Readers’ letters - February 4

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 February 2015

Archant

The latest letters written to the Times:

Consequence

I DON’T know David Shopland nor do I live in his ward, but I think Mary Davis’ letter does him a disservice.

She has taken out of context the comments he made on the effect of parking charges in Hill Road.

He was not suggesting that people should shop in Nailsea or elsewhere but pointing out that this was the likely consequence of charges being introduced.

As regards taking a cut in his pay, Councillor Shopland has in the past championed the reduction of allowances to councillors and I seem to recall that he, himself, claimed no allowances of any kind.

Perhaps Mary Davis should re-read what he said.

GRAHAM REID

Mendip Road, Yatton

Thank you

I WISH to offer my sincere thanks to the passers by and shopkeepers who offered help and sympathy when my wife had her fatal fall on Friday morning, January 23 down the steps in Colliers Walk, Nailsea.

Thank you in particular to the lady who phoned for the ambulance, the pharmacist who provided dressings, the gentleman who lent his leather jacket and comforted my wife. Also for the generosity of the lady who purchased a blanket on that cold day and did not wait for thanks and others who I was not aware of.

It is very gratifying to know there are still people who are concerned and wish to help strangers in distress.

BRYAN OSBORNE

Robin Lane, Clevedon

No different

TWENTY five years ago as a young woman I was North Somerset Council’s youngest councillor.

At that time the council was known as ‘Woodspring’ and I was frequently in the habit of writing to the press. I did not re-stand for election following the end of my term and instead pursued a career in nursing and care.

I am now in my mid-fifties and it is many years since I have written to the press on any issue.

However in regards to the current parking issues and the proposed pay and display schemes in Hill and Alexandra Road I do feel the need to make some comments.

Firstly, I have lived in Clevedon for 30 years and in Copse Road for 20 years and in my view the parking problems in Hill and Alexandra Road are no different now to what they were 30 years ago.

There have always been shops in Hill Road and there has always been parking congestion.

The fact that this is now an issue is due to a general decline (right across Britain) of a community spirit and a general increase (nationally) of a materialistic attitude.

The agenda of some shopkeepers has been fast-tracked without any reference to or any consultation with residents.

It is well known that the majority of residents in Hill Road; Alexandra Road and Copse Road do not have sufficient off-street parking. Most residents have either one parking space or no parking spaces at all. However these residents were never consulted about this issue. I wonder why? Is this because members of the council saw these traders demands as an opportunity for the council also to rake in more money through another form of taxation?

Whatever the reason residents have not been consulted and this is certainly not democracy.

If this proposal is finalised the people of Clevedon should note which councillors support it and ensure that they do not vote for them in May.

Secondly, I noticed that in a letter to yourselves last week it was suggested that Councillor Shopland ‘should take a pay cut’. It is my understanding that councillors are not paid. They can claim certain allowances if they so desire.

When I was a member of the council years ago Councillor Shopland was the only member of the council who did not claim these allowances.

He stated that he did not believe it right that councillors should be paid for services to the community.

I have no idea if his views have changed on this matter but suspect they probably have not.

I do not think it is helpful in this debate for individuals to throw around inflammatory remarks suggesting councillors should take a pay cut when they have no idea whatsoever if the actual councillors concerned are claiming their allowances.

The claiming of council allowances has nothing to do with this issue.

DEBRA MARIA FLINT

Coity Place, Copse Road, Clevedon

On any site

I BELIEVE that in all the discussion about the new Lidl store and the loss of parking spaces Lidl have perpetrated an amazing sleight of hand.

If this 1,064 square metres proposal were on any site other than an existing car park the developers would be required to include appropriate parking for the size of the retail development at a rate of one per each 14 square metres of floor space which in this case would mean Lidl providing new car parking in the town for approximately 76 vehicles. However because the development is on an existing car park it appears that they have been able to submit an application that reduces the number of parking spaces in the town by 64.

Thus it is valid to argue that the result of Lidl building on this site as opposed to any other site in Nailsea is that the town centre will have total shortfall of 140 car parking spaces (64 plus 76) which will inevitably lead to massive problems including all local residential roads becoming overflow car parks.

RICHARD LANCASTER

North Street, Nailsea

Date changed

REGARDING your article entitled ‘Own goal’ with councillor no show’ (Times edition January 28), the situation is as follows.

The original meeting in our North Somerset Council calendar was for February 5. I carefully booked my annual holiday for the week of January 19-29 as there were no major meetings that week.

Without consultation the date was changed for logistical reasons to do with the timing of inviting speakers.

Immediately, I tended my apologies to the officer in charge and then again at the agenda setting meeting and yet again by email a few days before I went on holiday.

I understand that my apologies were read out at the meeting.

CLLR LINDA KNOTT

North Somerset councillor

for Clevedon South

Cambridge Road, Clevedon

Very difficult

CONCERNING Council meeting and imputed parking insult quoted in a letter in your recent columns, may I answer as follows?

Over many years the people of Clevedon have been very good to my family and I would never insult them, as I value their friendship, opinions and views too much.

The tenor of my remarks on that occasion was: “Why should anyone pay to shop in Hill Road when they could go to Nailsea or The Mall where parking is free?”

As to refunding part of the monies I am paid as a councillor, that would prove to be very difficult as I have never drawn a penny in councillor’s allowances since I was elected.

I truly believe that parking meters together with street parking charges as requested by some traders on Hill Road, will deter people from shopping there and have a disastrous long term effect on the nearby residents, when the displaced cars park in their streets and destroy their quality of life.

This will also apply to the application of charges on The Beach and elsewhere.

DAVID W SHOPLAND

Town and district Councillor

Old Street, Clevedon


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