Letters May 20: Radstock flag decision shames councillors and Midsomer Norton thrives on its own
By Western Daily Press | Monday, May 20, 2013, 05:00
Flag vote shames town councillors
I read the article about Radstock town council and the councillor, Eleanor Jackson, with regards not flying the flag of St George because it could upset and offend the resident Muslims in the town.
Personally, I am upset and offended that my country's flag is not being flown more and more, in the country of my birth because it could offend. This decision is ridiculous in the extreme. It's a shame that common sense is becoming less common by the day. Radstock council ought to be ashamed of itself.
Action is needed to avert dementia crisis
Dementia has been very prominent in the news recently and it's good that the Government finally seems to be taking this issue seriously, especially during Dementia Awareness Week.
As the population ages, the UK total is set to rocket from over 800,000 now to a million people by 2021 and a staggering 1.7 million by 2050. If we are to avert a full-scale dementia crisis, we need to take action now.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a lonely, stressful experience at the best of times, but what's worse is that a great many people providing care for loved ones aren't getting any support at all because they don't even realise they are carers. Instead they are struggling on, alone and unsupported, risking their own health in the process.
I work for a charity called Vitalise, one of only a handful of organisations providing specialist respite breaks for families coping with the devastating effect of Alzheimer's and dementia, as well as other disabilities.
If you or someone you care about is affected by a disability - including Alzheimer's or dementia - and you would like to know more about how Vitalise can help, please call 0303 303 0145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vitalise.org.uk
Town's new council makes good progress
It's now five years since the campaign was launched to give Midsomer Norton its own town council, a campaign which ultimately resulted in the abolition of Norton Radstock Council and the creation of Midsomer Norton Town Council two years ago.
Last week, alongside my fellow councillors, I attended the second Midsomer Norton town meeting and witnessed an excellent presentation, open to the public, which showcased the council's many achievements to date and gave a flavour of plans currently under development.
It was great to see such a strong turn-out at the meeting from both local residents and town traders, all of whom seemed genuinely enthused and appreciative of the ideas put forward. It is fantastic to see the council working so well and delivering so many positive things for our community. From colourful flower beds and investing in street marshals, to creating a no street drinking zone and securing green spaces in the town and more, the town council's achievements prove that those who fought against the break-up of Norton Radstock could not have been more wrong – Midsomer Norton is now working. But it is the vision for the future which really sparked the imagination of those who attended this meeting.
After many years of discussion, Midsomer Norton could finally be set to get its own town park. We already now have a fantastic play area at Gullock Tyning, but a town like ours deserves to have an attractive centrepiece park. This will take significant planning and investment, but we will back the town council in doing all we can to help this project become a reality.
Those attending the meeting also gave a really positive reaction to the idea of regenerating the town centre, including South Road car park. The benefits of locating a new supermarket in the town centre rather than on the outskirts were clear, both in terms of increasing footfall on the High Street and securing additional investment in the town centre.
Since this idea was first proposed, a lot more work has been done on ensuring we continue to benefit from ample free parking in the town centre if South Road is developed. We have always said that providing free parking must be a condition of any new supermarket, but the latest proposals go even further and suggest that yet more free parking could be created as part of the town park plans.
So well done, Midsomer Norton town councillors. Thank you for all your hard work as a team on behalf of residents. I and my colleagues will continue to give you our wholehearted support.
Councillor Barry Macrae
Conservative, Midsomer Norton North