Letters, October 26, 2012

Councillors defy law, we break it

INTERESTING isn’t it - how councillors “defy” the law whereas the rest of us “break” it, Mercury, October 19 Councillors defy law over licence.

It was rather remiss of the Mercury reporter, I thought, not to list all of the councillors who voted in favour of what is an illegal decision which must be rescinded at once otherwise it will once again be the taxpayers of the borough who will have to foot the bill for any fine which is forthcoming as a result of this irresponsible decision.

Surely the perfect outcome here would be for Mr England to see to it that he gets his full driving licence. He has until Easter to do so.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Most Read

What future for White Horse?

CAN someone please tell me what on earth is going on with the White Horse pub in Gorleston?

It’s a crying shame to see a much-loved pub closed down for so long; nothing has happened workwise there for months on end.

I’ve got over 30 years happy memories of all the good times in there through six landlords and landladies. End the anguish: either reopen or pull it down.


Beccles Road,


Halloween is not Catholic festival

PERHAPS you will allow some defence against Eldo Barkhuizen’s letter in the Mercury, October 5, in which he alleges that Halloween is a Catholic party, it would appear Mr Barkhuizen’s contribution contains the usual misinformation about Catholicism. If he cares to visit any sacristy of any Catholic Church and consults the Ordo (order of services for the calendar), he will see that October 31 is listed as a feria day - a weekday on which there is no festival or holiday.

However, if he wishes to interrogate further, he might want to consult the Evening Prayer of the Church, where he will see the vigil for All Saints (November 1) cites psalms 112 and 147, and the canticle is from Revelation Ch19 1-2 5-7. The Reading is from St Paul’s letter to the Hebrews chapter 12.

If Eldo Barkhuizen can find anything wrong or sinister with this, then good luck to him.


Beccles Road,


None of promised jobs, but success

MS Eliza O’Toole, deputy chairman of GYPC and Eastport should not be criticised too harshly for not having at her fingertips financial information regarding her companies (Dennis Durrant letter of October 12).

I would imagine all her efforts at the moment are being directed to working on the eagerly awaited good news soon to be announced on future plans regarding the Outer Harbour.

I can, however, assist on these important figures. The two companies, EastPort and the Great Yarmouth Port Company, in the financial year ending 31 December 2011, together made a profit of nearly �7m. In addition the value of these companies rose to just under �78m. These figures must be very pleasing to the overseas companies and the shareholders that now own Eastport and GYPC. The directors of these companies are to be congratulated on their skill that, in a period of less than six years, they have achieved accumulating this �78m from a standing start.

I am sure they are also very grateful that, without the cash donations freely given (apparently without strings) by our councillors on behalf of local taxpayers and the gifting of the inner harbour, none of this would have been possible. No matter that the promised jobs have not yet materialised - financially, for the directors and shareholders, it is a roaring success.


Private Road,

Ormesby St Margaret

Well done to the amazing total

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jenny Watson the Mercury, and Jenny’s dedicated team of volunteers for reaching the amazing target of �1.5m for the new palliative care unit on the James Paget University Hospital site.

This sum was not easy to raise, but through the brilliant leadership from Jenny, the workings of her team and the amazing support from the Mercury, they have “done it”. Well done to all involved. We are all very proud of you.



Shop local when it’s all banks?

I HAVE noticed yet another bank has opened up in Yarmouth Market Place, which has annoyed me as there is a campaign to shop local at Christmas time.

However, there are not that many shops to choose from. I feel we need a variety of shops and some big name shops to open up. For example, in the old Coop department store, why not get a Primark or H&M or even an Early Learning Centre. There are no shops that concentrate on baby supplies like a Mothercare. Why do we need more banks?



Let’s see street cleaners please

PLEASE can we have a street cleaner on Palgrave Road at some time, as the amount or rubbish lying about is very bad , also the amount of dog poo in the passageways, broken glass, supermarket trolleys plus household stuff, is beyond a joke.

A dog warden in the area would be good start, or even better, if the owners clean up after their dogs.



