Market Place

SALISBURY City Council appear to have been very quick to dismiss the views of 1,000 residents who believe in a cause so strongly as to sign a petition. When Wiltshire Council were developing ideas for the revamp of the market square, the ideas were shaped by a similar number of responses from the public to the proposals.

For Councillor Dean to say the plans for charging businesses an extortionate annual fee for outdoor seating in the market place had had “overwhelming” support from the business community, does not seem sufficient a reason to go ahead.

As Mr Henderson of Henderson’s Artisan Bakery took the time to produce a petition and present it as proof of support, would it not be fair for the Councillor to do the same to back up his claim?

This level of charges could cripple small businesses and drive independent traders out of Salisbury. Five of the eight businesses with outside seating on the market square include Costa, Subway, Fuller’s Ox Row public house and Patisserie Valerie, which are large chains who can absorb these high costs. If the council must make a charge, a concession for independent traders should be considered.

Jenny Coombes, Salisbury

State of city

WELL done Jean Lancaster of Andover for putting into words what a number of citizens of Salisbury have been saying for some time.

I have only lived here on off since 1972 but have seen the town deteriorate since. The pavements, apart from the area around the Market Square, are appalling.

I was pushed in my wheelchair along Castle Street last week to my dentist in Endless Street, not by an amateur, I hasten to add, and was nearly tipped out on several occasions during the journey due to the state of the pavements.

I can only reiterate what Jean Lancaster said about the path from the Coach Station to the town. It must be an awful shock to all the foreign visitors coming to Salisbury. If this was the continent it would have been made a feature, with the River Avon a prominent attraction as well as the cathedral.

On enquiring why the bank of the river was so unloved and neglected I was told “because of the wildlife” i.e. the environmental policy. Is this an excuse for letting the maintenance of the path go “wild” or laziness of the council?

Shirley Wyne, Salisbury

Must be bad!

IF someone from Andover is prompted to write to the Journal Postbag (October 26) expressing their shock at the shabby state of our city it MUST be bad!

Clive Gregory, Bishopstone

Pothole repair

I REFER to the article in last week’s Salisbury Journal about compensation for potholes.

As a councillor for St Edmund and Milford, I regularly go round my ward and other places in Salisbury, and I can confirm the roads are in good order, unless someone can prove me wrong.

In addition, any issues which are reported are fixed very quickly and efficiently. As Councillor Wayman pointed out, we are a large rural county, which looks after a huge road network, which is now spending around £20 million per year on road maintenance and improvements. Along with keen-eyed members of the public, we constantly monitor our roads so appropriate work is programmed to help improve their condition. As ever, if anyone spots any issues, I’d encourage them to report them using MyWiltshire and they will be addressed.

Atiqul Hoque, Wiltshire Councillor for Salisbury St Edmund and Milford

New mums

HOW I agree with the letter entitled Care Concern (Postbag, October 26). I do not think this writer is old fashioned but as she says ‘the district midwives struggle with work overload’. There are simply not the facilities needed to cater for all young mums by keeping them in hospital longer than is absolutely necessary.

My husband’s partner who does not live in this area, was sent home after one night having had a Caesarean Section when her baby was born. She was lucky in that she had a husband on paternity leave, and parents nearby but it would have been a different story if she had been on her own. There is no time to recover from the birth nor to learn how to breast feeding properly. There were other young mums however, waiting for the bed she vacated, so she had little choice. There was no visit from a midwife on a daily basis either.

What help she did receive was very good and extremely professional but not enough of it. I had babies in the 70s and spent about five days in hospital which was about long enough. Time to recover and learn enough about the baby to start off its care. I had daily visits from a midwife too.

Angela Hillman, Salisbury

It’s a vole

JUST thought you might like to know that the photo of the ‘field mouse’ in the Journal of October 19 is in fact a vole. It is likely a bank vole due to the length of its tail and its menu, however, it could also be a field vole.

In southern England we have four native mice (excluding the house mouse), the wood mouse, the yellow-necked mouse, the harvest mouse and the common dormouse. The latter is far from common and unlikely to be seen as it is nocturnal although it is resident in local woodlands.

Rod Poynting, Bodenham