Letters, November 28 2014

Wardens also work to protect

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is looking for potential volunteers to become a dog warden. While the council are looking for these community dog wardens, they fail to mention the qualifications and human personality needed - not only a shovel, wheelbarrow, long stick and net.

There is another side. Despite the common view of yesteryear, a dog warden does not need a grimy van, a catch-pole and a sullen demeanour. Modern-day dog wardens are diplomats, athletes and highly trained professionals, constantly seeking new knowledge to add to their skills.

Also known as animal control officers, dog wardens respond to situations in which an animal is being abused or neglected or could in some way be hurt. They work to protect both animals and the public.

So if you are sure you can adapt to the needs without pay, contact the Environmental Rangers on 01493 846478.


All Seasons Lodge Hotel,

Most Read


An outstanding Cats production

What an outstanding production of Cats, performed by the Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company. Congratulations to the whole company including the amazing behind-the-scenes helpers.

A special well done to Hannah Hall for her spine-tingling rendition of Memories and finally a massive thank you to Mary and Catherine for the tireless help and guidance they give to the young people to be able to perform in such a professional manner.



Is the root cause a lack of trust?

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr R F Ward’s letter and in referral to Chris Wright’s unanswered questions, but don’t hold your breath for a straight answer though.

However it’s not only our MP or Job Centre Plus promoting these “suspect” jobless statistics. Watch Prime Minister’s Questions any Wednesday, where questions are replaced with numerous MPs’ statements ie “In my constituency we have seen a decrease in jobless claiments due to this Government’s policies”, (or variations), hardly questioning the authenticity of these figures, no doubt supplied by DWP.

A department and minister with proven dubious credibility!

As representatives of their constituencies shouldn’t they be delving deeper into the breakdown of these figures, what proportion are affected by sanctions, zero hours or National Minimum Wage and the subsequent rise in food banks?

Even if we assume that these figures are correct wouldn’t it also follow we should also see a significant fall in Job Centre staff?

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas so it’s hardly likely that any DWP staff member will develop a social conscience to turn whistleblower.

The root cause must be the lack of trust and their principles in our Members of Parliament and Government, culminating in the rise of UKIP and the SNP and therefore more democratic choice.

No matter how distasteful it may be to the Government, the future may require some form of proportional representation or multi staged elections (as the employ to elect a new leader) if a government more representative of the people is required?



Tourism levy is not democratic

Is it any wonder that local businesses are up in arms about what you term the “landmark tourism levy”? (Mercury, November 21).

Sending four letters out and holding meetings is hardly a democratic way to bring in what is essentially yet another tax. Southport and Bournemouth are hardly role models in this respect.

The bottom line is that the BID task group hasn’t yet decided what to spend the money on - though mention of the summer fireworks really sums up the whole sorry business. A better “f” word in this respect would perhaps be “foodbanks” as we are certainly in need of those.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Support for the anti-BID stance

I am in complete support of pub landlord Philip Taylor, Pertwee and Back’s Richard Coller and Coachworks’ Ian Thompson, over their stance against the tourism BID.

I am a business owner in Cobholm and have received my mandatory levy bill to be paid within 28 days. I also received a leaflet about the proposed plans which included a list of the BID board members.

All the members are owners or general managers of businesses involved in the holiday trade and will all benefit from any increase in the holiday trade – which I have no problem with, good luck to them. But why do I have to pay?

Mr David Marsh, the BID chairman, has said it was fair that all businesses with a tourism interest should pay into the BID pot. What I need to know from David Marsh is how it will benefit my business – AJ’s – and Cobholm?

The last time I saw a holidaymaker in Cobholm they were badly lost and asking directions.

So Mr David Marsh, would you tell me how much of the half a million pounds a year of mandatory levy you intend to spend in Cobholm and how will that benefit my business and Cobholm in general.


Mill Road,


BID idea is not good for all

Of course the Great Yarmouth Tourism BID idea is a good one for some people but only for some because places like Potters or Haven Holidays centres may benefit and of course Yarmouth seafront. But to force all businesses to pay is just insane and very unfair.

To pressgang people to pay is wrong and I would think a legal challenge could be mounted.

I very much support Philip Taylor and Mr Coller and if I were in their position I would not pay either because they will not benefit from this in any way.

To me it is just another way of getting more money of out businesses that can ill afford it. It is wrong and unfair. Mr Marsh, think again because how can you force a business to pay if they are not going to get any benefit – and many will not.


Leman Road,


Attraction loss is major worry

It was amazing to read that our MP Brandon Lewis awarded his best tourism award to Yesterday’s World. The business was so successful it has closed and the contents are being sold off as no-one wanted to buy it.

