Letters, October 14, 2011

Bus pass is a

lifeline for OAPs

I AM writing about the threat to the bus pass used by pensioners. It is a lifeline for older folk, but the decision is being taken by overpaid MPs and well paid civil servants who would save money at the expense of we older folk. It’s a case of robbing the poor to give to the rich.

I manage on my pension of �104.29 a week. Any interest on savings I have has been well eroded since 2008 when greedy rotten bankers ruined any interest on savings. No doubt their own money is well protected from this fact. I am a 78 year old lady living alone, with no one to help in any way.

In fact I dread the future: the bus pass question is the tip of the iceberg. I understand the winter fuel allowance is being halved this year and only await the TV licence to be reimposed on OAPs. Heaven help us.

Is there nobody who will help us OAPs with all the monetary misery being inflicted?


Most Read

Great Yarmouth

Lucky to have

unique heritage

SO, the “let’s destroy Gorleston” brigade are at it again! I realise this is a knee-jerk reaction to the loss of car parking spaces on the pier but this proposal is madness and has not been thought through. As I have written before - every summer I watch with heart in mouth as small children weave their way between reversing vehicles to get their ice creams. Obviously the sensible future for this area is no traffic not increased traffic - the area would then be safe for all to use.

We are lucky to have this unique heritage site in Gorleston but it could, with a bit of imagination, be a lot more attractive, easier to use and a great deal safer.


Victoria Road


Leave Gorleston

alone, unspoilt

IT is outrageous that our lower prom is being aimed for car parking! This has been a safe place for generations learning to ride bicycles, skateboarding, skating etc!

We have lost our swimming pool (bring it back!) minimum use of Fire Station, Police Station, now Ferryside and our much-needed Coastguards are being cut. This council needs to get some backbone and get our pier car park sorted! Leave our Prom alone. That part of Gorleston is known as “kiddies corner” not car park corner! I say “hands off Gorleston seafront”. Leave it alone and unspoilt.


Church Road


Let’s go back

to walking

AFTER reading last week’s Mercury it seems most of the troubles and worries reported stem from the invention of the horseless carriage; where to park cars, residents parking, car parking charges and places of beauty being taken over in order to accommodate cars.

In the past we were healthier because we walked to where we wanted to go or got on our bikes. The latter you would only do now if you had a death wish! After a night out we went home on the bus with a driver and a conductor who were not afraid of being “duffed up” by drunken yobs.

It would save so much stress if we could go back to a time when there was no road rage and the only worry was hoping to get a seat upstairs on the bus so you could have a “ciggy”. Alas there are no longer enough buses and now the “oldies” might be losing their bus passes. That’s progress?



Hope outcry will

win the day

HAVING just finished reading the vast amount of letters in the Mercury regarding the terrible possibility of siting more car parking spaces on the lower promenade at Gorleston, I wonder if all the complaining will be in vain.

How many times have we seen the local council come up with an idea which is greeted by the locals with contempt and dismay and yet they go ahead and do it? I recently wrote twice in the Mercury regarding the speed of motorists on local roads with the temptation for someone in authority to come back with some sort of comment, but no, not a word, proving to me the local council doesn’t give a hoot as to our opinion and once councillors have made their minds up, that’s it.

Surely, the number of possible spaces that would be created for cars on the lower promenade is already there, on the upper road on top of the cliffs. Of course I know some people like to just sit in their cars and take it all in, but also there are just as many who just want to park and either go on our lovely beach or take a leisurely stroll along the prom.

I only hope the outcry from the locals wins them the day, it would make a nice change. I am sure it would be much cheaper to produce road signs directing visitors to the upper cliff top road for parking than creating the suggested parking spaces on the promenade.



Mayor ballot will

hit taxpayer

HAVING read Peter Kirkpatrick’s reply to my letter, I wish to make the following points. Firstly, I am not a member of any political party and have not been for ten years. I have no desire for any political comeback or any form of office. I am aware the elected mayor campaign is ongoing and Mr Kirkpatrick wishes to trigger another ballot in four years. I am also aware who is leading the campaign.

