Letters, February 17, 2017

A12 to A47 could bring investment

As I travel every day to Lowestoft I have slowly noticed the A12 is morphing into the A47. Most peculiar.

I hope this a political way of getting more investment into the A47. Now the A47 is a longer road and is a major transport link to two major coastal towns that really need some much needed investment for jobs and tourism, we may be lucky in being able to obtain more money.

But there may be another issue, now the road has an extra 10 miles of dual carriageway, which has been magically added – we may not see any extra investment? In my opinion, if either the A47 or the A12 gets some valuable investment then it will help this area grow for our children and grandchildren.



Is this an end to the flooding?

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It’s great news to finally hear that Anglian Water is investing £3m in a massive (well overdue) upgrade planned for the sewerage infrastructure in and around Bradwell/Gorleston.

We would like to personally thank all responsible for their perseverance, in particular Cllr Carl Annison for his relentless hard work and dedication on behalf of the residents of Bradwell and Gorleston.

To envisage an end to the flooding (after 40-plus years) of not only surface water, but raw sewage in the roads and in the properties of residents, as well as around the local schools, will be peace of mind for all affected, we’re sure.


Lords Lane,


Film exposes benefit system

At the recent British Academy Film Awards annual ceremony, it was so good to see that I, Daniel Blake, directed by the legendary Ken Loach was awarded the Outstanding British Film Award – and rightly so.

I would sincerely urge the Hollywood Cinema in the town to provide a viewing of this very illuminating and insightful expose of the benefits system.

This director who gave us “Cathy Come Home” made a moving and apposite acceptance speech about the deficiencies and harshness of our benefits system and the almost Kafkaesque scenario claimants have to go through. The film which took most awards was “La La Land”, which was the very opposite of Ken Loach’s film and in my opinion grossly overrated, it was a right song and dance and that about says it all!

This tied in with the article in last week’s Mercury, where people in great need are slipping through the net. As has been stated, why this Universal Credit pilot should have been implemented in our town is a mystery because the ramifications of delays and hardship appear not to be resolved? Men and women lying in doorways is now part of our urban landscape, and it is shameful that there are so many rough sleepers. It is good to see passers-by do respond with gifts of food and help.

I know committed voluntary agencies are doing their level best to aid this situation. I often talk to them and it is illuminating to hear their sad back stories, where a spiralling down has occurred for whatever reasons, and there but for fortune go any of us.

They often tell me because they have no fixed abode they cannot claim Universal Credit and this becomes a vicious circle. It was good to read that The Herring House Trust is paramount in aiding disenfranchised people, but are the ones slipping through this net having to resort to our inhospitable streets and doorways, especially in this colder than usual winter.

I thought there was going to be a public meeting about this but have heard no more, because if it is not being addressed in a proactive way, more and more people will languish hopelessly. I am also becoming increasingly concerned about the compassionate ethos of our country after learning of the premature closing of the Dubs amendment which allowed for up to 3,000 lone child refugees to come to Britain.

So far, the Government has provided sanctuary and safety for only 350 children. This is not good enough. I know Britain has indeed great problems of its own, but that has never been our tradition or ethos to think only of ourselves, and our Government needs to be made aware that this is a serious breach of our long-held values of support and empathy to the most vulnerable in our world, namely children.


Winifred Road,


We don’t need masterplan for our town

I am writing about the borough council’s masterplan. It never ceases to amaze me how politicians and councillors are still so detached from what is happening in their own backyard.

Of course, Yarmouth needs to smarten itself up because it has been dying for many years now. But it doesn’t need a new cinema complex. Don’t councillors realise that very few people ever go to the cinema now because in the main it is far too expensive and you can buy the latest releases on DVD for around £8 and the whole family can watch it, so a new cinema would never be a viable proposition, and even in Norwich they struggle to get an audience. And the same remarks apply to any new restaurants, etc, because again Yarmouth councillors don’t seem to realise that Yarmouth people do not have any money. What Yarmouth needs is a lot more social housing and a lot more better-paid jobs so people have money in their pockets to spend. So councillors should be trying to get good companies back into town that offer well-paid jobs and that would be a much better plan.

Then the masterplan may work.

But if you work back to front it will never work and your masterplan will just turn into a master cock-up as is the norm.

PJ MANTRIPP Leman Road, Gorleston

Yes, get rid of all the tackiness

A couple of weeks ago I saw a letter, from a lady I think, saying that Great Yarmouth ought to look to its heritage and history to attract more visitors, as taste are changing for holidays and short breaks.

I so agree with the sentiments in the letter. I am Yarmouth born and bred but moved to Pakefield many years ago. When I tell my friends about the wonderful buildings in Yarmouth they don’t believe it. They just see it as being a very garish seafront – more like Blackpool with lots of garish signs and little substance.

They never visit and would never dream of visiting my home town which I still think of fondly.

I was also interested to see the lady’s letter prompted lots of responses on the Mercury Facebook page with lots of “hear, hears” and even a “spot on” from another reader; but no response from any of the people and organisations I would have thought would be interested to hear/read what non residents felt about the place.

Where were the heritage and history groups?

They should have rushed to agree with this letter writer.

Where were the reactions from the borough council and the tourism authority? None at all.

I would have thought the tourism industry would be interested in what people from out of town thought about Great Yarmouth and its Golden Mile.

But it appears not, they know best and they think, as the lady said, “tackiness” is the way to attract more people to the seafront.

Sadly, I feel like cutting my ties with my birthplace. I think I feel a little ashamed at what appears to be a “kiss me quick” attitude accompanied by “give us your money” to visitors and holidaymakers.

Great Yarmouth, you must re-think your tourism strategy, licks of paint on old attractions won’t bring new people in, neither will more hotels.



Is parking plan feasible for town?

Does the Great Yarmouth Borough and Norfolk County Council new parking proposals suggest they want to close all businesses in the winter months along the seafront and stop local people and the few visitors in the winter months from eating out or visiting the seafront unless they pay and display?

If you live here you will no longer be able to park for free from October to April as under the new proposal the new charges will stop all free parking during the day from Sandown Road, North Drive to Kings Road, and Marine Parade, which is about two miles long. Free parking will only apply after 6pm. Along Marine Parade we have 18ft footpaths with no-one on them in the winter. Footfall is not great even in the six weeks of the holiday period, so they decide to bring in more charges. It would appear GYBC are determined to deter people from visiting and are driving people to use areas with free parking, ie Gorleston.

Gapton Hall is becoming a traffic nightmare as the present road cannot cope. After all, it was meant to be a link road to Bradwell but has become a main shopping area because of the free parking, much to the detriment of Yarmouth town centre which has lost more than 60pc of its trade. Great Yarmouth seafront has more shops/restaurants closing every year because of lack of trade and some of the other businesses are just about keeping their heads above water. I would like to know what GYBC does with all the enormous amount of monies currently generated from the parking income. I hope our councillors take note and protest on behalf of the Great Yarmouth residents, and those who don’t should not be re-elected



Praise for my local GP practice

I would like to praise Central Surgery in Gorleston for their healthcare. I have never had to wait for too long a time for an appointment but realise I cannot see my GP at the drop of a hat.

If I thought I had something serious I would call a helpline or an ambulance if I thought my and mine were suffering something horrendous like a heart attack.

Patients should not waste their GP’s time; perhaps a call to the practice nurse would suffice rather than take an appointment which a sicker person could make more use of.

Name and Address withheld