Letters to the editor - November 7

How much?

BY NOW everyone should have received the pink booklet about voting for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

What a shame the details of each candidate for this area was not included in the booklet.

No, instead one is sent to the Internet. One extra sheet in the booklet with the candidates details would have been much better. After all, they are expecting a low turnout for the vote so they are not going to be disappointed. I actually threw our nomination forms away.

If you are not computer literate, the leaflet states go to www.choosemypcc.org.uk

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This sets the area where you live by postal code.

My comments are as follows:

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We have four candidates up for selection, three guys and one woman.

Why do we need one anyway? How much is it going to cost to employ the successful candidate, who do they report to and who is paying the costs? Of course, we are for what? Are we suggesting that the existing police force cannot manage its affairs? This is such a negative appraisal of the existing system.


Drakes Way, Portishead


PERHAPS it’s a sad indictment of the times when the assurances of a doctor become worthless rhetoric.

Dr Backhouse must be deluding herself if she believes that people will swallow her suggestion that the involvement of the private sector will be anything except a disaster for North Somerset patients.

Let’s be quite honest here, private companies exist to enrich shareholders and investors and dish out massive salaries and bonuses to CEOs and directors, and their only consideration is the bottom line. In order for this to be achieved budgets have to be kept to and targets met.

There are countless examples now of how outsourcing public services to the private sector have led to a deterioration of those services as companies seek to profit from the taxpayer.

But, the really sad thing is, that inevitably because of the desire of these companies to focus on the bottom line, somebody will die, and after the usual secretive enquiry another bland statement will be issued, with those well-worn words “clearly lessons need to be learned”, too bad for the patients concerned and the grieving relatives.

I have no doubt that this will be of little concern to the individuals running this dog’s breakfast as they will eventually take up well-rewarded positions within the new empire and enjoy the benefits of private healthcare while the rest of us fight it out for what remains of public healthcare.


Westfield Close, Backwell


I READ with interest the article entitled Changes will not harm NHS-boss in the Times.

I am sure Dr Backhouse is sincere when she dismisses fears that contracting private companies to provide healthcare risks putting profit before people. But if such fears are really unfounded, why not write safeguards against privatisation into the constitution of the Clinical Commissioning Group, as has recently been done in Hackney?

If privatisation is really not on the agenda, then surely there is nothing to lose?


Goss Lane, Nailsea


RECENTLY, my great-granddaughter, Katie aged five, and I spent a delightful Saturday morning at the Curzon at the monthly film club for children.

For the princely sum of �3.50 each plus a good cup of coffee (for me) and a bag of sweets (for Katie), we enjoyed some vintage animated films of fairy tales, followed by a session of craft activities making finger and shadow puppets. The staff and volunteers could not have been more helpful and enthusiastic.

I can remember going to Saturday morning cinema as a child and so was expecting a much noisier and rowdy experience but the children were just great and obviously enjoying everything.

This is really to say a personal thank-you to the Curzon and to encourage everyone to support this wonderful venue we are so lucky to have on our doorsteps.


Harmony Drive, Portishead


I WOULD like to make a comment regarding the letter about parking that appeared in this paper two weeks ago.

It seems incredible that a Chief Superintendent in the Avon and Somerset Police can declare in public that irresponsible parking is not a priority for his officers and they would not be dealing with such offences.

This is the same response as I had from the local police when I raised with them the issues of vehicles parking on pavements in the town. Parking on pavements seems to be the norm now and those who do this have no regard for pedestrians, young and old, who are forced to walk in the road for their safety.

Anyone who has walked along the Portishead High Street (and other parts of the town) cannot help but notice the damage being done to the pavements by vehicles being driven on to them (damage that is preventable but will not be repaired due to dwindling council resources). Likewise parking on double yellow lines, and zig-zags lines at pedestrian crossings also appear no longer to be a priority for the police.

Neither the police nor North Somerset Council want to take responsibility for enforcing parking regulations in the area and blame ‘the cuts’, the answer that these publicly funded bodies use to justify inaction. This is a bit lame as they didn’t want to deal with these matters before the dreaded cuts were made.

However, I see from last week’s Times that, despite having no money, North Somerset Council can train 30 staff to issue on-the-spot fines to inconsiderate dog owners, surely these 30 employees would be better employed with dealing with parking issues, creating more income for the district council than from dog owners in the process.

Chief Superintendent Moss should remember that he is part of a public body funded by us, the taxpayer, and that he polices by the our consent. He should therefore not be disregarding residents’ wishes including dealing with parking issues and even more importantly seeing a more visible police presence on our streets be it police officers or Community Support Officers.

Supt Moss needs to get back to the basics of British policing or hand over to someone who will.


Brampton Way, Portishead

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