Letters (May 20)

Hands in pocket to save our jetty

I SUGGEST that Dr Hamilton-Deane puts his money where his mouth is and applies to the council for a stay of execution of the jetty.

He could then raise money by public subscription from local people in Yarmouth and Norfolk, as well as all those Nelson societies worldwide who would no doubt be appalled at the prospect of the demolition of the jetty.

After that he would no doubt get matching National Lottery Heritage funding. Job done! I am willing to start the ball rolling with a contribution, so I hope to see in The Mercury where that contribution should be sent.

C MORDEN


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Orwell Crescent

Belton

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Sort out times to visit sorting office

HAVING missed the postman, I received a card in the door telling me that I could collect at the sorting office.

The next day I drove to the sorting office only to find it closed. Opening hours believe it or not are 7am to 10am and 2pm to 6pm so the main part of the day, when most people I feel would expect the office to be open, it was closed. I was not alone in trying to collect my mail; while I was there, three other people tried the door.

Why on earth is this office closed for the main part of the day, surely it cannot be too much trouble to keep it open?

M HARVEY

Bradwell

Allotment saga will be resolved

AS we saw in last week’s Mercury, Hemsby Parish Council has pulled out of providing allotments for Hemsby.

After two years of dragging their feet over the negotiations with farmer Richard Hirst, the council has now decided it is not going ahead with the agreements made for the allotments. Many people are incensed at the way the council has handled the situation, with a total disregard for the allotment holders who paid �100 each to the council last October for their plots, and have seen absolutely nothing for their money.

The allotments could have been up and running 18 months ago had it not been for the council who were very reluctant right from the start to fulfil their obligations to the electorate of Hemsby, to provide allotments for the village like all other parishes have to do – by law.

Hemsby Parish Council has done nothing to facilitate these allotments at all; they have put obstacle after obstacle in the way so they don’t have to run the allotments and have made some give up on the idea of ever having a plot. It’s time the councillors realised they are there to serve the people and not do just what they want to do.

Richard Hirst is still very keen to get these allotments going even after all the agro from the council, and is asking anyone still wanting a plot at a rent of �60 plus water costs, to contact Noel Galer 732969 or Peggy Sutton 731378 to secure a plot and to get on the land as soon as possible. It’s still not too late, if you are one of the people who signed up for an allotment you will be receiving a cheque from the council for your deposits.

Everything is now in place, all it needs now is for the plot holders to get on the land and start growing their own veg as they have been wanting to do for the last two years.

P SUTTON

Hemsby

Fundamentalist? Guilty as charged

P REEVE, in his letter two weeks ago, said: “The Christian religion” replaced Christ’s teaching. But it’s more correct to say that many from the first century AD onwards changed Christ’s teaching, and then new “Christian” groups arose.

Although these people said they followed Christ, in truth they’d set up fake Christian movements. Roman Catholicism, which gained force from the 4th century AD onwards, is one of these. See http://bit.ly/fnOwZF.

Which brings me to Roger Hayes’s letter two weeks ago. Although I thank him for a kinder tone than before, I’m not his spiritual “brother”. The Christ of Catholicism is not the Christ of the Bible. The Bible’s Christ has no need of a “Queen of Heaven” to reign with Him, who is “Co-Redemptrix” (Co-Redeemer) with Him.

Of the Bible’s Christ, the apostle Paul says: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

And if by calling me a “fundamentalist”, Mr Hayes means I’m a “Bible-believing Christian”, I joyfully plead guilty as charged.

E BARKHUIZEN

Albemarle Road

Gorleston

A pity we’ve lost this opportunity

IT was sad the “Yes” vote for an elected mayor did not succeed. I was in favour of printing the actual savings it would achieve in the long term. We, who were fighting for this new wave of governance in our town, would have got rid of a chief executive and a leader, replacing them with one man, hence one salary.

Now anyone in the existing council offices knows a chief executive’s wages plus a leader’s allowance add up to well over �100,000.

