Letters, December 20, 2011

Under-fire centre has helped us

WE felt we had to respond to the damning Ofsted report received by Smart Kids OK in last week’s Mercury. Our son, who has Asperger syndrome and ADHD, has attended Smart Kids OK for many years and this has given us valuable time to spend with each other, and our other children, as our son’s special needs dominate our time.

Until recently, our son was in mainstream education and could not cope with the large amount of children there, but going to Smart Kids gave him the opportunity to engage and play with children in much smaller numbers which has helped him enormously. Our son also had somewhere to go where he was not always in the wrong, staff understood autism and it’s peculiarities and adapted to him, correcting and encouraging him without making him feel that “he could never get it right”.

We have been very happy with both the staff and facilities at Smart Kids and were very upset to read the comments made by the Ofsted inspectors. We have been given copious amounts of help and advice by Andy and Jacky and really do not know what we would have done without them.

Mr and Mrs WARD

Great Yarmouth

Happy memories of town’s jetty

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I’VE just read BV Beckett’s letter in last week’s `Mercury’ and looked at the three wonderful photographs picturing holidaymakers enjoying themselves on the jetty decades ago.

My immediate thoughts are that considering all the high technology offshore engineering expertise made available to Great Yarmouth over the last 50 years for North. Sea energy exploration, it’s a shame that the short-sighted council could not somehow harness the resources of the many companies who have benefited from their operations in the borough to help refurbish our wonderful landmark.

The required more than several �10K+ donations from them, plus complimentary engineering design and consultation should be within their means to fund the project - and they might then benefit from having their names associated with a historic landmark which could be renamed Nelson’s Pier”.

I am baffled by the fact that just over 50 years ago the resources and funds were then found to rebuild our famous landmark and turn it into such a worthy attraction - but now similar funds cannot be raised. The sea has now taken its toll and we have surrendered to its torrent and decided, “Enough is enough! So the jetty shall be no more!”

But ... would Nelson have surrendered so easily? Would he have given up on securing victory so that future generations might benefit ? I think not! I for one have such happy memories of the jetty. Whilst a pupil at Styles’ School in 1962 we ate our Friday lunchtime fish and chips on the jetty whilst looking out to sea and along the beaches - listening to the waves and thinking how lucky we were to experience the majesty of the location.

I fished all night for whiting and cod from the end of the jetty during the autumn and winter months - and did my share of courting cuddled up in the shelter too. Happy days which could and should with a bit of foresight and resourceful planning be made available to all.

“Great Yarmouth expects ... !” I wish ... !!


Former Great Yarmouth and Gorleston resident

Cllrs elected to represent people

ONCE again, which has happened throughout the year, the leader and his borough council are deaf to the demands of the people of Great Yarmouth. And it is mostly to do with parking. The Gorleston promenade fiasco need not have happened if the council had earlier approached Eastport in regards to leasing the pier for parking, and used the money they were going to use for the promenade to resurface it.

If, and if is a very big word, the hierarchy of the council would at sometime visit the area, they would see the large amount of people that like to walk along pier, or in my case, ride. But as usual that never happens. Because once again they have decided, against the wishes of the residents to take away the much needed parking permits. Why? Does the councillor for that area believe this should happen? or have his pleas drifted off in the wind?

This past year I have not seen any of the new jobs which were promised, created through the harbour. The rejuvenation of the area, not just Great Yarmouth, but the surrounding areas, seem to have been a damp squib. If you build it, they will come could still happen, but when? Revitalise the bus station, put some bright vibrant street painting there, and the railway station.

We have a chance in 2012 with the Olympic Torch coming this way, to show the country that Great Yarmouth and the surrounding areas are a place to visit.

I would like to add once more that our taxpayer-paid councillors should forget the politics; they have been elected to represent the people in their wards and just because there is more of one party than the other it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pull together for the common good. It isn’t long till May, the balance of power may change.


Yallop Avenue


Martham school get-together

FORMER pupils and teachers of Martham Secondary Modern School from the 1970s decade are invited for a get-together at the Eels Foot pub in Ormesby St Margaret on January 20. the event starts at 7pm.

If you wish to join us please let me know by January 6. I can be contacted on 07776 136384.



Disappointed by Wonderland

I JUST wondered if I am the only person to be disappointed with Fritton Lakes Winter Wonderland, because believe me there was nothing wonderful about it. Even though the price was reduced it still was too much as we had to spend a lot more extra money once inside, just to kill time until the entertainment, which included the Santa who “high-fived” young children with the words “gimme some skin”.

After spending two hours trudging around in the mud we decided to leave and ask for a refund. We were told they could not refund us but they would take our name and number and call us back and let us know the outcome of our complaint. I am guessing I have as much chance of that as hearing from Peter Andre. A real disappointment and no festive atmosphere at all.



All entitled to a decent pension

ON the politics home website, Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis writes about union barons bullying the government and a series of other nonsense such as saying the Labour party backed the public workers strike and gave in to its paymasters.

This is simply not true. The Labour front bench effectively sat on the fence, neither supporting nor condemning the strike. Furthermore many of the unions central to the dispute (NUT/PCS included) have no financial link to the Labour party.

I represent a private sector branch of Unite the union that went out to support our public sector brothers and sisters on November 30. We will not let a crude wedge be driven between private and public sector workers to try and create a race to the bottom for pensions and conditions at work.

The truth is we are the fourth richest economy on earth and we are all entitled to a decent pension in our retirement. Hospital workers and local government workers should not be asked to plug a hole in the economy created and precipitated by the banking community that continues to pay itself millions in bonuses. Many people have proposed a Robin Hood tax on banking transactions that would create �20bn a year for the Treasury. This is opposed by the coalition.

At the same time, tax dodging companies cut deals with HMRC bosses to deprive the economy of �25bn a year.

These two revenue streams could collectively create �45bn a year and plug a large part of the deficit. Mr Lewis’s party is clearly more concerned with protecting the interests of the top one per cent rather than the 99pc who are suffering.


Unite 1/1426 Great Yarmouth branch secretary