Letters, October 4 2013

Cycling on paths is an offence

Can I point out to the law regarding cycling on the footpath - it is an offence under Section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 (yes, you read correctly 1835) as amended by Section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1888.

I have managed to cycle legally for over 30 years, summer and winter, without ever feeling the need to break the law by cycling on the pavement. I am also a pedestrian, and take care when on the shared use paths (ie outside Matalan) that I am conscious of other users and behave accordingly.

My concern is that the cyclists who flout the law are also usually car drivers (we are not talking about kids here - it is grown men and women who should absolutely know better) and if their lack of regard to traffic law extends to their behaviour whilst in a car, then that is a serious issue.



Fuming about scooters letter

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I am absolutely fuming with Mr Doug Towers about his scathing attack on mobility scooter users. Firstly, I have something on my scooter cyclists don’t have, that’s road tax and insurance, which most scooters have today.

Imagine having to walk over Haven Bridge. Just give me one of your legs, I would love to walk over the bridge, and play in the sand with my grandchildren, but through no fault of my own I’m an above-knee amputee.

Does Mr Towers think that for one moment I and my fellow scooter users want to be in the position we are in? Many elderly arthritic people, and those with other disabilities, are able to do things, get out of the house, go shopping and to the cinema. My scooter gives me freedom to go places, take my dog for a walk and meet people.

Mr Towers is a very lucky man, but maybe, when he is older he, and maybe those close to him might be in the position we scooter users are now , then I hope to see a letter of apology in the Mercury. Because her but for the grace of god go you.

While on this subject, all cyclists should be taxed and insured for using the roads and their bikes microchipped so when they break the law, which they do on many occasions, the camera would catch them. Also, all cyclists, like road users, should take a cycling test and have a licence.

Jason Siragher, about riding on the pavement: That is more dangerous than you riding on the roads. A little while ago my grandson came out of my house and stepped onto the pavement and was nearly knocked down by a man on a cycle. If you cannot use the road in a proper manner without blaming everyone, get a bus.


Yallop Avenue,


See what I see and then rant!

Having for the last few weeks sent letters to the Mercury about the state of our town, it was good to see on Friday a road sweeper doing a fine job on Camden Road - only for a man to come out of his house no more than 10 feet from the cleaner’s barrow, get in to his van, and throw an empty cigarette packet out of van window.

Then as I walked through the town and down North Market Road passed a queue of people. I am pretty sure they were not buying ice cream! If in one day in the town I can see this and many more problems our town has.

Maybe the people of the town need to open up their eyes and voice their opinion about what is right and wrong here, may be the Mercury could print a rant page I’m sure it would get well used



Christianity still requires trust

In response to the letter from Derek Brown in last week’s issue, I would just like to address his declaration that “Jesus never existed”.

Not only is there plenty of evidence in the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the 1950s that contradict this, there is also evidence from the court of Pilate (like a first-century Hansard) from when Jesus was tried, prior to his execution. Josephus, the Samuel Pepys of his day, also recorded plenty in his writings concerning Jesus and his growing band of followers - mostly his annoyance, as Josephus wasn’t what you’d call a ‘fan’.

The story changed a little, Chinese-whispers style, through the centuries; most of this was due to Pope Concious III in the 4th century, who was secretly an initiate of the Sol Invictus Cult (Sun Worshippers to you and me). He’s the one responsible for changing the celebration of Jesus’ birth from October to the Winter Solstice, and for changing the Sabbath, the Holy day, from the seventh day of the week to the Sunday.

Christianity still requires a large degree of trust - it wouldn’t be a ‘faith’ if it didn’t - but there is plenty of evidence, outside of the New Testament, that says Jehoshua Bin Jusef, aka Jesus, walked this Earth once. I’m just setting the record straight.


Blake Drive,


Class action against DWP

I have debated in my head whether to write this start to what I hope will be a lively correspondence.

To set the scene, about six weeks ago my daughter and husband was surprised to see their customary benefits were not paid into their account. Now before this she was stopped a fortnight’s money and when she asked why they said because she had been each day looking after her terminally ill mother, feeding, caring and shopping for us “she was not available for work”.

This was unbelievable and of course she had no money to live on or pay rent. As her father, I coughed up as she had to live.

We now come to the present situation, apparently she was “reassessed” and as part of procedures laid down again all money stopped. We are now at end of this period of weeks and again I have paid out of my meagre savings £300 each week to keep roof over her head, nearly £2,000, and to feed and keep her and five children warm. There will be no back pay.There was no wrongdoing on her behalf.