If people had attended the Residence Bar on April 16, where we had the Mansfield elected mayor speaking, the finance questions could have been put to him directly.

I heard him say he had made the chief executive redundant and some of the officers, and he also made a few wards bigger, therefore reducing the number of councillors and their allowances. He himself earns �53,000pa and his deputy �18,000pa, far less than the chief executive and leader of Yarmouth Borough Council added together.

It is a great success in Mansfield and the community benefits enormously with the savings being ploughed back into the community. Last week, he was elected for a third term. If this man had been useless, I am sure the electorate would have given him the push by now.

I am all for democracy and saving money, and this way of governing I believe, would have achieved both, and benefited our Yarmouth borough community enormously.

At the rally, Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton told us any decision he was not sure of, he surveyed the residents and went with what the majority wanted. Now if that’s not true democracy, then I don’t know what is!

Cllr MARIE FIELD

Northgate and Central Ward

Campaign won’t roll over and die

MORE than 10,000 local voters turned out on May 5 to vote “Yes” to an elected Mayor for Yarmouth. I would like to thank them for choosing a system where local voters, and not as few as 20 councillors meeting in private get to choose the leader.

It was disappointing we weren’t able to win a majority for change on this occasion – but, nevertheless, we polled about the same number of votes as the ruling Conservatives got in the borough elections, and over a 1,000 more than Labour. I am sure we will get that majority next time.

Although our opponents whooped with joy at the “No” result, their victory was tarnished with months of dirty tricks and nasty personal abuse of my colleagues and I in the “Yes to a Great Yarmouth Elected Mayor” campaign.

We conducted a positive campaign without the kind of monies available to the two main local political parties. We produced our leaflets and posters thanks only to the donations of generous local individuals and businesses. The “No” campaign was not properly constituted as they much preferred to ride on the back of local election materials for both Conservative and Labour candidates in the local elections.

They did do a separate leaflet-cum-poster with exaggerated claims about costings for elected mayors, and claimed the new system would take away the civic/ceremonial side of Yarmouth affairs. These claims were totally untrue but they didn’t even have the decency to add the name of the promoter or printer to the offending document.

To be honest, nothing surprises me after 25 years as a local councillor in Yarmouth, but some people on our committee were surprised beyond belief at the nastiness and political spite demonstrated.

Let’s hope their victory is short-lived – the tide of history is moving towards directly-elected posts. Next year the Coalition government will be asking us to vote in a directly-elected Police Commissioner for Norfolk. I don’t think we have heard the last about an elected mayor for Great Yarmouth.

MICK CASTLE

Secretary

Yes to a Great Yarmouth Elected Mayor campaign

More tales of Everards’ fleet

I WAS interested in reading your article by Peggotty about the family fleet Everards and its mention about the Sedulity which was attacked in 1942.

At that time my father, Herbert Thomas Wadhams, was her Captain and for that action he was given the King’s Commendation. My father, grandfather and uncle were all Captains in Everards’ fleet and they spent all their working lives with them.

Between them, they had well over 100 years’ service and I and my cousins all spent time with the firm. I believe my grandfather, Herbert Henry Wadhams, was Commodore of the Fleet. Regarding the action on the Sedulity in 1942: the story I heard was that when she was attacked, one of the gunners, Geogh Haylett, was injured and my father ran out of the wheelhouse and dragged him to safety, and when the bomb was dropped it went through the wooden hatches.

The cargo was sugar with a lot of bags on top and the bomb hit the bags and was deflected through the side of the ship where it exploded. My father took the ship in to Cromer and then on to Great Yarmouth. My grandfather was also awarded the MBE during the war.

EDWIN WADHAMS

Mercury website

Money poured down the drain

I WAS wondering what the outer harbour does. It is just some buildings that stand there.

