Letters, November 1, 2013

Dog mess fight has no bite

It was only a few months ago that there was an outcry by many residents and businesses in respect of the sacking of many of the town’s toilet attendants.

A foul deed indeed but one defended by the council as a way to make significant cost savings.

It was therefore a real gutbuster to read about the “performance” of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s tackling of dog problems.

The combination of council efforts and the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 must be putting real fear into Yarmouth’s community of dog walkers. Why was I therefore not surprised to read that in the last year only six fixed penalties had been issued and a further six prosecutions brought against offenders.


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Forgetting costs, our council’s enforcement practices have therefore raised in total about £1,000 in the last 10 months? Not a lot of bite there then.

And it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the cost of providing this service must be far outweighing both the public good and the revenues generated.

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It is difficult to appreciate how this initiative provides value for money and I cannot understand how any elected official would be able to justify supporting the continuation of this scheme on that basis.

DAVID WILKINSON

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Any help with war beach find?

Walking on the beach near Horsey I found a piece of metal with a brass identity plate on it. It is from a Standard Beam Approach Receiver, the type fitted to world war two bombers such as Wellingtons and such. So far we have managed to get an approximate date of between 1940 and 1943. We would like to get more info on it.

BOB DUNCAN

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The church does help the elderly

Mr R Gervais asks why the church isn’t helping the elderly with fuel bills. He might be surprised to learn the church is, they also visit the elderly in hospitals, hospices, residential and nursing homes.

The church is also active in setting up, supporting and running food banks, other homeless relief and a broad array of other corporal works of mercy.

As for his mischievous suggestion the church should pray to God for miraculous repairs to their building, as a proof of His existence, Mr Gervais should be aware of Deuteronomy 6:16 echoed in Jesus’ own words to satan [Mt 4:7 and Lk 4:12] ‘You should not put the Lord your God to the test’. Jesus did not accept satan’s “testing of God”. Neither will the church accept Mr Gervais equally perverse testing.

ROGER HAYES

Beccles Road,

Belton

Help in hunt for football trophy

In the Mercury, October 11, there was a photo of the Yarmouth High School’s winning football teams, and my son Neil is on the middle row at the end with his arms folded.

I looked at the cups on display and there on the left of the cups I’m sure is my late mother’s cup which she said was for the under 11s football teams in Great Yarmouth area, it was called the Bert Harris Memorial Cup and was presented by herself to the winning school team on a couple of occasions until sadly she herself passed away.

The cup was then re-engraved with her name added as the Lily and Bert Harris Cup. When the cup was played for, for several seasons my brother and I carried on with the presentations.

Sammy Morgan helped with the games and somehow over the last few years nothing was ever done about the cup competitions as far as I know.

If there is any person who happens to know what has happened to my mother’s cup could they please ring me on 843593. I would like to have it at home if it is no longer being played for.

MALCOLM HARRIS

Shakespeare Road,

Great Yarmouth

My care at the Paget was good

Over the last three months I have had to be admitted to the James Paget Hospital on several occasions. I would like to say the care and attention I received was terrific. The cleanliness of the wards was first rate, the food was good and there was always plenty of it. Tea or coffee was available at all times.

I cannot understand these people who go into hospital and say they were not looked after, and did not receive the attention they needed. They must have been very unlucky as I could not fault the care and compassion I received during my stays.

I am 72 years old so I am classed as elderly. All the nurses and doctors were great. Although in my experience of the care I received they are not paid nearly enough for the work they do, as they work so hard. Thank you to all concerned in my care at the hospital.

Mrs SHIRLEY SAUL

Bradwell

We inherited fiscal problems

Further to the letter in the Mercury, October 25, from Edward Moore “How does the council justify itself?”

The present Labour administration now running the council only took control in May 2012 after 12 years in opposition.

We inherited some very serious financial problems, and this was then compounded when Great Yarmouth Council received the largest cut to its funding in the UK, from the Coalition Government.

As Mr Moore brands the council in the town a complete joke, raises issues, and then fails to give any contact details, could I suggest he contacts me direct at the Town Hall where I will be happy to meet with him to explain what the council is trying to achieve and how it justifies it’s actions.

