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Letters 2

PUBLISHED: 12:01 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:40 30 June 2010

I HAVE been reading in the Mercury the saga of the council taxpayer's loss of the port to Great Yarmouth Port Company. This will affect me as a council taxpayer, and I will not be happy when our council cuts back on other services to pay this extra burden.

I HAVE been reading in the Mercury the saga of the council taxpayer's loss of the port to Great Yarmouth Port Company. This will affect me as a council taxpayer, and I will not be happy when our council cuts back on other services to pay this extra burden.

The front page of the Mercury last week shows a wonderful “snow-scape” of a completely barren Outer Harbour without a sign of the promised employment. Yes, the article talks of news that three companies have decided to sign up to use the Outer Harbour.

When I was a little younger I was cabin crew on ro-ro ferries running out of Dover and Felixstowe. A job I enjoyed passionately. I think back to the years 2007/08 when the Mercury was reporting we were to have our very own ro-ro. I and several of my friends were excitedly looking forward to once again donning a ferry crew uniform and doing a caring job much appreciated by the travelling public. But it's not to be, we have two cranes that promise a container service. There will not be much employment there, a grain business and crushed rock. The three companies will bring minimum employment and maximum disruption for the town.

A ro-ro would bring a lot of cars and heavy lorries but the employment would have been astronomical, minimum of two ro-ro ships double crews back to back, shoreside staff on car parks, office staff, and all the ancillary trades needed to keep the ferries running.

Our Golden Mile and the more sedate Gorleston would have a new lease of life from the tourists that came, either from the continent or those arriving from the regions. I feel our councillors have not really looked at the interests of those council taxpayers who put them in the town hall.

SHEILA A ATKINSON

DaVolls Court

Gorleston

HAS it come to the point where Eastport UK are not only unable to afford making the car park safe for use on Gorleston pier but are also too strapped for cash to buy a padlock for the gate that seems to have mysteriously appeared right at the tip of the pier. We all know the curiosity of small children and where that can lead with tragic consequences.

JOHN HUGHES,

Victoria Road

Gorleston

REGARDING the mural on the side of the Cap 'n' Gown public house in Gorleston, I would like to ask the borough council representatives where they are storing it and will it be erected again on another building? This was supposed to happen to the tiled facia above the entrance of the Lacons Brewery - but what happened to it? The wall on the Aldi building has the space for it to be put back but this has never happened. Could it be that it was destroyed during the demolition? Typical council say one thing do another. I never saw that the harbour road was to be closed off to the general public in the original plans for the outer harbour either , but that's another issue, the Luftwaffe did less damage than this council to the town.

G A HODGKINSON

email

WE attended the concert given by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra at the Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth last Thursday. It was a most rewarding concert musically. We paid £24 (concession) each for a seat in the west circle, being the best seat we could get at the box office just before the concert. We fully realise that it is a privilege to have such concerts in Great Yarmouth.

However, we feel that all ticket holders have the right to the same standards of health and safety wherever they are seated. Those who paid £27 entered a well illuminated arena with two uniformed ushers to guide them to their seats. Those who paid £24, had to grope a long way to their seats in darkness with only one usher who remained dressed in black, in the dim and only lighting in the bar area. The circle area was, we would say, two-thirds full, mainly with members of the older generation. Those with mobility and eyesight problems had real problems, especially negotiating the steep and high stairs, which had only a narrow illuminated strip to warn one of the first step. Thus we sat in darkness and could not read the programme or even recognise friends stumbling past to their seats. The organisers, Seachange, really need to inspect this area.

ALAN and JEAN MORRIS

Lynn Grove

Gorleston

IT seems there are many people opposed to the possible demolition of the Jetty. I remember, a few months ago, the Mercury printed an article about the proposed Casino to replace the Marina Centre. The article included details of the site set aside for this; the area included the complete Marina Centre site and extended beyond, and including, the Jetty. This is the true reason for not having repaired it earlier and why it's demolition is imminent, the decisions have already been made. Never mind the sensible cost effective solution, restoring the jetty a part of our town's heritage whilst letting Albert Jones build a Casino complex at his expense, from which the town would receive just as much benefit, whilst tidying one of the more scruffy parts of the south promenade at the same time.

TONY DENTON

email

I LIVE in Gorleston and had to go to Great Yarmouth the other day so I used the relief road. What a surprise no traffic lights and no queues!

M E HOOD

Claydon Grove

Gorleston

I WONDER if once again the readers of the Great Yarmouth Mercury can be of assistance to the Great Yarmouth and Rambouillet Twinning Association. We are trying to compile an up to date history of the association over the last 55 years and, although we have dates, facts, and names it would make more entertaining reading if we had some personal recollections and anecdotes to include. Could readers help us? Anyone willing to share memories and allow us to publish them perhaps they would let me know. I can be contacted at Marshlands, Common Road, West Somerton, NR29 4DN or e-mail hilaryevans.294@tiscali.co.uk

HILARY EVANS

Archivist for Twinning Association

TOGETHER with colleagues, who are also members of the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) Union and for the time being employed by HM Revenue and Customs locally, I read with some concern the report (Mercury, January 15 edition) regarding the closure of the Great Yarmouth tax office.

The thrust of the report is that the staff are relocating to Norwich. This is wholly erroneous. Currently some individuals wishing to relocate to Norwich are being told that this will not be sanctioned whilst at the same time being informed there is no work for them here. The truth is that, for a variety of reasons, the vast majority of staff is not relocating and indeed around 70 of them face redundancy albeit that our employer says compulsory redundancy will be a measure of last resort. Since 2008 when HMRC began their “reorganisation” double this number of staff were employed in the Yarmouth office so there have been significant job losses already.

Currently Yarmouth is the largest HMRC office in the country, facing closure. The only HMRC presence to remain in the town will be the public enquiry centre where the number of staff employed is in single figures. Elsewhere in the country the number of enquiry centres is being “rationalised” and opening hours significantly reduced in favour of a call-centre based service.

The battle to save the local tax office may be drawing to a close but whilst union members remain we will continue to fight the government taking its own jobs out of our town, during the worst depression since the 1930s. This is at a time when uncollected tax is rapidly increasing, the tax gap is getting bigger, threatening the provision of public services which we all rely upon and further placing the burden of taxation on-the poorest in our society.

PCS members will be attending the House of Commons on Wednesday, March 10, as part of a mass lobby over tax office closures and the tax justice campaign.

COLIN FOX

Austin Road

Cobholm

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