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Four reasons to drop path plan

PUBLISHED: 10:27 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:28 03 July 2010

IT was with more than a considered interest that I read a letter forwarded to Winterton Parish Council regarding the reopening of a footpath in Winterton.

IT was with more than a considered interest that I read a letter forwarded to Winterton Parish Council regarding the reopening of a footpath in Winterton.

I have four very strong views on this matter:

-I understand that the cost of the work involved in the re-opening of this path is likely to be in the region of £5,000. Surely in these difficult, recessionary times this money could be better spent elsewhere? With budgetary restraints affecting so many services county-wide, I find it impossible to understand how a project of this nature can justify such an unnecessary expense for the benefit of whom? I personally at this moment, like many others, have great difficulty paying my community charge and think that in this present climate, with access to the dunes a matter of yards further along Beach Road that is regularly used with no problem, there is nothing to be gained by this proposed action.

-Much of the area of the dunes is a designated area of special scientific interest. Working in the area of environmental protection and preservation myself, I know that to disturb habitats and nesting is not allowed, particularly at this time of the year. Has any consideration been given to this?

-I am also very concerned regarding the lack of privacy and risk to security that opening a path adjacent to so many properties might cause. In this present depressed climate, I would be very worried regarding the number of people that might find an unobserved access route to our homes. I would reiterate the point that this problem is dissipated by the fact that people are already able to access the dunes by a path running almost parallel to the proposed route, but further away from our properties. In over 40 years of living here I cannot remember a time when this path was ever in use. Why does someone feel the need to re-open it now? I would enquire as to who suggested this action.

-I have no objection to dogs personally, as I have kept them myself and my son has two that we sometimes look after. I also have a four-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter who comes to stay on a regular basis. Not only is she frightened of dogs; my concern is with the lack of care regarding clearing up of the animals' faeces. I am sure you will know that children falling in this can result in diseases of a very serious nature. With the proposed path cutting across so near to our homes, and knowing that most people walking the dunes have dogs, I am very worried as to the increase in faecal deposits and the health issues that raises.

To close, I would just like to state that I consider that there is little or no benefit to local people by the proposed action and an unnecessary expense. I would go even further to say that I consider such a proposal is detrimental to more people than to those who would benefit from it. If there is money to be spent, I would suggest that more bins and more signs encouraging people to keep the dunes clean would be considered a better idea.

D HAMBROOK

Back Road

Winterton-on-Sea

SO, Tesco wants to build a new store in Caister. About time too, the present store that was taken over from Rainbow is long overdue for demolition, something any amount of makeovers will never put right, much better to start again. Anyone trying desperately to negotiate with a full trolley the entrance way slope will agree. Perhaps when Tesco ploughs its money back into the community they would consider a piece of land to expand the allotments so we might all grow our own. Let us hope though that they invest in an air conditioning system that will filter out the stink of 'medieval Caister'.

ROB OLLEY

Caister

AFTER attending a Social Enterprise Seminar for Business in the Community at NWES at The Conge, the speaker informed us all that there were 32 different rubbish bins within the borough of Great Yarmouth. Not only is this non-productive for restoration purposes and cost efficiency but it also creates more problems than it solves.

Can anyone from the council please inform me, through your column, why there are soooooooo many different types of rubbish bins - there are round ones, square ones, fixed, free standing, crest, plain - the list goes on.

MRS ELIZABETH ALWAY

Via email

THE latest proposals by the Boundary Committee seem to have touched a sensitive nerve. With respect, describing the process as a fiasco and the Boundary Committee as an irrelevance would seem contradictory given the response it achieved. Of course the decision will be politically motivated, and it is also prudent to remember that successive governments have been moving the goalposts when, and wherever it suits their agenda to do so. Archant archives are stacked to the rooftops with examples.

Failed bankers and business men that have cost the tax-payer billions receive monetary reward and the opportunity to become head teachers. The Ministry of Defence, purchasing American missiles that may, or may not, fit. Our brave men and women killed in the field of conflict for the sake of a handful of batteries, the survivors then ridiculed by people to whom this country has given safe haven. An immigration policy that surpasses insanity, and a Freedom of Information Act that fell at the first, which is a fiasco.

