Letters to the Editor, October 6, 2016

I am not surprised shops in Weston are closing down; with the expensive cost of car parking, shopping is no pleasure any more.

I think car parks should give the first three hours free. It would give the town a real boost and encourage out-of-town shoppers to come into Weston.

I can understand why people prefer to go to out-of-town shopping complexes.

I have come to the conclusion that rules for car parking times and prices are made by men, who have no idea about the amount of time we need when shopping.

I can also understand how Tesco feels about people using its Weston store’s car park without buying from the shop, but if they want us to do more of our shopping there, they need to give their customers at least three hours, not two hours, free parking.

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I park at Tesco. Apart from getting two hours free parking, I like it being in an outside area and there is more space between cars, and also not far to walk to and from the main shops.

I also do some shopping in Tesco but if I had more time I might buy more from them instead of rushing round, then doing my main food shopping in an out-of-town supermarket, where I feel more relaxed as there is free parking and no unsociable time restrictions.

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Old Quarry Farm, Winscombe

Community must do its bit too...

Last Saturday morning, a dozen volunteer local residents joined me around Ellenborough Park and Whitecross Village for a community litter-pick.

I wanted, through your pages, to say a big thank you to those volunteers who came out with us. We had a fun morning and collected an amazing 18 bags of litter from surrounding streets.

Everything from three hubcaps and the leftovers from some kind of party, to endless crisp packets and cigarette butts were collected to clean up.

The council does what it can to clean our streets, but it’s important that the community does its bit too, which is why we organised the litter pick.

But the very best solution is for people to think about others and take their litter home or put it in a bin, so that volunteer efforts like ours aren’t needed.

If anyone would like to join any future litter picks in the town centre or around Ellenborough or Clarence parks, please drop me an email to the following address, and I’ll keep you in touch: mike.bell@n-somerset.gov.uk

Thanks again to all of the volunteers.

MIKE BELL North Somerset councillor, Weston Central Ward

The Crescent, Weston

From carrot to Christmas tree

May I bring your attention to the distressful state of our monumental folly, namely ‘The Carrot’ as it is commonly known, standing at Big Lamp Corner, as older Westonians will recall.

The site viewed from the north east is green with algae.

Bring out the cherry-picker and high-pressure hose and give it a spruce up or, failing that, yards of tinsel and fairy lights – a ready-made Christmas tree.


Dunster Crescent, Weston

Time to recognise an Olympic hero

I was pleased to read in the Mercury how Paulo Radmilovic, who spent most of his life in Weston and won four gold medals in the Olympic games between 1908 and 1920 in swimming and water polo, and later ran the Imperial pub in South Parade, could be hopefully celebrated with a blue plaque.

Efforts have been revived by Mike Coles, chief coach of Weston Water Polo Club, to recognise his outstanding achievements.

Paulo Radmilovic was one of the world’s greatest swimmers and water players of all time. He won four gold medals and captained Weston’s water polo team to victory in the national club championships.

Let’s all throw our weight behind the town’s campaign to recognise this great Olympian with a blue plaque.


Victoria Park, Weston

Please keep your pets under control

Why do so many dog walkers who use Weston beach, especially Royal Sands, let their dogs foul the beach and not bother to clean up after them?

I go on the beach with my dog every morning and it is so annoying that these people don’t care about others using the beach such as runners and children.

It is also so annoying that they let their dogs run up to other dogs that are under control which sometimes leads to aggressive behaviour.

I ask all dog owners to act more responsibly.


Drove Road, Weston

Should I feel sorry for them?

At 4pm on a warm, sunny autumnal afternoon, Grove Park would be delightful were it not for a dozen salt-of-the-earth white British ladies and gentlemen of slovenly gait and appearance, who are drunk, foul, uncouth and incapable of conducting anything even vaguely approaching pleasant conversation and all very obviously with time on their hands.

I have a liberal disposition towards life and its idiosyncrasies and suppose I ought to feel sorry for them – but I don’t. Am I at fault?


Gerard Road, Weston

A disgrace and a health hazard

I walk into town almost every day. I walk three different routes, along Baker Street, Locking Road or along the Boulevard.

You can’t help but notice these streets are free of any rubbish, such as plastic, paper or food cartons. There are no signs of grass or weeds along the gutters or on the pavements; I applaud the council for keeping these areas clean and tidy, I see the cleaning machines out on a regular basis.

However, turn off these roads, and walk along Swiss Road, Stafford Road and Gordon Road to name just a few and you will enter into a different world.

These roads are just a ‘dumping ground’ for litter, be it paper, plastic, glass or dog mess, while the grass and weeds have never been cleared for years.

As I have stated, I have walked theses roads for years, I see the same rubbish month in and out.

Do we not pay the same council tax as the rest of Weston or is it that there are no councillors living in these areas?

Whatever the reason that these areas are not cleaned it’s a disgrace and in my opinion a health hazard.


