Letters, December 14, 2012

Bridge remarks

a step too far

ON reading Mr Spragg’s letter last week re Caister footbridge, I notice he lives in Great Yarmouth. Well, I have lived in Caister all my adult life, and saying the bridge does not link any settlements is not correct.

Caister bypass cut West Caister in two and the footbridge connects West Caister to the rest of the village. I use the bridge daily, as do many people to walk into the countryside and to visit St Edmond’s Church, as do many others who I pass daily.

How would Mr Spragg like to cross a four-lane bypass with speeding traffic? And North Drive has a zebra crossing and is not a four-lane bypass with speeding 70mph traffic! I have never read such nonsense.



Most Read

Council numbers

are disturbing

WITH reference to both Cllr Trevor Wainwright’s and Barry Coleman’s published letters last week I find the situation both laughable and disturbing. Is the problem �3.3m or �10m over three years? Well they obviously don’t know do they? Yet on page 4 of the same edition we have a piece of PR by both Mr Wainwright and our borough managing director, Richard Packham, sitting no more than 18 inches apart.

Now I would have thought, given the importance of this confused situation that Mr Packham, above all others (given his executive position) would have his finger on the pulse and be able to confirm what the real number is?

Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat - all we seem to get is obfuscation and a significant degree of disingenuous communication with the electorate and council taxpayers of the borough.



Why are you so quick to moan?

SINCE I moved to this area I have read a lot of bad press about the James Paget Hospital. Well, today was the first time of my using the hospital and I was very impressed at the service I received. Within 40 minutes of arrival I had had a mammogram and waited my turn in the pathology department for a blood test, which was done efficiently and painlessly.

If this is the normal service, I cannot understand why people are so quick to complain, so for a change I thought I would like to give them some praise for excellent care and timekeeping.



MP could give

renting advice

I SEE Brandon Lewis is asking constituents to fill in a survey as he can see that many families are struggling at the moment. If he wishes to help can I make a suggestion, many young working families with mortgages are finding it very hard at the moment. Could Brandon meet with them and explain to them how they go about renting out their houses and rent out another one to live in at the taxpayers’ expense until times are better.

I am sure he would be a great help as he has had first hand experience how it works. How about it then Mr Lewis?


East Anglian Way,


Musical students

were wonderful

I WANTED to highlight the magnificent work that went into an equally magnificent student concert held at Cliff Park Junior School on November 29, featuring an assortment of young maestros with ages ranging from year three primary school, through to college sixth form, these talented youngsters gave their all in a very enjoyable evening programme of diverse music and festive song.

Featuring pupils from Cliff Park Junior and High schools, Wroughton Junior, Herman and St Nicholas Primaries, Lynn Grove High and Ormiston Venture Academy; an inter-school orchestra was formed, and along with some nimble-fingered pianists, a quartet of high-school singers in fine voice, and two very able flautists providing a colourful addition to the concert.

It was truly wonderful to see the see the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of these fine young virtuosos come alive through their music, and I for one look forward to attending their future concerts. There were many very proud parents there that evening and I urge every one of the musical maestros in the making to continue on their musical quest; let the music flow, and in the words of Hans Christian Andersen, remember: “Where words fail, music speaks!”

I would like to take the opportunity to thank some very special individuals, for without this chosen few, the concert would never have taken place and the music would never have flowed so wonderfully. A big thank you to Sylvia Saxby (strings), John Mudd (cello), Ruth Harrison (piano) and Carol Clayton (singing); their hard work, tireless dedication and superb tuition were brought together to culminate into something truly spectacular. I would also like to thank the headteacher of Cliff Park Junior School for providing use of the school hall to host this wonderful concert.



Why should they

get pricey kit?

MY elderly mum recently had a home visit by a very efficient nurse from Northgate Hospital.

The nurse was with her for several hours during which she made lots of notes on a notepad with pen and paper “on the move” (councillors please note).

The nurse mentioned the cutbacks that are occuring at the hospital, she certainly wasn’t given an expensive tablet to do her job.

Surely if the councillors feel that they really need one on top of their expensive phones and laptops they can afford to buy them and pay the subscriptions themselves as most people do.

Money saved would keep the clifftop car park free for several more years.


Burgh Castle

Photo brought

back memories

I WAS very interested to see the photo on page eight of last week’s edition of the 1953 flood, and people being rescued at the bottom of the Beach Road to Cliff Hill steps in Gorleston.

I remember this event very well indeed and it may have contributed to my later interest and long career in meteorology and oceanography. At the time I was seven and lived with my family in Elmgrove Road and my parents took me down to see the remarkable and devastating scene that morning. I now possess a copy of the synoptic weather chart of this event which I have obtained from the Met Office archives.

