Letters to the Editor, June 9, 2011

PUBLISHED: 10:22 10 June 2011 | UPDATED: 11:49 10 June 2011

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Nightmare

IS THIS my neighbourhood? I write with reference to James Franklin’s article on 15 months after Tesco (June 2, 2011).

I was amazed to read this item. It was glaringly obvious that your reporter had not spoken to any residents this time around.

I was not one of those who predicted gloom and doom, however, since Tesco opened it has been a nightmare living here and one resident of Whitecross Road has already put his house up for sale.

Our peaceful neighbourhood has been destroyed by noise late at night, screaming motorbikes, lorries around 6am emptying Tesco food bins and huge articulated vehicles at all times.

Our drives are often obstructed by cars, trucks, lorries, vans, 4x4s, ambulances and police cars. In the half hour from 5.25pm on Sunday I counted 11 vehicles turning around in front of our drive – and all this in an unadopted road, only half of which was resurfaced by Tesco – the rest is our responsibility as residents.

Moreover, the crossroads at Whitecross Road and Severn Road is extremely hazardous. Buses use Severn Road – where parking is allowed on both sides - and Tesco lorries often obscure the junction, there have been so many near-misses, it really is an accident waiting to happen. All this and litter too.

No Mr Franklin, your description was way too generous, and spirits have sunk to an all-time low!

SUSAN BREDIN

Clarence Road North, Weston

Clean up

I WAS pleased to read how at long last a clean-up of the derelict Tropicana has been ordered by community leaders to attract potential developers for the site.

I’m sure many Weston residents will welcome this news that our councillors are on the ball and cleaning up our bomb site Tropicana where seafront contractors Birse stored materials.

The Tropicana closed its doors over a decade ago and ever since the building, dating back to the 1930s, has stuck out like a sore thumb blotting our seafront landscape. In my honest opinion all we have to do with the Tropicana is turn it into a lido, this could be sorted out in a few years and give countless children and holidaymakers somewhere to go in the summer. In the 1930s, in the summer the pool was a magical place where all your friends went to swim.

There used to be a patch of grass by the pool, a fountain in the early day’s but this was concreted over.

There were two water-chutes, one into the shallow end and one into the deep end.

There was also a springboard into the deep end as well as the lovely high diving boards. During the summer there were diving displays from the high boards and a modern Venus beauty competition was held every week.

I’m sure people who came to the town of Weston to restore their flagging spirits would wonder how we have lost our open air pool and Knightstone Baths on Knightstone Island.

I had many happy memories of the Tropicana and when it was just the open air pool and I think it’s high time we had a lido swimming pool in our resort instead of a bomb site.

D F COURTNEY

Victoria Park, Weston

I FIND it quite unbelievable that according to your article on page 3, May 26, a group of community leaders are to discuss the future of the Tropicana.

What is there to discuss? We need a decent pool with a retractable roof for all-year-round use. This is a terrible indictment on the continuing prevarications of those on North Somerset Council (NSC) responsible – or should that read irresponsible?

Are they so deaf or so arrogant in their self-belief of their own importance they do not understand? For 10 years or more the people of North Somerset and of Weston in particular (never mind all those holidaymakers who still visit this rundown town) have constantly expressed their desire, and more importantly need, for a decent seafront pool and accompanying facilities. Knightstone pool which we all regularly used, closed many years ago. Hutton Moor – inland!

With a lack of sea and decent clean water, not the muddy stuff which briefly arrives twice each day, Weston is a designated seaside resort without any sea!

Wake up NSC or is the ongoing complacency going to continue for another 10 years? No wonder Henry Boot and others pulled out so frustrated.

Some “form of attraction” as quoted by NSC in your article is just not good enough, a pool today, a pool tomorrow and a pool for the future is what is so desperately needed, so wake up NSC.

I first came to visit Weston in the 1930s and well remember bathing beauty contests were also held there. With Birnbeck Pier still derelict, I still remember the Bristol Channel steamers; Knightstone, no longer with a pool or theatre; thank goodness for people like the Michaels who have resurrected the Grand Pier after that disastrous fire – private enterprise against bumbling bureaucracy.

Weston has two saving features, close proximity to the M5 for ease of access, and a large stretch of fine sandy beach for all to enjoy. Otherwise a derelict Birnbeck Pier, Knightstone Island with no pool or theatre, a Tropicana derelict, and no longer coloured lights all along the promenade, but at least some donkeys on the beach with the rest in the Town Hall.

