Letters: July 28 2017

Minster looking for fundraisers

The Great Yarmouth Minster Preservation Trust was established nearly 30 years ago. Its function is to raise funds for the development and maintenance of the building.

It is a secular body and members are not necessarily church-goers. We are looking for active members to aid its fund-raising with organising and helping out at events. As all people know, the Minster is a vast building and requires a considerable amount of finance to keep it in a sound state for future generations and to improve it as a community venue.

If anyone would like more information or join us please email minstertrust@gmail.com



Seagulls have an easy takeaway

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I agree with Sheila Atkinson, Letters, July 21. Indeed, we are feeding the gulls. You only have to go to high streets and seafronts etc to see refuse bins, both private and commercial, overflowing. The gulls will forget how to find fish! We must all stop this food waste being an easy takeaway for birds, rodents, foxes etc. Please, whether you are a householder or a commercial bin user, dispose of rubbish thoughtfully.

Our “sea” gulls are beautiful. Keep them where they belong.



Honour to be at mayor’s service

I was fortunate to have been part of the sizeable congregation at the Mayor’s Annual Civic Service, held this year at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church last Sunday - and what a splendid occasion it was, with a tremendous mix of people present.

At a time when we are so desperately in need of finding some sort of sense in the majority of issues facing us, it was a joy to observe and participate in this joyful fusion of the spiritual and civic aspects of life here in Great Yarmouth.

Congratulations to all those who took part in this uplifting and enriching event. It augurs well for the future of the borough in so many ways and it was indeed an honour to have been there.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Man’s fault birds living inland

Replying to Sheila Atkinson’s lovely picture of the most beautiful gull; I was so happy to read a positive instead of a negative attitude towards these birds.

I do so agree it’s man’s fault why the birds are living more inland... no fishing boats any more, nothing for them to go out to sea for, it’s such a shame. Kind people feed them, much to the disgust of unfortunately the majority but if you actually look and study these big birds they are so wonderful, clean, perfect, and beautiful. They have the ability to turn salt water into fresh water due to a gland in their neck - how wonderful is that?

The number of, yes big but also beautiful, gull babies you see around the roads who have unfortunately been killed by careless drivers is in my mind heartbreaking. Think on next time you see one close up!

Like Sheila says, if you don’t like seagulls then don’t live here. They certainly have as much right to be here as us.



Blue badge facts are here to read

Oh dear, I did touch a raw nerve, in the person that with-held his name and address in last week’s letters.

On my investigating Blue Badges it seems that they are issued to persons that have difficulty walking a certain number of yards and watching them last Sunday those four were doing a splendid job of walking.

Blue Badges are not issued to persons for their family to use. They are not to be used by friends and family whilst the disabled person stays in the vehicle. The use of the blue badge is to help the disabled person to as near as possible have a normal life.

If the withheld person is using a blue badge correctly and was honest in his reasons when applying then there is no need to be offended, I am sure if I sent my films of that Sunday two weeks ago to Social Services they

would take action.

I did not write to the Mercury for no other reason but to point out the abuse of a benefit that is costing the tax payers dearly.

If you can run you do not need a blue badge, if you can park your vehicle in the supermarket then walk to the High Street you are not using the blue badge for what it was intended. The government is cracking down on the misuse of Blue Badges, as they are on persons having a car from Social Services under the Motability scheme.

But those who use the Blue Badge correctly have nothing to worry about.


Burnt Lane,


And the Oscar goes to… Lewes

If the Oscars or Bafta had a separate award for the unsung heroes who organise community cinemas, Lewes Epps would deserve a nomination.

Lewes has led the successful Gorleston Community Cinema which he resumed over two years ago after an earlier trial run. Since then a programme of recent movies has been mixed with older classics shown on the big screen at Gorleston’s Library Lecture Theatre.

It’s meant a chance to catch up on films you might have missed or old favourites which hadn’t been shown for years, some of those a result of audience votes. In his quiet, but enthusiastic manner as chairman, Lewes has led a small team of volunteers for which he deserves our grateful thanks.

Last Thursday he stood down as work commitments mean moving to Scotland. It was an appropriate moment since it was the 50th screening with the moving and fascinating Jackie – the story of how the wife of President Kennedy coped with the aftermath of his tragic shooting in Dallas – attracting a large and appreciative audience. Lewes was presented with a gift and card to thank him for all his hard work.

Of course we are about to return to the glory days when Gorleston High Street had two cinemas with the return of the Palace, after 50 years of being mothballed as a bingo hall, joining the Community Cinema. On Thursday, Ruth Bird announced she is taking over the chair of the Community Cinema and promised it would continue to run and work in co-operation with the Palace when it re-opens shortly. We wish her well. The next Community Cinema film is a classic, A Town Like Alice starring Virginia McKenna, which will be shown on Thursday, August 3 at 2.30pm.


Lowestoft Road,


Town centre is dying on its feet

Mr Thompson is to be congratulated on his plans for restoring the empty site in Regent Road. The balance between commercial and residential development will restore the heart of the road. It is sad that similar vision cannot be applied to the rest of the town centre.

We have a town with numerous empty shops which must be depressing viewing for visitors and deter people from visiting. Yet Great Yarmouth Borough Council refuse to offer business rates reductions for long term vacant shops even though our MP and his party championed the enabling legislation to allow such schemes. We also have a market which is dying.

The council’s grand plan is simply to beautify the stalls after moving them against traders wishes.

The market needs vision to regenerate it not a change of clothes. Why not create the desired open space at the north end? And make that space available to casual traders to bring more life and variety back.

