Letters, January 31, 2014

Where is the duty of care?

As Norfolk and other counties are facing budget cuts to services, NCC budget proposals as outlined in their Putting People First document in group 2, which will require public consultation, and in item number 56, they state: “We would no longer supply and fit free smoke detectors to people in their homes.”

I then went onto the Norfolk & Fire and Rescue Service site and one of their main service activities (2012-2013) is to carry out home fire risk checks for those from vulnerable groups who are at high risk of fires in their homes.

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, along with their counterparts in other counties, all promote the same message, they also work with community groups and volunteers and have done an amazing job of attending homes and installing smoke detectors.

My argument is that we are all informed we are living longer and encouraged to stay as long as we can in our own home with many family members being the main carers with some or very little help from the state. I am not an expert in fire safety but an early warning recommended smoke detector one would hope would allow people to be alerted to the danger and therefore be able to exit their home in time.

Many vulnerable and older people are unable to fit these themselves putting themselves at risk of a fall from a chair or ladder, and, carry out regular testing. They would have to rely on family members, or the excellent service provided by Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service. Life is precious; surely the cost of fitting alarms must far outweigh the potential loss of life? Where is the duty of care? Do we yet again have to rely on other organisations already stretched to fill yet another funding gap?


Most Read

Chairman, Great Yarmouth Older Peoples Network

School walk is more dangerous

I have been walking my children to Woodlands Primary School for six years and every year it is more dangerous.

A few years ago we lost our lollipop lady on Church Walk who used to help cross the children over to the Bradwell Community Centre. Then Bradwell Community Centre put a fence panel up (which had been down for a good 30-odd years) because they said cars were driving through the gap. So instead of asking people stop they put a wire fence there.

They said it doesn’t affect anyone walking though as they can use the small gate to the side. This, however, leads to the narrowest of pavements on the narrowest of bends at the most manic junction in Bradwell at the school rush.

This also means parents with trolleys, or people with mobility scooters, children on bikes etc can’t get though safely.

The school saw this as a problem, as did the community police and together with Bradwell Parish Council asked them to rethink the fence and maybe put a single bollard there instead. They refused, saying it was up to them what they did. It all seemed strange as you would think Bradwell Community Centre would be keen to help the people of Bradwell?

Anyway, because of the fence and the danger it has created, we now walk the Beccles Road way to school. It’s a busy road and not as nice as walking though the village but at least it’s safe. Well, that was until Christmas when our wonderful lollipop lady left and she has not been replaced.

You should try trying to cross Beccles Road at 8.30am and 3pm. It’s not possible. I have rung the highways department but no one returned my call. I have even emailed our MP but nothing from him either. I would like to continue to walk to school but honestly, the safest way is to drive.

Next time everyone is moaning about the mums and dads driving their children to school just remember it’s because we have no safe route left.



Keep Trafalgar Road as it is

As someone who lived in Kent Square for many years, I fully endorse the argument for keeping Trafalgar Road as it is now.

Recently I visited Kent Square and was shocked at the deterioration to what used to be one of the more salubrious areas of Great Yarmouth. Unfortunately multiple housing occupation doesn’t make for community spirit, which is understandable.

The Central Hotel, once run by the Scott family, and where both my sister and I held our wedding receptions is no more, and the nearby St John’s Church is sadly boarded up. I have no idea how the decline can be reversed, but was glad and surprised to see that the garden still exists and hasn’t been concreted over for car parking!



Mat, apparently, is a danger

I am writing to see if anyone else feels the same as I do. I live in a council flat with a communal entrance and have just been told by the council that I cannot have a mat outside my door.

I am nearly 70 years old and disabled and cannot have a chair to sit on to take my shoes off before I go in when it’s raining, or when the council contractors have cut the grass and the cuttings are all over the path. Are we supposed to cart it all in?

We cannot put a mat inside the door because we would not be able to open it. Could the council place a mat at the main door into the block of flats so the tenants could wipte their feet before going into their flats?

They say it is supposed to be a fire risk but we have a wooden door and frame and as for a trip hazard, my mat has been there for 12 years and nobody has tripped on, or over, it yet. Is this a case of health and safety gone mad?


Blackfriars Road,

Great Yarmouth

Caister’s West Road a disgrace

Once upon a time long ago I, like most people, was told if you have concerns about certain problems where you live get in contact with your local councillor. This I did and my concern was the state of West Road in Caister.

Firstly the footpath both sides looks like a patchwork quilt and considering a large percentage of the residents of West Road and surrounding area are of the older generation I find it hard to believe nothing is being to provide these people with a safe footpath to use.

Please don’t get me wrong, some tar was sprayed on top of the original path to tart them up but it has made them even worse as it has broken up in lots of places.

