WE would like to respond to some factual inaccuracies in Cecilia Ebbage's letter about the planned re-ordering of St Andrew's Gorleston. Seating will of course be provided for the choristers, and the Bacon Brass will remain on display where it is.

WE would like to respond to some factual inaccuracies in Cecilia Ebbage's letter about the planned re-ordering of St Andrew's Gorleston. Seating will of course be provided for the choristers, and the Bacon Brass will remain on display where it is.

The memorial chapel will remain as a memorial chapel, and we plan to promote its use as a quiet place to pray. We are committed to honouring the memory of servicemen and women who died in the service of their country. At our annual Remembrance Day Service last weekend were glad to welcome over 300 people including many young people and serving soldiers past and present.

We are surprised that Cecilia labels some of our services as “gimmicky”; many who do attend such services find them helpful, encouraging and faith-building and would be upset to have them described in that way.

Cecilia says that removing the pews will tear the heart out of St. Andrew's. The heart of any Church is not furniture but people, the worship they offer to God week by week, and their service to the local community.

St Andrew's is in good heart, and we are committed to the very considerable task of leaving the next generation with a building which will serve them well, just as the building we now have served previous generations well.

Canon TONY WARD, Vicar

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Brian Humphrey & Mike Cassidy, Wardens

I HAVE just read the piece in The Mercury on Page 4 regarding the proposal for a new cycleway between Hopton and Gorleston and the remarks by Mr Alex Simpson. I am absolutely disgusted he can say it would be a waste of money. I have lived in Hopton for over 30 years and all my family have used the pathway at some point, to either walk or cycle in to Gorleston. Unfortunately in recent years the track has become so overgrown and uneven it was not easily accessible and we stopped using it.

Yes, we have a cyclepath alongside the A12, but has Mr Simpson or Ms Gray ever used this, because if they had they would have realised it is not very well separated from the road and if you are passed by a large van or lorry the turbulence caused can make you swerve or lose control. I am sure more parents would let their children cycle to school if the proposed route was opened. Obviously the residents of Kennel Loke would be against it because they would not want the children cycling past their “nice homes”.

Let's think safety first and stop being so selfish.



FURTHER to the recent article about the footpath between Hopton and Gorleston, we feel that the upgrading of this footpath will be of great benefit to residents of both areas, especially for the schoolchildren. As noted in the article, there is a cyclepath alongside the A12 between Hopton and Gorleston, however, using this cyclepath is extremely unpleasant and makes one feel very vulnerable when heavy lorries are passing. The issue of lighting would appear to be irrelevant as there is no lighting on the A12 cyclepath either. As there is a footpath already in place this is surely simply an upgrade and would appear to us to be money well spent safely linking Hopton and Gorleston for both cyclists and walkers.


Sea View Rise


I AM expressing my support for the proposed cyclepath along Warren Road between Gorleston and Hopton. The objections quoted in the Mercury last week do not stand up to scrutiny. Anyone who claims the route alongside the A12 is in anyway safe is clearly not a cyclist. The route is at most a couple of yards from fast moving traffic. For some of it's length it is beneath the level of the road. Cyclists (and pedestrians) have to contend with exhaust fumes and grit as well as debris which has fallen from lorries and lies, unseen at night, in the cycle lane. There may not have been an accident, yet, but this is most likely due to people avoiding what is clearly an unpleasant, unlit and threatening route.

To suggest that schoolchildren would be safe alongside this dual carriageway is frighteningly irresponsible - presumably the objectors are speaking on behalf of other people's kids, not their own. As a cyclist, I have used both routes many times and for many years. I can recall motor vehicles using Warren Road to get along the coast road before it was blocked off and allowed to narrow. It is quite frankly scaremongering to talk of “up to thousands of cyclists” and in the unlikely event that so many people did suddenly start using the route, then it will hardly be the “extremely isolated” track that your correspondent suggests.

These days one is more likely to be hit by a blackbird or dragonfly than a golfball! According to objectors though, this is a new risk'which suddenly applies to cyclists and not to dogwalkers or ramblers.

Likewise, I have never seen any traffic congestion along the road or track. Warren Road is not particularly narrow and responsible road users have always given way to one another, whether they be motorists, cyclists or pedestrians. Cyclists have in any case a right to use the roads and not to be forced onto the verge; the speed bumps along the road were not put there because of cyclists, after all. Many households in the exclusive area of the Golf Club have two, three and even four cars, clearly not good for congestion nor the environment.

As for conservation, a number of large properties have been built at the southern end of Warren Road in recent years and with little regard for the hedgerows and countryside they have covered over. One house in particular seems in a perpetual state of construction and is a continuing eyesore. I welcome the objectors' new-found concern for the environment but it is pretty late in the day. Everyone knows that pushbikes are extremely friendly to the environment and should be encouraged.

I would not myself welcome extensive resurfacing or cutting back of hedgerows but am sure NCC will be sensitive to the nature of the route and will not, in any case, need to develop it excessively. The scheme won't neccesarily involve any concreting over at all. What is important is the implementation of a long awaited, official and joined-up network allowing cyclists and others safe access to the countryside. The good of the wider community and the environment should not be spoilt by the nimbyism of a few.

I would urge all cyclists and everyone else who cares about the local countryside to send their support to Norfolk County Council.


Albemarle Road


ATTENDING the Remembrance Sunday service in St George's Park, I could not help thinking how much the Canon Michael Woods, with his wise words, would be missed. However, I wasn't disappointed: Rev Irene Knowles spoke so well with her message on current issues, and putting things into perspective, for which I thank her.


Beccles Road


TO all council tenants in Great Yarmouth Borough: Do you have a joint tenancy? How does that make you feel? Safe and secure, perhaps. Do you think that you have provided a secure tenancy for your loved ones? Well, you would think so, wouldn't you. A council tenancy has always been presumed a “house for life”.

Not so. Joint tenancies, on a property when a partner leaves, and ultimately takes their name off the tenancy, will result in the remaining tenant having to re-apply for their existing tenancy. A demise of a partner will result in a tenancy succession, in most cases, but separation or divorce, unless children are involved, may result in under-occupancy and the need to re-locate to a smaller property.

I believe many tenants are unaware of this situation, being enforced under current housing regulations. The Choice Based Lettings scheme, currently being operated by Great Yarmouth Community Housing (GYCH) and it's partners under the Homeselect Scheme has been operating for over five years, and I believe offers prospective tenants a choice to bid for their property of choice.

But the lack of suitable housing, the total lack of council housing new build, the negative subsidy imposed by the Government, where GYCH collects �5m in rent, which is given to the Government and we receive �3m in return, has resulted in a massive housing shortage. This impacts on the repairs and planned maintenance of council houses.

Affordable housing is much discussed, but how does that help those in housing need. Key worker housing is even worse, property made at a discount to those often earning above the local level. Key workers often earn �20,000 per year, as a couple, �40,000pa, plus. How does that make the couple, both working seasonal or part time work in our holiday parks or supermarkets feel, when they both struggle to afford a month's deposit and rent on a squalid bedsit.

The answer, of course, is simple. To those in a 2 or 3 or more bedroom house, if you are a joint tenant, your choice if you wish to remain in your property, is have children, or pass on, and leave it to your spouse. If you separate or divorce, you may be required to leave. If you have concerns, contact your estate manager via 01493 846100.

It would be a suitable option for Great Yarmouth Community Housing to offer a ”bounty” to those who wish to downsize from a 2 or 3 bedroom property. If �2,000 or �3,000 was offered, then many more family properties would become available. I believe this cost would be beneficial to the community, much less than the �400,000 written off by this council in its dealings with the Icelandic Banks.

We can always lobby for new council house build, as opposed to these developments in our towns and villages that cannot be afforded by the local community. To do this, contact MP,Tony Wright on 01493 332291.

One of the main oppositions to new council house build, apart from money, is the risk of new build on flood plains, yet I see private new build in many areas, including Cobholm.

