Letters October 7, 2011
PUBLISHED: 20:17 07 October 2011
as an example
HAS the council gone mad? To suggest increasing the car parking up to the paddling pool area on Gorleston seafront is just complete and utter madness. Not only will it cause chaos it will no doubt result in some person being injured or killed! It’s bad enough now with cyclists racing along, weaving in and out of the people walking along. We should follow Southwold’s example, they have signs quite clear: no cycling allowed, which means it is safe for all. Council leader Steve Ames and Cllr Burroughs should consider pulling down the bandstand where the old swimming pool was and use that area for car parking. That makes far more sense.
Leave our oasis
of calm alone
THE spoilers are at it again! This time they’ve got their eyes on Gorleston’s Lower Promenade. The proposal to turn it into a car park is disgraceful. Gorleston is an oasis of calm; old fashioned yes, but we locals love it that way. Having ruined our harbour in order to give work to outsiders, it’s time the council listened to the people who elected them, or have they forgotten about us?
Also the talk of mergers with other councils has now got boring as this is the third such proposal to my knowledge. All we want from our council is representation and democracy, both of which are lacking at the moment under the present cabinet system.
The pier car park
should be open
I AM against the proposed extra parking at the Gorleston seafront. I agree with comments, (Mercury, September 30) in that it would be dangerous with 44 more cars manoeuvring around in what is already a very compact area. It’s difficult enough now trying to weave around the parked cars, especially with a pushchair. Will a child get knocked over next? Yes, they would if it was extended to The Ravine, taking up more of the seafront.
It is really only for about six weeks during the summer when the extra spaces may be needed and this is why the Pier should have been kept open. I think any added parking extending along the front will spoil the charm of this very unique place.
It will ruin prime
HOW out of touch can the council get? There is. and ought to be. concern about the derelict area of the Gorleston Pier and the old car park which defaces the area, along with the derelict seafront shelters. The council’s amazing solution is to ruin another prime seafront site with on-road parking where pedestrians roam.
The solution is to repair the old site and clear the eyesore. Public officials are well paid and councillors elected to do their best for the town yet again we have an example of failure.
Meanwhile, in Caister, the Beach Road car park is hardly used and has charges from April 1 to September 31 according to the signage. I know Caister likes to be different but 31st September! I see car park objections need to be sent to email@example.com. Brilliant they cannot spell Norfolk!
ALTHOUGH it may be a good idea for extra parking at Gorleston’s Lower Promenade, I think Mr Ames and Mr Burroughs have once again really not thought this through.
Would they put their grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and friends’ children’s safety at risk, apart from those of the visitors who use the paddling pool and play in the sand by it, plus those using the boating lake. Imagine the scenario: children wanting an ice cream, bucket and spade etc run excitedly out of the pool straight into the path of a car. Or, the driver doesn’t see the child or pram as he backs into the space. Perhaps they plan to employ a full time parking attendant, perhaps metering, have we really heard the full story?
GORLESTON seafront is a timeless showcase which attracts an increasing number of visitors and residents. To corrupt that ambiance with yet more cars, fumes and danger to pedestrians is to detract from the whole. Park 44 cars there and a prime selling point aimed at those who would choose to come themselves is lost.
David Cameron said on Sunday morning TV: “I’m a Conservative, I believe if you give people more power in decision making, things will improve.” His message is the reverse of how Yarmouth borough council is handling this affair. Only an appeal to the MP at a meeting in early August made the council come forward with a meeting to discuss Gorleston parking problems.
I will be putting full details of the council’s car park proposal on Gorleston Heritage website for those unable to go to the town hall or you are welcome to phone 600452 and tell your friends the only way we will defeat this is to object to the planning department and pepper the Mercury with letters.
IT seems to me the clowns have left the circus and joined the borough council or the heat from the sun is affecting any sensible thinking. What a crazy idea to extend the car parking up to the paddling pool area in Gorleston: very very dangerous! Please think again.
D J APPLETON
Why not fill in
I READ with interest the article on the front page of the Mercury referring to opening up the Lower Promenade in Gorleston for visitor parking. Maybe we should not stop there - why not fill in the boating lake and create a further parking area closer to the sea? Perhaps that is not far enough: how about laying tarmac on the beach and therefore giving all cars access to the waterside?