Apart from my career with the Met Offic and the UK Hydrographic Office I maintain an active interest in the weather and in global warming (and consequently sea level rise). I am also a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society - clouds being the patterns in the sky which indicate movement and change in the atmosphere. Clouds are also important in reflecting solar radiation back to space and helping to keep us cooler (globally) than we otherwise would be; many of them are also extremely beautiful.

Unpredictable then, but I now live in a house just at the very top of these steps and love the daily view of the sunrise over the harbour and the constant shipping movements. I hope though not to see a repeat of this particular scene in my lifetime!


Cliff Hill,


Who is correct?

Readers decide!

TREVOR Wainwright’s and Barry Coleman’s view point in the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Who to believe?

For five of the 11 years that the Tory cabinet reigned in the Town Hall FOI questions that we sent in were very rarely answered in a straight forward manner. Sometimes the answers did not relate to the facts.

One FOI we sent in: “Why instead of giving our grant and river port to a private company owned by bankers, why didn’t we take our own mortgage on the river port raising a loan to build the Outer Harbour ourselves?”

Their answer to my FOI request: “That is not possible, we cannot take out bank loans that is the law.”

The answer that GYBC gave was misleading, as the authority used to build the Outer Harbour was the Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour Act 1986, as mentioned in various reports.

From which we quote total ratepayer’s funding �21.65 million in cash and land, figures are accurate. GYBC & NCC stated the total for the arms and dredging is �40 million we paid half the cost of forming the outer harbour.

So why did the Tory cabinet gift the river port when we could have retained it?

From the published accounts of GYPC (the bankers that own our Port) show a profit in 2011 of �6.5 million. If we had built the outer harbour ourselves, Barry Coleman would have a potential surplus for the Region of �3.5 million, most to the benefit of Great Yarmouth ratepayer’s.

Trevor Wainwright would have been looking at a potential shortfall of �3.5 million instead of �10 million for the region. Did the cabinet work for the electorate? We don’t think so!

We ask the readers of their letters, “Who is correct?” We know who we believe!

John L Cooper

Burnt Lane


Disgusted after

treatment at JPH

I WAS scheduled for a pelvic floor and a bladder operation in November. There was quite a lot of preparation I had to do the evening before, which carried on to the day of the op. My day started at 6am, because I was only to have a light breakfast and no food after 7am, after which I could only have water up to 11am. I also had to ring and confirm a bed was available for me, which I did and was admitted at 11am and given a gown and elastic stockings and told to wait. I waited and waited and then asked what time I could expect to be seen, the answer was that it would be after 1.30pm. In the meantime I saw various other staff and the anaesthetic was discussed. At approximately 1.30pm my consultant Mr M Hassanaien came by and after a brief word said someone would be there to collect me in 20 minutes. So I waited and waited. At about 3.30pm I asked a nurse what was happening and she came back and told me that the theatre was busy but I was definately going to be next and would be seen that day. I waited and waited, still had not had anything to eat or drink, when at 5.30pm a nurse came and told me that my op had been cancelled and I may be seen the next day. By this time I was very upset and angry at being treated in such a casual manner. I had sat in that chair all those hours from 11am until 6.15pm when my husband arrived to take me home. I think it is disgusting and it is a complete failure of the James Paget. I had carefully complied with all of the instructions given to me and then to be treated like this, it is very bad management indeed. So where does this leave me and how do I know whether I would be treated in the same way should I be “first on the list”, next time, which was the message I recieved from the consultant before I left. When is next time? I had geared myself up for this op. I now feel very reluctant to put myself through all this again. I had already heard the reputation of this hospital has not been very good but you never think it will happen to you.


The Green


Please come and

collect your pots

MAY I through your columns make a plea to the parents of two young children from the Yarmouth area, Maisy and Corbyn who last July, at the beginning of the summer holiday, came to our studio together and painted a piece of ceramic pottery. Since then it has been sitting on our shelf waiting for collection. It is all bought and paid for and seems a shame that these children have not had the pleasure of seeing the final results of their efforts. Likewise a young girl from the Bradwell area whose name I do not know painted when we were in Market Gates in November.


Arela of Norfolk

The Courtyard

Main Cross Road

Great Yarmouth

01493 843600

MP has ignored

parts of budget

INTERESTING thoughts of our MP, Brandon Lewis, on the budget which had some good news. His constituency, however, has many on benefits, including many workers on low wages who will be hit by tax credit cuts. This removes money from our local economy and will put people under stress. This is on top of the bedroom tax. The chancellor even showed contempt for benefit claimants seeing them as shirkers. Most claimants want to work and are not unemployed by choice. It is brilliant news that the low paid are being removed from tax. It is amazing that minimum wage earners pay tax. Labour should have sorted that as it saves on tax credits. Likewise, Labour could have introduced the 50p tax rate on the rich. Tax avoidance measures would ensure they pay and this needs sorting.