Mick Castle describes the situation as sad. Given we could have prevented it, it surpasses stupidity. Recessions do not just happen - they are engineered - the shoddy foundations of the current one being laid years previously. Unfortunately, democracy is an unworkable formula by its very design, constantly requiring modifications. Some consider that where there is 75 per cent damage, a complete renewal is required. Certainly we have to change in order to be able to face the challenge of the future, which is probably why I support Eastport and The Edge Complex and all the other projects worthy of note that will help our town recapture some of its past better times, A 1.5 battery will only recharge to 1.2 and we have to learn to live with that. I would respectfully echo the suggestion that in this current local and global discomfort, politics are secondary. Compared to America we are very small.

JAMES LINDSAY

Trinity Avenue,

Gorleston

A GREAT example of political spin which accentuates the positive while ignoring the negative appears on page two of the Borough News, recently pushed through all our letter-boxes. The council believes a pat on the back is getting one star out of four with the comment "fair" from the Audit Commission. Admittedly there have been some successes, but in an open government the article should be an unbiased account, rather than patting themselves on the back with a completely biased view.

True Yarmouth has benefitted from regeneration grants while the rest of the borough has to await the "crumbs from the rich man's table". There was one grant I was told that could have been beneficial to Gorleston but it wasn't thought worth applying. Gorleston, with relatively modest requirements for mainly maintenance and protection of our heritage, watches with envy the great deeds achieved on the other side of the river, which are often not gained without wasted moneys like the giant TVs. The audit report makes a comment on failure to get best value.

I believe a failing in Audit Commission reports is that residents don't have the opportunity to express their opinions of their council.

Things to ponder: The Gorleston council pay office is closing. The Gorleston resort usually gets just one page in the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Guide. My website www.gorleston-heritage.co.uk publicises our town in a much better and more inclusive way. The High Street is always being "discussed", but with very little help given to the struggling traders or the ease of shopping for residents. It seems beyond the wit of our council to devise ways to get the huge footfall on the seafront to visit Gorleston High Street. Gapton roundabout, the main cause of tailbacks for traffic travelling north and sometimes south, is referred back, back and back, like the traffic jams.

I was involved in the new High Street/High Road conservation area, yet find it impossible to get real information on progress. The government states it wants more resident participation, so one would think council departments would welcome anyone who takes a keen interest in their town, rather than "giving them the run-around" as one resident put it to me.

An ongoing Freedom of Information enquiry about Darby's Hard, for which I have been campaigning for many years, eventually came, after prompting brought a reply 23 working days later, as if the 20-day maximum wasn't sufficient time to produce a non-informative reply from the wrong department, rather than from conservation and regeneration departments, who you would have thought most likely to have the information I required. Because I complained, saying it was dealt with in an arrogant and unprofessional way, I was told these words weren't helpful and I had no cause for complaint. I'm sorry - I have no other "suitable" words in my vocabulary. I replied the same day, laying out in detail my reasons for the complaint and asking to be involved in the meeting with Darby's Hard residents to put the heritage case. The original FIO request was on February 3, and the reply came on March 6. My second complaint was made on March 6. Today is the March 22, and as yet no reply.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue

Gorleston

MR Brown says he does not see the point of my letter about keeping integrity to God when suffering due to illness.

First, illness is an evil, it can take the joy out of life. At 2 Timothy 2:3 the apostle Paul writes: “As a fine solider of Christ Jesus take your part in suffering evil.” For those who accept the Bible as God's word, the one who is the most cause of evil is Satan the Devil. He is opposite those serving God and in effect he says that people only serve God for what they can get out of him. By keeping our integrity to God under evil circumstances we are proving Satan to be a liar and that no matter what he throws at us our love for our creator will remain strong, so that as Christ said at John 17:3, this promise will be a certainty for us. “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you the only true God and of the one whom you sent forth Jesus Christ.”

I hope this answers Mr Brown's question.

PHILIP KNIGHT

Wherry Way

Great Yarmouth

I AM amazed as I pass along the Great Yarmouth/Gorleston bypass at the businesses that the council are allowing to sit by the side of the road namely the rubbish disposal sites. Does this give a good impression of our two towns?

Why can't we be like Lowestoft, where houses are beside their new route through, paths and bridleways have been created to make pleasant places for people to walk. We have the beautiful views over Breydon Water and then it turns into nothing but rubbish tips, and with the open spaces at least the part near the road could have disguised what was behind it, there is water there with a pathway already it could have been improved on. Please, Great Yarmouth Council, start to look at our environment and make our bypass a pleasanter place to pass through, so at least people passing through might actually want to stop here.

MARION MATTHEWS

Gorleston

THANK you for publishing the headline £7.5m pounds lost by the PCT. When I read this my immediate reaction was “we want some of that, what the hell do they think they are doing”? By we, I mean the charity Yare Hospice Care.

