Readers’s letters, March 2 2018

Disgusting sight of 26 piles of poo

As a sensible dog owner who cleans up after her dog, it is with disgust I have to write that when I was walking my dog along the riverside in Gorleston I counted 26 piles of dog poo.

How disgusting is that?

If these people who let their dogs foul this (or any other) public area are caught and fined the £1,000 as the warning sign along the river says, the borough council could employ one, two or even three people to inspect this (and other) public land to keep it clean, even though this shouldn’t be necessary.

Also I have to add, what is the point of putting your dog’s poo in a bag and leaving it on the floor? This makes you just as bad as the ones who don’t clear up. A pointless exercise really.

Lastly I would like to add, bag it, bin it or take it home.


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Contrasts in the Mercury pages

As life becomes more and more impersonal and incomprehensible, two contrasting stories in last week’s paper seemed to highlight the process.

First there was the story of the brilliant family-run firm of Global Signs and Engraving which is to continue its growth by moving to the Beacon Park in Gorleston.

A perfect outcome and long may their success continue, along with that of the handful of family-run businesses which give the town a certain distinctiveness of its own, the disgraceful boarded-up shops notwithstanding. These businesses include the toy shop on King Street, the bookshop in the Victoria Arcade and the embroidery shop on Market Row.

Contrast this with the disgraceful story about the League of Friends shop at the James Paget, which is being ousted unceremoniously from the foyer of the hospital to make way for Marks and Spencer’s, of all companies, to move in.

Yes, the same Marks and Spencer’s which deserted the town centre in the blink of an eye and will add yet another degree of corporate, impersonal ‘service’ in place of a highly-esteemed true service provided by a team of volunteers. The justification of course is that the hospital will make money, the same justification given for the extortionate parking fees.

To paraphrase Beaumarchais, we should make ourselves laugh at everything, in case we should have to weep.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Good turn turned out to anger me

Because of the “Beast from the East” this week, I thought some poor or homeless people would benefit from a warm winter coat. As I have just sorted my coats out I thought I would take them to a church in Gorleston, as they do a food bank.

I was so angry and embarrassed when I was told they didn’t want them as they had nowhere to store them, and they would have to dispose of them.

I won’t do that again, I thought I was doing someone a good turn!



Party politics a no-no locally

Isn’t it about time local councillors, although it obviously won’t happen, were not affiliated to any particular political party?

Surely the ambition of every councillor is to ensure that the best is being done for the borough they serve, not having a pop at the opposition.

The council would then be just that, a council, not rival factions scoring brownie points off each other. I fail to see why councillors should want to be affiliated to one party or another anyway, they are not politicians after all, and it only encourages people to vote for the party not the person, which, in an ideal world, shouldn’t be the case.

The ice rink at Christmas was an obvious mistake, but the council members responsible for the decision didn’t do it on purpose to lose money, they obviously thought it would make money otherwise why propose it?

A solution to the low turnout may have been to have the rink covered in as was the one near Chapelfields in Norwich, against the weather. My wife was going to take our young grand-daughter to the one on the market, but didn’t because of inclement weather. Councils make mistakes. The giant TV screen on the market seems to have been another one – whatever happened to that ?


Green Lane,


Mystery of the doggy bag refusal

I was quite unaware until this week that anyone could possibly be opposed to the principle of reducing food waste.

In particular, I refer to being prevented from removing leftover scraps from my plate to take home for a cat. As informed by the manager of a Gorleston eating establishment, this is current company policy - supposedly at the insistence of the head chef - on health and safety grounds.

I still don’t believe for one minute that restaurants in general are prepared to lose trade over such a silly issue, but, while there are those that still respect a customer’s right to ownership of what they have purchased in good faith, that is where I for one will prefer to eat.

Long live the doggy bag and pizza leftover box!

Name and Address withheld

Kindness of staff at James Paget

At this time of year when hospitals are under so much pressure I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone on Wward 2 at the James Paget Hospital who looked after me so well on my recent stay in hospital. Nothing was too much trouble and I was treated with kindness and respect and am now making good progress at home.



The importance of health checks

Stephen Fry’s admission that he had his prostate removed was a very useful article on publicising the need for men to get checked out for prostate cancer.

I do say having a high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level does not mean you have cancer, but it is an indication. In my case 12 years ago my reading was very low I also had a small prostate.

