Letters, August 3

MP must realise

borough suffers

BRANDON Lewis must be short of good news for us if he thinks a bid for Lottery Funds is good news. The lottery was not supposed to be used to fund failures of the Government to adequately fund public services.

What happens if we do not win adequate funds - 15 others are bidding? The problems will remain. I am also concerned about how much time is spent making bids for funds, remember the Portas bid we lost!

All good practice for the new casino!


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Mr Lewis, however, has done a good job highlighting the failure to properly fund our services. Better news may have been news may have that our council does not need to cut services by �10m.

I also wonder if Hopton, Winterton and St Olaves realise they are “struggling under a heavy load of severe problems including homelessness, reoffending, substance, misuse and mental health problems” and need lottery funds to sort things out. Perhaps they are dodgy places to live!

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I am sure many people are struggling and I am sure there are a lot more of these problems as people struggle to cope with the recession and services are cut. Should we be depending on the lottery?

I hope the MP spends most of the summer in the town and can see the effect of Government policies on us and how the borough is a struggling.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

Who inspects the

Ofsted inspectors

IN May, my letter concerning the lack of impartiality of Ofsted was published. I was thrilled to read today (July 27) in the Mercury, that the year 6 pupils of Cliff Park Junior School have achieved record SATS results.

The school had been made subject to special measures as it had failed to provide an acceptable standard of education.

I would say that in this instance Ofsted has failed spectacularly and the inspectors should hang their heads in shame. Perhaps they should be made subject to special measures!

Who inspects the inspectors? Well done to staff and pupils at Cliff Park Junior. Not providing an acceptable standard of education? I don’t think so!

CERI WALFORD

Victoria Road,

Gorleston

Dog poo? Horse dung left too!

I SAW in the last issue of the Mercury the comments made about all the dog poo left on the seafront. I do agree that it is a health issue but tell me why nobody is complaining about all the manure left behind the landaus on the seafront. Obviously someone has got a sideline selling this for their allotments.

VALERIE BROWN

Email

Alternatives to

nuclear power

I AM writing in response to the report regarding communities objecting to the building of wind turbines. I am a member of the Communities Against Nuclear Expansion (CANE).

Sizewell nuclear power station is next in line for the building of one of the new EPR reactors the first being built at Hinckley Point in Somerset. EDF energy are far behind on their completion of building new nuclear power stations in other countries and the work to build the new power stations will not go to local people but low paid migrant workers.

Charles Reynolds says wind turbines need huge subsidies but what about the huge subsidies being spent on the nuclear power industry? There are alternatives to wind turbines: geothermal, solar and tidal power if the government stops subsidising the nuclear power industry.

If there were to ever be an accident at Sizewell power station we are well within the exclusion zone. Nuclear energy is not cheap, not clean and not something we should leave for future generations to deal with. Why can’t the government support local communities who oppose nuclear power stations being built; maybe they have their fingers in the same pie?

MARK SAUNDERS

Lowestoft Road,

Gorleston

Roadworks are affecting tourism

GREAT Yarmouth has attracted tourism for some 200 years and the amusements, caterers, hotel and boarding house keepers and many other businesses rely on the holiday season for their livelihood. In general the whole town benefits from the influx of cash and the good publicity gained.

This year the phenomenally bad weather, over which there can be no control, has dealt the industry a devastating blow. In addition there has been competition on a national scale from the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics.

However there is one major aggravation which, with a modicum of commonsense and intelligent planning could have been avoided.

I refer, of course, to the the chaotic roadworks which are blighting our roads and businesses. The hold-ups and badly signed diversions confuse residents so there is little hope for visitors lacking local knowledge.

The town needs all the help and goodwill it can muster and this situation reflects so badly on our ability to welcome tourists.

Those responsible will tell us that the work had to be undertaken but I am not convinced it had to be done plumb in the middle of our summer season and I sympathise with all the commercial undertakings so seriously affected.

