Letters, January 8 2016

What site next for car parking?

I can almost see the £ signs in the eyes of our council members as they plan to turn one of the bowling greens into another car park. What is wrong with these people? Part of Beach Coach Station which is a stone’s throw from the seafront was turned over to housing because it was under-used.

What site will be next? The once beautiful Winter Gardens, which many of us locals have wonderful memories of, or the now sadly neglected boating lake.

If more car parking is needed why not go park and ride. In the summer months our streets are gridlocked. Keep our roads safer and encourage people to park their cars at a reasonably priced park and ride site, catch a bus which could drop them off in the town centre or on the seafront.

People might spend longer and more money in town if the fear of parking tickets and having to rush back to feed the meter was removed.

I, of course, will still be walking, one of the best forms of exercise if you are able.

Mrs J BEAN

Most Read

Email

Leave EU and be unprotected

Failed UKIP parliamentary candidate or successful Councillor Alan Grey, like many of his peers, seems to think that a “Britain First” approach is what is needed with regards to the northern flooding. For him, leaving the EU better protects us against flooding.

We need only to look to other EU member states to see the folly of this statement. The Dutch, an EU and Euro member-state, possess state-of-the-art flood defences to protect them against rising tides and flooding (despite having a GDP approx. 2,500 times less than the UK). I would like to see how leaving the EU affects this.

Taxes pay for things, and if you have lost control of what your taxes pay for then blame your councillors, your parliamentarians, your MEPs and your government. The glaring and crumbling inadequacies of Britain’s infrastructure have nothing to do with the EU. If anything, a collective response to the challenges of the 21st century, of which the northern floods are but a symptom, will better protect us all in the long run.

ANDERS LARSON

Email

Old pic showed solicitors clerk

Re the photograph on the letters page January 1 and the Star Hotel bar. The person on the extreme right is Henry Murrell. He was a very well known member of that fraternity. Henry was a solicitors clerk at Chamberlin Talbot and Bracey.

I can remember him receiving a phone call from somewhere in the country for advice on how to arrest a ship, which in his younger days involved nailing a notice to the mast!

Mrs SUSANNE MASON

Sun Lane

Bradwell

Call a proper village meeting

On the 18th and 19th of December, it came to the attention of a few local residents that a planning application had been lodged to erect 19 new properties on land adjacent to Tower Road-Rollesby Road, Fleggburgh which is granted would create many problems on the already narrow road which services the village.

To the credit of the local parish council, a meeting was swiftly called to allow debate and air views and at the end it was decided to oppose the application.

I was one of the few local residents who attended because the majority of villagers had not received any notice that it was taking place. However the form of the meeting was a shock to one’s system when the parish council chairman announced at 7.36pm that the meeting would be in two parts. The first part to allow visitors to ask questions and pass comments and the second part would be for elected councillors only.

When the first part ended a few villagers endeavoured to pass comment or ask questions but there was a strong response and I feel this approach certainly stifled debate and the discussion ended at 7.47pm. The second part carried on until 7.58pm when the council decided to oppose the application.

I now feel a request should be made to the borough planning officer to defer the decision to allow time to call a proper village meeting to be chaired by an independent person.

W D ROBERTSON

Royden Way,

Fleggburgh

Thanks to the kind-hearted

I would like to thank the four kind-hearted people who stopped their car when IU had a fall on Church Road, Gorleston on December 31. They made sure I was all right before they left me. I am very grateful for their act of kindness.

ADA FEUELL

High Road,

Gorleston

Too close to the pups at Horsey

I live in Norwich with my husband and two girls. On December 29 we decided to visit Horsey Gap as part of my husband’s birthday celebrations and living in Norfolk it’s something we felt we should see as we love our beautiful coastline.

Several of my friends had previously visited and recommended taking the family.

We arrived at approximately 3pm to a very busy car park and the overflow car park was also being utilised. As it was later in the day we managed to access the main car park.

We kept to the sand dunes as a viewing area as we assumed this would be enforced anyway to protect the seals. We were totally surprised to see a free-for-all on the beach with easy access. We couldn’t see any wardens at this time.

The general public were approaching very close to the seals especially the pups, and totally ignoring the stress from the mother seals. No regard for nature, just trying to get that all important photo!

We felt angry, some people had no regard for nature on our doorstep. This has prompted this email to raise awareness to some people’s ignorance. There was a sign saying to use viewing areas and the beach was roped off. but this was clearly ignored.

