Letters, August 5 2011

Approach is far from open

WITH the large casino project now entering its final stages the Conservative administration on Great Yarmouth Borough Council has decided the Labour group can have no representation on the Casino Advisory Panel.

This is the panel that will advise the licensing committee on their preferred recommendation for the casino operator.

The regional casino is a major regeneration project for the borough, and the process for selecting the preferred casino operator has been cross-party all the way through until now.

The new Conservative administration have now decided that they alone, with officers, will give recommendation to the licensing committee, stating that any changes to the panel could trigger a judicial review in the future, although this has been discounted by the council’s solicitor.

When Cllr Steve Ames took over as leader of the Conservative administration in May, he promised more open local government. If this is an example, what hope for the future?


Most Read

Magdalen Ward

Leader of the Labour Group

l WHAT DO READERS THINK? Write to Letters at The Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

Sorry shopping


I WANT to thank Asda for my shopping experience on Tuesday last week. Because I was at the Asda end of town, I decided to walk over to the store. I filled my bags with shopping, and made sure I was at the bus stop on site in plenty of time. After being there about 10 minutes, I was informed by an Asda employee (thank you), that the bus was now running only on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It would have really been nice to know in advance.

I then had to walk into town laden with groceries, in the rain and with a walking stick.

But I have come up with the perfect solution, which is that every time a bus lets you down, you get a month’s free travel!

How soon do you think the bus companies will mend their wicked ways? Not long I bet!



Mystery over

Winter Gardens

THE Winter Gardens on Great Yarmouth seafront has been closed for some considerable time.

There has been no word from the borough council as to its fate. Is it going to be allowed to fall into further disrepair, is it going to be demolished like the jetty? Or are we going to see it “rise from the ashes”?

Whatever the plan is, if they have one, we surely are entitled to know. I have seen several visitors try to enter the place. Surely at least there should be some form of explanatory notice on the door to let people know it is closed.


Orchard Close

Caister on Sea

Action plea over speeding

ONCE again there has been an article in the Mercury regarding speeding vehicles (Burnt Lane, Gorleston). This is the third one in three weeks.

Just what have we got to do to get some sort of action from the county council? We are concerned for our safety for heaven’s sake.

How does the county council rate its decisions? Is it: One death to get a “Slow Down” sign erected; two deaths for speed bumps; three deaths for a 20mph sign? How is it the county council has the blinkered attitude of saying that if the road was known to be dangerous it could introduce some action, when we are telling it all the time, or is it that councillors don’t read the Mercury? Could they explain why they just won’t go ahead and do something?



It wasn’t worth

me having a job

AFTER recently taking up a part-time job, I received my amended housing benefits/council tax bill and working tax credits. I’m actually in the minus for working –how do you work that out? So much for helping people to work. My hubby works 20 hours as well and to find out we actually lose money by me working is disgusting. I have had to give up the job I only started four weeks ago.

I think it’s wrong that you lose money when trying to provide a bit of money into the family home; albeit it was a few hours, but this was leading to more.

So my advice to people is stay sitting comfortable on the dole and social security because you won’t get any help by working. What self-esteem I got from this job I have now lost, and yes, I have checked this several times. Even the tax credits people have told me it’s not worth working. Thanks to the government, I am now out of a job.

Name and Address withheld

Investigate this

gates issue

AFTER reading of the meeting between John Cooper and Dennis Durrant with EastPort’s Eddie Freeman, I was interested in the response to the question of the gates across the Harbour Mouth road.

If, as reported, the gates cannot be removed owing to a “government directive” then perhaps our well- paid Member of Parliament should look into the matter.



Fears over


THE account that our economic downturn has sparked Great Yarmouth residents’ fears for the elderly and pessimism in believing their children no longer have a positive future, begs the question: Besides being victims of our economic system, are they also casualties of the silent enlightenment?


Falcon Court

Great Yarmouth

Still looking

for more return

MP Brandon Lewis is top of the scoreboard for spending more than any other local MP on expenses. The �134,616.00 is an awful lot of money, for as yet, so little return.

Prior to his election, an article in the Mercury said: “Norfolk’s parliamentary hopefuls, including a Great Yarmouth candidate, last night said the MPs’ expenses row had only fuelled their determination to go into politics.”

After several articles depicting much concern over Vauxhall Railway Station, I do believe it’s the same now as it was when he started.

Other articles: some excellent high-profile articles on power cutting out north of the borough. He is sorry the lads in the Coastguard Agency are losing their jobs but agrees with the government’s reasons for the redundancies. Tourism cash pot outcry for Great Yarmouth: did he make it happen? Yarmouth’s students battling over spending cuts seek MP’s help. MP says their concerns should be directed at county councillors.