NICK POWNALL

Email

Traders invite to

Christmas event

I WOULD like to invite Gorleston traders to attend a meeting to discuss this year’s planned Christmas event. The meeting is at Fusion Hair consultants, 165 High Street, Gorleston on Wednesday, August 15 at 6pm.

We hope as many fellow Gorleston traders as possible will come along to the meeting to share ideas, views and suggestions to help us celebrate Christmas and raise the profile of the many shops and businesses located along the high street.

This year we have the support of Archant - publishers of the Great Yarmouth Mercury, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Advertiser and the Midweek Mercury, who will be helping us promote the event to the thousands of readers they reach across the area.

The traders input and support is vital in ensuring we have another successful event to add to previous year’s great successes, so we really hope you are able to join us on the night. For any other information regarding the event please call Kevin Huggins at Fusion on 07712 075088, Kim Underwood at Archant on 07738 311392, Richard Routledge on 07557 303114.

FRIENDS of GORLESTON

Greenacre name

was to remain

I FEEL the parents of Greenacre Primary School have been very badly dealt with by the headteacher and the sponsor of the new Academy.

I, and other ward councillors, met with the two gentlemen and I thought at that time it was a frank and open discussion especially on our behalf. I have to add that until this point the local councillors had not been included in any consultation process and this meeting was at our instigation.

I personally came away with what I thought was clearer understanding. One other thing that was made clear was the change of name for the school, there would be no negotiation on that! That is until I had been contacted by several unhappy parents who felt that their concerns were not being answered.

A public meeting was arranged for the parents to ask questions and the head and sponsor were invited along with the local MP, who sent a letter of support for Academies.

None of these gentlemen could attend as they had prior engagements. The head had an interview with Look East to talk about this very meeting it’s a shame that he would rather talk to the BBC than talk to parents face to face as that is all they wanted.

At the meeting, which was on July 16 at 6pm, a simple question was asked by the majority of parents who turned up - can my child opt out of the extra curricular activities? I informed them they could not, as this is what the head had informed us at our meeting. At this point the county councillor for the area got up and said he had had a meeting with the head the previous day and had been told they could opt out! Does anyone from the school know the right answer?

We did arrange another meeting, now cancelled, to give the head and the sponsor a chance to put things right and meet the parents. May I point out we gave them three weeks notice of this meeting and they could have sent a deputy but unfortunately they were both on holiday and couldn’t attend, nor could any deputy.

A child’s education is the most important thing to a parent and a school should be run for the good of the children and sound community spirit. Coffee mornings are not consulting with parents.

Finally take an extract from a letter the head sent out to all parents on the July 20.

“The school had a positive Ofsted inspection in November, being graded as good by Ofsted in 17 areas, with behaviour in ReadWrite identified as outstanding; 75pc of pupils in reception have reached the national expected level compared to 18pc last year - four times better than last year.”

My final question is: with results like this wouldn’t it be better to take the parents along with them rather alienating them? This whole thing has left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

MICHAEL JEAL

Borough councillor for Nelson Ward

Beach cafe a welcome place

JJ’s Beach Cafe is now a part of Gorleston beach, and a welcome stopping place to have a break, whether you are a local walking your dog, running, walking or cycling groups.

On a nice day, there is an array of tables and chairs where you can sit outside with the sea breeze giving you a tan. If it’s windy, out come the windbreakers to make you comfortable, and you can sit inside. Whenever I, on my mobility scooter take my dog for a walk, I pass easily through the gap.

I cannot help but notice everyone smiling, chatting happily to each other. The thing that spoils it though is those very few grumpy people that moan about the tables being out on the promenade. All I can say to them, is get a life.

DAVID BROWN

Yallop Avenue,

Gorleston

Lots going on in

Yarmouth area

IT is disappointing seeing people writing in to say that Yarmouth lacks pride because it doesn’t run an annual Carnival. The opposite is probably the case.

What has happened since the demise of the old Carnival is that both Yarmouth and Gorleston have developed much bigger annual events that entertain thousands of people every year.

The Maritime Festival on South Quay and the Out There Festival in St George’s Park are outstanding events held every September that show Yarmouth in a very good light and help extend what would otherwise be a very short Summer Season.