Hitler couldn’t be left to rampage

IN reply to Mr Philip Knight, in general I would agree with his views. However, we did not fight the Second World War solely for ourselves. We felt that, all else having failed, we could not let Hitler and the Nazis rampage through Europe any longer. I would refer him to the parable of the good samaritan.

Supposing the priest, Levi and samaritan had arrived at the scene just as the robbers were beating up the traveller. Does he then think that Christ would have advocated that the samaritan too should pass by on the other side?


Springfield Road


Britain in danger of falling apart

I FEEL the Britain I was born into is crumbling, following the same process which destroyed the Roman Empire and others. A previously united Great Britain is on the verge of falling apart and political correctness legislation is condemning free speech.

We are wallowing in a sea of corruption, greed and apathy. Parliament, police, banks, media and many other previously trusted institutions have all been under scrutiny. The rich get richer and the poor just get poorer. We are caught up in a web of consumerism that has helped to bankrupt our society, to a great extent fuelled by government and banks.

Bankers don’t think of being paid in thousands but millions and some footballers demand more than �20,000 for a week’s training and a match. Obesity, teenage pregnancies, single parent families, drink and drug problems and crime are the norm now in our midst.

Education seems to need dramatic change every generation. Teachers have not just one hand tied behind their backs but two when they have to deal with unruliness from a very early age. PC is so deep in our system now that “naughty” is a word that is frowned on by authority. It is wrong to write in a child’s book, “could do better” if they are not achieving to their potential.

In many care homes residents sleep in daytime because of lack of stimulation. Illegal immigration has reached dangerous proportions where health, jobs and housing and benefits are all stretched to their limit.

We have large numbers of legal immigrants who have integrated well that we couldn’t do without, in agreement with this but there are others who will be an enormous problem in the future. It would be great if we could have a debate on this in the Mercury with both those who disagree with my opinions also like thinkers to myself. Please prove me wrong in one opinion – apathy.


Brett Avenue,


Halloween is not harmless fun

HALLOWEEN, according to Sarah Bailey and Geoff Bensley in their Mercury letters last week, is just “harmless fun”.

No! Any involvement with the occult opens doors to darkness, as many who’ve slid down this slope can testify. And just because a person disbelieves the existence of God or Satan doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Let Mercury readers make up their own minds. See http://tinyurl.com/9442xjf


Albemarle Road


Why not look at bus station?

I AM struggling to see what the obsession is with the rail station with the MP constantly failing to gain significant improvements and a call for more volunteers. I am sure the station could look better and would again emphasise it is the total area that needs to be looked at with a landscaping programme and the bridge re-opened to cars, not just tarted up.

Why are volunteers having to raise funds for that? The caged station waiting area could have a low maintenance mini rail museum with displays of our rail heritage, posters, a reconstruction of Newtown Halt, mail on rail, Birds Eye on rail, the shunter that used the quay line (or even Toby) and perhaps a model of a local station.

I have researched Gorleston and Caister. If succesful, examples of coaches could be exhibited in a spare bay platform. Moreover, we need to be more than a siding from Norwich. We need through trains to Cambridge for a start and East Midlands Trains on summer Saturdays and perhaps the first train of the day.

There is only one train an hour and any volunteer just seems to be hanging around for the off chance that someone needs help. Last week, I saw an elderly lady get help with her case at Yarmouth but at Norwich was quite capable of carrying it herself!

Most people cannot afford regular travel to London and unlike MPs do not have free travel to London.

Most of the town depends on the bus. The MP and volunteers, could usefully look at helping around the dismal bus station.

There are buses every few minutes and far more use than the rail station. Buses and stops could usefully have a two hourly rubbish collections as some passengers just dump their litter all over the place. I collected a bag full the other day on one bus.

I am not convinced, however, that volunteering is about helping companies make bigger profits. Why help Abelio and not First?


Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

Paid for privilege of no bus seat!

WHO was the bright spark at First Buses who decided to take some of the double decker buses off the number 8 route and replace them with a single decker last week?

