Letters to the Editor, November 21, 2013


- Credit: Archant

I NOTE with interest your article last week that says if the sea level continues to rise, the sea defences will have to be raised higher.

In 1885 a Bristol architect was commissioned to design our sea wall and on measuring the water level he concluded that the tide would never rise beyond 41 feet, so he designed the current wall accordingly.

However, one year later in 1886 the motor car/internal combustion engine was invented and although in those early days no thought was given to the possibility that millions upon millions of cars, etc, would cause a greenhouse effect this has now happened, resulting in the polar ice caps melting and a sea level rise of three more feet in that short space of time, beyond that early measured 41 feet.

Is anyone going to stop using cars, trains, buses, ships, aeroplanes, electricity, gas etc that we have only started using in earnest in the last 100 years (a mere blip in the overall life of our planet)? No, so we are all guilty of making the pollution that is causing the sea levels to continue to rise while destroying ours’ and our offsprings’ only life support system, planet Earth.

Last week’s Mercury article should have IF the sea level rises, changed to when.

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Moorland Road, Weston

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WALKING by Grove Park I noticed that, as usual, the car park there was far from being full.

I suggest that our executive member of transport on North Somerset Council does some forward thinking (something he suggests we should do). He should ask the council planning department to give planning permission to the council to convert this car park into tennis courts.

That would really be thinking of the needs of the town.


Palmer Row, Weston

AS YOU reported last week, Councillor Clive Webb recently told a meeting of Weston Town Council that children using a South Ward health and fitness project should be charged more ‘because of their income from benefits’.

The specific quote attributed to him was: “I just wonder how much the children get from the Government, yet they keep pleading poverty”.

As a district councillor for South Ward I can tell him that the people I represent include many who are amongst the most deprived in the country. The vast majority of those living in the ward are decent, industrious people, trying to do their best for themselves and their families, often in very trying circumstances.

Beyond that, surely the worst aspect of Cllr Webb’s comment is that we are talking here about children. They have no say or control over the circumstances that they are born into, and they most certainly do not ‘plead poverty’ - they simply learn to live with it, and to do the best with the (difficult) hand that life has dealt them.

If the good people of a community run great projects such as this, via organisations like Our Way Our Say, then local councils should be actively supporting them - as indeed the town council has done. It is just a shame that Councillor Webb has highlighted the unfortunate fact that there are still some local elected representatives who don’t have a clue about how difficult life is for many of the people that our local councils serve.


South Ward, Westbury Crescent, Weston

I WAS really surprised to see the complaint from the BID group and Cllr Canniford about North Somerset not being helpful on the proposed Free Parking Day.

I sit on the town centre partnership and am responsible for our car parks, etc, in North Somerset, but neither complainant contacted me on this subject and reading it in your paper was the first I knew about it. Since I see Cllr Canniford on a regular basis I wonder why... politics more important than Christmas cheer or not realising that members run the council?

Whilst free on street parking would only see a return to commuters clogging up all the parking bays for the day, I would have considered joining other car park operators if they were to offer the same incentive off street, just as we do during the late Thursday shopping days during the Christmas run up.

However I haven’t been asked.


Executive member highways including car parks, North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Weston

* EDITORS NOTE: The council was contacted by the Mercury and confirmed that it did not want to take part in a free parking day.

SERIOUS consideration needs to be given to putting back in the taken-out line from Worle junction to Weston.

This section of line will fall in the area covered by the Metro West.

At the moment this line is bi-directional which means trains are allowed when signalled to run either way on the same section of track.

This is a bottleneck section of track that at times can cause late running trains. By only having this single line into and out of Weston, trains are stopped held up at a signal on the main line at Worle Junction unable to move until the train in section approaching from Weston clears the single line section. What we have is an outdated uneconomical section of track and needs to be consigned to the history books which needs urgent attention to put it back to its original two track formation.

Whilst highlighting the problems on the single line between Worle Junction and Weston, I must draw attention to the success of Worle Parkway station which is well used and attracts many passengers.

I can remember working on this section of track and watching Worle Parkway station being built. Worle Parkway Weston opened in 1990, featuring four-car platform and a large car park, this new £700,000 station opened to serve Weston to Bristol trains. In 2006 North Somerset Council undertook a £5million upgrade of the station to allow long-distance trains to call and a larger car park.

