LETTER TO THE EDITOR FEBRUARY 17

Shambles

I AM writing in disgust of Weston-super-Mare (if you call it super). It is really a shambles.

No bus to pick you up on the seafront. The Tropicana is ready to be turned into a rubbish tip. When you look at it you wonder if it’s ever going to be a swimming pool again?

I can remember when my daughter and I used to go down for the day swimming at the Tropicana

Where the town’s information office was, it is still being done up.


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I can remember when you could sit on the grass and have fish and chips, it’s now fenced off with keep out signs.

There are seats on the seafront made out of old stone. The sea walls are still being done up. Everything is a mess. When you remember what everything was like.

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I now go to Bristol to have peace and quiet, but I do like the new pier.

MRS PAULINE COOPER

Charter Way, Wells

Boxed up

I NOTED with interest that when North Somerset tried to increase the cost of Grove House the reply from the town council was that if that went through, they would simply move everything over to Burlington Street museum site.

As I write this the reserve stock of that museum, which took more than 150 years to collect, is being boxed up and sent away, some going to Taunton, where they have a new heritage centre for Somerset, and some to the library to await its fate in the shiny new library that hasn’t even been officially agreed yet.

How strange it feels to hear politicians rattling on about democracy whilst pursuing a slash and burn policy in this country against the wishes of the majority. Funny old world.

BRIAN AUSTIN

Alma Street, Weston

Blue Badges

I AM writing in response to the letter from Alan Chilcott on January 27.

Regarding parking for Blue Badge holders, I fully support Mr Chilcott and totally agree with what he says about the situation in Weston. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to clarify the position with regard to the yellow markings on the kerbs and then have my own gripe about the subject.

Unfortunately, the situation for disabled parking is worse than he states in his letter. When you get two yellow marks on the kerb it actually means no loading or unloading at any time which is what you find on 99 per cent of the streets in close proximity of the centre of town.

Yes, this makes it a no-go area 24/7. The 11am-4.30pm restriction (single yellow markings) are very rare indeed - the council probably got low on paint when they got to that street (I only know of the one).

So, to conclude, Weston is one of the worst towns (and a holiday resort at that) in England for Blue Badge holders, where the council has deliberately gone out of their way to outlaw disabled parking.

They may argue that, on their car parks, they allow the second hour free for badge holders, but that’s no use if you can’t get a space and you may not even require the first hour that you pay �1.10 for.

Go to Bristol, Burnham or even further away in Somerset like Bridgwater, Taunton and Minehead and you will find local authorities that have some thought and consideration for Blue Badge holders. Shame on you North Somerset.

A HEATH

South Lawn, Locking

Really modern

RE: “Tropicana Development”. On January 29 I attended the display held in the Sovereign Centre at Weston.

It was good to see both the old photographs of ‘The Pool’ of the 40s and 50s and the Tropicana during the past 20 years.

The photographs of the proposed new building look really modern and I wish Richard Nightingale every success.

It seems North Somerset Council ‘keeps throwing this idea out’. Why can’t they stop all the ‘red tape’ and get along with a decent ‘pool’, etc.; for Weston and all the families that visit in their thousands each year?

The council should bear in mind that elections are due this year, and all this indecision could result in some changes

C M HANCOCK

Newbourne Road, Milton

Delighted

NEW rules have been announced by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles which will curb local council propaganda - including publications like North Somerset Life.

Under the new rules they will not be able to directly compete for advertising with local newspapers and they will not be allowed to publish more than quarterly. Life is, of course, monthly.

I am delighted by these new rules. I have long campaigned against the waste of taxpayers’ money that is North Somerset Life. Councils should not be allowed to spend our money telling us how good they are in thinly veiled political propaganda.

Under the current administration, North Somerset Life has got bigger, got more expensive and sought to attract advertising in competition with local newspapers like the Mercury. It even has its own ‘editor’ on an attractive salary.

All this simply has to change and I hope these rules http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/1841582 will be implemented promptly by North Somerset Council.