How did I find out I had prostate cancer, it was through my wife taking an interest in my health.

She joined U3A and chatted to an old friend learning her friend’s husband had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Of course my wie asked the obvious, how did the husband first find out?

Her friend said that hubby used to stand for ages with the taps running in the WC to give him incentive to empty his bladder. My wife Christine said I had the same problem, with no more to do I was frog-marched to our doctors surgery, this was early November,

During late November and early December I had many tests, snipping bits off the prostate for analyses. X-rays, scans but no firm diagnoses was given until 4pm on Christmas Eve when I received a phone call that I had prostate cancer.

Immediately in the new year, I was sent for bone scans to see if my bones were affected, and I got the all clear on that.

Before January was out I was in the James Paget having surgery, I was in hospital for 18 days. I had tests for five years and given the all clear.

With hindsight would I do it all again? Yes, if I had not had it done by now I would be dead.


Burnt Lane,


Yes, people abuse the blue badges

I must agree with P Smith about the people who abuse the blue badges.

I have to use a wheelchair to go around supermarkets and the big DIY stores and it makes me very angry when I cannot get a disabled parking space because it is taken up by people who have a blue badge, park in disabled spots and then walk round the stores to do their shopping.

When I cannot get a parking spot my wife has to leave me in the car and do the shopping. I sit looking at the people using the disabled places and get very angry at the number of people who seem to be okay to walk round the stores but still have a blue badge.


Humberstone Road,


Stop talking and let’s leave EU

Why is there still all this controversy over the word referendum from people who should know the meaning of it, which is a direct vote by the people of a country on a single issues. It is not a rehearsal.

We have struggled financially for over fifty years. But with this Brexit issue now is the moment for us to shed burden of the European Economic Community and consider what is best for Great Britain, who unlike any other member does not have the commitments we have, our sovereignty and our National Health Service.

They are commitment enough without our further fees of the European Union. Having now picked up the courage to go it alone, let us go forward together as one determined body.


Gonville Road,


Spend money on what town needs

It’s been said before and it has to be repeated – there’s not a business brain between all the councillors on Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

They cheerfully admitted last week they spent £200,066 of public money on the Christmas ice rink, losing the public £118,966 in a wasted exercise, while claiming its presence in the centre of the town brought in 432,516 people.

How could they possibly know, unless they had a man with a clicker noting every soul venturing into town over seven weeks!

It is not the job of the council to splash money out on far-fetched, hare-brained schemes. Let the councillors put it out to public tender and let a private entrepreneur take the risk or reap the profits if indeed there was a possibility of any emerging. And give the site to the entrepreneur for nothing.

The council does, however, have the responsibility of providing basic human necessities for its townspeople, and in a tourist resort for the visitors too. So the thought of closing still more public loos is a devastating indictment. Public conveniences are not a folly – unlike an ice rink, but a necessity.

I would have thought that as most councillors are of a “certain age” they would already be cognisant with increasing needs for a toilet as one gets older. But then I know they have in the town hall the most beautifully maintained toilets in the town.

Spend £118,966 on more and improved toilets for public use, or those cruise ship visitors will have to be advised to spend a penny onboard before disembarking for the delights of this seaside town.


Albert Gate Road,

Great Yarmouth

Modern toilets needed in town

A year’s reprieve for the council’s Market Gates toilets is okay (Mercury, February 23) but when are council decision-makers going to address the issue in a more strategic way?

The Market Gates Shopping Centre itself operates public toilets within the complex and the council’s ones on the outside by the wall are badly sited, overlarge and close early.

What is really needed is a modern facility in the bus station area itself. Thousands of people each day pass through that area - both local people and visitors - and they are bemused when they cannot see public toilets close at hand and easily accessible by those with limited mobility.

The county council is updating the bus station facilities this spring and it would be really helpful if the borough council used the coming year to put in place such an alternative. I would suggest that they take on an empty unit like the one between the Iceland Supermarket and the Wetherspoon’s to provide smaller but more appropriately sited public toilets from 2019.


County Councillor for Yarmouth North & Central

Ensuring scheme isn’t blighted

While welcoming the news that Great Yarmouth’s third river crossing has been designated a project of national importance, I will be ensuring that this scheme isn’t blighted with a runaway overspend like the NDR.


