Letters, February 24 2017
PUBLISHED: 13:47 23 February 2017
Scooter ride on bucking bronco!
I recently had to decide to give up driving a car. My mobility is poor, but apart from that I enjoy good health. I decided to join the army of mobility scooter users.
Many may not know that there are two types. One that drives up to 8mph, which is registered and has an index ID, which does not have to be displayed. A different model is limited to 4mph and many of this type are structurally smaller so it can be carried in a private car. They must use the footpath whereas the larger ones can be driven on the road.
I then had to decide to drive on the footpath or the road. I soon found out there were difficulties on all the surfaces which were very rough with many large holes and very uneven pavements.
There is a limit to the number of dropped kerbs available. Many are poorly sited and not fully dropped to the road level. So I tried the roads. I found overall the surfaces were a little smoother but the downside was there were many very large potholes.
If one of your small front scooter wheels drops into one these holes, you have difficulty to stop the handle bars being wrenched out of your control. When driving on the road one is aware you should be safer if you drive close to kerb, but you soon find many of the drains are dropped well below the main level.
You must not use cycle lanes – anyway most are obstructed by cars for sale, workmen’s lorries and the like.
To sum up, I find most motorists are very helpful and considerate and aware of the conditions that scooterists have to deal with. I have made a point of speaking to other users and all agree the roads/pavements are terribly uncared for. One lady did in fact get thrown off her scooter.
You often feel you are riding one of those bucking broncos on a fairground.
Signing off A12 in the borough
We will all have heard at some point the expressions that describe our town, ie “with the Golden Mile”, “with an historic North Quay” and so on, but one now out of action without any mention to the residents is the “End of the Road”.
Yes, we always thought we were at the end of the A12 and the A47, but alas no more as during the past weeks the main route into Great Yarmouth has changed its number.
I think most of us have always thought the end of the A12 was here but no longer do we have privilege as the A12 now finishes and starts on the south side of the bascule bridge at Lowestoft; yes, the A12 is now the A47.
I am sure many will have noticed the signs that have informed us on the Suffolk side that the road designation has changed with all stating A47, but I hasten to add no such change has happened at the Norfolk side, so unless you see the signs in Suffolk you would think you were still on the A12.
I would assume the reason for the change is a good one and had been considered for a good purpose as these things do not happen overnight, or do they?
All the new signs at Bradwell roundabout state, as does all other signage, Lowestoft A12 when it should read Lowestoft A47, and at what cost when we are being told resources are getting stretched to the limit on essential services to which I would ask the question is this essential and care of the elderly is not?
Maybe this is the start of the “End of the Road”, but what are we going to face at the end of it? We await to see.
Thank you to hospital staff
I would like to say a big thank you on behalf on myself and neighbour, Iris Wilson, to our wonderful A&E department and X-ray and reception at the James Paget Hospital.
Both of us have had difficulties and my goodness we got nothing but kindness and consideration.
Thank you James Paget staff for the wonderful kindness and help we both received.
Time to scrap Universal Credit
I think it is about time the government faced up to the fact that Universal Credit is not working here in Yarmouth, Lowestoft or anywhere else it has been tried.
By far the biggest problem with it is rent payments because landlords used to be paid direct. But under this new insane system it is now paid direct to claimants and it simply does not work and landlords everywhere are refusing to take anyone on who is on Universal Credit for two main reasons.
Firstly, it takes to long to process claims and there is no communication to landlords.
Secondly, many rent benefit claimants and not passing on all their rent payments onto their landlords for obvious reasons, ie, when they have so little money and may need money for essential items like food/clothing/electric etc they may be tempted to dip into their rent payment, of which I totally understand.
But the only solution to this is to go back to the old system that worked and pay rent benefit direct to the landlords again. Then landlords may start to take people on Universal Credit again and also the amount of evictions caused by this will be greatly reduced.
So come on our MP Brandon Lewis and do your job and address this problem because it is not going to go away, and all MPs whose areas have been affected by this should all come together to discuss it and to sort it out with the government forthwith.
P J MANTRIPP
Sewerage work is welcomed
We are writing with reference to the intended work to be carried out by Anglian Water in the villages of Belton and Bradwell, which has taken 28 years but let us hope that this will be the answer to our many prayers.
