Readers’ letters - July 11

Business

REFERRING to the article on June 16 regarding parking charges in Clevedon.

Where does the council get the idea that local businesses welcome parking charges?

As a local business I made enquiries about the parking in Marson Road car park some four years ago when I opened and was informed at the time that North Somerset Council had no intention of making Marson Road car park pay and display as it is such a small car park that it wasn’t a viable proposition.

Many local shoppers don’t even know the car park exists and most of the cars parked in it belong to local businesses in and around The Triangle who park there whilst at work.


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If charges are implemented this will have a massive impact not just on local shoppers but to local businesses.

Another nail in the coffin of struggling local small businesses.

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If this car park is made short stay (two hours) then where are all these people going to park? It has already been mentioned about making Queens Road and Marson Road pay and display.

This in itself is ridiculous.

Having lived in Marson Road more than 20 years ago there was never enough parking then let alone now and just to cap it all the council sold off their office building in Marson Road to a developer who is turning it into four flats with facilities for parking bicycles but not a single vehicle.

Potentially that could be another 12 cars trying to find somewhere to park.

Having spoken to many traders there is a general opinion that parking has to be policed, for example stopping people from overstaying two hour parking limits in Hill Road, parking on yellow lines and obstructing traffic but they do not all support parking charges.

After all why should someone bother to shop local if they have to pay to park when they can go to ‘The Mall’ and shop for free?

I would urge people to take a look at the information on North Somerset’s website and ask themselves just how it might affect them?

If it does then make the council aware of it.

Local residents shouldn’t have to pay to park outside their own houses.

If the council are intent on making money then perhaps they should make their staff car park at their head office at the East End of Clevedon pay and display. I bet that would be welcomed!

GILLIAN WEBSTER

The Woodlands Clinic, The Triangle, Clevedon

Pride

MEMBERS of PIP (Pride in Portishead) have been undertaking their once a month clean up, this time in the High Street.

One of the reasons for selecting this area is that on July 7 the town was judged for the Britain in Bloom competition.

One of the areas we tackled was the car park at the White Lion – I know it is not the town’s responsibility but as it is shut and there is no landlord to undertake this work and the judges will walk the High Street, it is necessary to make it tidy.

In addition, many people in the town use this area to park in order to shop in the High Street so it has been very useful to a lot of people.

This area was absolutely filthy – we have cleaned it before and it was the same then. We had the usual containers from a certain fast food outlet and cups from another.

These plus bottles, newspapers, cardboard and sweet wrappers took up most of the rubbish but now, it would appear, we are a dumping ground for another item which people think that others should pick up – soiled nappies, an item which, heaven forbid, is the responsibility of the owner of the baby to dispose of.

The majority of the people in this town want to see it at its best all the time. No, it is not the council’s job to clean the mess, it is the individual’s job not to throw it down in the first place.

There are bins all over the High Street, and appreciating the fact to some people an empty container is far heavier than they have the muscle power to carry to a bin, a lot of people do use them.

The rubbish collected around the banks, particularly the parking area behind HSBC and surrounding area also took a large number of bags – we collected more than 30 bags of rubbish from our efforts.

In the light of the above can I ask all those who feel it is acceptable for others to clear up after them to take their rubbish either to the nearest bin or take it home.

Do not, as appears to be happening, clean your car of rubbish leaving it in the town areas for others to clear up.

You are responsible for your rubbish, not others.

COUNCILLOR REYNA KNIGHT

Cabstand, Portishead

Union Jack

M POPE is quite correct in that their lordships at the Admiralty issued an Admiralty Circular in 1902 announcing that they had decided that either Union Flag or Union Jack could be used officially however this only related to Admiralty, i.e. Naval, use.

Such use for civil purposes was given Parliamentary approval in 1908 when it was stated that “the Union Jack should be regarded as the national flag”.

However, no law has been passed making the Union Flag the national flag of the United Kingdom and it has become one through precedent although a more categorical statement was made by the Home Secretary, Sir John Gilmour, in 1933 when he stated that “the Union Jack is the National Flag”.

On the official website of The British Monarchy, it is referred throughout as the Union Flag although it is also mentioned that the ‘common’ name is often that of Union Jack. As I said in my earlier letter, I may be considered by some as pedantic but calling the Union Flag the Union Jack in the wrong context is a case of ‘dumbing down’ for the masses.

Unlike many other countries, the United Kingdom has no laws as to how the flag should be displayed, what uses it can be put to or how they should be disposed of.

JOHN MORRIS

Mariners Way, Pill

Thank you

I JUST wanted to say a big well done and thank you to the Portishead Railway Group and all the other campaigners who have now seen their efforts come to fruition.

A railway link for the town is very exciting news for the area.

