Letters to the Editor, July 31, 2014

PUBLISHED: 10:18 01 August 2014

Archant

Debate

IT’S always good to be on the opposing side of a debate to John Ley-Morgan and Clive Darke.

My comment that migrants are more likely to be in work than the native population is based on statistics available from many sources including the TUC. The fact that the migrant population tends to be younger than the native population largely explains this. It’s very poor judgment for John Ley-Morgan to call this a racist comment.

John and Clive have attempted to create a smokescreen with their letters but we would not have had this negative publicity for Weston if some Tory councillors had restricted their comments to the merits of the grant application from Bringing Communities Together and the town council’s grant budget. Their opposition to Bringing Communities Together’s work in helping people from overseas and the way it was expressed must be an embarrassment to their local leadership and many of their colleagues.

We do need to have a sensible, rational debate on the pros and cons of immigration at the next election. Immigration can create pressure on scarce housing, health and education resources and I know this is a concern to some local people.

The Coalition Government’s decision to cut the number of Border Force staff and scrap Labour’s ID cards plan have made it easier for people to enter and stay in the UK illegally.

Migrant workers help keep services running in sectors like health and care homes and many new jobs are created by new migrant run businesses.

Therefore I believe it is right to help legal migrants to integrate so they can work and contribute to the communities where they live at the same time as clamping down on illegal immigration.

TIM TAYLOR

Shadow Walk, Weston

Bus route

LAST week’s report that bus route number 5 is to be cancelled is yet another example of the people running the services playing fast and loose with the public.

The Worlebury service 83 has already been cut back because ‘it couldn’t keep to the timetable due to the traffic’.

That is a catch-all excuse in the summer when any and all the buses using the seafront get caught up in the persistent traffic jam around the Grand Pier area created by a badly designed traffic system.

I note that the 83 to Worlebury avoids the town by going from Tesco to Alfred Street and onwards thereby minimising potential usage.

I also note how the companies will put a large bus on an underused route to prove that it is ‘uneconomical’.

I suspect that modern bus routes are handicapped by having developed out of the old ones.

It might be a good time to sit down with a map of the vastly expanded town and look to create something more logical that takes account of the seasonal traffic flows and aims to serve the public rather than simply support the profit margins.

BRIAN AUSTIN

Alma Street, Weston

Half and half

THE Mercury reported that North Somerset Council has secured planning permission to convert the Grove Park tennis courts into a car park.

That is despite the fact that the Bath and Wells diocese has no intention of raising the covenant which ensures that the land must be used for leisure purposes.

Deputy leader of North Somerset Council Councillor Elfan Ap Rees is now suggesting a half and half scheme. He should do the honourable thing, admit defeat and stop trying to railroad the church out of its commitment to the people of Weston, eg by applying for planning permission.

Weston Town Council must not waver in the face of North Somerset’s bullying tactics over the Grove Park tennis courts.

Cllr Ap Rees does have to be congratulated on securing cash to join Weston to Brean with a bridge for walkers and cyclists across the River Axe at Uphill.

As MP John Penrose says, the new bridge will provide a boost to all the businesses across the Weston town region, between Yatton and Highbridge, which cater to the tourism trade, as well as to our wider local economy.

And since the route will encourage people to walk and to cycle, it is sustainable too. It will also help to establish Weston as a cycling friendly town and region.

ROBERT CRAIG

Priory Road, Weston

Confidence

AS A serving driver of First Bus I found your article, about the disabled teenager on the bus, very one-sided.

My colleagues and I almost on a daily basis deal with people who for one reason or another think that their travel arrangements can differ from everyone else’s.

How we deal with these occurrences varies from driver to driver but I have every confidence that my colleague handled the situation appropriately and not as stated.

Your article also failed to mention the option to pay.

Ms Redman had no need to walk her journey in pain as alleged because under our ‘fairer fares for all’ scheme a modest £3.70 would have purchased a day ticket on which she could have run around Weston on the bus all day.

You also don’t mention how Ms Redman got home again.

ROY WEAVER

Windwhistle Circle, Weston

EDITOR’S NOTE: To ensure balance, the Mercury contacted First West of England before going to press last week. Its spokesman apologised to the Redman family and admitted ‘the driver’s apparent attitude fell short of our expectations’.

Clarence Park

I AM fortunate to live near Clarence Park, which straddles the southern end of Walliscote Road.

To the west of the park contains a children’s playground, café, lovely flower beds and a bowling club but to the east there is nothing.

This was once a sporting venue and I remember Somerset County Cricket using the park for the Weston Cricket Festival.

The small pavilion, that still exists, was used by the likes of Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner and since those glorious days there has still been the odd local match, but sadly no longer.

Clarence Park rangers used the park as their football ground and croquet was also played in the park.

Three years ago I asked our local councillor if there were any plans to revitalise the park and he said he thought that there would be hockey pitches and he would get back to me.

I am still waiting for news and certainly no hockey has been played.

I also remember the excellent concerts in the park, completely surrounded by large trees, an ideal arena, but again they are no longer held.

Such a waste of space, three times larger than the Tropicana site, which could be of benefit to so many.

Such a wasted opportunity by the council which could, with a little thought, earn a few coppers to line its black hole.

Are there any plans?