Since Mr Lewis took office we have demanded, and we have appealed for his help in getting honest answers about the outer harbour, explaining why there is no ferry, no 1,000 jobs (not even 10), the Port Authority has relinquished all say in how the port is operated, why we lost Gorleston Pier, and why we lost the harbour road.


Burnt Lane


Family history

research request

I’M doing a bit of family history research and have come up against a problem which I’m hoping your readers may be able to help with.

I have located the people involved, but the address on the census of 1881 doesn’t seem to exist. I have searched all the history books of Great Yarmouth I find without any reference, and checked online, but nothing comes up.

The address in question is 3 Meadows Buildings, Great Yarmouth. The family of nine was recorded as living there in 1881. There were five houses recorded, so I assume it was a small row, or similar.

Any information as to where in Yarmouth this place was would be greatly appreciated. I can be emailed on donald.clark4@btinternet.com


Selfishness over

stinky bonfires

HERE comes the hot weather… and the stinky bonfires. The sun is shining, the children are playing in the garden, all the windows and doors are open, the washing is drying on the line – it’s the middle of the day and you relax in your chair soaking up the rays and what happens?

Some selfish person lights a stinky bonfire, and I am not moaning about the great British barbecue.

After having conversations with my neighbours I know I am not the only person fed up with this. There seem to be some very selfish people in the Station Road area of Ormesby St Margaret determined to keep blighting the lives of local residents during the summer months. It happens every year.

In the past the local council have been very helpful but I am sure its money would be best spent elsewhere, and I would much rather be out in the garden with my children on a beautiful day like today than writing this letter.

Where I used to live it was a local byelaw that during summer months bonfires could only be lit after 6pm.

Come on, Ormesby St Margaret residents, show a little thoughtfulness for others trying to enjoy what little summer fresh air we have.

Name and Address withheld

Apologies over

pier change

JOHN Cooper and I would like to apologise to the 70-plus people who were waiting to meet our MP at Gorleston pier on Tuesday afternoon as arranged and advertised locally.

Unfortunately Brandon Lewis, who had agreed the meeting some time previously, phoned on Monday morning to change the timing to 2pm that day which would have meant we couldn’t inform residents in time. Mr Lewis was going to have an operation on his foot on Tuesday. We would have been happy to leave the meeting until the end of the month but his spokeswoman said she couldn’t make an appointment because parliament was in recess.

John and I both went to the pier at the original agreed time to ensure residents knew the reason for the last-minute change and the new arrangement. Most were eager to return on Thursday to have their questions answered and find what help our MP could give to resolve a situation regarding access and badly needed car parking space.

The general feeling in Gorleston is that it is the people’s car park and there has always been free access and why did GYBC give it away without consulting residents? What will the future use be by EastPort when already the car parking area is securely fenced off?

Only Cllr Bert Collins, who was on the port authority, has made a statement on the pier’s present state when he indicated it was in a perilous condition, but two 30- tonne lorries were on the pier.


Brett Avenue


Gala proved a

glorious day

I JUST had to write in about the Gorleston Clifftop Gala of the past weekend.

We attended on the Sunday afternoon, and what a glorious day it was. The sun shone brightly, lovely blue skies, the golden beach and wonderful promenade. Whatever happens in the future, I hope they never change our “little gem”. How gorgeous Gorleston is again, with the beach having returned, especially around the children’s corner. It is still unspoilt.

We are so lucky to have all this on our doorstep. As a child, I remember Gorleston always being busy, it was a stroll done memory lane.

It’s so nice to see people promenading, where youngsters riding bikes and skating are still popular activities, or any age group for that matter; the kites being flown, all the families enjoying the beach and swimming and not forgetting the bouncy castles etc.

To all the organisers: many thanks are offered for such an event, and we hope they continue over the years.



Blue Badge

scheme changes

THERE will be changes to the Blue Badge scheme which will be introduced from next year. More controls will be put into place so the high levels of fraud will start to be reduced and genuine disabled people can benefit from the scheme as was always intended.

As well as being a better design, there will be a more secure data base of information enabling local authorities to identify multiple applications in an attempt to obtain badges illegally, and the return of badges when circumstances have changed. It will also be harder to copy, alter or forge.

Disabled people using a Blue Badge also have a duty and responsibility to use it in the correct way. The badge must be displayed on the dashboard with serial number and expiry date showing, and this must be legible. Never display the badge photo side up, as the consequence of doing this could lead to a parking fine.

The Blue Badge is not a licence to park anywhere. If you park where it would cause an obstruction or danger to other road users you could be fined or have your vehicle removed. More details can be found in the Department for Transport booklet: The Blue Badge Scheme: rights and responsibilities in England, which is provided with the Blue Badge at the time of issue. If you need a replacement booklet please call in to the DIAL office in Great Yarmouth.