RICHARD BIRTILL

Bleadon Hill, Weston

For the record

REFERENCE your article on councillors’ pensions last week, just to advise readers and constituents that I also spoke in the debate, though only Liberal Democrats seem to have been mentioned as being against North Somerset Councillors claiming pensions – despite their own former South Worle councillor claiming one!

For the record, I said: “I am pleased to report that no Labour councillor claims a council pension and we are the only party in North Somerset never to have done so. Many of our constituents work in low paid jobs, with no perks and certainly no company pension. It’s therefore unfair to expect the public to pay towards councillors’ pensions, when they can barely afford one of their own.”

In the hope that the Mercury will start giving equal coverage to Labour now that we are the second party in Weston following last month’s local elections.

COUNCILLOR RICHARD TUCKER

Labour Group Leader North Somerset Council

Brookland Road, Weston

Recycling

VERY recently at my home I was late putting out my recycling, on hearing the recycling vehicle, I quickly went out with some plastic bottles and glass containers.

I noticed some three extra official people with the recycling team. I handed my recycling (which was in a plastic carrier bag) to one of the recycling team.

He looked at one of the officiates and said in a very patronising way we should only accept this in a recycling box.

I explained that normally when I put my box out it is thrown back to the approximate place where I put it out in the first place, and anything that is left loose is left to blow around the estate where I live, he said “it’s the wind”.

I asked one of the people who were monitoring the recycling team who she was, she said “I am part of a public relation exercise”.

I said it was obvious as the recycling team was taking great care to ensure that they were doing the job correctly.

I also added that the team were going at a third of the speed that they normally go.

After speaking to the lady, I think she worked for the contractors as well, as she kept referring to the “council”. So I can only assume that they are self-regulating.

What really concerns me is the patronising way I was spoke to, as recycling is voluntary, these people purporting to be on a public relations exercise should adopt a better form or way.

As I know next week it will be back to normal with speed by the team increased, boxes thrown and plastic, etc, left to be blown around.

I have been in contact with the Local Government Ombudsmen regarding refuse on my estate for many, many months; they in turn contact the council who say they are following all procedures.

I have given the local ombudsmen more information and they say they are awaiting information from North Somerset.

This has been going even longer than the many months mentioned earlier. The wait continues.

It appears there are two parallels one is official and one unofficial. It is propaganda that would put Lord Haw Haw to shame. North Somerset Council must join the real world of 2011.

Pay a proper salary to the recycling staff and monitor the work covertly.

The same goes for the people who keep the general areas clean. Employ some wardens with power to fine people who still think it’s OK to throw rubbish on the streets where we all live.

MR D J TINAY

Dunster Crescent, Weston

Dismay

MY WIFE and I visit Weston frequently; you could say it’s our second home.

We came down on June 4 to do some retail therapy and to laze on the beach in the sunshine and enjoy the wonderful surroundings.

We purchased the Mercury, sat down in Victorian Café with eats and coffee. To our dismay the North Somerset Council has made a mess again by removing the deckchairs from Grove Park, to make better uses of them on the seafront.

Not one deckchair we could find to hire, as we normally do. Not a deckchair in sight at all.

MR M GOODFIELD

Church Street, Littledean, Cinderford, Gloucestershire

Council park

WHY is it that the council seems to think that the concessionaire who runs the café in Grove Park should provide chairs for the audience?

He already pays and provides weekly entertainment, surely it’s a council park and bandstand, not privately owned.

My husband, my friends and I will not now be able to enjoy the park and future entertainment due to the council’s thoughtlessness.

MRS JANICE REDFERN

Bridgwater Road, Bleadon

Warning signs

HAS the North Somerset Highways Agency declared UDI with regard to highway warning signs?

On all A and B roads any distances are shown in miles or yards, the speed limit is shown in miles per hour.

On the motorway, the distances between towns are shown in miles and the distances to exits are counted down in yards. So why do we have the distance to the roadworks on the A370 exiting Weston measured in metres?

Are we the only area in the UK to adopt this methodology, has our Government granted North Somerset special dispensation to use metric measurement on our highways instead of imperial, like the rest of the UK?