It was an interesting attraction to some people but clearly did not appeal to enough people and could not have been that great! It is a major worry that our best attraction has closed. What next? I wonder if a single extra customer will be won as a result of these awards and if mixing politicians with business makes sense. If it had a role it could have been combined with other award schemes, like the Spirit of Enterprise.

We now have another major site on the seafront empty and the Winter Gardens continuing to be an eyesore with no sign of any funding. Sea Life and Amazonia could be useful tenants if interested. I wonder if the council will get another legal bill for the impact on other businesses. And what has happened to the new casino?

Will the funding for the boating lake upgrade be forthcoming or will that remain another blot on the landscape? Instead of having 2500 unemployed, we could have had a work and training programme for some to restore these sites or they could be sold off to developers. The private sector alone is clearly unable to regenerate the town, although why the potential boating lake developer was thwarted seems a missed opportunity.

An amazing amount of space was given to this story and so little on the social services cuts which are the results of Government cuts and could have serious consequences unless the money was not being well used. Demand for adult social services is soaring yet the Government forces cuts.

An ageing population will mean more spending not less unless we are developing a policy of euthanasia to save taxes!


Victoria Street,


Show a hard act to follow

What a show! Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company performed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats for four performances last weekend at the Gorleston Pavilion and what a spectacular show it was. From the handmade costumes and wigs, to the stunning set, singing and dancing performances, not to mention the fantastic music from the band led by John Stevens it was all top class.

Credit goes to Mary Carter and all involved for putting on such a professional show, that played to sell out crowds every performance. To watch my daughter and niece be a part of such a show made me and my family very proud. The hours and hours of hard work rehearsing over many weeks certainly paid off. It will be a hard show to follow but I for one am looking forward to it.



Well done to the young stars

We had another very enjoyable evening at Gorleston Pavilion. Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre put on another polished production, Cats. It is difficult at times to remember these young entertainers are only aged between 11 and 18. Well done to all of you!



How can people live like this?

I concur with R F Ward, in last week’s letters. My husband is still waiting for a reply from Brandon Lewis regarding zero hour contracts.

Asda employed a friend of mine on a zero contract. For one weekend work, he had two shifts booked then he got a call to say don’t bother coming in Saturday, we don’t have the funds to pay you. How can anyone, let alone a family man live like that? My unemployed son will not go to Jobcentre Plus in Great Yarmouth because of their recent incompetency.

The way the unemployed are treated is shameful.


West Avenue,


Relatives should be in contact

My wife, Patrica, is a great grand daughter of A R Patterson also known as John Knowlittle, naturalist, artist and commentator for the Mercury and EDP among other interests. His work features in the new exhibition Water Ways: Art and Nature on the Broads at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth.

We were invited to the reception prior to the opening of the exhibition last Friday evening and alas there were no other relatives there.

Apparently one person who unfortunately we were not introduced to knew another great grand daughter, Beryl Tooley who since died but wrote John Knowlittle The Life of the Yarmouth Naturalist.

My wife’s immediate family lived in Hertfordshire since before the First World War having moved away from Upton before the war.

Trish has never had any knowledge or contact with the rest of the family for various reasons. Having come to live in Norfolk she was surprised to see Patterson’s work in the recent Birds in Art exhibition at the Castle Museum, Norwich.

We visited the Time and Tide earlier this year and donated two framed sketches by Patterson to the museum.

We were shown by Alison Hall of the museum staff the three large drawers in the archives packed with drawings, letters and cartons.

As descendants of A H Patterson we would like to discover if there are any other relations in the Norfolk area with a view to getting in touch.


161 Holt Road, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 8JF

email: stevefuell@f2s.com Tel:- 01328 258089

We did not get the BID letters

As owners of a small business we would like to say the following about the BID tourism levy. We, like others, knew nothing of this until a bill for £175 dropped through our letterbox.

According to David Marsh we have received four letters from them. We certainly have not.

We, like many others, will not be paying this money.

We are in Fritton, six miles outside of Great Yarmouth and get very little business, if any, from the tourism trade in Yarmouth. Having read through the list of board members I see most are either big businesses in Yarmouth or have an interest on Yarmouth seafront.

We being a small pub business, and trade already at a minimum due to prices, VAT and levies imposed by our government, profits are already at a minimum. Now all of a sudden we get hit with this outrageous BID bill.

If these people want to spend more money on the seafront then let them be responsible for it, as they are the ones who will be reaping the profits.

As for the fireworks in the summer; what a total waste of time this is and of no benefit to outlying businesses such as us. From what I see of this is those people who do go to Yarmouth to watch the display do just that. If any money is spent, again it is just on the seafront, so where do we benefit?