MARIE RUSSELL

Email

Pay differential for nurses unfair

Oh what a differential. Hard on the heels of Christmas, hundreds of nurses have received a letter informing them that as and when required they will work weekends and evenings, regarding of any difficulties it may incur.

The reward for this considerable inconvenience will be a pittance in comparison to what doctors, the sacred cows of society, will rake in - £200 an hour!

Such a differenital is an insult to hard-working and dedicated nursing staff.

H J MINISTER

Scratby

Tax cuts but council tax up?

I see Brandon Lewis intends to get out to meet the people (Mercury, January 1). Excellent idea. He could find out the impact of government policies is doing to the borough. I hope he gets into some of our back streets to see how things are.

He could try a bus trip into town and see the state of the bus station. He could check out the empty properties on the quay, seafront and the town centre whilst the South Denes remains available to develop. A trip to the Job Centre to see how unemployment affects 1,500 people and the low paid jobs available should prove educational. A visit to the NHS will show funding issues which will worsen as the winter goes on.

Mr Lewis seems to think an £80 a year tax cut for ordinary mortals will see us dancing in the streets. Does he not realise the government is letting councils increase council tax by up to 4pc as they cut grants.

The Police Commissioner is seeking views on increasing their part of council tax by 2pc. No doubt prescription and dental charges will go up in April. Rail fares have gone up by 1.2pc. Council charges for services will increase as the cuts bite further. Other increases we have faced include 4pc tax increase on insurance bills and no doubt next year increases to pay for flood damage by a failure to invest in flood defences. Even worse for news for public sector workers (like NHS an council staff) is they are likely to pay in extra to their pension funds from April.

Another resolution would be to examine the indices which show the state of the borough and to consider how the government can improve the situation. We under-perform on most of them after years of under-spending on services. I have been waiting five years for change.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Warn young girl of dangers

While in Bure Park on Sunday (December 3) my husband was asked by a young girl to help with her little dog’s harness as it had got a foot out. She was approximately 10 - 12 years old.

The rear door to our van was open and she promptly put the dog in the back. My husband helped her and she went towards the main road. Our concern is her lack of safety for herself, as my husband said he could easily have bundled her in the back with the dog!

If anyone knows who this girl may be please warn her of her actions, things could have been so much different, I shudder to think.

GILLIAN AKERMAN

Email

Panto was not a good experience

On 30 December I went to see the Cinderella pantomime at St George’s Theatre - it was not a pleasing experience.

It was probably the most unprofessional show that I have ever seen. Several of the cast seem not to know their lines or really cared. I hate to point a finger however, the two characters playing the Ugly Sisters were almost the worst, followed by Buttons. The Baron may have been present but had no presence so. Bearing in mind the young age of many of the audience, there appeared to be little engagement or encouragement to participate other than to “big it up”, whatever that implies.

The script appeared to be made up as the show progressed. Was there really any need to put in so many crude and unpleasant remarks about Great Yarmouth? Among the audience there were likely to have been holiday visitors; these crude comments were really unnecessary. Those responsible for the script should remember they need to cheer up the locals instead of insulting them.

The positives were those playing the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella.

I was glad when the interval came so I could escape to the adjacent cafe for a drink. A stimulant was sorely needed!

MIKE RANDALL

email

I remember ‘Chippie’ Brown

Reference the letter last week about information about “Chippie” Brown.

I knew “Chippie” from me being five years old when the sea cadets were in the old rest huts on Yarmouth Road, Caister. My father, who served as a signals boy during the First World War was the signals instructor with “Chippie” during the Second World War.

The Ocean Emperor was an old wooden drifter with all her machinery removed and was moored at the south end of what is now the heritage quay near where the current seaman’s centre is now. The MFV was towed to Yarmouth by an admiralty envoy class tug, a civilian tug having given up on trying to tow her round after she broke the towline several times, She was only 40ft long.

I was one of the party put aboard the MFV to bring her into Yarmouth, we went out to meet the tug in the big motor launch the sea cadets had then, the Richard Lee Barber the port authority tug came out to take her into Yarmouth. As I was one of the older cadets, “Chippie” asked me to have a look below. I opened the engine room hatch to go below to find four feet of water.

We kept quiet as the harbour master wouldn’t have been pleased to think a sinking ship was entering harbour, the port tug having taken over the tow.

“Chippie” said to me you’ve got your bike on the quay. As soon as are alongside ride to the fire station (then near the town hall) and tell them the situation,” and it being Sunday evening they came down and pumped her out.

