Letters to the Editor, May 7, 2015


- Credit: Archant

I AM sorry Mr Jeffrey totally missed the point of my previous letter. I have no criticism of the appointment of an apprentice for the Playhouse and would be delighted to see more young people in the theatre.

My complaint was, and is, that a still unconfirmed amount of funds raised by the ‘Friends’ is being used for what is essentially a staffing issue and the responsibility of management working for a large public company, without the agreement of members.

When the future of the theatre was being decided by the local authority, the committee (some still serving) quite rightly sought and received firm assurances that items paid for by the ‘Friends’ would remain in the ownership of the local authority for the benefit of the Playhouse and not disposed of or used as assets by any future lessees of the business. How does an apprentice fit into that?

The ‘Friends’ have never been involved in the running, staffing, booking or any aspect of the business side of running the theatre. The responsibility of promotion and booking is the primary role of the manager and I, too, congratulate our manager on the procurement of The Mousetrap. It is a great achievement and will certainly add to the prestige of our theatre. I am sure its success will more than compensate for recent cancellations.

Blurring the boundaries may lead to difficulties. For instance, as we now pay for the apprentice, should we expect her to work for the ‘Friends’ sometimes, possibly to organise social events to attract younger members.

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If the committee wishes to change the way our funds are used, it must act in the correct and honourable way and invite all members to an extraordinary general meeting to discuss changes to the constitution and allow the members to decide how they would like their monies allotted.


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Trawden Close, Weston

WE WRITE to offer our condolences. We tried to stand for the local people of Weston in the General Election.

We offered ourselves on an MP post share basis but we were disallowed from standing for technical reasons. Although the model parliament, on which our current parliament is based, had two representatives per area, there is no mechanism to allow this to happen currently. This means you do not have the full democratic choice we believe that you should.

One of the reasons for voter disengagement is lack of diverse representatives and yet, in the last few decades, politicians and their parties have not addressed this issue significantly enough. MP post sharing provides people who would otherwise discount the role with the option to offer their time and skills to their community. It appeals to those with caring responsibilities, health considerations or other commitments which mean they cannot work the average of 69 hours a week that new MPs work, with much of that away from home. We may wonder why politicians are so ‘out of touch’ but could it be because the role is so time-consuming that work/life balance is hard to achieve within the current set-up?

MP post sharing works like job sharing: you get two people who share the role for the price of one. Weston would have benefited from the skills, knowledge, experiences, qualities and personalities of us both. One of us would have been in the constituency and available almost every day and the other would have been working on your behalf in Parliament and improving the voting record - a case of two heads and bodies being better than one. Besides this, due to our current locations, there would be no need for any second home so this would have actually reduced the costs to the electorate.

In addition, we were standing as Independent candidates who were free to speak and act on your behalf on issues we already know matter to so many of us. And now with a choice of six men to choose from (and all representing a different political party rather than the local people of this town directly) we know that many people will feel they do not have the choice they would like, or deserve. And for failing when offering them a solution to that problem on this occasion: we are sorry.

RACHEL LING @localrachel Osborne Road, Weston, and EMMA ROME @politicalemma Not too far from Westminster, London

IT WAS refreshing to read that the Wrington Vale Medical Practice has been labelled ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

But it’s ironic that the Pudding Pie Lane surgery nearly didn’t happen at all. When the new building was proposed, it was met with extreme opposition from a small group of Wrington residents. Consequently, the development was delayed for two years and almost lost its funding for the single-site centre. Fortunately, common sense prevailed but not without a price.

A satellite surgery was retained in Wrington village for the benefit of elderly and disadvantaged patients - the only one in the 29 villages served by the practice. That small surgery is still being used, although less and less and yet some villagers are still complaining. I guess that there’s no satisfying some people.


Stonewell Park, Congresbury

THANKS to the Mercury last Sunday I was visually transported to watch the Bolshoi Ballet’s live performance of Ivan The Terrible from Russia.

It was a wonderful performance and we felt as if we were actually in the theatre, in Moscow, all from the comfort of the Odeon Cinema, Weston. Once again, thanks to

the Mercury for providing some great prize tickets.


Milton Road, Weston

COULD you please say a big thank you to our paper boy Rob from Oaktree Park residents.