I can see this ending up as another white elephant and certain people making money from it, just as the outer harbour has.

I’m sorry to say Yarmouth has had its day and what with the present economic situation it will take a lot more than this to get it going again. How can anyone in their right minds come to Yarmouth these days for an enjoyable holiday when there are no parking facilities and the seafront is the only attraction? Again, everything points to Yarmouth seafront.

If this was to enhance our business to some degree then we would willingly pay towards it.


Decoy Tavern,


Don’t park on the hazard lines

If you live in Nursery Terrace in Great Yarmouth and drive it is a nightmare to enter or exit with your vehicle. Whatever happened to not parking on hazard lines or within 10 metres of a junction.

If you ask police they say ask traffic wardens, ask traffic wardens and they say ask the police.

We know hazard lines are advisory but surely commonsense should tell you not to park like this. Cars/vans not only park on the hazard lines but also on the pavement. Please help before we have a bad accident here.

Name and Address withheld

Councillors sit on fence again

When the Port Company raised the previous Harbour Revision Order (HRO) to gift to them everything to do with our port, our borough council sat on the fence when asked if they were going to object, thereby backing the stance of Port Stakeholders and local community. But without the council’s help the sensible decision was made and the request for an HRO failed.

We now have a new HRO application by the Port Authority, this time seeking to change the structure of the Port Authority Board.

Yes, you have it, the Tories and Labour (their unofficial coalition) are sitting on the fence again. Never mind the £30m of taxpayer’s money sunk into the port, if the structure is allowed to be changed taxpayers would have no access to how our stake monies (the grants) are being monitored.

Why are the Tories and Labour such staunch supporters of those that run the port against all the objectors that the council is supposed to represent.


Burnt Lane


Thanks for your medical help

May I, through your pages, thank the many people who helped me when I fell and fractured a hip on one Sunday evening. The paramedics, A&E, the doctors, nurses and staff on Ward 6 who were kindness itself in caring for me and have helped me get on my feet again. Not forgetting the friendly staff on the renal unit who look after me three times a week.


Humberstone Road,


Civic party left concert early

On Friday morning we went to Yarmouth Minster to watch our grand-daughter sing with the children from Alderman Swindell School. First we listened to the choir from Norway and the minister read a prayer, The Mayor opened the Christmas Fayre and this was followed by a speech from the Mayor of Rambouillet in French, translated into English.

The choir left and the excited children took to the stage but after singing their first song, to our and other parents’ amazement, the civic dignitaries got up and walked out.

How rude. They could have waited until the children had finished their three songs, after all the hard work the teachers and children had put in.

Mr and Mrs J HANNANT,

Upper Grange Crescent,


Eastern bulge will get gobbled up

When does persistence turn into annoyance, or have I already passed that point on the subject of marine aggregate extraction?

Applications for licences in the public notices section of the Mercury are regularly being made for the extraction of millions of tonnes of coastal ballast under numerous co-ordinates and in most cases covering 15-year periods. Permission for this reckless extraction is granted by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) after what they term as an environmental impact assessment consent decision.

With these applications being applied for in the public notices of the Mercury we can be sure the sea area referred to will be our part of the coast. But the applications are being dealt with the marine licencing team in Newcastle upon Tyne, not locally.

Personally I challenge the accuracy of these assessments. No way are we getting a true assessment view of coastal erosion for the sea area that affects us. So this continuous granting of licences for our sea area is going to get steadily worse with these regular 15-year step forwards.

Can we please have a neutral arbitrator to assess our situation before this eastern bulge on which we live gets gobbled up by the sea?


Gonville Road,


Young people are in safe hands

I have little doubt, having seen Dusmagrik’s production of Cats at Gorleston’s Pavilion, there will be those wish to share letters of delight for a performance “par excellence”.

May I therefore add an extra dimension by expressing my personal and heartfelt gratitude to Mary Carter, Graham Turner and the Great Yarmouth Operatic and Dramatic Society for taking on and mentoring these talented and lovely young people.

Each time I seem them now is a somewhat bittersweet experience for me. Bitter in the sense that I still feel keenly the loss of my partner Mags, whose love and care for them was a driving force. And sweet in the knowledge of the continuing success of such an obviously happy and successful company.

In their heyday, the “Ops and Drams” led the field in the local theatrical world and filling the local theatres to capacity. Now their reputation remains and is enhanced by the fact that a second generation is making sure that familiar names like Jack Bacon and Brian Goodfellow will continue to be remembered, as members of their families are passing on their skills to a new generation of aspiring performers in Dusmagrik.