Information and advice on any aspect of disability and connected benefits can also be obtained from DIAL Great Yarmouth so please feel free to contact us by calling 01493 856900. We would always welcome new volunteers either in our Charity Shop or for general office duties in the DIAL office.


Project manager

DIAL Great Yarmouth

Lack of bus


A FEW years ago, I wrote to First Bus and suggested the sign at Market Gates for the X1 should read “Towards Norwich” – obvious, really. Visitors in particular, I said, were confused as to where to stand, and I’m sure drivers get fed up with answering inquirers.

Anyway, weeks later, I was pleased to see First had acknowledged my letter, and on the signs had added “Towards Lowestoft” and “Towards Norwich”. Great.

Last week, I noticed at Market Gates brand new shiny signs at every bus stop. What information do they tell us?

Bus Stop. Market Gates, Stand No, Traveline No. No indication of destination or bus number! I just give up!

I phoned First, and was told it was down to the local council to provide the information. But I have long suspected most of the local councillors don’t use the buses. Great Yarmough and Lowestoft are, we are constantly being told, deprived areas. Deprived of what? Respect perhaps for the many people who use the bus station and the railway station.

Lowestoft is a little less deprived as it has real-time information and clear signage at its bus station.




Two pieces of

positive news

SO nice to be able to send in a positive letter for a chance.

First, thank you so much to Swifts for their super new seafront, and into town, bus service 500. Comfy bus, lovely, friendly and helpful driver – he even got up and helped an elderly person to get on. It would be great if this could continue into October (bus passes accepted).

Second, congratulations to Roy Woods, the Laird of Keil; what a great way to spend your money. If only more people with more money than they need would use some, like Roy of Scratby, to keep our beautiful places wild but well cared for. Amid all the doom and gloom this story in the Mercury (July 15) made me really happy.


Eastern Close

Caister on Sea

Parking is so


I’D like to express my continuing frustration at the level of irresponsible parking.

Where are the traffic wardens? Can you park your car anywhere? It seems so. You don’t have to go far to notice residents routinely parking their cars in bus stops, up on grass verges, on pavements. The police do not want to know, even though a lot of what goes on seems to be obstruction in one way or another.

I know there are more cars these days competing for the same road space but a little leg work to get to the car wouldn’t hurt, surely? Don’t even get me started on the behaviour of parents during the school run!



The Gateway Club

very much alive

THERE are rumours that Great Yarmouth Gateway Club has ceased. This is not true. The club was formed in September 1969 and has run continuously since that date and intends to carry on.

We meet at St Peter’s Church hall on a Friday evening and the club is open to all people with a learning disability. Our club is a registered charity and affiliated to Royal Mencap and for the welfare of our members we have four qualified first aiders and a qualified health and safety officer.

The club is self-sufficient and receives no local government, or national funding; all money needed is raised by our hard-working committee.


Caister Road

Great Yarmouth

Beautiful day and

beautiful town

ONCE again, Gorleston enjoyed a beautiful sunny day for its annual Clifftop Gala. Gorleston on Sea Heritage Group put on a display of photographs of the seaside area of Gorleston over the years which was seen by hundreds of people visiting the large marquee facing the sea. The group also produced, for the first time, a newsletter and five postcards (with financial support from a local benefactor). The area was kept clean and tidy to the benefit of the thousands of people who visited this beautiful, spacious area on Gorleston’s big day.


Church Road


Happy memories

of nursery school

I WOULD like to thank the many families and children that contributed to my Retirement present and those that joined s on our Open Afternoon at The White House Nursery School at the end of term.

Young children have not changed much since 1971 when I started teaching in spite of many new government policies and frameworks. We always aimed to nurture an “I can” attitude, give love and respect but set boundaries so that children felt safe. Most of all, we did our best to make happy memories - not a bad philosophy for life.


White House Nursery School.

East Somerton

Concert was a

charity success

ON Friday, July 8, Prelude, a local ladies singing group led by myself, held a concert in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). A good variety of songs was performed, including a lively foot-tapping Disney Medley which the audience joined in with and ending with the lovely Anthem from Chess. A good raffle table and refreshments were included and the evening, held at Bradwell Methodist Church, was certainly a success as the sum of �710 was raised, a cheque for which was handed to Elizabeth Moir, a representative from the charity who told the audience a bit of what the charity does. Prelude would like to thank the Bradwell Methodist ladies for their help with the refreshments, the many local shops and businesses who so kindly donated to the raffle prizes, and to the people who came and supported this very worthwhile cause.


Hawthorn Crescent