It was set up two years ago by local people to provide a much needed local 10 bed end of life hospice facility for the Yarmouth and Waveney area - the area served by the PCT in question. We have two charity shops in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston which are doing well due to the donations and patronage of local people but raising the sum of £2.5m, the amount we need to build and equip the hospice, is very hard work and to see that £7.5m of public money has not been used for the purpose for which it was given is devastating.

V HARDWICK

Friend of Yare Hospice Care

WHEN the Mercury arrived, I eagerly scanned the letter pages in search of some praise for the two budding journalists Nathan Brown and Ray Lillie, after year 11 students at Oriel shared their views on teenagers and local affairs so articulately and succinctly in a few previous issues. As nothing was forthcoming may I then congratulate them on their fair and clear thinking, their initiative and refreshingly positive outlook on life. Teenager monsters? I don't think so. They are happily a credit to Oriel which has come in for much criticism in the recent past. Their attitude is typical of the many youngsters who I have had the privilege to teach and I wish them the success of which they speak and which they so richly deserve.

MAUREEN MILLER

Gorleston

YOUR article on the old Yarmouth General Hospital brought back so many happy memoires for me.

My first visit was in 1958 when my son was born. I remember Sister Jefferies who was firm but fair, she kept all us mums in hand but was never too busy to help and advise and wipe your nervous tears.

Over the years, myself, son and daughter paid many visits to the hospital and outpatients department where we were seen and sorted out by various sympathetic professional people - Mr McKenzie, skin specialists; Mr Hunter, eye specialist; Miss Downs, gynaecologist (Norwich-based); Mr Jones, paediatrician (Norwich-based); Mr “Mac the Knife” McDonald, surgeon; Mr White, surgeon, who performed my operations. Everyone's first priority was the health and welfare of each patient, from the “lard maids” in their green aprons, to the nurses, doctors and surgeons. Even matron, for all her intimidating appearance had a heart of gold beneath her starched exterior.

After being rushed into hospital just after Christmas 1962 with severe pancreatitis, I can only believe but for the nursing and dedication of the medical staff I would have been “a goner.”

Back with the living, the ward sister did everything in her power to convince me to eat. When I weakly agreed to try she went off and came back with a tray and a big, beaming smile and a plate of tender chicken, mashed potato and garden peas in lovely gravy, followed by ice cream.

I said to one of the nurses: “That must be the best meal I've ever tasted,” and she smiled and told me “I'm not surprised, it was Sister's own dinner!”

Hospital may not be a first choice to stay, but in Yarmouth General you felt safe and secure and was treated like you were the only patient there. You can demolish bricks and mortar, but you can never erase the memory of those past times.

BARBARA DANIEL

Albemarle Road

Norwich

MANY council tenants might be unaware of the new Tenants' Forum, and the work it does, behind the scenes on behalf of council tenants and leaseholders in Great Yarmouth.

It is run by tenants, for tenants, with assistance from Great Yarmouth Community Housing.

Formed last year, the Forum comprises members from tenant and residents' associations who represent estates or larger areas, and tenants' “links” who might just represent small areas or streets. It is hoped that further representation will come from some of the area housing panels being held on a regular basis.

Meetings are held every two months at the Town Hall, and the agenda is varied and wide ranging, covering issues like flood alerts, rural speed watch and the recent tenants' surveys. Currently, the Forum is preparing to question Tony Wright MP on matters regarding the sale of council houses, new council house building, and the housing subsidy.

If you want to have a say in how the council delivers its service to its tenants, then get involved in tenant participation by ringing 01493 846115.

Peter Kirkpatrick

Chairman, Great Yarmouth Tenants Forum

Rural North Tenants and Residents Association

RE dog attack on Gorleston cliffs. Once again a dog of familiar type has attacked a small dog on the cliffs. Luckily this time a man was at hand to assist in the “rescue.”

Is it too much to ask that the person owning the dog that attacked the small one writes to the Mercury apologising for the incident and stating that it will be on the lead in the future?

Failure to do so will mean that once again dog walkers, particularly the old on their own will be frightened that this might happen to them. A lovely walking place again ruined for many people for a long time.

If the person involved is frightened to put their address, if they just state the approximate time it happened it will get around that the letter is genuine.

Name and Address withheld

COULD someone please tell me when exactly the taxis of this borough were given permission to totally ignore the law of the land whilst going about their business ie ignoring road traffic signs.

