Letters to the Editor, June 21, 2012

PUBLISHED: 12:25 22 June 2012

Mercury letters

Mercury letters

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I WANT to tell you about an incident that happened at Puxton Park on Monday.

A young girl with learning difficulties was cornered by a group of five other children, boys and girls.

She had her hands over her face as these other children were throwing balls at her from short range.

The mother of the child intervened, saying (loudly) something along the lines of “What do you think you are doing?” and took her clearly upset child away.

A short time after, two women approached the mother in the middle of the café and one of them started shouting at her, defending their children’s actions and lambasting the mother for telling their children off.

When I say shouting, I mean at the tops of their voices. The staff told her to calm down and to stop shouting.

I want to say on behalf of the mother that this was simply outrageous. I cannot imagine anything this little girl could have done to warrant such behaviour, however children reflect the values of their parents who lead by example.

Puxton Park did then start to supervise the play area more vigorously and remind parents that children should be accompanied on the play equipment at all times.

Needless to say, these two women made no such effort, leaving their children to carry on bullying anyone they cared to pick on.

Being the parent of a child with learning difficulties is hard at the best of times; many of the support networks other parents enjoy are not available to them as their children are ‘different’. Isolation begins at the school gate and continues as their child grows.

These children are usually innocent of much that goes on around them but watching other children being cruel, picking on them because of their differences, is heartbreaking for the parent - regardless of if the child realises it or not. I very much doubt if the mother will want to take her child to any play area again. If the women who were involved read this, perhaps they will reflect on their actions and perhaps approach a similar situation in a more considered manor.

Their current behaviour will show their children that it is ok to pick on those less fortunate than you, and it is ok to shout at anyone who tries to discipline you, regardless of how inappropriate your behaviour.

I have little doubt that when the parents were the same age as their charges, they would have been the ones throwing the balls.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

One-off charge

I HAVE seen and heard the angry reaction to the signs put in place on June 14 concerning the proposed central Weston parking charges.

These plans appear to have been drawn up by a demented cyclist with a grudge. In a civilised area a ‘residents’ permit’ would be a one-off charge, but has anyone in the town hall actually noticed that the ‘permit’ added to the ‘daytime charge’ has the potential to cost people more than £2,000 a year?

Nobody in their right mind would come up with that.

What happens if we need visits by a plumber, an electrician, or any similar? Are we going to have to pay a ‘parking surcharge’ on top of the ‘call out fee’? Will these experts in vans start refusing central Weston jobs for being too much trouble?

I don’t believe in this ‘consulting period’ because North Somerset Executives doesn’t care about residents and doesn’t even tell non-executive councillors what is happening.

Everything this executive does now is about the whims and cunning plans of the secret six including pointless vanity projects like Castlewood and the town hall.

By the way, I just wonder if they have ordered the parking ticket machines yet or will they wait until after they have ‘consulted’?

BRIAN AUSTIN

Alma Street, Weston

Extra expense

LAST week’s letter by S Clarke about the proposed town centre new parking arrangements expresses the views of many residents in the area.

These proposals supported mainly by councillors from outside Weston are an excuse to milk Weston for another £60,000 profit from parking charges.

This is a vicious discriminatory attack on those living in an area already designated as one of the most disadvantaged in the South West.

The residents are faced with extra expense and the loss of ability to park anywhere near their homes for most of the day.

B SHELDRAKE

Palmer Street and Hopkins Street Residents Association

Palmer Row, Weston

Visual impact

RESIDENTS who care about Weston and express their opinions should be applauded and not classified as moaners.

The understatement of the year regarding the Premier Inn hotel is surely “the hotel is not of the most imaginative design”.

The design and colour are appropriate for a motorway service station but could never be considered as sympathetic to our existing seafront. Just another illustration of the unimportance attached to the visual impact on the town’s development.

K A KIDGER

Highbury Road, Weston

Dangerous

I TOTALLY agree with Geoff Malham’s letter in last week’s Mercury.

The riding of bicycles on pavements is dangerous and supposedly against the law but it seems to be normal behaviour nowadays.

