Letters, January 24, 2014

Five weeks for lighting repair

In reply to Pauline Lynch’s letter about contacting the council to sort out street lights and getting it done quickly, that is not our experience on University Crescent.

We live in a walk-in cul-de-sac with only one light right at the end. I reported this being out at the beginning of December to street lighting. I was told the light was nothing to do with them but they would pass it on to the correct people.

They took my phone number but no-one got back to me. After waiting a few days I then tried another number and was told it was also the wrong number but they would pass on the message to the correct people and again my number was taken but no-one got back to me and the light remained out.

I finally got through to the correct number only to be told the computers were down and there were only two people to deal with all the lights in the borough!

On January 10 in Letters someone in Bradwell wrote to say their lights were on 24/7.

I was about to write to say at least they had lights - we were in pitch darkness, when that evening the light was on!

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Needless to say we were all delighted but why did it take five weeks for it to be put right with no word from the council even though they had my number and could have called to say when it would be fixed?



Cliff Hill steps are an eyesore

I totally agree with the reader’s comments on the Cliff Hill steps and waste ground at the top. It is a total eyesore! What is causing the delay in dealing with it? Gorleston beach is fantastic now, and attracting lots more visitors. Surely to maintain the surrounding area would give a better impression of the town.



Name, shame dog poo culprits

What a sad response from Councillors Wainwright and Pettit claiming this borough was no worse than any other in Norfolk. Should not the council be striving to be much better than everybody else? Councillor Pettit, who is responsible for the borough’s environment, is apparently satisfied with 13 prosecutions/fines out of the many thousands of incidents of fouling that must take place every year.

Isn’t it about time some really radical thinking and action was undertaken to address this ever increasing problem?

May I suggest the wardens are given incentives by paying them a percentage of the fines imposed to patrol at the times these foulers are out ie early mornings and late at night.

Also what about my previous suggestion of using those on Community Service to take photographs of these offenders so their pictures can be published in the Mercury and Advertiser in order that they can be identified and subsequently prosecuted. Further, can the magistrates be encouraged to go towards the maximum fine available rather than impose what always appears to be the minimum fine?

Come on you councillors, let us see some real action on what has become a major problem for the residents of this fine borough.



Residents use the Beaconsfield

I am very concerned about the proposed use of the Beaconsfield by Yarmouth High School. I have read that the Beaconsfield will be closed during school time as a result and access to the field will change as there will be no access from Beaconsfield Road.

What about all the local residents that currently use the field to take their dogs for a walk or walk around it for general exercise themselves? There are not many green open spaces left in the town and the Beaconsfield is such a lovely peaceful place to enjoy a walk.

I would like to read and hear more about the proposals, as I imagine more of the residents of Yarmouth would. Yarmouth High School already owns a field next to the Beaconsfield, which is barely used and not very well maintained. Why do they not make more efficient use of this?

As to the comment about needing to expand the school in the future, why is there no consideration of building on their own fields?

If the access to the Beaconsfield is reduced and land within the site is lost, how much longer will the remainder of what is left exist?

Name and address withheld

Careers support not good enough

I see our MP met the local Chamber of Commerce to hear their views. This obviously was a good move.

I wonder how they feel about all the money being taken out of the local economy with the cuts to public spending and the loss of purchase power of the local community.

I am a qualified careers adviser and I hope he will take on board the concerns of the Chamber about the problems of our young people securing careers advice.

In response to the need to economise, Norfolk County Council decimated the Connexions Service which provided career advice in conjunction with our schools.

Schools were left to make their own arrangements without extra funding and minimal guidance on provision. Some rose to the task but others made limited provision.

This was confirmed last year in an Ofsted report into careers guidance in schools.

This found that in 80pc of schools surveyed, provision was not good enough and provided insufficient information and support. Few used trained independent advisers and there was an over emphasis on A levels as the key to success.

Councils were failing to monitor provision. Only 33pc of observed interviews were adequate. As a former Connexion’s manager, I would be appalled at such standards.

The professional body, the Career Development Institute is obviously concerned that our young people are not able to access quality careers advice. In our town, where young people face particular difficulties, it is vital they have knowledge of all the opportunities and encouraged to aspire to maximise their future options.

This is another example of spending cuts to services impacting on real lives and the future of our young people.