Today I crossed the road outside St Nicholas' Church to the centre reservation heading towards town. When I got there I looked right, checking for buses because I always believed that only buses could turn right on their way to Market Gates, all other traffic having to turn left towards Fullers Hill roundabout. Seeing no buses I stepped out to cross the road when a taxi swung over and went through, blaring his horn causing me to jump backwards.

Totally confused I went straight to the police station to clarify the situation as I have no desire to be struck by a taxi or any other vehicle. The person on the reception checked with a traffic warden who confirmed that taxis are not permitted to turn right at these lights but that unless the offence was witnessed by either a police officer (yeah right) or a traffic warden (only one for Great Yarmouth), then there is nothing they could do, despite the fact that I had the reg number for the taxi in question.

It seems that as long as the police don't see them, then the taxis of this borough (most of whom do a great job in difficult circumstances) are free to do whatever they want.

RICHARD McSWEENEY

Northgate Street

Great Yarmouth

I FEEL I have to comment about Tesco and their expansion. I'm Caister bred and born, a pensioner, and I say yes, it would be nice if they sell all the things they used to sell when their shop was on the Market Place. You could buy clothes, all decorating merchandise, it was lovely. As for the person who said it would hit the shops in the high street what are they talking about? The shops are Offords, charity shop, printers, solicitors, two carpet shops, chemist, cake shop, cleaners, undertakers and the Co-op. So how will Tesco hit them?

M DYBLE

Roman Way

Caister

WITH further reference to the beach huts at Gorleston which have now been removed, I suggested that, as there were so few seats on the promenade, the council should place some where the beach huts were. However I understand there is no money available.

I have spoken to Cllr Gerry Cook who suggests that people might like to donate seats in memory of loved ones, similar to the seats in the cliff top.

CECILIA EBBAGE

Lovewell Road

Gorleston

I AM a local referee around the area and have recently been introduced to the new Respect campaign.

The Respect campaign has been running for quite a while now and is working rather well I think. You still have the odd moment where someone is abusive or uses foul language but that is never going to be stopped. I just wanted to raise my opinions of this matter and say that people who stand on the sideline of a Saturday or Sunday morning need to keep their thoughts to themselves because if some spectators and even coaches/managers carry on then there will be no referees left in the area to referee matches, therefore there will be no matches.

I just hope that the FA campaign encourages people to take a moment to step back and take a look at there behaviour and show a bit of respect.

Name and Address withheld

IT appears some people are neither aware of the significance of the location of Nelson's Monument nor what it commemorates.

In November 1800, more than two years after the Battle of Aboukir (commonly known as the Battle of the Nile), Horatio Nelson returned to England and was rowed ashore onto Gorleston beach. He was taken by carriage along Turnpike (Southtown) Road, over Yarmouth (Haven) Bridge to the Wrestlers Inn where he was given the Freedom of the Borough. The people of Yarmouth wanted some permanent structure as a reminder of this event but could not finance it by themselves, so the whole of Norfolk was asked to contribute. The time taken to raise the funds and arguments regarding its location delayed the construction of the Norfolk Naval Pillar until 1817, by which time Nelson had been dead nearly 12 years and it became a memorial to him.

It was eventually decided to build the pillar (Nelson's Monument) on Yarmouth's South Denes between his two landing points: Gorleston beach and the Battle of Aboukir and Yarmouth jetty after the Battle of Copenhagen. Steps were placed inside with a viewing platform at the top enabling visitors to look down on these locations.

The pillar is inscribed with the names of Nelson's four great victories and his corresponding ships. The design by Norwich born architect William Wilkins had a galley (type of ship) on top, however the people of Yarmouth paid for this to be replaced by Britannia because they still wanted the pillar to celebrate the Battle of Aboukir and Nelson's triumphant return to this country. Britannia was the symbol of Aboukir which is why she surmounts the pillar, looking down on Nelson's route from landing on Gorleston beach, to being given the Freedom of the Borough at the Wrestlers Inn.

Originally made of white Mansfield stone, apart from Britannia and the caryatids, which were made of Coadestone, it was a beacon to shipping. Today the viewing platform is an ideal position for looking down on the construction of the Outer Harbour.

If you wish to learn more about and/or climb Nelson's Monument accompanied by an official guide, contact the Nelson Museum, 26 South Quay (tel 850698) for further information. The monument is open one weekend per month: April to September.

LESLIE COLE

Nelson Museum Custodian and Monument Guide

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