Letters, February 13 3015

Fewer toilets? A fall in my rates?

If and when a lot of the toilets in the borough get closed I would like a reduction in my rates as I pay for the toilets and the maintenance of them. I will be watching this very, very carefully.

CHARLIE PEACE

Caister

Our Legion group wins plaudits


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I would like to take this opportunity of informing all your readers of our awards given to us at county conference.

The first was a cup for the most young members recruited. The second was a certificate and cup named The Royal Challenge Cup in recognition and appreciation of effort towards the largest increase in fundraising for the Poppy Appeal ending September 30 2014.

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The third was The Addison Williamson Cup in recognition and appreciation of the progress and efficiency in the year ending September 30 2014, and the fourth was a certificate for runners up in The Coltishall Cup, awarded for the best kept war memorial in recognition and appreciation, the year ending September 30, 2014.

We have achieved a substantial total so far this year of £33,510.04 for the Poppy Appeal.

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all the residents of Great Yarmouth for their unfailing support. We will keep you informed of any further increases as the year goes by.

May we thank the Great Yarmouth Mercury for all their publications and awareness in showing us their support.

PAUL WILLIAMS

Chairman

Great Yarmouth branch

How is bacon rolls worship?

The Network Yarmouth website says Kingsgate Community Church’s “act of worship” on Sunday 25 January was to deliver 85 bacon rolls to the police, fire and ambulance services.

But how is handing out bacon rolls Sunday worship?

In the Bible “worship” means to honour God with silent adoration. For example, Genesis 24:26 says, “Then the man bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord.”

The New Testament gives a map for how God’s church should work: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Sadly, I’ve given up searching for a church in East Anglia that still follows God’s roadmap.

E BARKHUIZEN

Albemarle Road,

Gorleston

Seeking photos of fire engines

I’m a local fire service enthusiast, and am looking for some old and up-to-date photos of fire stations and appliances (fire engines). Please contact me via email at chriswisken1988@gmail.com or contact the Mercury and they will forward information.

CHRIS WISKEN

Email

Don’t chop down the mature trees

There certainly seems to be a very cavalier attitude towards trees in this area by parish councils, county councils, business people and even the general public on occasions.

We do not want spindly saplings planted by the hundreds with lots of back slapping and self congratulations and even articles printed in the Mercury.

What we want is mature trees left to provide food and cover for the wildlife and they also disguise the increasingly ugliness of the area, they also clean the air and soften traffic noise and last but not least they calm you down and make you happy in an increasingly stressful world.

So what do trees get in return? Well, have a look at what they have done to the trees of the former old people’s home on the Magdalen estate, it makes you want to weep.

I can remember the home being built and the trees planted and unfortunately this certainly is not the only example of this type of vandalism and we are not even getting any social housing out of this. It stinks.

Also, should builders be allowed to pay councils for the privilege of chopping large trees down as I believe they can and finally I do put my money where my mouth is as I complained through my MP at the time, Tony Wright, about a previous felling of a large tree in Gorleston.

No, I am not a tree hugger and I do not vote for the Green Party and yes, I have helped cover more countryside in concrete than I care to remember. More about this in future letters I hope.

M S DIMMACK

Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

Appeal for your memories

We are now finalising and putting together the book, Beighton and Moulton St Mary, and would like to hear from anyone who has a story to tell or any old photographs they would like to contribute to please contact me on my new email address sandp@paulsheila.plus.com or telephone me on 01508492239.

SHEILA HUTCHINSON

Email

BID supposed to be benefit to all

After attending numerous meetings about the tourism BID, reading reports and talking to many business owners, it appears not only have the proposers alienated the businesses, allegedly gaining from tourism indirectly by disguising it as a tourism BID, but they have also failed to get many owners who directly benefit from tourism on side.

The basic idea was to get every business to vote for the business plan (if they received a copy) if they thought they gained directly, or indirectly, from tourism and then pay a levy and see footfall increase in the area through various sponsored events and improvements.

However, by casting their net over a very large geographical area and across such a wide swathe of business categories, then allegedly sending out letters and brochures describing it as a tourism BID, they have failed miserably to get the majority of levy payers, on side.

Reports in newspapers didn’t help by describing it as “applying to seafront operators only” - a statement which unfortunately was never corrected by the BID company. These two things appear to have been very misleading to many businesses.