Then we have the East Coast Truckers parading along Marine Parade in August and in Gorleston the Clifftop Festival every July is a real source of pride to local people. I don’t think we miss the old Carnival too much.

MICK CASTLE

Chairman,

Yarmouth Area Committee

My dog was

attacked too

I HAVE recently read the response of the owner whose dog attacked another while walking in Reedham. Sadly, a near identical incident happened to myself in another part of the borough.

I was walking my small dog very peacefully and on lead when three dogs came racing out of an unsecure garden and proceeded to attack him and knock myself into the road. Were it was not for the kindness of two men who came rushing to our aid, I have no doubt my dog would have been killed and myself injured, all the more terrifying as I was pregnant at the time.

Luckily we were all fine, minus a few scratches and bruises. While I empathise with the owner regarding her fears in the reported case, these unprovoked attacks are frightening for all concerned (yes, screaming and shouting will occur, something which the owner appeared to take offence to) and as responsible dog owners, all possible preventive actions must be taken to ensure they do not occur, including awareness of how secure ones garden is.

Name and Address withheld

Stop smoking

outside Paget

I COULDN’T agree more with Jackie Page (Letters, July 27). It is disgusting to see patients and visitors smoking outside the main entrance of the James Paget University Hospital.

What about the people who suffer from breathing problems and the non-smokers? They have to walk through a haze of smoke.

Also, the staff in the transport office are unable to have their window open due to these ignorant people who couldn’t care less about the welfare of other people. The James Paget should put up signs informing people not to smoke at the main entrance and indicate where the smoking shelters are situated. At present there aren’t any.

The security staff/porters should be moving people away from the main entrance or start enforcing on the spot fines.

J DICKINSON

Dell Road East

Lowestoft

Don’t leave our

loos unattended

CONCERNING the Gorleston toilets, near the pier, which are to be unattended, or possibly closed. As a concerned rate payer, can someone answer this question: what is happening to the money which is paid towards the upkeep of these facilities?

I would like to see these facilities remain opened and attended, especially during the summer months. Visitors to Gorleston should not have to feel obliged to buy food or drink, just to be able to use the conveniences. On the whole, most people don’t mind paying a nominal amount to use a nice clean WC provided with plenty of toilet paper and hand washing, also the possiblility of baby changing facilities, for young families.

In my eyes these are essential facilities at a seaside resort, it’s ridiculous not to provide this most common decent necessity.

I have been approached by several people to write in and complain about this problem. There are many people, who for one reason or another, cannot or dare not speak out, I am not one of them.

After this weekend, with our lovely Cliff Top Gala, we should still have these amenities open and attended. It’s a long old walk from the cliffs area towards the pier, as is the beach area, surely we should be considering small children and the elderly.

After a recent outing to Southwold, their toilets near the pier were not working properly, only one sink with hand washing and drying facilities available, and quite a queue was forming.

At least three coaches had gone for the day out, and really that was unacceptable.

On a lighter note, it was wonderful to see the Gala so well attended, everyone seems to like these family events, Gorleston is most certainly in my book, the Jewel in the Crown..Bring back our carnival, that used to be such fun too. Why does it all fall by the wayside?

MARLENE DELAY

Email

Wellesley name

is historical link

BY all means name the Wellesley recreation ground a Queen Elizabeth II Field “which bolsters its armour against development”, Mercury, July 27. But let’s not be hasty about abandoning the original name. Appellations such as “Wellesley”, “Beaconsfield”, “Nelson” et al are not conferred lightly and so should not be removed in haste.

They form an integral part of the historical geography of the borough.

MIKE SPRAGG

Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Memories of

Duncan House

I WAS interested to read the letter. Mercury, July 20 by Michael Moore regarding Duncan House School which was later to become Duncan Hall School when it moved to Scratby around 1947. However, I am sure it was opened before the end of the 39/45 war because I was there from September 1939 until April or May 1940 when the school was evacuated to Pwlleli in north Wales.

