Letters to the Editor, October 8, 2015

PUBLISHED: 11:11 09 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:11 09 October 2015

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JOHN Ley-Morgan’s letter says what many of us have been thinking for years.

In the 1930s my mother, father, sister and I came many times from Bristol to have a lovely day in Weston swimming pool. It was cold water, but we loved it. Little did I know then that in 1950 I would get married and come to live in Weston. What a joy swimming in the pool most days.

Please, please to those in charge visit the Blue Lagoon and build us our pool.

JACKIE ATWELL

Penrice Close, Weston

MY wife and I would like to express our very grateful thanks and say a very big thank you to everyone who stopped and helped to rescue our bearded collie that had fallen some 10ft down an open manhole at Locking Parklands on September 13.

We would like to give our very special thanks to the crew from Weston fire station that came to help and particularly the fireman who went down into the manhole and helped to lift our dog out.

Apart from a small cut on his nose and one on the top of his head, our dog is fine and fully recovered from his adventure.

DIANA AND TONY CORNFORD

South Road, Weston

I WOULD like to thank through the Mercury the lady who found my wedding ring in Morrisons store recently. She kindly handed the ring to a member of staff at the customer service counter.

I am deeply grateful, more than words can say to this wonderful lady. She did not leave her name so I do hope she reads this letter and knows how deeply I appreciate her kindness and honesty. The ring is of great sentimental value to me and is irreplaceable. My deepest thanks.

MRS J GARRETT

Falcon Crescent, Weston

ANY pedestrian using Weston High Street could not fail to be aware of the total contempt that cyclists show for the law and their fellow citizens. I have waited with ever decreasing expectation for Weston police to resolve this abuse and give the public a lift, and show that the law must be respected. On Wednesday morning my joy was unconfined when I witnessed two street wardens making people dismount from their cycles. I have never been an advocate of private law enforcement, but in light of the absence of visible policing in Weston, well done and thank you street wardens.

A JOHNSTONE

Shrubbery Road, Weston

I WOULD like to thank Dr Mohamed Seklani, and his wonderful team for such a thorough and quick response after diagnosing my lung cancer.

The treatment I’ve had has been first class at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) and Weston General Hospital.

My consultant, Mr Rakesh Krishnadas and his team at the BRI were absolutely dedicated and wonderful. Thank you all.

RITA COOKSLEY

Severn Avenue, Weston

THE news that Morrisons plan to close two stores has come as a shock to the residents of Burnham and Clevedon, especially as the stores are in the heart of the communities. It is also a surprise because Burnham has the catchment area of the vast Brean holiday sites and Clevedon is next to Portishead, one of the fastest growing towns in the country.

It would appear that the supermarket wars are taking their toll, yet Weston is bucking the trend. Although a much larger town Weston boasts 10 supermarkets as well as numerous express and similar mini markets. In addition two new supermarkets are planned – Tesco near Locking and Lidl in Winterstoke Road, Bournville. It could be argued that Weston benefits from tourism yet only two supermarkets are in the town centre. The remainder are in the suburbs or retail parks between the town and the M5 motorway.

Both Burnham and Clevedon stores have been in existence for many years with Morrisons having purchased the original Somerfield store in Burnham and Safeway in Clevedon.

Taking Weston as an example let us hope that other food retailers will realise the potential. A town centre needs a large store to act as a hub in the wheel of business for the residents and smaller retailers alike.

GEOFF MALHAM

Clarence Grove Road, Weston

CAN anyone explain this to me as I am at a loss to fathom this one out? Every week for at least the last year, someone has been dumping carrier bags of what looks like general household rubbish under the dog bin at the entrance to Uphill Wharf. At first it only used to be one or two bags a week, but now each week more and more bags are appearing, this week there are about 10. I’m not sure if it’s one person doing this or several different people but as the bags are usually from the same shop I would guess it’s the same person. Now considering that every household has their recycling rubbish cleared every week, why would someone go to all the trouble of taking their rubbish and dumping it on a pavement rather than put it in a green box and have the council come and get it for them?

Is this laziness, ignorance or is the person just down right stupid?

RICHARD ALLAM

Links Road, Uphill

IN THE Mercury last week there was a photo of the bomb site that used to be a lovely Dolphin Square saying it was demolished two years ago. It was not, it was demolished five years ago and I have photos of it with the date on, 2010. Also all the relevant managers/authorities are making Weston Town Centre very different for the residents. No tourist information for visitors and if people want a National Express coach ticket they have to go to Milton, Bournville or Bristol thanks to First closing their travel shop and having the cheek to put on top of the said bus shop, ‘its is easy to travel round Weston by First Bus’. Rubbish they have taken a lot of services off. Thanks to Crosville people can get to places abandoned by First.

The main post office on Alexandra Parade used to sell National Express coach tickets but have stopped.

North Somerset Council only want Weston for money from the car parks, their councillors could not careless because most of them live outside Weston. What with charging for toilets. Why did they not leave the ladies in who used to look after the toilets? This is why the toilets are vandalised. It’s all about making money for the council who are giving places away. Terrible North Somerset Council.

F SMITH

Beach Road, Weston

AS A lover of Weston I would just like to thank Banksy for breathing life back into our wonderful town. It has been great to see so many visitors from all over the world enjoying themselves here in Weston. What a coo for the West Country. All we need to do now is keep up the momentum.

ANTHONY CAVACIUTI

Orchard Street, Weston

AFTER reading the article in the Mercury on page nine, October 1, ‘Fears of Price Hike at Register Office’, I searched the North Somerset website and, with some difficulty, eventually came across the consultation about outsourcing our registration service, buried on their e-consult pages.

The information given seems very scant and makes this look suspiciously like a ‘done deal’. Surely a matter of such significance for the people of our county warrants wider consideration than this severely time limited, narrow and inconspicuous ‘consultation’. Might this suggest there is more to this than meets the eye?

Having so robustly defended the continued publication of its own North Somerset Life magazine, surely this would have been the ideal vehicle for the council to publicise such an important issue. The 28 day period of consultation is inadequate to allow sufficient scrutiny and consideration of the implications of the proposal.

If the tiny executive clique who I imagine will be seeking to slide this past us and our elected representatives get away with this, will other important service go the same way? How can handing over a vital frontline service like this to a neighbouring authority know to have financial difficulties be in the best interests of North Somerset’s rate payers? Surely it is for our own unitary authority to take responsibility for managing and delivering the service we use.

JOAN DARBY

Ashleigh Road, Weston

I READ with interest to the recent letters received relating to our Sentinel Steam Bus.

For the point of clarification in response to the local residents letter, Elizabeth is the only passenger carrying licensed steam bus to be in operation, whilst I understand there are others (two) our Sentinel is one of great rarity as she is a the only double axel ‘Super’ Sentinel DG6P. Elizabeth is also unique to operate under a Vehicle Special Order from which an Act of Parliament had to be changed to enable Lizzie to grace our roads under PSV operation.

It would be good to be clear that this is the only steam bus of this type which survives. The Super Sentinels again of this type are very rare from which we only know of one survivor which remains in her lorry formation but has not been seen for years.

JON JONES-PRATT

Crossville Motor Services Ltd

Westland Distribution Park, Weston

WORK has finally started on the zebra crossing near the Plough Inn, Congresbury. The black and white poles and the orange beacons have been put up but not where Cllr Leimdorfer said that it was going. It’s not in the layby it’s further up the road even closer to a blind bend.

On the Chestnut Close side of the road the crossing is actually on a bus stop. How it will be legal for a bus to stop on a crossing I don’t know. On the opposite side of the road it is so close to a blind bend it will be impossible to see any traffic coming from Churchill direction. If you’re driving from that direction you cannot see anybody on the left hand side of the crossing until you are right up to the causeway turning. I don’t know what the stopping distance is for a fully loaded HGV doing 30mph but with the evenings getting dark so early now and the risk of wet and icy road likely, I think that where this crossing is now it is an accident waiting to happen.

TED CLARK

Chestnut Close, Congresbury

IF First Bus and Crosville don’t want to clash, then one of you decide which one is going to put back on the hospital bus from the Bournville to Weston General Hospital. It is disgraceful that it was taken off in the first place. We have to go to town to get another bus to the hospital. Not all of us can afford a taxi, and that includes me. Let commonsense prevail, put the bus back on.

M WOOD

Byron Road, Weston

WE live in Locking and have noticed a large increase in traffic at certain times of the morning and evening, this is to be expected with more cars being on the road. It would be courteous of the drivers who use Locking to drive through to please keep to the speed limit of 30mph, as pointed out on the signs, and not to put their foot down as soon as the road straightens out especially coming towards the chicane.

We have a lot of families with children, also the elderly and animals. I am sure none of the drivers who are speeding would intentionally hurt anyone of these mentioned but it only takes a second to badly injure or even kill one of them through lack of consideration. Please, please, please slow down through Locking and keep to the speed limit. You will then arrive at your destination without any accidents.

ALAN AND BARBARA BOARDMAN

Elm Tree Road, Locking

AS A local resident of Blagdon I feel I must tell you of my daily life in my hands walking with my dog through Blagdon.

The rats on the rat run through our village show no sign of slowing up nor are they considering any public safety. This is particularly through the priority zone adjacent

to the Queen Adelaide public house. The fact that they have priority only fuels their bullish and rude nature to anyone patiently waiting to give way, or dare I say it to anyone wishing to cross the road.

As it is an A road we are apparently not allowed any speed humps to slow down these speeding drivers.

I write this letter in a state of shock which leads me to think when the next close shave of injury is due to me.

Perhaps North Somerset Council could look at reducing the speed limit, installing traffic lights or our local police could take part in speed checks every know and then?

LAWRENCE WALKER

Post Office Lane, Blagdon

IT WAS interesting to read in last week’s Mercury that senior Conservative councillors Richard Nightingale and Felicity Baker have at last heard local residents’ concerns over the siting of the beach huts. I suppose this is good news, and I welcome the promised review. But of course if they had listened to residents beforehand, local opinion could have been taken into account before the huts were inappropriately located. These opinions were expressed loud and clear by residents in advance of the decision to install the huts and again at the time of the planning application, but they were completely ignored.

I think that the principal of installing beach huts is very good; they are a fun addition to the seaside offer. But it is essential that their position is right, so they don’t cause conflict between different users of the seafront and promenade. They should be there to enhance the experience of visiting the town, not just as an income stream for North Somerset Council.

In several other seaside towns in the South West, beach huts work well where they can be positioned out of the way up against a cliff, but Weston’s unique geography means this option isn’t available here. So I appreciate that it isn’t easy to find suitable locations, which is why it is all the more important to spend a little time and effort to get it right first time, which should include consultation with local people, rather than rushing the decision and having to deal with the problems afterwards. Unfortunately however the council is as ever totally incapable to consulting with residents of the town on any issue.

ROBERT PAYNE

Weston Town Councillor Central Ward

Upper Kewstoke Road, Weston

FOLLOWING on from the complaint of cyclists on the promenade. Weston as a whole has a problem with cyclists riding on pavements. They weave in and out of pedestrians in the High Street. Drove Road is a prime example; my grandchildren have to look left and right just to go out through my front gate. Adults riding hell for leather and if you say anything you get a mouth of verbal abuse. Last week I saw a pupil about 15 years old from Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College nearly hit a young child and mother. She shouted to him and he called her some vile names. It can only be a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured.

BRIAN JONES

Drove Road, Weston

WHAT a wonderful and exciting production of Hairspray from Worle Operatic and Dramatic Society, WODS, performance on Thursday night at The Playhouse.

They excelled themselves and the singing, acting and dancing was superb and their musical director, Emma Worthy is to be congratulated.

What a long way they have come as a society from those far off days at Worle School when I was lucky enough to be a member.

The costumes and choreography put the finishing touches to a well produced show – long may they reign.

JEANNE HOARE-MATTHEWS

Jubilee Road, Weston

NO sooner do I read that bereaved relatives are being stitched up at the cost of a funeral but the very next day I find an article detailing the cost of a Registrar for a wedding which suggests that they are also taking advantage of people.

It is a situation where the Government should have acted ages ago to protect the public, but his lot are not good at that.

Lo and behold - on the third day a colleague cheered me up no end by providing the following tale from the Bath Chronicle of August 1793.

A plasterer named James Waltham travelled to Uphill to sell his wife to George Shepherd, a labourer, for five shillings! On the way home through Worle “he ventured three shillings” on a raffle run by “a Mountebank” and won a cow and a calf worth a total of six guineas (£6.30p).

Let it be noted that a cow and a calf were valued as 25 wives!

BRIAN AUSTIN

Alma Street, Weston

HALLELUJAH – after five weeks of trying, my wife and I finally entered Dismaland. Knowing that I do not go online members of my family tried to get tickets, without success. Four times we queued for walk-in tickets, once we waited for two hours in the wind and rain before giving up. This was the day when the staff had to evacuate the site due to high winds so even if we had got in we would have been evicted. Finally we queued for four hours and I was surprised how many pensioners braved the elements in what can only be described as organised chaos.

All our efforts were well worthwhile because Dismaland was an amazing experience although obviously nobody from Health and Safety had been invited. Some of the exhibits were in semi darkness on uneven floors but I suspect this was all part of the dismal attraction.

You can always bank on Banksy to draw the crowds and as we left I swear that the old Tropicana had a broad smile on its facia.

GEOFF MALHAM

Clarence Grove Road, Weston

I READ with interest of people’s experience of Dismaland. I did think of going just to see what it was all about. But no way would I or could I stand in a queue for hours.

We have loved living in Weston for many years and brought up our family here and have many happy memories visiting the Tropicana, the Beach Mission on the sands in the summer and going up the old pier to board the boat to go visiting relations in Cardiff.

Why would we want Weston to be remembered as “Dismaland”? Artists like Banksy surely could use their talents to capture the beauties of the world. One reader said “The exhibitions were amazing some of it risqué (on quite a few fronts)”. Others mentioned the common use of bad language. Why do we have to spoil things in this way. Another person was heard to say she was glad she did not take her child to event as one of the exhibits made her say, she never wants to eat meat again. I cannot imagine what that was. One display was shown on television of a boat full of illegal immigrants. Very insensitive to say the least. Then there was the woman who flew from Japan and then travelled to Weston by taxi, costing hundreds of pounds to see Dismaland and then flew back to Japan, saying it was worth the money. How sad. How could anyone justify that when there is so much poverty in the world and children dying because they are drinking dirty water? We who do not suffer in this way have every opportunity to respond to the appeals to help alleviate the situation.

Regards the future of the Tropicana and the old pier which have been left to deteriate when if they had been kept in good repair would still be drawing people to our town. The Tropicana could be an all weather venue with a roof, safe swimming pools for all ages, a café and be family orientated.

As a Christian I would love our children and grandchildren to grow up in a happy safe place where they can be encouraged to appreciate the arts, sports etc, and visitors to look upon Weston more as a Disneyland than a Dismaland.

EDNA FULLER

New Bristol Road, Worle

FULL marks to the Weston Mercury on your 16-page Dismaland souvenir special colourful supplement in last week’s newspaper.

I thought the Banksy out of this world Dismaland exhibition at the derelict Tropicana was just what it needed to turn its fortunes around and put our resort on the map. There have been a few ideas to open the doors of the Tropicana such as music arena, swimming pool, an exhibition venue or a cultural arts hub. But what Weston is crying out for is a decent swimming pool just like we had over 20 years ago, called the Tropicana which families flocked to on hot summer days and I am sure the many thousands would agree. So I take my hat off to Banksy for putting the wheel’s in motion and putting Weston’s Tropicana where it belongs back on the map for Banksy’s relentless pursuit of the things he believed in the face of clear and present danger.

D F COURTNEY

Victoria Park, Weston

CENTRAL to our lovely seaside town is the Winter Gardens Pavilion (an iconic piece of seaside architecture built in 1927) which I believe should be a listed building and I am part of the ‘Protect the Weston-super-Mare Winter Gardens Campaign’ to achieve that.

While students may contribute to the local economy and the college is important to the town, we cannot put all of the eggs in one basket and while living, learning and lifestyle all have their place in the towns regeneration, tourism is certainly on an equal level of importance to the future regeneration of our wonderful seaside resort.

As a friend of mine says it is worth protecting the lovely building and architecture that is there now, irrespective of any previous changes to it in previous years.

Having the Winter Gardens listed is to give an extra level of protection for the building and not to frustrate any plans there are for them.

The Winter Gardens must remain open to the public, as we have been told they will and this must be guaranteed, also as my friend says it would be a good idea to have the building as a designated community asset to protect public access further.

An option with regard to Weston College’s proposed take over of the Winter Gardens is to put a mezzanine floor in the Prince Consort Hall, thus enabling a large conference facility to be retained.

Also if the college no longer want the Winter Gardens, we have been told that the council can buy the building back for £1, we need to be assured that the council will have to buy the building back if that event arises.

I also object to the use of the word ‘dispose’ in the article on Page 10 of North Somerset Council’s Life magazine (July/August 2015) in which it says “North Somerset Council and Weston College are continuing to work closely together to create a legal and professional services academy at the Winter Gardens. Several significant milestones have been reached, including the terms of the transfer of the freehold and approval of the Secretary of State to dispose of the building...” This historic and iconic building deserves better than to be talked of being ‘disposed’ of.

In some places in the UK I have been told that education establishments often buy lots of buildings, then the college/university grows too big or/and have problems with their finances and then some of the building they own are surplus to requirements and then go into a state of disrepair. I am not saying that this is necessarily the case with Weston College but we do need to be careful about things like this.

Also we need to make sure that the college presence in the town is in moderation and in proportion with other things. So for example we do not want one particular organisation (whether this be the college or whoever) taking over the seafront/and or other areas of the town. We also need to keep our open and green spaces (which in Weston are too few) and therefore the Town Square needs to stay the size it is now with enhancements such as more floral planting.

I want to see all avenues used and explored for the resorts regeneration - in equal priority tourism, lifestyle, living, and learning.

In the Prospectus for Change consultation I answered the question: What should we be famous for? “Weston should be famous as a proper seaside resort, sandy beaches, sea, attractions, parks, shops, theatres, promenade and Winter Gardens, we have all these things we just need to raise our game.”

I really believe this is the case.

STEVEN HARRISON

Manilla Crescent, Weston


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