Plan for city

THE Journal article on the City Council progressing the neighbourhood plan was good to hear.

Political allegiance must not be part of the agenda and if Salisbury has a developable future, it is essential to focus on matters that will aid that end.

Conservative City Councillors revealed at Harnham’s Neighbourhood Association that debate was taking place on which part of the city would benefit from pedestrianisation. They are right to prioritise this. However it will impact on the existing city centre highway infrastructure.

A 1948 city plan showed linking Fisherton Street and Castle Street west of St Thomas’s Church.

69 years on that remains a sound objective and would enable one street – Silver Street – quite the most unsuitable street for traffic, to be pedestrianised. A Fisherton/Castle street link would however be essential and that brings in the Central car park development. A major strategic mistake could be made if this development does not enable further inner city replanning.

I fear for wonderful presentation seducing people into supporting something with a major flaw that would be better explained on the back of a fag packet.

Some thought needs to be given in submitting the neighbourhood city plan in specific parts, starting with pedestrianisation and potential for altering the inner highway infrastructure.

You cannot treat the city centre of a major cathedral city in legislative terms, the same as a village, and the Environment Agency needs to be flexible in such a special case.

The assistance of our MP could be crucial.

Gregor Condliffe, Salisbury

Arts merger

YOUR correspondent Mary Stephens describes the merger of arts organisations in Salisbury as a takeover by the Playhouse (Journal Postbag, December 7) and predicts the closure of the Arts Centre in four years time. In contrast Peter Williams describes it as the saving of the Arts Centre following funding cuts (Journal news page 3, December 7) and sees it as an opportunity for us to keep the Arts Centre and develop its own particular role within the local arts scene.

I have worked with the Arts Centre for many years as the Beer Festival organiser for Salisbury and South Wiltshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as well as being a member, albeit a non-voting one. Throughout the merging process there has been an assurance that, although the management structure will change, the work of the Arts Centre, and specifically Salisbury Beerex will continue, with Beerex being seen as a key event within the community life of Salisbury.

Surely, now is not the time to follow Mary’s view and resign yourselves to the Arts Centre demise but to get involved, vote with your feet, attend more Arts Centre events than ever before (especially Beerex) and show the naysayers that Salisbury needs the community venue that is the Arts Centre and will support it, and the Playhouse, and whatever the festival becomes, whatever the management structure is.

Hilary Bird, Salisbury & South Wiltshire CAMRA Beer Festival organiser

Rubbish is an issue

VOTERS really care about the state of our medieval city – so do the Salisbury city councillors.

There have been many letters of complaint about the state of our city in recent months but Salisbury City Council are tackling the problem now. In recent years there has been so little investment in clearing up the rubbish but all the councillors want the state of the city to improve but it does take time to turn everything around.

The council have paid for more bins to be placed in the city and the surrounding area. I do feel we are beginning to make progress. I am sure for many residents it’s not fast enough but we have made a start.

Fly-tipping is a huge problem for everyone because in the end, it is all of us who have to pay the bill for the council to collect it.

Nearly every day someone leaves black bags, pieces of furniture even a microwave oven in Winchester Street by the underpass – if you are reading this letter please stop.

As a local resident and councillor I want a city that I can be proud of, without litter everywhere. We have made a start please help us to continue the good work.

Cllr Liz Sirman, St Edmund’s & Milford Ward, Salisbury

Voters’ Brexit?

SO Theresa May has managed to conclude a deal to retain an open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. This is something which the whole UK can unite in applauding, since it is essential to maintain the Northern Ireland peace agreement (although Brexiteers will have noted that it is at the price of the UK’s continuing adherence to EU trade rules).

Could she now explain exactly how, with open borders between Britain and Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Republic, and the Republic and the rest of the EU, she intends to control migration from the EU to the UK? It appears that either the whole Brexit project has now fallen apart due to its own inherent contradictions, or else we will find ourselves in a future UK of compulsory ID cards, constant police and immigration checks, and deportations - a sacrifice of all our civil liberties with no compensating advantages whatsoever.

Is this what anyone voted for in the referendum? It is certainly not the vision which the Leave campaign was putting forward.

Brig Oubridge, Salisbury

Parking charge hike

I WAS astounded to read in this week’s Journal that parking charges could go up again and that our local council had written to county hall about it. Quite right too! In September I visited Bridport and was absolutely amazed at their car parking charges, 40p for one hour (£1.40 in Salisbury), £1.10 for two hours (£2.50 in Salisbury), £1.70 for 3 hours (£4.70 in Salisbury) and £2.00 ALL DAY (£7.00 PLUS in Salisbury). Come on Jill Scott, you surely can’t justify increasing them AGAIN. What have you got against Salisbury?

I wonder what the parking charges are in Trowbridge – I would be very interested to know.

Harry Brockway, Salisbury

‘Green’ glitter

I WAS dismayed to read in the Journal (November 23) that a nursery chain has decided to ban glitter – “Glitter not ‘top’ of nursery toys.”

At our nurseries we simply use eco glitter, which is made from eucalyptus leaves and is completely biodegradable. It is more expensive, obviously, but only a small amount is needed for those much desired Christmas cards. This way, although we live in hope of a white Christmas, we can guarantee that all our Christmases will be ‘green.’

Sue Palmer Principal of Farley Nursery Schools

Thanks SDH

MY father David had suffered from a lack of energy for some time, his Doctor Chris Gotham from the Whiteparish Surgery, referred him to the Cardiac Unit at Salisbury District Hospital, his consultant was Dr Tim Wells.

Dr Wells confirmed that my father had severe heart failure and needed immediate life-saving treatment. Six weeks ago my father had an angiogram, this was followed by a procedure to unblock his left artery and have stents inserted. Although this helped my father he was told that he needed further treatment. Yesterday he had a pacemaker with an inbuilt defibrillator fitted at the Cardiac Unit. Thanks to the brilliance of Dr Wells and his team my father is doing well and should make a good recovery. Can I thank Dr Tim Wells, Mercy and the team of nurses in the cardiac suite and also Abbie, Pedro and Rikki and the nursing team in Tisbury ward, we are very lucky indeed to have such an amazing local facility; it’s only when you or a loved one needs care that you can appreciate such a wonderful, caring team of people.

John Peters, Alderbury

Poppy appeal

ON behalf of the Amesbury branch of the RBL may I thank the wonderful people and businesses in our surrounding area that did so much in helping to collect over £19,000 during the start of this year’s National Poppy Appeal? We still have a lot to do to match last year’s final total of over £21,000, but with the continuing hard work and enthusiasm being shown by all our supporters we will try our best to achieve it!

However, like many other rural branches, we continually need help! Not only in fund-raising, but in the day-to-day tasks of keeping our Branch viable. To this end we have been fortunate in gaining the services of Mr Reg Hughes, to replace Lt Col Nigel de-Foubert as our Branch Chairman. Nigel has now retired after many years of very hard work leading the growth of the branch and Poppy Fund appeal at Amesbury has expanded.

If you are interested in finding more about us, our next Branch Meetings will be in the George Hotel, Amesbury, on Thursdays, April 19 and September 20 at 7.30pm, and all RBL members; serving and ex-service men and women, and members of the public – who may be interested in becoming ‘associated’ with the work and comradeship of our branch, are very welcome to join us.

For further information please visit The Branch Registration Number (BR2562) should be included in any membership applications to ensure prompt enrolments.

Thanks again for everything you do to help our Armed Forces.

Tony Pryor-Jones President