I know it costs millions but I and many more people here would love to know how it is still running. Perhaps if they had run a service where we could go on a roll-on, roll-off ferry, I am sure a lot of local people would have used it. But to me it’s money going down the toilet. Like I have said before, if this was done 30 years ago it would have made a lot of money. Why not have a open day, so the people of this town could go and see how all these millions of people’s tax money is being used.

I myself think this is a washout and the money could have been used to do things like better the roads, like the Acle Main Road.

Mrs THERESA WHITMORE

Trinity Avenue,

Gorleston

Keep it simple

WHAT a great miss the Burrage Centre has been since its closure; there used to be about 15 of us go up there every Friday night and always supported the club.

It was a club where you could go and feel safe, with no trouble and all the staff and customers feeling like one big family.

Since the closure it feels like a big chunk has left us and there is nowhere to go now.

I am sure the people would go flowing back to the Burrage if they opened it, with someone who knows how a pub should be run. People just want it simple and cheerful.

Name and Address withheld

Elect a committee

I AGREE with Coral Blowers, that the Burrage Centre should be re-opened, and run by an elected committee; a committee elected by the members and not by hospital management.

Their selection of management, failed the club and its members without the means of redress.

WILLIAM JEFFERY WILLIAMS

Mercury website

My panels came home with me

WHAT a surprise I had when I visited Caister tip last week. A chap came over as I disposed of my three old broken fence panels and informed me I would have to pay �25 to leave them.

Apparently I could only dispose of one wooden item a week – great idea except I have just replaced three panels! It was suggested I went back with one panel at a time leaving a week in between. Discretion wasn’t allowed as cameras were watching us at the tip.

At �25 I decided to leave with the panels. So much for the council trying to reduce costs. I can imaging cleaning up after flytippers can be quite costly!

THOMAS BLOOD

North Road

Gorleston

Bonfire was an act of stupidity

I WAS pleased to note Gorleston Tennis Club’s recent efforts to clear an unkempt corner of their site of vegetation and rubbish and noted the large pile awaiting disposal.

On Saturday, I arrived home around dusk to be confronted with heavy smokelogging covering an area from Bridge Road to Yallop Avenue and across to Marine Parade.

Later investigation revealed that the pile of vegetation had disapeared and the area around the tennis club reeked of burnt ash. As an ex fire officer, I find the lighting of this large bonfire one of the most irresponsible acts I have ever encountered.

The smoke pollution of a very large residential area was unforgiveable.

It took me two hours to clean up the ash which had fallen on my property. I await a very public apology from those concerned.

BARRY MARSH

Bateley Avenue,

Gorleston

Sorry for error

IN last week’s paper, Mollie Timby wrote and thanked many traders in Great Yarmouth for their generous donations towards fundraising for the Great Yarmouth & Waveney Special Olympians.

We incorrectly stated we were the only disabled swimming club in Norfolk, when in fact there is also a disabled swimming club which meets at the Marina Centre in Yarmouth called the Marina Centre Physically Disabled Swimming Club.

Apologies expressed to Jenny Warner and her committee.

CLARE WINTER

Chairman

Councillors do go to some functions

YOUR correspondent should not judge our councillors too harshly for their poor attendance at the St Nicholas Parish Church Reconsecration Anniversary Service.

Sometimes they turn out to functions at what must be considerable inconvenience to themselves. For example, they made a huge effort when HMS Dauntless visited Great Yarmouth. It was reported in your columns at the time that nearly all the members of the council, together with their spouses or partners, and many council officers accepted the lavish hospitality provided by the Royal Navy.

MICHAELA FARMERY

Mercury website

Can you share your ‘duff’ recipe

IN the many books I have read about herring fishing in Great Yarmouth, there is often a reference to the “duff” pudding that the crew regularly ate.

Nowhere can I find an authentic recipe for it. Was it to be eaten with gravy or was it a sweet course? I would love to make it as part of a dinner for my friends here in Adelaide, South Australia. Can someone help? Perhaps Peggotty has the answer?

ALAN SYMONDS

greenacre6@hotmail.com

Editors Note: If anyone has the recipe for “duff” pudding and is emailing it to Alan, can they send it to us as well, so we can let our readers know more about it? Thank you.