I have had a few ‘near misses’ and on one occasion I asked a young man why he was riding his bicycle on the pavement and his reply was: “Because I have no brakes”. I am surprised there are not more accidents.

P A LEDGER

Clevedon Road, Weston

Hazard

LATELY, the pavements in almost any part of town have become a real hazard. Motobility scooters have multiplied in numbers and their users, in their very many guises, do the best they can to obstruct, intimidate and behave in a hugely selfish and dangerous way.

The way these machines have been developed - if used as they were first intended was great. Freedom for the housebound, flexibility to allow all manner of confidence and self-worth for the users.

The downside however appears to be that virtually anyone can now get hold of a new or second-hand scooter, without any test or knowledge on how they should behave.

Firstly I would like the users of these machines to ask “do I really need this machine” then “am I using the scooter responsibly” and finally “am I aware of the restrictions that affect this type of transport”?

Living on the Bournville, I see many kamikaze riders on a daily basis. Some scooters can travel at up to 10mph. This on pavements or in community buildings or supermarkets is just not on.

On July 21 from 11am and 3pm there is a Community Fun Day at the For All Healthy Living Centre on the Bournville.

At this event there will be a Motobility scooter challenge designed to see how good some of the riders might be and offer ways in which novices can improve.

It would be nice to have a good turnout and some improved scooter riding. For information please contact FACE on 01934 427389

NIGEL LINDORES

Grasmere Drive, Weston

Heartening

IT IS heartening to see that Crosville Motor Services Ltd, have successfully established a first-class public transport network, with their fleet of green buses, now operating in and around Weston.

With Weston’s ever-increasing population, Crosville are a welcome and necessary addition to an already over-stretched public transport system, especially in out-lying areas such as Sand Bay.

Many residents like myself, rely solely on public transport and whereas previously we were poorly served, now, however, since the advent of the green buses, who run an excellent service for us it has been like a breath of fresh air.

They are punctual, plus the drivers, both male and female, are always courteous and cheerful and ready to help you.

It would seem that there is competition from other bus operators now that Crosville are up and running and proving a hit with locals and visitors alike.

Competition is good for the public, because it gives us choices and keeps companies on their toes, but it need not be cut-throat.

I sincerely hope that other bus operators can integrate harmoniously and amicably with Crosville, but it goes without saying which company I’d choose to travel with.

IRIS JONES

Beach Road, Sand Bay

On our behalf

Having completed my fifth decade without having penned a letter to a newspaper I applaud you on achieving a first in my life, namely that, as a taxpaying parishioner of Hewish, an article in your paper (Councillors resign after peace talks fail) moved me to make enquiries of my own.

The ‘report’ seemed somewhat one-sided and having now spoken myself to both ‘sides’ as a parishioner my view is quite simple. Councillors are elected to work on our behalf and all they need to do is to behave at council meetings representing the views of parishioners. Instead of ensuring this was done four councillors decided to resign. Another, I am told, has actually resigned due to ill health. I know none of the individuals concerned and they certainly do not know me but I am one who elected them, voted for them, and am extremely disappointed that rather than work with those elected to work alongside them they chose to resign in this way.

Having been privy to some open meeting discussions the councillors have to appreciate that their views are not always those of the people of Hewish. It is absolutely right to challenge costs, planning decisions, etc, if it is felt that procedures have not been followed and I for one applaud any councillor seeking either to bring scrutiny and transparency to proceedings or to ensure that procedures and rules are followed to ensure that legal challenges are pre-empted appropriately.

It seems that two newcomers having different ideas to established council members has led to a stamping of feet and an established ‘firm’ taking their ball and going home. To the watching electorate this behaviour is childish, selfish and has a scent of bullying about it. Having made enquiries as to the reported ‘Vote of no confidence’ all I can ascertain is that of a personality clash and difference of opinion. On any committee those will of course occur. I would suggest that by putting your name forward for council duty you should be prepared to listen and set personal views aside then vote accordingly and move on. I would also suggest that a quiet discussion (or several) to ascertain a way forward would have been an adult way of dealing with this situation rather than the parlour game silliness of ‘votes of no confidence’ in colleagues.