Cllr TREVOR WAINWRIGHT

Magdalen Ward

Sadness of the empty buildings

Last week’s Mercury got me thinking about missed opportunities aggravated by the pressures on council funding and a lack of imagination and investment by the private sector.

The Winter Gardens does nothing for our seafront and probably has not for years. Torquay knew what they were doing dumping it here.

The future of the Two Bears Hotel as another retail outlet may not be the answer. The existing warehouse outlets are hardly iconic and the former Bennett’s store is still empty.

The road traffic layout is hardly iconic either. This is a main entry point to the town and whilst the buildings on the Quay have character, may are empty or in decline.

Similar problems at the Vauxhall Bridge have started to improve with a start on landscaping amidst the traffic jams!

Reading the “Crap Towns” book where we hold 25th place, may suggest an approach.

The book praises much of our hidden architecture but derides what has happened to it - empty stores, buildings in decline, a dated seafront and building frontages lost under shop signs. Looking above one can see the potential. Would releasing buildings from the tat recreate a town worth coming to see? Untidy litter strewn streets and patched up thoroughfares do not help.

What is needed is some new vision and moves to get back the wow factor. Piecemeal development by the private sector has left us where we are and councils with ever decreasing resources powerless. Iconic architecture is needed.

I wonder what ideas our school pupils and students could come up with for the key entry points for our town. The Haven Bridge area should be viewed as a whole rather than a hole.

A comprehensive strategy is needed, but who pays?

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Belton New Road is not safe

I was astonished by the e-mail that Mr Craig Honey received from Nikki Park asking him to pay £100 for a bus pass. I hope he gets his £100 back as the decision was made to continue funding the free transport until February 2014.

May I also point out that at the meeting at Norfolk County Council on September 16 when the vote was taken to keep the free bus pass, I did not see many, if any, of the Labour councillors voting to keep the free bus pass. I would like to know if these councillors especially the lady councillors would like to walk over a mile on a unlit path in the pitch black in pouring rain gales snow etc. I don’t think so.

Councillor Mick Castle walked this path but it was of course a nice warm summer’s day.

He did not walk it in the pouring rain.

This path is supposed to be three metres wide, in places its not, what will happen when you get the children walking 2/3 abreast which they do with their earphones in and a child comes up behind them on a cycle.

Does he/she go onto the road and get hit by a car as some of the cars are speeding at 60mph or more and what if some pervert pulls up and grabs a child whist he/she is walking alone along this path in the dark?

You councillors should be ashamed of yourselves, I suppose your children no longer go to school. Mick Castle stated that Belton New Road is safe. It may have been 40 years ago when there were not as many cars using this road then.

My children biked to the then Oriel Grammar School at that time. Even then my next door neighbour was knocked down and killed crossing this road.

This road is not as safe as its use to be. It is now used as a race track by some motorists and motorcyclist.

ESTHER ALDRED

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Please support poppy appeal

I write in my capacity as the mayor of the borough of Great Yarmouth to ask residents and businesses across the borough to once again give generously to this year’s Poppy Appeal, which commenced nationally on October 24.

The Poppy Appeal continues to be of massive importance across the borough and the rest of the UK, as it provides the main source of funds to maintain the Royal British Legion’s many welfare and benevolent schemes – safeguarding the welfare, interests and memory of current and former service personnel.

This year’s appeal again focuses on support for serving, ex-service and family members who are part of the Afghan and Iraq generation. The effects of these two conflicts have touched all communities, including in the borough.

Last month, I was honoured to attend a special service, held in St George’s Park, to re-dedicate a memorial plaque newly-engraved with the name of fallen soldier, Trooper James Anthony Leverett, who was killed in Afghanistan.

James, who was born at James Paget Hospital, in Gorleston, and lived in the borough until the age of seven, was killed in 2010 in an explosion when his Viking armoured vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

He was just 20 years old.

This year’s appeal is also particularly poignant as it is just a year to go until the centenary of the first world war, which saw Great Yarmouth residents not only killed on the Western Front, but also in the town itself as a result of the first Zeppelin raid.

