Readers’ letters - July 25

Disgraceful

I HAVE in the past read comments about the state of the public conveniences at the car park situated near the Co-op, in the lovely town of Portishead.

After my recent experience I feel obliged to put pen to paper.

We visit the town twice a week to do the ‘school run’ for our grandchildren, and spend time shopping. I myself unfortunately need to arrange my life seeking public lavatories and have been appalled at the state of the toilets.

This week in particular they were even more disgraceful, in fact unusable, the stagnant urine stench made me physically wretch, so I was forced to use the toilet in the local coffee house.


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So I decided to ring North Somerset Council’s Environmental Health, only to be told there was no money in the budget to replace these toilets or refurbish them, and quote “we are not officially obliged by law to provide public conveniences”.

So the people of Portishead paying all this money in council taxes etc, cannot expect support over this matter, money being put into the town does not include clean public toilets.

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I made it my business to visit these toilets again on Thursday July 6 to find nothing had changed.

My suggestion to the environmental health officer was to close these down, but was told there would be repercussions; “anything better than nothing?” So I am afraid the health hazard must remain.

S R LATHROPE

Salthouse Farm Park, Severn Beach

National flag

RECENT correspondence about the correct name for our national flag, ignores the fact that language evolves over the years (not necessarily because of dumbing down) and terms are borrowed from many different sources.

It’s hardly surprising that a nation that prides itself on its Naval history should hijack (pun intended) the Navy’s term for its flag.

If it offends some, even though it’s been so-called since at least 1908 according to John Morris’ letter, why can’t they accept ‘Union Jack’ as merely a nickname, just as the United States flag is sometimes called ‘Old Glory’. As to flying the flag upside down, that’s the fault of the designers. Couldn’t they have incorporated the words ‘this way up’ to avoid confusion? (To any harrumphing armchair admiral reading that, please note it’s meant as a joke).

GRAHAM REID

Mendip Road, Yatton

EDITORS NOTE: This correspondence is now closed.

Speedwatch

WE WERE doing a Speedwatch in Castle Road, Clevedon recently when a motor bike raced passed us at 64mph.

If another driver had been coming from the other direction at the same speed we would have had a collision speed of 128mph, nearly enough to get a jet plane airborne.

It is broadly true that a pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle at 30mph gets blood transfusions, prolonged hospital care and grapes, at 40mph they get flowers, lots of them.

Fasten your seat belts and wear an airbag when crossing roads in Clevedon.

Using two cameras we recorded 106 speeding vehicles in Clevedon in one hour

Remember, overtakers and undertakers are not far apart.

DAVID BROCKINGTON

Clevedon Speedwatch, Orme Drive, Clevedon

Success

WE WOULD like to thank all the local retailers in Nailsea who helped with donations towards our recent summer fair.

The event was a great success. Thank you so much for you help.

Special thanks go to 3663 for their very kind and generous donation of barbecue food for the event.

MICHELLE FLETCHER ROGERS

Kingshill Friends Association and Kingshill Church of England School, Nailsea

Pound Lane, Nailsea

Wildlife

I WRITE to express my agreement with J R Ryan’s letter in the North Somerset Times, on July 18.

As a lifelong Clevedon resident, I remember walking through ‘Marshall’s Field’, as we called it, on the way home from school, and, more recently, picking blackberries and just enjoying walking that way to the Fir Woods with my grandchildren.

This has always been an area full of wildlife and all the better for being left in its natural state.

As J R Ryan says, if the YMCA’s plans are to tidy this area by clearing the path and certainly putting in a couple of benches, I would have no objection, but I do hope otherwise it will be left as it is - one of the few remaining wildlife havens in Clevedon.

L FOWLER

Highdale Avenue, Clevedon

Hard work

DESPITE many towns and cities losing their flower shows and carnivals, including nearby Bristol, our good old town of Portishead has retained its historical and traditional events mainly due, I believe, to our great community spirit, the commitment by many who work hard to ensure the events take place and not forgetting the residents who actively take part.

No event would be a true success without the general public from within Portishead and outside who attend year after year to show its support.

Portishead Flower Show this year had to deal with the consequence of the summer’s inclement weather conditions leading to up to the weekend itself, which caused logistical problems that were capably and calmly overcome behind the scenes to ensure the show went ahead.

The hard work and devotion to Portishead’s Flower Show by the committee members was rewarded with fantastic weather on Saturday and Sunday, as well as many messages of praise and thanks when people left the showground.

It is impossible to include in this letter all the names of those who contribute but five in particular I would like to personally mention.

Jane Pagano and Linda Hodgetts are two local ladies whose duty to the show was clear to see.

Three men also deserve a mention. They are Nigel Coombes, Ben Simper and John Tovey, who not only dedicate themselves to the flower show year after year, but who are also well known and greatly respected residents who have done so much for Portishead over the years and are great role models.

Perhaps it is their ability to lead and inspire which other areas of the UK need. Thanks to you all – Portishead is a better place because of you.

ANNETTE HENNESSY

Albert Road, Portishead

Parking

REGARDING your article about parking charge proposals in Clevedon.

Since the payment of vehicle road and fuel tax arguably creates far more income for the Government than is ever spent on the transport infrastructure, I find it perverse in the extreme that North Somerset Council (NSC) has proposed parking permits and parking meters in parts of Clevedon.

This scheme has absolutely no support (apart from the council itself), no benefit to council taxpayers, and will only shift any parking problems to other streets.

It is simply another tax.

I also note that most public employees, NHS employees for example, have to pay for their parking, so why don’t NSC start by showing us an example?

It could install a set of meters in the large employees’ car park within Castlewood.

Why should these favoured employees not be subject to the same conditions as the public?

Is it not enough that the taxpayer already funds an inefficient and commercially unviable operation like NSC, which subsidises its own employees in so many ways, in comparison with the commercial workers in the area?

The Government’s own figures show public sector absence rates are considerably higher than in the private sector. This is where NSC could make some improvements, not by causing public anger and damage to local businesses.

Clevedon is a great place to live and we don’t want it to become like Weston or Bristol.

CHRIS LOCK

Old Church Road, Clevedon

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