Readers’ letters - November 21


I AM always delighted when a local business is successful and I congratulate Cadbury House management on almost everything they have done.

Whilst I can begrudgingly accept that Jedward may be classed as celebrities, it is unfortunate that Cadbury House and you should actively advertise the fact that Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist and sport cheat stayed at the venue.

Still they do say that any publicity is good publicity.


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Cobthorn Way, Congresbury


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WE WOULD like to express our appreciation to the organisers and all those who took part in the Royal British Legion Remembrance evening at the Clevedon Community Centre on Friday November 9.

The Portishead Town Band, members of Clevedon Air Training Corps and Army Cadet Force together with a team of pupils from Clevedon Community School provided us with a moving and entertaining evening.

The only disappointment was the sight of several rows of empty seats in the hall at an event worthy of a full house. Why not make a note to come along next year to give encouragement to the youngsters who turn out to support a very worthy organisation and at the same time have an enjoyable evening?


Cambridge Road, Clevedon

Can get very busy

I AM writing to agree with Ian Murphy in last week’s Mailbox with regard to cycling around Portishead Marina.

How David Hill (Page 11 of Times, November 7) feels that a toddler on a scooter is in the wrong for not paying attention to a cyclist on a pedestrian walkway is madness. My wife and I regularly use the walkway around the Marina and are always astounded at the speed that some cyclists go.

My wife has problems with her back and is therefore always on edge every time a cyclist passes her.

On fair weather days it can get very busy around the Marina and if this carries on I am sure it will not be too long until there is an accident.

There are plenty of roads around the Marina that cyclists can and should use and therefore I feel it is about time that North Somerset Council looks into this issue.


Newfoundland Way, Portishead


READING your paper last week l can’t believe the message that the Tesco representative said: “We will open in Portishead whether people like it or not.”

Who do they think they are? All the campaigning and the petition doesn’t that show how people feel.

Why are we dictated to by these big greedy companies?

A lot of people are angry the way it has been done. We shouldn’t give up and let these people win without a fight.


Drakes Way, Portishead


FOLLOWING a disaster on the Tesco forecourt where I managed to rip my tyre on the jagged metal collar around the top of the base of a petrol pump, I would like to thank the managers at Kwik Fit, Clevedon, and Tesco, Clevedon, for their helpful assistance.

Upon closer scrutiny, I found that all the collars were in a similar state of disrepair.

The Kwik Fit manager very helpfully informed me that he gets approximately two to three requests per week for new tyres as a result of similar experiences at the same forecourt, and the manager of Tesco, Shane Uzzell organised a huge thick strip of rubber to replace the dangerous metal strips.

It did take some doing and indeed some repetitious and persistent phone calls but with the assistance of other local customers experiencing the same problem, Tesco has taken action by replacing the dangerous metal for thick rubber and has even kindly reimbursed another customer to whom the same thing happened within four days and me!

Hurray and huge thanks to all involved.


Church Lane, Churchill

Very good account

I WENT to the meeting on the evening of November 7. It seemed to me that Ms Akokhia was the scape-goat that night for Tesco.

Apparently another representative was supposed to have supported her at the meeting but did not turn up.

No minutes were taken and altogether it was a very casual affair.

But, it was far from casual for the residents, they gave a very good account of themselves. Everyone that spoke at the meeting said Tesco was not welcome in West Hill now or in the future.

The arrogance of Tesco is appalling, so 2,500 signatures on a petition does not account for anything to them.

I wonder how many of the 2,500 are customers at Tesco’s Clevedon or Nailsea branches. Can they afford to lose even half that number of customers in a recession?


Drakes Way, Portishead


REFERRING to your article ‘Switch-off saves �320K’, I cannot believe Councillor Elfan Ap Rees’ statement saying the switch off has been ‘an absolute success’.

Having run a private hire company and driven when the lights had gone out, I defy anyone who states it doesn’t make a difference.

As a business owner whose business runs during both daytime and evening hours we constantly worry for the safety of our staff and customers leaving the premises into a pitch black environment, and either walking to their cars or home.

I myself walk in the road on my way home as I do not feel safe walking next to open land.

The reason the council has not had any recent complaints is because we have had the summer months with lighter evenings.

It angers me as the council could have saved twice that amount or more if the Cabstand project had been performed correctly in the first place and another �500,000 if they had recycled the furniture from the old Town Hall in Castlewood and the Town Hall at Weston.


Leagrove Road, Clevedon


AS A member of The National Federation of Retirement Pensions Association known as Pensioners Voice since 1989 and as a fully qualified welfare rights adviser, I was secretary of a branch of Pensioners Voice for two years before becoming founder secretary of the Nailsea Branch in January 1994 with six other founder members.

Within six weeks we collected signatures and presented a petition to North Somerset Council, asking for a local bus pass which was awarded under a Liberal Democrat Council with one third off the fare in May 1995. Since its inception in 1938 Pensioners Voice consistently campaigned for pensioners. Not only helping to gain a 160 per cent pension increase in 1946 but for subsequent increases and many other improvements enjoyed today including the pensioners’ railcard, free TV licences for the elderly, the abolition of the Hospital Downrating Rule which deducted one third of pensions of those in hospital more than six weeks and increased (by degrees) in the Capital Disregard from �3,000 to �10,000.

As South West regional officer I successfully campaigned on behalf of local people on various issues including cyclists in the Precinct, for extra buses to cover Queens Road from Nailsea to Backwell and others now served by North Somerset Coaches. I latterly organise a petition of 923 signatures for improved access to Nailsea/Backwell Station for the elderly, disabled and people with children in buggies in support of the one organised by Mrs Black and the Backwell Access Group before my retirement as secretary of the Nailsea Branch last year. Not only would I like to express my sincere thanks to all those who helped with the campaign including Nailsea Town Council, North Somerset Council and especially to our MP Dr Liam Fox for obtaining the promise of �1million grant from Central Government for the work now under way to be completed by 2013.


Pensioners Voice Southwest Regional Officer

Godwin Drive, Nailsea

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