MIKE BELL

Parliamentary spokesman Weston Liberal Democrats

George Street, Weston

Traffic debacle

MY LETTER concerns the traffic debacle at Maltlands. When the new system was introduced I supported it.

However, the problem has not eased due to the defunct unused traffic island. The traffic is often tailed back over the bridge and halfway down Locking Road.

Why is this? Simply because a councillor did not put enough research into the plans.

We have a bottleneck created with the two lanes being unusable due to the traffic island.

Wake up council - remove the island, let the traffic flow freely.

Calm down the traffic and the frayed tempers of people trying to get to work.

PAT BAIN

Puttingthorpe Drive, Weston

Volunteers

REFERRING to the article in the Mercury, January 27 ‘Weston has its first crime free weekend in years’.

I was surprised that no mention was made of either ChaT, which is active in Weston town centre all week, or of the street pastors, who are out and about in until the early hours of Sunday mornings.

Both of these organisations aid those who are vulnerable (for whatever reason) and assist in securing their safety.

This helps to ensure crimes are not committed either by those being cared for, or that they themselves do not become victims because of their vulnerability.

Both of these organisations are run, funded and served by volunteers from the churches in Weston and the surrounding area.

MRS L ROBINSON

Frenchay Road, Weston

It was free

WHAT wonderful news that Richard Nightingale has been given exclusive rights for the Tropicana project.

Let us hope the process through the European union is easy and swift so we can hopefully see in a couple of years an attraction that Weston can be proud of.

On another matter I visited Portishead last week and looking for somewhere to park I drove into the large car park behind the main street.

I went to look for a pay and display machine and could not find one and was told by another motorist that it was free!

How is it that there are two free car parks in the town and we motorists in Weston have to pay in our car parks in the town?

I thought we were all part of North Somerset Council.

Let’s hope Weston super Meer wins the meerkat prize so that it advertises our lovely seaside resort across the country or should we have entered Porteeshead?

DAVID KINGSBURY

Mendip Avenue, Worle

Alternative

I WAS very interested to read in the Mercury of two other people besides myself having the foresight to see Pier Square as an accident waiting to happen.

A bus and cycle lane passing through a pedestrianised area takes some believing, especially when there is a perfectly sensible alternative - buses using Oxford Street and High Street.

Cars will be passing through Pier Square when turning left out of Richmond Street, also when turning left exiting The Sovereign Shopping Centre car park. This pedestrianised area is going to be awash with traffic!

On behalf of the local children, the elderly and disabled please, please, reconsider the Pier Square usage.

AILEEN MILSOM

Greenland Road, Weston

Sympathetic

I WOULD like to express the thanks of the town council and the residents of Axbridge to British Telecom for helping us to enhance the appearance of our town.

Some months ago a new telegraph pole appeared in Cheddar Road, Axbridge, within our conservation area. A sign on the pole indicated that BT has the right to place the pole there but anyone could raise objections to it. The town council was concerned that this would increase the amount of ‘over-head knitting’ and detract from the visual amenity of our historic town.

After discussing the matter the town council arranged a meeting with a BT representative on the site. At this meeting the BT representative indicated that the pole provided the most cost-effective method of providing required additional lines to houses in the street.

If the lines were to be placed underground the cost would be in the region of �6,000 to �7,000 and this would have to be borne by the customers using the lines.

However, the BT representative was sympathetic to the views of the town council and could appreciate our desire to reduce, rather than increase, the number of over-head telephone and electricity cables.

We were delighted to receive an email from BT within 48 hours of the meeting confirming that the new telephone lines would be placed underground and the pole removed at the expense of BT.

The work is being completed this week. Our sincere thanks go to BT for helping us to keep Axbridge beautiful.

We now look forward to South West Power burying the last section of over-head electricity supply in our conservation area when it needs to be replaced.

BAZ HAMBLIN

Deputy mayor, Axbridge Town Council

The Square, Axbridge

Different side

AFTER reading a comment from a parent of children at Castle Batch Primary School in Worle, I would like to contribute a very different side to a story.

