Readers’ letters - April 10

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Distinction

MR COOKE’S rant over the continuing issue of North Somerset Life and its associated costs seems not to appreciate the distinction between Life and a newspaper.

North Somerset Life seems to cover, reasonably factually, all the major issues likely to be of relevance at some time or another to people in North Somerset.

The role of a newspaper is to comment on those issues without necessarily representing all the facts. Nor is it right to expect a newspaper to provide all the information that North Somerset Council’s Life does. It just would not capture the market bearing in mind that any newspaper is there ultimately to make money based on whatever it wants the content of its paper to be

Whatever next Mr Cooke, the Sun publishing every Government White Paper and policy decision to save you around 1p per fortnight?


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DAVE WOOLLEY

Pauls Causeway, Congresbury

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Being heard

IN THE April issue of North Somerset Council’s monthly pamphlet called Life, the council leader suggests its most important role is ‘to inform residents of what’s going on and why’.

What a terrible condemnation of a system which could once be proudly described as democratic local government. Apart from being rightly or wrongly in danger of description as the biased mouthpiece of the ruling junta, it makes a mockery of the system of elected representatives.

There was a time when town and country local councillors were not only in touch with their communities but also could rely on their voices being heard in the public council chamber.

There still is an independent local press that’s doing a first class job of informing readers what’s going on. What’s more it reflects local reaction and a knowledge and experience often superior to that dredged up by the increasing number of expensive council-commissioned surveys. In traffic control alone, listening to local residents of Portishead in recent years on one scheme would have saved well over £1million.

Those entrenched somewhere by the sea in their sealed cabinet should start talking to and reading what independent local publications such as Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead Times has to say rather than simply telling everyone what’s going on. Councillors and their officers could actually talk direct to the press and use pages such as offered by ‘The Times’ instead of mounting a constant attack on local media freedom by subsidised pamphlets, which bleed life from true community reporting and advertising.

ROY HEWETSON

Redcliffe Close, Portishead

Nonsensical

What use are WiFi and leather seats to passengers if they no longer have a bus service?

I refer to the removal of stops at Battery Road and The White Lion as a result of rerouting all services up and down Combe Road.

The Battery Road stop served two major attractions in the town - namely The Lake Grounds and the open air swimming pool.

These stops also served a part of the town which contains much accommodation for older people who frequently used them for access to Bristol and other areas of the town. The very infrequent Hopper service is not an acceptable alternative. A stop in Combe Road is also further from the shopping centre and the health centre.

What sense does it make to route buses up the narrow and congested West Hill in order that they may come down Combe Road thus cutting out the very useful and much used Battery Road stop?

What can the community and your paper do to get this nonsensical decision reversed? Nore Road and Cabstand have had a bus service for at least 80 years - what is different now?

G M SIMMS

Battery Lane, Portishead

Not the case

I HAVE read with some amusement the article on the award that Clevedon Pier received.

It was worded as if to say that 2013 was the first time our beloved pier has won Pier of the Year! This is not the case.

Our beautiful pier was given this award the first time round in 1999 when Ivor Ashford was the pier master along with his wife Maggie. Sadly Ivor has passed away, but Maggie is still in Clevedon. They worked very hard to make Clevedon Pier the little beauty it is today.

On enquiring about the first certificate, I was told it had received water damage.

I am now trying to get a copy so it can be framed and put up in the Toll House on the pier where it rightly belongs.

The purpose of this letter is to give a fuller history of the pier!

MARY DAVIS

Copse Road, Clevedon

Real issues

I WOULD like to register my extreme distaste at the terminology used in John Hunter’s April 3 letter.

Considering some of the real issues ongoing in the world (one look at a national newspaper would open Mr Hunter’s eyes I am sure), I would suggest that using the word abhorrent to discuss some (albeit aggravating I am sure) parking issues in Nailsea is hyperbole at best.

Let us hope the real world never comes knocking at Mr Hunter and his small town mentality’s door.

BEN MARTIN

Princes Road, Clevedon

Moving vehicles

I TOTALLY agree with Hilary English (March 21) and disagree with John Dunster (March 28) regarding the rubbish on the Long Ashton bypass, Barrow Gurney and the A38.

The worst is the bypass where rubbish has stayed for at least 18 months.

I agree some rubbish is thrown from cars, but there are huge plastic sheetings everywhere which have come off moving vehicles, eg lorries.