The Ocean Emperor I believe ended up as part of the banking on Breydon Water. I remember the hulk of a wooden drifter being there in the early 1960s when I ran up river to Norwich with Everards. I also got called for my first ship while on the Ocean Emperor doing relief at 16 years old as assistant steward on the research trawler Sir Lancelot out of Lowestoft.

“Chippie” was a great guy both at Caister camp and while in charge of the sea cadets. I believe he ended up as Lieutenant Commander RNVR which he certainly deserved.

IVOR St J HALSEY

Email

Excellent care

May I through your newspaper please sincerely thank the paramedics who came to my aid on Friday, January 1. They were excellent. Thank you very much.

J SMITH, Gorleston

10,000 below the living wage

At the next Great Yarmouth Borough Council meeting on January 26, the trades council is presenting the following questions:

1 Does the leader of the council believe that the introduction of a £8.25 living wage and the ending of the dependency on seasonal employment in favour of fulltime, 52 weeks a year job, would improve the local economy?

2 Do you agree the council should seek to ensure that ratepayers money is not used to subsidise employers that offer zero hour contracts and that do not pay a living wage, that through doing so contribute to the poor state of the local economy?

Data released by the Office for National Statistics on November 25, 2015 showed at April 2015 that 10,000 (27.7pc) jobs in Yarmouth paid below the living wage of £7.85, for part-time workers this rose to 50.8pc of all such jobs paying below the living wage (6,000). The Living Wage Foundation currently calculate the living wage at £8.25, so it is probably that more employers currently pay below this figure than indicated above.

We believe that Great Yarmouth Borough Council, a living wage employer, should take a lead in advocating that all businesses should pay the living wage in great Yarmouth and that the council should give grants and contracts only to those organisations that pay the living wage. Furthermore zero hour contracts that do not provide a regular income should not be entertained by the council as they inevitable cause hardship.

In doing so there will be a corresponding benefit to the local economy as retailers benefit from the increase in spending power and families gain security through steady employment.

JOHN CANNELL

Great Yarmouth & District TUC

Take note of the local views

In reply to a letter, January 1, I would like to applaud Brian Callan for expressing his views on all the building going on. We have a situation now in Fleggburgh village where an agricultural field in Tower Road has a proposed planning application submitted for 19 new houses.

Our village does not have an infrastructure to support such a development: roads that were built for horse and cart are now dangerous and busy; we do not have a shop, the nearest being Filby, which is fine if you don’t have to walk along Tower Road to get there (a 60mph speed limit).

Has consideration been given to extra patients for the one surgery, school places or whether there are other facilities existing for children.

The planners who put through these permissions probably do not have to live in these villages and see everyday hazards that the existing residents have to endure, because of the extra building and traffic it entails. Flooding, as your article of the same date points out, is also an issue.

Residents have tried repeatedly to phone council for queries and advice but the phones are ringing and no-one answers them, voice mails etc or hanging on for ages, so people then just give up.

It’s about time councillors and town planning officials sat up and took note of the views from local residents before rubber stamping plans.

M EASEN

Address withheld

Rainstorms led to village floods

I live in Royden Way, Fleggburgh and last year we experienced two very heavy rainstorms. On both occasions Royden Way was flooded for a distance of 20-25 metres from across my drive to No 5’s drive. This flood was kerb to kerb and over the footpath, in places 300-400mm deep.

There is a drain on each side of the road, these were situated in the middle of the flooded area but they could not cope with the amount of rainwater that had fallen.

A rise of 70-100mm would have seen the water pouring into mine and others drives and front gardens.

As luck would gave it, the rain stopped and the flood drained away in an hour or so.

During the last year we have seen, in this country and abroad, rainfall increase and it is predicted to get worse due to global warming. We here in Fleggburgh at Rollesby Road, Tower Road, Royden Way and Orchard Way have a big drainage problem and to allow this development of 19 new abodes would increase this problem and be a step in the wrong direction.

Therefore this planning application should be refused.

V MAY

Fleggburgh

Our dog kicked

Dog lovers beware! My wife and I were walking our dog along Gorleston Marine Parade on Wednesday morning when we passed a man with a greyhound. Our dog, naturally, went up to the greyhound to say hello but the owner kicked our dog in his side, very hard.

There is no excuse for this behaviour from another dog owner.

DEREK APPLETON, Email

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter