Letters to the Editor, July 11, 2013

ndg-letters

- Credit: Archant

THERE is now a ‘Murray Moment’ throughout the country. It’s not like that in Weston.

North Somerset Council has let the tennis courts in Grove Park deteriorate through neglect, with the last net vanishing recently.

Why has it done this? It would like to turn it into another money raising car park yet, next door, the existing car park is very rarely near capacity. It’s the same at the Carlton Street car park.

Does the council know how full the Sovereign Shopping Centre and NCP car parks are in the town centre? So why make more space for cars at Grove Park? There are many empty spaces in residential streets, so why can’t residents park outside their homes?

Wherever one looks in Weston, North Somerset’s car parking arrangements and plans are a mess.


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BRIAN SHELDRAKE

Palmer Row, Weston

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ISN’T IT great that when Britain has a Wimbledon men’s singles champion for the first time since the 1930s, North Somerset Council has plans to convert the last surviving tennis courts in central Weston (Grove Park) into a car park?

ROSIE AND HOWARD SMITH

Stafford Place, Weston

The courage to speak out

PETER Farley last week launched a disappointing attack on the views of Neville Coles, principal of Priory Community School.

Neville has spoken out about Labour Party proposals to force all teaching staff who do not hold Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) to retrain or face the sack.

Whether you agree or not with the notion that some 5,000 people working in our schools should be sacked on the spot, Neville should be congratulated for having the courage to speak out on a national issue that affects his school.

I visited Priory again recently and was impressed by the ‘can-do’ attitude of all staff, QTS qualified or not. It is an approach that has driven the school up the rankings and made a real difference to the lives of countless young people in Worle and beyond. We should be praising schools like Priory, not pillorying them.

My own view is that all teaching staff should be appropriately qualified or working towards a relevant qualification. But that should not mean that the doors are closed to people who bring different skills or life experiences to our classrooms.

The most important judgement must be about outcomes and results, not about the hoops people have had to jump through to arrive at the destination. There is a temptation for all politicians to interfere in the management of schools, but the reality is that it is by trusting experienced school leaders like Neville Coles that we get the best results.

COUNCILLOR MIKE BELL

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Weston, George Street, Weston

Ignored the ‘loss leader’ principle

CONGRATULATIONS to Malcolm Nicholson and the people on Weston Town Council for the relaunch of the Love Weston tourism campaign following the collapse of the previous contractor, Insider Knowledge, which was based in Cornwall.

After years of being written off as a tourist attraction by North Somerset Council, it is good to see the town council taking steps to put Weston back on the map as a holiday destination.

Weston accounts for most of the 6.5 million visitors to North Somerset and the £369million they bring to the local economy - not to mention the £1million that parking meters are set to make out of the locals.

If only Weston Town Council had some of that of money to spend as it saw fit to develop tourism in Weston itself and the villages in the rest of Winterstoke, and it did not go to North Somerset in general.

For a start, we’d probably have had a remodelled Tropicana as an attraction for visitors and local residents for the best part of the last 10 years, during which it has lain idle and North Somerset has pursued ‘pie in the sky’ replacements, whose only justification was they would not cost North Somerset anything.

The reasoning was faulty; it ignored the principle of the ‘loss leader’ which is a familiar concept for shop keepers.

A connection between North Somerset Council and the ability to run a whelk stall springs to mind.

ROBERT CRAIG

Priory Road, Weston

Damage down to council neglect

I HAVE read all the correspondence on the old open air swimming pool, later renamed the Tropicana, but have not written before.

However, once Mr Pickles became involved I did write to him from the heart.

My parents moved to Weston in 1936 or 37 so my infancy, junior and adolescent childhood centred on, in the summer, the new swimming pool. I was on the sands the day it was opened, and luckily enough it survived with only slight damage during the war. The only damage I feel has been caused by the neglect of the differing councils.

North Somerset Council seems determined to have it demolished.

What sort of seaside resort has no open air swimming pool? Not one of any merit anyway. Weston definitely needs one because the tide recedes so far.

I have never understood why there was not a removal order in place for all the rubbish dumped there to be removed with a penalty clause written into the contractors’ tenders.

Living in Nailsea now (still in North Somerset) I attempted to speak to a North Somerset councillor regarding the Tropicana, and every point I raised was met with the words “Oh, it’s the EU” and I could not make him see the Tropicana means so much to many local people.

