing so, Mr Ley-Morgan reflected Boris Johnson’s recent shameful racist suggestion that Barack Obama favoured the UK in Europe because he was ‘half Kenyan’. And he insultingly added that new countries seeking a notional, impossibly far-off EU membership were ‘waiting in the wings, no doubt with a begging bowl’.

So how about some hard evidence to support Britain’s continuing EU membership? We’re better off. The UK currently receives investments of £31billion per week as part of the EU, with a market of more than 530 million potential customers. Who would want to jeopardise that by ‘going it alone’? We’re all safer. Our membership offers greater protection from terrorists, paedophiles, people traffickers and cyber-crime, benefitting from cross-country coordination and cooperation in the fight against lawbreaking. We’ll continue to have greater world power. The renowned think-tank Chatham House, stated in a report last year ‘for a mid-sized country like the UK, which will never again be economically dominant either globally or regionally, and whose diplomatic and military resources are declining in relative terms, being a major player in a strong regional institution can offer a critical lever for international influence’. We’ll maintain millions of UK jobs. A 2015 study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research suggested that 3.1 million posts were linked to the UK’s exports to the EU. Our businesses depend on it. According to 71 per cent of all members of the Confederation of British Industry and 67 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises, the EU continues to have an overall positive impact on their businesses. Essential workers’ rights are protected too. The Working Time Directive provides legal standards to ensure the health and safety of employees in the UK and Europe. Among the many rules are a maximum 48 hour working week including overtime, a break if a person works for six hours or more, and one day off in every seven. It also includes provisions for paid annual leave of at least four weeks every year. Freedom to travel is one of the most exercised benefits of EU membership as well, with Britons making 31 million visits to the EU in 2014 alone. And if this freedom to live, work and retire anywhere in Europe is withdrawn, what will happen to the 1.5 million expats living abroad and currently able to draw UK benefits and healthcare over there? The EU also keeps our environment safe. Air and water quality have improved immensely over past decades with an estimated saving to the NHS of up to £20billion every year by way of improved community health. And a thriving tourist town like Weston has also obviously benefitted from a cleaner sea, beach and air.

But don’t just take my word for all this. The International Monetary Fund, G20 nations, World Trade Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development all support the UK remaining in Europe. And a survey for last weekend’s Observer found that nine out of 10 of the country’s top economists – working across academia, the City, industry, small businesses and the public sector – believe the British economy will be harmed by Brexit. The poll of more than 600 economists, the largest study of its kind, found 88 per cent said an exit from the EU and the single market would most likely damage Britain’s growth prospects over the next five years. And if that wasn’t enough proof, a recent letter signed by more than 300 prominent historians, including Simon Schama and Niall Ferguson said a vote to leave the EU would ‘condemn Britain to irrelevance’. Finally, and from a most unexpected quarter, religious leaders from the UK’s main faith communities - including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams - have joined forces to oppose Brexit. They say that the EU is vital to preserving peace, fighting poverty and tackling the migration crisis. 37 leading figures from across the faiths say that they hope people will reflect, before voting on June 23 ‘on whether undermining the international institutions charged with delivering these goals could conceivably contribute to a fairer, cleaner and safer world’. Who in their right mind could argue with that?

IAN PITCH

Church Road, Winscombe

With regard to last weeks Mercury, May 26, under the heading ‘Dilapidated Royal Pier Hotel area to be sold’? I am questioning North Somerset Council’s plan to sell the area next to Weston’s Royal Pier Hotel to the hotel freeholder for £25,000! Can anyone tell me if this freeholder is CNM Estates that already owes the council £100,000 relating to the demolition of the hotel?

If so, how can a council legally be able to sell a piece of land to a company that already owes so much in arrears to them? This can’t be in the best interests of the taxpayer.

North Somerset Council will move mountains to claw minor council tax arrears off of residents who have got behind with payments and yet, if this is the case, they will do deals with another whom, I believe are not citizens of Somerset and owe them major amounts of money already.

Is this a case of one rule for the rich and one for the poor and is it another example of yet another clandestine deal?

D HARRIS

Manilla Crescent, Weston

How much more of our money needs to be spent before the NSC and/or Weston Town Council decide to build decent public toilets, appoint toilet attendants and make our public toilets free along the seafront? I’ve raised this subject before on these pages but with no response. I noticed Councillor Nightingale was appalled at the state of them and he posted a picture on his Facebook page. How appalled do you have to be to join the dots? Maybe he was recently taken short and needed to use one? I hope so. I hope all our councillors are. The toilets at the Tropicana are more often locked than in use. Is that because of damage or did someone just leave their keys at home? It’s a basic human need.

