Letters, June 24 2016

Little confidence in NHS call centre

Regarding the closure of Greyfriars Health Centre, Dr Stammers is quoted in the Mercury as saying that telephone triage was a perfectly reasonable way to treat someone before referring them to another service.

This reminded me of when I phoned the old NHS Direct when experiencing chest pains after having an endoscopy (camera down the throat). The first question I was asked by the gentleman at the NHS Direct was: “What is an endoscopy?”

His question didn’t exactly inspire confidence in the service for me and I strongly suspect neither will the new 111 service Dr Stammers is so keen on promoting.

For the 5,125 registered patients and the countless drop-in patients, A&E here we come.


Parkland Drive

Most Read


Britain brand has been busted

It’s a shock when your country goes mad. If the shooter of Jo Cox did shout “Britain First” - which we still don’t know - it will sadly be on the back of the EU debate’s bloodcurdling warnings about anti-British traitors, “mafia states”, immigrants, refugees and terrorism. Hate crimes specifically perpetrated by the far-right are on the rise across Europe and the UK.

Here on the continent, the traditional view of Britain is that of a contentedly middle-class nation of mild oddballs and pragmatic dissenters. As some of the UK mainstream Conservative politicians have repeatedly screamed the above warnings - warnings too closely associated here with extreme ethno-nationalists, many are revising this opinion.

It is baffling and heartbreaking when a country many people love turns to hate. I don’t know what happened to us. Whoever wins this low, dishonest referendum, the British brand is busted. And there aren’t many Britains in the world.



Community bus scheme for all

In last week’s Mercury there were a number of letters concerning changes to bus routes and the impact on readers. Centre 81 operates a community transport service which runs Monday to Friday throughout the borough.

In the past, all community transport services have been considered as only for those who are elderly or who have a disability. Centre 81’s service is available for all residents living within the borough who cannot for whatever reason access ordinary public transport. This could be due to the distance and time it takes to walk from their house to the bus stop or simply because there is no public transport in their area.

All who use our community transport pay a £5 annual membership fee. A fare is payable for each journey. Fares are calculated by distance. Unfortunately we are unable to accept bus passes.

Membership forms and more information are available on our website www.centre81.co.uk or phone Phil or Will on 01493 332253.


Chief Executive

Centre 81

Poor excuses over grass cutting saga

Reading the Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s excuses for not cutting the grassed areas in the borough in the June 17 edition of the Mercury, and their decision to spray weedkiller on the edges rather than use strimmers, makes me wonder how much the people making these decisions know. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that spraying weedkiller on the edges of any grassed areas will look an eyesore and affect far more than the very edges. As for not being able to cut many of these areas because of the recent weather, I cannot imagine how the majority of residents in the area managed to cut their lawns and keep them tidy during this supposedly such poor weather, which has caused their grass to grow incredibly fast. I don’t see any long grass along Great Yarmouth seafront, obviously a slow-growing variety was used there. When you look around the borough and see grass and flowering plants growing from many pathways and roadside gutters it makes me wonder how long this imaginary spell of inclement weather will last. I am beginning to wonder what we pay our council tax for, as every service provided by the council to general residents appears to be reducing annually. Soon I expect we will have to empty our own bins into the trucks as they drive past. I would be happy to pay a bit more council tax for a better return for our money. One thing I would point out, residents could do more themselves to make the areas they live in more tidy, for example picking up their dog’s poo and litter, and the number of poo bags used and then discarded is disgusting. That is down to the residents. Also don’t leave your wheelie bins in your front gardens, they look an absolute eyesore! Before the advent of wheelie bins, no-one stuck their dustbins or black bags in the front gardens. The council should ban that. Has no-one any pride any more?


Wolseley Road,

Great Yarmouth

Thanks to council for birthday cash

Letters about the borough council are usually ones of complaint so may I be allowed to redress the balance and give credit where it is due for the inspired idea to have a special one-off fund to aid churches and other organisations who were staging community events to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

All praise to the councillor who came up with this spontaneous suggestion at a full council meeting and to those who then supported it. And a massive thanks to those unsung heroes behind the closed doors of the Town Hall, the officers who in double-quick time produced – application forms.

Cliff Park Community Church was one of the fortunate recipients of a grant but I am sure I speak for many who also benefited. We’ve held a fete-style fun day for three years at Cliff Park Junior School. It is our way of trying to reach out to our community and share God’s love. We do not raise money or charge anything for the activities and food and drink which we gladly provide.

The grant enabled us to expand the event with more refreshments, larger marquees and the involvement of both Gorleston Community Choir and Great Yarmouth Future Brass who entertained alongside our own church worship band. It was the brass band who came up with the idea of challenging the large crowd to make 90 notes to mark the 90th birthday, something which was achieved in under two hours and just in time for a mass singing of Happy Birthday and the National Anthem.

So a big thanks to the borough council. There was a real sense of pride and joy we could all work in partnership to bring pleasure to the 400 or so people who attended and together share appreciation towards Her Majesty on this special weekend.


Cliff Park Community Church


In or out argument will continue

Whatever today’s result of the In/Out Referendum, the losers will be out to prove the outcome was a big mistake.