We need more independents

IT was interesting reading the election reports in last week’s Mercury.

Voter apathy is still very apparent. Regarding the elected mayor vote, the council leader said: “I am absolutely delighted with the result which shows the importance people attach to the town’s heritage and history”. I don’t believe there was ever any question of losing mayoral duties. More about the history and heritage later.

Considering the negative spin from the “No” followers, and the “Yes” supporters having difficulty in getting the real facts across to the electorate, coupled with the misleading elected mayor tag, it isn’t surprising that many residents never really got round to understanding the full facts and benefits of what the vote was all about.

Bearing all this in mind, is it surprising it ended at 60pc “No” to 40pc “Yes”, because just another 2,800 votes would have won the day for the “Yes” supporters? I would say to the leader he shouldn’t be too ecstatic because it wasn’t a walkover, especially considering the pathetic turnout which I lay at the door of the Tory-led council. They are failing to engender greater interest in local politics leaving apathy and lack of interest as a legacy.

“If it ain’t broke why mend it” as a slogan is highly misleading. A small number of councillors choosing a leader; just a handful of councillors in the cabinet making all the important decisions backed by the foot soldiers who abstain at their peril, makes democracy very flawed.

Now for the history and heritage part. I was amazed to learn while talking to a very senior councillor at the election count that the old courtroom in the town hall was to be lost in the town hall changes. At best it may be dismantled and given to a museum somewhere, I was told. This is very much an important part of our social history and heritage which the leader claims is so important. Surely the council isn’t so desperate for space that an alternative use cannot be found for this important reminder of our past, leaving it intact?

What is even more worrying is that not a single councillor is concerned at the loss. So much for history and heritage! A recent tourist report, while scorning the resort, implied our heritage quarter is a redeeming feature. A feature that could be better promoted for winter short breaks with the co-operation of hotels and coach companies.

What we need are more people like John Cooper standing because they have concerns for their borough and believe they can make a difference being their own man or woman, not just another cog in a party system. There is no place for party politics in local government because all those standing should have a public presence already so voters know their pedigree.

Just the same as a council leader should be an independent-minded person without party ties to hamper his decisions.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue,

Hopton

Transport ideas?

GOT myself two lovely little summer books about what to do and where to go in Norfolk.

I picked out some lovely venues to visit but one big problem: there is nothing explaining how to get to these places if, like me, you don’t drive or are too old to ride a cycle. Ideas please?

M BASSETT

Blackwall reach,

Gorleston

hyyhyhhy hyyhyh hyhyh

GREAT Yarmouth borough residents and the borough council gave: land, roadways, and car parks on the promise of new industries via the outer harbour, the basis being larger shipping, the least you should expect with names like EastPort and IPH.

Lost: Containerism, EastPort says it is because of a downturn in the container industry; Ipswich is doubling in size, a new container port is to be built at the entrance of the Thames and other container ports are planning expansions.

Lost: Ferry service

Lost: The building of windfarms, just when an interest was being shown by companies wanting to build factories near the outer harbour.

Lost: The hope and expectations of the supporters on the long awaited new business ventures for the prosperity of Yarmouth and Gorleston.

As for the news given to us about the odd rig standing in or near the outer harbour this could have happened without the outer harbour. Why the massive piles of sand hiding views from any angle of our port? The new naval destroyer which has been affiliated with Great Yarmouth was hidden away in the outer harbour for only those to see who queued for a bus and were then ushered into the secret, useless, area by security guards.

The existing Scroby win farm will still be serviced from the existing ports at Lowestoft and Yarmouth .

Great Yarmouth borough residents must demand a public inquiry is held at the highest level to determine who is at fault, and reclaim back our roadways, car parks and land due to unfulfilled commitments.

