We need to look at the bigger picture

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:36 24 May 2010

Jon and Sandie Harrap, who run the Saxonia.

Jon and Sandie Harrap, who run the Saxonia.

I WAS most interested to watch the opening episode of The Hotel Inspector which featured the Saxonia Hotel in Weston, as this programme seemed to sum up the problems and attitudes that plague Weston as a whole

I WAS most interested to watch the opening episode of The Hotel Inspector which featured the Saxonia Hotel in Weston, as this programme seemed to sum up the problems and attitudes that plague Weston as a whole. I understand these programmes are edited in such a way as to provide the maximum entertainment value and consequently may not reflect the true reality of a situation, but I feel that a number of parallels are all too apparent. The normal reaction of anybody when they hear criticism of something they hold dear, is to go on the defensive and refuse to hear what is being said. So please sit down and prepare yourself, as the next few paragraphs may prove difficult for some of you.Weston as a whole is in an artificially created comfort zone with an over inflated sense of what it has to offer, based mainly on its glory days when you had to queue to get your deck chair on the beach. Sadly these days are long gone, but unfortunately the majority of facilities and buildings in Weston also date from these times. To appeal to the modern tourist and the large number of people who now live in the new developments around Weston, we need to change what it is we have to offer and recognise that what worked in the past is no longer relevant for today. The main redevelopment efforts in Weston at the moment are geared around the beautification of the seafront and the streets in and around the centre of town, known as Grove Village. This is just the placing of finishing touches without addressing the real problem. The streets may have new surfaces and designer bins, but the houses and shops surrounding them are run down and present an impression of decay that cannot be covered up by strategic placement of hanging baskets. If we are serious about making Weston a more pleasant and appealing place to live and visit, we need to look at the bigger picture and address it.The owners of the Saxonia were forced to look at these kind of issues and although they had to be brought kicking and screaming at times to make the required changes, they did make them, realising that it is what is required to ensure they have a business relevant to the customer base of today. It is only by taking an objective view of the town and focusing on what is required by visitors and residents today and implementing the necessary changes, no matter how painful, that we hope to have a future.M GRAY - Locking

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