Letters, May 8 2015

Don’t forget the parish elections

We have been well served with election news and debate, both nationally and locally with Mercury and EDP coverage. There were several parish council elections in the borough too. Historically when parishes were quite small, one may have known the local worthies who may justify a vote or not. This is no longer the case.

High spending parish council Caister, has no website and still depends on a noticeboard to proclaim activities. We were asked to vote back former councillors, many of whom nominated each other.

The previous councillors seem to lose the plot over the Haven demolition job on the dunes if the huge turnout for the last council meeting is anything to go on. Likewise, the crazy Beach Road car park pay and display farce continues which I had hoped UKIP might have sorted out by now.

I understand party politics is not meant to be important in parishes but one hardly leaves one’s views at the meeting room door. It would help to know something about the candidates.

The big question is who are these people that wanted to be elected and what motivates them?


Most Read

Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

You don’t want holidaymakers

Having made enquiries with Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and reply received, it appears they do not wish for holidaymakers this summer. Last year they removed the bins all around the Broads, this year they have closed the public toilets as well.

So it appears you had best avoid the area, as if you eat there are no bins, and if requiring to use the toilets they are closed! A great advert for a “holiday resort” it is not!



Will the council act on Dog Act?

I must admit I did laugh at Mrs V Jones’ letter last week: Is Taking Revenge Wrong? However, on a more serious note, I hope this will help Mrs Jones to understand the current situation with particular regard to Gorleston Esplanade.

I’ve been in communication with Trevor Wainwright over the past 18 months regarding the issue of dog fouling and dog control in this very busy tourist area. A new law came into effect last year – the Anti-Social Bedhaviour, Crime and Policing Act – and this empowers councils to create a Public Space Protection Order to tackle problems linked to canines, litter, alcohol or as the Daily Mail put it, any other local scourge.

Daventry District Council has become the first in the country to put the new rules into force and they may soon be adopted by councils nationwide. Incidentally, Cromer already had a scheme in place requiring dog owners to keep their pets on leashes (no more than 6ft in length), and carry sufficient bags to clear up their pooches’ mess or risk a fine.

It is a fact dog waste is a widespread nuisance in parks and beaches across the UK and poses serious health risks – particularly to young children, and therefore not something that should be tolerated by a busy, family holiday resort.

At present there are a number of stickers on Gorleston Lower Promenade asking people to pick up and bin dog waste. These seem to have limited impact.

However, there are only two notices regarding keeping dogs on leashes on the Promenade and they are hidden away at the north end of the prom. Incidentally these notices state anybody not keeping their dog on a leash whilst on the prom could be subject to a £500 fine.

Cllr Wainwright has promised me in writing that he intends to review Great Yarmouth’s position with respect to the new Act should he be returned to office. Whatever, I intend to take this up with whoever becomes the new head of the council after the imminent elections.



Jet ski use on Breydon Water

I was most surprised to read in last week’s Mercury that water skiing is permitted on Breydon Water. The reason for my surprise is that although I do not water ski behind a boat designed to tow those that do, for nine years I have been enjoying time afloat on my personal water craft (PWC) and frequently would access Breydon Water via Great Yarmouth Harbour, having skied all the way down from Sea Palling.

However, a couple of years ago I was advised the Broads Authority was taking over control of Breydon Water and PWC’s (jet ski’s) would be banned.

As a consequence I have had to limit my time afloat on my PWC to waters elsewhere. To read in the Mercury that water skiing is not actually banned is encouraging news, but I fear the Broads Authority will apply the same rules to Breydon Water that they do to the entire Broads system, and that means they will continue to exercise a blanket ban on the use of PWCs and that will include Breydon Water.

I would like to point out there is a vast difference between a “jet ski” which is a Kaxasaki trade mark (and also a term for a motorised ski which the operator stands up on) and a Personal Water Craft, which has a vessel’s hull and the operator sits onboard, like a waterborne bike. In harbours and on beaches across the country, attitudes about PWCs are changing, in fact the PWC is now a recognised rescue craft as well as operated by authorities. They are very quiet, stable, create limited wash and are controllable at all speeds down to 1mph.

My question is: Will the Broads Authority permit PWCs to continue to use Breydon Water or will they continue to ban them even though they have been used on Breydon for many years?

Name and Address withheld

Wonderful care at our hospital

Finding myself admitted as an emergency admission into our James Paget Hospital, I was prodded, pushed, jabbed X-rayed and scanned until a diagnosis followed and a decision made. I then found myself in Ward 17 and was able to watch all the staff going through their various jobs.

From the porters who pushed me around, the tea ladies, the cleaners, the nurses in various colour uniforms to inject, jab, take blood and administer tablets, the doctors and consultant. All the people I found to be pleasant, courteous and all expert in their respective duties. And to have a choice from 10 items for every meal was far more than I expected.

To all I am very grateful for their attention and think how lucky we are to have this wonderful hospital to see to our needs.


Burgh Castle

Priorities in the NHS are wrong

I am a retired GP, a former clinical assistant in A&E at the James Paget Hospital. I came to Great Yarmouth in 1973 as a senior house surgeon in the then District Hospital in Deneside. I joined a local practice in 1975 and I have spent my lifetime in this town serving the people.

To me, it appears that though money is there, waste is extreme, many priorities are wrong. In order to “save” money, I believe patients’ lives are being put at risk.

There are two category of people who man the NHS. Clinical and non clinical. Do we have the right balance?

As the primary objective of the NHS is to treat the ill and infirm, can we not look critically at bureaucrats and see if we can trim them and the money saved could then be diverted to patient care?

I remember the 1970s and 1980s where there were far less administrators and both primary and secondary care ran smoothly and efficiently.



We need to think outside the box

In reply to P Long’s letter (May 1), I do take his point that there are obviously areas of King Street which do need attention but I still feel it has the potential of becoming an interesting and diverse part of the town.

Visitors to St George’s Theatre are bowled over by this wonderful building and how well it has been converted and the café bar is a friendly welcoming space for a chat and a snack. It is I feel the jewel in the crown of this area and cannot be underestimated.

I agree the street is still a “work in progress” but sometimes it is important to lift your eyes from the detritus on the pavement and be grateful for any signs of improvement. I do feel in this town there are a constant supply of detractors who highlight the negativities. Probably they are more realistic than myself but it is beholden on us to accentuate the positives and not constantly hark back to a “golden time” when the centre was full of shops and the town was full of visitors.

Times have changed and it is important now to think outside the box and provide a town which can be a vibrant force on the east coast.

In my previous letter I mentioned the festivals we hold during the year, commencing with the Arts Festival In June. This should prove a very interesting event with plenty for everyone to get involved with. Plaudits to High Sturzaker and his team for organising something for locals and visitors alike. There is also the gallery at 133 King Street which has been lovingly restored.

I could go on ad infinitum about our museums and the world famous Hippodrome, so there is a lot to be grateful for. Times have been hard in the last few years but to constantly harp on about how the town has gone down is not helpful and it negates the work of the council and other bodies who have struggled to maintain Great Yarmouth as a place which locals and visitors can enjoy.

I have lived in this town nearly all my life and my heart is firmly embedded here, in a place which struggles but still hangs in there, through good times and bad.



Bridge disaster memorial thanks

I am writing to say what a lovely day we had for the 170th Anniversary of the Suspension Bridge disaster, The sun shone down on us all. Thank you so much to the people who dressed themselves and their children to join in the parade - you looked amazing as the band from TS Warrior and the lovely Mayor led the parade to the Market Place.

I was so proud of my friends and family who helped me make this day special, the White Swan were brilliant and even the fire service gave us some of their precious time until they were pulled away on an emergency.

Then at 5pm, the time the tragedy happened in 1845, the Dinsdales played violin while cherry blossom was cast onto the river. This was very emotional, as was seeing the descendants who came to share the day for Sarah Gilbert, who died in the bridge disaster at the age of 12.

Bags decorated by St Nicholas Priory children were lit at dusk and shone throughout the night and £360 was raised for the Salvation Army food bank, but the most important thing of all was those who lost their lives were remembered.



Grateful for the care received

On three occasions during the past year I have been a patient in the James Paget Hospital. The care I received from my consultants, the staff of Wards 5 and 7 and the recovery unit was of the highest standard. Although the hospital receives a lot of criticism, I personally am very grateful for being looked after so well during the time I was a patient.



Gall bladder op went very well

NHS result. After being emitted last Sunday, April 26 into the James Paget with very bad pain I do have to give credit where it’s due.

After the scan they found my gall bladder was swollen and I had an 11mm stone inside. During the waiting period for the swelling to go down I was looked after so well by the staff on ward 5. And during the operation the care I got was just as good. My return to the ward after that was fantastic, everybody on the ward was first class and all very professional,

I was in until May 4 and felt like a new person, Thank you ward 5 for all what you did to make my stay very comfortable and feeling good. And a thank you to the ambulanc men who picked me up, fantastic job. All of you keep up the good work.



It’s human poo I worry about!

In reply to Mrs Jones’ letter last week about dog mess. I’m worried about the human mess that’s being left in some of the villages where the public toilets are locked.

I hear people have tried to break into the public loos at Acle probably in desperation, and then have had to find an out of the way place to do their “business”. Oh dear. Not hygienic at all. So who is responsible?

As the weather warms up it won’t be dog poo we’re trying to avoid it will be human faeces and there will be flies carrying bacteria which could kill. And who wants the smell of urine while enjoying a country walk?

My friend at Caister says there have been occasions when she has seen human poo at the back of the public toilets there, right next to the dunes and marram!

I think the people should rise up and bring out a public lawsuit against the council for not providing suitable places for people wanting to to go to the loo.

Greedy and unfeeling business owners will only let you use their toilets if you buy something! All they are doing is driving the businesses away. Is there be a solicitor who would help draw up a lawsuit against the council on hygiene grounds? Or someone with an interest in the law. i can be contacted through the Mercury.