I have four children, of which one is at secondary school, and three are at Castle Batch.

I wouldn’t send my kids anywhere else and cannot praise the school and its staff enough as I think it is not only run fantastically but the whole atmosphere is one of a large family. I don’t tend to get politically involved in much but do feel that the latest Ofsted report surprised me as I think it’s a great place for young children to begin their education.

Sometimes you have to look beyond what is written on paper and feel for yourself what the school offers.

It offers a safe, friendly caring environment for children to learn, making it an exciting place to be.

I am a volunteer at the school and will quite often be asked to help on trips and events. I always find that such occasions are well organised and everyone seems to have a great time.

Most of the children I see and, talking from my personal experience, are happy and have good relationships with both their peers and staff.

Of course, you always get the odd situation when things aren’t always rosy but the attitude of the school and its team makes them very approachable.

Children these days have so much opportunity and I feel that Castle Batch school always takes advantage of this, giving the children so much to look forward to.

I’m glad my children go to Castle Batch primary and believe that they will have fond memories of their early years in education in the future.

Wouldn’t it be such a lovely world if people found positive things to say and praised things rather than going through life finding things to complain about… life is so short, enjoy it.

Thank you Castle Batch.

LOUISE PARSLOW

Becket Drive, Worle

Much to offer

I AM writing to express what a lovely Christmas holiday I had in Weston despite the weather.

The holiday was organised by Grand UK holidays and was based at Dauncey’s Hotel which I cannot speak too highly of.

The hotel staff were everything one would expect, very friendly, excellent food and service, everything well organised. ‘Come as a stranger, leave as a friend’ seems to be their motto.

The manager, Simon, leads by example and I was particularly impressed by the waitress service which was excellent.

I would also like to express admiration for The Playhouse theatre and the pantomime Cinderella which our group saw on Boxing Day. This was the best pantomime I’ve ever seen and I have seen quite a number over the years.

The changing scenery was also very impressive. This theatre seemed a very special place, and staff very helpful. The programme which I brought home was very good.

Over the Christmas period the weather was bad, with very icy pavements which meant that one couldn’t get around very much. The shops must have suffered and normally I would have purchased souvenirs for friends back home.

Despite the wintry conditions I did manage to attend the Christmas Eve communion at St John’s Church, Weston, and a sincere thank you to the taxi driver.

This was such a friendly church, one felt the Christmas atmosphere among the very welcoming church stewards.

Since arriving home I have been in contact by telephone with Weston to endeavour to get souvenirs. I contacted the Tourist Information Centre who was more than helpful, referring me to North Somerset Museum resulting in me getting those souvenirs which family and friends appreciate very much.

The information centre forwarded me quite a lot of information I realised on reading the attractive brochure that there is so much for the tourist to see in this resort in all its beauty and splendour. Jill’s Garden, a constant reminder that Weston lost one of its own favourite daughters. She was certainly my favourite TV news reader, still greatly loved and missed by many.

I left a part of myself in Weston and I look forward in coming back in the near future to visit the Tourist Information Centre. They in my opinion excel themselves, give a good service and deserve support as well as the museum.

Last, but by no means least, I bought a copy of the Christmas edition of the Weston Mercury home with me. It is an excellent paper giving precise information to the tourist.

It is through your letters page that I want to thank all those I’ve mentioned.

The resort has got much to offer the tourist industry and it is vital it gets support.

You may not get the support of everyone but by honest, sincerely integrity and goodwill, you have certainly got mine.

Wishing you, the newspaper, tourist board and businesses every success for the future, you certainly deserve it.

DAVID HEDGECOCK

Days Close, Broomfield, Chelmsford

Methodist Chapel

WALKING through Hill Road the other day, a For Sale board caught my eye, on the site of the converted Methodist Chapel/school.

Old memory bells began ringing, back to happy days of cubs and scouts and even beyond, to the old family joke “Grand opening to celebrate the year of my late father’s birth (1911)”.

BILL DUTTON

Ashcombe Road, Weston

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