Mr Lewis also ignores the further 2pc budget cuts required from the councils in 2014/15 which sees more money out of the local economy.

Mr Lewis ignores the chancellor missing his borrowing targets and the very limited growth in the economy.

I would like to see long term unemployment benefits abolished. This could be replaced by a job creation programme with proper wages and qualifications. This would see the benefits budget reduced as people were back at work. The budget could have done more for growth. A job creation programme could be paid for by the savings on benefits, from training budgets, the back to work programmes and planned government departmental budgets. This would be far better than many of our workforce waiting to find a job and we would see something for the money being spent. One can see so many enhancements that could be done in the area. The morale of the workforce would be improved.


Victoria Street


Statement praise

is just more spin

MP’s praise for budget - Brandon Lewis issued a statement in last week’s Mercury. Surprise, surprise - no not really, just another bit of spin from a desperate government which will appear in all local newspapers in the country by an order of the party to all MP’s I would imagine. He tells us that the economy is healing which will bring welcome support to families and business in Great Yarmouth. Yes there are a few benefits in the budget and some people will gain and some will lose. He then goes on to say the budget is fantastic news for Great Yarmouth.

The real and most important problem for our country is their flawed rescue plan their arrogance won’t let them believe is failing. So confident were they that there was no plan B,

No Brandon the economy isn’t healing. Saturday’s Guardian shouts “Triple-dip alert: Recession fears as figures show industrial output has fallen to the lowest in 20 years.”

Conservative Brandon Lewis says “the economic recovery is taking longer because the damage is worse than feared”. No Brandon the chancellor made his plans and set his own targets and it can only be his fault if they are unattainable. The statement that the “the economy is healing” is patently incorrect, in fact it is misleading and the worst kind of spin from our own MP when another newspaper report said yesterday: “The City has put the UK on triple dip recession alert after news that falling factory and North Sea production have sent the output of industry plunging to the lowest level in twenty years.” This is the worst news Mr Cameron and the chancellor want to hear because they are terrified of an increase in interest rates.

Since Brandon Lewis’s promotion it appears that his electorate is less important because an email sent to him on 13th November, and three days later another asking for an acknowledge of receipt, has not drawn a response.

Content was my concerns for a major problem affecting our country also clarification of a statement he made that the number of apprentices had increased by 91pc which means little to me without an end number. Just another piece of spin!

We have an MP who is ambitious to rise in the party who submitted question after question to parliament but now that he has his promotion it appears it is constant meetings which take his time. Having risen in government I believe he will be looking for a safer seat than Great Yarmouth at the next election but until then he is required to serve us.


Brett Avenue,


Our bridge is

very well used

IN reply to the comment regarding the bridge.

Mr Spragg - the so called bridge is used by the people that live in West Caister to take their children to school early in the morning or to go to the shops.

As not everyone has got a car and no bus route it’s the only way to get across.

So it is used thank you very much.


West Caister

No Boxing Day

bus a disgrace

IT’S a real disgrace that First Bus can’t do buses on Boxing Day.

Christmas Day is one thing but for a place like Yarmouth it is making it a “no go” for people without cars. We are a major resort with the Hippodrome Circus doing its annual Christmas shows, not to mention the Hollywood Cinema and other Christmas events in town. I have checked and find that Blackpool and Brighton both have services running. For Norwich City fans too there’s a Boxing Day match against Chelsea - is that only for people with cars?


Councillor for Yarmouth’s Central & Northgate Ward

German bomber

flew very low

WITH regards to Grouts. Being an errand boy at 15 delivering groceries to Harley Road I was confronted by a German plane, a Dornier, flying at rooftop height, me seeing the pilot and red and white cross on fuselage and swastika on tail. It roared over my head and I reckon the pilot had been warned of all the guns in the town and was keeping a low profile.

Daphne Traynier was right he was very low passing over Stanley Road, she would have heard it roaring overhead and then the bombs exploding.

One fell on Dysons Glass Firm killing young Alfie Roberts, 16, who lived on Louise Road where I was born in 1925. We will remember them.



Grouts was the

best job I had!

