Letters to the Editor, May 24, 2012

PUBLISHED: 11:20 25 May 2012

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Archant

Failing

READERS of the Mercury may have seen a video released by the ‘businessmen’ who want to ‘restore’ the Tropicana but this is a very one-sided set of views expressed in higher level language than it deserves.

The Tropicana never succeeded as such, it was a means of extending the life of the already failing open air pool and itself failed very quickly.

There was simply no support for it, and the income fell very far short of that expected, leading quickly to closure.

‘Restoring’ the place simply is not viable. It is constructed on a 75-year-old concrete raft which rests on the beach and is frequently immersed in salt water. Pre-stressed concrete does not last that long under these conditions.

The metal ties will have corroded away to nothing long ago and there can be no strength left.

Structurally it is a disaster waiting to happen.

The new scheme defies rational fiscal belief.

The ‘business plan’ does not exist, except as some vague funding proposals which include a triple whammy on payers of council tax.

First they want a gift of nearly a million pounds from taxpayers to get going, then they want the income from car parking, their gain is our loss, and on top of that they want a precept on our council tax so we would have to pay even more council tax to support them, year after year.

Even with all these subsidies from taxpayers they won’t get anything like enough income to run their pool and it will fail yet again, as it has done twice already, for want of paying customers during the very short holiday season.

So who benefits?

The way it is proposed a ‘businessman’ will underwrite the whole operation and pick up the tab if/when it fails. In return he wants the freehold of the site, and ownership of the car parking.

So, in a few years’ time, when the pool fails for the third very predictable time, this ‘businessman’ wants to end up owning everything and developing whatever he wants on the site.

M J ROGERS

Baker Street, Weston

Credit

YOUR report recently regarding the gentleman who fell from the sea wall at Weston.

Nowhere at the inquest was credit given to the young first aider who was first on the scene and kept him alive by CPR and mouth to mouth until the paramedics arrived.

Craig Young, aged 17 years at the time, and the council first aider on duty at the beach did receive a commendation from the council and a telephone call of congratulation from a councillor on holiday in Spain.

Craig wants to become a paramedic. I hope you achieve your dream.

Credit should be given where it is due. We are quick to condemn the young people but very slow to praise. Well done Craig.

ALAN WRIGHT

Tormynton Road, Worle

Vigilant

I AM the chairman of Swifco Ltd, a small industrial finishing company serving local manufacturers and hoteliers.

Although I retired some years ago through failing health I occasionally call in to discuss any problems with my director.

About three weeks ago I left the premises at around 5pm, after having been there for a meeting, and noticed two pre-teenage girls in the grounds of some vacant premises nearby wantonly breaking branches from a mature tree.

I spoke to these children and asked politely if they would cease their mindless destruction pointing out that the trees had as much right to live as they do; I asked how one of them with very long hair would feel if somebody came and cut it off while she was sunbathing. They left rather sullenly without comment.

Roll forwards two weeks and last Wednesday I discovered a small ornamental cherry tree near my premises had suffered an attack with one of its lower branches having been ripped down the trunk leaving a nasty open wound. I managed to spend some time repositioning the damaged branch and bound it in place with wire and tape in the hope that it might recover in a year or so.

This morning my staff arrived to find a large downstairs window smashed with a brick... further retribution from these mindless children or their friends perhaps.

It has been reported to the police and there is video footage of the culprits on CCTV which will be passed to the police and the schools locally if there is any further repetition of this destruction and wanton vandalism. For the moment it will be held on file.

OK we all got up to mischief when we were kids but we also lived in fear of being caught by the local policeman on his bike - a thing of the distant past.

The only people who should be on an industrial estate at any time day or night are employees of the companies trading there and these kids should be made aware that if caught they are liable to prosecution for being on private premises for an unlawful purpose. This carries a penalty of a fine and a criminal record.

One day when these delinquents and their friends apply to one of the local factories for a job they will all be judged by the disgusting behaviour of a few morons who have nothing better to do and are too stupid to learn and improve their lot.

I hope the parents of those responsible will deal with them severely instead of encouraging them by sending them out to play on an industrial estate.

