Letters November 18, 2011

Lovely to see the

respect for dead

LAST Saturday I was at the Market Place, and went to make a donation towards the Poppy Appeal, and suddenly I saw this young man rushing from across the road, to come and make his donation.

The old gentleman, who was collecting made a comment, by saying: “It is so lovely to see young people donating.”

It was indeed lovely to see, and think this young person respected the dead and injured of past wars and present, and appreciated what those young men and young women went through, the terrible conditions and the sacrifices they made for us to have freedom. So a small donation and two minutes’ silence from us is nothing compared to what these brave young people went through then, and what our soldiers are going through every day, at this present time.



Most Read

Rallying call to Gorleston young

OKAY, the debate has been raging for a good month now about what the council proposes to do about alternative car parking now they seem to have permanently shut the pier.

Mr Durrant (and others including Mr Cooper) has again stood on his soap box and tried to convince the masses it’s totally unacceptable. He has a point. Mr Durrant wants to keep the beach at Gorleston in the “golden-era”. Fair do’s. Let’s keep what’s our redeeming feature free from offering the people what the really want. Hear hear!

Gorleston is lacking in amenities. The beach is not immune to this either. If, and I say if, the council were to increase the parking, then I would suggest this section would need to be pay and display. It would also need to be barriered and only open at peak times.

The proceeds would then be put back into the area with the introduction of showers facilities (open air ones on the sand would be fine) along with a children’s play area as you would see on the continent.

I find it hard to believe no-one has mentioned the monstrosity we have on our beach during the summer months either. What started off as a few trampolines has now turned into a farce.

It’s out of character and needs to either be taken down completely or moved down towards the ravine. It’s not in-keeping with the Victorian facade that Gorleston so oozes yet no-one, including Mr Durrant, ever has anything to say about it? This needs to be replaced by a children’s play area (a free area) and needs to happen sooner rather than later.

We all want what’s best for our town but sometimes it’s the wrong voices which are heard. Come on the youth of Gorleston, get involved, you are the future!



Time to build the

new river bridge

SO Great Yarmouth is to get a major wind farm contract in the near future creating wealth once again for the town. Let’s hope it happens this time and not turn into another outer harbour financial diasaster.

What better time to construct the much-needed third river crossing. The amount of benefits to the town, local businesses, industry and to the general public this would create, far outweigh the initial cost to build.

For example, traffic to and from Gorleston and the South Denes area. Most of the congestion at peak periods at the Gapton roundabout would be alleviated. Many people could set off to work a little later and save fuel on the less miles travelled to work, benefiting the environment too.

There would be less traffic over the present two bridges thus cutting down on costly repairs annually, especially to the Haven Bridge.

I also believe more people would venture into town during the weekends and on Friday and Saturday nights because taxi fares would be cheaper by using the new river crossing at the South Denes area whilst counteracting the mileage fare loss to the taxi drivers with the increased volumne of business. It would also benefit the business traffic to and from the Outer Harbour cutting the heavy transport vehicles from going along South Quay eliminating costly road repairs as often, whilst saving on lorry fuel too. It’s a win/win situation all round and long overdue.

If it’s building costs that concerns our councils and government then maybe a small toll or season ticket by users until it is paid for would be an idea, say 50p a day or �3 a week which would still be cheaper than the fuel used travelling right round or wasted sitting in traffic every day, twice a day, each week.

However, National Lottery and/or Government funding should prevail for the build cost of the third river crossing if local and county councils and the Government are as environmentally committed as they proclaim. Surely all these factors would benefit the town and warrant the build, especially if it’s true that we are to get the new major wind farm project, with presumably its large volume of traffic contributing to the already large amounts of vehicles using that ONE riverside road now.


Anglian Way

Hopton on sea

Charity bags are

a nightmare

CHARITY begins at home, or, at least, it used to begin at home. My ideas of charity have reached a low ebb with the continung influx of un-asked for charity bags.

At one stage I had in stock 14 different charity sacks, each from a charity claiming urgent need for a deserving cause.

But the final annoyance came when charity bag “B” arrived before charity bag “A” had reached its collection time. Also, while the bag “drop” seems efficient, the bag “collection” is seen to be unreliable. It seems to me that each of these various charities has no idea what the others are up to, and each charity therefore imagines that its chances of success are pretty good. In point of fact the proliferation of these appeals mitigates against success, and I cannot be alone in being overwhelmed by the frequency of the various “bag drops”. The small print on each sack shows that not all the proceeds go to the obvious recipients, and this makes the whole affair subject of even more concern. The latest cheek (allowing for the size of the bag) asks for donations of jewellery. ‘Where’ does ‘who’ start, to correct this annoyance?


The Pastures


Former leader

needs to attend

I FEEL former leader of the council, Barry Coleman should be at the meeting on November 21 to discuss parking in Gorleston. Although we are only to speak of the pier, the car park was closed under the leadership of Mr Coleman. It seems unfair, although the councillors attending the meeting knew about it, that Mr Coleman should be free of any questions.

As we can only talk about the pier and the parking, I hope the open forum will be well attended, and we have our questions answered immediately, without being told: “We will have to take that answer up with the council at a meeting.” I am sure, leader Cllr Ames and his council know already what they are going to do, they just want to see how committed we are. They have already dodged the bullet of the outer harbour.


Yallop Avenue,


Scrap the plan

for prom parking

CLLR Ames is on record as stating that the proposed promenade parking at Gorleston will take up only seven percent of the available space. Unfortunately, percentages have a habit of increasing. How long will it be before another seven per cent is taken and then another?

Secondly, does he not realise where this parking zone will be situated? It will be right next to the yacht pond, a place where children, families, the elderly gather. Is there no concern for their safety? If the councillors have, then they should scrap this crazy, irresponsible plan and put the public’s wellbeing first. People’s lives are more important than a few extra quid!


Parkland Drive,


Don’t children

have any legs?

I AM fed up, as are many other people, with the school drop-off and pick-up, at Hopton First School. Don’t the children have any legs? From Monday to Friday, parents are parked all the way along Coast Road, from outside the school, up to the bus stop, where the bus drivers must have great difficulty picking people up and dropping them off. The cars also park right on the corner of Misburgh Way, which is quite dangerous, to say the least. I fear there will be an accident one day with a collision.

Perhaps this should be brought to the attention of Hopton Parish Council?


Turin Way,

Hopton on sea

Happy memories

of Gorleston

M S Dimmack’s letter of last week brought back happy childhood memories of the Gorleston we once knew. I spent most of my school summer holidays in the unheated salt water swimming pool. I remember queuing for the annual season ticket on the first day of the season and being among the last brave enough to swim in the cold water at the close of the season. We certainly had our money’s worth!

Saturday morning was children’s matinee at the Palace, which was full to capacity. The entire house booed at the poor old American-Indians, which soon exploded into a deafening cheer at the (inevitable) timely arrival of the cavalry! Our Western heroes lived on in our playing at Bunn’s farm; all that was needed was a few friends and a little imagination.

The Elmhurst holiday camp too had a unique character, the end of the season week given to Cheshire Homes, I think.

As volunteers after school, we used to befriend ex-servicemen wheelchair users who we would assist throughout the week. I met some wonderful characters who gave me life-long memories, which looking back, I realise it was a continuation of formal education in disability awareness, life and social skills; and an appreciation of their sacrifice for our freedom.

A different Gorleston then: bubbling and bristling with life, old and unusual buildings full of mystery and diversity of industry. What became of the many characters who contributed to Gorleston’s uniqueness?

I oft wonder what became of the buses with the yellow windows, hard wooden seats and smelling of kippers (?) and why were the seats not cushioned? Happy days…and a different Gorleston then!


Beccles Road


Councillors are

out of touch

STRATEGIC thinking in a consistent manner seems to be lost on those councillors making plans that are out-of-touch with reality. I give you:

Landscaping and enhancing public use of St George’s Park in Great Yarmouth; for Gorleston they propose turning a former beach lookout into a kebab shop.

St George’s Chapel is currently being refurbished to make it and its area more accessible to people; for Gorleston the pier is shut, denying access to parking in an area of stunning views.

For Yarmouth, millions have been spent on the strategy for a pedestrian friendly Golden Mile with wider pavements and car parking spaces closed; in Gorleston the opposite applies, with the fleeting whim of introducing cars into the pedestrian area of the lower promenade.

Disturbing isn’t it, that uniform thinking is missing from the town hall. If they need to understand the benefits of, and how to invoke pedestrianism, then look no further than the efforts of Eastport, who skilfully created Area 51 and slapped the steel gates on the widely used former Gorleston pier car park. Do people really get the elected councillors they deserve?


Clarence Road


We need to hear

from port people

“THIS meeting gives the public the opportunity to ask more detailed questions,” said Cllr Ames in last week’s Mercury. That is all well and good but in previous Freedom of Information questions about Gorleston Pier to Mr Richard Packham it resulted in being told: “The Borough Council cannot answer your questions you must ask the Great Yarmouth Port Authority”, but the port authority pleads “commercial sensitivity”.

As there are no representatives from the port authority on the panel, I sincerely hope the panel won’t use this same excuse when questions are asked about giving away the freehold of the pier. Mr Packham represented the borough council as a director of Eastport Great Yarmouth Ltd, a company set up to negotiate with a private company to build the Outer Harbour.

Any deals made with International Port Holdings was a joint decision between GYBC, Norfolk County Council and GYPA, so any excuse the borough council was not party to giving the pier freehold to International Port Holdings is not correct.

As this meeting is about the pier car park, one wonders why it is necessary for Ann Steward of the county council to be present; she was not party to the pier give away. I would like to see her replaced with either Stephen Eldred who was chairman of the Port Authority at the time of signing, or Richard Jewson, lord lieutenant of Norfolk, who was chairman of Eastport Great Yarmouth Ltd. Failing that, Cllrs Jim Shrimplin and Bert Collins, who represented the borough and county on the Port Authority.


Burnt Lane


Council aware of

pier giveaway

I HAVE been reading the letters page of the Mercury with interest for the last few weeks with regard to planned parking on Gorleston promenade, as proposed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

However, I feel the correspondence is not looking at the root cause of the problem which is that this mess would not exist if Gorleston South Pier had not been handed over to a private company ie Eastport. This handover was on paper from Great Yarmouth Port Authority to Eastport, but the borough council was fully involved, despite what they may say to the contrary.

It does make me wonder where and how the decisions affecting the borough are being made.

The contents of your letters page of late makes me dubious this is always within the walls of the Town Hall and in a democratic manner, and therefore taking regard of local ratepayers’ opinions and best interests. Perhaps Mr Ames may like to shed some light on this, after all, on his election as leader of the borough council he promised a new era of “openness and transparency”?

Maybe a good starting point would be for Mr Ames to tell the Gorleston residents the truth regarding the loss of the South Pier facility to Eastport at the residents meeting on November 21 at which he is attending to answer questions.

The borough council cannot blame the port authority exclusively for handing the freehold of the South Pier to Eastport as the council had two elected councillors on the board of the Port Authority at the time, Bert Collins and Jim Shrimplin. These individuals were obliged to report back to the council cabinet on decisions made by the authority. Mr Ames was a cabinet member at the time of the “handover”, so again would have been aware of the loss of this facility to the Gorleston Community. I also note Mr Richard Packham, managing director of the borough council, is at the meeting to answer questions. Mr Packham was on the board of the original Eastport Great Yarmouth Ltd. and was fully aware of all decisions being made.