RON ELLIS,

Marine Crescent,

Great Yarmouth

hyyhyhhy hyyhyh hyhyh

AFTER reading in the Mercury about Cllr Mike Taylor being dismissed out of the Labour Party for signing his wife’s papers I just could not believe it. I have signed these papers for my friend, the late Mrs Sue Robinson, no way could I see anything regarding these policies and no mention of political parties, it is just to say you know the person. I do not know much about Mrs Taylor but Mr Taylor is another matter, after 31 years putting his heart into the Labour Party and all the work he has done for this town, also representing his party on Norfolk County Council. I think it is disgusting he is being treated like this.

I would like to ask why this man was not brought in front of the Labour committee instead of one of the members going to his house to tell him he had been thrown out of the Party. If this is a Labour law I think it needs to be changed.

I have been a supporter all my voting life but I feel so strongly about this I would have to think really hard as to who to vote for next time.

Mrs JEAN GARDINER

hyyhyhhy hyyhyh hyhyh

FOLLOWING the article in last week’s Mercury I am so glad there are others who wish for the Burrage to return to what it was meant to be used for, a Staff Sports and Social Club. Yes, I agree there have been a lot of pubs closure due to the economic climate but as a previous vice chairman of the Burrage prior to the hospital, and then Burrage SC, taking over, it was a viable concern in which it met all safety and environmental and insurance issues and still made a profit.

The reason that I and others stopped going to the club socially was not down to the economic situation or a change in drinking habits, but for other reason that I do not think you would print in your paper.

The club was set up with the assistance of the legacy from Mrs Burrage for the staff so they had somewhere to go socially, the donated money paid for the build of the club with the JPUH giving the land it was built for a nominal rent, all the contents of the club belong to the members. It was, and still is as far as I am aware, fully fitted out with table and chairs and a fully functioning kitchen, crockery etc and a large flat screen TV, this was done with profits made and ploughed back.

The Burrage was totally independent and did not have any assistance from the hospital in the running of the club. It was run by a committee whose chairperson had to be in full time employment by the hospital

At present the club is set up for someone to take over and open immediately with the help of breweries who I believe would fall over themselves to facilitate. It is one of a very few in the town that has a large function room available for weddings etc.

I agree the hospital responsibilities is in healthcare, and monies should not be diverted to the upkeep of the club in any format, to have this run as an independent issue rather than spend money on upkeep of the centre on rates, insurance, etc would suit every bodies needs.

I and many others who would support this club if it reopened.

S HOWLETT

hyyhyhhy hyyhyh hyhyh

“EVERY country gets the government it deserves” (Aristotle) so did the citizens of Great Yarmouth get theirs after the local elections? Well, reading the comments of Messrs Cooper/Durrant about the lack of understanding and poor social skills of some of the established party characters. I would have to say no and not in my name.

“Whoever you vote for, the government always gets in” (Anon) sums up both voter apathy and partly explains why people vote along long held beliefs or the safety of the big two. Well he’s no man in a white suit , but John Cooper did something credible in Lothingland with the votes he polled on a platform of open honest politics, that suggests others also think along the same lines.

“The electorate are a liability “ (M Thatcher). Failure to listen and treat people with respect whilst representing them in public office should be enshrined within our local politicians. Interestingly I have also tried to enquire why South Denes Road having been shut on the basis of secure customs area, should now be re-opened now the business case has again changed. However, my enquiries have directed me from Great Yarmouth Council, to Norfolk County Council, to Highways Agency, to EastPort all to no avail and no answer.

But hang on. I’m of an age when not only can I recall Sir Alex Ferguson talking to the BBC. I can also remember MP’s picking up and reacting to local issues, but there looking out from the Mercury of May 6 under the heading of “We should be proud to fly our flag every day”, Brandon Lewis waxes lyrical on the royal wedding and flying the Union Jack. It is the opinion of this reader, that he should also get involved in closed roads and tumbling piers rather then a “let them eat cakes” (Attrib. Marie Antoinette) approach to life in his adpoted home.

STEVE TAYLOR

Clarence Road

Gorleston

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