Readers’ letters - August 8

Muddy water

AS MANY of you will have seen on the TV news footage, Portbury village became flooded as a result of several hours of continual rainfall.

A river of fast flowing muddy water gushed downwards from the high ground of Failand, through Portbury Lane and then collected in a lake outside Portbury Village Hall.

What many of you would not have seen on the TV would have been the relentless flow of cars and vans who seemed to delight in driving at full speed through the flood water, not only drenching villagers in the throes of dealing with a river of flood water threatening to invade people’s homes, but also creating huge bow waves which inevitably made their task far more difficult.

Three members of our family battled for four hours in the pouring rain trying to prevent my 86-year-old father’s cottage being flooded.

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We, and other villagers, constantly pleaded with the car drivers to slow down and were often met with a barrage of abuse and foul language. Had it not been for the tremendous generosity and kindness of spirit from fellow villagers, I am afraid we would have lost the battle and my father’s home would have been flooded.

Despite phone calls to environmental and highway agencies and the police, we received no assistance whatsoever, and although we were promised a delivery of sandbags from the fire service, we received none.

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Our saving grace came when a landslide in Portbury Lane caused the relevant services to close the road, thereby stopping any more traffic using the road.

So the moral of this story is Do It Yourself. Thank God for the community spirit we have here in the village. We still do not know the names of the many people who helped us that night but they will certainly know who they are, so we would just like to say a big thank you to all of them for their practical and moral support as well as having to suffer a barrage of insults from car drivers at our expense.

And to those car drivers who chose to ignore our pleas to slow down, we sincerely hope your evening was a much better one for knowing your actions added to the desperation of so many villagers that night.


Priory Road, Portbury

Hard work

Following Saturday’s torrential rain, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped prevent Portbury Village Hall from flooding.

You all gave up your time, no questions asked, to clear the water and put up sandbags to protect the building.

Also, to all of those who helped clean the inches of mud from the roads and pavements on Sunday morning, a huge thank you.

I just want to let everyone know how grateful I am for their hard work.


Chairman of Portbury Village Hall and Social Club

High Street, Portbury


OUR hearts go out to those parents in Portishead who cannot place their children in local schools due to the poor administration of the educational budget within North Somerset Council and inaccurate estimates of how large this town would grow with the massive development increasing the need for school spaces.

However, there is a solution. St Nicholas’ Church authorities are looking for alternative uses for the building and the United Reformed Church on Cabstand is not in use so why not convert the two into schools?

Margaret Thatcher, our past Prime Minister once said children cannot be taught in huts and they should be banned. Temporary classrooms are not the answer in Portishead.

Another solution may be that those who are currently using St Barnabas School could transfer out to the old churches leaving what better place to educate our children than at the original St Barnabas Primary School where many of our town’s existing residents were educated over the past years.

Temporary classrooms are not suitable for educating children and are costly to set up. Freezing in winter and stifling in summer.

Any funds for planned huts including a Department of Education grant which no doubt has already been allocated for these temporary classrooms, could be used for the church conversions.


Avon Way, Portishead

Carrier bags

THE number of single-use bags handed out in the UK has gone up again over the past two years. In 2011 we used eight billion plastic carrier bags.

This is a tremendous waste of valuable resources that often results in litter, and can be lethal to wildlife on land and at sea.

England is the only country in the UK that does not require shops to charge for bags and isn’t actively considering introducing a charge.

When Wales introduced a 5p bag levy in 2011, single-use bag use fell by between 70-96 per cent. Ireland did it in 2002 and the number of single-use bags fell by 90 per cent, as well as the amount of bag litter.

Some shops are already doing this voluntarily but the only way to make a real difference is for the Government to introduce an English bag levy.

The money raised can even be spent on clearing litter, not making shops money, as happens in Wales.

That is why I am supporting the Break the Bag Habit campaign run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society and Surfers Against Sewage.

It’s simple to add your voice to this campaign by visiting their websites and writing to your MP.


Strode Road, Clevedon

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