The other thing I asked about was to have the trees pruned. You see I think West Road is a lovely looking tree-lined road and would like to see it in its former glory.

Sadly, I didn’t realise that to get anything done you have to treat the road with total disregard to get a new pathway and drives; take Lawn Avenue in Yarmouth - just park all over the grass verges and turn what was once a lovely looking road into a ploughed field and then you can have a nice new footpath all the way along and not just a patch here and there.

Name and Address withheld

Sad to read of death of John

I recently purchased a copy of the Mercury and read the article about the loss of Mr John Marshall. Such a surprise to find out that he had passed away. I had only met him during the summer months, when he entertained us at Potters Fish Bar.

Several residents of our sheltered scheme at The Warren had a coach trip to Lathams, then on to the fish bar we enjoyed fish and chips and entratinment by John. He kept us all amused with several songs and stories. Maybe you could say a few words in your letters page to show how much we appreciated him.


Community chairman,

St Faith’s Sheltered Housing

Yes, my uncle was a real hero

I had a great surprise when I opened my Mercury last Friday to see a picture of my Dad and all his family. Well done to my cousin’s son Richard for the article regarding his dad’s trawler, (my Uncle George).

This resulted in me having to buy or obtain five further copies of the paper in order to send to my nieces and nephews and brother; they are scattered all over the country and world, and wanted to see this story. Quite a hero was my Uncle George at that time and I also have details of this event. My Dad is Walter Wright at the left of his brother George.


Robin Close,


Making progress

I would like to inform all my friends I am making progress and hope to be able to return home soon. Your good wishes, encouragement and kind words are much appreciated.



Power switching a switch-off!

Last week’s article on energy prices was opportune and rang true with me. The Prime Minister said the Government changes to the green contribution of energy prices would save the average user £50. I was sceptical and was sure the energy companies would not pass on all of their savings.

I had only switched supplier in October to a fixed rate NPower tariff. I noticed they reserve the right to pass on increases caused by the Government but not cuts! NPower are offering me £12 in September!

I decided to review the situation, using uswitch accessed via quidco (who pay a bonus if you use their website to switch). I was amazed to find I could save £79 with a fixed deal at NPower and more with smaller energy firms! Assuming I qualify for the quidco £21 bonus, I will save £100 not £12 or Mr Cameron’s £50!

The energy privatisation has benefited no-one apart from Tory investors. It is costing ordinary mortals hundreds of pounds. It is hampering the competitiveness of businesses and the UK ends up supporting the profits of foreign energy companies. The CAB advice to review tariffs is spot on.


Victoria Street,


Beaconsfield: Parking impact

As a resident in Collingwood Road I have experienced difficulty in exiting Collingwood Road onto Salisbury Road during school term, vehicles are parked up to the junction making it quite difficult for anyone trying to exit Collingwood onto Salisbury.

Equally I would expect the residents in Blake Road must also have experienced the same. Plus, additional vehicles are parked on Collingwood and Blake who I am sure are not residents as at the weekends these approaches to Salisbury Road are clearer.

With the proposed redevelopment of additional pupils and staff at the high school this will also impact on the parking in this particular area.

Would it not be more sensible for the car park locally known as the car park behind McColl’s to be redeveloped into a larger parking area to accommodate school staff and residents alike rather than housing, thereby making the surrounding roads safer for pupils, staff and residents?



Beaconsfield: A hidden agenda?

Call me a cynic, but I wonder what the hidden agenda is for the Great Yarmouth High School taking over the Beaconsfield.

Surely if their only wish is to use it as a sports field they could use it as it is now during the school day in term time, paying the same fees as other sports users.

As for closing Beaconsfield Road, is it beyond the bounds of possibility that children of age 11 years and up can be disciplined enough to safely cross a road that already has traffic calming measures?

How long I wonder before the school wants to start building extra classrooms etc, and the only much used and enjoyed open space for public sporting use Great Yarmouth is lost to the town forever.


Marine Crescent

Great Yarmouth

Hundred thanks

We would like to thank all the staff and helpers at the Gables Care Home in Gorleston for giving my Aunt Doris such a lovely day and party on Saturday when she was 100 years old. Also thanks to Ann Beatie for taking her to the hairdressers for her big day.



Hughes moving to wrong place

Regarding Hughes electrical shop: I think the move to the Two Bears Hotel will not benefit them. It’s the wrong place and no easy access from Southtown bridge. They would have been better in the Great Yarmouth Co-op building or on Bennetts site which closed. A lot of people will not be able to shop there if they have no car.

Another boarded up shop is all Yarmouth needs. I only hope people realise we are losing yet another. All we are left with is banks and charity shops, not a bright outlook for our town.


Great Yarmouth