Readers’ letters - March 4

PUBLISHED: 09:50 04 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:50 04 March 2015

Archant

The latest letters written to the editor:

Comfort

I REFER to the letter from Don Cameron which appeared in the Times dated February 25.

Councillor Cameron has missed one important point and that is The Church of England is the established Church of the country and every citizen of England has a right by law to use its services.

If a relative of a deceased person wants a church funeral, even if they have never set foot in a church, the Church of England by law has to carry out the funeral.

By making a donation to the Church, Portishead Town Council is preserving that availability to all its residents.

How often do we see people turning to the Church for comfort after a tragedy such as the recent lorry crash in Bath. Unless funding is made available to the Church to maintain its existence it may not be there for people as and when they desire it.

JACK LEWIS

Hillcrest Road, Portishead

Road safety

IT WAS reported in the recent North Somerset Times that the plans to build up to 80 homes on the edge of Congresbury have been rejected by North Somerset Council, due to the scale of the development and road safety concerns.

It was interesting to note that these two main reasons quoted for refusal are the same as residents of Yatton can cite against the application to build homes at North End.

The Hallam Land Management application for 170 houses at North End, Yatton, is, of course, a large scale development outside of the village boundary following the acceptance of the application for 120 homes in the same area last year.

There are already concerns about the impact on road safety when some of the vehicles from the major development at North End will use the High Street and add to the numbers of more than 800 vehicles (recorded by the local Speedwatch) between 8-9am.

In the North Somerset Times at the end of November last year it was recorded that MP Liam Fox had come out in support of campaigners against new development in Yatton and Claverham. He had stated: “When I met with the parish council, I made it clear there should be no increase in Yatton’s housing until we have an absolute promise that we would get adequate improvements in our local services.

This would, in my view, need to include a road to bypass the village. It is already hugely overcrowded and represents a risk to the passage of emergency vehicles, particularly at times when the M5 or A370 are closed.”

It would seem that there is a stronger case for refusal of the major development at North End, Yatton, than there was against the 80 houses on the edge of Congresbury.

Many Yatton residents would agree that to continue bringing more vehicles into the village High Street could give us the situation of accidents waiting to happen.

R V WATHEN

Chescombe Road, Yatton

Can enjoy

I FEEL I must reply to Ann Townsend’s letter in last week’s North Somerset Times concerning the works planned for the Nore Road Golf Course in Portishead.

This lady seems to object to improvements being made to one of Portishead’s best amenities, stating that the increased traffic along Nore Road will cause a problem, the dust created will blow everywhere and she may be prevented from using parts of the cliff path during any periods of prolonged rain.

However, I cannot see this being any worse than the vans, cars and lorries parked outside the new flats being built along the same stretch of road which are causing many people a great deal of nuisance.

At least at the end of the works on the golf course, we shall have something which people old and young can enjoy, rather than, say, a housing estate.

I should imagine Ms Townsend would rather a green space than looking out on a load more houses.

I for one, am grateful to the person who has taken on this facility and is doing something to improve it, rather than allowing it to fall into decline and be sold off for building works.

CAROL CLAYTON

Riverleaze, Portishead

More Tory

I FOUND Paul Packwood’s comments (Times February 18) quite interesting as it reminded us of the reason behind the resignation in 2011, of Liam Fox from his post of Defence Minister.

At the time Dr Fox’s excuse for breaking Parliamentary rules was that he had made a mistake.

Personally I would not be unhappy if the UKIP man dethrones Dr Fox from the normally safe Tory-land North Somerset seat.

Tory supporters need not worry too much as I am sure the UKIP man will follow his party’s policy, which of course, is more Tory than the Tory party.

DENNIS FRANKLIN

Clark Close, Wraxall

Pastoral care

I FULLY agree with the first paragraph of Don Cameron’s letter in last week’s Times. Everyone should be free to hold and practice their own beliefs or none.

However I would comment on his disquiet concerning the grant to the Church of England, which, presumably is the local St Peter’s.

Unlike other churches the Church of England is not a member organisation.

But the important thing is the local church has a responsibility to provide pastoral care and whatever service it can to its local area, called the parish.

Therefore it is not there just for those who regularly attend, it is there for everyone.

It is often used by people who are not church attenders for baptism, marriage and funerals and the church is glad to provide these services.

Further there are many people who keep their beliefs to themselves but still consider themselves as belonging to their local Church of England. They may go in the building only at Christmas, Easter and Harvest, hopefully they will always be welcomed. So the church is not just open to all, but will provide the services mentioned and often be a sacred space for someone who has just received bad news, to go and be quiet in.

