Letters to the Editor, March 31

Infrastructure

FOR years Weston has seen huge housing developments without the jobs and services needed for the residents.

It is high time the council refused permission for any new houses unless the schools, doctors, employment and other infrastructure needed is provided at the same time.

The council also always greatly overestimates the numbers of people who will use public transport thereby underestimating the number of cars. All of my friends who have tried public transport to go to work say it is unreliable, adds yearly to the journey time and is more expensive than a car journey whether they are travelling within Weston or commuting to Bristol.

I know the powers that be always say that the per mile cost of public transport is cheaper than the car when you take into account tax, insurance and maintenance costs as well as petrol. This overlooks the fact that these costs have to be paid whether you use a car for work and recreation or recreation alone, so a better comparison is the cost of petrol versus public transport.


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It is vital that our roads, and especially junction 21, are improved before any more houses are built.

MRS J EDWARDS

Most Read

Constable Drive, Worle

Thank you

thank you to the people in Weston town centre who donated �51.50 to a street collection on March 5.

It was for Fleecehaven Sanctuary which is a wonderful registered charity based in Barnstaple promoting humane behaviour towards animals by providing care, protection, treatment and security at their sanctuary. It specialises in the rescue and rehabilitation of sheep. A visit to Fleecehaven makes lovely outing!

Contact Fleecehaven on 01598 760454 or visit www.fleecehaven.org.uk

GAIL WOOLFENDEN

The Animal Information Bureau,

Highcroft , Woolavington

Sympathy

I AM quite sure that the dark haired idiot driving an old type cream/white Jaguar saloon felt no remorse at virtually running me over as I rescued an elderly frail confused grey cat from Sandford Road on Wednesday at 8pm.

I would like to thank the people who waited, those few short minutes and showed sympathy for a bewildered little animal.

Thank God there are still caring people with standards.

JILL SWAIN

Moor Road, Banwell

Excellent

CONGRATULATIONS to TENONS (The Environmental Network of North Somerset) for organising an excellent seminar in the Blakehay on Saturday.

The four speakers on various different aspects of our future energy needs were varied, interesting and informative and searching questions from members of the audience widened the discussion considerably.

People travelled from far and wide to attend and, it seemed, almost outnumbered those from Weston itself.

I’m looking forward to TENONS next event!

LESLEY ASMAN

Sustainable Weston

Hawthorn Hill, Weston

Challenge

THANK you for your excellent coverage of the Blakehay public meeting concerning Weston Library.

I would, however, like to point out that I have not been approached by North Somerset Council to join a ‘Consultative Users Panel’ to plan the future of the library service. At present, Weston stands to lose a library building of rare quality, one which serves its function perfectly.

The ‘Save Our Library’ campaign will continue to challenge the council on its potentially disastrous course of action.

DR HOWARD SMITH

Stafford Place, Weston

Bad mannered

AS A resident who lives in central Weston, I have to mention how bad mannered and inconsiderate most younger people are becoming today.

Every Friday and Saturday night, when the pubs and clubs close, the town centre becomes like a circus. As late as 4am in the morning all you hear are screams and shouts as they wander the streets after having a skinfull of drink.

They do not care who they disturb, and most cannot even find the taxi offices and usually end up ringing the bell of our flats, waking us and getting us out of bed.

Why on earth can’t the youth of today just go out, have fun and a few drinks and then go home quietly and book themselves a taxi say 30 minutes before they leave the last venue instead of causing mayhem on the streets.

How would they like it if we shouted and screamed outside their homes at 2, 3, or 4am in the morning?

So come on be more considerate to others on your nights out. People do live in town you know.

ANDREW JEFFERY

Walliscote Road, Weston

Parking

I WOULD like to support Gary Williams in his comments about the parking problem at the bottom of Clarkson Avenue, at its junction with Milton Road.

Many years ago I went to all the houses in this avenue to get up a petition to extend the double yellow lines at the entrance to the road.

Many people do not realise, until they have to exit Clarkson Avenue, that there is a slight bend in Milton to the right, in front of the shops.

If cars, lorries etc, park outside the designated parking area it makes life extremely difficult, as you just can’t see clearly what is coming at you from the right.

We take our lives in our hands at times to exit our road, as it looks clear, until you pull out halfway across Milton Road, then you find a vehicle coming at you from the right.

Many is the time I have taken the safer option of turning left when wanting to go towards the town, then going a different way, just to be safe rather than sorry.

On another subject, I heard from this week’s budget that we are to be given more money for the repair of pot holes.

