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Wrong decision will kill resort

PUBLISHED: 12:40 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:12 03 July 2010

SITING the casino and other new leisure facilities other than at the heart of the Golden Mile (ie the councils extended “Marina” site) will have a devastating effect on current seafront businesses which are already struggling to survive - to back either the “Edge” scheme or the “Riverside” scheme will effectively kill off the rest of the seafront.

SITING the casino and other new leisure facilities other than at the heart of the Golden Mile (ie the councils extended “Marina” site) will have a devastating effect on current seafront businesses which are already struggling to survive - to back either the “Edge” scheme or the “Riverside” scheme will effectively kill off the rest of the seafront.

Why? Because the new schemes will have parking which the central seafront disastrously does not have anywhere near enough of. If a fantastic scheme can be accessed for the Marina site all the seafront will benefit from the new attractions and the extensive new parking area which will have to go with it.

Such a scheme should have ground breaking new quality attractions and not just compete against existing attractions which it would completely destroy if it replicates. The knock on results would be catastrophic for existing seafront owners, many who have been in the resort for years and seen it through thick and thin. Jobs will just move from one area to another, and nothing will be gained. This is the most important decision the council will ever make - and I'm worried the lack of any public progress with the Marina site shows they will be trying to take a less controversial path and not choose their “own” site. This is our and theirs only chance of getting a truly fabulous Marina Centre scheme with great sports facilities and new attractions for locals and visitors that really live up to people's expectation and our chance to get, say, 500 central car parking spaces that need to service this and that will help the rest of the seafront survive and go forward.

I'm worried the “we've run out of time” excuse will be used again as it was with the inteGreat scheme.

Yarmouth has truly hit the jackpot by winning the “large” casino prize. Now we have it, we must not throw the opportunity away.

This is the council's one and only chance to give the town the resort the boost it needs to survive with outside investment and new attractions - but they have to play their winning “hand” in the right way by getting a scheme that doesn't destroy the heritage they already have.

It's also their only chance of getting the financial impact of having a great new revenue provider for them with the Marina site deal.

Another downside of the “Edge” positioning is it blocks any extension to the port area, which I think places it in totally the wrong place. We all want the port to be a success and you can see this land is not the right place to place a leisure centre, it's absolutely obvious it will be needed for additional port use.

I'm very, no extremely, worried that councillors do not really understand the great responsibility they have in making what will either destroy or “make” the resort. I've already heard the excuses of the credit crunch and the disruption of the seafront during Marina site works, these are both total red herrings. The credit crunch affects every site and we can all live through a couple of years of building to get the right scheme in the centre of our seafront.

The council has a very heavy responsibility and the opportunity of a lifetime, which if they get wrong, will very quickly - quicker than they can possibly imagine, kill off the heritage of a hundred years.

PETER JAY

Director Jays UK Limited

Burgh Castle

AFTER seeing the recent Mercury article concerning the casino site, it is obvious to me and many others, that it should go in a more central position. To position it out of the way is unfair to the existing attractions, which always seem desperate for more parking and visitors. All the new schemes so far seem to offer attractions the town has already got; surely the council now has a chance to get something new for the town and much-needed investment for the Marina Centre with brand new facilities which we would all benefit from. Good for Peter Jay for raising this issue!

ROD LITCHFIELD

Marltrax (MES)

Sussex Road Business Centre

Gorleston

IN reply to Mr Peter Jay, last week's Mercury. I agree fully with him, the new casino should be built centrally on Marine Parade not down the South Denes on the edge of a housing estate.

We have already lost access to the beach to the north of the Pleasure Beach. If the casino is built to the south we would lose access to the beach there as well. This must not be allowed to happen.

A HARRISON

South Beach Parade

Great Yarmouth

WILL everyone give Albert Jones a break! If I was Mr Jones, I would have thrown the towel in months ago. It seems everyone, English Heritage, the borough council, now Peter Jay are moaning about a Yarmouth born and bred man trying to improve his home town. He has worked tirelessly on this project, he has the site, he has the funds, he has the backing of big business, and he won't be depriving anyone of their local sports facilities.