Then again maybe there is a better idea. Keep the Lower Promenade for its original use which is open space for the amenity of the community and visitors: for games, for walking safely, for the feeling of open space, for the escape from the traffic, for relaxing on the benches, for safe cycling and scooting for the children, for space to just . . .be.
Sometimes leaving alone is a better option. I, and I think we, say no to parking on the Lower Promenade.
We think it’s a
PROBABLY the safest strip of tarmac, where children can learn to ride their bikes, roller skate as well as people jogging etc, in a traffic-free area our local councillor wants to turn it into a car park. He hopes to have 44 cars next year but how many next year? The precedent will have, if approved by the council, been set. Perhaps Cllr B Burroughs should channel his obvious enthusiasm for car parking on Gorleston seafront into chasing Eastport into repairing the pier car park. Surely children should have priority over moving cars; they should be allowed to run about on the seafront without having to avoid them. Most people I have spoken to think it’s a stupid idea.
I AM absolutely appalled the council are going to allow 44 extra parking spaces on Gorleston’s wonderful Esplanade. Don’t they know that this area is a precious resource, used and valued by the members of our community, as well as the holidaymakers? Any day of the week, you can see parents able to allow their children to run and play games, without having to worry about cars, and older children and teenagers practising their skateboard and cycling skills, as well as the elderly enjoying a walk and an icecream, all ages happily together in this great open space.
If the council considers extra parking is required, they should refurbish the Pier car park, not grab some of our lovely Promenade! And it worries me that this will be a done deal before the November 21 public meeting to discuss the Pier car park situation. There is only a six-week consultation period, and I don’t know when it started, so I urge people who care about Gorleston to protest, and prevent this environmental vandalism!
Fight to re-open
pier car park
THE Friends of Eastport (also known as Great Yarmouth Borough Council) have resurrected a cunning plan that will save them having to spend money repairing our South Pier. We have enjoyed the vehicle-free Lower Promenade area for generations and to lose it would be a retrograde step. Our seats were removed some years ago and most were never replaced, but at least it remained a safe area for families to use.
Cllr John Burroughs should be thoroughly ashamed of himself saying he is quite pleased with the idea. He should be joining the residents he is supposed to represent and fight tooth and nail to get the pier car park open again. If this scheme goes ahead how long before the parking meters arrive and they then decide to extend the car park even further.
TERRY and SANDRA WEST
Children will be in danger
I FAIL to see how the eleventh hour proposal of opening up Gorleston Promenade will increase parking facilities, when facilities were already available, prior to our council giving away access and assets on the South Pier. If it proves anything, it is that prior to gifting away these assets, boosting Gorleston tourism and serving the local businesses, parking was not considered as a priority, presumably in order not to impair the “Grand Plan”.
Surely by moving any parking area from an outside perimeter, into the epicentre of activities, may just be an accident waiting to happen. Even neighbouring bustling Yarmouth seafront has a buffer zone between traffic and promenade tourism. Children will happily chasing around, unaware of the dangers and hazards they may face.
KENNETH W J EKE
Use car park on
the cliff top
AS a mother of two young children who regularly use the paddling pool on Gorleston seafront in the summer and also the promenade in the winter for bike rides etc, wouldn’t it cause more problems using the free space for parking? As it stands it is already a nightmare to get across the busy car park from the beach to shops unless you use the free space near the yacht pond where I know my children can walk safely. Yes, it would be a good idea for less mobile people to get close to the beach but why not make more spaces for disabled people within the car park already there? Why can’t more able people park on the cliffs or on the side roads near the beach and then walk; it’s really not that far! Of course if the car park on the Pier was re-opened this would help.