The whole point of my letter was if you wish to have another ballot, that’s fine. But I am not happy about funding it out of my council tax. We are living in a severe world recession and it is unlikely there will be vast amounts of money in three and a half years. Democracy meant the elected mayor campaign lost the ballot, so accept this or as a group raise the money for another ballot. Don’t expect the majority who did not support your campaign to fund it.

Regarding Cllr Steve Ames’ election as leader of the borough council; yes, of course we all had a say. The leader is elected every four years. With council elections in three out of four years in theory, he could be out in two years if the council changed. But he does not make every decision, he has a cabinet and trained officers to help. He is accountable to his electorate, the cabinet, group, officers and all of us.

An elected mayor is one person, who in theory can make every decision. If you ever get your way that is democracy, but an elected council with local representatives ceases to have any worthwhile purpose. Life is about winners and losers. You lost Mr Kirkpatrick so do so with dignity.


Clarendon Drive


Yarmouth train

troubles, again

WHY is it that when our local train company is short of trains it is Great Yarmouth that suffers? Once again one morning last week, the 809 did not run from Norwich to Yarmouth.

Yet I was sold a return ticket at the ticket office at 0756, went to the ticket barrier and it was only when my ticket was rejected that the rail worker informed me the train was not running. When I returned to the ticket office to enquire why I had been sold a ticket to a non existent train the counter clerk said she did not know it was cancelled! What a way to run a train company!

I had listened to the radio to check the train was running and there was no mention of cancellation. The bus arrived at Yarmouth station a few minutes before the next train was due in - makes no sense at all. As a fellow passsenger commented when we arrived by bus into Yarmouth: if we wanted to travel by bus we would have gone on an X1 (faster/cheaper/more reliable). Appalling.



Please listen to

public re parking

I HOPE, along with everyone else who I have spoken to, that car park spaces will not be created as proposed along the well-used area at the bottom of Gorleston cliffs, an area enjoyed by a wide variety of people and is unspoilt and well kept.

I am one of over 100 runners who take part in the Parkrun every Saturday morning, and the proposal would upset the course as this is where the finish line is. Please listen to the public because I have yet to meet someone who thinks this is a good idea.



Don’t destroy

Jewel in Crown

WHAT are the powers that be thinking of: wanting to create 44 extra car parking spaces in such a lovely safe area for young children to run, skate and ride bikes etc. It is a disgrace this council has let the pier get into such disrepair, so many people enjoy looking out to sea, especially from such good vantage points, also the fishing off the pier.

If Great Yarmouth Port Company is doing so well, what is happening to the money Eastport UK is earning and why aren’t they paying to repair the pier, and so allowing parking on there again? Maybe that is too easy a solution, but they all need to get together and sort this out now. For a change, it would be good for the local community to be listened to, instead of being overruled by big business.

Being an old fishing town, people had the freedom in the past to roam along the quaysides, jetties and piers, both on Yarmouth and Gorleston sides of the river. It’s a crying shame these activities are now in part being denied to the ordinary person. The beach and promenade area are “The Jewel in the Crown of Gorleston”.



Get cyclists off

our footpaths

I AM writing to to complain about the number of cyclists who seem to think every footpath in Yarmouth, particularly Haven Bridge, Hall Quay and the Market Place are designated cyclepaths. May I say to these people the clue is in the word footpath - for people on foot.

Riding cycles on an undesignated path is an offence but neither the police or council seem to want to do anything about. As a resident I believe I have the right to walk around Yarmouth without having to play dodge the cycle. If readers agree there are too many cyclists using undesignated cyclepaths, please write in to this paper and say so. Also if you are a cyclist could you please write in and tell me why you feel the need to ride on these undesignated cyclepaths, when you could easily get off and walk with your cycle.


Granville Road

Great Yarmouth

Turn off early

morning lights

ON Tuesday last week I travelled from Halvergate via the A47-Breydon Bridge and the A12 to Hopton. On the road between the Gapton Hall and Beacon Park roundabouts I counted no less than 38 street lamps still on at 10.30am.

As we are constantly being urged to reduce our carbon footprints and councils countrywide are having to introduce drastic spending cuts, would it not be prudent of Yarmouth council to instruct their maintenance teams to rectify the faults with the street lighting right across the borough, thereby lessening the impact on the environment, and also saving what could amount to a considerable sum of money in the long term.