If you would wish to contact me direct, for impartial help and support, then call 01493 733578 or email rural.north@virgin.net



Rural North Tenants and Residents Association

MY dad and all his family, going back generations, all lived in Fritton, in New Road, and I know he is desperate for any old photographs of Fritton. I wonder if any Mercury readers could help me with finding some?



THE Mercury Opinion is all very well; each and everyone to his/her own, but I believe the attitude taken by the Mercury is just highlighting the unfairness in this borough to its ratepayers.

It is justifiable now to presume, that all those persons and parties, that our letters these past months have been aimed at, are now taking a big breath of satisfaction, knowing how near they were to being forced into answering the questions regarding the misuse of Grants and Public finances.

Why do I say this? In the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk we only have one newspaper group to voice our concerns. The newspaper is entitled to its opinion, as an individual. But closing the only platform where the public can voice concerns or learn what others have discovered is being just dictatorial.

As for other ports doing badly, Lowestoft, Kings Lynn, Boston are all doing well, one only has to go online to see the ship movements, (something that was stopped for us). Also let us not forget that Harwich is cancelling it's container application and seizing the opportunity to take on board the lucrative wind farm and decommissioning work to boost employment.

It seems the reason the Grants were given are even now being swept under the carpet. They were given for jobs. If we had not rushed in and tied the Borough to a container port, when containers were in decline, and the powers that be had put the same energy into Wind Farms and Decommissioning suited to this borough's skills.

Yes, I agree as the Mercury states “anything is better than nothing”, but we now have nothing. The Outer Harbour cannot as yet service its commitments to any ships entering its piers, and to crown it all the existing Inner Harbour is being butchered and asset-stripped. For us nothing has been gained, and now the borough's only voice has been silenced.


Burnt Lane


A PLANNING application for the construction and operation of a wind farm, consisting of four wind turbine generators, switchhouse, access tracks, hard standings and underground cabling has been submitted for land at Ormesby Road (land to east and west), Hemsby.

I am writing to you with my objections in the hope this will support the local residents objections to the SLP proposal. I know this could all be viewed as a blatant case of Nimbyism but I feel our backyard should not be used to service the National Grid or the pockets of SLP.

We had to go through a long process in 2007. All the villages voted "No!" and SLP withdrew the plan. This time around, there has not been such a concerted response. I guess people would naturally feel that if they had committed their energies and given up their leisure time to attend meetings etc. and raised their objections to the plan in 2007 they would hesitate before repeating the process two years later. Of course, this tailing off is exactly what SLP would expect when choosing to re-introduce their planning application at this time.

SLP plan a massive site of just under one million square metres to install machinery and infrastructure weighing in the region of three and a half thousand tonne - all this on the eastern edge of Ormesby Broad Fen and upon the land which stretches between Hemsby, Ormesby and Ormesby Broad, reaching out to the borders of Scratby. It is pretty well the entire area of farmland sitting in the middle of this essentially rural village conservation area - the western end butting up against the back of Ormesby Broad.

The villages are in a conservation area. Although SLP insist the windfarm would be outside of the area, it's really cocking a snook,

isn't it. Visually we will be dwarfed by the scale of these animated monsters 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Our own house would be 600 yards from the nearest tower. Do you think such a windfarm would be proposed for Earlham or Wensum park in Norwich - No, it would be prepostrous.

The general rule is that windfarms should not be built within 1.5km of residential buildings. The Government have lowered the UK Noise Association thresholds in their own windfarm recommendations while clamouring for green points and carbon credits but the final decision is up to our own borough council.

There are already lines and lines of wind turbines in our area, 41 in all ...Somerton, Martham and Scroby sands. Many of our favourite walks have wind turbines silhouetted against the sunset or waving away across the landscape like robotic sentries. But these would be four of the largest turbines ever built (125m high - only 5m lower than the London Eye).

If Great Yarmouth Borough Council gives permission, this will inevitably precipitate further proposals to expand the site.

SLP deny any plans on that basis, but it stands to reason that with such a wide ranging infrastructure in place and change of use from arable to industrial land already established, it would not take long to increase the turbine numbers - I estimate that a further minimum 16 towers could be erected on the site with a 700m space between each turbine.

