Letters to the Editor, June 12, 2014


- Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

GIVE US back our pavements. As you have informed us in your columns, the future of Dolphin Square is shrouded in uncertainty for years to come.

Is it not therefore time that McLarens drew back their palisades around the rubble heaps and left pavements that the citizens of Weston (and visitors) could walk along – as of yore.

Currently, anyone crossing the road in Union Street or the lower part of Oxford Street finds themselves left at the mercy of the traffic, with nowhere to go for safety.

The pedestrian crossing at the end of the High Street actually leads to a blank fence. This is sheer idiocy.

All that is required is for McLarens to retract their barricade by two to three feet and pedestrians will be free again to roam. Let’s have our pavements back.

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Beach Road, Weston

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FOR the residents of St Georges the Walford Avenue play area is the least important aspect of the delay in remedial work on the rhynes in St Georges especially as this is not in our parish but is being built for the third time with our S106 money.

More important is to bring these rhynes to a safe and adoptable standard, especially after the recent problems on the Somerset Levels. They have not been put in St Georges for decoration or to attract wildlife, but to prevent the flooding of property.

The parish council was informed by North Somerset Council (NSC) in March 2014 that all the money from the consortium had now been paid, including Mr Mead’s, and that work would begin in May providing there was no problem with bird nesting. As far as the rhynes in Brimbleworth Lane are concerned, which are the biggest problem, I personally have seen no bird nesting that would cause this delay.

Regarding the play area, several meetings were held with senior planning officers, representatives of the consortium and the parish council and it was agreed that as the facility had to be replaced three times due to mindless vandalism, the £40,000 needed to replace it again would be used instead towards completing the community centre and would be held by the Parish Council together with £25,000 from the church site. As usual NSC reneged on this agreement and once again St Georges loses out.

S106 money raised in the development in St Georges was almost £1million from which the parish has received £50,000 towards the building of the community centre. The remainder has been signed off to be used in every area except ours. Meanwhile we have roads that were damaged beyond repair by developers and heavy goods vehicles with no hope of improvement in the near future even though the parish council has offered to pay £40,000 towards the total cost of £80,000.

If Worle wants its play area I suggest it takes the money from the £1million grant that it has received, something that St Georges can only dream about.


Councillor, St Georges Parish Council, Willow Gardens, St Georges

IN VIEW of the comments made by the ubiquitous Councillor Elfan Ap Rees regarding the fact that the council had no intention of turning speed cameras back on, can he, or one of his minions, explain why a brand new camera has been installed on New Bristol Road near Worle School, and more importantly, who paid for it.


Nutwell Road, Worle

READING ‘UKIP came first’ last week, it was clear that Peter Chodera feels very pleased with himself. But before the sweet wine of victory goes to his head too much, he should remember that things are never as simple as they might seem at first.

His party’s claimed gain of 33 per cent of all votes cast was based on a total national turnout of a mere 34.19 per cent, so a third of a third doesn’t look quite such a landslide, does it?

And perhaps Mr Chodera is unaware of a recent interview with UKIP’s founder, Alan Sked who described it now as ‘a Frankenstein’s monster’.

More tellingly, he continued: “I feel sorry for voters who are now going to have as councillors people who aren’t very sophisticated, who have no Government policies and who have no experience in running things. All UKIP is good for, if their behaviour in Strasbourg and Brussels is anything to go by, is taking public money”.

And the electorate of Newark has clearly seen through UKIP’s empty promises too, rejecting its candidate by more than 7,400 votes. As my old grandma used to say, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.


Church Road, Winscombe

I AM writing in response to seeing published in last week’s Mercury (June 5), a letter from the chairman of UKIP North Somerset.

While factually correct in regards to the results from last month, what Mr Chodera fails to explain is that in the South West region, UKIP failed to gain an additional MEP in the constituency.

It is worth pointing out that although elected to the European Parliament, the UKIP members are unable to influence Britain’s membership of the EU from their seats in Brussels.

Instead of congratulating those who voted for the single-issue party - whose stakeholders have hinted repeatedly at numerous, anti-equality policies - we need to make sure people are aware of the consequence that a UKIP representative could bring.

The real winners of May’s European Election are the disenchanted majority who had no say in the result. When 88.2 per cent of the electorate in North Somerset did not vote UKIP, Mr Chodera cannot claim the result as ‘excellent’ for UKIP.


Activist, Weston Liberal Democrats

Waterloo Street, Weston

IN HER letter published on June 5, Margaret Wood said she is still getting letters addressed to her as being in Avon.

This is because Royal Mail still regards Weston as being in Avon rather than Somerset. As a result, if any organisation types in a house number and Weston postcode into a computer it will automatically show the full address to include Weston and Avon. So unless Royal Mail can be persuaded to change Avon to Somerset for Weston addresses, letters will continue show Avon for evermore.


Stanley Grove, Weston

I REALLY empathise with Margaret Wood. I too have been driven mad by the people who insist on putting Weston in Avon.

The young sounding operator of one company I phoned, told me the fault lies with the Post Office, which, she said, is in charge of the computer with the address finding function that all companies use.

They can’t make alterations, she told me, because it is so big and complicated.