We wish him a happy retirement for many years to come. He came in all weathers seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, never moaning, always smiling. He is in his eighties.

Also thank you to David and his wife on their retirement from Grenville Avenue post office in Locking for their dedication.


Oaktree Park, Weston

FOR some time, I, and I am sure many others, have been concerned about what can only be called a selfish progression by our local council.

Each edition of the Mercury seems to increase this movement.

Surely, it is time to hold a vote, or a referendum, to find out what the taxpayers think. Do we want a self-styled council, that intends to take over what it and it alone wants, or, is Weston going to return to a democratic council?

I personally would have no problems about it being a private entity, but, as the owner of a Weston-based company, I expect the council to operate on the same basis that I have to.

One definite advantage that there would be for the taxpayer, is that they would probably not be at the beck and call of the unions.


Ringwood Grove, Weston

AGAINST all the odds, we did our designated collection for our bears on Saturday, in Weston.

Troops were a bit thin on the ground and the weather was against us, making us give up after two hours. Still £30 was collected and it will be forwarded on to our charity.

Thanks everyone.


Animals Asia

Dovetail Drive, Weston

AM I the only person in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area who cannot believe how long it is taking to complete the misconduct procedure for the suspended chief constable?

He has already been suspended (on full pay) since May 2014 and the hearing will not take place until the end of June 2015. That means that more than £220,000 will have been lost from the police payroll to cover his pay and on-costs (National Insurance, pension contributions, etc).

How long can it possibly take to obtain statements from his accusers (I assume they are small in number), prepare a defence and hold a hearing?

I imagine there have been murder cases investigated and sent to trial in less time.

The Police and Crime Commissioner should be called on to explain this absurd time frame and the full cost to the taxpayer.


Devonshire Drive, Portishead

AS A former trombone student and friend of Percy Cook (1905-1984), I’d like to write a biographical account of Percy’s career as a musician.

It would be much appreciated if any of Mr Cook’s descendants in Weston would be so kind as to contact me so that I could fill in the missing links in my knowledge of this fine gentleman, who passed away suddenly in September 1984.

I do know that Percy played trombone in dance bands during the early 1920s, later finding work in Germany. He was also in the Home Guard during World War Two. After a spell as director of the Grand Pier Orchestra of Weston, in 1950 Percy took up a post as second trombone with the Scottish National Orchestra. A few years later he became bass trombonist with the SNO.

Any assistance would be gratefully received.


Flat 0/2, 20 Eastercraigs, Dennistoun, Glasgow, G31 3LJ

0141 316 6777/07790817764, johnpower729@btinternet.com

OH, I DO like to be beside the seaside,

oh, I do like to be beside the sea,

especially in one of those new beach huts,

alas, it’s not meant to be.

They’ve put them all on eBay,

here is where you must buy,

so I’ve set up an account,

to give it my best try.

I’ve emptied my piggy bank

and sold off all my gold.

I started bidding at 50p.

‘Not enough !’ I’ve been told.

It will now cost thousands

to sit by our muddy sea

in a garden shed from B&Q

to drink a cup of tea.

I’ve put the cats on diets

and given up the gin.

I’m working double shifts

in the hope of getting in.

I’ve sold off all my belongings

and handed back the flat

but I still can’t match the funding,

so I’m going to sell the cat.

Please, please North Somerset council

give the lowly paid a chance

to rent a little dream,

our lives it would enhance.

The next ones that you issue,

perhaps a couple kept aside,

at a special discounted fee,

for us less well off to abide.

The cat is now flipping burgers,

the budgies are delivering mail,

I’m on triple shifts,

hoping to make the sale.

Of a bijou wooden chalet,

my limbs to be made bare,

soaking up the sunshine,

in Weston-super-Mare.


Appletree Court, Worle

SO MANY people slate Weston General Hospital in this area, I wanted to share my two penny worth.

I saw my GP on a Wednesday, was called on the following day by the hospital for an appointment the following Monday.

Having been to the hospital for an appointment with a senior consultant, a mammogram and a biopsy (within a two hour timescale), I then had a follow up appointment a week later to thankfully give the all clear.

I cannot fault the service I received, and am glad that I was in Weston when this unfortunate time occurred, as I’m sure it would not have been so prompt in Plymouth where we used to live. The local population should be thankful for what they have.


Teasel Walk, Worle

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