Readers’ letters - December 14

Rang to apologise

I WISH to put the record straight with regards to Councillor Tony Moulin’s letter headlined ‘Views’ (Times, December 7).

When I heard through the grapevine that Tony Moulin was upset by my original letter criticising an independent councillor, Donald Davies, I rang Tony - who I have known for over 30 years - and apologised to him if he was offended by my letter.

I did say to him, in hindsight, that I should have worded the letter better, because in all the years that Tony has been a councillor, I have never, ever, criticised him in any way whatsoever and I do appreciate that all independent councillors are not tarred with the same brush. Tony and Faith Moulin do an excellent job in Yatton.

I wonder why Cllr Tony Moulin never mentioned my phone call of apology to him in his letter, because I know for a fact that the letter had not been written before my call.


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As they say in Yorkshire: “There’s nowt as queer as folk.”.

BRIAN WATERHOUSE

Most Read

Wemberham Crescent, Yatton

Quite beautiful

THE impact climate change is starting to have on us is becoming much, much uglier.

But solar panels are a step - admittedly a small step - towards our attempts to mitigate climate change. The panels are also good for our economy, boosting profits and jobs. So, in my view, they’re not ugly, they’re actually quite beautiful.

CHRIS WILDING

Copse Road, Clevedon

Ugly rash?

DOES the lady who objects to the ugly rash of solar panels prefer 190ft pylons?

MRS J DAVIDSON

Aelfric Meadow, Portishead

Why bother?

I WRITE in reply to Natasha Ferson’s letter in last week’s paper in respect of Santa Claus at the switching on of Portishead’s Christmas lights.

It seems as though Santa was unable to meet her two young children, who were waiting in the large crowd. Unfortunately Ms Ferson thinks Santa should be “thoroughly ashamed” of himself.

I would like to point out that, apart from taking time out of his very busy schedule, Santa Claus is a volunteer; someone who kindly gives up his time, along with hundreds of other people in Portishead who make our town the place it is.

Having been one of these volunteers myself (a job which I absolutely love) I know what it is like to have given up your time, with the benefit of other people in mind, and to receive criticism for doing so.

Although praise is certainly not the reason you do it, while most people appreciate what you have done and are extremely grateful, it is the criticism that you take personally and which leaves you left feeling hurt, deflated and with a feeling of ‘why bother?’

Although it is a shame that Santa Claus couldn’t personally greet every single one of the hundreds of children at the switch-on, I for one, am grateful that he bothered to give up his time, along with all the other volunteers, to put the smiles on the faces of so many people.

I suppose it is a case of ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ but thank you Santa Claus, thank you Christmas Lights Committee - and Ms Ferson, maybe you would like to volunteer your time to help within the community next year?

WENDY WATKINS

Rippleside, Portishead

Turned off

WHEN I was a teenager the lights were turned off from 1-6am and nobody complained. We knew that if we didn’t want to walk home in the dark then we had to be home by 1am.

Also, I agree that every other light being turned off would be best as, from my back window, I can count seven lights in Mill Cross. I’m sure that not every one is needed - and that’s only looking one way, if I look the other way there are four more in the space of about 300 yards.

SARITA BENNETT

The Hyde, Clevedon

Simply ridiculous

AFTER reading the ‘friendly’ debate on the matter of the streetlights in Clevedon being turned off, I felt obliged to enter my own opinion on behalf of all those youths with social lives, and, in fact, any fun loving pedestrian.

Surely the point of the streetlights is to light people’s paths when darkness ensues. It is simply ridiculous that in the hours of the night when the lamps are most needed they are switched off. We shouldn’t be walking home in fear in our town. This contradicts the point of having streetlights. Night is the prime-time for opportunists.

From as far back as the 1800s, if not further, streetlamps have been in position. Why now, when the world is more unsafe than ever, should we abandon them?

I fully support Nicola Shellard’s views and find the lack of streetlights in the evening frankly ridiculous and inappropriate.

One evening I found myself walking home up the hill, the area worst affected by the light switch-off. I had to put my own safety at risk just to make it. Even if I am being melodramatic and paranoid, why should I have to experience this fear, and walk home looking over my shoulder in the pitch black?

I found it rather unnecessary for Richard Mullineaux (Mailbox, December 7), to get personal with Nicola. I know Nicola’s daughters and I can tell you that being out at such ridiculous times, as you say, has not affected them in the slightest. They are all delightful. Why should their social lives be restricted, and why should they be put in danger? There must be another way to save energy but keep us safe.

JACK AND JILL HINTON

Thackeray Avenue, Clevedon

A fantastic show

THANK you to all who were involved with the Portishead Christmas lights. What a fantastic show. They get better and better.

It is such a pleasure to see this wonderful display in our High Street and beyond. Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication. You should feel very proud.

MARGARET CURREY

Newport Close, Portishead

Financial reality

I REFER to last week’s letter headlined ‘Backlash’ by Alex Blake, which seemed to show a strange view of reality.

The vast majority of public sector pensions are unfunded meaning that investments do not cover these pensions once they are being drawn so they are paid for by the taxpayer. This, of course, can only work because there are sufficiently more private than public sector taxpayers.

Whilst admitting that public sector pensions are better than those in the private sector, the writer complained that the public sector paid twice for their pensions, once through tax and once through pension contributions. So what does he think happens to us in the private sector? We also pay tax and pension contributions. The difference being none of my tax comes back to me as part of my pension the way his does if he is in an unfunded scheme and, although some of my tax could pay for his pension, he does not have to pay anything towards mine. Why should the average private sector worker pay for the average public sector worker to have better terms and conditions?

The average private sector worker no longer has any chance of obtaining for themselves the sort of pensions being offered to the average public sector worker. Financial reality has meant the private sector has had to accept reductions in pensions, and salaries, long ago.

In the past, strikes in the private sector have resulted in damaged businesses and a loss of jobs. More recently, private sector workers have had to consider what its employers can afford whilst still keeping people employed. The public sector seems to have no regard for such matters.

ROGER STINCHCOMBE

The Downs, Portishead

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