I did hope that old fashioned common sense would prevail and what was Somerset’s premier swimming pool would rise ‘above the waves’ once again. The money that has been wasted talking about it and legal fees, etc, would have practically rebuilt it.

ANNE HODGES

Nightingale Gardens, Nailsea

Scandal of litter been dismissed

COMING to this town 10 years ago has been my worst decision ever. I now see it for what it is.

It’s dirty and backward compared to other towns and has a council which is incapable of vision or giving people what they want.

I’ve lost my privacy, security and any view through local planning and crammed-in housing developments resulting in over-crowded parking on the streets, with very little hope for the fire and emergency services to get even close.

Public transport is overpriced and, for that, we have dirty buses with noisy windows and rattling, bone-shaking sides. The local trains are no better.

The new solid plastic bus seats are very uncomfortable. You slide about with every movement of the bus, so holding onto the seat in front is a must.

Health and safety is not considered. It’s impossible to read and in the winter there is no heating. I know this from my frequent trips to attend appointments at the BRI.

The planners have also failed to provide decent bus shelters with enough seating, as well as good cover. In many places there is a total absence of shelters - appalling when you have so many older people who have no option but to use buses to get their vital daily provisions in order to survive. Meanwhile the councillors ride around in their comfortable cars.

And for many like myself, the loss of the X125 direct bus to Clevedon has been felt. It enabled me to attend the cottage hospital and classes which are not available in Weston.

Clevedon’s seafront and pier are so much nicer for peaceful walks, away from crazy traffic, and there is free parking. The news that Clevedon Pier had been nominated as ‘Pier of the Year’ was music to my ears. It is now so popular.

I recently visited the town of East Grinstead to attend a specialist hospital (my choice). The whole experience was a pure delight. The town centre was made up of many classy, small shops, no large stores, all spotless, no music, no hi-tech shops, no cheap food outlets, not a cigarette end to be seen, or trace of litter, and it was surrounded in tree-lined streets and vast green parks.

The brand new railway station was pristine. Public transport was good, cheap and cheery. It was like another planet compared to Weston, where the scandal of litter has been dismissed by those who run the town.

It is obvious, from the over-crowded developments too that the council is oblivious to the fact that those living near busy roads are subject to long-term exposure to toxic particles from traffic, which has a dramatic impact on health.

SYLVIA THOMPSON

Harvest Lane, West Wick

Brokenhearted nine-year-old

On June 12, at around 8.45am, my beloved cat, Jasper, who was only five years old, was run over by a car.

I hope the person that did it is reading this. You were going too fast down our road, you slammed your brakes on, then just drove off and did not bother getting out to check on him.

Next time this might be a child so I suggest you slow down.

I am a brokenhearted nine-year-old because you killed my cat. He had a broken back and they couldn’t fix him because he had internal bleeding.

There is a 20mph speed limit on our road.

EVE DULCIE MAYNARD BENNETT

Coleridge Road, Weston

Thanks for the kind hospitality

MANY thanks to the Grand Pier for providing the venue and for its kind hospitality for the recent launch of Family Walk Along The Prom, which takes place on October 20 in aid of The British Heart Foundation, Weston General Hospital Cardiology Department and North Somerset Heart Failure Service.

Special thanks also to Bob Smart (Somerset Tourism), Graham Stephens, Karen Gilbert (Traditional Pasty Company), Ian Evans (Brooking Russe & Co), Melanie Hitchcock and Rachel Jelbert (North Somerset Heart Failure Service) and Chris Willan (Weston General Hospital).

PAUL HOBBS

Event organiser, Canberra Road, Weston

Helped to pick up the pieces

I’D LIKE to thank the wonderful people of the St John Ambulance who stopped and picked up my 91-year-old partially-sighted father who was struggling to get from the NHS centre on the Boulevard to the GP surgery opposite the old library – this was due to a mix-up from NHS Direct.

I know that, after a lot of experience with my late mother, who had Alzheimer’s, that there are many wonderful doctors and nurses in the NHS but I’m afraid to say the NHS itself is in total disarray.

Thank you St John Ambulance for picking up the pieces when the NHS got it wrong. The people of Weston should be proud of these dedicated volunteers.

MANUELA LOPEZ

Locking Road, Weston

Good recovery

I WOULD like to say a belated thank you to all involved the afternoon of May 25 for helping my son when he collapsed in town near Meadow Street.

I am pleased to say due to the prompt action of all he has made a good recovery.