Maybe Brandon Lewis could badger the powers that be in Westminster into ensuring all councils nationwide carry out the same operation.



Catholicism is

ancient paganism

OF course, tragically, most readers will just laugh this off. They will have their fun on October 31 regardless of the eternal consequences to them and their offspring. For all will one day stand before God to be judged, and the choices we make on earth will decide whether we go to heaven or hell.

Moreover, as for the ongoing letters about Roman Catholicism, let those who still think it has anything to do with biblical Christianity check its evil history (Crusades, Inquisition, paedophile priests...).

It’s easy for Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Spiritualists and even some of the local so-called Pentecostal groups to call themselves “Christian” and fool most people. Why? Because few know what the Bible says about God’s church. Catholicism is simply ancient paganism dressed in Christian clothes. For the facts, do a Google search or read A Hislop, The Two Babylons.


Albemarle Road


No church in the

world is perfect

WHY has Mr Barkuizien got it in for Catholics? I am a Christian and the way I see it is that in every denomination, there are people who claim they are Christians, but they are not, they do not have a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Some people go to church for company and nothing else.

I would like to know what church Mr Barkuizen goes to, because no church in the world is perfect. We all belong to the one body of Christ, whether we are Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist or whether we love speaking in tongues like the Pentecostals.

Now on to Halloween. It is not a bit of harmless fun, as some readers might like to think. Halloween is one of the four festivals celebrated by Satanists, witches and other occultists.

As a Christian, I believe in the power of the devil as he is not to be underestimated.


Turin Way,

Hopton on Sea

I prefer to stick

with my church

MAY I welcome Mr Barkhuizen back from his sojourn. I checked the wording of my letter about Catholics and Friday Abstinence and it is clear I was citing the 1st century Didache as evidence of, not prescription for, this earliest and continuous practice. Arguments. like houses, should not be built on quicksand.

If abstinence were practised in the first century by the Apostles, it is certain that it had Our Lord’s approval. It is also patently obvious that ascetism has plenty of Biblical examples, the Nazorites’ abstinences and Our Lord’s 40-day fast in the wilderness being two. We can reasonably infer therefore that such practices would have God’s approval.

If we are only to follow biblical rules, why would he write to the Mercury, as this clearly is not in any book of the Bible?

As I pointed out last year the main requirement, from 1 Corinthians 13 is charity. Where we lack this, our religion is a clanging bell. It is important your readers do not take as the model of Christianity the limited religion Mr Barkhuizen propogates. I should prefer to stick with my Church that goes back to Our Lord and Pentecost.


Victoria Road


What lies under

parking site?

WITH the controversy of the car park on the Lower Parade at Gorleston one item of importance seems to have been forgotten. Beneath the surface of the proposed car parking area, a few years ago, a civil engineering job was done in the form of an underground chamber to house a sewage facility.

The roof of which is going to be the parking area for these 44 plus vehicles with various others coming and going. Has the overall weight of this activity been taken into consideration?


Gonville Road,


Residents park

permits facts

WITH regard to the residents’ parking scheme issue: is it not about time Cllr Charles Reynolds took a back seat on the presentation of the facts as he sees them and allows the professionals to present them?

The report that he ignores from Norfolk County Council’s director of environment and transport, explains it quite clearly, that the deficit would be reduced from �96,991 to �1,472 with the introduction of the long awaited Civil Parking Enforcement and an increase to the present permit costs of �15 for resident and �80 for business. It is about time to give the public the truth on this matter. I urge all democratically caring residents to sign the GYBC e-petition or GY Residents Association’s petition and restore some democracy to this debate.


Napoleon Place,

Great Yarmouth

Join Far East

soldiers tribute

ALL Far East Prisoners of War, widows and friends, please note that following the Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial, there will be a gathering for a service at the Fepow memorial on Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth at 12.30pm on Sunday, November 13, to which all are welcome to join with us in this act of remembrance.


Fepow representative

Council intent

on vandalism

I DID not think my opinion of Great Yarmouth Borough Council could get any lower, but it has now reached rock bottom. A seaside promenade should never be a car park. I cannot believe that any good seaside resort would have, nor even consider, such a thing, especially near a childrn’s area. And what about pollution? Visitors come to breathe our wonderful sea air not car fumes.

It seems it is not only hoodies who are intent on vandalism. Perhaps Kevin and Stuart of Gorleston Pavilion Theatre could find a spot for the Crazy Gang to perform!


Hopton on sea

I nominate Ann

for rugby coach

AS you know, I am not one to clog up your columns like some people, so I’ll come straight to the point. England’s shindigs both off and on the field during the World Cup, were disgraceful.

I am writing for your readers’ support, in the first instance. As you are aware, Rugby kept me busy for 48 seasons, 10 years at loose head prop and 38 years at fly half. So I feel well qualified at knowing my subject, inside out, so to speak. During that time I also became familiar with most rugby bars in Norfolk and Suffolk and could sing all the rugby songs invented.

To get to the point, I am not happy with Martin Johnson’s leadership during the last two months and think he may be in serious trouble at HQ Twickenham. Unfortunately, I am a bit too long in the tooth to put my name forward to take over from him.

However, I am reliably informed that The Weakest Link may be coming to an end shortly and am wondering, if your supporters would join with me in putting forward Miss Ann Robinson’s name to take over his duties. I don’t think she would stand any nonsense from the players and, as a woman, I am sure she would soon gain a lot of respect from them and from the RFU Committee.



Instant reaction

to quick fix

IT was great to see residents’ instant reaction to our council’s cheap, quick fix move to replace some of the lost parking on the pier. They were party to giving away the pier car park without considering how disastrous it would be for Gorleston seafront. Now they are panicking.

The backers of Eastport, the new owners of the pier, are a private commercial investment company who may be looking to sell the outer harbour at some point, probably within ten years, and therefore intend to maximise that profit, so I foresee little chance of regaining our car park there.

Two pages of readers letters and I suspect there were many more which space didn’t allow the editor to print last week. Please keep those letters rolling in because our local paper is our best means of demonstrating to the council how much we all care for our resort and want it protected for future generations. It would be most welcome to see more letters in the Mercury from the rest of the borough, from people who are regular visitors to Gorleston and what their opinions are.

Do you remember how neglected the seafront was a decade ago and all the complaints made to the council. Well look at it now, a resort to be proud of and getting more and more popular with day trippers. The horrible beach huts are gone, grass on the cliffside is looked after ten times better.

The Pier Hotel has been given a quality makeover, the Cliff Hotel making improvements, a smart lifesavers lookout to protect bathers and others, the pavilion is hopefully on the way to having a much needed refurbishment, we have a bandstand with regular concerts, the ailing beach caf� transformed, the seafront cafes and shops are better painted. Last but not least Mother Nature has given us back our large expanse of beach.

There should be encouragement for more boarding houses and small hotels to compliment our two quality hotels to make Gorleston a centre for longer term visitors to see Norfolk and Suffolk with their many attractions.

The page on www.gorleston-heritage.co.uk is now up and running and will shortly be including more news and help on complaining to your councillors.


Brett Avenue,


Please support

the Poppy Appeal

ON behalf of the borough council, I would ask your readers to support this year’s Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, which is the Legion’s most important source of money. The work of the Legion is devoted to people whose needs arise from service to their country- they range from Veterans of the First World War to those who served in conflicts in places such as the Falklands, the Gulf, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.

Our donations provide the practical help for those in need during times of hardship and distress and is wisely spent on such things as helping to maintain residential homes, convalescent homes, sheltered workshops and a multitude of other large and small measures which help those who have given so much for our freedom and security.

I would like to invite members of the public to come to St George’s Park on November 13 for the Remembrance Day Service commencing at 10.55am. Also there will be a 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 November 11 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.


Mayor of the Borough of Great Yarmouth

First class care

at James Paget

RE the recent report on the James Paget Hospital. I was recently a patient in coronary care and from the time the ambulance came to collect me, to the staffs on A&E and coronary care, I couldn’t find anything other than first class attention from the doctors and nurses.

The cleaning staff were very friendly and did a good job. I found the food quite adequate apart from the Sunday lunch which was called roast turkey (but didn’t even taste like it). I hope anybody waiting to go into this hospital is not scared by what they read.



Object to the

planning dept

SEVERAL pages of people complaining in last week’s Mercury about councillors wanting to use Gorleston’s Lower Parade as a car park. Have the electorate awoken to the reasons behind this latest stupidity?

Yes you are right, it has been borne out of our council’s inability when brokering the deal with the company that now owns all our harbours assets to put the residents interests first. We have a perfectly good car park, Gorleston Pier. But the council, in conjunction with our defunct Port Authority gave the freehold to the new port company. The new port company decided to save money by closing the pier car park and the council now has no idea of how to resolve the problem. We are forced to trust them to look after our interests.

To make your objection relevant you must object to the GYBC planning department and Mr Peter Warner.


Burnt Lane


Christianity is as

diverse as peoples

THE criticism by E Barkhuizen of S Conway (letters October 7 edition) was a scurrilous misinterpretation.

S Conway merely pointed out the traditional practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays had been ‘officially’ restored.

It was suggested by Barkhuizen that fasting was ‘man made’ when in fact it is firmly grounded in Scripture both old and new testaments: the Lord fasted for 40-days!

Also, Barkhuizen is wrong about the Didache. It was produced about the time of Matthew’s Gospel, there are many parallels between the two documents (readers invited to read and compare for themselves – Google Didache, it is interesting reading).

The Didache includes prescriptions for Christian living, not included in the bible, it is an excellent compliment to the bible and was excluded from the bible, not for being false, but for being a church manual. Many modern non-catholic Christians think it should have been included in the New Testament canon.

I must take issue with the fundamentalists claim ‘we should not follow man-made rules, only those prescribed by the Bible’. The Highway Code is a classic prescription of ‘man-made rules’, yet without this, driving would be chaotic, cycling and walking - perilous. It would be stupid and irresponsible to discard the Highway Code on the basis ‘it is not in the bible!’

It is also nonsense to suggest that there is a pristine Christianity or that there are pristine Christians, everyone has weaknesses. Christianity is as diverse as the diversity of peoples and the cultures in which they live and contrary to puritan fundamentalism: all are equal and all are valid which is the point of the feast of All Hallows!

PS Best wishes to the children at Halloween (eve of All Hallows), hope they enjoy!


Browston Corner


Ample parking

spaces already

MANY years ago my family lived in Gorleston and I have always had a soft spot for the town. I take the bus over there regularly for a quiet walk on the cliffs and prom, a lovely unspoilt area, then sit with a cup of tea by the yacht pond and do a spot of people watching.

To ruin this area with more car parking is a no, no, no. Certainly disabled people need more parking spaces, but for the able-bodied there is ample space on Marine Parade. Have people forgotten what their legs are for? Please councillors forget this very stupid idea. We need the lower prom to be kept safe for children, and everyone else who likes a bit of peace and quiet.


Eastern Close


Traffic dangers

would open up

GORLESTON has always been known as East Anglia’s Best-kept Secret and we want to keep it that way. What on earth are our councillors thinking of when they suggest part of the lower promenade be turned into a car park?

The dangers are obvious for all to see. A suggestion the Ravine be opened up to public traffic beggars belief - the slope would encourage vehicles to travel too fast and the left-hand turn at the bottom would be blind - heaven help any small child who may be in the way.

A point which seems to have been missed, so far; if the gates are opened for access, this would enable vehicles to be driven along the length of the promenade as far as the Beach Cafe, where alcohol is available on sale up to 11.30pm - what a gift for the boy racers. Gorleston promenade will become another Yarmouth seafront. A further point: we all remember the problems when travellers parked along Yarmouth seafront a few years ago, and how much that episode cost the local ratepayers. Open gates to Gorleston’s one mile promenade could be seen as an open invitation. Local councillors hold their positions with our permission, and the next local election may well see our support slip away.


Marine Parade,


Man barricades

in Gorleston!

HURRAH! To the barricades! No more parking on Gorleston’s lovely Promenade. If councillors haven’t absorbed the message by now, heaven help them at the next election.


Marine Parade,


A choice of where

to be treated

I DO believe we need to hear more of the facts regarding the criticism of the care of elderly people being treated in the James Paget Hospital. But I understand we do have a choice of where we are treated. And we have a hospital in Norwich.

Name and Address withheld