Letters to the Editor, March 20, 2014


- Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

THE Fantasy Golf proposals for the Beach Lawns area adjacent to Princess Royal Square must be rejected on a number of counts:

The design is ugly, out of date and crude. It will seriously undermine the integrity of the Beach Lawns Conservation Area which was specifically set up to counter such developments.

The development is close to a residential area (Carlton Mansions in particular) whose residents will be subject to noise and light pollution. When those residents bought their flats, it would have been reasonable for them to assume the Conservation Area would have afforded them reasonable protection.

The plans already involve barricades and high security fencing. However, the police feel this should be even higher to prevent vandalism, etc. This would create an even greater visual impact and obstruction.

The proposals duplicate the entertainment facilities already available within the secure and soundproof Grand Pier.

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It would be a tragedy if the high architectural and landscape qualities of the new seafront were undermined by such a crass development, with such little time being made available for public discussion and consideration.


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Stafford Place, Weston

THE 10 things I hate about Weston.

The council will eventually make roads in Weston have a parking meter and permit badge area and yes I mean the whole of Weston not just the town centre.

The new road layout will change to show that all those new roads will become a bus lane when only one or two buses use it a week.

The Tropicana should be torn down. It aint going to happen, no-one has the money to do it - real world please Weston, plus now Brean has a new splash pool complex why bother having one just eight miles down the road?

The speed limit in Madam Lane is 30 miles an hour not 90 miles an hour. Get real and slow down!

Worle High Street, change both crossings at either end of the street to pelican.

What’s the point of making people use the train and then charge them for parking a car? If you want people to use the train give them free parking, gets more traffic off the road, not more funds for the FGW group.

Before people start good ideas that end in nothing i.e. the snow complex, make sure you have got the money, say you are going to do it, then decide Swindon needs one more than Weston, do the Swindon one first and then quietly drop the Weston one.

What’s the point of having a no mobile phone law when driving when at least 10 times a day I see someone on the phone?

When the paper says money is made by shops when the likes of the Red Arrows come to town how come people drive in, don’t pay to park hoping not to get caught, then drive out as soon as the display is over, spending no money in town at all - free displays which are never free.

Make Meadow Street and Orchard Street shops into flats.

Please feel free to comment or add your ideas to my list.


Madam Lane, Worle

YEARS AGO, before any of our family went to the doctors it was customary to seek advice from a chemist, which of course was free, although it usually ended up with the buying of medicine.

If this did not work, then off to the doctors we went. There were doctors’ surgeries within walking distance all around the town and each displayed a brass doctor’s name plate and surgery opening times.

No appointments were needed and often the doctor’s wife acted as receptionist and nurse too.

You waited your turn and after seeing the doctor paid the fee on the way out. If a prescription was issued, then the medicine had to be paid for in full at the chemist.

This simple system resulted in a close bond between doctor and families, with the doctor knowing the family hereditary ailments.

House calls were rarely requested, but these family doctors were always willing to come out night or day as they knew their patient would not trouble them unless seriously ill.

Today surgeries have numerous doctors and have become small medical centres, with their own pharmacy.

The trouble is as doctors’ surgeries merge walking distances have greatly increased, on top of this the need of an appointment to see a doctor has become a big and unnecessary bugbear.

One reason the A&E at Weston hospital is inundated with minor medical problems is that people know they will be seen by a doctor at any time of the day.

Doctors and the NHS clinics complain that many people, with appointments, never turn up and their numbers are often displayed.

Surely these medical centres can manage the inflow of patients without the rigmarole of the present phone-in system of appointments, which his very time consuming.

Yes, some of us may find waiting times a little longer to see a chosen doctor, but this can all be controlled by a computer system detailing the number of patients waiting to see each doctor.

Most of us want to build up a good relationship with a doctor, but this is not possible if at every consultation a different doctor is seen.


Edinburgh Place, Weston

I WONDER how many lives will be lost if the A&E department at Weston General Hospital is closed.

I am sure that plans for a regional trauma centre in Bristol look wonderful on paper in Whitehall and sound good in theory. However you only have to listen to commuters complaining that they have to leave Weston before 7.30am to get to work in Bristol at 9, with longer journeys during roadworks and hours stuck in traffic jams after accidents, to realise that for many patients a swift journey to be treated at a specialist centre is just not going to happen.

Expecting the 50,000 patients treated at Weston’s A&E each year to travel to Bristol will only make the congestion nightmare even worse.

The Mercury has run stories about injured patients waiting hours for ambulances to take them to hospital. This situation will be far more common if ambulances have to take all patients to Bristol instead of Weston hospital.

Weston is a rapidly growing town with many new houses being built and more families moving to the area. That combined with the influx of tourists during the summer season means our A&E department is essential.


Constable Drive, Worle

CONCERNING the ongoing saga of the Grove Park Tennis Courts: does Cllr Elfan Ap Rees ever use Grove Park Car Park? (I frequently do, and I always find it half empty - it’s the same even in the height of summer.)

Where is the logic of extending a car park to 40 more spaces when it is not necessary?

The tennis court is what the people of this town want. I for one sincerely hope that the diocese does not release the covenant.


West Garston, Banwell

I WONDER if the Mercury could run a campaign to try to get fairer car parking charges across North Somerset.

Sunday was a lovely day and almost all available parking spaces along the promenade and in seafront car parks were being used.

That is good news for local businesses - cafes, shops, etc - but £7 parking fee for each car means £7 per family less to spend in local shops. That money will not be spent in Weston but go straight to North Somerset Council (NSC) to spend in other parts of the authority - eg repairing Clevedon Pier. This is so unfair on Weston as we are the only town to pay parking fees along the seafront and in council car parks.