I’ve been looking at the letters about Grouts in the Mercury with a lot of good memories. I started in the Warpins room with a mate looking after about 21 women. Frank Herd was the man in charge. It was the best job I ever had. Mr David Arnold was the union rep and was a councillor who got a leak from the town hall that Gainsborough Cornard was closing the factory. He said: “Once you go through those gates you wont be allowed back in, so either go or sit in. A lot of us sat in for a few months. Anthony Fell came to tell us to go and sign on which wasn’t welcomed. Pat Hollis came and had a tour of the factory and gave us good support. The firm finally gave in and paid us a year’s salary to clear the site which we helped do in about three months.


Kingston Avenue,


Yellow line abuse

must be stopped

WHEN is somebody on the council or in authority going to get to grips with the continuing misuse of the disabled badge parking on double yellow lines in the borough?

A typical example was on Thursday, December 6 when a gentelman walked through the Palmers car park, (passed the paying cars), without any mechanical aid, got into his car which displayed a disabled card, and drove off with no passengers aboard and after being parked for any amount of time.

What visual checks are being done on these abusers of the disabled badge system or are there no longer any wardens to moniter these offenders? It seems common sense to me, that one warden’s wages could be recuperated in a matter of hours by issuing penalty fines to the offenders of this much abused offence throughout the borough.


Cherry Close,


We will always

support schools

IN response to Councillor Nobbs’s letter, I am also disappointed in the analysis of Ofsted gradings of Norfolk schools. However, as Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for children’s Services and, indeed, as a parent, I can assure him this authority has never, nor will ever, take a “hands-off” attitude towards something as valuable as our children’s education.

We know our schools well. We are supporting them to raise standards and, when necessary, we also challenge them to address issues of underperformance. This is leading to significant improvements in many Norfolk schools and at key stages in our children’s education, so we can be confident that we are making progress.

However, we are not complacent. We know more Norfolk schools need to move from satisfactory to good or outstanding. We know schools need to go much further and faster.

But Cllr Nobbs is very much mistaken if he thinks “only those who belong to the ruling Group” are “in a position to do something about it”. I suggest every parent, governor, teacher and resident of the local community has a vital contribution to make to their local school and in helping our children to make the most of their time at school.

The county council will continue to do everything in its power to challenge and support schools and, when all else has failed, intervene when a school is taking too long to improve. However, it is important to be clear: the county council does not run schools any more. We do not decide how much funding is available for Norfolk schools overall – that’s a decision made by the Government - neither can we insist that schools are run in a certain way, unless we use our powers of intervention.

As you would expect, the county council will always champion our children and young people and wants them to have every opportunity to do well but responsibility for school performance and school improvement rests squarely with schools, first and foremost.

Clearly, some of our schools need to raise standards but it is difficult and complex to do. It is only by working together that can we bring about these improvements.

We all share a common goal. As the local authority, we can help to galvanise improvements and do everything in our power to help schools achieve the very best for their students, but it requires a team effort to raise standards. A school belongs to its community and everybody in that community has a role to play in its success.


Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

Norfolk County Council

Go Dutch to save

our coastline

IT was and is depressing to view the pictures of the destruction of the beaches at Hemsby. This should never have happened. I suggested over 30 years ago what could have been done to save this coastline not just Hemsby but others including Happisburgh. But no-one took any notice. I said then what could happen if nothing was done, now it has.

I do not believe a tarpaulin or a bit or two of wire will do any good. I studied this coast for a few years and I wrote to the North Norfolk District Council a short while ago saying what I found and suggestions to remedy erosion. Now in my opinion it appears no-one has a clue how to avoid any more damage. I suggest they approach the Dutch engineers who have the knowledge, experience and know-how. Time is short.




Extraction is a

bigger threat

COASTAL erosion and the outer harbour seem to be uppermost in our thoughts. But a far greater threat to our wellbeing does not pull the same interest. The threat to which I refer is aggregate extraction, now running at millions of tonnes per annum. If we go back to its beginning around the end of the last century we realise the serious erosion problems it started mainly at Caister and Gorleston beaches at this time. Slowly it became apparent to these extraction companies that they could be the cause of it and if it carried on Yarmouth beach could be affected. Perhaps they did not want to put a stop to this very lucrative income. A barrier was needed to stop this happening - two large groynes would suffice somewhere around the water inlet of the harbour where the main swell and turbulence was. Perhaps under the guise of calling it an outer harbour the whole thing could go ahead bringing about the debate we have now, which from the start was a white elephant.

Then a company was set up backed by local ratepayers, then as things progressed more money was needed. As the whole context of the operation changed it was thought a good idea to impose a 30 year embargo on the whole thing.

I wonder how this inquiry is going to work out?

Now as we all realise it does not function as a real harbour, are we barking up the right tree?


Gonville Road.