Mr Jones' family have invested millions and millions over the years. I think it's about time we showed Albert some support for being brave enough to put anything into a town in this terrible economic climate we find ourselves in.

ALEC SIPKA

Tennyson Road

Great Yarmouth

IN reply to Shaun Layton's letter in last week's Mercury regarding the fines for wheelie bins left out.

Although I agree with much of his letter, I must take issue with him over the Middlegate Estate. Ever since the communal bin system was bought in two years ago there have been no black bags left out for collection, it all goes into the communal bins.

About 90pc of the ground floor flats and all of the houses and maisonettes have their own wheelie bins which are emptied the day after the communal bins. I will agree that sometimes you do see a black sack dumped somewhere on the estate, but this has usually been fly-tipped, and very often by people who don't live on the estate, but I will say the caretakers and cleaning crew on the estate are very good and get rid of them as soon as possible.

I do get a bit upset and sometimes very angry when people who do not live here give very negative comments.

JOHN DONOVAN

Clarendon Close

Great Yarmouth

FINES for bin-blockers? Relax, this is just another way for an overstretched council to raise revenue.

The council realise that actually what they are demanding is for many working people a practical impossibility - unless we decide to be late for work, thus putting both employment and subsequent responsibilities at risk.

Credit where credit is due: At least the council are transparent in their methods of raising revenue.

One small question: On the occasions when the council fails to empty my bin, having met all the requirements (closed lid, placed for ease of emptying, cleaned exterior, greased wheels etc), am I to leave it in case the bin-persons call later or, to avoid a fine, put it away and in two weeks time put it out again with the lid now open (incurring risk of another fine) due to it being over-full and containing a month's worth of now decaying foul smelling contents?

PS Hey council: Another method of raising revenue: “Why not fine householders for bins you've failed to empty that smell!”

ROGER HAYES

Beccles Road

Bradwell

I AM writing to express my disgust at the government's proposed privatisation of the Royal Mail service. Could I through your letters page encourage readers to contact our MP Tony Wright and ask him to vote against the government on this occasion. The Royal Mail not only provide us with a valuable postal service but are also part of the local community and probably some of the more elderly people's most regular contact with the outside world.

Mr Wright can be contacted via email at wrighta@parliament.uk or more appropriately via the Royal Mail at 20 Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 1NE (don't forget the stamp).

STUART PEARCE

St Johns Avenue

Gorleston

I READ with humour the letter “Seeing Red” (January 23), about disabled parking badges, but that changed when my parents had a rather nasty note left under their wipers on returning to their car.

Has this letter caused uproar in the town or is it the act of a “one man band.” The writer asked was it easy to get a disabled badge. When has it ever been easy to get benefit in this country.

The writer also mentioned that they saw a perfectly-able bodied woman leaving her car. How did they know? Disability doesn't come wrapped around a wheelchair.

It's never easy shopping with a disabled person, everything takes so much time and effort. Both my mother and father-in-law are disabled and I can't tell you how many times we have returned to find we are unable to open car doors fully to negotiate them and the wheelchair in.

The writer says they suppose they are lucky to be able to walk over the bridge - well yes, you are jolly lucky. Perhaps they would like to trade places with my parents to find out what it's like not to be able to do that. They, in return, can pay the 60p parking.

Go and do something more constructive with your time, volunteers are always wanted to work with disabled people.

Mrs K OSBORNE

Weedon

Northampton

I AM writing to Mrs Brenda Hammond, in response to her letter in last week's Mercury regarding speeding motorists along Caister Road. I am the Conservative candidate for the Norfolk County Council north and central division election.

Reading Mrs Hammond's letter, I think it summed up the views of many residents in the area. What I also noted in the letter was her criticism of local politicians and candidates. When I launched my county council campaign in late November I wanted it to promote a new era of politics in the town, bringing the powers back to the grassroots, to enable issues such as the speed of motorists on Caister Road to be resolved with concerned residents such as Mrs Hammond, taking an active role in the decision process.

I can assure you that once I am elected as your Norfolk county councillor I will pursue this further.

