Readers’ letters - March 18

PUBLISHED: 13:55 18 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:55 18 March 2015

Archant

THE latest letters to the editor:

RE MEALS on wheels in Times February 18 edition. I am sure 90 per cent of us would rather pay a little more money than lose our meals on wheels altogether.

Where else would we receive a piping hot two course meal for £4 delivered to your living room (we have to have a key safe for meals on wheels) and whoever delivers must see the recipient of the meal.

I find knowing someone will check on me just as wonderful as the meal. I am nearly 89 and not rich but feel going without a bar of chocolate, maybe two, or for the smokers a packet of cigarettes a week, is a small price to pay for a daily hot meal. Meals on wheels needs expanding not cutting back if we are to stay in our own homes.

I wanted meals on wheels at the weekends but couldn’t even get on the waiting list so when I was very tired on a Saturday I tried with someone with poor English (so had to read all the labels for times, etc, with poor sight) to cook in the oven some frozen meat and veg and ended up with a very minor stroke.

Thanks to my doctor I now have weekend meals but I know I wouldn’t have had the stroke had I rested and had a meals on wheels meal.

The cost to the NHS was an ambulance, a visit to A&E and a one night stay in hospital. Very many times the cost of many meals.

PATRICIA MOSSOP

Porlock Gardens, Nailsea

A WHILE ago the North Somerset Times published a light-hearted letter I wrote requesting a rebate from the council for all the money I had spent on biodegradable bags I had to buy for food disposal.

The need for these bags was stopped a while ago and ordinary bags can now be used.

Behind my letter was a serious question: how is it now possible to now use non biodegradable bags when hitherto it was demanded we use biodegradable?

When I wrote my initial letter I half hoped that a member of the council would note it and offer a reasoning but none was forthcoming. By means of this letter, if published, I am now seriously asking North Somerset Council for a full explanation.

NICK EDWARDS

The Tynings, Clevedon

I AM currently investigating this matter and had not intended to write on the subject until I had more information.

However, your correspondent in the last edition may well have inadvertently misled people on the situation and I think it would be helpful to correct it at this stage.

The land in question forms part of a larger parcel of land acquired from Bristol City Council by the former Portishead Urban District Council for the general enjoyment of the residents of the town. It was valued as amenity land with a covenant in favour of the city council that they would be the beneficiaries of any uplift in the value for any commercial or residential development.

North Somerset Council has previously granted concession on this land for a pitch and putt golf course, but at no time has there been any attempt to exclude the public from it, therefore the original intention of the purchase of the land remained. By the grant of a 25 year lease for a commercial rent of £10,000 per year and the recognition that public access will be banned for apparently health and safety reasons, the covenant in favour of Bristol City Council will be triggered. This will be further reinforced by the leasee’s intentions to turn the site into a commercial landfill operation with the importation of 16,000 cubic metres, some 3,000 lorry loads of waste material. An operation that has a significant commercial value in its own right.

Interestingly planning officers had recommended that the application for this development should be refused until apparently having a last minute change of heart. A decision enthusiastically endorsed by the majority group administration and the local ward member when it came before the planning committee.

I am sure residents can decide for themselves if the council’s actions are in their best interests.

CLLR ARTHUR TERRY

Portishead East, Channel View Crescent, Portishead

I AM hoping you can publish a thank you to the Fisherman who rescued my Mothering Sunday flowers from Ladye Bay where they had been discarded by the delivery driver. The fisherman then brought them to my address.

DAPHNE VEALE

Wellington Terrace, Clevedon

I WOULD like to say a big thank you to all the volunteer organisers for the senior citizens’ supper.

It was an enjoyable evening, meeting old friends.

I enjoyed the sing-along not forgetting the Ukuladies.

The food was lovely. I look forward to the next one.

Thank you all very much for waiting on us.

DOREEN BOSWELL

Station Road, Portishead

IF, LIKE myself, many of your readers are customers of the Co-operative Bank and Britannia Building Society, they will be upset at the decision to close the Nailsea and Clevedon branches in May.

I urge them to express their disapproval by writing to the CEO, Co-operative Bank, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester, M60 4EP or phone the local area leader Tom Rippin on 07801 908490.

MR M E NOBES

Oldville Avenue, Clevedon

I CAN’T help but agree with Arthur Terry’s letter in last week’s Times.

Given current policy it must be highly likely that within 10 years the whole green belt from Portishead right through to Long Ashton and beyond will be sacrificed on the altar of satisfying national housing demand, not building a range of housing for the needs of our communities, but to supply accommodation for a new commuter belt for greater Bristol.

It seems that the whole localism offer is a total sham; local people (and politicians) have little or no say in what happens in their own communities, instead Central Government now dictates to us almost everything we do (except giving us sufficient funds to undertake it), with local opinion being of little or no importance. In the next couple of months let’s hear what our local Parliamentary Candidates are going to offer to free us from the greatest danger to sustainable local communities, our own Central Government.

CLLR DONALD DAVIES

Pill Ward

Star Lane, Pill

MANY thanks Carol Clayton (North Somerset Times Mailbox March 4), I thought I was the only person becoming incensed by the thoughtless and downright dangerous parking experienced most days on Nore Road, Portishead.

It is unbelievable that, despite having a vast police complex in our town, the only evidence of its presence is the huge increase in daily vehicle movements.

We have received no tangible benefit in policing what is fast becoming a lawless town where people do just as they please as far as our roads are concerned.