The council do not care about the market, preferring to simply leave it drifting aimlessly. It takes weeks to receive a reply to an application for a stall.

That is criminal as is the archaic rule that prevents competition by giving monopoly status to existing stalls although that rule is ignored when it suits. Overall Great Yarmouth is failing to attract visitors because it needs a lot of TLC now. Sadly the response of the council is a long term fancy plan which envisages the town needing three cinemas.

If Mr Thompson cannot find anyone to develop one in Regent Road any vision of a state of the art cinema in King Street in 2025 is simply fantasy.


The Jewellery Hut

Regent Road, Yarmouth

Residents can discuss issues

There will be a public meeting on Thursday, August 3 in Cobholm Community Centre from 5pm to 6pm for any local residents who have any issues or concerns that they would like to discuss with one of their borough councillors, Paula Waters-Bunn, and their Norfolk County councillor Mike Smith-Clare.

We are both very keen to meet with local residents to hear what issues we can address.



Passengers kick up a perfume stink

Re your article about perfumes on the bus, I am in complete agreement with the driver. The perfume (stink) people insist on using is sometimes overpowering. As a regular bus traveller myself there have been times when I have moved because the smell is so strong. Did Mrs Whitmore think the driver could be affected by the perfume as I am?

Strong perfume makes me sneeze and feel sick. I would like to know where the drivers find a new job when there are so many others looking for work. If drivers leave and the bus did not arrive in Mrs Whitmore and her friends would be the first to complain as they have before.

Would she like to put up with moaning, miserable people for 10 hours a day? Many of the drivers are pleasant, it is the people on the bus that are miserable ones. Tell our friend to tone down her perfume, we don’t all want to smell it.

J TAYLOR Gorleston

Shopping trip abuse levelled at me

I was shopping in Lidl in Caister on Sea at around 4pm on Wednesday, July 26 and through these pages would just like to congratulate the parents of the teenager behind me in the queue, for doing such a sterling job.

Not only did your daughter verbally abuse me for apparently ‘pushing in’ at the newly opened till, (which I did not), but when challenged by me, continued to comment nastily on my shoes and my clothes whilst sneering at me; then continued to do so in the carpark as they were parked next to me.

All whilst standing beside her parents and younger sibling - whom never uttered a word. This was all to the absolute bewilderment of my eight-year-old daughter listening and watching the whole, unpleasant episode.

I am a 42-year-old mother of three and do not appreciate popping into my local shop and being treated in such a nasty way by a child. I have sons older than you.

Good luck for the future young lady...you will need it.



Humane ways to deal with gulls

During the summer period, there are always alarmist stories of gulls “attacking” people - which inevitably lead to calls to cull them.

The holiday period coincides with the birds’ breeding season and, being such fierce defenders of their offspring, the birds may occasionally become aggressive in order to see off any perceived threat to their nest and children. These “attacks” are usually exaggerated by the media and are very rare indeed.

To cull wild animals for protecting their babies is nothing short of ludicrous.

Despite this, if gulls are causing issues, there are a number of effective, humane methods of deterrence that can be used to discourage birds from nesting on flat roofs or chimneys, or from rummaging in our rubbish. Animal Aid has free advice sheets that detail the number of humane, non-lethal methods of deterrence available.

In any case, we should show tolerance to these birds, not least because they are just being good parents, and six of the seven gull species are in decline.

To order a factsheet please email: info@animalaid.org.uk


Animal Aid

Stance on migrants and EU is wrong

I read John Cooper’s letter (21 July) with interest and was disconcerted about his comments. Surely it is a good thing that indeed Britain does enforce a more robust human rights system than less enlightened countries. In regard to asylum seekers, I would imagine it is extremely difficult to gain access to our country so if the courts do overturn decisions, a rigorous and demanding route must have been implemented.

I read on the Refugee Council’s web site that in comparison to other European Countries we are not exactly hanging out the welcoming mat. In fact as in the infamous back tracking of the Dubs amendment, we have allowed in 480 lone child refugees instead of the expected 3,000.

I sincerely hope and would expect that Brandon Lewis our Immigration Minister would follow his remit in a fair and proper manner and the continual mantra of closing our borders is not uncompassionate to men, women and children who have faced privations and terrors that we cannot even imagine. The writer then goes on about the ‘pretty poor show of the exit from the EU’, I am sorry but he and so many other Leavers were led down a less than picturesque

garden path which is now being shown as containing more pot holes and trip hazards than you can throw Article 50 at. It is at last coming into the searing light of a summer’s day that this is one of the most complex and hideously complicated actions that this country has ever undertaken.

I don’t think that the ‘will of the people’ is being ignored but exercising it as David Davis pertinently pointed out is as complicated as the moon landing. This is our chief negotiator so I suppose he must know a thing or two but sometimes I sense he is blagging and blustering his way through it.

If other leading politicians such as Sir Vince Cable is sending out warning signals, perhaps we should pay heed

and not gratuitously denigrate them. I hold no brief for Tony Blair but telling him to shut his mouth is neither helpful or polite. Sometimes these men do know a car crash scenario when they see it happening in front of their eyes.


Winifred Road,


Success in fight over tribunal fees

Unison, representing 1.3 million trade union members, was successful at the Supreme Court this week. The union challenged the legality of the introduction in 2013 of fees of up to £1,200 to lodge an employment tribunal claim.

These charges triggered a huge decline in claims (79pc over three years), that saw many workers denied justice, and bad employers left unpunished. This action taken by Unison is another example of trade unions standing up for ordinary people, challenging vested interests, and securing change that will once again provide those workers wronged by their employers access to the legal system, without the barrier of high fees.



Great Yarmouth & District TUC