I am disappointed in the tone of this article as it seems to take sides against those two remaining councillors continuing to do the job they were elected to do.

Having lived in Hewish for 16 years I was very pleased to see the name of Chris Redding on the council ballot paper for the first time.

I am well aware of the personal effort and assistance he gave the community during the recent closure of the road bridge. Without him a number of local businesses would have been more severely impacted and mothers more severely inconvenienced by being unable to walk through to the school.

The efforts he made in the design of his business units making them aesthetically pleasing and so environmentally friendly are an example to all of the way to act responsibly with community in mind.

He is exactly the sort of new face we need to represent us and no we do not know each other at all. He is certainly someone I want representing me and I applaud him, Tom Dalley and the clerk for staying the course as elected to do.

In the event, the resignations have now occurred and will no doubt lead to another election that will cost the taxpayers of Hewish money.

The council turned off our street lighting saving £670 this year and is deemed necessary. How much will this election cost? The clerk could not tell me and I suspect these individuals dismissed that cost and other repercussions on the community in making their decision. This is not well done by the four councillors as far as I, a local resident, am concerned.

I am of course sorry that the council has lost the continuity of experience that these councillors have provided, and, if these resignations are a point of some principle I can accept that, however, I see no evidence of that.

In addition I have heard that these individuals may stand again at any subsequent election. I hope that this is not to be the case as this would lead me to be believe that this was in fact just another childish act.

Resignations are decisions to be lived with and not to be used as a bullying tactic to get one’s own way.

I for one would not vote for any individual that has resigned their tenure in this debacle and hope that voters would be clearly informed which councillors had previously resigned on any ballot paper. In fact, Mr Dalley and Mr Redding already have a mandate to serve and should continue to do so. I would suggest that the others take their rightful place on the naughty step of time and await their turn to be invited back into adult company.

The local council is our only voice to hold to account and to challenge. Let us hope that any new councillors take their role a little more seriously.

JANICE JONES

Main Road, Hewish

Thank you

A BIG thank you to the kind person who rescued my phone, and put it into a waterproof glove on the top of my car, whilst I was attending a funeral service.

I am sincerely grateful.

MAUREEN MARCH

Clarence Grove Road, Weston

Constant chatter

MY FAMILY went to an ELO tribute at The Playhouse recently and the show was spoilt for them by the constant chatter of a group of people behind who had obviously been drinking and also had drinks in the stalls.

They continued talking all through the first half of the show despite people turning round and asking them to be quieter.

Apparently someone spoke to a member of staff about it in the interval and these people didn’t return for the second half.

Is it a good idea to allow alcohol in the stalls? If people drinking are going to spoil it for others any extra revenue from selling drinks will be more than cancelled out by a drop in attendance.

D DOWN

Totterdown Road, Weston

I WOULD like to thank the Mercury and Parkwood Theatres for the wonderful afternoon my husband and I had when we went, last Sunday, to see the jubilee performance of We’ll Meet Again at The Playhouse in Weston.

I was one of the lucky people to win a pair of tickets to this show.

It was excellent, and all the performers highly talented. As we were celebrating our 66th wedding anniversary that weekend, the melodies brought back many happy memories.

Thank you again for making our 66th wedding anniversary one to particularly remembered.

MRS K W HARVEY

Forest Drive, Weston

I WAS impressed with the Mercury’s colourful 27 page Diamond Jubilee picture special celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 glorious years on the throne and how thousands of well-wishers across North Somerset celebrated with street parties, picnics, and barbecues.

The Queen’s engagements are made up a year ahead from some 2,500 requests for personal appearances to lay foundation stones, unveil plaques, place wreaths, plant trees, visit hospitals, review troops and attend receptions.

I salute her on her wonderful 60 years on the throne and making us all feel truly proud to be British.

D F COURTNEY

Victoria Park, Weston

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