Letters to Editor September 8

Fixed penalty

I SPEND many hours in town and very rarely see a PCSO, if I do, they are usually with a police officer, or two PCSOs together.

Are they frightened to patrol on their own, or frightened to issue fixed penalty notices?

The PCSOs that I have seen regularly walk past vehicles parked on the pavement or double yellow lines and do nothing about it.

A while back two PCSOs walked past a 4x4 completely blocking the pavement in Alfred Street, when I suggested a fixed penalty notice might help the driver remember not to park on the pavement, I was politely told it was their prerogative whether they issued a ticket or not.


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IT IS sickening to read that morons have looted and set fire to the caf� in Clarence Park. This is a community caf�, run by Tony Munden, in a community park, open 365 days a year and even Christmas day.

Obviously we hope the vandals will be caught and severely punished but North Somerset Council has hardly come up smelling of roses.

The council has refused to install CCTV cameras in the park even though the caf� has endured 46 break-ins over the past six years.

It has also refused to lock the park gates at night because the outer walls are only four feet high.

When the council is shelling out �9million to refurbish the town hall you would think it could spare a few quid to protect the parks and as for not shutting the gates this is an open invitation for vandals to cause mayhem.

This is the same council that removed the deck-chairs from Grove Park and abandoned the flower beds and hanging baskets in Weston, so why has it got it in for our parks? When the town hall refurbishments are complete will the council leave the doors open at night to allow revellers to play with the computers, drunks to foul the corridors of power or petty thieves to help themselves? Of course not.

It is up to the police to track down the criminals and the council to protect the community and we look to North Somerset to rethink their park policies for the peace of minds of us all.

GEOFF MALHAM

Clarence Grove Road, Weston

Not invited

IT WOULD seem that Government Ministers and North Somerset Tory councillors met recently to consider the fate of Birnbeck Pier.

The Liberal Democrat councillors who represent the West ward, where the pier is situated, were not invited to the meeting or kept informed of the proceedings.

This is yet another example of the arrogance of North Somerset Council.

Although Birnbeck Pier is indeed in West ward, its fate is of concern to the whole of Weston.

We witnessed a similar situation not so long ago when Weston town councillors found themselves excluded from North Somerset’s working group on the Tropicana.

Weston’s future is being decided by councillors, mostly from the northern half of the council district, who couldn’t care less about our town as long as they can avoid spending money here.

Our town councillors should be part of every meeting about Weston.

The Liberal Democrats belong to a coalition with the Conservatives nationally.

It surely behoves Weston’s Liberal Democrat councillors to take up the matter, of how North Somerset’s Conservatives are keeping their Liberal Democrat coalition partners in Weston (as well as the Labour opposition) out of the democratic process locally with the Liberal Democrat party spokesperson at Westminster.

It is no good them simply moaning about Weston’s Liberal Democrats being kept in the dark by their political allies, they need to take action.

ROBERT CRAIG

Priory Road, Weston

Scooter riders

BACK in 1967 Weston was home to the Weston-super-Mare Lambretta Club (known as the Seagulls) as well as the Weston-super-Mare Vespa Club (Branch 67 of the Vespa Club of Britain) and the Weston-super-Mare Scooter Club.

I’m keen to trace any scooter riders from the 1950s, 60s or early 70s as I’m currently writing a book on the UK scooter scene during those times.

Did you own a scooter then? Were you a member of any of these clubs?

I’d love to hear people’s recollections of scooter ownership, rallies (home and abroad), dealers, scooter racing and competitions and the trials and tribulations of scooter ownership.

Do you have any old photographs, magazines or club items that could be photographed for inclusion?

I can be contacted either via e-mail: scootermemories@hotmail.com or via the post.

PETE DAVIES

95 Grove Road, Blaby, Leicester, LE8 4DH

Mini festival

I SUSPECT that many people were unaware that an experimental ‘Weston Fringe’ mini festival took place recently, mostly at the digital photo studio at the town end of Locking Road.

I stumbled on it myself quite by accident, but over the course of a few evenings I was treated to a free stand up comedy show (and very funny it was too) and some local singers doing Songs From The Shows.