PETER JONES

Watermans, Hewish

Carers

I AM a carer, looking after my mother, who is disabled. There are hundreds, if not thousands who, just like me, will be supporting Carers Week 2011, June 13-19.

But there are also many people throughout Weston who look after a person, without realising that they are acting as a carer.

That’s why the theme of this year’s Carers Week is ‘The True Face of Carers’. It calls for a greater recognition of the vital contribution, a diverse, sometimes unexpected range of carers make to communities like ours. Between us we save the country an incredible £119billion every year.

A weekly routine can be many things for me. It can be helping managing her medications, basic help with everyday jobs, shopping, cooking and cleaning, going to appointments such as doctors, dentist, etc, taking on the system, making sure she gets all the support that she is entitled to by law, most of all being a friend, making sure she gets out to socialise with others.

Carers help the person live their own life, as independently and for as long as possible, with them still feeling a degree of control in what they can do for themselves.

Caring is something we do out of love, friendship or compassion often through necessity as life takes unexpected turns, but rarely through conscious choice. Many people often don’t even realise they are cares until they’ve been carrying out the responsibility for months, if not years.

To your readers who are carers, or know someone who is a carer that doesn’t get enough recognition or support, I say: ‘Help is available’. They are carers’ centres and other groups out there which can offer professional information, advice and emotional support for you.

For more information about Carers Week and how local groups are working together to help improve the quality of life of our carers visit www.carersweek.org

MRS SONIA OWEN

Woodside, Hutton

Charity

I USED to visit the RSPCA charity shop in Oxford Street at least twice a week – not any more.

Last week I noticed something was ‘different’. Where were the ornaments, bric-a-brac, toys, etc? The shop now only stocks clothes and shoes.

On enquiring I was told that the area manager had taken all the stock for other RSPCA shops. Makes sense, I thought. I have worked in retail and know all about stock rotation.

However later in the week I found out the stock was being sent to the rag man (this happens a lot in charity shops where rag items are bought per kilo). All very well for old, tatty stock but not for good items.

Also on the day I was in the shop there were some lovely toys that had just been donated. I went back the next day and found out they had also been ‘ragged’.

Over the years my friends and I have always donated to this charity – not any more. We were always pleased to know that our donations would be bringing in a few pounds to help the animals, not being bagged up and sold for a few pence per kilo.

I know that the toys I wish I had bought would have made a lot of money for the charity. They were all brand new, some still in their boxes.

Does this man not realise that people go to charity shops for things other than clothes?

Please, please get this shop back to ‘normal’.

MRS C JOHNSON

Walliscote Road, Weston

● A SPOKESMAN for the RSPCA said it was its policy to recycle clothes which have not sold and toys which it considered unsafe.

Broke her rib

LAST October my 12-year-old miniature dachshund, Kelly, I brought with me from America, was killed in Clarence Park by a Staffie mix. She weighed 11 pounds.

The dog broke her rib which punctured her lung and she had to be put down.

The animal and owner who killed her frequented the park, but no-one knows who they are. Bystanders took my mother and Kelly to Clarendon Veterinary Centre immediately after the attack. He just took off with his animal after the incident.

The owner was training his dog to chase squirrels and giving shows in the park on how his dog did this and making him climb trees. Of course a black/brown miniature dachshund looks like a squirrel in the grass.

My mother was walking my dog in the park on a leash after visiting me while I was in respite care due to my home needing to be renovated because of my severe disability needs.

The police were not interested, but the dog warden (Bob Davis) has all the information and the case is still open. He tells me there will be a leash law in Clarence Park soon. What if this had been a child or an elderly person? They frequent the park constantly.

Something needs to be done about these owners and their animals. It is mainly the owners’ fault.

GABRIELE HENDRICHS

Canterbury Close, Weston

FOLLOWING the photograph and article in the Weston Mercury on June 2, the people of Weston have once again been overwhelmingly generous with their donations of wool to enable us to keep knitting jumpers for children for charity.

Will you please print this letter to thank all the people who have donated – their generosity has been absolutely stupendous, so much so that unfortunately we are unable to accept any more donations.

We do thank you all, however, including the Weston Mercury, for all the wool we have been given to enable us to continue knitting.

Thank you very much indeed.

MRS S STITSON

Crookes Lane, Kewstoke

Nightmare

IS THIS my neighbourhood? I write with reference to James Franklin’s article on 15 months after Tesco (June 2, 2011).