I had the pleasure standing most of the way from the Magdalen Estate to Great Yarmouth town centre and paying for the privilege.


Stuart Close,


Zombie show was fantastic

WHAT a fantastic show. Zombie Wedding was performed at The Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston, on Thursday and Friday. An amazing cast, and the theme just right for Halloween - all local talent. Well done. Can’t wait for the next show.


Bendish Avenue,


Yes, we will be remembering

SOMEONE once said: “All that is needed for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.” It will soon be that time, when on the 11th hour of the 11th day, of the 11th month we remember those good men and women who in their country’s hour of need fought and triumphed over evil.

There are no warriors left from the first world war, and very few from the second world war. We say in prayer “At the going down of the Sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

Do we remember them? Do we give thanks to those young men who gave everything, who took up arms so we could do that?

When I was at school we were taught British history, from Walter Raleigh, Nelson and Wellington’s fight against the Spanish and French. The first world war, with the battles of the Somme and others, and first aerial battles made a schoolboys pulse race. In the second Worlds war, there was the Battle of Britain, where those few fought against mighty odds. There was Dunkirk, D-Day, Tobruk and the sea battles against U-boat’s; followed by Korea, the Falklands, Iraq and now Afghanistan.

Yes, good men and women came forward, and we should remember them. On the 11th hour, for just two minutes each year, traffic stops, we down tools close our eyes and give thanks to those brave men and women. Their sacrifice made sure that we in Britain are free from tyranny. Yes we will remember them.


Yallop Avenue,


New ageless directory out

ONCE again we are preparing for the new Ageless Opportunities Directory of activities for those over (but not exclusively) 50. This will be the 7th edition and it is just as popular now as when it first came out!

If you run a club or group and you are not in the directory please get in touch as soon as possible. Activities can be social or physical, so there are coffee mornings as well as table tennis clubs in there! 7,000 copies will be printed, they all go to out to people eager to be more active, plus this year we are working on an interactive electronic version.



Great Yarmouth Community Trust

People in wrong roundabout lane

I WOULD just like to clarify that I learned to drive as the Highway Code states, because I am starting to wonder.

In the last month at the Fullers Hill roundabout in Great Yarmouth I have nearly collided with two cars coming round to Asda in the left hand lane. It is my understanding you go right in the right hand lane, not in the left hand lane unless the road markings say otherwise, and then leave the poor driver who is in the right lane to start with having to brake sharply to not cause a collision.

Then when you sound your horn they swear or give you a funny look when they are in the wrong. I know I am not the only one to have experienced this as I have seen other drivers have the same issues.



Support call for OAPs crossing

I AM writing to thank the Mercury for their coverage and support of the plight of residents in Abbeville Residential Care home and to update readers on progress.

Last Wednesday , I met with Pat, the manager of Abbeville, Brian McDonnell, former chairman of Age Concern Great Yarmouth (and whose mother is a resident of Abbeville) and County Council Highways Officers to discuss a way forward on this issue.

As the article correctly stated, the county looked at this a couple of years ago. Just to put it in context for readers, at the time the council had �155m to save and in highways the priority was, quite rightly, to invest in accident black spots, of which North Drive was not one.

Although money is still scarce, the county is now in the process of planning which roads across the county to assess next year. As a result of last Wednesday’s meeting, I have put in a request to County Hall for funding to carry out an initial assessment to be carried out on North Drive.

I am also a member of the Yarmouth Car Parking Strategy Group, and will be lobbying my fellow members as the committee has a �300,000 at its disposal to spend on safety issues of local concern, of which I firmly believe a crossing on North Drive is one.

I also believe that as a society we have a moral duty to give people in retirement the best possible opportunities to enjoy an active and quality life. This is especially a relevant challenge for Norfolk, as we are set to become the county with the oldest population in the country by 2015.

I therefore urge readers to carry on backing the plight of the residents of Abbeville Care home by signing the petition the residents are planning and help me to show County Hall and the car parking steering group there is local support for a much-needed crossing on North Drive.