In last week’s Mercury it was stated that an extra £70k had been spent on repairing Weston’s toilets. That’s on top of running costs. A suggested solution from a spokesman was to have more frequent visits from the cleaning company. What’s wrong with just appointing attendants? Is there a fear of appointing regular paid staff with employment and pension rights? We certainly aren’t saving any money.

We expect our tourists to spend time on the beach, to stay in Weston for longer periods, spend more money and to go home happy with all our facilities so that they might return. Maybe we should provide them all with corks?

It’s not rocket science - our duty to cater for human beings toilet needs. Could we just start treating our tourists and our local people with some respect? Or maybe as the council in its wisdom decided, we should just tidy up that little bit of roadway outside the Town Hall? What would your choice be? I know mine.

ANNIE HIGGS

Severn Road, Weston

My wife loves her garden especially the beautiful flowers she grows and enjoys watching the coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show on television. However we are puzzled by the fact that the coverage is mainly on gardens at the show and not the flowers. The gardens are amazing with so much work and planning but very few of them contain flowers and the emphasis is on design and props.

I have to admit that we are somewhat biased as our son has won his sixth gold medal for flower arranging and naturally we are very proud of his achievements over the years. So many people these days buy flowers to adorn their homes giving them joy with their beauty and fragrance and not all of them have gardens to cultivate. Chelsea can be a bit snobbish but there are many local shows for the ordinary lovers of flowers. Maybe the London extravaganza should be renamed the Chelsea Garden Show because in reality that is what it has become.

GEOFF MALHAM

Clarence Grove Road, Weston

Referring to Ian Pitch’s letter of last week I too am hoping voters will show sense in the EU referendum on June 23, but for the majority to vote ‘leave’. I am neither xenophobic nor a Little Englander, but I firmly believe that the UK should take back powers that have been surrendered over the years and become a fully self-governing nation once again. I will not be swayed by the blatant scaremongering coming from supporters of ‘remain’ that a vote to leave spells disaster for the UK, and am astonished at the lack of confidence they show in the UK’s ability to manage its affairs without having to defer to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels.

Other European nations will still want to trade with us: we are a net importer of goods from the continent as well as the world’s fifth largest economy. We will also have more freedom to develop new export markets and re-establish trading links with former partners. Regarding national security, it is NATO which has maintained peace and prosperity in Europe since 1945 not the EU. The latter’s chaotic response to the current migrant crisis does not fill me with any confidence that continued membership will protect us from further terrorist outrages. Continued EU expansion means there is a real probability that millions more people will have unrestricted access to the UK’s already overloaded public services. Leaving would put us firmly in control of our own borders, enabling us to introduce a balanced immigration policy whereby we accept migrants who are of benefit to the UK and reject those who are not.

This referendum could be the last chance for the UK to reclaim its parliamentary and judicial sovereignty, and we should not be afraid to take that opportunity.

FRASER DARKE

Severn Avenue, Weston

Thank you for publishing a wide variety of views on why we should, or possibly should not, leave the European Union (EU), and setting out the arguments to do with prosperity and the future of public services. I just feel something has been missing, which in a word I would call politics.

I have always thought that politics in Britain means the forming of parties of people with agreed views, in order to get their leaders elected to political offices where they are given power by our constitution to make all those decisions which we call Government. If the referendum decides to leave the EU, then our present Government will have received a slap in the face, and things will have to change radically, however much they pretend otherwise. So will the other parties, like Labour, SNP, the LibDems, and the rump of the Conservatives.

It is however difficult to imagine the others getting together comfortably. The only officially anti-EU party, UKIP, has been excluded from the campaign by a Government Quango (I mean the Electoral Commission) presumably on the grounds that it was prejudiced. The Daily Telegraph compared the leading two leave Conservatives to Pooh Bear and Piglet following a circular course, while established Labour and LibDems support David Cameron.

CHRISTOPHER MAY

Leewood Road, Weston

Robert Craig compares me to a ‘screaming child who does not have the words to say what ails me’ and yet he seems to have translated my screams adequately in order to comment on my May 12 submission.

I cannot explain ‘how sending doctors and nurses back to the continent is going to help’. I have yet to see any directive stating that should Britain leave the EU all Europeans living in Britain will be automatically deported. Neither have I suggested any deportation. Similarly I cannot see any directive stating that all immigrants from the EU in paid employment must be dismissed from their jobs. I simply don’t think that will happen, I hope it doesn’t happen; my NHS dentist is from Romania! Does Mr Craig think that all these doctors and nurses might choose to return to their home countries should we leave the EU? Of course this is possible, let us hope that there will be sufficient opportunities for employment wherever they return to. But if this is the case why have they chosen to be here in the first place?

