Readers’ letters - March 11

PUBLISHED: 13:57 18 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:57 18 March 2015

Archant

Golf course

FOLLOWING my letter to the North Somerset Times regarding the development of the golf course along Nore Road, one respondent has misinterpreted my letter.

It occurred to me that others may have read the letter, and been in some confusion.

To clarify the content of my original letter, I would begin with the current status of the golf course. The greenkeeper, through his efforts, has made considerable improvements to the fairways and greens. Indeed, at his current rate of progress, the condition of the course will surpass anything witnessed during the lifetime of local residents. From an aesthetics point of view, why change something which already has a natural beauty of its own? Do we really need the massive disruption that the development will bring?

To suggest that we either have a changed golf course or housing is misguided if not misleading.

The crux of the matter is that North Somerset Council has, by approving the development, underwritten the concessionaire’s plan to physically exclude everyone except fee paying golfers from the 53 acre site. Furthermore, it acknowledges that the coast path will at times be impassable for walkers.

The green space is a real asset to Portishead and is shared by both walkers and golfers. Crucially, the lower edge of the golf course acts as a safe passage when the weather precludes the use of the coast path. In short an asset that many currently enjoy. I agree with Ms Clayton that this area is ‘one of Portishead’s best amenities’, however ‘the young and old’ can only use this jewel in the crown if we pay for the privilege.

Personally, I object to land which was purchased for the enjoyment of the public being lost purely for the purposes of making money for North Somerset Council and its concessionaire. I can appreciate that those who do not or cannot, use the coast path and do not appreciate the asset the golf course provides may be more apathetic. But make no mistake, when it’s developed it will be to the detriment of Portishead residents, and to the financial gain of outsiders.

A TOWNSEND

Drakes Way, Portishead

Defibrillators

HOW many times, have we all heard “So and so has just died – collapsed; had a cardiac arrest –dead before they got to hospital. Pity, what a lovely person – so young.”

After reading articles like that in newspapers I started noticing that people were keen to get defibrillators, to put in boxes – within communities, at places like doctors’ surgeries, village halls and sports venues; so I started to look into what they cost.

They range in price and I bought one myself from St. John Ambulance, but the ones in boxes cost twice as much. This got me thinking, so I rang around, went on the internet and invited a spokesperson from the local ambulance service.

Cardiac arrest comes without warning – it is a failure of the heart muscles’ electrical system. Anyone who has a cardiac arrest, for all intents and purposes is dead. There is no pulse, no blood is being pumped to the brain – so brain damage occurs in minutes.

There are only minutes to save the victim, that is why it is one of Britain’s biggest killers. Time is of the essence. Never mind you might think, if it happens to one of my family – I can go to one of those community boxes and use one of the defibrillators, to save someone. This is very misleading.

First you have to ring 999, ask for ambulance service – after giving details to the operator, you will normally only be given a code to get a defibrillator box open, if the victim is located within 200 metres of the nearest community displayed box. So, as most of our homes are much farther away than 200 metres away – the guidance on chances of getting there and back, quick enough to save your loved one, is pointless. In other words, community defibrillators won’t be any good to anyone at home because the distance is too far and saving someone almost impossible.

This means, that we are all at the mercy of traffic (and an alert reaching the nearest ambulance, or volunteer ‘first responder’). So, given the death rate is around 100,000 annually in Britain – I started thinking what could be done, to improve everyone’s chances of being saved. Here’s my answer – and what I’m going to do about it.

Cardiac victims who drop in our homes, need a trained neighbour within yards ‘in our street’, to come and ‘shock us’, within a minute or two (the quickest possible way); defibrillators in a neighbours house – two for the money spent on boxed ones; available 24/7 365 days per year – for when someone’s survival relies on one being there.

Batteries on them last fully charged for five to six years; pennies per week per household, it’s very cheap to arrange. But here’s my proposal; instead of buying a street defibrillator – we get them given to us. Something for nothing, to help us live longer, paid for by getting a £40 per household cash back voucher? In effect a discount on what we’ll all have to pay for later - a £40 deposit on a fixed price funeral we’ll all need. Nobody thinks too much about funerals early on, do they; but we know that we’ll all have to pay for one sooner or later?

RICHARD SIBLEY,

Dunsters Road, Claverham

Accident

I WONDER if we have to wait for a major accident to occur on the M5 Avonmouth Bridge before something is done to rectify the appalling traffic queues which occur every workday evening rush hour.

Regularly traffic wishing to exit at junction 19 (Portishead) is stopped in the nearside lane back to junction 18 (Avonmouth). It is a potentially lethal cocktail having trucks and other vehicles passing the stopped vehicles at 50mph with little more than a foot of separation.

Considering that the Highway Code states: “If you breakdown and have to stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway, you must leave the vehicle by the left-hand door and ensure your passengers do the same. You must leave any animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge. Never attempt to place a warning triangle on a motorway.”

This accident waiting to happen cannot be allowed to continue.

JOHN MYERS

Forester Road, Portishead

Donate

I AM writing in support of Portishead Town Council chairman, Don Cameron (letter dated February 25).

I read letters in support of the town council’s decision to donate £35,000 to the Church of England but would remind these people that the Church is an extremely rich organisation. I can’t know how this decision to donate the money was reached but I believe that the Church should return the money.

NICK HOOK

Tower Road, Portishead


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