Mrs E HOLLYOAK
Is this the way to
I HAVE to confess that on reading about the parking plan for the prom, I suddenly became enveloped in a strange red mist! Surely enough is enough. The outer harbour, pier, car park, promenade – none of these matters have been dealt with fairly or satisfactorily. I do believe the time has come to say to our councillors “We elected you in good faith, is this the way to treat your electorate?”
ruin best feature
I FIND it hard to believe the local council is proposing to ruin one of Gorleston’s best features by attempting to site another 44 parking spaces on a section of it. This is a folly for many reasons: 1 For 95pc of the year, there is no requirement for extra parking; 2 The area is not wide enough for this to be done safely; 3 This area is full of children a lot of the time, at the boating lake, on the trampolines etc; 4 There is ample parking at the top of the Cliffs and the other end of the Promenade; 5 Slopes and steps lead down onto this area from the cliff top and children regularly run down them and out onto the promenade; 6 This section of the Promenade is used every Saturday morning as the finish line and registration area for the Gorleston Cliffs Park Run which had developed into one of the leading events in the Countrywide Park Run system. Mums, dads and children all run in this event every week and in the current fight against obesity and the need to get people active in the area, it would be a great shame if this event was lost to somewhere else due to the council’s lack of foresight. A promenade is for walking along, not for car parking.
to the people
MAY I begin by saying I do not have the same fervent desire to have the Pier car park re-opened as others of your readers. The pier, including the car park is owned by a private company, Eastport. Discussions with Eastport and trying to work alongside them, highlighting the community benefits of this area may have been better than demanding something they have no obligation to provide.
However, this is not the case of the lower promenade. This belongs to the council and therefore by the residents of the community. I feel there is no need or justification for allowing the car parking area to be extended further. There are spaces on the surrounding roads, the car parking areas in front of the shops as well as the cliff top car park, for those who wish to sit and watch the sea, at the far end of Marine Parade.
Following a discussion with Cllr Burroughs, he explained this was an issue which has been looked at for many years. He said many had requested these extra spaces, including residents on Marine Parade. I really feel they would have noticed the sea and beach when they bought the property and therefore the associated consequences. He also said the shopkeepers had been asking for it.
Gorleston is a Conservation Area. This was one of the objections the shopkeepers used against the new ice cream parlour in the redundant first aid building. How come this is not considered so important when it benefits them? He also suggested these extra 44 spaces would boost tourism in the area. I really do not feel the extra spaces would influence the decision of many to visit this beautiful beach and area.
If there are any other residents who also feel as I do, objections can be made to the Planning Department at the Town Hall, or your Councillor. Unfortunately mine has already decided this proposal is a good idea!
SURPRISE, surprise: a cheap solution is found to the parking problem at Gorleston’s seafront. Not the obvious and sensible, albeit costly, solution of repairing and reopening the large car park on the pier but creating 44 spaces right next to the yacht pond and paddling pool where small children play in safety. This area is a favourite with children of all ages learning to skate and ride scooters and bikes. Where is health and safety when you need them! For the sake of maybe 30 or 40 days in a year when the extra parking is needed, the area will be spoiled for all time so please borough council, rethink this crazy and dangerous idea.
We will lose a
WE wish to add our protest to those already expressed regarding the unacceptable proposal to plan 44 parking spaces on the open area beyond the shops on the seafront. This unwelcome proposal would see a continuation of what is already a hostile and dangerous environment for all visitors, especially families with young children and also unaccompanied children. The congestion caused by closely parked cars, the moving traffic, and even double parking, alongside a narrow pavement makes buying an icecream a hazardous undertaking, especially if you have children of different ages to keep safe.
The open area we will lose is a most valuable asset. Have the proposers of this scheme ever sat and enjoyed an icecream, enjoying the sea view away from the nuisance of traffic? Aren’t children more important than cars and wouldn’t this scheme put them in greater danger as they make their way down to the beach?
We agree with Dennis Durrant who warned in his letter which appeared last week that a further proposal would be made, namely to allow access and exit via the promenade and the Ravine. If this were to happen a long section of the promenade would be totally spoilt. You would think councillors would fight tooth and nail to preserve such a precious amenity, and yet we read the opposite.
The addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of Steve Ames, the leader of the council and all the councillors on the Great Yarmouth Borough Council website. Or, of course, write letters to the Town Hall.
JEAN and ALAN MORRIS
WHAT on earth are our inept councillors up to this time, with their proposal to introduce parking on Gorleston promenade? They have spent years and millions ruining Yarmouth seafront and now they want to turn their attention to Gorleston’s much loved seafront. The elderly, disabled and young users of the seafront will not want to play dodgems with cars driving up and down the promenade. If our councillors have to fiddle then they should do something about the state of the promenade’s shelters, the missing bench seats and the removal of parking on the South Pier. Get Eastport to repair the pier’s surface and then parking should be adequate enough for visitors’ needs.
N S WILLIAMSON
Listen to B&B’s
AGAIN, another meeting where residents’ parking permits issue was brought up. It seems to me we are going to lose them and then what? For a bed and breakfast business like mine, and for many others, if we lose the permits to offer to customers we will lose trade. So will the council allow us to deregulate our businesses back to private houses that we can sell or turn into houses of multiple occupation?
Then, instead of being a tourist trading town we would just have daily visitors and a lot more people living in multiple occupancy homes and claiming money from the council. Is that what they really want? Without the offer of permits to park, fewer people will choose to stay in bed and breakfasts unless you have a private car park and most of us do not.
So I say to Cllr Charles Reynolds: Listen to us and listen to the residents. Nothing you have had to say yet makes sense. There seems to be more people who want to keep the permits than those who want to get rid of them.
WITH reference to the contribution by Stephen Conway (Letters, September 23) regarding the “restoration of the ancient tradition of abstaining from meat products on a Friday”.
The “restoration” for many, is a “continuum” as many Catholics never gave up this practice in the first place, but have faithfully continued as part of our cultural tradition. This for me, was justified not only on the basis of culture but also Scripture where St Paul commends us to remain faithful to the ancient traditions 1Cor 11 v 2.
Welcome too is a change in the wording of the Mass which is a more accurate translation to the original. I would like to thank my many Anglican friends around Great Yarmouth, and in particular: Acle Church of St Edmund, who wish us well with the new translation.
However, I feel the restoration does not go far enough and would have liked to have seen a restoration of the practice of receiving Communion on my knees, with emphasis on the teaching of St Paul of the consequences of “eating and drinking unworthily, being a desecration of the Body and Blood of the Lord” [1 Cor 11 v27-28]; but to do so, when it is no longer the practice, runs the risk of conveying a false piety.
I have long been worried about the possible consequences of the influences on our traditions and ancient culture from the liberal left, feminism, consumerism and aggressive secularism. This restoration for me goes a long way in abating those fears. As Stephen Conway rightly says: “The new translation is a much greater spiritual experience” and for me: stepping into the future with greater cohesion to the past!
Rituals and rites
are not in Bible
ROMAN Catholics, says Stephen Conway in his letter (September 23), must not eat meat on Fridays. And in this connection he uses the words “demanded”, “obligatory”, “must be followed”, “should be observed” and “prescribed”.
One would think a practice so “vital” to Catholicism would be based on the Bible. But no! Mr Conway tells us his church’s source for Friday meat-fasting is the Didache, a late first- or early second-century AD text.
Mr Conway says “we need to follow rituals and rites”. But what is the point in doing so if these are not in the Bible? We find God’s will only in Scripture, not in the many non-biblical writings the Roman Catholics follow. No wonder the list of non-Christian teachings of Catholicism is so long!
Jesus’ words to the fake Jews of His day, the scribes and Pharisees, could equally be addressed to the Roman Catholic and other churches in our area: “In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).
Hunt for history
of Caister Camp
I WAS saddened to receive news a couple of weeks back about the passing of a very dear family friend in Boston, USA. But the story of how his in-laws met mine goes back to the summer of 1947 at the then Caister Holiday Camp which attracted visitors mainly from London.
My parents met another couple who had an eight year old daughter named Jean. When she was 18 she married an American GI and then set off for a new life with him in Brockton, Massachusetts. Regrettably she died at the age of 57 a week after I last saw her in hospital in the US in July 1996 Her parents have now gone as mine have. Her husband Bill Duffy and myself were the last of that family friendship. His son rang me from Boston recently after trying to find my contact details. I had tried to contact him for over six months. In fact, it was he and his wife Jean who first introduced me to the radio station WOKW, where I made some of my first professional broadcasts.
But I would be interested to find out more about what the Caister camp was like at that time from anyone who either visited or more likely worked there, what the accommodation and activities were like, what the meals were like as some foods were still on ration until 1954 and the friendships that were bonded in those far off days of Post Way austerity.
If anyone can help I would be pleased to hear from them by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I READ the comments of Richard Hudson in last week’s Mercury letters section, and his party line that shows scant regard to the true options of democracy in Great Yarmouth regarding the recent and forthcoming true Elected Mayor campaign in Great Yarmouth.