If so perhaps someone will let us know.

GEOFF MALHAM

Clarence Grove Road, Weston

Time to digest

CAN we please have an Ian Pitch free month throughout August? I suspect that many of your readers are tired of the pontifications of this self-appointed expert on the subject of the Tropicana.

It is interesting that he even snipes at Trop Trust (TT) because it asks for time to digest the decision by a council which has for several years tried to demolish the building.

Could it be that TT sees a cynical move by the local politicians to run the Tropicana for a year or so, declare that they cannot make it work and then tear it down.

KEN KEEFE

Knightcott Park, Banwell

Rethink

FIRSTLY I wish to enquire if Ian Pitch of Winscombe is an employee of the Mercury? As he puts comments in the Mercury just about every week.

If he is not slagging off Derek Mead re the Tropicana, pull it down, etc, because North Somerset Council (NSC) wants to pull it down Mr Pitch agreed and said yes pull it down its an eyesore.

Now for whatever reason NSC has had a rethink and after how many years, I’ve lost count, it has decided to revamp the Tropicana, probably because elections are not far away, and guess what Mr Pitch agrees. How two faced can you get?

Get him out of the Mercury opinion pages and give other people of Weston a chance to air their views.

I’ve sent a couple of letters in and never made the paper.

Who is this person Mr Pitch of Winscombe?

Let’s have a picture and see who he is because I’m like many other people are sick to death of seeing his name, he must be on some trip of seeing his name in print. Let’s see if the Mercury print this?

JOHN TERRY

Hutton Park, Weston

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Mercury’s letters page offers a weekly platform for people to share their views; we welcome contributions from all sides of any debate. If readers disagree with contributors, they are welcome to get in touch with opinions of their own. If they are legally safe, inoffensive and free from malice, we are happy to print them.

Just get through

NORTH Somerset Council is missing a trick to bring extra visitors to Weston.

Its slogan should be: “Motorists welcome to Weston, there are designated areas where you can park all day free of charge.”

Just look for the double yellow lines sometimes further highlighted by yellow marks on the pavement.

A prime spot is St Margarets Terrace close to the Grand Pier and High Street shops.

Don’t worry about the articulated lorries making deliveries to the Sovereign Shopping Centre, they can just get through if you don’t park too near the corner.

JOHN LING

Fernlea Road, Weston

Political football

FOLLOWING a letter of complaint addressed to the office of the Secretary of State for Health, I received its reply late last week.

One paragraph of the letter contained the most blatant example of ministerial clap trap I think I have ever heard.

It stated that: “This office cannot become involved in individual complaints, as it might be construed as political interference.”

Well excuse me, political interference if I am not grossly mistaken, occurs at every level of the NHS. Is it not politicians who make all the rules, interfere in the running of the service, instigate top-down changes and the list goes on. The NHS is a political football. What a cop out in reply to a genuine grievance.

So, it is my opinion, that if the buck doesn’t stop at the headman’s door, where on earth is it supposed to stop?

MR M BARCLAY

Clevedon Road, Weston

Full glare

IT MAKES me furious to see dogs tied up outside shops in full glare of the sun, especially when their owners are shopping in the well-chilled Co-op in Worle High Street while the poor dogs roast outside.

Also despite all the warnings and news stories every year about dogs dying in hot cars there are still idiots who put their dogs at risk by leaving them in cars. Even with the windows open the inside of a car is dangerously hot.

If you walk your dog to the shops to get a newspaper, leave it in the shade. If your shopping, etc, is going to take longer leave the dog at home. It’s not rocket science just commonsense which could save your dog distress and suffering.

MRS J EDWARDS

Constable Drive, Worle

Rubbish

MY SON who is an electrical contractor is doing his best to prepare a flat for me to move into.

He has very little time available but spent Sunday morning clearing out existing rubbish. When he arrived at the tip he was met by a member of staff who refused to allow him to dispose of the rubbish because he was towing our trailer behind his van.

He explained that at the moment it is the only vehicle the family have with a tow bar.

The operative insisted on searching his van. His van was full of the equipment he uses in his business but this was not good enough for the operative who still refused to allow him to empty the rubbish out of the trailer.

As a result he wasted a precious day and the work of preparing the flat for me has been delayed by a week.

I realise that charging firms for disposing of waste helps keep the council tax down but just means that the cost is passed onto us in another way.

I also understand that the operatives have to be given clear instructions but they must also be trusted to use common sense.

This skill appears to be lacking in all their managers and the councillors who control them. Never mind next May you can throw all the latter out.

In the meantime we will go to Somerset where waste disposal is run by people with a brain and a wish to avoid people dumping their waste up country lanes.

RAY HICKS

Bleadon Hill, Weston

Important

WE KNOW to keep an eye out for elderly citizens when temperatures plummet in the winter, but surely it’s just as important to watch out for them when temperatures soar to uncomfortable levels during the summer.

It’s much easier to keep warm in the winter than it is to keep cool in the summer.

Switch off electrical appliances such as TVs and table lamps when not in use as they create heat. Keep curtains and blinds drawn to block out the sun and take a cold water bottle to bed that’s been in the fridge for a few hours.

These handy tips really work and will keep you and your elderly neighbours cool.

IRIS JONES

Beach Road, Sand Bay

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