Letters to the editor - January 11

Horrified

MY HUSBAND and I had to catch a coach at 3am on December 22 outside Morrison’s.

We live in Moor Lane and we had to walk in the road to be able to see our way to Kenn Road as we could see nothing if we walked on the pavement.

I was horrified as to how little light we had to see our way and the fact we had to walk in the road.

When we came back from our trip and heard about the young man who was killed on Christmas Day I was not surprised as we could have been killed ourselves.


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The people who advocate having the lights switched off should go out in the early hours and try it for themselves to see how far they can get with no street lights

JEAN LONG

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Moor Lane, Clevedon

Thank you

I HOPE I’m not too late to say some words of thanks to the people who organised a lovely Christmas dinner for those of us who would otherwise have been on our own in Portishead this Christmas.

Fiona and David gave more than 20 of us a lovely meal and a wonderful time out at the Methodist Church in High Street. On behalf of all those who attended I would like to say a very big thank you.

MARGARET MARSHALL

Orchard Close, Portishead

Bit of spin

I DIDN’T know whether to laugh or cry when I saw the comment from our MP, Dr Liam Fox, about the possibility of us getting the railway line opened.

In a classic bit of spin, he said that there was now an increased chance of money becoming available for the line, as the Government has announced increased infrastructure spending. But, the Government has cut capital spending by 30 per cent and given a small part of that back. The Government is Tory-led and we have a Tory MP, plus a Tory council. Does anyone think this really increases the chances of us getting the railway opened before the next general election?

I’m sure we’ll have more empty promises from them, but I won’t hold my breath.

PAUL DUNN

The Deans, Portishead

Radical idea

A FEW weeks ago I wrote a piece published by your paper pointing out the deficiencies in the infrastructure caused by poor planning decisions especially around the new and extended schools.

North Somerset replied saying traffic surveys were carried out before planning permission was granted.

Anyone looking at the transport infrastructure in Portishead created by North Somerset planning can see quite clearly that if any policy has been followed in the last 15 years of the expansion of our town it has failed residents badly. Yet we get the same complacency from our council in their attitude to questions.

The new alterations to the M5 roundabout will not solve the traffic jams.

Why is it that Portishead cannot get a fair deal from our masters in Weston-super-Mare?

We also periodically get promises about rail links from our MP.

Ask yourselves, he has been our MP for years why didn’t he do something years ago when the Tories were in power before the last Labour Government and the expansion of Portishead was planned?

I propose that Portishead takes the Government at its word in their policy of ‘Localism’ and we take back the power of running our own affairs by creating a Unilateral Declaration of Independence for Portishead and form a Portishead Urban District Council (UDC).

There are plenty of talented people in our town who could be employed by the locally run UDC and the new structure would also give employment to our local young people.

This may sound a somewhat radical idea but at least we would be in charge of our own destiny.

If and when we made mistakes they would be ours not forced on us by a unitary authority.

Bigger is not always better in local government as Portishead has found out to its cost.

Let us have a happy new year and shake off the chains of North Somerset Council and give a new start for Portishead in 2012.

MIKE WILKS

Beach Road East, Portishead

Recycling

COULD someone please explain to me why May Gurney seems incapable of collecting all the recycling left out?

Every week they seem to collect from half of the houses in our block. They seem to be unable to see Seymour Close and therefore the houses on the end of Teignmouth Road.

It astounds me how the crews collecting the wheelie bins, and garden waste, manage to do their job without fail every fortnight however the recycling crews can only do half of what they are expected to do.

Phone calls to the council have no effect as all they do is email May Gurney who seem to ignore them.

Before May Gurney took over waste collections I never had to complain. I now have a need to complain on a weekly basis!

They fail to collect from the green recycling boxes and when they do they throw them wherever they like blocking access across pavements. When you ask them to put them back where they picked them up from they just laugh at you.

If there is a contact number for May Gurney I would like to know what it is as ringing the council does not help.

I think it is now time to find a more professional contractor and terminate May Gurney’s contract.

MARY MULLIGAN

Teignmouth Road, Clevedon

Post office

THE patient citizens of Portishead must have queued at Portishead’s only post office during the Christmas postal peak, jointly for many hours, even sometimes outside the shop in the cold and wind.

Despite the public’s frustrations, the post office counter staff, in their unreasonably small and cramped conditions, continue to maintain that friendly public face and service, which we all have come to treasure. However, it is blatantly obvious that Portishead is in dire need of a second post office.

It has been reported that a practical and sensible solution of locating the second post office in the newly proposed Sainsbury store has been rejected; what madness!

This illogical thinking continues as we are told that the preferred location is to be within the ‘Village Quarter’. What madness. Congestion and gridlock will surely follow, with customers chasing limited parking spaces; even the residents now find it difficult to park or even just to drive through it.

But this nightmare madness continues! A public petition to site the second post office in the Costcutter store at the top of Avon Way has been rejected on the illogical grounds that there used to be, years ago, a sub-post office in West Hill.

Portishead has dramatically grown from the small village it used to be, and is now the second largest town in North Somerset.

We need an extra post office now.

The practical Avon Way solution ticks all the boxes: the petition demonstrates that the public supports the proposal; there is a willing trader to locate the post office in his store; the area is easily accessible and has large car parks available; and what is more, is located on several bus routes.

Surely it is madness to turn down this option, which could be up and running in months.

We can wait no longer; now is the time to act and to put this madness to one side, and give the thriving and growing population of Portishead and its public, the second post office it so badly needs.

GRAHAM COOK

Nore Road, Portishead

Service cuts

I AM writing in regards to all the service cuts North Somerset Council is making around the county in regards to the Government’s budget cut targets that have been set. It seems that the council is only interested in cutting areas that won’t affect the councillors themselves.

From the cutting of youth, elderly and other social services areas, it is also cutting small mostly inconsequential things like removing flowerbeds from Grove Park in Weston.

To add to this it has implemented a recycling scheme across the county which has effectively taken our rubbish collections, and employed people to carelessly drop recycling constantly and not pick up items that may have been blown out of the poorly designed boxes.

Yes the UK has recycling targets to meet but taking our disposed items and having them strewn across the streets is hardly progress.

Driving around my local area after the recent high winds numerous streets are strewn with recycling which obviously the employees of May Gurney are responsible for collecting.

If the council is making cuts to such services that will result in a detrimental quality of life to its residents, why is it not looking at other avenues in addition to reviewing the ones it has already implemented?

The most obvious area would be reducing councillors’ allowances and also job cuts from the council itself. I realise that this may seem unfair to regard individual’s job losses as acceptable, but with the unemployment rate as high as it is, why should the council be immune from such action itself when countless other employees aren’t?

The services that North Somerset Council provides are subpar at best.

I requested an extra recycling box and green bag over three months ago and have not received either.

Its housing services is appalling and the time constraints it puts on care workers to deal with patients is ridiculous so that people can be left for hours without assistance. Yet it still seems perfectly acceptable to employ the people that are happy to cut services to those that need it, as opposed to taking reductions in pay, or cutting the amount of jobs which are being inadequately done.

My simple suggestion is that North Somerset Council is both biased and selfish in where it is applying its budget cuts which needs to be addressed by an independent party.

It is useless asking the council itself to conduct any kind of enquiry as it is obviously incapable of even providing adequate services, so why should we have to pay taxes and money to pay these people when they are unable to correctly do their jobs?

RUSSELL MILES

Chancel Close, Nailsea

Town bus

I WAS appalled and dismayed to read in last week’s Times that North Somerset Council is to scrap the 800 Clevedon town bus service.

Many hundreds of residents will be affected by this, in particular the disabled and partially sighted.

North Somerset Council say it hopes people will use alternative services.

Maybe those responsible for making this statement would like to declare through this newspaper, these alternative services that exist.

When we, and I’m sure this applies to many others, purchased our present home we were greatly influenced by the fact that it was serviced by a local bus.

As stated by Trevor Morgan, the 800 is well used and benefits not only the elderly but schoolchildren too.

Answers please North Somerset Council.

MAUREEN RUTLEY

Sercombe Park, Clevedon

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