Over the decades, successive governments have been complicit in giving away our Sovereignty, democracy and justice systems to a cabal of unelected, unaccountable foreign judges and bureaucrats, and goodness knows who else making our laws and overriding our Parliament.

If In, Cameron and Osborn’s republican futures are assured, strutting the world stage as EU bigwigs, with their eyes forever on the Presidency. If Out, French-toasted by their triumphant colleagues, fated to join other forgotten political has-beens, sleeping off last night’s jeroboam of now very expensive Chatteauneuf-du-Pape, in the House of Geriatric Lords.


Great Yarmouth

Bus passengers treated like cattle

It’s a few weeks since the new bus timetable has come into being and it is chaotic on the No 9 route. The buses are packed, and it is standing room only from certain stops. The man in the wheelchair at Almond Road had no chance as we left people behind at Crab Lane.

The service previously was every 20 minutes, so three buses an hour. The company said the buses were not used enough so changed it to every 30 minutes, two an hour, and buses were running empty. Well, it’s not happening now. Buses are busy all day long.

If the service was returned to 20 minutes it would mean the bus would not be so crowded. Should there be an accident, a lot of older people would be injured with many having broken limbs. We are not cattle. We deserve some consideration.

People on other routes are having similar problems, as your readers have pointed out: No 7 no service! And all these changes to extend a service to the new road in Belton!

So far no comment from the bus company. If they can’t cope why don’t the yellow buses extend their routes?



Fun fountain idea for seafront

I’ve had an idea for either one half of the Waterways or where Amazonia once stood on Great Yarmouth’s seafront. It is a children’s splash park with little jumping waters and toadstool statues with water spraying now and then, like Lowestoft.

It would be lovely for smaller children who are a bit unsure of the sea. It could have picnic tables around in a seating area, or would the council disapprove of this?



Thanks for return of lost bus pass

I would like to say a big thank you to the kind gentleman who handed my lost bus pass into Gorleston police station; also thanks to the very nice policeman who delivered it to my home on Friday. I am really grateful to you both.



Roadworks were poorly handled

As we voted this week to Remain or Leave the EEC we could locally also have voted for “No Confidence in Norfolk County Council”.

I live in Caister and I and every road user in the area is very annoyed about the road resurfacing on Caister Road this week.

1 There was no advance warning of this work to be carried out.

2 No traffic management to allow traffic out of Caister at the roundabout.

3 The re-pavement work on Caister Road was another example of poor traffic management.

4 There was a policy from Norfolk County Council some years ago of no major roadworks in Great Yarmouth during the summer. What has happen to this?

5 Norfolk County Council do not understand the number of vehicles that use this major road and the problems they cause to the users travelling to work, hospital appointments, school etc.

It took me 55 minutes to travel from opposite Tesco in Caister to Bells Road in Gorleston.

What would it have been like if races were being held at the racecourse?

If readers agree with my comments I suggest they contact their Norfolk County Councillor and give them your views.



Ex-pats will lose out if we leave EU

Thank you for giving the points of view of many ex-pats who of course have a lot, if not everything, to lose if we leave the EU. Hearing the Leave campaign talk about the legal aspects of withdrawal is a bit like hearing creationists talk about evolution. Even if it seems like it’s working, it’s wrong. Perhaps we should all lie to win.

For example, I read with dismay many sharing the opinion that all acquired rights would be kept “based upon the Vienna Treaty of 1969”. Put simply: All rights of free movement, equality under the law, healthcare, and the ability to live and retire in other parts of the EU are linked to European citizenship; if that citizenship falls away, so do these rights. The Vienna Treaty of 1969 has no bearing whatsoever on this!

“Acquired rights” for British ex-pats in the EU do not exist. They will just be living a worse version of what they have now - after a long period of uncertainty - if we leave, which will result in many being of them being forced to come home.



Plaque for hero coxswain overdue

I have noticed with some interest that the name of Coxswain William Fleming is one of those under consideration for the new public house to be built in Gorleston High Street. I feel that William Fleming is a very much forgotten hero of this town in view of his outstanding service for many years on the lifeboats. Google him.

Perhaps those awarding blue plaques may consider one for Coxswain Fleming’s house on Pavilion Road is overdue as it was across the road from there that he operated a rowing boat ferry to the spending beach for some time.


Germander Court,


Street drinkers in town scare me

I am hoping someone can help me, or at least explain what is going on with dealing with groups of people who are loitering in the Greyfriars car park, Yarmouth, and in King Street particularly the alley (Row) between the chemists and the empty shop.

Twice in the last two months I and my husband have parked just after 2.30pm and been too scared to walk down the alleyway into town.

We haven’t been threatened or warned but they are so loud, and swearing we were worried about asking them to move aside.

In both cases, we have walked along the car park to the next Row onto King Street and found another group, some holding cans or bottles of drink; one was even slumped in the entrance to the Salvation Army shop. I asked one of them if their friend was alright and he said he was ‘sleeping it off’ and to leave him alone.

I also see groups of men mostly around the entrance to the library and again I am scared too walk passed. Is there nowhere else they could go; maybe the council could provide them with a space?

Name and Address withheld

HD Letter Standard fgfgfgfg