Letters, March 16, 2012
Fly the flag ... but properly
WHY can’t people and companies who profess they “fly the flag” get it the right way up. The Union flag, as it is properly known, for the Union jack is only flown on the jack staff (small mast on the front of a Royal naval vessel).
To fly it upside down is a signal of distress. I know the country is in a bit of a mess but I don’t think we need to fly it upside down at this moment in time.
D J COLMAN
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SAVE our parking permits. Over half of the people want to keep the parking permits but councillor Reynolds still wants to go ahead and get rid of them.
The consultation process ended on January 13 with a yes or no vote, was withheld for six weeks, and was only revealed when another councillor asked for the details following a Freedom of Information request. Great Yarmouth residents need to be able to park near their homes.
If we lose the permits then daytrippers, shoppers and workmen will be able to park outside our homes. I admit it would affect my business if my customers did not have the option of a parking permit. But it would affect me more as a resident.
I live on a road with double yellow lines outside the front so getting shopping from the car would mean a trek, if I could park anywhere at all. And when having my three-year-old grandson and my granddaughter due in May for the day, how far would I have to walk with a toddler and carrying a car seat with a baby in it to get to my house. Has councillor Reynolds thought of mums with children and the disabled?
Input is vital for our community
THERE will be a meeting of Gorleston Area Forum on Thursday, March 22 at Gorleston library commencing at 6.30pm. This is an opportunity for all Gorleston residents to meet with councillors to discuss matters important in our community.
Your input is important because as councillor Collins has stated in his election flyer “So far as the Lower Parade parking is concerned, fortunately, due to pressure from the residents, it was decided no changes would be made.” This was a case which shows people power used correctly rather than just moaning will cause changes.
Talking to people at the recent rally on the prom, Gorleston seafront is still an area of contention, not only with Gorleston residents but also boroughwide and even further afield with people who value our seafront and bring in prosperity.
It has been indicated by the council that the area in front of the shops should be closed for parking, allowing tables and chairs to give a continental look, at the same time making the area more pleasant and child safe: “A benefit for shops and all who use our seafront.”
Restoration is about to be carried out on the Roman shelters which has given people much concern regarding their future. What is happening and when?
There is a plan to site beach huts on the prom, our seafront. Is this a good idea or not?
Many believe the bouncy castles by the shops are an eyesore in that area and would be better sited the other side of the yachtpond. What is your opinion?
Gorleston people it has been shown are proud of their resort and value its amenity value and must be more involved in its future. It is better to be involved in the shaping the future rather that having to fight a rearguard action. The alternative is to just carry on moaning.
Please attend these forums to get to know our councillors, put our own points of view and ideas to ensure we in the community get the town we want. This is probably the last opportunity before the May elections so if you believe in democracy you must take the responsibility to gain the benefits. Remember we elect councillors to look after our interests so we need to tell them what we expect. Please be there because if not, why should meetings continue?
Cats should obey
the same rules
I THINK cats should be put under the same rules as dogs and not allowed to wander and foul public places and other people’s gardens. Why should a dog owner be prosecuted for allowing a dog to foul in a public place and not clearing it up when cat owners can allow their pets to foul wherever they want with no fear of prosecution.
I am a disabled pensioner who likes to grow my own vegetables and have done for a number of years, but sadly I find it very distressing when I set veg or sow seeds to find the next day they are dug up with cat poo where my cabbages were.
The person now living next door to me has several cats and all use my garden as their toilet. Being a pensioner I have had to spend money I can ill afford on deterrents that really don’t work and the extra work is something I don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an animal hater and have pets of my own, but go out of my way to make sure they are of no trouble to anyone. Why can’t owners of cats do the same?
Name and address withheld
Are there dirty tricks going on?
WITH reference to the resident’s parking permits report in last week’s Mercury. It is just amazing that we elect councillors to do a difficult job, and then they have to make difficult decisions which a few people do not like. What happens? They attempt to try to discredit them. If anything smells of dirty tricks this is a classic example.
As someone who not only lives within the residents parking area, but also runs a small business in the town, all I can say that this scheme has not worked for me. Yes, on the odd occasion it has been a little easier to park, but it is certainly not the problem it is drummed up to be, and the loss of money of this scheme is a disgrace.
With regard to my business, immediately after it was introduced I saw a dramatic decline. It used to be that many people - mainly all local residents of the borough, would pop into town for a short time to do some quick shopping and leave. Now, however, they go to some local supermarket where they can park for free.
This not only has damaged my trade but that of many others in the town centre and then when you go through certain areas of the residents parking zone there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of car parking spaces not being used.
Over the weekend, I received a copy of an email Cllr Charles Reynolds sent out, and he is absolutely right. The scheme, as it stands, is not working. We need to start from scratch albeit on a much smaller scale.