We have endured and may I hopefully speak for those who have suffered with us sewerage in gardens and in some cases in their houses, spread all over the paths, and in some cases individuals thanks to unthinking drivers.
The school will not have to get the children to remove their shoes before going into the hall.
Those in Yew Tree Close will not have to watch as the traffic in Lords Lane pushes it into the close, and all those with non-return valves not having to watch when the toilet or any other waste water is let out, or if too much of it ends up in your garden.
It is thanks to Chris Annison and in early days Sue Hacon that this work is at last going ahead and we hope it will be the answer to our prayers.
We would also like to thank all who assisted Mr Annison to achieve this outcome.
R and J SMITH
What exactly do we have here?
I live in Potter Heigham. Every day I visit James Paget University Hospital. I also use the recycle centre weekly which is far cleaner than the roads. I contacted each local council as I was not sure who was responsible for the litter on the verges.
Outside the Caister ‘dump’, on both sides of the road the carpets and other have been there before Christmas.
I am so fed up looking at this filth, and bearing in mind collections are a big issue at the moment, cutting back weekly to three weeks, this and payment for certain items of household refuse will cause fly-tipping on a huge scale.
Another problem is the road on the route to the hospital over the bridge. As you approach the lights, this part of the road is “rutted” with very deep grooves. When I suggested litter picking and road repairs, I was told “the department did not have anyone trained to pick up where there was moving traffic”.
Yarmouth was grubby and attracted troublesome people. Then it got “a wash” and looked better, now we are going back again with the shabby look.
There is a theory that stops vandalism – “we must repair the window pane so others do not get broken”. This idea can also work with litter; we cannot live with this mentality. North Norfolk District Council is responsible, as are we all, but waiting four months is ludicrous.
Now there is an increase in council tax for the care of the elderly. We do not have enough police, we do not have a clean area to see each day, we do not have weekly refuse collection, we do not have enough schools and we do not have enough houses.
Please someone tell me what we do have.
Are we living on diseased soil?
I am sure that the incident of bags full of cocaine being washed up on our beaches brought smiles and excitement to some residents of Great Yarmouth, namely those that are involved in the drugs epidemic which blights Yarmouth.
It seems to be a common experience to walk through the neighbourhood or even through town and smell that revolting stench of someone smoking cannabis. All these plans for a better Yarmouth that will include new cinemas and leisure centres seem to remind me of the analogy of planting rose bush seeds in disease-ridden soil.
We are not going to achieve the desired effect without first fixing our ideas of what principles the community and society as a whole should follow. Why are there shops in town promoting the use of cannabis and so indubitably sell the products for usage of the said drug? It appears to me that drugs have taken on the modern form of slavery and this is an epoch that needs ending now.
Name and Address withheld
Please sign my buses petition
You are probably aware of the recent Supreme Court judgement where First Bus were found to have discriminated against my wheelchair-user son Doug. However, the judgement stated that the First Bus driver should have made greater effort to persuade the mother to move the pushchair which was occupying the wheelchair space.
The court did not say that the driver should have refused to move the bus until the pushchair was moved. The judgement is, of course, welcomed, however, it still leaves the position unclear as a disabled person may still be unable to travel if a parent refuses to move the pushchair even after greater pressure from the driver. And the lack of absolute priority for the wheelchair user means that the bus driver is placed in an invidious position.
There is a Buses Bill currently before Parliament. I have therefore started a Parliamentary petition to put pressure on the Government to include a suitable clause in the Buses Bill which would make it mandatory for the wheelchair space to be vacated if needed by a disabled person. I should add that no-one is suggesting a parent and pushchair should have to get off the bus if the bus is already full.
The petition can be found at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/184109/
Please tell your family and friends about it.
Thanks to a hard working gardener
On behalf of all walkers that use the Waterways each and every day – winter and summer. Every one you meet are all saying the same, the latest gardener has made a wonderful improvement to the gardens. They are so neat and tidy, the best they have looked in a long time. The gardener has no help. He has gone from one end to the other looking after the whole Waterways. Well done, keep it up, we all thank you.