The leave camp advocate that Britain should have control of its own borders. Most Britons welcome foreigners of all shapes and sizes if they can show that their presence will be a benefit to those of us living in ‘England’s Green and Pleasant Land’, which of course includes health professionals etc of all nationalities. The leave camp also advocates that Britain should have the right to deport those considered a liability rather than an asset.

JACK LUXON

Lyddon Road, Weston

Should the residents of the Bournville estate be singing the ‘O B Joyfulls’ with the bodge up jobs performed on small pot holes on our roads, already some of which are sinking. The worst ones which have been ignored at the crossroads of Sellworthy and Byron Roads are getting deeper, some are even down to the gravel layer.

This is the second time of asking, it is becoming more dangerous for cyclists, motorbike riders and can cause serious damage to cars.

It would be cheaper in the long run, than to make payments of compensation to the public. Might I remind whoever is responsible that if anyone has personal injury could face court action, and if proven that pot holes are involved, could face tens of thousands of pounds in compensation and the council could be held responsible. There are many roads throughout the town, the Bournville estate is not the only area to consider.

Spend some of the money that the Government has granted to you as I read in the Mercury recently, the week after my first letter. If I recall correctly, in the same letter it stated that the council are considering widening the junction entering the M5 at junction 21. There are already two lanes to ease congestion, both can be used to enter the motorway going north. Having lived in the London area for 41 years we had to put up with 10 miles plus of traffic jams entering south London.

Looking to the future, Winterstoke Road will need improvements when the new housing estate and planned shops are completed.

COLIN WYTHES

Eliot Close, Weston

Ian Pitch’s attack on my opinions about not continuing our membership of the EU in the Mercury, May 19, was lengthy and very insulting. A reply is called for.

I certainly don’t like the way our country is being dominated by Brussels and it’s our long term future that worries me the most.

It’s not about economics alone, for we’ve always invented, made and traded all over the world, taking advantage of our geographical position. EU regulations now make this very difficult and our trade with Europe works 20 per cent in their favour. Not sound economics.

Ian Pitch reminds me of Prime Minister Chamberlain returning from Hitler with a promise of ‘peace’. The Germans, not the Nazis, then invaded Poland, etc in 1939.

Only Churchill knew this was coming, but this country woke up too late, and millions died, including my cousin aged 21.

Boris Johnson is quite right in his thinking about the future of Europe. He is worried that one day a second Hitler will show up should the right conditions arise; mass immigration, unemployment, currency devalued, insular trade etc.

You mention peace in Europe, Mr Pitch, thanks to the EU, what rubbish! Thousands have been killed recently and it took NATO to sort it out. A nuclear deterrent will stop any world war. Terrorist move freely across open borders as in the recent Paris and Belgium attacks. So much for border controls!

You mention President Obama giving advice – just imagine what would happen to him in the USA if he suggested handing over congress or their constitution to Cuba.

As for quoting past Prime Ministers at me as an example supporting the EU then you are having a laugh. All they have ever done is to sell off our gold reserves cheaply, sold our water, gas and electricity, closed our good schools and ruined our traditional Army regiments.

JOHN CARTER

Addicott Road, Weston

It is encouraging that so much is underway in Weston and that there are bold plans for the future. Let us hope that they will come to fruition. What is worrying is the slow pace of re-development and the timing of many of the changes. Consider the facts – the Winter Gardens, closed for the summer with work not likely to start until the autumn; the ‘round house’ on the seafront boarded up for at least another month pending a refit; the museum closed for renovation until spring 2017; Dolphin Square unlikely to be completed before autumn 2017; conversion of the former police station into flats not due to begin until 2017.

Surely some of this work could have been started, even completed during the winter season? We should not be in this situation just as the summer visitors are arriving.

ROGER BROWN

Jocelin Drive, Worle

I was walking through Castlemead area of Worle with my little dog on his lead. In front of me was a lady with two black dogs, one of which came running over and went for my little dog causing him to yelp loudly. The lady came over to get her dog and apologised and said the dog can be aggressive at times. Why did she not keep it on the lead or at least put a muzzle on it? The vet said my little dog had a lucky escape as he still had his winter coat on.

Please dog owners, act responsibly when in public places.

MRS N JONES

Fowey Road, Worle

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