Yes it sounded like a fairytale to me too, but what can we do? Especially as a new red-mist inducing phenomenon has recently begun to appear. ‘Weston-Super-Mare’ (instead of Weston-super-Mare). Gilbert Harding’s face of absolute fury appears before me in memory and suddenly I understand.


Severn Avenue, Weston

THE decision to keep Weston General Hospital under NHS control is an important milestone in preventing the privatisation of core NHS services.

Members of Weston Labour Party have campaigned against this for over a year and won wide public support with hundreds of people signing our petition on the streets of Weston and on line.

We should not rest on our laurels, however. Any merger brings pressures to relocate and consolidate services and, as the junior partner, Weston hospital may be at risk of seeing services reduced or taken away altogether. Weston is a growing town with a relatively high percentage of elderly people and care home residents. Any attempt to reduce services would have negative consequences.

Therefore, I urge local people to continue to support Labour’s campaign to protect and improve A & E and other core services at Weston. It’s vital that the hospital conducts an open and robust procurement process and gains concrete assurances about the continuation of services from its new partner NHS Trust.


Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Weston

Shadow Walk, Weston

I AGREE with your recent correspondents regarding the excellent treatment received at Weston General Hospital.

Recently my wife was rushed into Weston General with a burst interior ulcer. From the paramedics to the A & E, the attention given was A1.

After she was stabilised she was transferred to the Medical Assessment Ward, where they carried on with the blood transfusion, then finally to Harptree High Care ward. Once again, first class attention.

However, on the third day it was decided to discharge my wife, who was much better, we were ushered into a day room. We were promised that the discharge paperwork and medication would be forthcoming.

But after nearly a two hour wait, and nobody seemingly looking out for us, I decided to go to the pharmacy myself. There I was told the medication had been waiting collection by the nursing staff for three quarters of an hour. Having received the medication, we made our way home. We still have not received the discharge paperwork, after nearly three weeks.

Come on Weston General, tidy up your discharge procedures, and then we can say you were 100 per cent.


Castle Road, Worle

I VISITED Weston recently and walked from Weston to Uphill and needed to use the public convenience.

My hot and grubby 20p was dutifully inserted, but was repeatedly rejected.

What is the point of the parishes/or council doing all these costly and wasteful alterations and upgrading the toilets if one can’t get the money in the slot and more to

the point, use the toilet.

It is not a joke to me to be almost publicly embarrassed. The current solution to this convenient problem is flushing money down the drain and won’t stop complaints from those effected.

I will continue to raise my complaints loud and clear and I encourage others to do the same.

It is a disgrace in this day and age and a sad reflection on priorities in our society that ‘common sense’ is not to be found. Shame on you public WC servants. I hope you don’t get caught short - but then you probably don’t use the public loos for good reason.


Forest Avenue, Bristol

MY HUSBAND and I have lived in Weston for 20 years but why I don’t know because every year all we have seen is shops close down if not that the Tropicana.

What has ever been done since they closed it? Always telling we shall do this, do that but we have never seen anything happen.

Then we had the lovely covered market demolished. We were told we were getting new shops. They changed their mind so now we have another building lying empty and again I wonder how long for, just like T J Hughes. We were told that was going to open up.

How many empty shops have we got spread in the High Street, Boulevard, Orchard Meadows.

Obviously, like we have been saying for years if the council didn’t charge so much for its shop rates it wouldn’t have so many empty shops.

Why does it advertise on TV come and visit Weston? What for just to see loads of empty shops, and nothing but coffee bars.


Rowan Place, Weston

THE on-going stand-off over the development of the Birnbeck Pier and Royal Pier Hotel sites is said to have ‘no simple solution’, whilst the pier itself has been shamefully and unforgivably permitted to become ‘a pile of rust’ (Mercury May 22.) The problem with all parties lies in the fact that two quite separate issues are being combined: that of the proposed building of apartments ‘on shore’ on the old Royal Pier Hotel site, and that of the Victorian iron pier itself.

What should be clear by now is that Mr Samady of CNM Estates is only really interested in developing the ‘on shore’ site, and, that the old pier is now (however regrettably) simply beyond repair or saving.

To make it in any way safe would require a small fortune and a near total rebuild, in which case the old pier (as an historic structure) would no longer exist.

Would a solution not be to permit CNM Estates to build an approved apartment development on shore, and for North Somerset Council to demolish the pier and all structures on Birnbeck Island, and restore the island to its original, natural, state?

In that case the huge amount of metal recovered would, surely, cover much of the cost, and Weston would replace a tragic eyesore with an invaluable natural asset. Experience shows that grasses and plants would quickly re-establish themselves, seabirds would nest and a whole ecosystem develop: a mini ‘Steepholm’ just off the shore. (We might even see seals visiting the shingle beaches in time.)

Boat trips around the island might be popular at high tide, and the view from Prince Consort Gardens (and Mr Samday’s apartment block) greatly improved.

All maintenance that the council need do would be to adequately signpost the shore showing that the island is a nature reserve with no human access (separated by dangerous currents in all tidal conditions).

A natural, wild-life, asset just off shore, combined with modern development on shore, would seem to offer a ‘simple’ and satisfactory solution for all parties after all. Will anyone seriously consider it?


Longton Grove Road, Weston

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