I would like to invite members of the public to come to St George’s Park on Sunday, November 10 for the Remembrance Day Service, commencing at 10.55am.

There will be a further service at 12.30pm, at the Far East Prisoner of War Memorial, at the Jetty, Marine Parade.

I also hope that you will observe the two minutes’ silence on Monday, November 11 itself to express your gratitude and honour of all those who have died in the cause of peace and freedom throughout the world and to remember the sacrifices made for future generation to enjoy the freedom that was won.

Cllr JOHN BURROUGHS

Mayor of the Borough of Great Yarmouth

Business gave us new carpets

Last winter, with all the bad weather, our Coastwatch station on south pier, Gorleston bore the brunt and developed several leaks. We contacted port ops and they were very quick to send an engineer to fix the leaks but the damage had been done.

We had to remove all the carpets to let everything dry out but it left some very smelly whiffs behind. The hot weather made the smell worse.As a charity, we don’t have a lot of money to spare especially for luxuries like carpets so I walked into First Furnishings in Gorleston in the hope they might have some cheap offcuts. But when I told them we were a chartity they said they might be able to help, but nothing definite.

A few weeks later someone turned up to measure the rooms, although I had said it was the only the one room needed doing. After a few more weeks the carpet layers arrived and fitted out the two rooms and the end result looks fabulous. And the carpets and fitting were donated to us with First Furnishings compliments.

Coastwatch would like to say a public thank you.

Mrs BARBARA HAY

Deputy Station Manager of Operations

Artists exhibition was excellent

I have to say that the 86th Annual Exhibition of the Great Yarmouth Artists, which was opened by the Mayor, Councillor John Burroughs on October 25 at Yarmouth Library, is another resounding success for the society.

A lot of very talented people are displaying their artistic talent, whether it is watercolour, paint, pastel, acrylic, pen and pencil, or just pencil. The exhibition runs until November 2 and is well worth a visit. You can actually vote for what you think is the best picture, the paintings are on sale too, so much local talent.

One of the artists Julian Macey, who is excellent with the pencil is offering lessons, anyone interested should visit the library and make inquiries. Good luck to any potential artists who may be interested.

MARLENE DELAY

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Well looked after in the hospital

I have just spent three weeks in the JPH, ward 15, bay 5, and have read recent letters in which people moan about the hospital, but I found I was well looked after.

I would like to thank Dr Cotter and his team for finding what was wrong with me and getting me better. I would also like to thanks the auxiliary staff for looking after me: Hilda, Gennie, Amy and several more I cannot remember the names of. Also the staff nurses and especially Anna from Portugal, my favourite.

The food was good and you get what you ask for, extras if you wanted it.

M E HOLT

Stone Road,

Cobholm

Plea to buyer of old camera case

I took goods to Dial-A-Ride charity shop, Broad Row, Great Yarmouth, on October 18. I unfortunately took a camera case, with no camera in, but it had an old green diary in with a pencil which I used to write down where and when I have taken photos.

I have five sets of prints from some time ago and need to put them in my album.

The camera case is black cloth, Kodak type. If anyone has bought it, could you please let me have the diary back? It dates back to 1991 or before. This is my last hope.

MRS B STONE

Broadland Close

Reedham

Bring back the one-way parking

Where is health and safety when you need it? Certainly not in the car park on Yarmouth Market on a Saturday.

Until recently motorists would drive into the front rank and, if there were no parking places available, turn left at the end into the second rank, following the one-way system.

But in the last few weeks this turn has been blocked. Now if the motorist wishes to try for a space in the second rank they then have to reverse or make a three-point turn before driving across the entrance and part of the exit lane to get there.

I have seen some motorists, when finding no spaces available in the front rank, take the unofficial and dangerous escape route through the paved thoroughfare where the car park ticket machine is located rather than reverse out.

Similar problems are encountered in the second rank and all cars leaving the parking area drive out against the flow of incoming traffic.

In the interests of safety, could the council not consider re-introducing the one-way parking system?