Last year in the Mercury’s campaign ‘Dump the Bumps’, I reported that something needs to be done to Cecil Road, from about Titchborne Road, westerly to the end of the road. Was anything done? No. It is still in a mess, made worse by the re-routing of the buses while the seafront was being upgraded. All the main roads nearby have been completely resurfaced, but not Cecil Road.

Whilst on the subject, can I please ask the council to take a look at Ewart Road, Milton, where the road narrows to allow exit onto Locking Road. This little bit of road needs some attention, because you cannot avoid going over it and making it worse, it’s so narrow.

RACHEL HEATH

Clarkson Avenue, Weston

Weekly

FOLLOWING the letter last week where the writer was be-moaning the lack of social clubs in the area. I would like to point out the information of all the clubs and associations that can be seen weekly in your paper.

Personally regarding Scrabble in Weston, we have had information published at least three times a year for the past 31 years of the clubs’ existence, in fact there are three well attended Scrabble clubs within Weston and a fourth run by the U3A which also have a vast programme of social activities. There are several Bridge and Whist clubs in the area.

My advice for anyone looking for a particular interest is to research the internet and if you are not able to get access yourselves, then speak to people in the library. You could find all the information of these clubs there.

Remember we don’t know where you are or how to find you so we cannot come knocking your door.

You would however be most welcome to join the Scrabble clubs in the town and I am sure there are many clubs of all descriptions that would be pleased to include you in their membership.

BRENDA WALL

Chair- Weston Scrabble Club

Drove Road, Weston

Culture

I AM sorry that Sylvia Thompson of West Wick (Opinion March 24) finds Weston such a cultural desert, although I don’t think people move to the seaside for its culture.

I agree to a certain extent, but you have to look for it! Has she not heard of U3A which offers a wide range of groups, activities and outings, including the Scrabble, Bridge, lectures, discussion groups and choir that she said do not exist? Call at their weekly coffee morning on Tuesdays at the Friends’ Meeting House in the High Street for details.

The Weston library and the Town Council have websites with lists of societies, and I am sure the friendly staff would look them up if you don’t have internet access.

There are wonderful concerts at All Saint’s Church, The Weston Choral Society, Friends of the Playhouse and Weston Music Appreciation Society to name but a few things on offer.

Further afield, take a bus, free with a travel pass, to Bristol, where sometimes there are lunchtime concerts at St George’s Brandon Hill and the Colston Hall. Failing all these options, has she thought of forming a Scrabble or Bridge group herself?

She may find other like-minded people in her locality. Most seniors I know find there aren’t enough hours in the day! We are so fortunate to have these opportunities if we are prepared to put in some effort, and to have free bus passes, even if the ride is sometimes bumpy!

DIANNE BOARD

Windmill Hill, Hutton

Sheer waste

SO WESTON’S council yet again announce as though it were a badge of honour instead of one of shame, yet more sheer waste of taxpayer’s money.

I’m referring to the bus they claim to be paying for, which in their all knowledgeable opinion, no one wants. Why pay for it then?

Would this be the First Bus that travelled along the Boulevard at 5.30am with only the driver on it on Sunday morning February 27, one of the two that travelled nose to tail in the same direction a couple of days later at about 8.30am, or the one that followed the two/three minutes later.

A lady I was talking to told me how she had waited half an hour in that same week for a number 7 bus. On remarking to the driver that he was very late, he explained that he had been talking and lost track of time. He did not appear to be joking. This behaviour being reported the lady was thanked, assured it would not happen again, (ya right), and that that particular driver would be moved to the Bristol run.

Please come back the Orange Buses, you are still very much missed, and needed.

MS G N FLETCHER

Baker Street, Weston

EDITOR’S NOTE: Improvements, worth �70million, to the bus network across the area have been funded by the four West of England Councils, including North Somerset and Bristol, plus First and the Department of Transport.

Compensate

SHOULD it be flattened or not? Definitely not.

Weston desperately needs an outdoor open air swimming pool. It is a safe place to swim for all ages and to spend summer days. When it was built there used to be the two round shallow pools on the beach that have now gone. The only safe area for families and small children is at Marine Lake which is usually very crowded. The beach is not safe for swimming or paddling due to the quick sand and fast tides and it is difficult to protect people when it is busy.

The Tropicana was built to compensate all these problems and was an idyllic place to spend the day cheaply and safely. In the present climate, with money short, families cannot afford to spend the day using the other seaside facilities which are all commercially driven. Gone are the days that you could come on a coach to Weston, bring your packed lunch and sit on the pier and spend an inexpensive day out. Now you have to spend, spend, spend to occupy the time and amuse children.