In conclusion the borough council is fully accountable and were very aware of decisions being made with regard to the South Pier. In fact their representation on the board of the Port Authority could have actually stopped the loss of the Pier if proper consultation with local business and ratepayers had been carried out. However, true to form, the decisions were made behind closed door.

Now this amenity is lost forever to a private company, whilst the residents of Gorleston have to suffer the “bodged” council planning aftermath of putting car parking on the promenade. Or is this just a smokescreen to deflect attention away from their fully involved role in the loss of the South Pier?”

Name and Address withheld

What happened

to cycling laws?

HAVING recently been barged into by a cyclist in Great Yarmouth Market Place’s pedestrian area and also on a pavement in High Street, Gorleston, it occurred to me whether the laws governing cycling have been revised or even repealed. Will someone in authority please confirm whether the following is now allowed:

1 Cycling on pavements

2 Cycling in a pedestrian area

3 Not having to stop at traffic lights when red, on a bicycle

4 Not having to display lights after lighting up time, when on a bicycle

5 Cycling the wrong way up one-way streets

This is not only a problem in the Yarmouth area, but nationally and is becoming a serious nuisance. I have seen cyclists in all the pedestrian areas of Norwich and even in the Arcade.

If the law has not been changed, will the Police kindly take notice and do something about it!


High Road

Gorleston on Sea

We will need

two meetings

THE lead up to the meeting on November 21 concerning the car parking in Gorleston has been appalling. No agenda, almost a last minute release of the starting time, emails requesting the time have been ignored.

It is going to take two meetings to satisfy all that want to attend. The only redeeming fact is we have an independent chairman in the Mercury editor who is respected by the community.

The council is holding the meeting at 6.30pm to discuss car parking in Gorleston, after they have been a party to giving the pier car park away without considering the impact on Gorleston. Around the table will be people who know much more than they have been willing to tell. We now expect some honest answers from them.

Following on this the knee-jerk reaction after having given away the pier car park is to have more parking on Gorleston lower promenade which smells of panic to me.

The whole plan is not properly thought out, goes against council policies, spoils a focal point of our resort and goes against conservation area intents, together with safety issues, a lost safe recreation area for children and more.

Looking at the pIan which is A4 size, far too small, no dimensions shown, it is difficult to define some things, such as the single parking space below the Avondale steps which as shown appears to block them. One thing it illustrates is no real will to show the facts. What will be the cost of all this - for what, just a few days a year

It has inflamed residents who have a real pride in their seafront and know this will detract from the ambiance. it also illustrates these councillors have little or no interest in our community or our seafront.

Gorleston Action Group now has over 1,600 signatures and rising, plus well over 100 letters and emails have been sent to the planning office. Please continue to sign the group objection. People power will win this battle.


Brett Avenue,


Where was the

respect in park?

JUST to say it was another great service at St George’s Park on Sunday, plenty of people but there are always some that just can’t be quiet for the service.

If you have to talk, lower your voices so the rest of us can’t hear or leave the park and talk somewhere else. And may I add there was a number of people walking on the flower beds; was this really necessary, couldn not they have walked a round them?

Apart from that it was a lovely to see so many paying their respects.


The Common


No care for those


WHAT an excellent turnout for the Remembrance Day service in St Georges Park. Thousands honoured our fallen. But during the service I noted with both sadness and disgust, persons strolling through the park on their way to the town centre with neither a care for the event nor respect for those we came to honour. Clearly, these “life-forms” lack the intelligence to appreciate the sacrifice.


Great Yarmouth

Change voting if

want a change

IN response to David Brown’s letter in last week’s Mercury: “Where are our councillors?”

I have been trying for almost seven years to be elected to the county and borough council as a UKIP candidate.

I cannot understand the people still electing the same old people onto the council. If the people need a change of faces, with new ideas and less political views and more of what the people want of them, then why not vote for your UKIP candidate.

We have no hidden agendas and we don’t make promises at election times and then forget about them or change our minds once the seat on the council has been won, we do not have party whips and we are allowed to express our own views without interference from party leaders.