PAT PHILPOTT

High Street

Gorleston

Come join our memorial service

We would like to invite all readers of the Great Yarmouth Mercury, especially those with links to Caister to join us for the Annual Memorial Service to be held in the Parish Church at 6.30pm on Sunday, November 3.

The service gives an opportunity for bereaved relatives, and friends of people who have died, to join us in a service to remember them.

We have written to relatives of many of those whose funerals have been taken by the clergy of the parish over the past year inviting them to the service. But we are aware there are gaps in our lists and we know some people have been missed.

So we seek to help of your newspaper, to assure them that they are invited to this service as well as all those invited in the past and, indeed, all bereaved relatives.

TIM THOMPSON

Rector of Caister on Sea

Query regarding permit parking

Whilst recently checking my road tax expiry I thought I would check out parking permit prices and found out that we in Great Yarmouth appear to be paying more than Norwich for the privilege. How can this be when Norwich is a bustling city? Once again it looks as if we are being short-changed once again.

Name and Address withheld

To readdress the imbalance

I was recently in the James Paget Hospital for an operation. The day started early, arriving at 7am to check in for an 8.30am operation.

From the moment I arrived to the time my wife collected me in late afternoon I was subjected to the most wonderful care and attention.

Too often in recent years we only hear about the faults. I can assure you my treatment was exemplary throughout the day.

The nurses and their assistants, the theatre staff and the aftercare was superior and made my stay a lot easier to endure. Every man-jack of them went the extra mile to ensure my comfort and knowledge of all processes and procedures.

I would like to thank them all and hope this readdresses the imbalance of opinion we so often hear. Well done to you all and a mighty thank you from me.

RIK SULLIVAN

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Well Hello was a great show

What a great show was Well Hello Jerry, put on by Gorleston Theatre Company. Wonderful costumes, great singing and acting and a fantastically enjoyable, yet moving, script. Special mention to the Jerry Hermans Sam Street and John Woods, fantastic, well done and to Clinton Wright, well, what can I say? Superb. A wonderful celebration yet again of the talent hidden in this fine borough. Thank you everyone for a great night out.

JUNE SEABROOK

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Thanks for care twice in a day!

We read of so many bad reports and comments of treatment received at the James Paget University Hospital, my husband and I would like to say a big thank you for the care, consideration and respect we received on Friday. Firstly from the consultant and nurse in the ENT department which I had to attend in the morning.

Then to the consultant and staff at the A&E and Xray departments where unfortunately we had to attend in the afternoon after being involved in a three-car crash on the way home from the first appointment!

They were all wonderful, thank you so much.

J and D BUDDEN

Caister on Sea

Dog mess? So deal with litter

As a new responsible dog owner, who always clears up after her dog, I was interested to read the article in the Mercury about dog fouling. I totally agree with prosecuting owners who do not clear up after their dog but what about prosecuting litter louts?

Two Sunday mornings ago my husband and I walked our dog on Mill Lane playing field in Bradwell. We stopped to watch one of the football matches being played. After the game finished and the players disappeared the sideline was left littered with rubbish, coffee cups, plastic bottles and cans.

Who will be left to clear these up? Littering is an offence, anti-social and potentially hazardous. Shouldn’t the teams be made to take their rubbish away?

So why do I not see people being chased for litter offences in our local paper? The culprits could easily be found as the council knows who has hired what pitch.

Name and Address withheld

Shaken after escalator fall

We would like to put pen to paper to thank a lady in Yarmouth Tescos last Friday afternoon.

My mother and I were coming down the escalator, when at the bottom we had a bad fall. The trolley suddenly stopped and we fell backwards with the trolley on top of us.

This kind lady rushed over on hearing us screaming and quickly stopped the escalator.

Then she proceeded to help us until store staff arrived. In all the confusion the lady left before we were able to thank her.

We would like to thank her for hre valuable assistance as we were both badly shaken by this fall. We would also like to thank the Tesco manageress and staff who attended us until we were ready to leave.

MARGARET HAYMER and MAUREEN ANDREWS

Crow Hall Green,

Gorleston

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