Nelson and Southtown

Why should State provide for free?

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear; the ice rink cost the residents of Great Yarmouth a bit of money. The thought of the local community contributing to positive activities to promote the town is just flabbergasting!

Have we really all fallen for the brain-washing idea that we should have everything for free provided by the State? Only 7,010 tickets were sold! Over the 40 days the rink was open this equates to 175 people skating every single day until it was closed. That is not bad going for a small local town in the middle of winter.

Cllr Wainwright states this is at a time where the average council tax bill will be increasing by £100. Nice try Cllr Wainwright but, 12 pages back it states that Great Yarmouth Borough Council have approved a 3.3pc rise in Council Tax bills which equates to less than £4 a year for most houses in the borough. It also states that the most vulnerable will have 91.5pc of their Council Tax covered.

When will the town, and the country, wake up and realise we must pay our way, both locally and nationally eg the NHS. Do I really have to be the person who stands up, with fear of being called cold-hearted in next week’s edition, and say the homeless and Universal Credit is not the only focus the town needs?


Isaacs Road,


Ban everyone from the double lines

Ref P Smith’s letter on blue badge parking on double yellow lines last week.

The Highway Code states no parking on double yellow lines, the purpose being to keep a clear flow of traffic, so would it be much easier if no-one was permitted to park on the lines, putting an end to the argument whether a person is entitled to use this very inflammatory method of parking?


Cherry Close,


PCSOs axe will hit local communities

Within the next few weeks all of Norfolk’s 150 Police Community Support Officers will be axed, including the 21 who will be lost from Great Yarmouth.

These Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have played a leading role in tackling low-level anti-social behaviour in our borough, and have had a great reputation in engaging with young people. They have also been engaged in many outreach projects, and there knowledge and expertise will now be lost.

The removal of these officers is a direct result of government cuts and underfunding to the police service, and local communities will be the ones to suffer the consequences.


Magdalen Ward,

Leader of the Labour Group

Something for all ages in Yarmouth

Last week, I brought my parents to Great Yarmouth for the first time in many years. And although cold on the seafront they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

My father, 82, didn’t think it had changed much, but my mother who is two years older liked the changes she could see. We went into Sea Life and they had a lovely time looking at all the fish and we had a coffee and cakes there as well.

We thought Yarmouth has something for everyone; from the very young to the older person, and I will definitely be bringing them back – but perhaps when the weather is warmer!

Although I don’t live in the area anymore, I still have the Mercury sent to me so I can keep up to date with what is going on. And what I read always seems positive with investment being made all over the town.

I find the people which are critical of where they live are the ones who don’t want to do anything personally to make it better. It’s like that in our village where people moan at the parish council meeting about litter and dog mess but don’t volunteer when we have litter picking sessions!

So Great Yarmouth, we love you – and we will see you again soon.



We don’t need the two-day market

I think Yarmouth needs to come up with an idea to make our market place more attractive.

People don’t visit markets anymore – although I know the fixed market is popular. We don’t need market stalls on the two days a week as they compete with the people who are here six days a week, what is the sense in that?

Instead, we should extend the covered market by say four more stalls and have them rented by people who are offering something different; and food would be a good idea.

My son is a catering student in Leicester and they are looking into a long-term rent of a fixed stall at Leicester market which will offer fast-food, cooked at the stall by the catering students to give them an idea of what people want and how to work for a living. What a good idea.

Why can’t one of the new stalls go to the college, I am sure people would use it.



Road system is not best in the world

It’s all gone quiet again on the Acle Straight dualling front.

What’s happening? I don’t think it will ever happen in my lifetime and I am 62.

It is a shame because it could have been the making of Yarmouth, after its lean years since the oil and tourism boom. I would love to see the old place buzzing with crowds all year round but I am put off from going because of the queues going in and out of the town.

What is going to happen when it is the air show in June? How will the police make sure traffic flows freely along the Acle Straight; will traffic be diverted along the villages road and through Filby to ease the pressure? And what about the traffic coming from the Hopton side; the Gapton roundabout will be a mess and cause even more headaches for drivers.

Whoever dreamed up the one-way system in Yarmouth too should also hang his head in shame. It makes no sense.

Coming over Haven Bridge and wanting to drop off in Deneside for a Chinese meal, we had to travel miles out of the way.