Victoria Street,


Post Office team pic interesting

It was interesting to see the fine old photograph in of the Yarmouth Post Office football team in Peggoty’s page in last week’s Mercury. Peggotty thought the picture was taken before 1920. If he had looked closely at the football held by the player in the front row he would have seen the wording, which appeared to be “G.P.O.F.C 1913”, the final digit was slightly unclear but it was certainly during the 1910s, proving Peggotty’s judgment correct.


Avenue Road,


School already has use of fields

I refer to the proposal to allow Great Yarmouth High School to have sole use of the Beaconsfield during term time. Why? They already have the use of two fields, one at Barnard Bridge and land adjacent to the Beaconsfield.

They say the walk wastes time but this is no different to when I was at school. We had to traipse across two fields to reach the Phoenix pool. Surely this is not the only school where pupils have to travel to sports facilities.

The field may well be council owned, but will it be another example of public land being given up for free? If this is not the case then can someone state what fee/rent is involved and how does this compare to other organisations that pay to use it. The council needs to see such land and buildings as being held on behalf of the whole town and not just things to be given away.

The field is used by young and old, people of all abilities. Where will the young people who play football go, or the families who use the swings?

If the land is given over for the school’s free use then it is surely just a matter of time before public use ebbs away and it becomes a building estate. Look at the coach park where land has been given up for housing.

As a result the tennis courts have been lost to compensate for the lack of parking. How long before the gates become permanently locked or blocked as has happened to several access roads from the seafront to the beach?



Pleased bears will be saved

I am really pleased that Hughes Electrical has now pledged to remove the “Two Bear” statues before demolition of the old hotel. They will have pride of place on top of the new 5,500 sq ft new store to be built on this prominent Cobholm site.

A lot of local people will be delighted to see them retained for the future on a brand new Yarmouth landmark. Doubly good news!


Yarmouth North and Central

I, too, recall the Star and Garter

Re your recent letters about the Star and Garter public house. I can go back as far as 1956 when I turned 18 years old and I had to carry an ID card.

To start with my parents used Croppers Bar near Haven Bridge. Bert Stockley and his Nell would not serve me alcohol until I came of age.

Well as soon as I did come of age, me and my mates would go pub crawling every Saturday night starting at Croppers and going over the bridge to the Star and Garter. The landlord and landlady of the Star and Garter were Bill and Mabel Sneddon.

Many years later as a bus driver I was working the South Denes holiday park to Vauxhall station and I stopped at the old Nelson pub to pick up a fare who happened to be a disabled girl. It was love at first sight.

She alighted at St George’s Park and I asked where she was going and she said to the hospital in Deneside, and she went there every day that week. I picked her up on my day off and asked her for a date.

I took her home to where she lived in the Magdalen estate and she introduced me to her mum and dad, brother Roger and baby sister. Well… was I surprised to find Bill and Mabel Sneddon! I found out they had retired from the pub trade and later Bill died from asbestosis.

Their daughter Janet and I got married and we gave them four lovely grandchildren, who gave them eight great grandchildren. Janet had had polio when she was a child.

That’s the story of one of the owners of the old Star and Garter. Janet, Roger and Mabel are still alive.


Stone Road,


Dog poo rise on Belton play field

Every day I walk my two dogs taking them up Bell Lane playing field in Belton before walking round the village. Just lately I have noticed an increase in dog faeces on the field along with the path at the side of what was Waveney First School. A lot of residents fought to keep the rights of dog owners to use this field. It will be taken away if the less responsible ones do not clean up after their dogs, after all it is now the law although like a lot of people I am interested in how they can enforce this.

These people are making it worse for us all, getting us all tarred with the same brush.

Only the other day I was returning from the field when a gentleman with two children behind me started swearing and calling dog owners unrepeatable words because of the faeces on the path. I really wanted to turn and say that I hoped it was aimed at me as I felt he was targeting us all, but I just kept walking.

I understand what he is getting at as I would not want my two young granddaughters stepping in anything therefore please, please, please all owners pick it up or lose the field.

I also note from my walks around the village there is more and more left on footpaths. We have a lovely village, keep it clean. Lastly, it might do some good if several people got in touch with the council and asked for a few more poo bins in the village.

I see bags thrown in hedgerows and although this cannot be justified if we had more bins it might not happen.