Mr Hudson is wrong in his assumptions that the Elected Mayor for Great Yarmouth campaign is going to be active in four years time. It is happening now.
The last vote took place under local elections, and the influence of local party politics. This government supports local referendums, local mayors and control in the community.
Did the 70,000 electors in our town have a say in the election of leader of the council, Steve Ames?
As to the last 2010/2011 Elected Mayor committee, I was proud to be vice chairman. The committee was non political and comprised a large cross community membership. Party politics had its impact, in a negative manner, during and since the vote, and shame on those who played a part in that.
Call to report
I WRITE on behalf of Great Yarmouth Borough Services regarding the letter entitled Abandoned Car Problem by C Ellery appearing in the September 30 issue of the Mercury. It is the responsibility of Great Yarmouth Borough Council to deal with abandoned cars.
This is done by the car clear coordinator at Great Yarmouth Borough Services and he can be contacted on 01493 333371 during the day or a message can be left on the answerphone 24/7. Information regarding abandoned cars and how they can be reported can also be accessed via the council website.
The coordinator will also deal with untaxed vehicles and vehicles advertised for sale on the highway that cause a nuisance. If C Ellery would like to contact this office personally then the abandoned vehicle problem can be dealt with.
Car Clear Coordinator (GYBS)
What harm in
IT is that time of the year again and our friend Mr Barkhuizen is concerned for our safety at Halloween. As I said last year I am concerned with children going round in the dark wearing masks and knocking on strangers’ doors.
I think it is something best avoided. However I would like to know what harm Mr Barkhuizen thinks can come to children dressing up as witches or reading Harry Potter books or watching the films.
I did think the links in his letter may hold a clue but one did not work and the other was not related to any sort of witchcraft. He did mention Doreen Irvine who appears to use the terms witchcraft and satanism interchangably and since true witches do not believe in Satan she cannot be a real witch.
Royal Naval Hospital
Seeing evil in every corner
HALLOWEEN is almost here again and of course it would not be complete without a letter from E Barkhuizen, warning us naive folk of the dangers to which we are we exposing ourselves and our families by watching Harry Potter films, making pumpkin lanterns or wearing Halloween masks.
What a curious and controlling world Mr Barkhuizen and his ilk must inhabit. For them there is no such thing as harmless fun, unless it fits within the context of their narrow, archaic beliefs.
They manage to see evil lurking around every corner and can find it within the most innocent of activities. What’s more, they see it as their mission to try to save the rest of us folk from all these bogeymen.
Modern-day religious fundamentalism, of any hue, is the 21st century continuation of those same ideas. Stoning women to death for being accused of having an extra-marital affair, beating children with sticks to exorcise evil spirits and denying sick children blood transfusions are all happening today as a result of quirky but dangerous interpretations of some quasi-religious text or teaching.
I would never question Mr Barkhuizen’s sincerity or under-estimate the steadfastness of his beliefs; he will be unshakeable in them. He and his fellow believers will quite possibly respond to this letter by quoting numerous biblical references at me. I wish however, just for once, he and his kind could resist the temptation to lecture the rest of us on how we should or should not be living our lives.
DENNIS J BEAN
Burgh St Peter
a well done!
I SPENT a very enjoyable September 4 at the UEA Sportspark with an eclectic mix of people of all ages, taking part in the Norfolk Village Games. Miss Neszadeli from Cliff Park High School organised the Gorleston team which included some true athletes from the school and some not so athletic parents, including myself.
Somehow I agreed to join the rounders team with daughter Daisy and, sorry guys, a motley crew of people who I had never met before. Initially there was a lot of effort and energy but very little coordination but by the end of the day there was something resembling a cohesive team and we actually won a match! The rest of the Gorleston team worked very hard throughout the day which culminated in Golds in archery and table tennis. Much to our surprise we won a team bronze for the large village/market town section. Well done for all your hard work and combined effort. Who knows what we could achieve in 2012 with a bit of practice.
