CAN I point out to your readers who have disabled parking badges some difficulty I have had with parking in the Market Place.I have parked there with my wife, who is disabled, for 14 years in bays provided (as is legal obligation) for the disabled.

CAN I point out to your readers who have disabled parking badges some difficulty I have had with parking in the Market Place.

I have parked there with my wife, who is disabled, for 14 years in bays provided (as is legal obligation) for the disabled. No charge has ever been imposed, except on one occasion about 10 years ago when the fine had to be refunded because the council regulations were incorrect.

Parking today for 20 minutes we were fined �35 and informed that disabled bays had the same charges imposed on them as all the others. There is little clear indication of this fact. Notices are not provided in each bay saying that charges are now being made and only a couple of boards placed high up on lamp-posts show the regulations.

For a disabled person there can be some difficulty in looking up and seeing these notices. The fact, surely, that two other cars were similarly fined at the same time would suggest a lack of clarity in the indication of the regulation. Is it unreasonable either to ask for clearer notification of the rule or for warnings to be issued to car drivers on the first occasion?

Very few people who have disabled badges are likely to break a regulation which they have been made aware of.

In any event I believe that under directives of the European Union vis-�-vis treatment of the disabled in public parking areas a proportion of bays must be provided free of charge. This may on the surface seem a petty matter but does concern those people who already often have considerable difficulties without the addition of further and avoidable burdens of this sort.

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Laurel Drive


I WAS very disappointed to read (Mercury, January 16) that the “Southern Belle” can no longer stop at Reedham because of difficulties getting a guaranteed mooring. Could anyone enlighten me as to why this is? In the past this has provided a very pleasant service, a ladies' group within the village has supported and enjoyed this facility using it as their annual meeting. Should we not be encouraging the use of such a fine facility to moor at any possible village on the Broads?


Station Road


I WAS very sorry to read about Mr and Mrs Adams' burglary on the December 31. It is a pity to have things happen at a time of celebration. However, why on earth did they have that much money lying about in cash? There are a number of banks and building societies, not to mention the post office, who will not only take care of that money for you but give you at least some interest. They will also provide an easy way of passing that money to pay for the holiday, and allow immediate withdrawal of funds if required. If I had that much in cash, not only would I not leave it in the house when I went out, I would not sleep easy while it was there.


Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

I WAS interested to read the article in the Yarmouth Mercury concerning Tom Garrod, who is standing as a candidate for the Tory party for a seat in the Central and North Yarmouth Division.

Good luck to Mr Garrod and his quest to become a councillor, but it amuses me that he chose graffiti to launch his bid to be a would-be politician. Yes, I would agree with him that not only has Yarmouth been blighted with graffiti, but Gorleston-on-Sea and other areas are to.o

If Mr Garrod wants to climb into politics, why does he not start on one of his own doorsteps? I understand he goes to the East Norfolk Sixth Form College, so why pick graffiti when he should be aware of the problems some of the students cause with their unsociable parking, and their need to block pavements when young mothers or grandparents try to get through with children in pushchairs.

In the summer months, they leave litter behind on the recreation grounds opposite the college and on the pavements, then expect others to clean up their mess behind them. This happens twice a day when the college is open - at lunch times, and evenings when college closes.

Mr Garrod two-stage idea is already in place and has been for a long time. There are photos, records, etc of every blackspot which suffers with graffiti. In my files along I have well over 200 photos, so what Mr Garrod intends to do has already been tried and tested and, may I say, with positive results. There has been a lot of hard work that others like myself working alongside other agencies such as environment, police, and local authorities and we may not have got everything right, but we have all worked very hard over the last few years and made a difference.

I am afraid that, yes, graffiti is a blight and an eyesore to the whole of the borough, not just Yarmouth, but does he not realise that we are going through a recession and although, as said before, as much as I hate graffiti, you ask anyone around that they have more pressing things to worry about than graffiti.

My advice to Mr Garrod would be go back to the drawing board and rethink what issues there really are that would get people's votes.


Paston Road


FOLLOWING Mr Tony Overill's letter (January 9) regarding the bombing of the Horning Ferry Inn, I wonder if there is anyone who remembers the attack on the lightship St Nicholas, moored only about one and a half miles from the harbour. We were then living on Blackwall Reach so we seemed to be so close to the lightship and thought of it as our friend.

In January 1940 (this was during the 'phoney' war when bombing had not seriously started), an enemy plane attacked St Nicholas, strafing and machine-gunning it, seriously wounding the crew, two of whom died. I think one was a Mr Roland George.

Churchill bitterly condemned these attacks on defenceless ships, saying they were only there to save lives.

Later that day we learnt that other lightships in the North Sea had been similarly attacked. I believe it was at Easter 1941 when the bombing here was almost constant; this is when there were people killed in George Street and Cobholm. I remember the Trinity House ship Reculver entering the harbour when it was followed and attacked by several enemy planes, machine gunning and bombing. This incident to all of us was so upsetting and demoralising.


Lovewell Road


IN response to the letter in last week's Mercury with regard locking the church gates at the East Road entrance. The Police took over the locking of the gates, but obviously if something more important comes up at that time then the gates don't get locked. The words “Hit” and “Miss” spring to mind, and in this case it's mostly “Miss.” It would be a much better idea if the bereavement services once again took over locking of the gates as they did in the past, and leave this particular gate until last. It was never a good idea for the police to take over this job so why not leave it to the people who will be able to do the job daily.