Birds making a health hazard
I’ve lived in Bradwell and Gorleston most of my life, visiting Yarmouth regularly. Upon returning to live near Yarmouth again recently, I was saddened to see to the once busy, bustling Central Arcade, once full of interesting little shops, in such a demise with empty, closed shops, which means part of the character and attraction of the town has been lost.
I’m glad to see the former Co-operative building has been occupied by Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home Interiors which make the shopping area again more attractive.
Market Gates is also nice to visit… But, as I now cross the Market Place near the chip stalls with the large seagulls and pigeons with the resulting filth and infectious detritus that’s been dropped, it’s not a pleasant experience. The Market Place is the centre of the town; there used to be a bustling market on market days which attracted lots of people.
As a child, and more recently, I used to enjoy a cone of chips from the stalls, but am now put off from that treat, mainly because of the large gulls and the dirty area. I wouldn’t sit on one of those benches if you paid me!
Today, one of the chip stalls was also closed… does that show an indication of a loss of demand? I’ve never seen such large gulls anywhere, as Yarmouth – maybe it’s the chip fat that does it?
As I walked through that way, I saw two lads sitting down, gaily throwing their chips to the seagulls, which made the large gulls swoop down together with pigeons. Some seagulls are classed as vermin and so are the common pigeons which can carry many diseases and should not be encouraged, nor fed.
I told the lads not to fed the gulls, as it makes them aggressive, I’ve seen notices on holiday saying this – but they blatantly ignored me and continued to throw chips down. They looked as though they were not old enough to be absent from school during school hours anyway.
I’ve also seen groups of gulls flocking down near Asda where someone has left “food” for them on the riverside bank. And one day last summer, someone had left a dog tied up at Asda’s entrance and a store employee was minding it, as a seagull had tried to attack it twice.
Why are there no notices in the Market Place telling people not to feed the birds?
I spoke to someone who moved here a year ago and she said “Yarmouth’s not very nice” and I tend to agree with that sentiment now, sadly.
GYBC – please put up some notices in the Market Place about this, to help in some small way to make Yarmouth a Great Yarmouth once more!
Trips highlight for Bass workers
Having read your article about John Nightingale, I do have an old newspaper cutting about him and the Bass trips to Great Yarmouth in 1893.
A William Waters arranged everything from Burton-on Trent and surrounding villages. Trains left very early and everything from that end ran very smoothly. John Nightingale arranged trips for Bass employees and meals at the Royal Aquarium, bathing machines for men and women and sea trips.
Twenty donkeys were also placed at their disposal from 10am to 6pm. Each person was given a popular guide to Great Yarmouth which illustrated a plan for the town followed by many more.
I was born in Burton-on-Trent and my father worked for Bass and stayed here to run a guest house for 25 years.
Sort out litter on the bypass
All this chatter about sprucing up the entrance to the town. Has anyone noticed the litter bordering the western bypass? Get started on that; not too expensive and easy.
CHARLES J PALMER
Sinkhole and fracking link
Are the Americans going to be the first to make the connection of sinkholes and fracking?
Fantastic way to celebrate anniversary
The celebrations held to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of Gorleston Library will linger long in the memory, the occasion reminding me of the wonderful benefits offered by our dedicated librarians.
Christine Blowers, who had masterminded the celebrations, made a delightful speech welcoming everyone, including the oldest library user, nonagenarian Mrs G Brown and the youngest, enrolled that morning, 11-week old Joshua. Christine cut a magnificent cake resembling an open book made by Copland Family Bakers of High Street, Gorleston, and all enjoyed this with coffee served by the library staff.
Mrs B’s Vintage Tea Parties were present and Mrs B had brought with her three scrumptious cakes which were sliced for all to taste.
Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage Group mounted a fascinating display of archive material and the library also displayed photographs, gallantly arranged by former librarian Michael Bean.
Former librarian Peter Ransome attended and Councillors Marlene Fairhead and Barbara Wright were also present. Local author Roy Walding was distributing copies of his book Excellent Peppermint Drops, A History of Gilbert and Sullivan in Gt Yarmouth. This was a most lovely happy celebration of the treasure house of our library.