Readers’ letters - December 7

Settlement

I THANK Brian Waterhouse (letters last week Uncalled For) for his comments.

I do appreciate that with easy access to Yatton mainline railway station his interest in reopening the Portishead line will not be great and I thank him for correcting my error on Dr Fox’s car. However he misses the main point of my letter.

All parties on North Somerset Council acknowledge that compared to similar authorities our council is significantly underfunded from Central Government, which means that cuts in services due to the current fiscal squeeze disproportionately disadvantage North Somerset residents.

With our two local MPs Mr Penrose and Dr Fox, until recently both ministers at the heart of Government, there appears to be little action to put this iniquity right.


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Dr Fox in particular has demonstrated his considerable negotiating skills to bring under control the excesses of the defence establishment’s spending. It would have been good for us all if he could have used those same skills for his constituents’ benefit in obtaining a fair settlement for North Somerset Council from Central Government.

I very much hope the good doctor makes me eat my words.

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CLLR DONALD DAVIES

Pill Ward Councillor

Star Lane, Pill

Views

IN RESPONSE to Brian Waterhouse’s letter in your issue of November 23, 2011 it is Mr Waterhouse’s slur on independent councillors that is ‘uncalled for’.

The point of independent councillors is that they are not all the same and do not all hold the same views. Cllr Donald Davies gave a personal view; Brian Waterhouse gave a personal view, and people are free to say what they like - but as an independent councillor I do not appreciate the inference that to ‘kick a man when he is down’ is typical of those of us who stand outside party politics. There is no ‘typical’ Independent councillor.

In these difficult times it is important for people to find language of co-operation and collaboration to get things done, and that is what I want to promote here in Yatton as well as in my role as a North Somerset councillor.

CLLR TONY MOULIN

Yatton Ward

Court Avenue, Yatton

Street lights

I WAS amazed by some of the arguments put forward by one of your contributors regarding the necessity for street lighting throughout the night.

It was stated that a family, including a nine year old, did not return from the Glastonbury Carnival until 11.55pm. Why?

I attended the same carnival last year, saw all the floats, and was back in Clevedon before 10pm. Totally unnecessary and inappropriate to keep a nine-year-old out until midnight. Your correspondent then goes on to say that ‘most people in their late teens and 20s/30s don’t return home ‘until several hours later’. I would suggest that anyone wishing to return home at such a ridiculous hour should accept the problems and make their own arrangements rather than expecting council taxpayers to keep lights burning all night. Alternatively they could adopt a more sensible lifestyle.

On the rare occasions that my own teenage daughter is out in the evening she does not walk the streets unaccompanied. It would be asking for trouble whether the lights were on or off.

So where your correspondent says: “Wake up people of Clevedon and say no to Clevedon in darkness”. I say: “People of Clevedon get yourselves to bed at a reasonable time, give your children some sensible guidelines, and embrace the cuts imposed on our profligate nation.”

RICHARD MULLINEAUX

Pill Way, Clevedon

Solar panels

IN RESPONSE to Sandra Osmond’s letter asking if there is anything quite as ugly as the rash of solar panels which have suddenly appeared in Nailsea - how about a nuclear power station or a coal-fired power station?

Let’s not forget that these are providing free, sustainable energy, they are not just for decoration.

I’m glad to see them appearing everywhere. I think we won’t notice them once we are used to them - like TV aerials and satellite dishes.

JULES RICHARDSON

Fosse Lane, Nailsea

Beautiful

IS THERE anything quite as beautiful as the proliferation of solar panels now appearing on roofs in local towns and villages?

Just think of the incredible savings that are being made in the use of polluting, unsustainable fossil fuels as people are using the free energy which pours down from the skies to produce clean electricity.

Just imagine a time when ugly clay tiles, which do nothing but reflect and absorb the sun’s energy to no good effect, will be completely replaced by life enhancing solar technology which reduces people’s energy bills and makes a real contribution to sustaining the life of our planet.