The Gorleston team were: Five-a-side Football: Levi Sweeby, Luke King, Luke Carter, Josh Carter, Owen Barnes, Kieron Barhan, George Traynor; Rounders: Daisy Taylor, Dawn Taylor, Logan’s dad and sister, Chrissie Rigby, James Rigby, Megan and Emily Turner; Badminton: Amber Jones and Jordan Byrne; Table tennis: Logan Sewell and Anita Neszadeli; Tennis: Matty Ashpole and Julian Langer; Archery: Matty Ashpole, Chrissie Rigby, Anita Neszadeli, Jordan Byrne, James Rigby, Megan Turner; Watt Bikes Cycling Challenge: Matty Ashpole, Julian L, Logan Sewell; Darts: Nathan Bloomfield
I READ with interest the article in last week’s Mercury, Love Local, and agree you have to keep the town centre alive and working as per other local shops, but with regard to the town centre, I feel it would be a good idea to increase the free parking time to commencing at 3pm.
The reason is an hour and a half is not long enough to visit more than one or two shops and then in a rush. Extending it by an hour, would stop abuse of the system and at the same time give longer access to more shops.
Worth consideration by the authorities.
VALERIE JORDAN (Mrs)
I AM a Gorleston girl, lived most of my formative years here until moving to Canada after my marriage, and where I have resided for the last 46 years.
My teachers had the strong sense of history and heritage, particularly relating to the many rich artifacts which were still in the town having survived wartime bombing or council clearance. In Canada, one of our national heroes is the British General James Wolfe who led the fight to retain Canada as a British Country against strong opposition of the French. Wolfe who was a generation older than Nelson, died in the hour of triumph on the Heights of Abraham, as Nelson did in the moment of victory at the battle of Trafalgar.
I visit my hometown from time to time and was appalled to learn of the plans to demolish the remaining structure of the jetty. Every Great Yarmouth resident knows the jetty has been repaired over the centuries since its construction in 1570 and the latest remaining portion remaining above the surface dates only from the 1960’s. Nevertheless the current structure hooks onto an earlier structure below ground and without a detailed excavation, who knows how much of the original works lie buried from what was possibly the earliest marine pier structure in the country.
The Jetty could be made a major asset for the town if care was taken to excavate the site to see what remains and research carefully its history for the benefit of visitors to the town. I cannot believe that the council can be so short sighted as to let health and safety issues override a phased programme of repairs and exploration on the oldest surviving seaborne structure in the town. I read the Mercury weekly, with my subscription to the e-edition. Other readers throughout the world would be equally horrified in the mindless action which is proposed to take place.
I WAS amazed and taken aback to hear about complaints regarding food at the James Paget Hospital. My late wife spent some time in this hospital as a patient and never did I hear her or anyone complain about the food or the treatment either? If she had had a complaint I would have taken a different approach to that of others. I would have requested a meeting to resolve the problems in a quiet and civilised way.
I WOULD like to thank the James Paget Hospital for the excellent treatment my husband received on wards 18 and 15. They have fed and monitored his fluid intake as he, at 91 years old and very frail, has been unable to do so himself. Nothing has seemed too much trouble for the staff.
team at Paget
I WAS deeply distressed to read on the front of the Mercury, September 30, of the unfavourable result of the second inspection of the James Paget University Hospital by a care watchdog. On Sunday, June 12, I accompanied my father to A&E where we spent the day. I cannot praise the dedicated staff highly enough. Although there appeared to be a never ending stream of casualties, all presenting different medical problems, the nurses and doctors were unfailingly attentive, compassionate, and understanding.
I am sure they must have got fed up with hearing me reading aloud to my father from his favourite book but no annoyance was shown. Piping hot coffee was brought to us and a refreshing meal served. I have always been grateful to all the staff of the JPUH, their chaplain, and to our dedicated ambulance service and skilled paramedics.
going to waste
I HAVE followed the letters in the Mercury regarding the type of church services being held in Belton.
Mrs Beach appears to have been given incorrect information. If the church leaders want to know what the villagers want from St Nicholas Church they should spend time talking to the older residents (I don’t mean by age), and ask them why they left the church and what sort of services they want. I believe the present Parochial Church Council are the people who pushed to have the Anglican services stopped, so naturally they would not want them returned. It’s a lovely church going to waste. I am an ex Belton resident who left the church because the change in services was too extreme for myself.
Mrs J BROWN,
London Road North,
WE thoroughly enjoyed the last night of the summer fireworks on Yarmouth seafront, so how about Bonfire Night fireworks extravaganza for the locals?
V KIRBY, email