Gordon Road, Weston

Vital to control our urban sprawl

There is concern that the proposed new medical centre for Yatton and Congresbury is to be built on strategic gap land opposite the Rowntrees Garden Centre.

The concept of strategic gaps are of vital importance in preventing urban sprawl and its consequences. North Somerset Council and the majority of the community supports that principle.

The doctors’ argument for building there is it is midway between villages and therefore best, plus cheaper than building on the brownfield Rowntrees site.

However, in my opinion, the midway point cannot possibly be described as being ‘best’ for both villages. Indeed, it is crystal clear the location is not in the best interest of either village.

The volume of houses being built in Yatton is about 600-800 homes, which equals some 2,500 additional patients. The volume of houses being built in Congresbury is some 80 homes, which equals some 240 additional patients.

Therefore the need for a medical centre in Yatton is of greater importance and priority than the need in Congresbury as things stand.

Is it not the case that the best solution to this issue is to build a medical centre on one of the sites already allocated for house-building in Yatton, such as the factory site opposite the rugby ground or the ladder factory, to meet the needs of Yatton patients and another in Congresbury saving, and putting to good use, the now redundant Memorial Hall to meet the needs of Congresbury patients?

Is it not the case that patient care is more important than money and therefore the over-riding concern must be what is best for the patient now and in the future and not the search for a short-term and penny-pinching option which suits no-one?

And presumably the sites of the existing surgeries will be sold for development and the proceeds used to fund the new centre.

What are the anticipated proceeds from the sale of these two sites? And what are the projected costs of building the centre on the strategic gap site? What are the projected costs of building on the Rowntrees site? And what are the projected costs of refurbishing the Memorial Hall as a medical centre?

I believe the community deserves to have the full facts.

The community deserves better than having the mangled logic of the Yes, Minister variety foisted upon us for reasons we all suspect is no more than simply a means being less than economic with the truth.

When this information is available we must then press for a referendum of both villages.


Brinsea Road, Congresbury

Common sense has disappeared

Hinkley Point Power Station has just been given permission to build another reactor, using foreign money.

It’s not that far from Weston, taking the coastal route is it?

When I was a student, I worked at Hinkley for three months during a summer break, so was able to watch at first hand its construction.

I still have a number of worries about nuclear power. There are unanswered questions about closing these power stations down when their working life comes to an end.

The threat of terrorist activities will only increase in the future – certainly with an open border policy while we are still a member of the European Union.

The last time I looked, we were still an island. I think we have the second highest tidal flow in the world, so I cannot understand why we don’t build the long-proposed Severn Barrage from Weston to Wales, taking advantage of nature’s sea power to produce power for all time.

It would produce between eight and 10 per cent of our energy needs without running out, and certainly with no pollution, or terrorist threats.

With sea levels rising such a barrage would prevent flooding north of Weston… an added incentive to build one.

It makes common sense to construct such a barrage – but then common sense seems to have disappeared.


Addicott Road, Weston

Huge impact on tax and services

In my letter about the future of Worle Library and children’s services, the word ‘children’s’ was omitted leading to people asking me why non-fiction books needed to be moved.

The answer is that if the children’s centre was moved to the existing children’s library, children’s books could be put in the corner by the payment machine.

At the children’s centre open afternoon the library services Andy Brisley was on hand to answer questions and address concerns.

Some people queried the wisdom of moving Worle Library from a modern to an old building when Weston Library was moved from old to modern.

Noise from the children’s centre was a concern along with the provision of computers and books. Mr Brisley’s answer of 70-80 per cent of my questions about the proportion of Worle Library’s books which could be housed in the centre seemed wildly optimistic given the number of doors and windows in the proposed library areas.

Mr Brisley explained the council’s plans to make £500,000 savings from the children’s and library service budget then went on to say that the council would need to make further savings as central Government support was due to stop in a few years, so all local services would be paid for by local people.

North Somerset Council has repeatedly tried to gain extra Government support due to the large elderly population of Weston, quite rightly in my opinion, as frail, vulnerable people deserve to be properly cared for by the council if they cannot afford private care.

A complete withdrawal of Government support is bound to have a huge impact on both services and council tax bills.


Constable Drive, Worle

Usually one careless driver

As a Congresbury resident who crosses the Smallway traffic light road junction on foot several times a week, I can’t help wondering if the significant number of motorists I observe using mobile phones has anything to do with the frequent number of collisions at this site?

On most occasions, you can almost guarantee seeing someone driving while texting or talking on their phone.

There are also frequent incidents of drivers or passengers not wearing seatbelts. Whereas that alone might not cause an accident, it can certainly have a substantial impact on the injuries sustained.

I do of course accept these irresponsible motorists are also negotiating road junctions elsewhere, but as this particular junction does require extra caution, as already observed on these pages, one has to agree that there is usually at least one careless driver involved when collisions occur.

This is just another case of the authorities having to consider drastic, expensive solutions to try to solve a problem that on many occasions could, and should be avoided.


Gooseham Mead, Congresbury

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