Readers’ letters - February 8

Libraries

I APPRECIATE the council needs to make cuts and cannot satisfy everyone, however I was staggered to see the gross inequality in the way the cuts have been applied across the various libraries.

Every library will be contributing to the cuts - except Weston-super-Mare.

Both Campus and main Weston libraries are increasing their hours, and even opening on Sundays.

This inequality cannot be justified, and flies in the face of fairness. Please will the council explain this publicly.


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ANDREW WELLER

Elm Lodge Road, Wraxall

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NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL’S REPLY: The library opening hours are proposals which we are currently consulting on. No decisions have been made – we want to hear residents’ views.

The reasons for being able to propose extending the Campus and new Weston Library opening hours are that they are not just library buildings – they are council gateway facilities offering a variety of services.

These hours can be extended at no extra cost to the library service due to self service facilities being introduced, the buildings are already staffed (providing other council services) and are open for longer hours than the current libraries.

We want to extend and enhance the library service where possible. Weston and the Campus are examples where we can at no extra cost – so it’s sensible to propose these.

Although there are proposed cuts to the hours at other libraries, some are not being cut at all, the mobile service will not be affected and Portishead Library is proposed to open longer on Saturdays.

Sunday opening will be provided in both the north and south of the district at Portishead and the new Weston libraries.

The consultation period runs until March 9. Comments can be made at your local library or online at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/libraryreview2012.

Unfair

I OFTEN go to the Co-operative in Portishead to try and do my weekly shopping with my five month old child, and need the mother baby space so I have enough room to get my child out of the car, with a car seat and to set up the pram.

I would quite happily use the normal parking spaces if they were big enough to get my child in and out, but I find it an effort to squeeze even myself back into my car after the shopping, due to people’s inconsiderately close parking, in such tiny spaces.

However, I often find myself reversing out of the mother baby spaces, as the spaces are taken up by lazy people who either cannot be bothered to walk too far or vans trying to park somewhere quiet for their lunch break.

I’ve seen young and old park in those spaces with no children. I notice lots of sporty type cars that can’t even have children in them (two seaters with airbags). And I rarely see the people it was intended for able to get a space.

Today I saw a woman pull up next to me and get out with no children and no baby car seat.

She took up the last baby space and a woman with a baby, driving in behind her, had to reverse out and find somewhere else to park.

It is unfair for the people who actually need these spaces. I’ve seen people abuse the disabled parking spaces as well.

It’s sad that these people are so lazy they don’t seem to care about the people that actually need them, resulting in people having to shop elsewhere just to get a suitable parking space.

The Asda in Clevedon has a sign up saying that they will fine anyone using the spaces that don’t need them and I think the same should go for Co-op.

It is a shame as I find myself shopping elsewhere a lot of the time.

It may not sound like much, but with the amount of new mothers in Portishead I think it is an important matter that needs to be voiced, so that it can be tackled.

And hopefully it will make the Co-op more aware of this issue as well as the people causing the problems.

ELLIE BRYANT

Avon Way, Portishead

No surprise

IT CAME as no surprise that I am being attacked by the pro-skateboarders lobby in last week’s Times, even in a letter by Lori Rowsell who has to end it ‘so there’.

As for her silly comments about traffic calming measures in the town either she is too young to drive or drives with her eyes closed. A mini roundabout at the Cabstand and the double and single yellow lines the length of Harbour Road are an urgent need for the town and its ever-increasing traffic. Sorry perhaps I should have said the ‘silent majority’, many apologies, but it is difficult to find anyone except the ‘vocal minority’ who wants the skatepark at the Lake Grounds who is in favour. As for a referendum, I can’t remember having one either and the population voting in favour.

I totally agree with Mr Vodden that it is the peace and quiet of the Lake Grounds that draws people from Bristol and beyond as well as locally to the area for its 21st Century charms while still expressing the virtues of the 19th.

H Portman is just trying to play with words, ‘peaceful tranquillity’ is not about banning people from the area, it’s about having a nice quiet, peaceful and calm (see definition) place to be in, without noise from a skateboard park disturbing the ambience and that is the reason that the Lake Grounds is the treasure that it is. There are plenty of sites in Portishead for a skatepark, enlarging of Merlin Park skatepark site, somewhere in the Marina area where there is still land or is it that the skateboard supporters are Nimbys. Why doesn’t Ms Rowsell suggest and champion the open space between Heron Gardens and the rhyne?