Another important issue is not only the close proximity of residents to the site but also the vulnerability of Ormesby Broad and Fen. The Fen is a designated area of special scientific interest and, of course, one of the oldest and most beautiful landscapes in our area. We visit it almost every day, just to stand and stare. We know the animal and bird life of the area is very special.

Yes, it's not a renewable, once the intrusions begin, the balance is destroyed forever. If we are to have more steel, concrete and asphalt over the land, it should be to build with conservation very clearly on the table. A gradual expansion of Hemsby and Ormesby villages would be a much more attractive proposal for the future of this area where more people will benefit from it's rural beauty living in peace, good health and harmony with the environment.

There is a full breakdown of the SLP application on the internet. The renewed proposal is now being considered by the council - they will probably reach a decision by December 30. We have until the middle of December to consolidate our objections.

I support technology which has any chance of taking us away from polluting electricity generating but not at the expense of ruining the few remaining areas of village life and open countryside we have, especially through this kind of opportune exploitation. Ideally, this planning application should be suspended. There should be a moratorium until all these diverse claims and technical assessments can be reasonably considered.


Hall Road,


WHEN I quietly reflect on where we began and what we have achieved with your help to keep residents informed of issues concerning GYBC and the outer harbour. There has been attempt to explain why the project which had the prime objective of bringing more work opportunities to the borough won't materialise, neither will there be the benefit of the much vaunted increase in tourism. Both issues which put so much public enthusiasm into the project which has sucked in so much public money

The council has built a wall of impregnable silence around the whole debacle where only a public enquiry will throw any kind of light on what has gone terribly wrong. Why certain decisions were made that didn't consider their responsibility to the borough and those that live and work here. Is it fear that our negotiators weren't strong enough. Were they in a panic now that finance had been found that no developer would take the project forward except a newly formed company, probably founded for this project?

The Mercury we feel is our community voice and and to be deprived of this sticks in the throat. Better the Mercury seeks to organise a public meeting as a possible step to getting closure of the problem if GYBC would come and discuss our concerns - after all we are living in a democracy. If the council refuses then there is something very wrong and an enquiry would be required.

I hope the Mercury decision is reversible because all that I have spoken to following the statement in last week's Mercury can't understand why and there is a feeling that our local paper has let us down. We need the Mercury to inform and allow us the freedom of the press just as the Mercury needs us as readers.


Brett Avenue,


SOME surviving grandparents were reminded last week, at the Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston of how they so relied, 70 years ago, on BBC for news and entertainment. With no cinemas, television, VHS or DVD's then, people needed to be kept informed and cheered up at what was happening in their lives from 1939 to 1945. As with national coverage now and the surprising renewed popularity of Dame Vera Lynn on a CD, the revue “Happy as a Sandbag” served to remind some people who were evacuated away from here to safety. Younger grown up sons, daughters and grandchildren could know more about what wartime life was really like.

In our own financial/political “backs to the walls” times, we can perhaps more easily appreciate how unseen events and household names were so important then.

From the mists of time the voices of Vera Lynn, the Andrews Sisters, George Formby and others emerge. With ENSA they cheered and warmed the cockles of the hearts of the courageous efforts of the Armed Forces. Concern was also eased at home then by hearing but never seeing Flanagan and Allen, Max Miller, Tommy Handley and Gracie Fields. They helped keep up morale until the lights really did at least “go on again” all over Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and the UK. Many thanks to all involved with a fine, not nostalgic but happy, helpful, production by GTC amateurs.


Mill Lane,


HAS this country gone stark, staring bonkers as regards health and safety rules? As an ex squaddie of the Royal Engineers, I thought it was my duty to buy a remembrance poppy.

On doing so from a lady poppy seller, she said: “Would you like me to pin your poppy to your coat? I have to ask you first because the health and safety rules say that I may accidentally prick you with the pin.”

Did the troops in the trenches in world war one worry about getting pricked by a pin? Of course not, their main worry was staying alive. So where do these health and safety brigade idiots get these ideas from? It's certainly not from their brain boxes. Why don't they leave us alone and take the first rocket to Mars?


Silver Gardens