Perhaps they are listening to ordinary folk

PUBLISHED: 08:06 08 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:24 24 May 2010

WOULD you believe it! Barely a week after the West Area Planning Committee approved his so called 'splash wall', John Crockford-Hawley tells us Defra has given us the money. Or have they? It seems that only £4 million is on offer for 2007-8, but it is no

WOULD you believe it! Barely a week after the West Area Planning Committee approved his so called 'splash wall', John Crockford-Hawley tells us Defra has given us the money. Or have they? It seems that only £4 million is on offer for 2007-8, but it is not for building the 'splash wall'. The money is only to be used for dredging the Marine Lake. So, our tourist economy is safe from the dreaded 'splash wall' for another year or so, at least. It is just possible my letters to Graeme Johnston at Defra, Flood Defence Management Team, Area 3C, Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2Al, finally did the trick. He is the chap at Defra who says if and when we can have the money. I sent him a few of other folks' 'letters to the editor' and one or two of my own plus a font page or two, just to make it clear that the town really does not want the JCH solution. It seems to have worked! Perhaps they are listening to ordinary folk after all. So don't be shy, write to Mr Johnston soon with more of your views!The delay in Defra funding means that, by the time the 'splash wall' money becomes available, a new council may show more commonsense and the Easy Quay breakwater scheme will have completed the planning process. After all, we must do something to protect Knightstone Island residents, even if it does mean turning the 'island' into a substantial public waterfront. In the meanwhile, whilst February 20 and March 20, 2007 are risky times tide-wise, we would not have seen any new wall by then anyway so, if you live on the flat land in the middle of town, you still need to be prepared. In the years after 2007, the tides tend to drop away a little. All JCH can do now will be to tidy up the Marine Lake beach ready for Knightstone's new tenants to enjoy. Won't that be nice? The last chap who tried to dredge the lake went bust whilst losing a lot of machinery in the mud. Martin Woolls, master of the Bristol Queen is clear that the best option would be to build a lock at the Anchor Head end instead. That way a dredger could get in and do the job properly in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the price and therefore do it more frequently. Sadly the answer is bound to be no, because JCH always knows best.As for Defra being committed to 'seeing the job through', I am sure they always were. However, I doubt they want to see the town's tourist economy destroyed. Meanwhile, most of the Lib Dems prepare to give away the Tropicana to their favoured developers, Knightstone style, whilst refusing good offers from capable townsfolk and denigrating the thought of a referendum they know could still be called. That said and to be fair, Mike Bell and a few local Lib Dems could see the dangers of the JCH scheme and voted against as they did against Knightstone. So there is hope. JULIAN PARRYVictoria Park, Weston

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Weston Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists