Readers’ letters - October 3

Filled the car park

I WAS interested to read your article and comments regarding parking on the Marina.

I understood that it was always intended that parking restrictions would have to be implemented at some point, if for no other reason than the fact that with all the new apartments being built within the immediate vicinity, tenants would, without doubt, have filled the car park with their second and third vehicles to the detriment of the public and berth holders.

May I suggest that the council could easily rectify the dearth of public car parking by repurchasing the adjacent site which has still to be developed, at a similar price to that paid by the developers at the outset?

As builders are purported to be struggling in this recession, such an idea could well prove beneficial to everyone.


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JUNE WILLIAMS

Lockside, Port Marine

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In by the back door

BY TAKING over the old pub on West Hill in Portishead, Tesco has chosen to come in by the back door because the legitimate front door had been closed to them.

Ask yourselves why it has chosen this site almost directly opposite our local Costcutter shop which is a well-run family business providing a local service.

What sort of town do we want Portishead to be?

Portishead residents have a tradition of fighting for what they want.

I suggest that we should not be bullied by Tesco. Support your local traders.

JANE HARGREAVES

Nightingale Rise, Portishead

Recycling believers

OUR family are strong believers of recycling. Before everything was recycled from our door we took as much as possible from our door we took as much as possible to the recycling banks.

We have been very happy with the door collection until today, when the recycling driver refused to take a whole full box because there were cat food pouches in it.

They have been taking cat food pouches since door step recycling started over a year ago without telling not to recycle them. There is nothing in the literature to say don’t recycle them and they say recyclable on the packet.

Even when my husband said he would take out the pouches, as he was at home when they arrived, the driver refused collection and said we had to phone to reinstate collection.

This is not encouraging recycling. Please, please can the public have correct information on recycling.

VENITA ALDRIDGE

Brookfield Walk, Clevedon

NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL: Cat food pouches are not recyclable as they are a composite material – part plastic part foil. Though the logo appears on the packaging this means that it is recyclable where facilities exist, however in North Somerset we are unable to process composite materials. You can see a list of what we do and don’t accept in all the containers on our website here: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/wasteaz

Without the boats

REGARDING the recent parking article, can I just point out, without the boats there is no marina and without the marina there will be considerably less money injected by tourists and boaters into the local economy. You will be left with a muddy puddle.

There is also mention of toilets. It is the responsibility of the council, not a local business to provide public toilets. Perhaps if the planning had pushed for the frontline apartments and restaurants to be built first there would be plenty of caf�s or restaurants to compensate for the lack of council public toilets. The marina does not even serve food or drink, it’s a marina office. I don’t know of a marina anywhere around the country that has public toilets.

While we are on the subject of planning, may be it would have been an idea to plan for a car park, then this situation could be avoided? There is plenty of green grass just outside of the marina berth holders car park that could be turned into a public car park. This would satisfy the local residents.

The car park is a berth holder’s car park, not a residents’ car park.

If I visit a marina I would expect to pay car parking for an hour or so. It won’t stop most visitors using it; it’s only the residents that may have a problem with the lack of planning for car parking.

At the health centre and at Bottelinos/Jacks there is a lack of parking and the main road is obstructed.

Come on grab it by the horns and sort it out at the planning stage rather than blame all the businesses that moved in and complied with the local planning.

MIKE SMITH

Marina berth holder

The Crescent, Backwell

Competition

HOW sad it is to see the closure of Catherine’s Patisserie on Portishead High Street after decades of supplying quality products and quality service to the town.

Once again big business has triumphed over the local family-run business as once Greggs was allowed by North Somerset Council to open on Catherine’s doorstep it was inevitable that there would be insufficient business for both shops to be viable.

By price undercutting and losses subsidised from other shops within the Greggs group it was only a matter of time before it drove Catherine’s out of business

I believe in competition but it must be on a level playing field. If Greggs wanted a site in Portishead why did it not choose a site competing with the other national chains like Waitrose and the Co-op rather than the soft target of Catherine’s.

Thank you Catherine’s for all your services and products over the years. We will miss you.

JACK LEWIS

Hillcrest Road, Portishead

Parking charge

ON SEPTEMBER 27 members of the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Scrutiny Panel Working Party (SPED) on North Somerset Council toured the Nailsea car parks, which have been targeted for possible parking charges in due course.

I attended the tour along with other district councillors, town councillors, police, town centre management, management from Waitrose, North Somerset Council (NSC) officers and others. After the tour, all attendees gathered at the Tithe Barn, so that the SPED working party could listen to everyone’s views regarding the proposals to introduce parking charges at three of Nailsea car parks. These are Clevedon Road, Station Road and the Link Road Waitrose car park. Without exception everyone was adamantly opposed to the introduction of car parking charges. There is absolutely no justification or logic for car parking charges. NSC has produced data, so called using prudent assumptions and applying charges to the three Nailsea car parks which it estimates could generate in excess of �350k towards North Somerset Council budgets. I seriously doubt that NSC would receive anywhere near �350k. Why? Because shoppers will adopt a number of measures to avoid paying car parking charges. For example they will go out of town to free shopping areas like Cribbs, shoppers will use the Tesco car park in greater numbers, shoppers will use the town centre car park in greater numbers (this car park is not owned by NSC) shoppers will park their cars in side streets creating misery for local residents.

I don’t think NSC should be in the business or responsible for killing trade and forcing independent traders out of business, because this will be the outcome. I have spoken to Waitrose management and some of the independents in Nailsea and the message is that trade will drop by 10 per cent to 30 per cent. The logic of some NSC officers and district councillors is that because there are car parking charges in Weston it follows we should have car parking charges in Nailsea. This is complete nonsense; Weston is a large seaside town with many attractions, so the implementation of car parking charges has some merit. Nailsea’s main attraction is its mix of retail and free car parking, implement car parking charges and you harm the heart of the town.

On a slightly more positive note the members of the SPED working group were very receptive to all the feedback given.

The trouble is scrutiny panels have no teeth or decision-making powers, they can only advise or recommend their views to the executive on NSC which makes all the final decisions on the council and from past history executive members for the most part don’t take a blind bit of notice of scrutiny, if they are hell bent on a course of action then they will follow it through.

ANDY COLE

Independent North Somerset Councillor

Nailsea East

Station Road, Nailsea

Thank you

PLEASE can I say thank you to the kind person who found my purse fully intact and, returned it to my local bank in Clevedon.

It shows that honour and respect still exist even in these austere times.

LISA GRIFFITHS

St Johns Road, Clevedon

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