Letters to the Editor, February 13, 2014

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- Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

AS THE treasurer of another local charitable organisation (Weston U3A) I was disturbed to read the letter about the Weston Civic Society from David Agassis.

In order to have charitable status all of a body’s committee members have to be trustees. This gives them certain obligations and responsibilities of which they should be aware.

The treasurer is responsible for keeping full accounts of income and expenditure, having these independently inspected (but they don’t need a full audit) and presenting these to a properly organised annual general meeting of the society, with a full list of paid-up members available at the meeting for inspection on request.

As a treasurer, however, I do not have the authority to determine how the funds are spent. The trustees collectively make decisions on expenditure and I carry out their wishes, even if, as an individual, I have voted against.

At all times I remember that a charitable body has to be scrupulously open in its actions.


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JOHN HAYNES

Beach Road, Weston

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IT WAS interesting to read in last week’s Mercury that Trop (WSM) Ltd is moving closer to consideration for a grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

But some points in the article were rather puzzling. Having recently taken over from Cllr Derek Mead, the Trop’s new director, Geri Callen, told us that the group has just put together an ‘enabling team’ of local worthies to assist in its funding applications. But isn’t that what the organisation was set up to do from its inception back in 2011?

We also learned that an RGF grant would only be £1 million. But, with the Tropicana rebuild costs known to be more than five times that sum, there will clearly still be a lot more money to find in the future. So where will that come from?

All these inconsistencies make Cllr Mead’s brash Mercury prediction last October that ‘My Trop will open in 2015’ already look decidedly hollow. And that headline hardly supports Ms Callen’s assertion that the Tropicana rebuilding ‘is not a Derek Mead project’ considering that, as we are still being assured, the scheme continues to have the full backing of the Mead Group.

IAN PITCH

Church Road, Winscombe

IN RESPONSE to your article in last week’s Mercury regarding Kier MG and North Somerset Council rolling out new livery on the sides of the refuse lorries.

Could this money not be better spent by employing new staff that could accompany the lorries on collection days and knock on doors and ask if there is a reason why no recycling has been put out by those households that clearly have over-flowing wheelie bins and not a green box in sight or to leave leaflets if not in.

This way individual households could be monitored and if continuing to refuse to recycle then maybe their council tax could be increased to cover the cost of landfill tax and for those of us that do bother to recycle maybe a reduction in council tax.

This statement may rattle a few but why should people who try to do their bit suffer because other people can’t be bothered or too lazy.

SIMON KERRIGAN

Exford Close, Weston

I READ today that Weymouth Council has added to the facilities on its seafront with a new French style ‘aire de service’.

This is a purpose-built, overnight stop for visitors in camper vans and motorhomes.

I have noticed the old putting green at the south end of the Beach Lawns does not get a lot of use these days, the model train has gone and it seems to me to be looking for a better use, and it’s in the perfect place.

Can I suggest to the council that it replaces some or all of it with an ‘aire de service’ area.

This would bring in revenue for the parking as well as badly needed business to the traders all along the seafront, Whitecross Road and Moorland Road areas.

So what about it councillors, let’s make Weston motorhome friendly?

MIKE SANDERS

Windmill Hill, Hutton

THE recent statement by Police Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, that Weston’s Police Station is likely to close will be met with disbelief by the majority of local residents.

Weston is a growing town with specific policing needs. Whilst we welcome plans to retain the same number of police officers on the front line their time will not be well used if they are taking suspects to holding facilities elsewhere in the area. In addition victims of crime and witnesses need a safe, private place to talk to police officers. Are we really happy to do this in the library?

This is an issue where local politicians need to provide a clear decisive lead. Weston Labour Party supports the retention of the police station as a vital facility for the police force and public. I urge local residents to join me in opposing any moves to close the police station.

We are also engaged in a campaign to keep Weston hospital under NHS control. It’s clear that retaining and improving vital public services will be a major battleground in the next general election.

TIM TAYLOR

Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Weston

Shadow Walk, Elborough

WHY is it that the Government can respond quickly and efficiently to natural disasters overseas yet fail so spectacularly when the disaster is in this country?

Large parts of Somerset have been under water for over a month while politicians and the Environment Agency seem more interested in buck-passing and apportioning blame rather than relieving the hardship of those affected.

Long term something needs to be done to ensure that the flooding on the Somerset Levels returns to the normal manageable winter floods. Perhaps the Dutch government with its years of experience in reclaiming land from water could help.

For now the Government should release money from the international aid budgets disaster relieve fund to help the people of Somerset.

Charity begins at home.

MRS J EDWARDS

Constable Drive, Worle

WHY is it when things happen abroad collection buckets are put on all tills in our supermarkets but when our own flood victims need help where are they?