I remained in Yarmouth with my parents and attended a small part-time school set up in the front room of Mr Snowton’s house on Nelson Road South. “Pussy” Snowton, as he was nicknamed, was a Duncan House teacher but did not evacuate with the rest of the staff.

As you can imagine, there was barely a handful of children left in Yarmouth at the time and next to no schools left open.

I left Yarmouth in January 1941 to become a boarder at Bungay Grammar School when my parents moved away from Yarmouth under the direction of a labour scheme set up for men who were too old to go in the Forces.

Sadly, in the early hours of the morning of April 8 1941, after one of the most destructive raids on the centre of Yarmouth during the war, Pussy Snowton was killed at the Seagull Garage on Queen’s Road. He was a special constable and happened to be at their post there when it received a direct hit from a parachute mine.

So very, very sad, he was always a loving, caring and understanding sort of man.

RICHARD KERRIDGE

Parkland Drive,

Bradwell

Great Yarmouth

needs support!

I WAS saddened to read the letter from C A Balls in last week’s Mercury for many reasons, first and foremost being that it was the first time they had visited the seafront this year. They only live in Bradwell. Great Yarmouth should be visited any time of the year.

My husband and I, both pensioners too, like nothing better than to walk along the seafront popping into the Wellington Pier for an inexpensive cuppa.

Perhaps their one visit was on a busy day when the litter hadn’t yet been cleared. We have always found the beach and seawall clean and tidy and great care is taken with the gardens. The regeneration of the seafront puts many traditional seaside proms to shame. And the beach, where else can you find so much sand instead of the grotty shingle so many beaches have?

What about the rest of the town? Did they have a look at the park? How so much better it looks now and again it is carefully maintained. Many of the cafes down Regent Road have been in the same families for years and you can get really decent meals at good prices. The market place on a busy day seems bright and vibrant and Palmers. How many places can boast such a shop? Okay, so many shops are empty but at least they are not boarded up and covered in graffiti as in many places.

Car parking charges are not over the top either, go to other seaside places even up North Norfolk.

So what if the Pier shows lack big names. They are still good value We too have seen big names like the Rolling Stones and The Beatles in Yarmouth. Nowadays our venues are too small for them but it doesn’t mean the ones that are on are rubbish. There’s the Hippodrome, often good concerts at St Nicholas and Deneside, hopefully the soon to be opened St George’s Theatre and The Pavilion (Okay, I know it is in Gorleston but to me Yarmouth and Gorleston go together as one).

Mistakes have been made but, in spite of the recession, efforts are made by the council and the Tourist Authority. Have they visited the Maritime Festival, Out There Festival, Museums, Yarmouth Potteries, classic car displays, bowls, fireworks etc.

Great Yarmouth has a rich heritage and needs to be supported and celebrated by its population within the borough not, as is often the case, slated.

J COLE

email

Where’s friendly

Scratby gone?

WE first visited Scratby in 1976 as a young courting couple, the people were so friendly. We enjoyed Norfolk so much we came back year after year and in the 1980s came again to Sctaby with our young children – the reception was such we even thought of moving to the village close by.

Unfortunately a bad accident and a spinal injury prevented that dream from coming to fruition.

Fast forward to 2012 and we drove again to Scratby with our seven year old grandson who was excited about the place we had waxed lyrical about. On arrival, our first point of call were tearooms and we ordered breakfasts. After three and a half hours in the car our grandson asked if could use the toilet, my wife asked on his behalf and had hardly finished speaking before a voice boomed out over the noise of the caf�: “Are they paying customers. Only paying customers are allowed to use the tolets!”

My wife responded politely we were paying customers and the looks from other sheepish diners intimated this sort of welcome was the norm. The welcome to Scratby was a poor one. We later found this attitude was more or less endemic in the village and in most places we visited we were made to feel like we were a nuisance.

We spent most of our holiday time travelling; Hemsby was a happy place as was Great Yarmouth and at Cromer and Norwich attractions we were made welcome. Thank goodness the old Norfolk spirit of welcoming strangers could be found once we had ventured out of Scratby.

Mr and Mrs D BUTT

Nottingham

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