Unlike some, I do have some respect for what our local councillors (of all parties) do, and there is no doubt that Charles Reynolds is one of the better ones. Although often controversial, he does the job he is given to do. A classic recent example is in the market. After years of having meetings with the council, no action is taken. He takes over, and within weeks the place is cleaned up, we have short term free parking on market days, a plan of action for the future, and indeed a little more hope in the future.
More power to your elbow Mr Reynolds.
Next stage is a matter of trust
PHASE one has been successfully negotiated by GYBC; they have told me they rejected the alternative Local Development Order as presented by the legal team of International Port Holdings, though it is understood there is to be further meetings between the port’s legal team and representatives of the council.
This next stage is a matter of trust. Do we trust the council to carry on rejecting the known demands of IPH/GYPC?
I do believe the draft consultation document as produced by GYBC, 29 pages, is in itself very supportive of business both new and established, but for our scrutiny group the environmental matters dealt with in the document, do put in various safeguards, to protect the interests of the ratepayers.
All through the GYPC/IPH version of the local development order, the main topic is investors, the right to lease land to any type of business that wants to take advantage within the Enterprise Zone. The nine-page document makes many references to the need for IPH/GYPC to be their own planning authority.
It likens South Denes to other areas in the UK, but there is not one single reference that the South Denes Enterprise Zone is less than 300 yards from residential areas, holiday areas, tourist attractions.
I can confirm that at long last questions are being asked by the House of Lords (Hansard 8-03-2012) asking the Department of Transport regarding the Marine Management Organisation’s delay in holding a Public Inquiry into the GYPC’s two and a half year wait since the objections were lodged in consenting to GYPC’s request for the 2005 Harbour Revision Order which would give complete autonomy, the Lord asks is the problem monetary. That is not the case states the Depart. of Transport.
JOHN L COOPER
Shame on you, you litter bug
JUST a little gripe about something I witnessed. At 10.10pm last Thursday, I was enjoying my Mcdonalds dessert, parked up in the Gapton Hall Retail Park along with other car users, when I saw the Mcdonalds’ litter picker collecting rubbish near one of the cars. The driver put some rubbish in the litter picker’s black sack as he went passed. When I was leaving, I noticed the driver of a red car drop his burger container on the ground and he tried to discreetly push it under his car. If the culprit is reading this I say this to him: I saw you and shame on you, as there is a litter bin very close by. Next time use it! Perhaps environmental health would be interested in some prosecutions as this driver was not the only culprit!
Name and address withheld
THOSE of your readers who have connections with Martham may be interested to know that over the Jubilee weekend, Martham Local History Group is presenting an exhibition at Martham Parish Church of’ “Martham 1952 to 2012 – 60 years of change”.
We are collecting all the information we can find that will illustrate the great changes that have taken place in Martham, therefore we would be glad to hear from any reader who has photographs, press cuttings, brochures from the boat hire firms, brochures from estate agents of the new estates or other memorabilia of the people or events in Martham during those years. Were you were christened or married here in 1952/3? Have you any souvenirs or photos of the Coronation? Did you have a business in Martham? Please contact me on 01493 740379 if you have anything at all that might be of interest. Great care will be taken of everything borrowed for the exhibition or lent for copying.
Let’s have acts on our doorstep
RE previous letters about the former Regent Theatre and old Mecca building. The Britannia is just a summer place and tends to cater for the holidaymaker, where the old Mecca would be an all-round place. If you look at the area overall there is a catchment of over 90,000 people. I currently go the Marina in Lowestoft, as well as the UEA and Ipswich Regent. The point being why should people travel when we could have acts on the doorstep. Think of what it could also do for small business as people would have to have somewhere to eat and maybe lay their head.
MICHELLE P SWIFT
We must all use our election votes
IT’S council election time, and now you must decide if you want some of the old council in or out. All the frustrations of the past few years readers have had with writing, asking, pleading, are now in the past as now the councillors are pleading with us to put them back in the driving seat so they can decide whether you can have parking or not.
It’s your time to tell them how you feel about the bungling of the harbour, which you cannot mention for 30 years.
There are many people asking why? Perhaps when councillors knock on doors people could ask them, but then you’ll get no answer.
What the Great Yarmouth borough needs is the biggest turnout of voters ever. It is your time to show you want change and you want it now.
We have an opportunity now that tax on air fares are high to show the tourists that Great Yarmouth has something to offer. Give them a railway a station, and a bus station that’s welcoming.
I don’t care what part the councillor belongs to as long as they will fight for the betterment of this area. So far, with the old guard I have seen nothing of that, so bring in the new guard. I have yet to find something this council has done that makes me yell “Yes”.