The unfortunate consequence of all this is that should “Greater Yarmouth against the BID” appeal for a re-vote be overturned by finding that procedure was correctly followed, it still only runs for five years, then the whole process has to start again and be put to the vote.

This should be a major concern to the BID board who ought to be trying to placate all businesses and bring them on side, however, this appears not to be the case as when this point was raised with the interim chairman of the BID board Mr David Marsh, he answered “bring it on.”

This is supposed to be for the benefit of Great Yarmouth and I seriously hope this is not the attitude of the board in general.

To David Marsh this may appear to be the pinnacle of his involvement with the Tourist Authority unfortunately he might well be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

I would ask for the promised open meeting to be arranged by the BID board so they can try and convince the 1,000 businesses that didn’t vote for whatever reason, that they will all benefit from this scheme. Hopefully this will be advertised in a local newspaper and not on the Tourism BID website, so we all know about it.

For more information about the appeal, go to our Facebook page Greater Yarmouth against the BID.

MARTYN SHARE

The Gift House

Great Yarmouth

We sang to the Prince of Wales

Does anyone remember the day Haven Bridge was opened or am I the only oldie around? On St Peters Road there are two buildings still in existence that used to be called the Nelson School, and in those days girls and boys did not mix while at school - we were taught in the adjacent buildings.

On the day the Prince of Wales opened the bridge he did a tour of the town. We were taken outside and as he passed we all sang “God Bless the Prince of Wales”, a song you never hear nowadays.

JOSE O’MAHONEY

Email

A radical change is needed here

The View from the Commons must be good as everything looks rosy for our MP. High salaries, subsidised meals and expenses may help while many constituents struggle on wages below the national average.

I am not sure how well local tourism really is. It seems to be underperforming. Is the Britannia Pier really iconic any more? There is only a show about once a week in the summer. Cromer Pier has shows almost daily and all year round and Southwold Pier thrives.

Where is the long promised new casino development?

Some of our boarding houses still offer rooms with hot and cold, own keys, colour televisions and clock radios seen as key selling points! Wi-Fi has hardly arrived. One of the Yarmouth Greats website still offers information from 2013!

The food in some restaurants would horrify Gordon Ramsey or Alex Polizzi. Is the town centre an attraction with Market Gates still unrepaired? Meanwhile, the huge potential of Gorleston seems to be largely ignored.

It is good news the local job market has improved but there is further to go. How many are working in low pay jobs? Cold call centres must have recruited and lost thousands. How many jobs offer careers prospects? If low paying employers were paying a living wage, we could cut the benefits bill and not subsidise them.

It is clearly good news the Tories wish to continue to prioritise reading skills, although why it has to be novels is unclear. I was brought up on Noddy, the Famous Five and Rupert. I went on to be bored by much of English A level although Brave New World Revisited seems to have arrived.

I have seen youngsters inspired to read because they wanted to know about dinosaurs, football or hair and beauty. In the same week, vocational qualifications are denigrated. We need craftsmen and women, carers, chefs and so on, there qualifications are just as valid (perhaps more than some academics ones). Why should such learning and skills not start in school?

Our old Technical High School was brilliant. The privileged backgrounds of many MPs seem to be at work considering everyone needs to be educated like they were. Likewise, as well as a good education, we need jobs and proper apprenticeships for our young people to move on to. Why was more done to offer skills training to them instead of paying benefits? We ended up wasting talent and public money.

I am not sure Great Yarmouth has regained much of the greatness in the last five years. A radical change in thinking is needed from somewhere.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Thanks for care after accident

Please would you convey my sincere thanks to residents of Station Road in Ormesby who were all exceptionally kind after my accident last evening. Also with much appreciation to “my” paramedic, and police who attended and who were both very reassuring and immensely professional, and who are all to be commended. Thank you so much.

JOANNA KINGSTON

Email

Think again about the seafront loos

I have the greatest respect for our local borough councillors tackling the £5m worth of cuts exacted on them most unfairly by the Coalition Government. Obviously there will be a number of unpopular “hard” decisions to take to balance the books. In my area of town between the Market Place and the Racecourse two public toilets are scheduled for closure - the Caister Road/ Beaconsfield Road corner one and the seafront North Drive/Salisbury Road toilets. I have no problem with closure of the former because it has been considered in the past for closure and is not so strategically important.

I would urge council leaders however to think carefully about the seafront one because it is so important to the regeneration of the boating lake/Waterways/North Beach area of town.

