Letters to the Editor, October 28


I STROLLED around every inch of it. I mingled with the thousands of curious onlookers, and my mind boggled at the superb spectacle of what confronted me.

I gazed with amazement as adults and children alike enjoyed the fruits from the hard work of two very special people: Kerry and Michelle Michael.

They have to be recognised as being responsible for having brought about the rebirth of Weston with their Grand Pier. It has to rank as one of the best, if not the best in the world.

On a less enthusiastic note I have just one gripe. I longed to sample the formula one simulator, but I had second thoughts about it. At the age of 85 I doubt if my implanted pacemaker would have stood the test, or the pace!

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The job of a newspaper is to keep its public informed. Since its transition from broadsheet to tabloid the Mercury has done just that. But it has excelled itself in its coverage from start to finish of all the events leading up to the opening of the pier. It has been nothing short of journalism at its brilliant best. Congratulations to the editor and all concerned.


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Westbrook Road, Weston

22nd century

HOW wonderful to have our pier back in business.

The ‘super’ has been put back into Weston-super-Mare and the new pavilion is not 21st century, it’s 22nd century. Congratulations to all involved in its re-birth.


Executive committee member for the National Piers Society,

Baytree Road, Weston


I HAVE been reading up on the Grand Pier on the Mercury website and I am glad to see it up and running.

I was thrilled to see the video and read the stories - I am planning to come for a vacation in 2011 and I am counting the days to see my home town again.


British Columbia, Canada

World class

FULL marks to the Weston Mercury for last week’s free Grand Pier souvenir supplement.

Let’s all raise a glass to owners Kerry and Michelle Michael for creating a world-class attraction.


Victoria Park, Weston

More reality

TYPICAL! You wait 70 years for someone to bring back the trams and then two plans come at once.

Except, of course, that in the present economic circumstances one would have to be pretty stupid to pay to lay tram lines when the journey could be done by bus in the first place.

Why would you invest in a track from Royal Sands to Birnbeck when there is nothing worth the trouble at either end?

Lastly, how could you route it without compromising the new sea defences and making the present traffic flow worse than it is?

Could we have a bit more reality and a lot less pie in the sky please, the pigs flying over my house are getting to be a nuisance.


Alma Street, Weston

Child safety

FOR the past few years North Somerset Council and Weston Town Council have allowed a Halloween event to take part in Grove Park in Weston.

Primarily the event is designed to keep younger children off the streets and prevent the dangers of trick or treating. It consists of general frivolity based around bats and monsters, with a few fireworks at the end before bedtime.

After a meeting between the organisers and the councils, it has been decided/dictated to change the date of the Halloween event in Grove Park to Saturday, October 30, instead of holding it on Halloween, October 31, as was originally advertised. The reason for this is that if the event were held on the Sunday, it would coincide with the evensong service at the parish church just up the road and the noise from the park would disturb people at prayer.

Child safety is apparently secondary to religion according to the authorities. The Halloween event is specifically organised with child safety in mind.

Frankly, church attendance is generally so poor nowadays that the congregation being few in number should probably instead change their times to fit around the larger number of townsfolk that would have been at the Grove Park event.


George Street, Weston

Not listened

WITH regards to the never ending saga of the Tropicana, I think it is becoming blatantly obvious that our council, for reasons unknown, does not want, or intend to have, another swimming pool in Weston. I think the failed attempts, time scale and procrastination speaks for itself.

We are a large seaside town which relies on tourism. It is outrageous that 10 years down the line there is still nothing to show on the derelict seafront site. The councillors have clearly not listened to the town’s residents and I don’t think have any intention of doing so. They are voted in by the electorate who hope that they will take on board what is being said and subsequently develop and complete much needed projects that are being asked for. Sadly this rarely happens.

Henry Boot wanted to build a puddle (and couldn’t even manage that) in an oversized monstrosity of a building. Richard Nightingale has produced four designs, all of which would enhance our seafront. More importantly the pool/water element is much larger in size than the minimum spec requested. In three of his designs I believe he has included an ice skating rink and has also mentioned a roller blading rink in one of them. These are much needed leisure facilities that would complement the newly opened Grand Pier and really put Weston on the map.

The majority of residents support his ideas and are behind him. It is what Weston people want, need and have been asking for since the Tropicana closed.

As for Havard Tisdale, the other bidder, a company from Wiltshire, why is it that it still hasn’t come forward with its design yet? Does it actually have one? Is it a serious contender? Should we be worried? We have no idea what it is planning for the site, whereas most people are aware of, and like, Richard Nightingale’s proposals.