So more than ever we need the Tropicana to be opened as it was originally designed to be with a simple cafe for teas and soft drinks. It does not need a multi-story hotel, car park, expensive restaurants just a fabulous open air swimming pool. Families have to go all the way to Portishead to find this, and look how successful it has been since it opened.

YVE MORGAN

Sherwood Crescent, Worle

Despondent

OVER the years that I have lived here I have become very despondent with the way in which this town has been run, the nature of the way some of the people of this town are.

Although I left the town for a while, since coming back, the town is still very much at a standstill. The same old faces are still signing on, turning up in the dock, the places that are run down are still run down no effort has been made to improve on that which has become run down.

Birnbeck end of town is a disgrace, buildings boarded up, disused pier, pot holed roads, I will say that some effort has been made to improve the look of the area between Knightstone and the new pier, but what about the rest of the town? The rest of the seafront?

The Tropicana still looks a disgrace, the top end of the High Street, Dolphin Square, James Street and the roads leading off are all showing signs of a run down area, buildings boarded up, places shut down, probably never to be re used or re opened, I feel so disappointed, even upset.

When I moved into the town it was buzzing with life, where it has been left to rot and decay it is going to be too expensive to put it right, we used to have a tourist industry here, now people don’t bother coming here to visit because there’s nothing here for them apart from the new pier and the big wheel. What else is there for people to see or do? I’m not being critical or knocking the pier, I am very pleased to see that at least that did manage to get up and running thanks to the sheer determination of the Michael’s family, if they hadn’t have been so pushy and determined, I don’t think that we would even have a functioning pier in this town. Even the pubs are becoming run down, because they aren’t getting the trade.

If we had grabbed all the opportunities offered to us over the years, this town would still be buzzing, instead it’s dead, run down, dirty, full of drunks and druggies, people signing on with no intention, no need or no prospect of getting a job around here.

I work very odd and unsociable hours, a few weeks ago I had to start work on mornings, those of us that have jobs are now sitting like lemmings pumping exhaust fumes into the air, crawling to get onto the motorway to get to Bristol, Portbury, Avonmouth or anywhere else to get to work because all the industry that we did have in Weston, when it went it was never replaced. Now the holes where Clarks, BAJ, Westlands and such like were, are still just big holes.

I look at Weston now and I just think to myself, what has Weston become? I look at it and I’m watching the whole area as it’s dying, no matter how much we modernise the shops, move filling stations from one end of a shop to the other, we still have nothing to attract people to visit the town, nothing to keep local people occupied, we are at a standstill, we haven’t moved, we haven’t achieved anything as a town, I really feel that this town has been left to fade away.

I wish I could breathe some life back into this town, I wish I could see a future here, but in reality, Weston has had its day, it may sound defeatist, but if something was going to be done whether it be to the Tropicana, Birnbeck Pier, Birnbeck area in general, or anywhere else in this town, it would have been done when there was money about and before these places got to becoming so decayed as to be uneconomical to make them good and they would have been done before the recession that we are now in, so that at least we could have had something still to offer to keep tourism in this part of the country.

I do sincerely hope that my views are wrong, but looking at Weston as I see it today, I fear that my views, as gloomy as they may be are the future of Weston and for that I feel very sorry.

ANDY GAGE

Alma Street, Weston

Too far out

I DO not think the Tropicana should be bulldozed. We need a swimming pool on the seafront. How can we have a seaside resort without a swimming pool? Hutton Moor is too far out for visitors.

I spent many happy hours in The New Swimming Pool, as it was then called years ago, and had to queue to go in, so I hope we get what the people of Weston are asking for.

S MOORE

Hawthorn Hill, Weston

Put forward

DEAR Minister for Tourism, we in Weston acknowledge your call to arms.

We are very happy to provide ideas for the seafront Tropicana site, we hope our voices will be heard. If you listen, I can assure you we will be able to solve your problem overnight.

I would like to put forward that all of Weston could get together, laying one brick at a time. Children could stick and grout tiles, the retired could build the water slides. This could be a new swimming pool built and operated by locals. Now that’s a new idea!

MR C NETTLETON

Southside, Weston

Revenue

I HOPE the people of Weston vote with their feet in the local elections!