Norfolk County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central

Is MP’s claim a housing benefit?

IT has been reported in the press that more than 20 MPs are letting out London homes at the same time as claiming public money to rent in the city. It has also emerged our very own Brandon Lewis MP claims allowances for renting a property in his constituency, while letting out the property he owns here.

Is this the same Brandon Lewis who supports the cuts to benefits, including housing benefit, to people who are on low pay, who receives a salary of approximately �65,000 a year? Is not the rent allowance he receives a form of housing benefit?

He is paid a salary many can only dream of, owns a property and is still entitled to claim rent allowance funded by the hard working tax payer he has previously claimed to be so concerned about. Your constituents will not forget, come the election, Mr Lewis.


Victoria Road,


Poppy Appeal is so important

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 and second world wars to those who served in conflicts in places such as Cyprus, 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 Georges Park on November 11 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 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

Poo fine is more than if disorderly

I FEEL compelled to write concerning the outcome of a fine. My son, who is a responsible dog owner, was on the dunes in Great Yarmouth, he had picked up after his dog and had not realised she had gone again. Later he received a letter to say he had been seen not cleaning up dog mess.

It beggar’s belief that someone in the watchtower had seen his female dog poo. How could they tell she was doing a poo and that it was hers amongst the many piles of poo and bags is beyond me. The outcome of this is he was found guilty and given an �80 fine, �100 cost and �15 surcharge. What an ass the law is, the same week someone who had assaulted by beating was given �40 cost, and if you are drunk and disorderly you get �25 fine and �15 cost.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for fines for not picking up dog mess but surely we need the wardens on the streets.

Riverside Walk from Newtown to Caister is a real mess, we get poo outside our gate and bags thrown into the garden. Some owners think because they have picked it up it is good enough to leave the bag, as for the paths in the town – well it’s play “dodge the dog mess and horse mess”.

These are the places we all use, so come on Great Yarmouth Council get the wardens on the streets and, dog owners beware: Big Brother is watching you.


Caister Road,

Great Yarmouth

People should bin their rubbish

DURING the summer I pointed out the disgusting state of Great Yarmouth prom from the boating lake to the Pleasure Beach: dog poo, rubbish, cans etc.

Well, surprise, surprise I see in the Mercury they are asking for volunteers to clear up the rubbish. If people were to either take their rubbish to a bin (not too many of these though) or even take it home, this clean up would not be necessary. I rest my case.



Much heritage has been restored

GREAT news, the first stage of Vauxhall Bridge refurbishment is to start shortly. The Great Yarmouth Buildings Preservation Trust is involved with this project.

The UK Association of Building Trusts held its national conference in Yarmouth last week. Lectures and workshops were held in the mornings, and visits were made to restored buildings etc in the afternoons.

It seems to take occasions like this to remind us what has been achieved. Congratulations to past and present members of Great Yarmouth Buildings Preservation Trust; we would not have restored so much of our heritage without your dedication.


St Georges Road,

Great Yarmouth

Congratulations to festival talent

I WAS disappointed I was not able to attend the Gorleston St Andrew’s Competitive Festival Recital Evening, on Saturday, at St. Andrew’s Church as, by all accounts, I missed a lovely musical evening’s entertainment.

Megan Storer and Annie Turnell were both worthy winners of the two main Festival Awards. Megan received the Recital Award, given in memory of David Balfour and Annie received the Award of Festival Musician of the Year, given in memory of William Bircham. I am certain that these two gentlemen would be very gratified to know that there are still such talented young people coming forward to enter the Festival, of which they were both founder members.

May I offer my congratulations to Megan and Annie for their valued contribution to this year’s Festival, previous Festivals and also thank them for their performances – it takes many hours of practice and determination to achieve a high musical standard.

May I also thank Terry Cunnane, accompanist, and the friends, who gave Megan and Annie their support and help to make the evening more special.

My thanks are also due to all committee members, and to Megan and Annie’s teachers and parents for helping to organise the Recital Evening – it seems their efforts were certainly well rewarded.