The questions I pose are these:

1 Why if there is no wrongdoing are the payments not be reverted to the beginning period?

2 If it just reassessment and no illegal stuff, why are payments stopped with no warning?

3 Why is there no automatic appeals mechanism?

4 Why are relatives supposed to take up slack? She was told ‘family will have to support you’.

This is not just my daughter, the letting agents for her house said this sudden stop of housing support is apparently common, at least 100 I know of.

Would any of our esteemed leaders comment? Would anyone else in the same position like to contact me and I will consider a legal class action against DWP for their inefficiency because this is unjust and should be challenged.

Perhaps the Mercury would like to ask party representatives their standpoint. People should know who to support when elections come around again.


Great Yarmouth

How about White Horse estate?

After hearing the name for our estate to be called Halfway House has been turned down, I thought I would put my pennyworth in for it to be called the White Horse Estate, after the pub that dominated the roundabout for so many years has been demolished and gone the way of so many other favourite watering holes.

Everybody from the age of 25 upwards remembers the Horse with much fondness, and certainly the people I’ve talked to have all agreed that it would be a great idea.

So come on council, try again, I think you would get a better reaction this time round.


Beccles Road,


The Bloaters are a great club

What a great local football club you have here in Great Yarmouth Town FC.

I moved into this area from Essex last year and started going to watch all the local non league football teams play. I have been so taken with Yarmouth Town that I am now a season ticket holder and also a match ball sponsor.

I recently went to Boston Town away with the club for their FA Cup tie and on the return journey on the coach the striker Mitch Forbes announced that all the team had had a whip round and were going to pay for both the supporters match tickets and also their travel for the day.

This is typical of the club and with an excellent manager and a great group of players who are doing really well this season. I cannot believe how lucky this area is to have such a great local football club.

Promotion is a real possibility this season so, Come On You Bloaters!


Second Avenue,


Where is MP over prison closure?

That the recent announcement of the closure if HMP Blundeston is a terrible decision for both local people and the local economy seems a foregone conclusion. Both the Conservative MP for Waveney as well as the Labour Party candidates for both Waveney and Gt. Yarmouth have publicly stated their opposition to this.

Only the Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, has stayed silent, presumably putting the thoughts and feelings of his higher-ups in the party before those of his constituents that will be adversely affected.

I would like to draw your reader’s attention to this - in discussions with prison staff, both directly-employed and indirectly-employed, I have not met a directly-employed member of staff who has not been offered redeployment to work in another prison.

On the other hand I have not met an indirectly-employed member of staff that will not be made redundant by the end of the year.

The irony is that such staff (numbering between 150 and 200) are rarely even counted in the official figures for staff that will be affected.

It is a horrible time for staff at HMP Blundeston right now, even more horrible for those facing being made unemployed this Christmas.

That there is no comment from the Yarmouth MP who has many constituents within this group speaks volumes.

Name and Address withheld

UKIP councillors being harrassed

I was a visitor in the public gallery at County Hall on September 16 and I can assure you it was county councillor (UKIP) Matthew Smith who put the Motion forward to keep the free school bus passes for the children of Belton and Burgh Castle, not Brandon Lewis MP

He is like some of the other county councillors, he is jumping on the bandwagon and taken credit for something they did not do.

May I point out it was the Conservative Party at county hall that stopped the free school bus passes in the first place, so how could he have the nerve to send letters to households in Belton and Burgh Castle.

The three local UKIP county councillors met with the parents on two occasions at the village hall at Belton, Brandon just sent his representative.

It seems to me the three main party councillors are doing all they can to pick up any little rumour and turning it from a molehill into a mountain before getting facts right.

Some of these councillors are saying nasty things and even harassing some of the UKIP county councillors, it’s not good behaviour for county councillors who are supposed to be for the constituents, or could the reason be they were well and truly beaten at this year’s county elections and are trying every trick in the book to make the voters vote for them at next year’s elections, by running UKIP down at every opportunity.

This just makes the UKIP party in Norfolk more stronger and determined to fight for every seat in not only Great Yarmouth but the whole of Norfolk, so come on you mainstream parties do your worst.


Groomes Close,

Hopton on sea

Jesus will knock on rectory door

As religion continues to be a permitted topic, regarding the new rectory: may I say though not so palatial as the abodes of some Christian celebrities, considering its comparative grandeur, I can rather imagine Jesus knocking on the door than answering it.


Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

Ryan’s family send thank you

On behalf of the Ryan Harman family, my wife and I and family would like to thank the organisers Martin Sinclair, Sammy Morgan, Jon White, the managers of both teams of the football match which took place at the Gorleston football ground Emerald Park, also all the public that turned up to watch a very good game of football. A crowd of round about 586 people watched the game.

It’s the first time all the Harman brothers Ryan, Remi, Reece and Reegan have played together in a match which resulted in the Gorleston Legends XI winning 4-1 against the Ryan’s Selected XI.

Once again we cannot thank you enough. You done us proud.



New homes are needed all time

In reply to Mr Brown’s letter about the proposed new houses in Bradwell.

Since the second world war, Great Yarmouth has acquired numerous new housing estates. These houses being built in Bradwell and Gorleston including Cliff Park Estate. All these new homes, when built were met by an increase in NHS services, schools etc.

The James Paget Hospital was built because we had outgrown the old Town Centre Hospital on Deneside and the JPH has been continually expanded ever since.

In Bradwell we have just had completed the Blue Sky and Millwood Park Estates accounting for about 1,000 new homes, not forgetting the houses recently built next to the JPH.

As the population grows, new homes are required all the time. They have to be built somewhere and Beacon Park is going to be the place.

I am sure Mr Brown would not want people going back to the old days of living in overcrowded housing like the old Yarmouth Rows. We just cannot keep saying “not in my backyard”.

The land opposite Links Road could be purchased by the council, you could certainly get a lot of houses in there!.



Huge thank you from Macmillan

The Great Yarmouth Branch of Macmillan Cancer Support held a coffee morning on Friday as part of the national appeal day. I would like to thank Nick Calver and his staff at NatWest Bank for hosting the event.

The morning was a great success and a total of £298.49p was donated not only by those who enjoyed the refreshments but also by many others. I would like to thank all of those people for their generosity.

I would also like to show my appreciation to those who attended the two evenings with Sarah Millican at the Britannia Pier last week. Sarah kindly agreed to allow collections after her performances in aid of Macmillan and these raised the magnificent sum of £1088.63p. I am very grateful to all those who donated.



Macmillan Cancer Support,

Great Yarmouth

Massive loss of our seabeds

At last a suggestion as to what could be happening off our coast, with aggregate extraction. Advising us not to worry about the amount of material being removed from our shoreline as it was being regenerated by material being washed down from the coast of Lincolshire. Lovely!

Now let’s study the whole situation as is. Starting with our sea area. Humber: One of 19 sea areas being affected by this purge, going on as far as the Baltic in the east, Fugloy and the Iceland ridge in the north.

So the self regeneration is pulling material from where? Loose material is being trailer dredged by suction and regeneration being provided by hardcore material.

Let us look at what is going on about 22km east of Great Yarmouth. Licences have been applied for, to dredge for a number of years in areas 228-206-328-240-401/2B.

Area 401/2A alone has 80 co-ordinates, with 401/2B having 12 more. That’s with Hanson Aggregate Marine Ltd who also control area 240-328. Area 228 is controlled by Volker Dredging Ltd and area 296 by Tarmac Marine Dredging Ltd.

All these operations are creating deep water so altering the littoral drift, favouring some coastal areas more than others.


Gonville Road,


Think again re toilets decision

Having read the article about the closing of toilets along the Golden Miles, I was shock and seriously taken aback. I am a regular visitor and used to live in the town, in fact there are times when I still wish I did.

I am also someone who has in the not too distant past, suffered from a health complaint which made it necessary to appreciate having toilet facilities available within a short distance of others along the seafront. I am sure many people, especially the disabled and those with a little problem will relate to this.

I can appreciate there are reasons for knocking the said block down but really is this fair and conducive to pleasing and satisfying visitors and locals alike? I do not believe it is.

And when there are no facilities close at hand children will often do their business wherever they can which is not a healthy state of affairs, bad enough we have dogs doing this all the time – but they have little choice.

I am sure, if as I believe I read, it is to make way for more car parking, then I say please think again, there will be another way.



£30m spent on prison last year!

Why shut one of the best prisons? To add to Mr Steve Gilder’s letter (September 27).

Blundeston prison was the second best prison in the country, only September last year the ministry of justice spent £30m, yes £30m, updating the workshops, equipment, canteen/restaurant etc.

I understand it is going to be knocked down and houses built on the site and I think it is disgusting people on vast salaries, pensions etc are just throwing away this vast sum of money that has only been spent there in this short space of time.