Holidaymakers bring their children to Weston to enjoy themselves all they want is a swimming pool. They like a bucket and spade holiday, with the donkeys and a wonderful new pier. Weston Council should be very grateful to Kerry and Michelle Michael for what they have achieved for the benefit of Weston. Also keeping it open all year.

Wherever you go on holiday the children ask “Where’s the swimming pool”? If it could be open all year just think of the people who would come to Weston and all the revenue it would bring to shops and cafes alike.

PAULINE HARRIS

Woodmans Road, Chipping Sodbury

Breakdown

IT SEEMS that we are not going to have a new Tropicana due to a breakdown in negotiations between the Nightingale Group and the council. To say that it’s disappointing would be an understatement.

I didn’t see John Penrose when he appeared on TV last week but I’m told he said he too regretted the failure to agree between the two parties and that now is the time for final decisions to be made and invited viewers to let him know if they had any ideas. We know that many of us have had plenty of these over the past months and they are well documented but I urge everyone who signed petitions and/or filled in questionnaires relating to the Tropicana to respond to this offer.

Please write to Mr Penrose and/or the council, thousands of letters ‘dropping through their letter boxes’ would surely let them know how we feel about being let down again.

SUSAN GIBSON

Brimridge Road, Winscombe

No change there

THE Tropicana should not be demolished. A swimming pool/leisure complex should still be built there as soon as possible.

The matter of parking facilities should not come into it. Westoners coped with parking when the Tropicana was up and running before, there is no change there.

I note that a letter in this week’s paper also suggests that a pool is built into the Dolphin Square complex. I don’t think this is what the locals want.

It seems it’s what the council wants. Westoners want their Tropicana where it is.

MISS S FOSTER

Clarence road East, Weston

Everything

I AM sure that we are just not being told everything in connection with the Tropicana.

Weston needs a pool, just look how busy the town has been, the seafront, the shops, the Grand Pier and no problem with car parking

Yes we need the new Tropicana on the seafront. Look up the London Lido. Check it out on the web. Closed for 20 years, then refurbished and is now the only Olympic-sized heated pool in London and at a cost of only �2.5million. This is council owned and run. It would be a sin to tear down our old pool.

LAURENCE F ORME

Shrubbery Avenue, Weston

Hammer

WOW! What a week it has been in the Mercury (March 17).

First the Tropicana fell through. Then we hear our councillors gave themselves a pay rise of up to 54 per cent, and helped themselves to pension funds, and we stupid locals stand by and let it happen!

Things started going wrong when they got paid, gone are the days when you became a councillor to better your town, and proud to do so.

I also read that it will cost �1million to knock the Tropicana down. Give us all a large hammer and we will do it for nothing. There you go, a million pound saved! And will you please tell us why it cost so much, and where the money goes?

MARGARET WOOD (MRS)

Byron Road, Weston

HAVING received a number of letters this week which we deem to have a political agenda criticising individuals or parties we have decided not to publish them or have deleted such content.

This is because we will not publish political letters in the run up to the local government elections on May 5.

Letters which were not published came from Julie Cox, Mrs L Nash, David W Jeffery, Stephen Griffin, Laurence F Orme, P J Main and R Ball.

I WAS interested to read in the business section of the March 17 issue regarding Cecil Walker.

For very many years prior to my retirement I was a sales rep covering a large area for a national company and calling on menswear outlets in stores, groups and individual shops. Upon retirement I was very fortunate – and I mean fortunate – to work part-time at Cecil Walker which I found most enjoyable.

As you can imagine before retirement I visited very many outlets in different sections of the trade but I have to say that of all those I would happily place Cecil Walker amongst the top half dozen for the following reasons: deep knowledge of the menswear business; a broad selection of quality merchandise and customer service second to none.

There are few businesses which qualify to all these attributes and I can only wish Tim Walker and the business continued success far into the future.

The people of Weston and the surrounds should consider themselves very fortunate to have such quality on their doorstep, such businesses are few and far between.

Continued success to Cecil Walker and all concerned.

RICHARD BIRTILL

Bleadon Hill, Weston

I WOULD like to thank the Weston Mercury and Charlotte Richardson for the article highlighting the pitfalls of people letting their property.

I let my property though an estate/letting agent only to find he had not vetted or credit checked the so-called in-coming tenants, he also failed to place the deposit in bond or pay over the first month’s rent.

I have learnt my lesson the hard way, my advice to anyone renting their property is to be selective when choosing an agent and make sure you have a substantial deposit and the first month’s rent before handing over the keys.

My solicitor says choosing a reputable agent is paramount.

NORMAN GREED

Rochester Close, Weston

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