We will board up the broken window until these imbeciles have found something else to distract and amuse their tiny minds; it would be foolish to reglaze it immediately and present it as a new target.

If they wish to continue their vendetta then let it be known that their actions are being recorded on CCTV and all owners of premises on this estate are vigilant and the culprits will be dealt with by the law.

DAVID BRICE-BENNETT

Oldmixon Crescent, Weston

Rubbish

A FEW months ago you printed my letter with reference to the rubbish being dumped in the gulley between the stone wall in Lower Church Road and the high wire mesh fence of the tennis courts.

The council cleared the rubbish on the day my article appeared in the Mercury. The dumpers however still continued to dump glass and plastic bottles, beer cans and take-away food cartons and various other items.

The council cleared it in record time but since then the rubbish is appearing at the same or even a faster rate.

Perhaps if the tennis court fence was moved close against the wall, it could prevent clubbers, etc, dumping.

One item dumped was an estate agents ‘flat to let’ notice. I contacted the appropriate estate agent who noted the details. However, after some 10 days or so the board ended up on the tennis court smashed into several pieces.

PETER KERRY

Shrubbery Avenue, Weston

Wish list

MY WISH list for Weston-super-Mare:

Street art; street poetry; street drama; street food; street comedy; street markets; street buskers; street magicians; street book readings; diverse street music and flash choirs.

Living statues; community photo boards; interactive children’s art; static hot air balloon rides; no more charity shops. Quality pop-up shops; quality pop up cafes; interactive info stands; boats on Marine Lake and a marina.

Beach sport; speed boat racing; weekly street markets; horse and carriage rides; clean streets; more police on the streets in the daytime; local awards for people i.e. bin men and low business rates for new businesses.

A mini ‘speakers’ corner’; disabled dancing; open air exercise; reclamation yards; outdoor films; refurbished Odeon with trained staff; donkey derby; Punch and Judy and no more ‘value’ shops.

Park or free running exhibitions; skate park on seafront; children’s maze; youth majors/majorettes; beach trampolines; tour guide; huge hanging baskets full of colour; free gym membership for people struggling with their weight; diverse police force, town hall, teaching staff and new blood in North Somerset Council.

M ASHWORTH

Langford Road, Weston

Thank you

MANY thanks to the Winter Gardens for providing the venue and its kind hospitality for the charity launch in aid of The British Heart Foundation and Weston General Hospital Cardiology Department Family Walk Along The Prom taking place on Sunday September 9.

My thanks to Councillor Terry Porter, The North Somerset Council chairman, Jan Porter, representatives from Weston General Hospital, Hutton Moor Leisure Centre and Banwell Travel for attending the launch.

For further details or to register please visit www.bhf.org.uk/sundaywalk2012 or contact 01892 893918.

PAUL HOBBS

Event organiser

Canberra Road, Weston

Nightmare

YES, most of us would agree parking in our town is a nightmare.

Why? Because drivers, in far too many cases, ignore the two hour limit notices originally put up to overcome this problem. Why? Because parking laws made without the back up to police them means the chances of a penalty fine has become virtually none existent.

The cost of putting in parking meters and the expense of cash collecting, maintenance and policing will, it is expected, be more than the revenue, especially in winter. Hard-pressed drivers will do their utmost to avoid paying for parking, with those used to parking outside their homes leading the pack. All that is required is the policing of present laws.

Retail parks will be the main benefactors of parking meters to the detriment of the small retail shops in town. Broadwalk Centre, in Knowle, Bristol, has a multi-tier car park which is free. Why? To encourage shopping within. Our two multi-tier car parks are rarely full, hence it is suggested these should have fees around half of those on the seafront, with maybe an area for regular users at an annual fee, in an endeavour to reduce roadside parking in town.

On a different subject the loan by West of England Revolving Structure Fund, read taxpayer to pay for changes to High Street, etc, by North Somerset Council in expectation of money in October from McLaren Life is jumping the gun.

There is no real hurry for this work and it would cause less inconvenience if done at the end of the tourist season.

In uncertain times caution should be the password for our council.

C J PEVERELLE

Edinburgh Place, Weston

Cable car

LOOKING at the cable car proposal for Cheddar Gorge, my heart plummets. The circular walk around Cheddar Gorge is so beautiful, so dramatic and, yes, so energetic that it is one of my all time favourite ways to pass an afternoon - at any time of the year.

And visitors from any other country in the world could not fail to be impressed by the raw, craggy grandeur of this special place.

This proposed ‘development’ will blight one of our last really natural and awe-inspiring local landscapes. No more will we be able to enjoy the peace and quiet, the echo of the blackbirds in the rain, the feeling of space as we gaze across the levels to Glastonbury, or westwards along the line of Mendip Hills towards the sea - the finest views in Somerset.

There are many wild places in the world that I shall never visit - places that I can only read about, or perhaps see on a documentary. Yet I am filled with happiness just to think that, somewhere, they exist.

I know that, as I grow older, I shall not be able to take the long walks I have so enjoyed from my earliest days.

But I shall find other places to explore - and be happy to think that there are a few wild locations still existing for the next generation.

I certainly would not want to see every beautiful, natural landmark ‘tamed’ with fences, roads and concrete.

It is utterly disingenuous to suggest that this cable car proposal is being put forward for the benefit of less physically able visitors, under the guise of philanthropy. What Longleat Estate plan for Cheddar Gorge is sheer vandalism.

MARIANNE MCALEER

Florence Grove, Weston

Sensible suggestion

I’VE BEEN following the Wrington ‘antisocial churchbells’ saga for the past few weeks with a growing sense of déjà vu.

Obviously, Mr Apps and Ms Hallett were silly and insensitive in the way they dealt with the issue, but since when was foolishness a capital offence?

But your recent report of the threatening letters and general nastiness the couple have received reminded me of circumstances surrounding Wrington Vale Medical Practice’s proposal to relocate the Wrington surgery to a new, modern facility in Langford.

This seemingly sensible suggestion was met with violent opposition from a small group of opponents who delayed the progress of the project for two years. But their obduracy was pointless as they lost in the end, and the new surgery building is now underway. Part of their protest was to deliberately create division in a supposedly peaceful, archetypal English village.

Residents who were in favour of the doctors’ plan were cold-shouldered in the street and neighbours stopped talking to each other after years of friendly relations.

Furthermore, the opponents mounted a long-running and unpleasant campaign against the doctors in the Mercury and on the North Somerset Council planning website.

Their complaints ranged from the predictable ‘the doctors are only selling the surgery so they can make money from building houses on the site’ to the absurd ‘closing the surgery is a denial of the patient’s human rights.’

Of course, no community is perfect but what this story tellingly reveals is how a seemingly pleasant, ‘normal’ community hides a dark undercurrent of intolerance, prejudice and hostility.

PETER JOHNSON

Stonewell Park Road, Congresbury

Fill these gaps

I READ with pleasure recently on the Opinion page in the Mercury that our new services were appreciated by the local residents where our Service 100 Coastrider serves Sand Bay – Weston.

Due to recent cuts in bus services it has allowed Crosville to fill these gaps in the market place by providing quality reliable transport.

We have invested in our services to serve seven days a week now which we hope will be a service welcomed by our customers.

As mentioned in the letter, heritage is a key part of Crosville’s operation from which we plan to recreate the bygone era using our fleet of fully-restored 1950’s vintage vehicles once again on our public service routes across certain date over 2012. This summer will see ex-Weston vehicles returning to Weston’s seafront once again some 30 years since regular bus service use which we hope will add to the attractions within Weston.

JONATHAN JONES-PRATT

Managing director

Crosville Motor Services Ltd, Winterstoke Road, Weston

Old boys

THROUGH your newspaper could you please help us find several ‘old boys’ of Brymore School in Cannington.

I am organising a reunion for the Class of 1952, the year the school opened.

The following boys came from the area covered by your paper, but this was 60 years ago.

We are looking for: Robert James; David Hembury; Richard Potton; Michael Vickery; Robert Masters and Alan Chubb.

I would be pleased to hear from them, their friends or family.

This would complete the first intake of boys to the boarding school that majored in agriculture.

JOHN H MANNING

Pendower,

Park Lane,

Kingston St Mary,

Taunton

TA2 8AH


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