Our people need help

A TUCKER

Lime Close, Weston

FORGET all Councillor Elfan Ap Rees’ assertions that introducing charges for on-street parking was to help local business.

The latest increase in roads to be affected will not help business at all. It will raise extra funds. Of course he will protest (too much I think) that extra cash has never been in his mind.

He says local businesses have benefited. Maybe some have, but look along Meadow Street, is it full of thriving shops? Look also at the empty shops in High Street.

We have to face the facts. This councillor has no understanding of residents’ problems. He is even prepared to give up potential revenue rather than allow residents in designated streets to pay for permits.

Why aren’t other councillors prepared to act for the people of Weston instead of giving way? We have been offered consultation: no note was taken of residents’ objections last time. This will be the same no doubt. No democracy in North Somerset.

BRIAN SHELDRAKE

Palmer Row, Weston

The owners of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm have (according to their website) evaluated all the available evidence and come to the conclusion that the Earth is 100,000 years old.

Many independent, peer reviewed disciplines of science have evaluated that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old.

To put this error into context, this would be like looking at a map of Great Britain, and confidently estimating that Land’s End is situated 21.34 meters from John O’Groats.

I would urge parents who may send their children to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, to consider whether people capable of dogmatically clinging to such nonsense, are an appropriate choice as a source of education.

That they have recently been awarded some certification as a source of education, merely casts doubt on the certification authorities’ competence.

ALISTAIR MUNRO

Pennycress, Weston

I DID enjoy John Crockford-Hawley’s page in last weeks Mercury, and agreed to most of it.

But he did get one fact wrong, as Jeffery Archer was born in London, and may have lived in Weston for many years, he is definitely not a Westonian.

So please get your facts right next time.

MARGARET WOOD

Byron Road, Weston

I AM writing to commend all the staff at Weston General Hospital for their outstanding care of my husband during December and January.

My husband, John Fairchild, was taken ill suddenly on December 3 and I called for an ambulance, he attended the accident and emergency department and was subsequently admitted.

His illness required varying levels of care, he was admitted to the medical assessment unit, then onto Hutton Ward, Harptree Acute Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit, back to Harptree Acute Care and then onto Steepholm Ward with a visit to the Bristol Royal Infirmary that included transportation to and from due to him still being an inpatient. John was under their care as a patient for nearly eight weeks. He underwent many X-rays, CT scans and Ultrasound scans which monitored his progress.

I accessed parking tickets through the general office and found support with PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) when his mobile was misplaced, later found and returned by a very helpful nurse on Cheddar Ward, who had the foresight to call ‘home’ from it. I think every porter in the hospital pushed him at one point during his stay.

During his time as a patient I was in and out of the hospital two to four times every day, and on every single visit I came away feeling reassured that my husband was in the best possible place.

I was noticed walking in and out of the hospital and countless times I was asked if I was OK, how I was coping, how he was doing, if there was anything I needed? And this was often by staff who were not even on the ward(s) he was currently in.

I felt compelled to write and say how wonderful all the staff have been with his care, as you can see from the above list and the length of time he was there, we came into contact with virtually every department at Weston General Hospital and I cannot find fault in any way.

I am especially grateful towards all of the staff within the Intensive Care Unit, they were exceptionally kind and sensitive during a very stressful time, and their care and support continued even after he had left the unit.

I am glad that my local hospital is Weston General and I would have no hesitation about using any of the services provided by this superbly staffed service. I believe positive experiences of your hospital should be publicised and celebrated.

Thank you all so very much for the care and support you provided, not only to my husband but also extended to me and our teenage daughters.

JAN, JOHN, EMILY AND MEGAN FAIRCHILD

Lewisham Grove, Weston

I WOULD like to give a note of praise to the staff of the Day Care Unit at Weston General Hospital who gave me kind and excellent service during my recent cataract operation which was conducted so efficiently by Mr Greaney.

MAUREEN BEZZANT

Lyndhurst Road, Weston

YOU kindly published my letter, the badger cull, in last week’s edition of the Mercury.

However, I had invited people to contact me via email but unfortunately, my name was spelled incorrectly the in email address. The correct email is: lindabarratt@talktalk.net

LINDA BARRATT

Lower Westford, Wellington

On behalf of Badger Rescue and Vaccination Everywhere Group

I don’t know if your readers would be interested but as there has been lots of discussion about the Grove Park bandstand, I thought you might be interested in this photograph taken in the 1960s when I (on ladder) put on a new roof made of zinc.

I don’t think anything has been done since.

KEITH MONK

Westbrook Road, Weston

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