JILL FORDHAM

Walliscote Road, Weston

THERE is now a ‘Murray Moment’ throughout the country. It’s not like that in Weston.

North Somerset Council has let the tennis courts in Grove Park deteriorate through neglect, with the last net vanishing recently.

Why has it done this? It would like to turn it into another money raising car park yet, next door, the existing car park is very rarely near capacity. It’s the same at the Carlton Street car park.

Does the council know how full the Sovereign Shopping Centre and NCP car parks are in the town centre? So why make more space for cars at Grove Park? There are many empty spaces in residential streets, so why can’t residents park outside their homes?

Wherever one looks in Weston, North Somerset’s car parking arrangements and plans are a mess.

BRIAN SHELDRAKE

Palmer Row, Weston

ISN’T IT great that when Britain has a Wimbledon men’s singles champion for the first time since the 1930s, North Somerset Council has plans to convert the last surviving tennis courts in central Weston (Grove Park) into a car park?

ROSIE AND HOWARD SMITH

Stafford Place, Weston

The courage to speak out

PETER Farley last week launched a disappointing attack on the views of Neville Coles, principal of Priory Community School.

Neville has spoken out about Labour Party proposals to force all teaching staff who do not hold Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) to retrain or face the sack.

Whether you agree or not with the notion that some 5,000 people working in our schools should be sacked on the spot, Neville should be congratulated for having the courage to speak out on a national issue that affects his school.

I visited Priory again recently and was impressed by the ‘can-do’ attitude of all staff, QTS qualified or not. It is an approach that has driven the school up the rankings and made a real difference to the lives of countless young people in Worle and beyond. We should be praising schools like Priory, not pillorying them.

My own view is that all teaching staff should be appropriately qualified or working towards a relevant qualification. But that should not mean that the doors are closed to people who bring different skills or life experiences to our classrooms.

The most important judgement must be about outcomes and results, not about the hoops people have had to jump through to arrive at the destination. There is a temptation for all politicians to interfere in the management of schools, but the reality is that it is by trusting experienced school leaders like Neville Coles that we get the best results.

COUNCILLOR MIKE BELL

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Weston, George Street, Weston

Ignored the ‘loss leader’ principle

CONGRATULATIONS to Malcolm Nicholson and the people on Weston Town Council for the relaunch of the Love Weston tourism campaign following the collapse of the previous contractor, Insider Knowledge, which was based in Cornwall.

After years of being written off as a tourist attraction by North Somerset Council, it is good to see the town council taking steps to put Weston back on the map as a holiday destination.

Weston accounts for most of the 6.5 million visitors to North Somerset and the £369million they bring to the local economy - not to mention the £1million that parking meters are set to make out of the locals.

If only Weston Town Council had some of that of money to spend as it saw fit to develop tourism in Weston itself and the villages in the rest of Winterstoke, and it did not go to North Somerset in general.

For a start, we’d probably have had a remodelled Tropicana as an attraction for visitors and local residents for the best part of the last 10 years, during which it has lain idle and North Somerset has pursued ‘pie in the sky’ replacements, whose only justification was they would not cost North Somerset anything.

The reasoning was faulty; it ignored the principle of the ‘loss leader’ which is a familiar concept for shop keepers.

A connection between North Somerset Council and the ability to run a whelk stall springs to mind.

ROBERT CRAIG

Priory Road, Weston

Damage down to council neglect

I HAVE read all the correspondence on the old open air swimming pool, later renamed the Tropicana, but have not written before.

However, once Mr Pickles became involved I did write to him from the heart.

My parents moved to Weston in 1936 or 37 so my infancy, junior and adolescent childhood centred on, in the summer, the new swimming pool. I was on the sands the day it was opened, and luckily enough it survived with only slight damage during the war. The only damage I feel has been caused by the neglect of the differing councils.

North Somerset Council seems determined to have it demolished.

What sort of seaside resort has no open air swimming pool? Not one of any merit anyway. Weston definitely needs one because the tide recedes so far.

I have never understood why there was not a removal order in place for all the rubbish dumped there to be removed with a penalty clause written into the contractors’ tenders.

Living in Nailsea now (still in North Somerset) I attempted to speak to a North Somerset councillor regarding the Tropicana, and every point I raised was met with the words “Oh, it’s the EU” and I could not make him see the Tropicana means so much to many local people.