Competitive Festival chairman

Assad removal seems the focus

I REFER to my letter published in the Mercury, October 19, in which I stated that he (Brandon Lewis) had not replied to my letter to him.

He had in fact sent a prompt reply, but this was mislaid and not opened until after my letter to you. I have apologised to Brandon Lewis, but feel that an apology in the Mercury would be appropriate.

His response, however, seemed to suggest that the government was more interested in regime change and the removal of Assad than concern for a peaceful settlement. The claim that the �5m “does not include lethal assistance to the armed opposition” seems meaningless when this sum could free up money to purchase arms.

I hope you will be able to include an apology for the error in my letter.


Common Road,

West Somerton

Girls society lunch arranged

GREAT Yarmouth High School Old Girls Society will be holding its next lunch on Thursday, November 8 at the Palm Court, Burlington Hotel at 1pm. Guest speaker will be Betty Brown talking about her Adventures on a Tall Ship. Coffee will be available from 11am.

We were hoping to make this a celebration lunch for Dorothy Stevens, but sadly, we have to announce that Dorothy Stevens (Miss Capon to hundreds of former students) died suddenly at her home in Bungay on Tuesday, October 16.

Her funeral will take place on Wednesday, October 31 at Trinity Church, 11.30am.

If anyone would like to come to the lunch please contact us on 01493 843816



Occupier must remove shrubs

RE.the letter in the Mercury last week asking who is going to cut overhanging shrubs.

To clarify the situation, house occupiers are responsible for keeping their own shrubs away from walkways. However, if there is concern about obstruction, Norfolk County Council Highways Department will investigate and speak to the occupiers. If they do not comply, NCC will carry out the work and have the right to reclaim the cost from the occupier.


Yarmouth North ward

Ship wreck could move

SOME time ago I spoke of the demise of Gorleston beach. Now, due to the expanding business of aggregate extraction, this process has now been accelerated. The decay of the beach is progressing from south to north.

What was the Hopton trench has now developed into a gully, whereby, due to the suction methods of these extractions, material is being moved, and guided away from the Hopton shoreline,widening the trench to create a cove, because of the deep water being produced.

As the size of this cove grows, the drag of the suction with slowly pull material from the northern side of the bay being created.

Concern will probably start, once the wreck of the White Swan starts to move.


Gonville Road,


Funds to help ex fishermen

THE Great Yarmouth Seamen’s Trust was formed in 1860; the trustees are willing to provide funds for the well being and relief of fishermen and seamen who have fished and operated around the Great Yarmouth area.

The charity is intended to support current or former fishermen or seamen in times of need, hardship or distress. Beneficiaries can be anybody who has worked, in the fishing Industry, or any person who has worked in connection with beach and sea within the Yarmouth Borough.

The trust can make grants of money, and provide or pay for goods, services or facilities. The application can include the recommendation of named persons. Current trustees are: chairman Loraine Stroud, the current Mayor of Yarmouth, Cllr David Thompson, James King HM Coastguard, Terry Easter, Cllr Michael Castle, Jack Wells, Mrs Gloria Doyle, Mrs Alexandra Clarke of the Fishermen’s Federation), and Cllr Valerie Petit.

For details of the funds available, please email.



Tories a party of the rich

DO you ever feel that history is repeating itself? This was my reaction on reading “My View”, Peter Kirkpatrick’s interesting and helpful column, October 19 Mercury.

In the 1930’s, people on benefit were under the “means test”. If you were living in luxury with two wardrobes you had to sell one before receiving your benefit.

Today, council tenants with a “spare bedroom” will soon suffer a loss of benefit. They can avoid this if they move to a smaller property.

Presumably their distant children or relatives who visit them will then have to put up on a put-you-up in the front room.

What spiteful old Etonian thought this was a good idea? Despite Tories protests about not being the party of the rich we know now, as we have always known, this is what they really are.


Bure Close

Great Yarmouth

TO comment of any of the letters or reports in this week’s Mercury, email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk