Letters to the Editor, September 20, 2012
PUBLISHED: 11:23 21 September 2012
I AM writing in regard to the Save the Bristol House Inn campaign.
The only remaining public house in Milton is at threat of being turned into a Tesco Express. We know this, due to confirmation from Tesco representatives.
When offered a lease by Enterprise Inns, Tesco said it would only take it on if planning permission was given for an extension.
We have now found that Enterprise Inns is seeking planning permission for a function room/sports bar.
It is now common knowledge its intention is not to re-open the pub. Yet we as the public are not allowed to object against the Tesco Express on the council website, as this is not what the proposal states.
The pub stands opposite a family-run business that has been there for 24 years and just down the road another local family-run business also.
I believe we should protect our smaller businesses.
We have a growing petition of close to 3,000 signatures, had a packed-out meeting, and will be holding a peaceful protest outside the Town Hall the day the fate of The Bristol House Inn is to be decided.
A few questions I would like to ask are for the council.
I would like to know if any council representatives have met up with, or had discussions with Tesco over its possible takeover of the pub. If so, what was discussed? And what was the outcome of the discussion?
Also, does the council think it is fair that a huge number have come together to object against the pub being leased to Tesco, and we all know Enterprise Inns intentions, yet we are not allowed to mention this in our objections as it is not what the proposal states it is for?
I would also like to thank everyone who has taken the time to support the cause.
Let’s keep our town local, save our local pub, and save our smaller businesses.
Jasmine Way, Weston
IN RESPONSE to a brilliant letter in the Mercury on August 30 from Keith Harrison, of Atlantic Road South, we have decided to have one last attempt to give the people of Weston an opportunity to show their support for a pool in Weston.
Where’s Weston’s Olympic legacy?
Weston needs a swimming pool – if not on the Tropicana site, where?
Please show your support for a pool in Weston by meeting outside the Tropicana on Saturday at noon. Local Zumba teacher Sam will be rallying the troops with a cheerleader display to promote the cause, so bring your banners and dancing shoes if you want to join in the fun.
For more information, please contact one of us
on 07887 891652 or
on 07972 332794
Langport Road, Weston
I was foolish
DEAR Mr Pickles, thank you for the letter but there are no thanks due regarding the news it contained, it was certainly not what I wanted, hoped and even expected to hear.
I was foolish enough to think that you would take notice of the host of people in and around Weston who have been campaigning for years to get the pool redeveloped.
Did you actually read the letter I wrote which told you everything that had been going on with North Somerset Council or any of the other letters you received?
Have you bothered to visit or at least look at Weston seafront on Google?
I would guess not, otherwise how could you say that ‘returning the Tropicana to beach and sea wall would have a positive impact on the area’ and that ‘the increased area of beach would lead to biodiversity benefits in terms of availability of habitats’.
Have you any idea at all just how vast Weston beach is and how minuscule the area covered by the pool?
It would make no difference at all except that the pool we, and the town’s visitors, need for it to remain a viable holiday destination would be gone for ever.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees said in the local press that all plans submitted for redevelopment involved demolishing the existing building and starting from scratch. Richard Nightingale submitted plans fairly recently which retained the existing building.
Cllr Ap Rees has said that the only way the pool could be redeveloped would be if someone came along who was prepared to fund it.
We had such a man, Richard Nightingale, who had a choice of plans drawn up and offered to give the town the pool it needed and a guarantee he would finish the job.
A small sub committee made up its mind years ago they didn’t want us to have a pool despite the thousands of people who had signed petitions and written letters.
Why else would they have allowed the people who repaved the prom to dump all their rubble, etc, actually in the pool?
And yet somewhere in the mountain of newspaper cuttings I’ve kept you are quoted as saying ‘there is no evidence the council has neglected the Tropicana’.
I despair as I really hoped you would be impartial and see through this anti-Weston council which seems to look upon it as a ‘milk cow’ for Clevedon and Perished.
By the way they have just given more than £650,000 to Clevedon Pier for maintenance work - need I say more?
On top of everything else it is immoral to spend hundreds of thousands of our money to demolish something we want to keep. We should be refusing to pay our council tax.
Why can’t you encourage the council to do what I’ve been asking it for what seems like ever?
That is to just give the pool to Richard Nightingale, if he’s still willing and/or Derek Mead and let them get on with it.
Then it wouldn’t be its responsibility. Oh, of course they’re only interested if they can make money out of it.
Mr Pickles you need to rethink your decision and come to see for yourself what we are fighting for and maybe think about David Cameron’s Big Society where we should be having a say in what happens in our town instead of being ignored.
And please consider that just because something is legal it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right.
I’ve lost track of the number of letters I’ve written on this subject and had to force myself to write this one but I can’t give up while there is still time.
Please don’t let us down.
Brimridge Road, Winscombe
I WAS interested to receive a leaflet, included with our local free paper, advertising Brean Splash Water Park and it really looks a lot of fun.
I realise that it is only a fun pool, with a covered roof, but it contains a lot of activity - ideal for visitors and residents alike.
If a small area like Brean can have a successful fun pool, why not the much larger resort of Weston?
We could call it the Tropicana and it would be a great asset to the seafront.
Of course North Somerset Council may consider such a scheme as not viable and once again hide its head in the sand on Weston beach.
This is really what we wanted all along - something where kids can learn to swim and have fun.
We hope the Brean experience will be very successful - as for Weston, dream on.
Clarence Grove Road, Weston
THE Mercury has reported that to meet an £86million bill, public services such as street cleaning, youth provision, public toilets and libraries in North Somerset could disappear.
Weston councillors, whatever their party allegiance, must defend the people they represent from these cuts.
The bill is probably so high, in part, because of the way North Somerset was set up to include Weston and its environs.
Weston has a great many needs which are largely invisible to Central Government, because of being submerged in North Somerset. The result of this invisibility is that Weston does not get the money it needs.
A Weston which was independent of North Somerset, and constituted as Winterstoke District to include surrounding villages, would be funded directly from London and would not have to go cap in hand to North Somerset Council.
Being separate from the northern parts of North Somerset on the fringes of Bristol would mean that Weston’s particular needs, eg, an elderly population, high levels of child poverty, endemic unemployment, poor health, drink and drug dependency, crime, lack of resilience to flooding reflected in blocked drains, and so on, would be better addressed.
Winterstoke District Council would also be in a position to enter into multi-area agreements with neighbouring councils such as Sedgemoor, Mendip and North Somerset.
Priory Road, Weston
I DESPAIR of reading the self-important pronouncements from North Somerset councillors which feature regularly in the Opinion pages.
Serving as a local government councillor used to be, and should still be, seen as a public service rewarded only by reasonable expenses.
Unfortunately many of our councillors do not view it as a public service representing the views of their constituents at all but as a salaried occupation representing their own self interest.
I believe it to be true that one of the first items of business for the current members was to vote to increase their allowances and expenses. Surely this is an immoral act, a breach of trust and an abuse of power.
Some members of the executive amass a total of allowances and expenses which equate to the salaries of higher paid local government officers whilst pursuing their own pet schemes such as the refurbishment of the Town Hall and the purchase of the Clevedon edifice.
Cliff Road, Weston
REFERRING to the Mercury’s recent headline ‘Council Tax could soar to meet £86m bid’ which also stated that: ‘all but the most vital North Somerset services could be axed or severely streamlined as a result of the radical new savings target, while council tax hikes of up to 10 per cent could be needed to meet the shortfall.’
Weston Town Council provides a nuclear of services including the museum, Blakehay Theatre, allotments, play areas, youth services and the ever-increasing popularity of the Water Park.
With the Government’s localism agenda the town council role is already growing.
Weston Town Council is the largest parish council in England and what better if North Somerset Council has a problem financially with service provision than to transfer to Weston Town Council rather than, as stated, end up delivered by the private sector.
Local government for our town.
CLLR MIKE LYALL
Weston Town Council, Earlham Ward, Cecil Road, Weston
WE have another coffee shop
Springing up in town,
I think it’s far too many,
It’s enough to get you down.
There’s coffee shops and phone shops
And cheap shops by the score,
I know it saves us money
But please don’t give us more.
We want a little bit of class
To get us back on track,
Poor old Weston’s lost its charm,
We need to get it back.
They’re closing down some toilets,
We’re told it must be done,
It won’t be very popular
When visitors start to come.
So take yourself out shopping,
Be careful what you do,
Don’t drink too much coffee
You’ll never find a loo!
Little George Street, Weston
Along the prom
MY THANKS to everyone who participated, supported and helped in any way the recent Family Walk Along The Prom in aid of The British Heart Foundation and Weston General Hospital cardiology department.
Thanks to the chairman of North Somerset Council, Councillor Terry Porter, Weston Town Mayor, Councillor David Hitchins, sponsors, Hutton Moor Leisure Centre and Cheddar Water, and all the companies who provided prizes, and other help.
Also to the Winter Gardens for hosting the reception after the event.
The event was a great success with 100 walkers and is expected to raise around £4,000.
A special thanks to Weston General Hospital for use of a venue for registration before the start of the walk and also for the wonderful gesture to award me with a certificate for fundraising for the trust at the annual Weston Area Health NHS Trust Awards presented by guest of honour London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Helen Richardson.
It was a very proud moment and I hope to take the walk on further next year.
Family Walk Along The Prom
Canberra Road, Weston
MAY I, through your newspaper, express my sincere thanks to all who helped me on Friday, September 7.
At the end of a very enjoyable holiday staying at the Anchor Head Hotel, Weston, unfortunately I had an accident whilst there.
The management was very kind and helpful and got an ambulance.
The paramedics then got me to Weston General Hospital.
I cannot speak too highly of the wonderful care and attention I received from all the staff.
The hospital is spotlessly clean and the food was very good, a splendid recommendation for the NHS, and the good people of Weston.
I would also like to mention the Welbeck Hotel where staff were very supportive to my friend who needed to stay on, and help me to get home to Durham after discharge from hospital due to a head injury.
Houghton Road, Hetton-le-Hole,
Tyne and Wear