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Letters July 6, 2012

PUBLISHED: 16:36 05 July 2012 | UPDATED: 16:39 05 July 2012

Bus users are

left in the cold

ON Saturday, June 23 at 9.35am, I was only three yards from the bus stop at Church Lane, Gorleston. I ran for the No 2 bus and put my hand out to stop him, but it drove past - half empty.

I waited for the next bus, and a No 8 came along. again at the bus stop I put my hand out to stop it; a double decker empty at the top. But again it went sailing past. I was dumbfounded. Two buses in less than ten minutes ignored me, an OAP, and this is not the first time it has happened.

I was told to get off a bus at 9.29am one day because the bus pass didn’t start until 9.30am. By the time the driver had argued with me about it, the time was 9.30am so I stayed.

I’ve seen people with prams as well put their hands out and the driver has just driven away, ignoring them. I thought they would have a little respect for the elderly, or is it the bus pass they can’t be bothered with? They forget we have paid plenty of bus fares in the past, surely we are entitled to a free ride now. They forget they will get old one day.

DINAH HOLT

Gorleston

Rubbish on all the tourist trails

IT’S an excellent idea to have visitors to the town greeted on Vauxhall Station by volunteers but the council must ensure that all routes to the town are free from unsightly rubbish. Row 6 (Body Snatchers Row), directly opposite the underpass, is frequently littered with discarded items, many of a very unsavoury nature. It creates an awful first impression and detracts from the good work done to promote the town.

My house is located close to the point where visitors access Northgate Street and I am constantly directing confused holidaymakers towards the town centre. A signpost directing people towards the market place at this junction would be welcome.

EMRYS PARRY

Northgate Street,

Great Yarmouth

When is a bonus

not a bonus?

I READ with surprise the recent letter from regular correspondent Pauline Lynch, in which she states that, unlike Mr Hardy, she was never paid a bonus for doing her job at the Town Hall.

Like Mrs Lynch, I worked for Yarmouth Borough Council for many years. Every year at election time I, like most of my colleagues, was given the opportunity to work in polling stations, issue postal votes, prepare ballot boxes etc under the supervision of the elections office staff, and was paid extra for doing this work, even though it was done in office time. Is that not a bonus?

It could be argued the payment was for taking on more work at a busy time, but the whole purpose of the elections office was to run elections. As far as I know accountancy staff did not receive extra money for being busy at the end of the financial year.

The amounts involved may not have been as high as the bonus in question, but the principle is surely the same? If Mrs Lynch never did election duties I apologise, her husband could clarify this matter for us as he was for many years the council’s election officer.

CATHERINE WEST

Albany Road

Great Yarmouth

Pavilion theatre

has intimate feel

ANOTHER wonderful evening, June 30, at the beautiful Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston, in the company of Jonathan Wyatt and his Big Band.

Looking around the packed audience there were not many feet that were not tapping along with the music. The Edwardian theatre really lends itself to all shows that are put on there bringing an intimate feeling to the audience as instead of the seating being in the traditional format of rows, all chairs are at small tables.

If you have not visited the Pavilion we urge you to do so. You will be in for a fantastic time.

DAVE and RONA BENSON

Marle Court,

Gorleston

Please take down

pier park boards

IN reply to your correspondence from Mr Smith re Gorleston Pier, I heartily concur with his comments about the wooden fence on the pier obstructing the view of shipping and the sea. My wife and I used to often sit on the pier to view shipping, the bird life and the occasional seal.

Whilst I would sincerely thank Mr Scott for investing in the pier, we will not use the pier until the wooden fence is removed.

BARRY WARD

Fastolff Avenue,

Gorleston

We must have

accountability

WE all thought “Oligarchs” were just Russian billionaires who bought football clubs, giant pleasure boats and paid enormous and obscene amounts of money for artwork - more money than thousands of ordinary people could earn in a lifetime!

Britain has its own “Oligarchs”, they are those at the top of large, often multinational companies. Businesses such as the press, media, banks and associated financial groups which many manipulate to their own ends, some so powerful that they are almost above the law. These people only think of how large they can manipulate their bonus while we lesser mortals pay the tab and even have to suffer the pain of re-financing them while their bonuses continue.