Hands off the Beaconsfield

I have read the proposals from Norfolk County Council about Yarmouth High School using the Beaconsfield.

So why doesn’t the school just use the facilities as they are and pay a small fee to the borough council for its use? The school walk through the Beaconsfield in the spring/summer terms to use the Wellesley already and I would like to think they pay a small fee for the use of the Wellesley’s facilities.

These proposals state there has always been a provision for the school to use the Beaconsfield but they have never taken this up. However, where my concern is raised is that nowhere in these proposals does it state Beaconsfield Road will be closed and become part of the school site.

They also do not say there will be no future access to the public from Beaconsfield Road. Nor do they state the Beaconsfield will only be available for the public to use outside of school hours/terms. In effect this means that from October until March the Beaconsfield will only be available to the public at weekends. How is this fair to the local residents like myself that use this field on a regular basis?

There is also no mention of where the access to the public to the Beaconsfield will be.

The proposals clearly state the high school has difficulty getting its students to its current playing fields which are approx 500 metres from the school up an old railway track - with no traffic.

They then go on to mention the younger pupils from Northgate Infant School will also make use of the Beaconsfield. These young pupils are expected to cross Northgate Street and walk up Beaconsfield Road, both of which are a main bus route to use the field.

As there will be no access from Beaconsfield Road, which route are these significantly younger children expected walk to reach the Beaconsfield?

Surely it is safer for high school students to walk 500 metres up a old railway track with no traffic than expecting much younger children to walk to the Beaconsfield along very busy roads with high volumes of traffic and buses?

There are no alternatives to these proposals and I think it very short sighted and dangerous of the county council to put the lives of younger students at risk. What about expanding the high school onto the site it already owns at Barnard Bridge? Or let’s be even more radical, if there is going to be a shortage of school places in the future within Great Yarmouth why not build a new school (or two) on the sites the county council already owns?

It is about time local residents were given more details about what is going to happen to one of the last open field sites left in Yarmouth. Perhaps the Mercury want to investigate this further and more residents voice their concerns in a hope the borough council will listen when they make the final decision.



Safety risks to local pupils

I was very disappointed with the recent and final decision by the current administration at Norfolk County Council to finally withdraw free bus passes for Belton and Burgh Castle.

Despite two motions that asked for an overrule and pleading for commonsense to prevail, the Labour/Liberal cabinet decided to continue with its withdrawal. Belton and Burgh Castle has long been a rare exception to the rule because of the state of the route: inadequate lighting, narrow footpaths, overly busy roads to be crossed and so forth. It is extremely important to highlight the safety risks to local children.

I, with along Councillor Grey who represents those affected in Burgh Castle, and Councillor Aldred who represents those affected in Belton met with parents at their meetings and have taken every possible step available to us to overturn the decision.

I will be seeking to look at this again once the more democratic committee system at Norfolk County Council is implemented in May.

While we at UKIP understand that tough decisions must be made with the budget it appears to us the burden is far too often placed on hard-working, taxpaying families.

I also hope our MP Brandon Lewis will assist us in ensuring Belton and Burgh Castle residents continue to get special dispensation because of the nature of this route to school and would be happy to meet with him to see what else can be done.


UKIP Parliamentary Candidate for Great Yarmouth

Help me fund a reef installation

Might I ask anyone interested in the subject of installing reefs along our East Anglia coast to send me your comments, whether in favour or against.

For far too long we have had to witness beaches altering so much that it is putting homes and livelihoods at risk. If visitor numbers start to fall because the devastation continues, it will spell disaster for many businesses. The problem is happening before our very eyes. There is much we can do if we all pull together to slow this down. Sometimes simple solutions can make all the difference and although some people suggest the coastline is always changing, which is very true, should we not interfere just a little to slow the process down? Not wait until the next time when the damage could be even worse?

I am in the process of setting up a fund to buy rocks for the purpose of creating reefs, like the ones at Sea Palling, to be installed along the coast where appropriate.

My plan is mammoth and no doubt there will be a few hurdles and planning matters to deal with as there will be some people who would rather see the beaches and cliffs disappear.

If anyone has any comments write to me asap and enclose an SAE if you would like a reply and the progress made. This will be a charity venture with my time given free. Please write to me at Bill Kite, 36 Cherry Close, Norwich NR1 3HR.