Letters to the editor - September 5


RE: TEEN criminals collared, your exclusive report.

I read this with great interest: “Over the past two weeks, the neighbourhood police team has worked with the Weston-based priority crime team to finally bring the unruly youths, who cannot be named due to their age, to book.”

The Law is an Ass, is true. Where are the parents? Where are the human rights for the victims? Who carries the costs of this operation? So in effect when they are sent to prison, again we have to pay the costs. Why not the parents? They should be called to trial.

Also “23 pupils suspended for assaulting adults.” I must admit, being nearly 79 years of age, that I cannot understand what has happened to common sense, discipline and respect, not only in our schools but in this so-called civilised country. We were not angels before, during and after World War Two but we did respect authority, because if not our parents made us understand discipline and respect for others, by very harsh thrashing which did me no harm.

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The worse thing that happened was our neighbours seeing the local bobby coming up our path.


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Drakes Way, Portishead

Street lights

IN YOUR report into the accident involving soldier Edward Heal PC Mark Stedman said: “the glare of headlights from the facing car would have left Edward in a pool of darkness.”

If the lamppost light had been doing what it’s designed to do i.e. operate at night it would knock down the glare of the oncoming car’s lights, in fact it would illuminate the whole area making it easier to recognise an obstacle in the road when travelling at only 15 miles an hour.

PC Steadman said: “in the South West 10 out of 11 fatal accidents had the street lights on. Were the vehicles involved also only going 15 miles an hour? He doesn’t say. I have my doubts if PC Steadman or deputy assistant coroner Terence Moore have ever visited the scene of the accident between the hours of 1-6am.

However I do regularly pass through between those hours to and from work, and for people in authority to come out and state “that there are no grounds to write to the council regarding the street lighting - the evidence here does not suggest the street lighting was in any way a factor,” is outrageous.

The purpose of street lighting is to assist either drivers or pedestrians in finding their way in the dark. Do we live in a third world country that can’t afford to turn the lights on at night?


Baytree Road, Clevedon


IN RESPONSE to Transition Town Nailsea comments regarding Gaulacre Fields, I would like to make the following observations.

I live directly opposite these fields and have walked around them daily for 13 years in all winds and weathers, unlike Sally Tarr who may have visited once or twice.

If she tried to walk around today Wednesday August 29 she would see they are flooded in many parts, and only major drainage work will rectify this, but where would the water go as the only possibility is across adjoining farmer’s fields.

A pond in the middle would soon fill up, then overflow and back to the flooding again. Planting of trees will only increase the flooding, not help it.

Creating roadways into what is agricultural land and parking minibuses and cars on it will be unsightly, and visitors will require toilet facilities, which will be strongly opposed.

The local farmer currently pays rent for these fields, helping to recover the �100,000 plus the council paid for them, which at current agriculture rates of �6,925 per acre, was some �30,000 more than should have been paid.

These fields during the year have hundreds of people walking over them for enjoyment, and the only thing in my opinion that needs doing is the installation of a kissing gate on Engine Lane, by the side of the existing five bar gate.

A future plan to safeguard the fields against future development should be put in place.

This is a wonderful natural facility and should be left as such for all to enjoy.


Engine Lane, Nailsea

State of our toilets

I AGREE with Mr Chivers about the state of our toilets. Not so long ago we had six public toilets in Portishead, now we have two and they are a disgrace.

Earlier this year the then town council chairman had several meetings with North Somerset about the impact of new legislation.

This included the future management of the toilets but we were later told that North Somerset would retain responsibility.

As you know four town councillors are also North Somerset councillors. I hope that they have been pressing for improvements.

The town council has a small working party looking at toilets and we are meeting North Somerset Council (NSC) officers in early September, when we may discover what the future plans are for the maintenance of these facilities.

If NSC is to retain the responsibility, then we will be pressing for urgent action.

As we have seen elsewhere, a transfer of responsibility may have budget implications for the town council


Central Ward, Portishead Town Council

Glenwood Rise, Portishead

Overgrown hedge

SHOULD you be a private householder in North Somerset with an overgrown hedge bordering a pavement the local authority will inform you that unless the part of the hedge overgrowing the pavement is cut to the satisfaction of the authority they will trim it and, in my view quite rightly, charge for the service.

However, it does appear that these same rules do not apply to corporate landowners and their ilk. The example of this is the overgrown hedge of the school playing fields adjacent to Station Road and Nailsea Park at Nailsea.

In places the pavement is 175cm wide with nettles, brambles and other vegetation restricting the pavement to 51cm.

With varying amounts of growth this situation has existed since early July and to date, August 22, it remains uncut with danger to pedestrians from the briars in particular.

The part of the hedge for which Golden Valley Primary School is responsible was, to a fashion, cut some three weeks ago, the section which is a danger to the public is the responsibility of the former Nailsea School, now I understand an academy.

The matter of this overgrown hedge was brought to the attention of Nailsea Town Council some weeks ago and I believe they reported the situation and photographs to North Somerset Council.

The local councillor has also been involved with no success other than to suggest that the various authorities have been told but seemingly no longer is any organisation responsible for this hedge.

The purpose of this letter is to ask, of either North Somerset bureaucrats or headteacher Mr New of Nailsea School, to pay for a contractor to cut this hedge now and in 2013 to cut it by the second week of July to allow a pram or pushchair to be used on the pavement without risk of injury to a child or, for that matter, an adult.

Before the Flora and Fauna brigade start complaining about disturbing birds by cutting the hedge in July, I defy any of them to find fledglings in the hedge by the middle of July whatever the state of the season.


Nailsea Park, Nailsea

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