Well, the quality of the singers, especially a girl called Hayley Richards (I made sure to ask her name, she was magnificent) was staggering, considering they are all amateurs, and all local.

The attendance wasn’t exactly what I would call enthusiastic, and I feel that it’s such a shame that local residents never seem to want to get behind people trying to brighten up their lives at no cost. I hope that the organisers haven’t been put off, and that next summer we will see another attempt, because I loved it.

MELANIE BAGNALL

Alma Street, Weston

Astonished

I HAVE some experience of recycling building materials and demolition from Ayrshire and South Glasgow.

Upon reading that North Somerset have estimated half a million pounds for demolition of the Tropicana I had a look around the site and called some contacts in Glasgow.

They were all astonished at the costs put forward and also on looking at photographs it was felt the facing stone would fetch a good price on the open market.

However today’s Mercury produced even more fanciful figures with a realistic demolition cost of �200,000 it would seem but an astronomical figure of �500,000 for waste and asbestos removal.

Whoever has come up with these figures clearly has no proper background in the construction industry.

These astronomical estimates would possibly explain why the council has made so many poor decisions in the past 20 years.

DONALD MCGREGOR

Dunster Crescent, Old Mixon

Developers

SO COUNCILLOR Elfan Ap Rees says: “If we do this testing we are establishing the viability of the site…” (your report by Beth Evans on September 1).

Does that mean that in all the years that the Tropicana has been closed the council has never investigated its viability?

He goes on to say: “If there isn’t a developer then we know it’s failed.”

Mr Ap Rees appears to have forgotten the several developers who were confident of its viability – the council just would not let any of them develop it!

JOHN BURGESS

Farm Road, Milton

Creating chaos

THE imposition of another vast number of houses at RAF Locking and the airport has the danger of creating chaos in an already confusing area.

In particular I am wary about covering the old airport with cement because the area was once known as “Frog Mead” and was virtually a marsh surrounded by rhynes and drains to get the surface water off.

The area also provided water to the local aquifers and helped keep up our water supply.

With this new plan what are the chances of all the rainwater up at the camp coming downhill to join the surplus on the flat?

Virtually all the old run-offs and rhynes have gone and the place could turn into something of a mess.

By the way. You know those chaps putting up the new railings next to the sea wall? Are they being paid by the hour?

BRIAN AUSTIN

Alma Street, Weston

More homes

MORE homes, more homes, more homes, more, more…. I look with amazement at page 3 of the Mercury for September 1… as house sales slump” and “Any thoughts on 5,500 new homes?”

Yes plenty of thoughts and apart from stating what everyone bar a councillor can see, that the whole thing is ridiculous, there are more distinct concerns.

R G Eyers, amongst others no doubt, suggested the airfield be used to site an arena. A huge visitor attraction that would bring business into the town and help fill the new hotels our councillors have planned as well as our already struggling established ones.

Another useful suggestion would be to reserve it for industry and positively encourage manufacturing industries to return to Weston alleviating the pressure on junction 21 and perhaps negating the need to spend thousands changing the road layout.

These 5,500 new homes will mean at least 5,500 more cars (with 5,000 using junction 21).

What consideration has been given to schools, hospitals, social services, doctors, dentists, local shops (to save 5,000 more cars heading for Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s) all of whom would want to enlarge their premises?

Bring employment into Weston not more and more residents turning this into just another dead-during-the-day dormitory town.

ALAN L FLOWER

Brangwyn Square, Worle

Help convict

I HAVE just been speaking with the owner of the Clarence Park Caf� which has been broken into, vandalised, looted and set on fire. All this took place in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Apparently he feels that the break-in was done by people who were not familiar with the actual layout of the caf� and may not be local or even young children as they actually stole food, packs of bacon, etc.

They had forced their way in through what used to be a window which had been boarded up.

He also feels that whoever they were must be known by someone as they would have been in a bit of a mess when they made their escape after stealing the food stock, tins of coffee and tea, etc, and finally starting four or five separate small fires in an attempt to burn the hut down.

They were very lucky not to have been trapped in there and could have died.

He hopes that someone will help and report them to the police

He reasons they planned to burn the place down after the break-in as they must have taken something in with them to start the fires.

When making their escape they caused damage and apparently left blood and fingerprints and very possibly DNA samples, which if the police are lucky will help convict them when they are caught.

This small local caf� is well-supported and will be much missed by all the local Clarence Park regular users, many of who use the caf� on a daily basis, being able to purchase good food at a very reasonable price.

Many of his clients even bring their own plates so that he is able to plate up his food for them to eat at home.

He opens every day of the year and on Christmas Day plates up about 60 dinners with a real Christmas fare.

Even though the premises are owned by the North Somerset Council at the present time no-one from the council has been in contact with him to see if they can offer any assistance which is very surprising when you consider how many years it has been open and the good will it brings to the park.

I can only offer my support and the support of all the regular users of Clarence Park, and to say we all wish him the very best and hope whoever did this is soon brought to book.

I am sure that I am saying what many people are thinking.

LAURENCE F ORME

Shrubbery Avenue, Weston

Back to school

WELL, it’s back to school which almost certainly means that around 3.15pm every day, if I should come home around that time, I won’t be able to park in one of the allocated residential parking spaces because parents are picking up their children from school and will only ‘be a few minutes’ which usually means longer.

Signs have been put up informing people it is a residential car park and they have received letters from the school itself to say park in the car park by the shops which is less than 100 metres away.

I would just like to think how these people would react if one day they came home and found my car parked on their drive while I popped to the shops for ‘a few minutes’?

STEVE GRANT

Woodpecker Drive, Mead Vale

Booming

HAVING noticed all the boarding at the back of Dolphin Square has already been put up in preparation for all the new buildings, including another hotel that we certainly don’t need – it was stated that this town was already ‘booming’.

If this is the case, why do we need a campaign to save struggling shops?

Out-of-town shopping inevitably will kill the town centre, yet it seems to be the thing to do, and everyone seems to follow suit, then the town crumbles.

Weston was a much more interesting little town when all the shops were open down Meadow Street, every shop you could ever want, from chemist to clothes shops – super.

Back to the boarding at Dolphin Square, whilst we are busy watching what’s happening behind them, we have to keep an eye on what’s going on to our last piece of art deco – the pool, and make sure it’s not being removed brick by brick under our noses!

Mind you, if the Waves Caf� is anything to go by, we still have a bit of time left to voice our opinions.

B NEALE

Little George Street, Weston

Campaign

I WAS pleased to read how Weston shoppers will be targeted by a campaign organised by the federation of small businesses.

Small Change for Big Change is aimed at saving and sustaining the town’s independent High Street businesses.

I hope Weston’s MP John Penrose will throw his weight behind this worthwhile campaign because at the moment our High Street business, local shops we loved in our resort of Weston, are falling by the wayside.

I can still remember the wonderful variety of shops where you could buy the smallest item without having to travel miles.

This High Street campaign is just what we need in Weston as we are fast turning into a wasteland of boarded-up shops. So let’s hope people power will get behind this campaign.

D F COURTNEY

Victoria Park, Weston

Thank you

I WOULD like to say a thank you to the Avon & Somerset Police for its help and caring attitude.

Recently I had a burglary, it was very upsetting and I felt very vulnerable, but the police were very kind. Also thanks to Alliance Housing for its prompt action to rectify a couple of things to reassure me.

MRS V MILLEN

Charter Road, Weston

WHAT is happening with Clarence Park Caf�?

Last week customers of the caf� heard a spokesman for the council promise Tony Munden that repairs to this very small, believed to be listed building, would be started within a few days.

This week there is no sign of anything happening.

Why are they dragging their feet? Surely they must have insurance on these small buildings.

Please could you let Tony and this community get their lives back on track, and not let the vandals win.

JULIE DUNSTONE

Locking Moor Road, Weston

WHAT a jovial sight I encountered as I strolled past the water park adventure area on Knightstone Road on September 1.

Dozens of children, squealing with delight as they paddled in the shallow water, whilst others enjoyed the swings and climbing frame, with adults completely relaxed basking in the brilliant sunshine.

What a bargain at �1 per child entry fee, (adults free), when one thinks how much it must have cost to get up and running.

People don’t ask for much – so why is the Tropicana such a major issue?

M G COLES

Shrubbery Terrace, Weston

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