Letters - December 17, 2014

Parking Problem One reader is concerned about parking on the footpath
Parking Problem One reader is concerned about parking on the footpath
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Selfish car parking

Please don’t block the footpaths

I felt I must write after driving along St Annes Road in South Shore last night on my way to the town 

On the stretch between Squires Gate Lane and Watson Road, there must have been around 30 cars parked with all four wheels on the pavement, on both sides of the road.

While the pavement is wide in sections and there was still space for pedestrians to pass the cars unobstructed, I am wondering when did it become acceptable for cars to start using the footpath as a car park.

At one point there were two vans – all four wheels – parked on a narrower 
section of pavement, completely blocking it for anyone pushing a child in a pushchair and anyone 
who has to use a wheelchair.

I understand the police have bigger problems to deal with and this issue may seem a minor matter, but to me it is selfish 
behaviour on the part of drivers.

There are few parking restrictions along this section of St Annes Road, so I can only presume these drivers are too paranoid about the possibility of their precious wing-mirrors being clipped to actually obey the Highway Code.

Tim Rimmer

South Shore

Royal Variety

Not too informal

In reply to Neil Kendall’s letter concerning royal etiquette and the comedians involved in this year’s Royal Variety Show, I must disagree with his comments and say how much I enjoyed the banter between them and William and Kate who obviously by their reactions were also enjoying it.

For goodness sake Mr Kendall it was a bit of fun and quite funny with it. And how refreshing to see a couple of Royals actually enjoying themselves, they are human beings like you and I . I cannot imagine your reaction a couple of years ago when Catherine Tait did her “ IS ONE BOTHERED” routine aimed at the Queen and Prince Phillip. Now that was hilarious and were they bothered? Not in the slightest by their reaction.

Get a life Mr Kendall! By the way I am not one of today’s young things who crave for change.

I am an 80-year-old sandgrown’un who loves a bit of laughter in this depressing world of ours.

Dennis Jackson


High street decline

Service is key

The question is, are we seeing the long lingering death of the High Street?

I feel this is a problem for the whole of the retail sector.

For many years I have been saying that the out of town retail centres and of course the massive impact of online shopping is crippling our town centres.

So, what can be done? Small retailers must realise that they have to offer a personal service with exclusive yet affordable products at a price that reflects the individual service given.

How many times do we go into town centre shops only to waste time looking for the elusive “ assistant” who should be able to impart knowledge of the products.

But what do we get, ‘please go to the till’, or a finger pointed in a vague direction or an ‘I don’t think we sell that.’

Years ago retailers spent cash on training staff not just about products but also about ‘service’ to the customer something that in my opinion is sadly lacking.

So how do we stop the rot? Do local councils want to see more derelict shops on once busy high streets?

Do landlords want to see their properties vandalised or set on fire and deteriorating etc, or should they be more proactive in protecting their investments?

Well in my opinion the Government and local councils should be encouraging would-be entrepreneurs who wish to start up businesses.

They could be helped by very low rates and reduced rents and by appointing mentors from the voluntary sector with years of experience many of who may well remember the true value of quality service!

Have a good look around and you may see a glimmer of hope where some independant retailers are trying to take on the big boys. But you can’t beat quality service and have the opportunity to handle the goods before you buy. Is key board shopping really fun?

Barry Birch

Raybourne Avenue


Asbestos snow warning

Beware decorations

As General Manager of the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) I would like to share a shocking fact.

During the 40s and 50s deadly asbestos was used widely in Hollywood films to make fake snow appear realistic.

Many of the snowy favourites, including Holiday Inn, featured film greats doing their thing under a downpour of the potentially lethal carcinogen.

Many household faux-snow products from the era also contained asbestos and there is a possibility some of it may remain in your antique decorations, ready to be released into the air and inhaled. Make sure any fake snow products don’t pre-date the 1950s.

Asbestos causes mesothelioma, for which there is still no cure.

Craig Evans

General Manager, UKATA