Even more of a worry now according to Richard Nightingale is that if the council allows the revamp of Dolphin Square to go ahead he thinks it would up the viability of the Tropicana in jeopardy.

This would be a total injustice – Weston residents need these leisure facilities for all-year-round use, much more than they need new shops and another hotel.

I guess we just have to keep watching this space and hope common sense prevails.


Exeter Road, Weston

Rally round

RICHARD Nightingale has rightly questioned North Somerset Council’s logic in supporting redevelopment proposals for Dolphin Square at the same time as seeking to find a sustainable future for the Tropicana site.

We are told that the economy continues to struggle and that public finances are tight. So how can it make sense to try to deliver not one, but two major multi-million developments within a few hundred yards of each other, pitching at similar leisure and retail uses, all at the same time?

North Somerset Council says it is serious about sorting out the Tropicana - if it means it, why is it seeking to erect barriers to potential development by backing two horses at once?

The council has not exactly got an unblemished record of success when it comes to making things happen. Surely now is the time for everyone to rally round and get behind Richard Nightingale or another developer and finally get the Tropicana open again.


George Street, Weston

More economical

WITH reference to C J Peverelle’s letter (Opinion, October 21), whether this will change the political balance and ensure that electors get a better deal is debatable.

Parish councils are often spoiled by different political parties fighting not for the good of their communities, but to vote against the opposition. Unfortunately there is the other type of politics where common sense is voted against because of personal animosities between councillors.

In view of the economic situation perhaps we should be looking at the number of tiers of government that we have at present. The present Government is suggesting that it would be right for parish and town councils and community groups to have a far greater say in the development and management of their area, people with local knowledge and concerns about the future. If this actually happens would we then need district councillors in the numbers that we have, which adds greatly to administration costs and council tax.

Often these costs vastly outweigh the costs of the work done. For instance, last year our parish council, which has few responsibilities, did work which cost about �2,500 but the administration costs of the council was around �11,000. This year it is likely to be even higher due to an additional bill of �1,200 plus for health and safety risk assessments with no extra benefit to the community.

Whilst I have never agreed with North Somerset Council outsourcing work I have to confess to thinking it may be a lot more economical.

On a different subject, Malfunction Junction, put the roundabout back Elfan. Problem solved.


Willow Gardens, St Georges

A scruffy relic

APPARENTLY B Neale (Opinion, October 21) thinks the Odeon is perfectly adequate and Weston has no need of another cinema.

I was interested with the reasoning behind the statement “the Odeon never gets overcrowded... it never gets full.” Given the size of Weston’s population, plus that of the surrounding area, has B Neale ever wondered why?

I would suggest it is because most potential customers find the Odeon an outdated, scruffy relic of 1960s-style entertainment venues, totally out of keeping with the expectations of today’s audiences.

I moved to Weston nine years ago, visited the Odeon once, and decided ‘never again’. In fact I thought the same on my second visit - at least I gave it a second chance - and that time stuck to my decision.

When a new film I really want to see is released I make a trip to a modern cinema in Bristol, or else wait for the DVD. I don’t think it’s good for Weston that I feel have to.


Royal Sands, Weston

The last hurdle

I AM writing to share my confusion as to why we have sensorless traffic lights on the Hutton Moor roundabout.

It puzzles me but also amuses me that someone has taken a lot of time and money to come up with this average scheme to ease congestion and keep the area running smoothly, only to fall at the last hurdle.

Each morning on my way to work, I drive past Tesco Express up to the roundabout, only to stop at the lights and wait there with zero traffic coming from the right with the lights on red for at least two minutes, leaving people sitting in their vehicles twiddling their thumbs.

It is so annoying to think that if there were no lights there wouldn’t be any congestion. So here’s an idea. Fit sensors on top of the traffic lights or, at the very least, get the timing right, if not for me, for the sanity of Weston’s motorists.


Old Mill Way, Weston

Deserve more

WESTON Town Council has made a significant contribution to the welfare of our town.

The water park has been a great success. Most recently, the saving of the Burlington Street museum was a triumph, and the Barcode and Blakehay are excellent projects. These attractions bring more visitors into the town, paying more car parking fees to North Somerset Council. They will enable more businesses to survive, and they in turn will pay more rates to North Somerset Council.

Don’t our town councillors deserve more than our thanks, in the form of a greater proportion of council tax to be made available to their authority? At present 80.4 per cent of our council tax goes to North Somerset and just 3.1 per cent to Weston Town Council.

I hope town councillors will campaign for a greater share in next year’s elections, and in the meetings that decide such matters.


Stafford Place, Weston

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