Planners should give the go ahead
I AM writing about the proposed houses to be built on Halls site Riverside Road, Gorleston. I see there is some objection to the building of the homes and office blocks but I think the people who are objecting are nothing more then Nimby’s saying “we don’t mind new homes but not where we can see them.” I don’t think they can see the money this will bring into Gorleston High Street and maybe extra jobs. Empty shops may be taken over and there will be security for the people who already have jobs in the High Street. There are also the jobs involved in the building of the homes and offices, plus in future the maintentance of the properties (plumbers, electricians, painters etc). So I really think the borough planners should give this the go ahead.
New College Close
has so upset me
WHO did it, and why? What has so upset me? It is the savage hacking back of all the shrubberies in the borough; for a prime example look near the yacht station.
Clearly the responsible person has the outdated “municipal park” mindset that all grass must be closely mown and all shrubs be of regulation height because then it will be tidy.
When I walk around my town, I want to see sympathetically pruned shrubs covered in flowers and berries, and full of birds roosting, nesting and searching for food.
In the summer I don’t want to look at scorched yellow grass dotted with litter when it could be tall green grasses and wildflowers alive with insects. It is no good saying where are all the birds, butterflies and bees when you have just wiped out their food supplies and shelter.
So everyone, before you power up your chainsaws, hedge trimmers and strimmers please stop and think, is this work absolutely essential or would it be better to just clear away any rubbish, leave the wildlife in peace and sit back and enjoy all the natural beauty.
And don’t look at the Kitchener Road cemeteries, the destruction is enough to make you weep.
Our views have
RE the abolition of residents parking in Great Yarmouth: I have just witnessed an experience I have never seen before in all my 33 years as a local councillor. The six local councillors, police, Tourist Authority, Great Yarmouth Residents Association, and a majority of local residents who were consulted, support residents parking – and their views have been ignored.
Can I thank the residents who attended the packed meeting on Monday for their restraint. Some of the residents from the Priory Garden area, with a 90pc take-up of this scheme, had to just sit there and experience the total control that councillors who do not live in the area have, and that control beggar’s belief. This was the greatest restraint I have ever seen at a public meeting.
The residents parking fight has not yet finished. I want to see it retained.
Cllr MIKE TAYLOR
Central and Northgate Ward
More notice of meeting needed
WHY is it that every time there is a meeting at the JPH concerning patient care, the notice to inform the public appears in the Mercury on the day of the meeting, which is usually early (9am). I should think by the time the average person has read the article the meeting is over. I suppose that it does make sure that only a few early birds get there on time to say their piece.
Caister on sea
Don’t send these jobs out of town
WHAT is it with the Conservative ruling group on the borough council’s obsession with sending jobs and services out of the town?
First we had the proposal of sharing services with South Norfolk which was quietly abandoned, now it’s sharing management with Dereham and Spalding councils, which they seek to finalise if they retain control after this year’s elections.
Why the proposal? Well it certainly can’t be financial, the estimated saving of �145,632 a year, if you exclude redundancy costs, a specialist ‘forward’ officers job for Great Yarmouth and the cost of a management teams’ travel costs, along some of the worst infrastructure in the country, would work out a massive 0.7pc of the councils net budget in 2010-11!
Is this really the Tory council’s vision for effective governance and savings? Local redundancies and the massive risks to the effective functioning of services in is a distant untested scheme, all for the huge saving, if it all goes well, of 15p per person per year.
How out of touch with reality do you have to be to risk so much for so little? Nobody denies budget savings need to be made, but for heaven’s sake rather than have a third of the time of a remote management team focused on the town could we not have local part time managers? At least we know we would save on the travel costs and keep our carbon footprint down.
Surely if they were proud and had faith in this scheme the Tory councillors would not have voted against recording their name to the vote on the proposal last week, instead timid hands were raised in the cause of political dogma over commonsense.
People must keep up the fight
I FEEL very sorry for the town residents fighting to retain the residents parking scheme. And these people will have to keep up the fight. An extension to the scheme has a hidden agenda because it will only add fuel to the fire. The raising of the fee to �50 per year would have been acceptable but I think the council is being very crafty.
This issue is losing votes right, left and centre for the Conservatives in the two wards concerned. It really won’t be worthwhile them canvassing, because they will be flogging a dead horse.
Cllr MARIE FIELD
Studying Britain’s adoption process
I AM studying Britain’s adoption process as part of my doctoral research and am interested to speak on the telephone to anyone who is thinking about or has made some inquiries about adopting a child.
The conversation would last just 20 minutes and would be confidential and findings anonymised. There is no link between my study and any adoption application that might be made. It is hoped the research will result in a larger and more diverse pool of adopters for those children waiting for adoption.
Please contact me at adoption.port.ac.uk or telephone 02392 842838 to arrange an interview