All I can do now is wait for the next attack.

JOHN PAULL

Brampton Way, Portishead

Vote against

I WRITE in response to Annette Hennessey’s and Lori Rowsell’s letters (Times February 1).

I do not live in Portishead any more but I still visit the town regularly to take my elderly mother, a long standing resident of some 55 years, out.

One of her favourite places is the Lake Grounds and she enjoys not only the peace and quiet the area offers but also watching the enjoyment of families and others relaxing and playing together at this beautiful open space.

I totally agree with Mr Paull that the majority of residents do not want a skatepark, with the associated noise, possible underage drinking and vandalism that might well go with it, to spoil the ambience of the Lake Grounds.

It might seem to be a good idea to some now but what happens when the novelty wears off and the inevitable happens and it falls into disrepair ergo Portishead’s own Tropicana.

Ms Hennessy states that the majority of residents who engaged in the consultation were in favour of the skatepark and it would be interesting to know what percentage of the Portishead population this majority makes up?

It should be noted that this majority is of a few and not of the people of Portishead as a whole.

We must be careful not to confuse this consultation majority with the silent majority who, if there was a local referendum, as mentioned by Lori Rowsell, would undoubtedly vote against the skateboard park.

This brings me to Lori’s letter. We vote for and elect councillors to look after our interests and to make decisions on our behalf. Councillors can be approached in various ways, not least by attending meetings of the council, but views can also be made known to them in other ways too and hopefully these will be taken into account when any votes are taken.

Referenda is a wonderful idea in principle but given the numbers that can be bothered to turn out to vote, and I include General and local elections in this, how could a referendum reflect accurately opinions?

I assume that Lori is unable to drive, why else would she say that double yellow lines and a mini roundabout at Cabstand are not required? The indecision of motorists at the bottom of Cabstand is, one day, going to lead to an accident and anyone that has ever driven along Harbour Road cannot have failed to notice the traffic problems caused by inconsiderate, if not yet illegal parking, but don’t get me started on the parking in Portishead!

JENNIFER PARSONS

Parnell Road, Clevedon

Enjoyable

THANK you Nailsea musicals for your recent production of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ It was most enjoyable.

I look forward to the next pantomime and future shows.

B G HUNT

Vale End, Nailsea

Rubbish

OVER the last seven months my rubbish has not been collected on four separate occasions when others in the street were.

I was interested to see North Somerset Council ordered May Gurney to pay �61,000 in compensation.

I have complained on all occasions why my rubbish was not collected and suggested that as a council taxpayer I should be entitled to a refund.

Surely the council enters into a contract when taking my money, well, apparently not.

They have the right to take my money and not collect my rubbish and I have no right to ask for my money back. In most places to take money from someone for a service and it not to be provided would be classed as fraud, apparently it’s legal if it is a council! Legal fraud!

So if you never have your rubbish collected you would have to pay still for that service?

DAVID WISE

Trendlewood Way, Nailsea

Pride

ON SUNDAY the PIP (Pride in Portishead) group met for its usual once a month clearing session – this time at Kilkenny Field/golf course.

We cleared approximately 20 bags of rubbish the majority of which was small plastic bags full of dog poo which were left hanging in trees or just on the path.

As the owner of six dogs I felt ashamed that those who own dogs could leave this lovely part of Portishead in such a state.

I spoke to many of the people at this spot who were exercising their dogs and all assured me that they take their plastic bags to the nearest receptacle; however there are many who do not.

Great you pick it up then you leave a non-biodegradable bag to hang on the trees and in the path.

This is not only happening in this lovely space but all over the town where thoughtless people who have no pride in where they live, expect others to pick up their mess and their rubbish.

You should be ashamed of yourselves and I hope that anyone who sees this happening takes note and reports it.

Let us have a Register of Shame in our local paper, where those that litter or leave their dog mess for others to clear up are duly named.

COUNCILLOR REYNA G KNIGHT

Cabstand, Portishead

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