I did hope that old fashioned common sense would prevail and what was Somerset’s premier swimming pool would rise ‘above the waves’ once again. The money that has been wasted talking about it and legal fees, etc, would have practically rebuilt it.

ANNE HODGES

Nightingale Gardens, Nailsea

Scandal of litter been dismissed

COMING to this town 10 years ago has been my worst decision ever. I now see it for what it is.

It’s dirty and backward compared to other towns and has a council which is incapable of vision or giving people what they want.

I’ve lost my privacy, security and any view through local planning and crammed-in housing developments resulting in over-crowded parking on the streets, with very little hope for the fire and emergency services to get even close.

Public transport is overpriced and, for that, we have dirty buses with noisy windows and rattling, bone-shaking sides. The local trains are no better.

The new solid plastic bus seats are very uncomfortable. You slide about with every movement of the bus, so holding onto the seat in front is a must.

Health and safety is not considered. It’s impossible to read and in the winter there is no heating. I know this from my frequent trips to attend appointments at the BRI.

The planners have also failed to provide decent bus shelters with enough seating, as well as good cover. In many places there is a total absence of shelters - appalling when you have so many older people who have no option but to use buses to get their vital daily provisions in order to survive. Meanwhile the councillors ride around in their comfortable cars.

And for many like myself, the loss of the X125 direct bus to Clevedon has been felt. It enabled me to attend the cottage hospital and classes which are not available in Weston.

Clevedon’s seafront and pier are so much nicer for peaceful walks, away from crazy traffic, and there is free parking. The news that Clevedon Pier had been nominated as ‘Pier of the Year’ was music to my ears. It is now so popular.

I recently visited the town of East Grinstead to attend a specialist hospital (my choice). The whole experience was a pure delight. The town centre was made up of many classy, small shops, no large stores, all spotless, no music, no hi-tech shops, no cheap food outlets, not a cigarette end to be seen, or trace of litter, and it was surrounded in tree-lined streets and vast green parks.

The brand new railway station was pristine. Public transport was good, cheap and cheery. It was like another planet compared to Weston, where the scandal of litter has been dismissed by those who run the town.

It is obvious, from the over-crowded developments too that the council is oblivious to the fact that those living near busy roads are subject to long-term exposure to toxic particles from traffic, which has a dramatic impact on health.

SYLVIA THOMPSON

Harvest Lane, West Wick

Brokenhearted nine-year-old

On June 12, at around 8.45am, my beloved cat, Jasper, who was only five years old, was run over by a car.

I hope the person that did it is reading this. You were going too fast down our road, you slammed your brakes on, then just drove off and did not bother getting out to check on him.

Next time this might be a child so I suggest you slow down.

I am a brokenhearted nine-year-old because you killed my cat. He had a broken back and they couldn’t fix him because he had internal bleeding.

There is a 20mph speed limit on our road.

EVE DULCIE MAYNARD BENNETT

Coleridge Road, Weston

Thanks for the kind hospitality

MANY thanks to the Grand Pier for providing the venue and for its kind hospitality for the recent launch of Family Walk Along The Prom, which takes place on October 20 in aid of The British Heart Foundation, Weston General Hospital Cardiology Department and North Somerset Heart Failure Service.

Special thanks also to Bob Smart (Somerset Tourism), Graham Stephens, Karen Gilbert (Traditional Pasty Company), Ian Evans (Brooking Russe & Co), Melanie Hitchcock and Rachel Jelbert (North Somerset Heart Failure Service) and Chris Willan (Weston General Hospital).

PAUL HOBBS

Event organiser, Canberra Road, Weston

Helped to pick up the pieces

I’D LIKE to thank the wonderful people of the St John Ambulance who stopped and picked up my 91-year-old partially-sighted father who was struggling to get from the NHS centre on the Boulevard to the GP surgery opposite the old library – this was due to a mix-up from NHS Direct.

I know that, after a lot of experience with my late mother, who had Alzheimer’s, that there are many wonderful doctors and nurses in the NHS but I’m afraid to say the NHS itself is in total disarray.

Thank you St John Ambulance for picking up the pieces when the NHS got it wrong. The people of Weston should be proud of these dedicated volunteers.

MANUELA LOPEZ

Locking Road, Weston

Good recovery

I WOULD like to say a belated thank you to all involved the afternoon of May 25 for helping my son when he collapsed in town near Meadow Street.

I am pleased to say due to the prompt action of all he has made a good recovery.

JILL FORDHAM

Walliscote Road, Weston

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