Recently there was a special service in a Church of England in Rotherham for all those affected by the dreadful child abuse that happened. If a tragedy struck Portishead I believe many would turn to St Peter’s and expect the church to provide consolation and be a place where they may find a way to express their grief.

So I applaud the gift and may St Peter’s go from strength to strength.

ANDREW FARRER

Ruddymead, Clevedon

On our behalf

IT BEGGARS belief that Cllr Don Cameron, in his capacity as chairman of Portishead Town Council chooses to berate the decision of the council in a democratic decision.

Whatever his own personal views with regard to religion - or anything else for that matter - it is not relevant when it comes to matters which benefit the community which he has been elected to serve.

Council funds have not been donated to the ‘Church of England’ but to a valuable asset within the community of Portishead and such funds could equally be given (and are) to the many other worthwhile organisations in the town. Surely we don’t have to be adherents to a group to allow such actions?

That’s why we elect our councillors to act on our behalf.

DEREK WILKS

Glebe Avenue, Portishead

Traffic

IN REPLY to Nathan Pennant-Jones, from The Village Quarter in the North Somerset Times February 18. I totally agree with his comments.

I live in Newfoundland Way and the traffic problems are horrendous, people double park, block disabled access on dropped kerbs, obstruct bends, drive across grass verges, speed, park in ‘loading only’ bays outside Morrisons. Buses sometimes have to drive on the pavements to get through. The parking problems will only get worse once all the commercial/leisure units on the Marina development are complete for both sides of the Marina.

We have been to a PACT meeting, who referred us to the parish council which has no solution. We have discussed the problem with the police who claim there is nothing they can do as the roads are not adopted. One resident has even been to our local MP also to no avail.

What else can residents do to make our lives safer and less stressful?

C STOFFEL

Newfoundland Way, Portishead

Parking

DESPITE Lidl submitting an extra application for altering another car park in Nailsea (closer to the Brockway Medical Centre) this will not alleviate the problem of there being less car parking spaces in the existing car park adjacent to the Tower House Medical Centre, and close to most of the banks, the post office, library, chiropractors, osteopath, chiropodist and other useful shops in Collier’s Walk, such as Burchills.

Also, the fact that Lidl will not have a separate service yard, and so its lorries will have to negotiate round, and park in, the newly arranged remains of the existing car park, while they unload, thus causing danger to those trying to park, enter and leave the car park, let alone pedestrians using the car park to access its store and the other aforementioned facilities of the precinct.

Even after the meeting that its representative attended at the Scotch Horn Leisure centre it still does not appear to understand that building on part of a car park, and thus making less spaces in that area for general public use is not an option, despite the fact that he said that it needed to go ‘back to the drawing board’ and rethink as he hadn’t realised the strength of public feeling in the town.

MRS J EADE

Bucklands View, Nailsea

Tesco

TESCO has made a planning application to add a watch repairers, shoe repairers and dry cleaners to their store in Nailsea.

Nailsea already has each of these services provided by local people, and if the Tesco proposal is approved, it will be another blow to our town centre.

Tesco does not need these additional services, but our town centre needs to retain these businesses and the employment they provide.

RICHARD MULHOLLAND

Caversham Drive, Nailsea

Housing needs

IT IS not surprising that the residents of Backwell have voted so overwhelmingly in support of a plan under the mistaken belief that it will protect the village from further development beyond the 60 houses allocated in the document.

However, the reality is somewhat different.

Despite Mr Pickles assurances that settlements can protect themselves from unwanted large scale development by putting such plans in place, it is only one of the considerations for the planning inspectorate to take into account when hearing appeals.

It is also of course possible that a different Secretary of State or even the same one will abolish or downgrade them under the pressure from Government to increase the supply of land for housing needs.

Current numbers used to calculate future requirements will now be seriously out of date when the true extent of inward migration is applied to the formula.

The House Builders Federation will not miss an opportunity to impress this fact on the Government.

Local planning authorities still have to demonstrate that they have sufficient land allocated to meet the requirements of their Core Strategy and that five years supply of that is readily available for development.

In the case of North Somerset the council still has to convince the inspectorate that this has been achieved or that the strategy will lead to a successful outcome.

All this is now against a background of the goalpost changing and North Somerset along with South Gloucestershire and BANES being required to provide the housing needs of Bristol so that it can concentrate on grabbing all the employment opportunities along with its new found friends in South Wales.

Greater Bristol (Avon by another name) is much closer than people think urged on by Mr Pickles and Mr Osborne who are determined to impose their system of single person local government on this country.

CLLR ARTHUR TERRY

Portishead East

Channel View Crescent, Portishead


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the North Somerset Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the North Somerset Times