Of course we may have to take advice from our leaders but we do not have to apply them, unlike the Conservatives and Labour who have to follow party lines.

So why not take note of Mr Brown’s letter and have some new faces on the council?


Groomes Close

Hopton on sea

Poppy thank you

A BIG thank you to all the folk who donated to my Poppy Appeal last week. God bless you all.


Ex-RN (1940-45)

National problem

needs solving

IT’S not just the James Paget! Angela Rippon’s report on BBC Breakfast on November 9 about the standards of care for the elderly in NHS hospitals was frightening. (Angela Rippon is vice president of the Patients Association). In her usual eloquent way she accused this and past governments of allowing such a state of affairs to exist for so long.

The recent publicity about the JPUH’s care of the elderly is bad and should not be tolerated, and this poor care is happening in what is, in most other respects, a ‘good’ hospital. Could that be the case across the whole NHS – good hospitals failing their elderly patients?

That such a fundamental service is widely unsatisfactory suggests that it must be a problem at the core of NHS policy, strategy and management and nothing will be resolved permanently at JPUH until the national problem is solved.

That is why I am pleased our MPs have embraced this local problem – they can take it to the highest levels and make sure our local hospital has the resources and management expertise it needs for the care of our elderly community.

However, at JPUH we cannot wait for the slow political process to take effect.

The Care Quality Commission has made its demands and compliance is not an option. Hospital management must, as a priority, determine the staffing levels and training necessary to deliver quality care by qualified staff for every elderly patient, and it must enhance ward supervision so that standards are maintained on a minute by minute basis.

The budget must be manipulated to accommodate this by reducing less important demands. It’s not rocket science; it’s just good, sound management.



Thanks to all for

Caister support

I WOULD like to thank all who attended the exhibition of photographs and memorabilia held at the Yarmouth Road Caister Youth Centre on the weekend of November 5 and 6. Special thanks go to those who sponsored or donated raffle prizes for the event: Caister Haven Holiday Park, Eastern Beach Holiday Park, Morse Opticians, Grand UK Holidays, Grasmere, Andrews Fish and Chips,

The Centurion. The Old Hall, Andrews Hair Stylist, Beach Road Chippy, The Darby and Joan Club, The Old Manor Road Cafe, Julie Andrews, Susan Bailey, Paul Fortescue, Signature Hair and Beauty Anglia Boiler Maintenance/Embers, and the late Bill Fortescue whose legacy of scrap books and slides made the whole thing possible.

A grand sum of �533 was raised for the youth club.



Town residents

not listened to

RE letter, lack of councillors, at prom parking meeting. We have the opposite problem in central Yarmouth.

The six local ward councillors representing the area are not being listened to.

We do not want to have residents’ parking abolished but the council is ploughing on with a costly consultation to destroy residents’ parking. It is not our fault they have not increased the charges in four years - one of their excuses.

It is constantly being said there is not enough parking in Yarmough but how can this be, when now the car parking spaces on the beach Coach station is being turned over to housing.


Central Northgate

List of failures

just goes on...

I HAVE a question for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, re the Jetty. We are told it is in bad repair, but who allowed it to get that way, and it is uneconomic to restore; this seems a fair comment (even with its history) in the current economic climate.

But it’s also true to say that the Jetty is within the land planned and destined for a super casino; is the casino idea taking precedence over Great Yarmouth’s history?

We have seen other projects before: to start with a Marina Centre that wouldn’t cost the people of Yarmouth a penny (and we all know how that has turned out); several years ago we lost Gorleston outdoor swimming pool; and in more recent times we have lost Yarmouth Harbour and quays.

We have a white elephant of an Outer Harbour (which thanks to wind turbines might at last come to some sort of fruition); Gorleston Quay is looking very neglected and overgrown with buddleia growing; and we know the saga of Gorleston Pier!

Just where is this list of failures going to end?