Letters, February 24, 2012

Restoration ...

not destruction

WITH reference to the reply regarding the Vauxhall railway bridge, I wish to make it quite clear I am in no way upset, I have very broad shoulders.

I was in fact replying to John Annison’s original letter stating that to my knowledge there was never an ulterior motive for the restoration of the bridge other than to provide a safer and more efficient access. And to help raise awareness and hopefully funding to restore what Mr Annison describes as “a blot on the landscape”

He is entitled to his opinion but he is obviously not aware of the amount of effort and hard work from the council, charities, Miriam Kikis and myself to help save the bridge from the scrapyard.

This unique structure was opened in 1852 and it is a rare survivor. It is the only bridge of its type left in this country, a grade II listed structure and registered at the Institute of Civil Engineers as an “historical engineering work.” It has also been described as an “outstanding piece of architecture and a” monument of the first rank,” and a little gem that needs polishing.

We have it here in Great Yarmouth and it is pleasing to know that at long last the bridge will start to receive the attention it so richly deserves.

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Restoration and not destruction is what is needed in this town and whilst we are about it, let’s train some youngsters in restoration works, and that way we will have the skilled people we require in order to maintain what should remain precious to us all.

Yes, Great Yarmouth is an ancient town, albeit some would wish it to be Milton Keynes.


Anglia Skills Academy Ltd

North River Road

Great Yarmouth

You don’t have to walk the cat!

I THINK a few people have misunderstood my letter about keeping cats. All I was trying to say doggie bags are just thrown on the ground, when there are bins about. What I meant was, if these lazy people cannot be bothered to do it, have a cat instead because you don’t have to walk a cat.

I know they can be a pain and I have had cats myself and they do like other peoples’ gardens but you don’t see cats in town, messing. I went to my daughter’s on Alma Road recently and some lovely person let their dog just mess on the pavement. It’s just pure lazy. You see it everywhere.

On another subject, I agree with readers about the state of Yarmouth railway station and the visit of Prince Charles. I have never seen such a miserable looking station. And a lick of paint would not help.



Treat people with respect

PEOPLE living in the Yarmouth streets between Euston Road and St Peter’s Road were absolutely incensed last summer when Cllr Charles Reynolds pushed through a bid to get rid of the Residents Permit Parking Zone A which has successfully protected their “quality of life” over the past six years.

Eventually a formal public consultation was launched in the autumn with a Yes/No format and space for comments. A large public petition was raised and residents registered their views on the forms sent out by the council. The closing date was early in January ... but guess what?

Those on the council who unleashed this process don’t like the response given by the public. Six weeks later there is a deathly silence about the result – I suspect a victory for Cllr Reynolds (however unlikely) would have been announced within 24 hours!

The message from local residents to councillor Reynolds and his fellow councillors is start treating local people with respect and for goodness sake admit they got it wrong.

Figures revealed by the council’s head of finance show that receipts for car parks and pay and display put �2m each year into the council’s coffers and pretty much all of that (except for �9,000 in Gorleston High Street and �8,300 at Caister Beach) is generated in Yarmouth streets between the river and the central seafront.

I don’t know what Conservative-minded voters living in the town must think of their political masters but I suspect the Government’s “Localism” propaganda is grating on them.


Borough Councillor for Yarmouth’s Central and Northgate ward

Perhaps a prayer

would help town

IN the article in last week’s Mercury concerning formal prayers being said at the start of council meetings, I was surprised to learn that Great Yarmouth Borough Council didn’t start their meetings this way. Given the state of the town and the surrounding areas, the council could probably do with a bit of Divine Intervention right now!



Disgusting mess

on the paths

IT would be good to have a nice walk without having to watch where you step. It is disgusting the amount of dog poo everywhere you walk, even in the town centre.

I parked my car on Stonecutters Way and got out straight onto poo on the pavement. Not amused.

I have a dog myself and always clean his mess up. My pockets are full of poppa bags and it takes less than a minute to clean it up and bin it. If you can’t be bothered to clean up after your dog then you should not have one. Congratulations East Coast Truckers. I am so glad there will be a convoy this year. I have supported you for years. The children deserve their day out.



Amazed by the town’s gridlock

I WOULD first express my sorrow and condolences to his family for the gentleman killed on St Valentine’s Day. Having said that, I was amazed by the picture of the scene on the front page of last week’s Mercury.

As many of us know, the town was gridlocked for about four hours and it appeared that the police had not only correctly blocked the westbound lane over Haven Bridge but the eastbound lane also. Why? Surely with a few bollards and two or three PCSOs they could have organised a two-way system over that eastbound lane. While this would not have cleared the traffic immediately I am sure it would have helped particularly when the Breydon Bridge was blocked as well.


Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Council plan is

double dutch

I WAS amazed that Great Yarmouth Borough Council supremo may be based in South Holland.

It may be nearer to have one based in the real Holland. Could bring new ideas!

Why have we employed someone full-time for years when a job can be done part-time? How much has that cost over the years? How many other posts are part-time in practice and could be shared?

Why can we not work with a neighbouring council or all the councils share services with Norfolk, which is Tory after all? A unitary authority might have been best after all; save loads of funds. While I am all for cutting council costs, all these redundancies are costing the earth. Excellent staff are being shed with redundancy pay and pensions often topped up.

I took voluntary redundancy from the public sector.

I was paid a year’s salary and was able to take my pension early to add to the pension fund crisis. I was free to seek a similar job and start again. If posts are redundant why were they created in the first place and thousands spent over the years. How come councils claim to be efficient yet can then lose many surplus staff?

The other issue this raises is how the pull of an area and emotional commitment to the town has been lost. How can a part-time distant supremo have a feel for the town? How can the needs of two areas be balanced?

Reflecting, this may be what has gone wrong with the public sector. Career-minded professionals moving about the country with no feel for the towns they serve. Conversely, of course, some have been in their posts so long they may have lost the passion for their towns. Stay local.


Victoria Street

Caister on Sea

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Let’s set up a

‘Friends’ group

I WAS glad to read a reply to my letter regarding the Regent Theatre and think Mr Gerry Jarvis came up with a great idea. So let’s through the Mercury see if we can set up a Friends of the Regent group and see where we go.

Is there the backing out there, let’s see? It would be great to see a big name here instead of the UEA or the Regent in Ipswich.

Anyone who is interested in forming a group can email me on m.swift3@ntlworld.com, or write to the editor of the Mercury.



Can I call myself

a Yarmouthian?

I HAVE lived in Great Yarmouth - in Newtown - for more than 26 years, moving here with my parents, and always felt at home here. However, just recently I have begun to feel very uncomfortable over what I can only describe as “insider-ism.” Perhaps someone can tell me the proper word.

I have always felt myself to be a proper Yarmouthian, have married and my children are born and bred here. But last week my high school age son returned home from his friend’s to tell me I was not from Yarmouth and therefore I should not have any say on what goes on in the town. I wasn’t, he said, a true Yarmouthian.

To say I was shocked is an understatement. Apparently he had been out in town somewhere and he and his friend had been asked where they came from. They both replied Yarmouth, but then they were quizzed on whether they were born here!

How strange? My son was puzzled. I was astonished.

Are Yarmouth born and bred people not as welcoming as once I thought?

Name and address withheld