We do not hide behind the press

ONCE again we old fogies of the North Somerset Community Association have been ridiculed by Mr Brian Austin (Opinion, April 20

ONCE again we old fogies of the North Somerset Community Association have been ridiculed by Mr Brian Austin (Opinion, April 20). Of course it his right so to do, at least it proves our existence is creating attention.Unfortunately Mr Austin typifies what is truly wrong with our town and why it is in such sad decline. Like many Westonians, Mr Austin whinges to everyone about nothing in particular, finds fault but rarely solutions. As an old fogie I have stood up in front of a full council and said what I thought of the current system. Councillors and officers did not like it, but stood and faced it. We may not like each other's views and disagree with each other but we are all seeking solutions and do not hide behind the press to express our views. This is democracy. The ostrich minded Mr Austins of this town, through inaction, have helped create a situation where less than 35 per cent of the population are likely to vote of the 35 per cent less than five per cent will be under 45. Why? Because younger people feel their votes will change nothing. Many think councillors are in it for themselves, and almost all young people feel disenfranchised and disconnected from the society in which they live. My guess is that 90 per cent of all voters do not realise how the council works and do not realise councillors have little or no say in the major issues for which we will all pay, issues that are in fact controlled mainly by unelected, unaccountable officers. In my view it should be compulsory to vote, unfortunately it's not. As an alternative, people such as Mr Austin, who indicate through their letters they have the answers to our problems, should take positive action instead of sitting in the comfort and safety of their homes and whinging. Perhaps they could spend time amongst and listen to the views of young potential voters. They could also explain why our generation has and is failing in its obligation to secure a future to those who will follow, and how the participation of the young can give the local government they seek. JAMES A DOBSON - A reactionary old fogie and proud of it. Swan Close, Weston


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