You would have thought that having a police headquarters here, it may have been possible to send the ‘troops’ out on occasions, armed with a notebook and pen and even a camera. This would allow them to learn to deal with breaches of parking regulations which historically was a role performed by the police and for which, as far as I am aware, we are still paying. I realise that this may well delay their political correctness and inclusivity training, but it would have much more relevance and benefit to our society. They may then learn that collecting tax with a radar gun adds little to actually making our roads safer.

Returning to the Nore Road problem, because of the number of vehicles parked all along the road from the West Hill junction, we are regularly forced to drive a couple of hundred yards on the wrong side of the road over blind crests with little if any chance of pulling back in if a vehicle comes the other way.

Some 50 odd years ago, long before the advent of yellow lines and parking meters, I was legally parked in a quiet cul-de-sac in central Bristol. Unfortunately a delivery lorry unexpectedly turned up and the driver phoned the police because he couldn’t get through. This resulted in every parked car being fined for obstruction (my only road traffic offence to date). Obviously similar obstructions exist all over Portishead, especially in the area of Port Marine which I am amazed to learn has still not been ‘adopted’ by the council and therefore cannot be policed.

Does this mean that all those residents are still not paying council tax with a policing precept?

By the way, Nore Road must have been adopted many years ago, so that excuse will not wash in this case.

R SYLVESTER

Hillside Road, Portishead

AN INTERESTING take on my letter from Dennis Franklin (Times March 4). In my original letter I outlined why I felt I would not support a party that is happy accepting money from Mr Boulter.

Part of that explanation necessitated recounting events from Dr Fox’s political past. This was not the point behind the letter.

My point was to express disquiet (disgust would be a better word) about UKIP being willing to accept what I see as a sordid donation from Mr Boulter.

I take issue with Dennis Franklin’s assertion that UKIP is more Tory than the Tories. I think they are quite, quite different.

I for one would be glad of a Tory defeat; but there are far better parties to vote for other than UKIP.

PAUL PACKWOOD

The Tynings, Clevedon

THANK YOU once again to the Clevedon Community Centre for hosting some wonderful entertainment over the last couple of months.

Lions Brass 4 Youth were brilliant and so talented, Robin Hood and Babes In The Wood panto was excellent. Last but not least the very enjoyable Gilbert and Sullivan Yeoman of the Guard. I now look forward to Clevedon Light Opera’s production of Whistle Down The Wind.

How lucky are we to have all this right on our doorstep

JEAN WARRY

Cherry Avenue, Clevedon

I WAS disappointed by the removal of the surplus ‘S’ on the notice to the Church of St Saviour, Puxton on the A370 to Weston.

It always made us smile on our journeys to Weston Hospital.

NOELLE SCHAEFER

The Avenue, Yatton

I HAVE just returned from India where the roadsides are covered with litter, mainly plastic bottles and other non biodegradable items.

Indeed, the litter seems to be a feature that spoils the beautiful countryside in India.

Yesterday, I drove along the M5 to Weston and it felt like I was back in India. The roadside litter was a disgrace. I have also noticed that litter is on the increase on the roadsides all round North Somerset.

Who throws away their litter on the roadside in this county?

Has the council abandoned its attempts to clear it away?

It is appalling.

DOUG FOWLER

Dial Hill Road, Clevedon

CONGRATULATIONS to the residents of Backwell who took the time and effort to democratically vote at the referendum for the Neighbourhood Plan setting out the way forward for the area.

A real step forward for local democracy.

It now seems inconceivable that Charles Church would wish to proceed with its application for planning approval for 340 new houses on Farleigh Fields. Such action would fly directly against the express wishes of the Backwell residents. Any development of this nature should enjoy the support of the existing residents.

The referendum shows such support is lacking and it would be a mockery of local democracy if their wishes were ignored.

D F BAILEY

Farleigh Road, Backwell

I REFER to John Myers’ letter ‘Accident’ regarding the traffic queues at the exit Junction 19 (Portishead)

I am a regular driver on the M5 travelling to and from Gloucester/Chippenham to attend work and can reinforce the views expressed but fear there are additional factors to consider.

Each evening between 5 and 6.30, the majority of drivers wait patiently on the slip road, from the beginning of the Avonmouth Bridge to the Portbury roundabout. There appears to be an ever-growing number of drivers who will continue in lane 1 or 2 of M5 southbound, slow their speed (in some cases to almost walking pace) just to gain a few yards down the queue. I have seen innumerable near misses and the aftermath of many accidents but the problem seems to persist. There have even been occasions when HGVs have had to swerve to avoid a driver trying to ‘push in’ to the queue

I have contacted Avon & Somerset police about the antics of drivers who are inviting catastrophe at this particular junction and inquired about the possibility of using CCTV evidence of such examples of what I perceive as dangerous driving or perhaps traffic police vehicles attending the location, to at least act as a deterrent.

The road policing unit responded that all CCTV is monitored by the Highways Agency - no other comments were made regarding potential accidents. The response via Skanska UK, the maintenance contractors and service providers for the Highways Agency in the South West: “Our road safety engineer has confirmed there is an improvement scheme currently being prepared for the M5 Junction 19 Southbound exit and that the police are aware of the situation regarding this location. The scheme is intended to reduce vehicles queuing and the dangerous manoeuvres you referred to at this exit. Currently it is not known when the measures are going to be implemented but the scheme is in the forward programme, the exact programme will be dependent on budget and funding availability.”

The question is when will this happen and will we have to continue to experience drivers courting disaster before some agency decides it is time to make improvements

G MITCHELL

Sunnymede Road, Nailsea


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