I wrote to the council a year ago asking if the unfairness could be addressed and received a reply agreeing that the situation was unfair and that there was going to be a meeting to address this unfairness. Since then nothing has happened.

Perhaps the Mercury would have some leverage in persuading NSC to keep its word and address this unfair situation.

On a positive note I think we in Weston should be eternally grateful to Kerry and Michelle Michael for renovating the Grand Pier which is a big attraction to visitors.


St Davids Close, Worlebury

I AM writing to you in response to the article published in last week’s Mercury about unauthorised encampments and the Light and Life event held in Hewish last year.

I would like to correct some of the statements made and provide a different perspective.

The council and the police work closely together to ensure that unauthorised encampments in North Somerset are effectively managed. The procedures we follow ensure that the welfare and rights of the travelling community, residential community and land owners are considered in deciding what action to take. The council takes enforcement action where there are unauthorised encampments on its land wherever it considers this necessary.

Where anyone is considering organising a major event in North Somerset we ask them to contact the statutory agencies at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the event is organised in a way that properly protects the safety of those attending and manages the impact of the event on the local community. Regrettably, in the case of the Light and Life event, neither the council nor the police received prior notification and we had just 72 hours to discuss preparations with the organiser.

Events of this size will inevitably impact on the local community and this event was no exception. However, the impact was due to the scale of the event and a lack of pre-planning by the event organisers. To suggest that the impacts were because the event involved the travelling community is incorrect, unhelpful and perpetuates the prejudice against this group.

In so far as the implications for the future, the council and its partners will continue to work together to manage major events in North Somerset to ensure the safety of those attending and to minimise the inconvenience to the local community.


Head of Strategic Housing

North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Weston

I WOULD like to reply to B Lawrence regarding his answer to the letter I sent in about the flying of helicopters from the old airport.

Yet again there has been another helicopter crash with four people losing their lives luckily no one on the ground this time

It was printed in the press this week there have been 70 fatalities in helicopters since 1996 and only 13 by fixed wing aircraft in UK.

These facts speak for themselves, you are more likely to die in a helicopter than in a fixed wing plane. So as I said would it not be the right time for the council to put a stop to the noisy, smelly, and not wanted ‘copter flights from the airport or keep them within the boundaries of the old airport therefore not flying over houses or built up areas around Weston.

As they are sold as helicopter experience flights not sightseeing flights the people who pay for them would be getting what they pay for, you see it’s in the wording experience.

Also as I expect the people who run the flights have the necessary back-up if there was an accident i.e. trained paramedics, trained rapid response fire crews with all the right equipment while the flights take place so therefore they are at hand very quickly to help if anything should happen.

Also he rubbished my mention of flying from Bristol airport why? It has more open space around the airport than we do in Weston that is why they fly from there, and the necessary emergency crews on hand 24/7 to help.


Woodcliff Avenue, Weston

I’D LIKE to thank Ron Fieldhouse for proving my point in his letter ‘Only show’ in last week’s Mercury.

Yet again it demonstrated the weakness of his continuing, unreasoned defence of Cllr Derek Mead.

Yes, the councillor has ‘saved’ the crumbling Tropicana - for now. But what Mr Fieldhouse and his chums still seem unable to explain to the rest of us taxpayers is how the unfunded project will proceed into the future. We know that Cllr Mead’s Trop (WSM) Ltd has applied for a £1million grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. But, even if successful, where will the rest of the money come from? And, knowing how slowly the wheels of charitable funding turn, how will the remaining £4million plus be raised before the councillor’s own ambitious completion deadline of 2015?

Despite my many requests, these are questions Mr Fieldhouse and his cohorts still seem unwilling or unable to answer. Furthermore, he has to explain why North Somerset Council is still waiting for a viable, fully-costed plan for the project from his hero.

Most tellingly, Mr Fieldhouse saves the best till last. He ends his critique with an extract from John Heywood, written in 1564 reflecting the biblical verse ‘there are none so blind as those who cannot see’. But, as ever, he conveniently ignores the rest of that famous quotation - ‘the most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.’

I rest my case.


Church Road, Winscombe

IT APPEARS there are problems with congestion in the retail park with Dunelm and The Range which is causing much anger amongst customers.

I have not had any problems entering the park and there are in fact three entrances, two of them from Winterstoke Road, but it is the exits that need sorting out.

The feeder lanes into the main exit road are difficult to enter especially when the park is busy and something must be done to alter the layout.

It would also help if the one way entry road by Wickes was reversed so that vehicles could exit into Winterstoke Road, which is now a two way road. This would especially help drivers heading for the town centre.

The exits from all retail parks can cause problems but this one really does need attention.


Clarence Grove Road, Weston

PLEASE will you give a big thank you to the guys how helped me on Monday at the recycling centre at Weston. St Patrick would have been proud of them.

My car stopped on the slope at the entrance of the depot. It refused to start and two members of staff came to my assistance.

They pushed it out of the way of the cars behind me, then they looked in the bonnet and decided to give it a very hard push up onto the level, a kind member of the public gave them a hand or rather two hands, then they really, really, pushed and got it going, so I was off to the garage for a new battery.

Then back to the recycling to get rid of the rubbish that now smelt horrid.

And guess what, a recycling guy came and helped me to get rid of the

stuff, what a great bunch of guys. One of them was called Martin.


Ringwood Grove, Weston

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