NICK ALDERTON

Burlington Road, Portishead

Action

I AM pleased that some residents have formed an action committee to campaign for more primary school places where they are needed, rather than at the two High Down schools at the top of the hill.

These High Down schools are popular and the children and staff must take credit for their many achievements. My wife and I take great pleasure in listening to the children as they enjoy themselves, in the playgrounds, during their breaks. All children deserve to be taught by good staff in good schools, but, children should be able to go to a school where they live.

As local residents, we are already affected by the sheer number of vehicles dropping off and picking up children at either end of the day, and by the number of staff cars parked in roads near the school. It is often difficult to get in and out of our roads and some of the parking causes a danger to children and residents alike. Hopefully, local residents will not have the need for an emergency service vehicle at these times, as access could be very difficult for them.

The proposed increase in school places will bring an extra hundred or more cars onto these congested roads at the same times of day. This will increase the danger to children and create more difficulty for residents. Far better to build the extra places where people live – two miles away – rather than at a site that requires people to drive their children to school.

The timing of the consultation meetings implies that a decision has already been taken or the meetings would have been held earlier in the year, when local views could have had some influence on the decision. I suspect that this will turn out to be another case like the skate park, where local people strongly want one thing, but the councillors want something else?

Finally, I’m not sure what our local councillor thinks about any of this, as he doesn’t even live in Portishead and doesn’t have to face up to this problem at all, let alone on a daily basis.

PAUL DUNN

The Deans, Portishead

Resent

SO COUNCILLOR Richard Tucker feels that people in Weston object to people in Portishead having free parking does he?

He should be aware that people in Portishead really, really resent getting nothing in the way of improved facilities despite the massive increase in council tax revenues in the last decade due to increased population.

There is not even a decent children’s playground. Money is only to be spent in Weston it would seem.

In order to pay for the living beyond their means in Weston the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Policy and Scrutiny Panel (SPED) seems to have resorted to the same the solution adopted by other individuals all over the world – they want to go on a mugging spree and rob residents of Portishead for parking in every public space.

They want to mug the pensioner who walks her dog twice a day - to what – about �28 a week?

They want to mug the young mother to use the only pretty poor children’s playground. They want to mug everyone who uses the leisure centre car park.

They want to mug anyone using the High Street. They then want to mug you for having a drink in the Windmill.

It was not very bright of them to identify that businesses in Clevedon as the only examples of those in favour. These might yet lose a lot of custom.

I would suggest that any party that introduces parking charges in Portishead could forget being elected again for a very, very long time.

The SPED members need to consult properly.

BILL WHELLAMS

Chesle Close, Portishead

Local business

IF IAN Thompson the letting agent for Crown Glass Shopping Centre thinks something like a ‘Subway’ is good for the town centre then I think he’s in the wrong town.

This is a small town centre, we don’t need franchises populating the town centre (although I do think Wetherspoons is a great addition), he needs to encourage local businesses into the centre.

“Use it or lose it?” Perhaps if the company looked to lower its rents, which are markedly higher than the rest of the high street, he might have fewer empty shops and we might have a thriving town centre?

The last thing we want is another fast food outlet! Franchises are never reliable in the long term as they depend on such low margins - if their turnover drops by a few points the shop closes, plus they pay minimal wages.

Local businesses are in it for the long term and therefore are better for the town centre, as well as offering a diversity from the franchises.

MIKE BIRD

Goss Barton, Nailsea

Terrible

RE: FAMILY cat Jasper is killed by dog. Is it possible that the owner of this dog could be named and shamed?

To think what a terrible death the poor cat Jasper suffered.

As an animal lover and cat owner for 60 odd years I know that cats do not attack their natural enemy, the dog, they will only defend themselves as necessary if attacked or provoked.

Domestic dogs are not ‘bred to kill’. The full force of the law should be brought upon this person.

How can the council say this dog was not classed as dangerous. It is the owner who should be brought to justice not the dog.

What happens next time when possibly a child is attacked and injured? Say sorry?

KEN FRITH

Worcester Gardens, Nailsea

Stroke survivors

MAY I, on behalf of the members and volunteers of the recently formed Stroke Survivors Club Nailsea, express sincere thanks to the staff and customers of Waitrose, Nailsea, for their very generous donation of �675 which will go towards the cost of running the club.

The club gives stroke survivors in Nailsea and surrounding areas the opportunity to socialise and improve communication skills which are often impaired after a stroke.

The club is affiliated to the Stroke Association. We meet on Wednesdays in the Methodist Church, Silver Street, Nailsea, from 10am to noon.

Our meetings alternate with the Stroke Association’s Communications Group and new members can be assured of a warm welcome at either group.

JOHN BENNETT

Long Ashton Road, Long Ashton

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