Worle Parkway is a success and highlights the importance of building new railway stations. I am at a loss and amazed why Flax Bourton closed railway station on the main line between Bristol and Weston is not being reopened as a rail-bus interchange park and ride? With new housing being built close to Long Ashton, the former hospital site at Barrow Gurney off Wild Country Lane near Flax Bourton is earmarked for housing development, a reopened rebuilt Flax Bourton station is a priority.

The roads in this area of North Somerset are seeing increasing amounts of car transport, we can really make a difference by investing in the railway infrastructure of the Metro West.

Urgent attention is needed to invest in the rail infrastructure of the Metro West. Now is the time to put back the taken-out three mile single line from Worle Junction to Weston and put in place a plan to reopen and rebuild the closed railway station at Flax Bourton.


Greenwood Road, Knowle Park, Bristol

I WOULD like to thank Jeffery Archer for his kind donation to the Birnbeck Pier fund.

It is so nice to know there are people who really do care for local issues.

I do not know if anyone has looked into the possibility of rebuilding the pier as it was as it is part of Weston’s heritage. Perhaps it could have an old type fun fair like Carters Steam Fare that was here a few years ago? Maybe Carters might consider renting some of their rides and games? Then Weston would have the best of the new (Kerry Michaels’ Grand Pier) and the best of the old.

Still it’s only a thought.


Crookes Lane, Kewstoke

WOW! Jeffrey Archer donates £10,000 to RNLI on old pier!

Very good. The old lane is still there but like Birnbeck Island, it’s closed.

We as Westonions must all get together and help our RNLI helmsman Lord Archer with whatever it takes in £SP.


Upper Kewstoke Road, Weston

I WAS delighted to read how Weston’s lifesaving charity the RNLI has unveiled Jeffrey Archer as president of its £300,000 station appeal, and how he has pledged £10,000 to efforts to build a new lifeboat base in the town due to the deteriorating condition of its current base on Birnbeck Pier.

And I fully agree with Lord Archer it would be very distressing to see the Victorian Birnbeck Pier turned into flats.

We should take a leaf out of the way the people of Clevedon rallied around, formed a preservation trust with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and English Heritage, and full restoration was completed in 1998 which brought it back to life Clevedon’s elegant pier has won the coveted Pier of the Year award for 2013 but it could have collapsed into the sea, after it was shut, like Birnbeck, for many years.

I hope in some way we can save old Birnbeck Pier, just as the people of Clevedon did with their pier.

So I urge everyone in our town to dig deep into their pockets and help raise money for the Lifeboat charity’s new Weston base and also by purchasing the new RNLI themed postcard for just £1.

It’s good also to know Jeffery Archer still keeps up to date with the news in Weston, through friends, when he’s not writing, and also how he is still interested in Weston where his roots are.


Victoria Park, Weston

JUST for fun I thought I would enter one of those grid competitions and I then received a letter to say that I had won a prize.

I was told I had to telephone to claim so I realised that there was something not quite right. After all if I had won, then why not just send me a cheque?

I then received another letter asking why I had not claimed my prize (ignored) then another letter (also ignored). Some time later I received an ‘urgent’ letter imploring me to contact them.

I began to wonder if I really had won something so I gave into temptation and telephoned, even though I knew the cost of the call would be £1.50 a minute and calls could last up to six minutes.

I was then told that I had not won so what a complete waste of time and money.

I know I was foolish but this is a warning that you do not get something for nothing and all you do is contribute to their prize fund.

I have learned my lesson and I hope others will too.


Clarence Grove Road, Weston

MY HUSBAND was recently admitted to Weston General Hospital with heart problems.

First I would like to thank the paramedics for their speed and care.

The A&E department was spotless, which must be difficult with all the building work in progress at present.

We were in A&E for six hours, during this time my husband was being treated and monitored constantly. Also the staff kept us informed of every procedure as it was difficult to stabilise him.

Later my husband was transferred to Harptree Ward high care where once again the standard of care and cleanliness was excellent.

So a big thank you to all the staff concerned.


Corondale Road, Weston

HAVING spent a day in Weston General Hospital for keyhole surgery on my shoulder, I found the staff were very helpful and caring and made my day delightful.

So thank you for your help and care - well done to the staff.


Dunster Crescent, Weston

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