Without public toilets in that location it will be very difficult to move forward plans for the North Denes area - including the promotion of private beach huts on the promenade capable of generating valuable income for the borough.

As parish councils were offered the option of taking responsibility for toilets in the Fleggs area I would hope that businesses in the boating lake/Waterways area and the People of North Yarmouth (PONY) community association will be similarly consulted to see if the facility can be saved for the public. It is a long way to the next toilets by Euston Road.

MICK CASTLE

County Councillor,

Yarmouth North and Central

Mowing grass in cold of winter

About two weeks ago I got up to go to work. It was -5 degrees. It was still -3 degrees when I arrived in Yarmouth. And I was amazed, in the middle of the morning when I drove to Caister to see the council cutting people’s grass. When I spoke to the council they said they have to cut it so many times a year. They were short last year so they got in early this year to make up for it. Instead of wasting money why can’t they put the money towards keeping the toilets open that drivers like myself rely on?

DAVID SKIPPER

Email

Sad I can’t get to the new M&S

How nice it used to be to get the bus into Yarmouth, buy some really nice food in Marks & Spencer, browse around their fashion department and have a word with the friendly staff. But the new store is not quite on my doorstep. How to get there without a car? There must be lots of people who have this problem. It all seems a little sad for our town.

J WILLISON

Newnham Green,

Gorleston

Missing my local Co-op and M&S

I am very sad that my local Co-op in Cobholm has finally closed its doors but I do want to take this opportunity to thank all the hard work engaged in trying to avert this closure.

I know that the attendees at the meeting worked very hard and tirelessly to try and broker a different outcome. I would mention Lara Norris, our prospective Labour candidate and her aide Danny Douglas and of course not leaving out Margaret Jennis, who certainly deserves her title of Cobholm Community Champion.

She stood out in the cold and collected signatures with genuine and typical Cobholm gung-ho spirit and humour. I sincerely hope that the concessions made at this meeting will bear fruit and be beneficial to the whole community.

I am missing this shop already, as well as Marks and Spencer in the town centre. I have visited their new outlet in Gapton Hall and was rather underwhelmed. It had that industrial feel to it with the vast pipe-clad ceiling and the café is rather compromised in space.

It also needs a specified outing rather than popping in on my way home from town.

In the words of that famous song from Joni Mitchell “That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” and yes, you do need a taxi to get there. But saying that I think we did know and we valued them accordingly.

Retailers please be aware that serving the community ethos is a vastly underrated concept and needs to be up there, just as much as profits.

JUDITH A DANIELS

Email

Please return my wooden wheel

A few weeks ago a young man who was driving by my garden display spotted a wooden wheel. He asked if he could buy it as it was “just what I was looking for” to use on a cart he had made for charity. The cart was going to be filled with sweets to raise money for funds.

As the wheel was quite old and flimsy and not worth much I said he could borrow it and bring it back after the event. Many weeks have gone by and my wheel has not been returned. What a shame that I now feel a fool and have been taken for a ride. Please bring it back!

Name and Address withheld

Businesses get tourism benefit

I felt it was about time someone who fully backs the BID. should write, the paper has been swamped recently by anti-BID letters.

Firstly I was one of a minority that used to contribute to the GYTA year on year as I have always believed that Great Yarmouth deserves to be marketed and shown to tourists that we are a great place to visit. Without the contributions then the fireworks, TV adverts, Maritime Festival and other events just would not happen.

There are however, a large number of tourist-led businesses that have never contributed and have leaned on those that do. They use facilities, publicity for events and sell their goods to visitors. Where do the anti-BID people think the tourists come from? If we were not advertising we would not be seen.

I want to see tourists returning time after time. I want to see more events, better lighting, and nicer, cleaner seafront areas. I want to be able to tell my guests the tourist information centre will give them all the details they want.

The anti-BID campaigners are making a huge noise about something from which we can all benefit - some are from the indoor market in Regent Road, where do they think the tourists find out about them? It’s from people like me who tell guests. Some of the anti-BID campaigners are big furniture businesses, in fact kept alive by guest houses and hoteliers that have bought from them time after time, but are now saying they are nothing to do with tourism.

We need to keep our town alive and the only way is to invest in tourism. The only way to get that money needed is by the BID. Let’s show just what we can achieve.

HELEN LEWIS

Guest house owner

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