Governments no longer have control of many situations. Even the government controllers of certain industries have their hands tied so tight by their remit that their power to regulate is diminished.

In Great Britain an important concept is often ignored despite the so called Freedom of Information Act which is virtually toothless. “Without transparency there is no accountability”. I would add without accountability there is no democracy.

I refer to the previous council and their part in the outer harbour deal. Not “Oligarchs” but a local council which believed when we voted them in it gave them the power to ignore us and do just what they wanted.

Despite many Freedom of Information questions GYBC mostly found a way round not answering them until recently when our question of a bonus paid to Peter Hardy was refused. Andrew Turner took it up and again it was refused but when he referred it to the FOI commissioners for judgment it was answered. It revealed Peter Hardy had been awarded a bonus of £25,000 for obtaining a signature on the deal.

We now have an outer harbour such as it is but at what cost? We cannot turn the clock back but we can demand accountability of those concerned in the negotiations. We need an inquiry to judge those concerned and to learn lessons. It is up to every thinking person to demand it. We don’t have to take to the streets but we do need to express our opinions.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue,

Gorleston

Great experience

to see Dissenters

WITH reference to the Dissenter’s Burial Ground in Great Yarmouth (now the Dissenter’s Garden Retreat). I and my niece Susan Garfield are descendants of William Budds who was the last person to be buried in the burial ground. His daughter, Caroline Tammason Budds married John William Johnson in 1884, and they are my great great grandparents. John William Johnson was the founder of Yarmouth Stores, vendors of clothing and oilskins for seamen.We wish to congratulate and thank Patricia Page and all who assisted her in her perseverance and hard work in restoring the Dissenter’s Burial Ground into the Dissenter’s Garden Retreat, for the use of pupils of St Nicholas Priory Junior School. We are also grateful for the opportunity that Mrs Page gave Susan and I to visit the burial ground, when Susan was here on a short visit from Spain, where she now lives.

As Susan is still researching the family history it was a great experience for her to actually see the burial ground of her ancestors.

Unfortunately we were unable to be at the opening on June 29, but obviously it was a great success, and the Retreat will be appreciated by the pupils of the school, now and in the future I am sure.

BRENDA SADD

West Avenue,

Great Ormesby

‘Nelson woz ere’ on jetty plaque?

APPARENTLY there’s a question over the wording on the plaque to be erected at the site of the old jetty. Might I suggest something simple like “Nelson woz ere” would suffice?

MR R HARRISON

Euston Road,

Great Yarmouth

Public denied

graveyard access

HOW good it was to see in last week’s Mercury that the Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society have erected 38 blue plaques in the borough commemorating its history. What a contrast to the borough council’s attitude. They seem intent on the opposite. Firstly the jetty is destroyed and now the public have been denied access to the Dissenters’ graveyard for the next 25 years.

CHARLES J PALMER

Albert Square

Great Yarmouth

Picture perfect

beach scene, no!

AFTER looking at Henry Moore’s beautiful picture of Great Yarmouth beach and our now defunct jetty, I was left wondering whether in a couple of hundred years time, a painting of our now empty beach complete with cheap white plastic wind turbines in the background, would conjure up the same effect. I think not!

PAULINE LYNCH

Bradwell

A clear need to

identify cheats

SO many interesting letters last week. The one from Ceri Walford, about the Government attack on the unemployed and poor on benefits, caught my eye.

There is a clear need to reform and simplify benefits and crack down on abuse and fraud. I used to work with the unemployed and nearly all of them wanted to work.Thus, it may be more productive to create jobs for the unemployed so they do not need benefits.

Other letters note at the need to make Great Yarmouth Great again so there is plenty of scope for job creation. We need to create some USPs-unique selling points.

Each week, we learn of the rich abusing the tax system. A concerted effort to deal with tax evasion is needed. We need to simplify the tax system so everyone pays their dues and cannot avoid tax. I cannot imagine Tory MPs cracking down on the rich with the same gusto as their attack on the genuine benefit claimants.

MPs should also put their own house in order. They are paid £65k a year, yet the taxpayer subsidises their Common’s food bills to the tune of £5.8m a year. A rib-eyed steak costs £2 after subsidy. If they need to stay after 7.30pm, they can claim £15 for a meal. Why? MPs are paid a salary and need to eat in any case and most of us pay for food from our pay!

The longer this Government is in power, the clearer it becomes as to who they represent. Their own self interests and the rich, not the ordinary folk who make up the majority.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Bird-scarers are

driving me mad

WHILE I appreciate that farmers need to protect their crops from feathered destroyers, I am tired of the misuse of gas-firing bird scarers by farmers. For the last two weeks, and we are now into a third week, a farmer in the Ormesby/Scratby area has been using these gun sounding bird scarers relentlessly. Several of them have been fired in quick succession every ten minutes all day, every day, from 5am until 10.30pm.

On a couple of occasions, I was even woken at 4.15am when it started and continued until 10.45pm. This is appalling. I have lived in a rural farming area in the past and I have never heard these machines being used for long periods of time and certainly not before 6am or after 8pm.

There surely must be laws governing the use of these machines.

Name and Address withheld

Why is Gorleston

always ignored?

THIS week the Olympic torch reached this area. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join in the excitement. But why has Gorleston missed out? Surely runners could have taken the torch to the outskirts of the town just south of the hospital?

Again, I feel Gorleston missed out recently during the celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Why was a beacon not erected and lit on the top of Gorleston Cliffs?

This could have been made a special event, especially as local organiser Bruno Peek was so involved in the Jubilee celebrations.

RAY NOBBS

Bendish Avenue

Gorleston

Why is village

bus no-go area?

HAVING read the letter last week calling for a reliable bus service, I can sympathise with those using the No 2 bus, as we have exactly the same problems with the No 5 to Burgh Castle. There are no buses on Sundays, except on bank holidays. Added to this we only have an hourly service, and when this breaks down - which is a regular occurrence - there is no replacement bus. This means there is often a two hour interval between trips whilst a repair is carried out.

It is so frustrating standing in the rain at Yarmouth or Gorleston, when other services turn up every 15 minutes and you know, due to a breakdown you’ll be there another hour.

As this is a holiday village with several campsites surely it would be sensible to have a few more buses, even if only for the summer months.

This would enable visitors and locals alike, to support events taking place on weekends and in evenings in town during the holidays, that for many at the moment is out of the question.

MRS B COE

Burgh Castle

Second time we

have the snub

I AM writing to say that once again the residents of Gorleston have been snubbed with the procession of the Olympic torch being paraded all round Yarmouth and then by car to Lowestoft. Why couldn’t it have come through our High Street? This is the second time we’ve been snubbed with Great Yarmouth being decorated with flags for the Diamond Jubilee, but yet again not a single one in Gorleston.

Where are our councillors, who at the local elections promised to promote Gorleston and do all they could to enhance our little town? Seems to me that once they get our votes they’re happy to just sit back on their extremely good allowance and do absolutely nothing. I notice the council is quite glad to accept our council tax but what do we get in return? Nothing.

To say we are treated as second class citizens must be the understatement of the year.

M NURSEY

Gorleston

Gorleston misses

out on Torch

I AM really looking forward to the London Olympics in a couple of weeks, and I have been following the route of the torch on my laptop, but why isn’t someone running with it through Gorleston? It could go down Southtown Road, onto the High Street, past the hospital and then hand over at the beacon on the Beacon Park Estate before being taken to Lowestoft.

JOHN HUGGINS,

Turin Way

Hopton on Sea

Hearty well done

Somerleyton trio

BRAVO. I read with admiration the recent accounts of the late Lord Somerleyton’s three daughters tackling the sponsored triathalon at Fritton Lake in memory of their father. This at the same time gave much needed support for the continuation of research into Alzheimer’s Dementia. Mercury, June 22). When as a lad I was training to compete in the English Long Distance championship, which in those days was held in the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park I had the privilege of swimming distances in Fritton Lake in preparation for the race. I well remember the huge increase in determination and stamina required to do this, compared with that needed to swim equivalent distances in the buoyant sea water, to which I was accustomed.

Hearty congratulations to the three heroines.

BILL HAMILTON-DEANE

Gorleston

Thanks for help

with Dissenters

A BIG thank you to all who helped to make the opening on the Dissenters Garden Retreat so successful.

Miranda from Big Lottery Awards for All awarding me £6,950 to prepare the site; tree surgery, clearance, fruit trees, shrubs, fencing, tree seats and equipment to upkeep the grounds. Duncan Cole GYBC, Jeff Clarke NCC, Chris Skinner, Chris Brown and Andrew Howlett NPLAW, for preparing the lease (I’ve been informed it was the quickest time known). John Atkins NCC, Colin Penny, Simon Rumsby, Darren Barker, Michael Clark, Dean Minns, Simon Mutten, all of GYBC. Linda Biggs (Retired GYBC), Peter Holland, Patrick Tabor of GYBS.

David Yates. NCC schools landscape gardener, for planning the site providing the fruit trees and doing all the planting himself (I just supervised), and who will help the children upkeep the garden. All these officers have given their time which is very precious to make it a success.

Our seven young hosts from St Nicholas Priory year 6 have been praised for their manners, knowledge and personalities. They only had a short briefing for their task and they were excellent. Thank you

head teacher Mark Adams for hinting to me three years ago that we had not progressed with the garden.

Tracey for acting as my PA and taking calls, some of which were not very polite; Sarah for keeping the awards money in check. Our caretaker for repairing the benches and now has the task of keeping the garden cleared. Our cook for providing the cakes.

Unfortunately you always get a ‘killjoy’, moan, moan, moan, because the garden is not open to the general public. Heaven’s above it’s been closed for 15 years why didn’t they do something about it?

Hundreds of children will benefit from the garden over the years ahead not just a few public. It’s for the children, who are our future to enjoy, learn and relax. I have been very lucky to know how to go about the task and who to contact - you can see why it took so long - but shows what can be done to improve a derelict space. If everyone tried to improve their own patch it would soon make a terrific difference.

When the ground, trees, plants and furniture have all settled in and established perhaps the school will be able to arrange an open afternoon for the public, that can be a topic for the governors’ to discuss. Thank you all for visiting the garden last Friday, I hope you are all pleased with the result.

PATRICIA PAGE

Governor

St Nicholas Priory CofE VA Junior School

Let’s have more

positive stories

AFTER several months of feeling frustrated I felt compelled to write to the Mercury. Why does the Mercury continually publish negative and moaning letters from certain people ie a Mr J Cooper about the Outer Harbour?

We really feel he has made his point over the last weeks, months and years and we are fed up with the negative whinging which is constantly published in the Mercury!

He seems to have a bee in his bonnet against Eastport who appear to be busy trading through a difficult economic time. It is not good for the business morale in the town.

It would be nice to have more positive stories published, particularly about the port and the town in general. I feel it is the Mercury’s responsibility, especially with visitors in town, to let them know that Great Yarmouth is doing okay compared to other places.

So please Mr Cooper and the Mercury, give it a rest. It is not news anymore. Let’s have some more positive stuff please.

MRS STONE

Cromarty Way

Caister

Armed Forces

day snub again

ONCE again Great Yarmouth has failed to acknowledge the Armed Forces of our country.

The display of a couple of Armed Forces Day flags, one at the Town Hall, the other in St George’s Park), does not really give sufficient recognition to our soldiers, sailors and airmen past and present.

While our local county regiment, the 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment, is on deployment in Afghanistan some extra effort should have been made!

Our neighbours in Lowestoft have had an excellent display involving veterans groups, members of the Army, Navy and Air Force and others, with a moving military Drumhead service.

Are we going to let our Suffolk neighbours upstage us?

Next year, let us do Norfolk proud and salute our Armed Forces who have and still do us proud.

ROGER MICKLETHWAITE

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