Next year will see the company’s 30th anniversary. It is a joy to me to know these young people are in safe hands.


Co-founder Dusmagrik

Christmas lights night well done

I would like to congratulate the Gorleston Traders’ Association for all the planning and organisation that has taken place over the last months to put on the annual High Street event, with the switching on of the lights and all the associated activities; also the shopkeepers, charities and entertainers who took part in the event and did so much to make a day a success. The only thing they could not organise was the weather and that let us all down badly.

The stalls bravely carried on, the musicians played, and the donkeys provided rides for the children. The events in Priory Gardens had to be cancelled but the singers relocated to the Social Club, where there were many delightful stalls with attractive crafts and Christmas decorations for sale.

All those who braved the weather and paddled their way up and down the High Street, together with the Christmas tree, and the festively decorated shop windows, which all helps to brighten the dully days, and create a lively atmosphere of seasonal cheer.


Church Road,


We do not need this extra tax

I am writing following the news regarding the tourism levy in last week’s Mercury and wanted to comment as I also received the bill stating I owe this money for the pleasure of running a business in Great Yarmouth.

This was the first I heard about the levy.

The Mercury report states four letters were sent to all businesses inviting them to meetings where they could have had some input and voted. I do not recall receiving any however, as I get so much junk mail if I do not think that something directly relates to my business I put it straight in to the recycle bin.

Anyone in business knows how tough it is to keep the business running and constantly deal with the masses of mail via the post as well as emails. We just do our best to keep our businesses running and ensure we look after our customers.

The people responsible for this levy must be aware of businesses closing down daily and it is an on-going struggle to pay all the overheads without unexpected bills.

As a business in the borough we are helping the local economy by employing a number of people and paying our rates. My business is not related in any way to tourism so I would not have been interested in attending any meetings had I known about them, unless I was aware of this levy.

If the claim that these letters were sent out is to be believed and that it was intended for those of us not related to the tourism industry to actually look at them, then I would like to know how they were headed, as if they were sent with the Tourism heading many businesses would not look closely at them.

If the letters had been sent from the Borough Council stating this was likely to cost us money and so our vote was important to us I believe they would have seen a different turnout. It seems a fair vote was not the wish of those sending out the letters.

Also the report stated that the turnout was less than 50pc. I assume that means of the 1,200 receiving the bills. If this is the case then are we to believe that 600 ratepaying businesses attended and voted and 80pc of those said Yes?

Brandon Lewis stated all local businesses had a chance to vote so this means a lot more than 1,200. How is it that so many of us missed out? Maybe using the Mercury to inform us would have been a good idea.

I note David Marsh states “We knew people would start to kick a bit when the bills started going out. But all these businesses have had four letters from us”.

He sounds as if he is quite happy to have upset a large number of hardworking business people in the area. He also states it was fair all businesses with a tourism interest should pay into the BID money pot.

I would ask him to prove my business benefits from tourism, as he will find he is unable to do so. I would also like to know if there is proof these four letters actually came out, and who footed the bill for all this correspondence?

The businesses which were quoted as being happy about the levy are all directly involved in the tourism industry so it is not really surprising. I suppose the additional income required had to come from those of us with nothing financial to gain and we are meant to pay up quietly. Well I am with the ones who are not prepared to do this.

As an additional insult, earlier this week I received a letter from the Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area Ltd.

I thought it best I actually look at this closely as it may have been another underhand way of extracting money!

Enclosed was a printed invitation inviting me to a 2015 Season Launch to welcome the new BID Company with lunch provided! Along with all the other letters already sent out I am interested to see the postage bills already accrued. Great to spend other people’s money!


Fitness 2000,

Southtown Road,

Great Yarmouth

Rights likened to Victorian era

I was surprised to get the impression Brandon Lewis supports zero hours contracts, during his Harbour Radio interview last Friday.

The increasing number of people forced to work on these contracts, despite working full time hours, is now up to 1.4m people. These people have employment rights reminiscent of the Victorian era where employees can be summoned and sent home at the drop of a hat.

Zero hour workers often have no idea when they will be working or how much they will earn week to week. They cannot plan any sort of family life or finances on this basis.

Furthermore, workers on these contracts have practically no chance of success at an industrial tribunal if they have been bullied, harassed or unfairly dismissed. Not to mention the average £1,000 and upwards fee introduced by this government.

The coalition government has created a false recovery based on the backs workers like these who form the bedrock of many unscrupulous employers.

Zero hours contracts represent a return to Britain of 100 years ago where dockworkers were forced to fight for “Tallies” on the dockside to get a day’s work.

Great Yarmouth workers having to exist hand to mouth on these contracts are not celebrating them.