DAVID JAMES

Cadbury Farm Road, Yatton

Privileged

I RECENTLY attended the switching on of Portishead lights and was thoroughly disappointed to see Santa work his way around the crowd except near Somerset Hall entrance.

When we asked one of the committee members/helpers for him to come back quickly and say hello to two young children who were desperate to see him might I add, the man very kindly went and asked Santa who promptly said no he had been near that area, and didn’t even turn around to wave.

I hope if you were Santa and you get to read this letter you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself and not do what should be a privileged job.

As my five year-old son said: “I can’t believe that Santa”. Need I say more?

NATASHA FERSON

Forth Avenue, Portishead

Horses

HAVING read the letter from Mr Packwood about footpaths and horses in Clevedon, I had to write a reply.

I own a horse and I’m a keen walker and although I don’t keep my horse in Clevedon, I do feel very sympathetic towards the horse owners there.

There is only one bridleway for them to use and when they ride on footpaths they get complaints from people like Mr Packwood.

I do see his view as footpaths can get a bit muddy when over-used by horses, but they can with walkers too.

The comment made that the name “footpath” is a giveaway, was a bit narrow minded. Us horse owners don’t insist on bridleways only being used by horses, we don’t mind sharing them with walkers, dogs, and cyclists, so come on Mr Packwood why not share a few as we all pay our council tax, etc, and want to enjoy the outdoors.

BECKY MCINNES

St Mary’s Park Road, Portishead

Backlash

I WAS on the Bristol march on November 30. What has shocked me most about the backlash against the protest was this misguided belief among many private sector workers that public sector workers have a better deal when it comes to pensions.

It is true that public sector pensions are mostly better than private sector pensions, but what about the pensions of the very richest in society, those bastions of private sector excess?

The average FTSE director can have thousands of pounds per week for his pension, never mind per year. Why does no one bat an eyelid over this?

One of the key slogans on the march was ‘fair pensions for all’ for all. We want better pensions for all workers, public and private.

I also keep hearing from private sector workers, ‘I pay for your pension’. Maybe, but public sector workers pay twice for their pensions, once through tax, and once through contributions to their pension fund.

The only reason people say the private sector contributes more is simply because there are more private sector workers than public sector. The average private sector worker contributes less than a public sector worker to public pensions.

But look what has happened. As usual, the Tories have taken out a problem caused by the richest on the poorest, whilst the right-wing press gleefully jumps on the bandwagon.

As workers we should be supporting each other to stop the attacks we are facing, to stop the Government’s plans to make it easier to fire private sector workers, for example.

The Tories have initiated a divide and rule strategy, and we have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

ALEX BLAKE

Claverham Road, Yatton

Seasons

THE production committee of the Bedford Performers’ show, Seasons, which was held at the Scotch Horn Centre in Nailsea would like to thank all the dancers, pianists, back-stage helpers, lighting and sound people, costume, scenery and props designers and builders for their tremendous work in making the four shows such a tremendous success.

Thanks also go to the parents who helped backstage during the performances. The audiences’ reactions were fantastic and many returned to watch a second performance. Many were heard to remark on the professionalism of the show.

Thanks should also go to the musical director – Carol, and the choreographer – Michelle.

It is great to see such talent in Nailsea.

JILL AND MIKE POPE AND NICK OSMOND

The Perrings, Nailsea

Performers

CAN I through your newspaper commend the Bedford Performers for their wonderful music and dance show held in Nailsea.

The scenery was wonderful and was shown to its full extent by the fabulous lighting.

The dancers, from the adorable babes through the teenagers to the adults, were well-rehearsed and all the numbers were slick and great to watch.

The piano playing was obviously well practised.

If you missed these shows you missed a professional performance by wonderful amateurs.

Well done. When is the next show?

AUDREY AND JOHN WILKINS

Main Road, Cleeve

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