Name and Address withheld

THIS letter is addressed to the the selfish, self-centred thief who stole my elderly friend's bicycle from outside the James Paget University Hospital while she was visiting an open-hours ward on New Year's Day between 4.30 and 5pm. Her bike was not only a mode of transport but an enormous help for her to carry shopping. It's far easier to ride or wheel a heavy laden bike, than for two arms and two legs to do it, as you will find out when you reach old age. If you are a borrower rather than a thief, please return her bicycle either to the place she left it at the hospital, or by “finding” it and informing the police as she needs it more than you.


Middleton Gardens


THIS week County Hall unveiled a council tax hike for the coming year of “only” 2.95pc. Well, whoop de do.

By the time Yarmouth Council has added their increase percentage to that 2.95pc, the police have asked for their share, and the parish council puts their figure in, the final bill will doubtless be yet another double digit increase, or as near to double digit as to make no difference.

All of which begs the questions, why are there so many fingers in this particular pie? Why not limit the total amount demanded of the long suffering tax payers of the Yarmouth area to that which is required by Yarmouth Council alone? Given that these four organisations between them hammer us every year, at what point does the taxpayer say “Enough is enough?”


Main Road


I WAS very interested in the article in the Mercury (January 2) regarding Caister's problems with free parking on Beach Road car park all year round.

Borough Councillor G Plant is well qualified to be the cabinet member for regeneration. He has proposed scrapping the charges for next summer as a trial period to see the effect this may have on the parking problems experienced by Caister residents who live in streets within close proximity of the car park, a sound idea.

Caister parish chairman Tony Overill is absolutely correct to say the car park needs considerable investment to bring it up to scratch, as far as I can remember it is just a thin “veneer” of asphalt on sand and that Caister residents would face an increase in rates to cover maintenance should Caister Parish Council ever take over the park.

I personally believe the borough council is just trying to fob-off their responsibility to look after the car park using any possible revenue as bait to offload a poison chalice. The whole discussion took on an ominous turn when councillor Plant said that if his good idea did not solve the problem, alternative solutions would have to be sought, such as more double yellow lines or no waiting signs adorning the streets.

So there we have it. Caister residents complain they can't park near their homes because holidaymakers do not want to pay parking fees, so to stop the holidaymakers, let's put yellow lines down so no-one can park in the streets. If this is not silly enough Cllr Plant goes on to state that �8,950 was gleaned from holidaymakers using the car park, therefore in Cllrr Plant's mind all holidaymakers must be using the car park and it is only Caister residents who are guilty of cluttering the streets with their cars.

Has it occurred to Cllr Plant that perhaps all holidaymakers visiting Caister may not want to pay to park. If they did there would no doubt be more than �8,950 parking fees gleaned from them, plus more available space. No doubt when they visit Yarmouth they clutter up the streets as well, but not as much as they used to because now there is nowhere to park.

It would seem that yet again Yarmouth residents are considered more favourably than village folk as they park on, not clutter up, their streets.


Northern Close


I WAS recently reading in the national news papers new figures about the massive extent of debt that Gordon Brown is putting our country under in bailing out the banks. In these difficult financial times I feel the government could have better spent the money on helping reduce living costs for myself and the many hard up families across the country, as it is at the moment it feels as if the government are not interested in the people but maintaining the lavish expenditure of years gone by at the expense of the everyday person.

With the general election looming at some point in the future I do not feel I could vote to keep the current government in power as I feel Gordon Brown and his ministers have completely lost touch with the general public. With the Prime Minister recently proclaiming himself the saviour of our country and trying to steal headlines I could not vote for a man who was not even voted in to office in the first place as PM and only seems to seek to immortelles himself in British political history as the man who saved our economy from going bust when so many believe he is, in some part, to blame for many of our economic problems.

It seems as if when all around us hard working men and women are losing their jobs that Gordon Brown would much rather look after the banks than ensuring a decent future for everyone, as it stands it seems we have many years of gloom ahead of us if the government does not change its ways. Although it is argued saving the economy will help everyone I do not feel the prime ministers actions have helped me or those around me as bills continue to rise, credit is still hard to come by and the numbers of jobs available continue to fall.


Great Yarmouth

AS the festive fun comes to an end and a less than prosperous 2009 looms ahead, suddenly the January blues seem bleaker than normal.

But for a significant core of youngsters, the prospect of a happy New Year seems even more elusive than ever.

A Prince's Trust report suggests that one in 10 young people in the East of England think their life has no purpose, with those not in work or training twice as likely to think their life has little or no purpose.

These findings are especially alarming when you consider that in the East of England, more than 22,000, aged 18-24 years old, are currently unemployed, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The long-term emotional toll of their unfulfilled ambitions and the region's loss of their potential is a sad loss and one that the Trust aims to tackle.

The Prince's Trust in the East of England supported more than 3,600 disadvantaged young people last year, developing their self esteem and skills to get jobs.

This number speaks volumes about the importance of second chances but also offers hope to a generation who think that the new year has nothing to offer.


The Prince's Trust

East of England regional director