Letters, March 11 2016

Why ban these campervans?

I saw a letter from K W Cole in the Mercury about campervans not being allowed to park in Great Yarmouth.

I have always parked my small everyday camper in town but and around three weeks ago I got a fine for parking in King Street, think the council has put new signs up.

It’s a shame for the market traders and small businesses as now I and others will be forced to go to the bigger shops so we can park. I will also use the local shop and garden centre in Scratby where I work, so many good offers in there and plenty of parking, but what a shame for holidaymakers.

I understand the parking rules being changed regarding large campers, but if the vehicle fits within the lines it should be okay. Workmen’s vans are allowed, so well done Yarmouth Borough Council for closing most of the shops in the town and charging extra for parking during the summer season, and banning campers.

All I can say is bye-bye holidaymakers, have a lovely holiday but probably not in Great Yarmouth.


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Gorleston pier is in a right state

Today (Monday) seemed a nice day for short stroll and Gorleston Pier beckoned. Soon enough we enjoyed the sea view from near the Coastwatch station. The sun was shining, the wind was nippy and the seating areas backing on to the car park was an absolute disgrace.

Peeling paint, broken seats and a rather lavatorial odour displayed a rather shabby non-caring attitude to the pier users. Is it so difficult for the pier owners to replace the seats and get the paint brush out before the season is upon us?

Gorleston has been described by some as “Chelsea on sea”...more like Tooting Bec, I think. Other South London boroughs are available.



My Eco home is also very cold

I read the article about the Caister “Eco council house too cold” in last Friday’s Mercury and have a similar experience. I live in one of the new Eco houses in Martham and have raised the same issues with the council, so far without resolution.

I am disabled and was grateful to move to a bungalow with proper wheelchair access and where we were told we would also save money on heating bills, but it is not true. The system alone does not maintain an adequate temperature and the lack of a boiler means we have to use full-price electricity to supplement it and for all our water heating.

We use less energy but electricity is so expensive that I am now paying more in fuel bills than I was in my inaccessible, larger GYBC flat, yet am colder.

To keep the cost down we use blankets, hot water bottles, and stay in bed to keep warm. Our neighbours tried a mobile gas heater but they have been advised against using it as these houses are sealed units. So they, like us, are also cold.

I have written to Brandon Lewis, not only as our local MP but as Housing Minister. It needs to be recognised the reality of this type of housing, without economic supplementary heating, does not live up to the propaganda. Our carbon footprint may be less but there is no cost saving to us and we are cold even in this exceptionally mild winter.

Name and Address withheld

Come along to directory launch

All those who have been involved in any of the Ageless Opportunities activities over the last 10 years – as a group organiser/volunteer, as a participant, as a competition winner or as a reader of our regular column in the GY Advertiser – we would love to see you at the launch party for our 10th edition of The Directory.

It’s at The Priory Centre on Tuesday, March 15 between 10am and 1pm - they’ll be plenty on offer to have a go at – art, dancing, table tennis and much, much more. If you do not know about Ageless Opportunities come along and see what it’s about. The new Directory has 159 activities available across the borough - some sitting, some running around, many are aimed at people over 50 but there are also many open to anyone over 18.


Great Yarmouth Community Trust,

Priory Centre

World will not end if we leave

I can’t say I read with any interest the extensive article by Brandon Lewis MP encouraging people to vote to stay in the EU. At best he might be seen to be naïve, but I’m sure he, as a declared previous Eurosceptic, now toeing the line, and publishing here Tory Central Office handout sound-bites, can be confident of remaining in Government.

Whatever one thinks about the PM’s efforts, he has not secured a “new deal” or indeed anything of the kind, as some of Mr Lewis’ more senior colleagues have already pointed out. It insults the intelligence of his constituents to tell them any minor ineffective tinkering with welfare will make one iota of difference to the excessive number of migrants arriving on our shores - the draw is our high grade pay, multiple times more than in their own impoverished countries, which allows the men to come here alone, leave their families at home, and to send them more money back than they could ever hope to earn there themselves.

Anyone who knows anything about the EU knows that it cannot ever be reformed, and that Britain’s attempts to do so, have only created a lot of resentment there, where we are seen to be totally out of step with the other 27 countries. In reality, we cannot avoid being adversely affected by the deeper integration the EU is intent on, as new laws will basically reflect that, nor will we evade being adversely affected by the disastrous Eurozone when 70pc of other members are in it [Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta, Luxembourg], so it will remain a priority for them all to support it, and specifically the countries suffering because of it - sheds loads of EU money will be diverted to the likes of Greece and others in trouble.

Mr Lewis points out the EU is a trading block of 500m people, but omits to mention he therefore accepts every single one of them is fully entitled to decamp, unannounced and without warning, anywhere in the UK, to take jobs, houses, healthcare, welfare, and services at a moment’s notice.

Neither does he admit the EU is no longer where our main trade depends, as our market there is dropping like a stone – it was originally over 60pc and now is heading-down towards 40pc. The bulk of British companies do no trade in the EU whatsoever, and even the director-general of British Chambers of Commerce says the UK would be better off taking a decision to leave the European Union.

The so called leap in the dark is not coming out of the EU - it is staying in it. The major businesses saying we shouldn’t leave will probably be the same ones not paying their fair taxes, or even the foreign owned ones who have bought-up British companies cheap and then squirrel the major profits back abroad.

It would appear Mr Lewis believes the World will end if the UK leaves the EU - so we should stay in it not for our own benefit, but to save them, perhaps?

