Readers’ letters - August 1

Put at risk

THE decision to scrap the plan to build a new hospital in Clevedon beggars belief.

The members of the various committees who have been passing this parcel around for four years should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Early in the proceedings we were told that �19million had been ‘ring fenced’ for the project - these funds went off the radar in 2011 without a word of explanation other than that the notorious ‘private finance’ would be used instead.

Now, amazingly, we are told not only that the much modified plan was unaffordable, but, by implication, was not what the town needed anyway.


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As a result, further delay in providing a modern hospital facility will put at risk not only the care of the people it is designed to serve but also the ability to hold together the highly capable and well-motivated team our hospital has created.

VIV STOKES

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Castle Road, Clevedon

Tatty

REALLY sad re hospital decision - particularly for the people with property in the area. Clevedon was looking really tatty anyway and this will just add to the problem.

Also, should we not be moving forward with our health provision not backwards?

This was an excellent opportunity to benefit all the people of Clevedon.

JOYCE PETERS

Salthouse Road, Clevedon

Cancellation

THE residents of Clevedon and the local area have every reason to be angry and upset; as I am, with what appears to be the last minute cancellation of the Clevedon Community Hospital project.

This cancellation will be a detrimental step in the provision of health services for Clevedon and the local area.

Our much-loved present cottage hospital provides excellent service, but parts were built in the 19th century, and is one of the main reasons this project was instigated for its replacement.

The project has been ongoing for some five years and the cancellation must involve the waste of a considerable amount of money, when taking into account the cost of the purchase of the Millcross site, consultants’ fees, architects’ fees and the man hours’ cost over five years of NHS staff.

No consideration has been given to the local people of the Hospital Project Advisory Group who gave their considerable time and effort at no cost to the NHS.

Should the Clevedon Community project have been allowed to proceed it would have provided considerable local enjoyment and given a boost to the local economy, which at a time of recession would have been most welcome.

It is strange that the cancellation was announced just a few days after the Government had announced its support for large building projects.

COUNCILLOR PATRICK MCNEILL

Vice chairman, Clevedon Town Council, Elton Road, Clevedon

Consultation

AT TWO public meetings to discuss the proposed changes to High Down schools all those that voted were against the scheme on educational grounds and for road safety and congestion reasons.

This was meant to be ‘consultation’. There were no demographic figures. Surely the need for expansion is in lower Portishead. There were no plans to show how buildings were going to look or where they would be positioned.

So the council has ‘consulted’, the people said no yet it continues to waste time and money on the proposal which will be presented again at another ‘consultation’ in September.

An online petition has been started against the scheme at http://tinyurl.com/HDPetition The email for the action group is highdownactiongroup@virginmedia.com and a written petition can be signed at 1 The Deans.

BOB BULL

The Deans, Portishead

Thank you

I WOULD like to say a very big thank you to everyone who supported the Portishead Flower Show.

Particular thanks to our two field stewards, Glyn Beynon and Stuart Robbins, as without their assistance the show could not have proceeded.

They managed to turn a field which had taken on a ‘Glastonburyesque’ look into a viable one, fit for the show.

We were blessed with the hottest weekend of the year and a host of entertaining arena events, which kept our many visitors entertained.

The committee would also like to say thank you to the people of Portishead and the surrounding area who chose to visit the show.

There were a number of other attractions that weekend, not the least of which being the Harbourside Festival, so we very much appreciate your support.

LINDA HODGETTS

General Secretary, Portishead Horticultural Society, St Peters Road, Portishead

Unfortunately

CONGRATULATIONS to all the people involved with the wonderful flower displays around Portishead.

Unfortunately your efforts do not appear to be appreciated by some of the younger residents of the town, two of whom were seen at about 7.30pm on Sunday kicking a football into the planters and hanging baskets in the Precinct, watched by a group of girls.

Did I try to stop them? No. I had no wish to spend the evening in Clevedon A & E.

The last time I remonstrated with a young ‘lady’ for throwing litter in the High Street, all I got was a mouthful of abuse which would have made a sailor blush. (I know, I was a sailor.)

She watched me pick her litter up and put it in a bin, and promptly threw some more down and said “you can pick that up as well”.

I would like to be able to say that a policeman came along and told the boys off, but that is just my wishful thinking.

BRIAN S CLAYTON

Riverleaze, Portishead

Fixed position

THE Children Act requires that public bodies do what is in the best interests of the child, and in court proceedings, a court shall have regard in particular to the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding); and his physical, emotional and educational need.

However, the plans to create two primary schools at the High Down site in Portishead smack of what is best for the council.

How can it be better for the child who lives in the bottom end of town to go to school at the top end of town, with all of the extra car journeys, CO2 emissions and congestion that this will involve?

What about parents who will have one or more children in a school at the bottom of town, but will have to bring one or more other children to the top of town?

The council needs to take its consultation obligations seriously.

The views of children and parents have to come first.

Local residents are entitled to a say as well.

Councillors should take heed of these views, particularly if they really believe in democracy, and not impose their ill-considered decisions on us.

After all, it is the council and councillors who have created the shortages of school places in Portishead in the first place, through their inadequate planning.

The appearance that the council has a fixed position, and is only going through the motions in its consultation, is enhanced by the statement by the council official in last week’s paper saying that ‘we are aware (that) travel, transport and potential congestion around the schools is one of the concerns and we will do all we can to minimise these’.

Given that the council has done nothing about these problems in recent years, we can take that statement with a large pinch of salt.

PAUL DUNN

The Deans, Portishead

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