Letters to the Editor, October 13, 2016
PUBLISHED: 13:33 14 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:33 14 October 2016
I reside in Bristol, but regularly visit my parents who live near the seafront in Weston.
My parents enjoy the pace of local life and are proud of the area and the house they have lived in for over 20 years. They were only just telling me over the weekend, by reading aloud the Mercury newspaper, about the many changes Weston has in store, which they feel are for the better and a break from the neglect of the past. It looks like a proactive council has played a big part, but then I read with some dismay that this investment has come from saving money in other areas.
In Bristol we have an army of council staff who clean our parks and sweep the streets. However it would seem in Weston local people are expected to do the same job.
I read in the Mercury with some disbelief that councillors organise gangs of locals into collecting rubbish and litter clearing. Can I ask why this isn’t covered in your council tax and if it is, can I ask for a reduction on behalf of my parents?
Surely it must be the job of councillors to make sure these tasks are undertaken by council staff rather than by others?
All I can tell you, the good people of Weston, is that you are not getting value for money from your rates. I would encourage you to write and complain to the Town Hall, but I fear all the councillors might be out sweeping the streets.
I will be surprised if they will ever find time to make these promising changes to the area a reality or maybe their short-sighted preoccupation with cost-cutting will mean they are already dead in the water.
MRS L HUGHES
Grove Park Terrace, Fishponds
What a waste of public money
Recently the council has been proudly telling us how many road improvements they have made in and around Weston.
I contacted them in the summer explaining how dangerous lower Baytree Road was to me and other motorcyclists/cyclists. Eventually they closed the road to our delight and proceeded to patch two areas at each end... a strip, in fact, which if you are on two wheels is a hazard in itself.
The central reservation where I have to turn right into my drive is lethal and one side of the road is very uneven and has been neglected completely.
When another resident questioned the situation he was told they planned to do it completely next year. What a waste of public money.
Baytree Road, Weston
Their kindness is ‘remarkable’
The League of Friends and Weston General Hospital jointly concerned with the current scanner appeal would like to say thank you to the magnificent 40 For 40 cycle ride fundraising event created by County Contractors.
The league is one of the charities to benefit from the event and we are so grateful to the organisers and supporters for this remarkable kindness and for the welcome we received at the Grand Pier at the finish of the ride.
Chairman, League of Friends of Weston General Hospital
Uphill Road North, Weston
Is rollercoaster on the up again?
A few years ago when Richard Nightingale was planning to re-develop the Tropicana I was with him when two promised franchises withdrew in favour of the planned Dolphin Square development, much to his dismay.
How things change because now it is reported that he looks forward to the possibility of retail outlets being included in the new square after all, so we may well hear a nightingale singing in Dolphin Square.
The whole project has been a roller coaster from the outset.
Many of us remember the vibrant square with its shops and indoor market and there were of course flats above the shops.
When the new project was planned it was to be a mix of recreation and retail, and then when the old buildings were demolished we discovered nobody wanted to take on the retail side. Then we learned apartments were to be included and now it is reported there will be shops again.
This of course is excellent news but the question is what will we see? I mentioned a roller coaster with all the ups and downs, so let us hope that at last we are on the up again.
Clarence Grove Road, Weston
Riding roughshod over the south
The Mercury of October 6 reported on the North Somerset Villages Association (NSVA) which has been set up to represent local housing action groups.
The NSVA is calling on North Somerset Council to consider the adverse consequences of its house-building policies.
What is noticeable is that most of the villages which face the adverse consequences of the unsustainable housing developments, along with Weston, are within the southern planning area. The northern planning area, which includes Portishead and Clevedon, gets off lightly.
That is perverse, because the housing is needed on the outskirts of Bristol, where the majority of new residents will find work, not far away from the city. Concentrating the new build in the southern area will require massive investment in infrastructure to enable employees to get to work.
As the NSVA pointed out, that is unsustainable. It is also environmentally quite the wrong approach. Even after North Somerset has been asphalted over, the unnecessarily long journeys to Bristol will still be unacceptably frustrating.
The southern planning area corresponds to the putative Winterstoke District. The way in which the need for additional infrastructure resulting from all the new housing has been swept under the carpet by North Somerset Council again makes the case for a Winterstoke District Council which will be responsive to our wishes and is back under Somerset County Council which remained two-tier, unlike unitary North Somerset which rides roughshod over the wishes of the southern half of the district.
Priory Road, Weston
Let’s all leave no stone unturned
I hope after reading in last week’s Weston Mercury how a vital voluntary organisation which has recorded audio versions of the Mercury for 30 years, Woodspring Talking News, providing weekly instalments of news to people who are blind, will find a new base before the Lauriston Hotel, in Knightstone Road closes.
The Woodspring Talking News has for many years been a vital lifeline for so many people who are visually impaired and unable to read a newspaper and miss out on what is going on locally in our community in North Somerset.
Each week good-hearted volunteers bring a ray of sunshine to so many visually-impaired people so they can discuss their issues with people in the same situation.
Let’s all try to leave no stone unturned in North Somerset to find a new home for Woodspring Talking News so they can continue to spread the good news.
D F COURTNEY
Victoria Park, Weston
Thanks for help when I fell ill
My wife and I wish to thank the driver Tony, of Crosville bus 103 on October 17, for all the help he gave us when I became ill.
Also thanks to Weston General Hospital A&E staff.
MR AND MRS BAILEY
Kingsley Road, Weston