We agree only on one point: “We are a strong and powerful country” - why this means we cannot be independent and self determining again, is anyone’s guess? Why Mr Lewis thinks we should use that point to go on a fool’s errand, to try to ‘force change’ on the EU, is again anyone’s guess?

How do other MPs, and he himself justify his existence in Parliament, when despite him being an ex-legal man, he has never ever even made the rules or regulations affecting our businesses, let alone decide the law of this country. That is all by those others at the EU, where he has no voice at all, and over whom he has absolutely zero influence. He asks you individually to allow all of that simply to continue forever.

In the two world wars, nearly a million of our people, including many military and civilians from Norfolk, gave their lives to provide us all with a free future and keep our country out of the clutches of a German Europe, yet others now spit on all their graves.

They want to allow the European powerhouses like Germany to march onward to their ultimate target of a single State that will control our children and grandchildren. We are being asked to sacrifice our nation’s freedom on the holy grail of the ambitions of unaccountable dubious foreigners, who we don’t share nationhood with.

In the last war my father, a Scot, volunteered and fought for his country over three years in the Mediterranean. My father-in-law, a Cockney, was evacuated from Dunkirk (bootless after being ambushed by the enemy) and went on to courageously fight around the world on the frontline for another four years, and he had never even seen his first born son until he returned – his four year old lad’s first words ever to him were “Are you me Dad?”

I may be an ordinary person and not a career MP and Minister, but I do though have the same one vote as him, which I shall use to cancel his one out.



Hopton on Sea

Give Peel Ports space it needs

An article in the Mercury states that the new director of the Great Yarmouth Port Company is very hopeful that under the guidance of Peel Ports the future of the outer harbour and river port is possibly excellent.

I do question the employment figure he quotes: 3,000 new jobs. In 2005 the GYBC and GYPA said this figure could be reached with a ferry service. However the uttering of this figure was later denied.

What I find disturbing is the number of negative blogs by locals about the article published on line. For seven long years I and a few others tried to bring to the attention of the borough’s ratepayers what we felt was a bad deal our council made in 2007 with International Port Holdings.

I feel we should give Peel Ports the space needed for them to make good their words, I do not believe the Port will take off, though by the same token those bloggers should not be making caustic comments now! Where were they when we few needed backing?


Burnt Lane,


Who would you be voting for?

If the greedy neighbours on your estate said they would charge you for shopping for your beef and onions in the local supermarket, preferable to escargot and sauerkraut from the estate shop; and they would let in the homeless to camp in your garden - would you invite them in for tea and biscuits, or move off the estate to a home not surrounded by fences or threatening neighbours?


St Nicholas Road,

Great Yarmouth

Is the Straight an impediment?

How welcome to read your report “Jobs boost for port”. Good news for the Outer Harbour, bad news for the “white elephant”. Nevertheless, is the Acle Straight an impediment?


Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

Parking discount via attractions

This week the Greater Yarmouth Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) has sent out letters to local attractions regarding parking. Their scheme is to get local attractions to offer a discount to visitors who present a voucher issued when they use a council car park. GYTABIA say this is to “offset the borough council’s car park charges”.

Surely this is an admission the car park charges are too high to start with! We already have a situation with the Marina Centre where the council has requisitioned the car parks for their own gain at the expense of non Marina Centre visitors that are priced out of using those car parks by the minimum £10 charge.

Heaven forbid that the local authority would sacrifice some of its own car park revenue for the long-term benefit of the local economy.

The GYTABIA would make better use of its time campaigning to get the extortionate car park charges reduced. The GYTABIA is supposed to be helping local businesses to grow - if the best it can come up with is to ask those businesses to discount their prices then they are failing.

To ask businesses to sacrifice their own revenue so that the council’s high parking charges can be justified is ridiculous. Furthermore it leaves the door open for GYBC to continue raising parking charges in the future.

Is this a Business Improvement Area or is this a council coffers Improvement Area?

Name and Address withheld

Where was the traffic control?

I am probably too late for this week’s Mercury but it has got to Wednesday afternoon and the traffic situation in Great Yarmouth is appalling. And it also applies to Gorleston, the Acle Straight and all points east.

Why on earth anyone would want to come and set up business here is a mystery because just one unexpected emergency and the town grinds to a halt because there is only one river crossing into the town.

South Quay has a burst water main, fine. It needs to be fixed and vehicles need to be kept away to ensure the workmen can safely complete the remedial work. But there had to be a better way of sorting the traffic than putting temporary lights on the bridge heading into Yarmouth?

The lights are not in synch with the normal traffic lights! So everything grinds to a halt!

Why wasn’t the Gorleston end of Southtown Road closed to all traffic except through traffic, encouraging everyone else to go onto the Breydon Bridge and into town?

I don’t suppose it has affected many of our borough councillors because the majority have probably not experienced what we who work in the town are going through every morning and evening. On Tuesday night it took me 40 minutes to get from the Market Gates car park to Suffolk Road to pick up my daughter after her after-school club.

I saw no police. Answers please!



Forget a resort, let’s go for jobs

The recent Mercury containing pictures from the Sixties brought back many memories of holiday here. In fact it was during these holidays I set my sights on living in Great Yarmouth, and I made true the promise when I retired.

I still see Great Yarmouth as a fine old town and port, but it almost seems stuck in the glory days although those days have long since gone.

I hope the new port bosses will turn this town around with jobs and opportunities, and instead of being a resort it will become somewhere where everyone wants o live and work.

Name and Address withheld