As for the road kill they usually lay there for at least a week. Perhaps John doesn’t travel every day to work, whereas Hilary and I do.

Come on North Somerset please send your contractors to get rid of it sooner than later.

LIZ LACEY

Orchard Close, Wrington

Baffled

CONSIDERING the excellent refuse collection service available to Nailsea residents I am baffled by the practice of some residents to carry household refuse all the way from home and deposit it in the litter bins along Stock Way South.

Clearly these litter bins are not designed or capable of holding large amounts of household refuse and quickly overflow as was the case over the Easter break. Inevitably the contents are quickly scattered about by birds and no doubt foxes seeking out the edible contents and the whole area becomes a mess.

If you are one of the perpetrators please act responsibly, direct your household rubbish through the proper channels and help to keep Stock Way South litter free.

ALAN PLUMPTON

Hillcrest Road, Nailsea

Mayhem

I WOULD be interested to know the reasoning behind replacing the double yellow lines in a section of Old Street near the Clevedon Town Council offices.

I have never experienced a bottle neck or problem in that section. I can only assume it has made entry to and exit from the Town Council Offices car park easier for those attending council meetings, etc.

Another section of Old Street where double yellow lines were lifted remains as it was. This particular section causes mayhem during morning and evening when people go from and return to Clevedon.

This section is facing a hall where they hold gymnasium classes for young children. Also it is opposite Meadow Road. Many children access Old Street from Meadow Road and have to run the gauntlet of cars and even buses mounting the pavement on the approach into Clevedon.

Vehicles coming from Clevedon town centre are more likely to come through past the parked cars rather than give way, necessitating approaching vehicles, even on occasion buses, to mount the pavement.

Several people have witnessed a significant amount of near misses as children come out of the hall or try to cross Old Street from Meadow Road.

Has anybody from either the police department, highways department or perhaps a councillor monitored this section during busy times? I think not.

If the yellow lines are not replaced on that section there will be an accident one day and I only hope it does not involve a child.

Prior to the double yellow lines being lifted parents dropping their little ones off at the hall could stop briefly outside to let the children out or pick them up which obviously was a safer option.

Now because of parking opposite they have to park over the road and attempt to cross. Again I fear for the safety of these parent and their children.

A KNOWLES

Kingston Avenue, Clevedon

Serious questions

I RESPOND to the article ‘Cash to find future stars’ in the times on March 27.

Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, claims that: “This funding will give primary school children fantastic sport, and is the final piece in the 2012 sports legacy jigsaw”

The funding is without question a major contribution to the possibility of improving the void that has existed for decades in our nation’s primary schools in respect of the delivery of high quality PE and sport but it is a long, long way short of being the final piece in the 2012 sports legacy jigsaw.

Serious questions as to how the funding is to be used by each individual primary school have yet to be addressed and a great deal of thought is required if suitable and appropriate solutions are found.

How will the funding, which is only guaranteed for two years, be used to ensure it has long lasting benefits?

What importance will be placed on the continued professional development of school staff in an attempt to ensure longevity to the legacy funding? How will performance pathways be produced to ensure opportunities are created for all children of all abilities and how will headteachers determine that the teachers and coaches they employ will possess the right talents and experience to ensure that the quality provision children deserve is provided?

Headteachers and schools deserve support and guidance but I do not see a support mechanism to ensure decisions made will be informed decisions.

“The final piece in the 2012 sports legacy jigsaw” is a really concerning statement and not representative at all of the real situation and challenges still to be faced to ensure that a major opportunity for our children is not lost forever and a great deal of taxpayers’ money wasted.

BRIAN HOBBS

Helston Road, Nailsea

Our point of view

IT IS with interest that my wife and I read about the fuel tanks at the Redcliffe Bay fuel depot.

We have lived in a park home very close to the tanks for 18 years and have never suffered from headaches or nausea associated with them or met anyone else nearby who has complained of the same.

If these people living in the Waterside Park area are so concerned why is there too little interest in the fact that three more park homes to be built in the car park very close will cause more congestion and problems if any serious incident should occur?

We have never had anyone call on us to see our point of view and consider how we will be affected – that has been completely ignored.

The loss of the car parking space that was there previously will be very inconvenient to the present residents and any visitors they may have.

R SALTER

Charlcombe Park, Portishead

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