TOM GARROD

MAY I add my penn'orth to the letters from Cecilia Ebbage and Len Fleetwood about the space left by the demolition of the old beach huts at Gorleston. Their ideas are so simple and people-friendly that they are unlikely to be implemented by the powers. Something more elaborate and expensive is quite likely to be chosen.

Miss R L FARMER

Marine Parade,

Gorleston

MAY I give my opinion on two letters in last week's Mercury, by Mr Donavon and Mr Kirkpatrick.

I agree with what Mr Donavon said regarding vehicles parking across pavements and therefore blocking the right of way. I have encountered this on many an occasion while using my disability scooter, where my path has been blocked, although I do agree that contractors seem to be the main perpetrators. The general public are as much to blame as contractors, especially the 4x4 brigade.

As for Mr Kirkpatrick's letter reference refuse collectors, no doubt bins are left blocking pathways, pavements etc when emptied and so cause problems, but at the same time I can only praise the collectors who empty the bins in our area. They struggle every time to get up our roads without damaging vehicles which have been left parked in awkward places to get to our bins, and once they have emptied them they are returned.

So yes, there is an argument on both sides but all I can do is praise the refuse collectors and my message to them is well done and keep the good work up.

ALFRED LEARMONTH

Paston Road

Gorleston

REFERENCE the letter from Mr Kirkpatrick last week. He obviously does not have the same refuse collectors as us. Ours are always polite, tidy and extremely helpful and considerate. I have nothing but praise for them in their unenviable work. I believe they are not obliged to empty overfull bins; this was made clear by the council when the bins were introduced. It is not the refuse collector's fault. If Mr Kirkpatrick does not like where they leave his bin, has he thought about asking them to leave it somewhere more satisfactory?

TERRY WEST

Garnham Road

Gorleston

PRAYER, a form of healing. Look at society in general, it certainly is the case that true Christians are very much in the minority and Jesus said “If they persecute me, they will persecute you also,” so the nurse who prayed for a patient was receiving a form of persecution.

But prayers are not always answered in the way we expect. For example the apostle Paul had an illness which he described as a “thorn in the flesh” and those times he asked to be healed. But this is the answer he received. “He really said to me, my undeserved kindness is sufficient for you, for my power is being made perfect in weakness.”

So Paul was not healed of his illness, but in spite of that he served God faithfully until his death. So for those of us who have serious illnesses and claim to be Christian, it is necessary for us to suffer evil to prove our integrity to God.

PHILIP KNIGHT

Wherry Way

Great Yarmouth

I NOTED last week a scheme for St George's Theatre in King Street, Great Yarmouth.

Historically it was called St George's Church or Chapel but it was deconsecrated many years ago and was established as a centre for art, music and drama. It was owned by the council and was leased to a trust as a theatre. Over ten years ago, a scheme was prepared and a proposed budget of over £1.25m, after consultation with a specialist London architect and a local surveyor and structural engineer.

This had the tacit approval of English Heritage and lottery funders, who had viewed the theatre. Also, with the guidance of the officers of the borough council, we were in the process of applying for funding when the trustees at that time were voted out and it has been more or less derelict ever since. So it is with great joy that at last the building is being returned to its former glory and its important position as the hub in the regeneration of King Street.

PETER HOWKINS

Chairman of the Old Trustees of St Georges Theatre

I AM writing to thank all your readers who helped to make the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Red for Heart campaign such a success in February.

It was great to see so many people going red for National Heart Month. From wearing red to work or school, to buying the Red for Heart pin badge, to writing a love note in their local BHF shop or by raising funds in their own way by going red.

We are also extremely thankful to those people who gave their time for free and organised events and other fundraising activities.

The money your community raised throughout the Red for Heart campaign will help save lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. It is only with your support that we can beat heart disease together and save the life you love.

If people would still like to donate to the campaign they can simply visit bhf.org.uk/red or call 0845 241 0976 or Brenda Clabburn on 01953 450 210 or clabburnb@bhf.org.uk

Brenda Clabburn,

Fundraising and Volunteer Manager for Norfolk

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