I was amazed to read this item. It was glaringly obvious that your reporter had not spoken to any residents this time around.

I was not one of those who predicted gloom and doom, however, since Tesco opened it has been a nightmare living here and one resident of Whitecross Road has already put his house up for sale.

Our peaceful neighbourhood has been destroyed by noise late at night, screaming motorbikes, lorries around 6am emptying Tesco food bins and huge articulated vehicles at all times.

Our drives are often obstructed by cars, trucks, lorries, vans, 4x4s, ambulances and police cars. In the half hour from 5.25pm on Sunday I counted 11 vehicles turning around in front of our drive – and all this in an unadopted road, only half of which was resurfaced by Tesco – the rest is our responsibility as residents.

Moreover, the crossroads at Whitecross Road and Severn Road is extremely hazardous. Buses use Severn Road – where parking is allowed on both sides - and Tesco lorries often obscure the junction, there have been so many near-misses, it really is an accident waiting to happen. All this and litter too.

No Mr Franklin, your description was way too generous, and spirits have sunk to an all-time low!

SUSAN BREDIN

Clarence Road North, Weston

Clean up

I WAS pleased to read how at long last a clean-up of the derelict Tropicana has been ordered by community leaders to attract potential developers for the site.

I’m sure many Weston residents will welcome this news that our councillors are on the ball and cleaning up our bomb site Tropicana where seafront contractors Birse stored materials.

The Tropicana closed its doors over a decade ago and ever since the building, dating back to the 1930s, has stuck out like a sore thumb blotting our seafront landscape. In my honest opinion all we have to do with the Tropicana is turn it into a lido, this could be sorted out in a few years and give countless children and holidaymakers somewhere to go in the summer. In the 1930s, in the summer the pool was a magical place where all your friends went to swim.

There used to be a patch of grass by the pool, a fountain in the early day’s but this was concreted over.

There were two water-chutes, one into the shallow end and one into the deep end.

There was also a springboard into the deep end as well as the lovely high diving boards. During the summer there were diving displays from the high boards and a modern Venus beauty competition was held every week.

I’m sure people who came to the town of Weston to restore their flagging spirits would wonder how we have lost our open air pool and Knightstone Baths on Knightstone Island.

I had many happy memories of the Tropicana and when it was just the open air pool and I think it’s high time we had a lido swimming pool in our resort instead of a bomb site.

D F COURTNEY

Victoria Park, Weston

I FIND it quite unbelievable that according to your article on page 3, May 26, a group of community leaders are to discuss the future of the Tropicana.

What is there to discuss? We need a decent pool with a retractable roof for all-year-round use. This is a terrible indictment on the continuing prevarications of those on North Somerset Council (NSC) responsible – or should that read irresponsible?

Are they so deaf or so arrogant in their self-belief of their own importance they do not understand? For 10 years or more the people of North Somerset and of Weston in particular (never mind all those holidaymakers who still visit this rundown town) have constantly expressed their desire, and more importantly need, for a decent seafront pool and accompanying facilities. Knightstone pool which we all regularly used, closed many years ago. Hutton Moor – inland!

With a lack of sea and decent clean water, not the muddy stuff which briefly arrives twice each day, Weston is a designated seaside resort without any sea!

Wake up NSC or is the ongoing complacency going to continue for another 10 years? No wonder Henry Boot and others pulled out so frustrated.

Some “form of attraction” as quoted by NSC in your article is just not good enough, a pool today, a pool tomorrow and a pool for the future is what is so desperately needed, so wake up NSC.

I first came to visit Weston in the 1930s and well remember bathing beauty contests were also held there. With Birnbeck Pier still derelict, I still remember the Bristol Channel steamers; Knightstone, no longer with a pool or theatre; thank goodness for people like the Michaels who have resurrected the Grand Pier after that disastrous fire – private enterprise against bumbling bureaucracy.

Weston has two saving features, close proximity to the M5 for ease of access, and a large stretch of fine sandy beach for all to enjoy. Otherwise a derelict Birnbeck Pier, Knightstone Island with no pool or theatre, a Tropicana derelict, and no longer coloured lights all along the promenade, but at least some donkeys on the beach with the rest in the Town Hall.

RICHARD BIRTILL

Bleadon Hill, Weston

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