Letters, October 25, 2013

Government aid needed by town

A lot of hard work has gone into the Local Plan, but it is difficult to see how many of the much needed improvements will be achieved. The private sector continues to fail our town and the government has cut funding to councils.

The much heralded casino and related developments stalled with promises that everything will be alright. Wellington Pier is given away, having already been cut back and the council is left with the Winter Gardens that the private sector did not want! What happens if the new owners still fail to make it work -another eyesore? The privately owned old Regent and Empire cinemas stand empty and elegant buildings on The Quay decline. The railway station area remains an eyesore and services unimproved.

Asda and Greater Anglia cannot even get together to provide a bus service from the station to the town with the Asda bus passing by the station with many empty seats.

The bus station, served by private bus companies, remains unloved yet footfall is far, far more than the rail station.

The privately owned Iron Duke pub has stood empty for years. South Denes remains undeveloped and an eyesore. The town must have the fewest trees than anywhere in the country and the boating lake needs replant - where is the private sector?

Acle New Road needs an upgrade - will it need to be a toll road? The private sector is not investing enough in our town.

Most Read

The Government slashed sea defence budgets and our coastline continues to disappear with Hemsby unlikely to fund sea defences and Hopton Holiday Park battling to hold the line. Caister has lost more beach recently with the seaside café under threat of collapse. Will the private sector save our coastline?

The government, meanwhile, slashes the budget of our councils so that they are unable to invest. Millions of reduced public funds have gone into provide fast broadband because the private sector fails to invest enough of their profits.

The greedy gas and electric companies hold us to ransom with threats of power cuts if tax breaks are not provided for investment.

Unemployment remains a big issue locally as the private sector is not growing fast enough and public sector jobs are cut with huge redundancy and early retirement bills. Our town needs big investments which the private sector cannot provide.

More government aid is needed, the profit-making private sector is not getting there.


Victoria Street,


How does council justify itself?

I think the council in this town is a complete joke. I am totally bemused at how they can justify what they do.

The Wellington Pier is being given away; please don’t forget the old housing office building which was sold for 50p which is more or less giving it away.

Think back to the waste of taxpayers money spent on the British Gas millennium beacon that they happily sat on the roundabout near the James Paget Hospital. That cost a lot more than 50p.

How many millions was spent on the outer harbour; was any of it built by local people? Mmm no, and neither did any jobs come of it other than people to sit on guard.

The power station was subcontracted out to a Liverpool company and they brought all their own staff. Plans done correctly would mean town would be a hive of industry and thriving.

In stead what we have got is driving me mad!


Great Yarmouth

An example of judicious edit?

I was astonished to learn of Derek Brown’s strong objection to my “putting words in his mouth”; and somewhat puzzled, as the letter I was responding to really did state an inaccurate assertion that Jesus “never existed”.

Is this discrepancy down to judicious editing of letters, squeezing many words into finite editorial space?


Blake Drive,


Another asset is given away

Oh dear! Yet another of Great Yarmouth’s assets given away by the council.

This comes in the wake of the municipal offices and the land at Yarmouth’s harbour mouth. Also the running of the racecourse was handed over to private enterprise and now we have a similar scenario with the Wellington Pier.

Why is it that everything the council touches seems to run at a loss regardless of which party is in power?

I seem to remember that in the 1990’s Jim Davidson attempted to save the pier by investing his own money in the project, but for some reason the council wouldn’t play ball and now they are handing it over for nothing.

The end of the pier show!



Pier used to be so exciting

I don’t know were to start, it makes me so angry. Here we go again, what is it with Yarmouth - they cannot get it right.

Wellington Pier used to be such an exciting place to go when I was a kid. My Nanny would take me to the shows most weeks and they were always full, now nothing!

Even the Winter Gardens was fantastic; I used to go skating and to its shows.

The poor building has just been left empty while the council don’t know what to do with it, it’s such a shame. If money had been spent on it years ago this would not have happened. Come on, get it sorted and put Great back in Yarmouth again.



Astonished by bus pass email

How can it be that the county council’s travel and transport services can ignore the obvious will of the full elected council?

I am astounded by an email I received from Nikki Park, client services manager for Norfolk County Council travel and transport services on October 15 advising me to pay £100 for my children’s transport to Ormiston Academy prior to the upcoming half term.

As one of the many parents that engaged in the democratic political process to change the decision of Norfolk County Council to start charging for my children’s transport, we lobbied our elective representatives and put our case for retaining the current transport arrangements. This resulted in us winning a vote in a full council meeting on October 7 to retain the current transport arrangements.

In the following cabinet meeting a decision was made to continue funding the transport until February, while investigating the issues raised.

However the letter from Nikki Park states this was only a decision to investigate the possibility of continuing the funding, which is not the recollection of the parents who attended the meeting. Subsequently one of these parents asked to see the transcript of the meetings minutes and was told they weren’t available.

Once again we receive a letter just before the holidays demanding the money by half term, in the hope we can be bullied into submission.

What is the point in engaging in the democratic political process if a small minority of councillors and transport officials can ignore the will of the council and push their own agenda? Can someone please explain to me how this is democracy in action.



Church causing much misery

Ten out of ten to the Church for the handling of the letters to people who live in their area who are liable for the charge referred to on the front page of The Mercury last week.

I know of a lady, a widow and living on her own, who received one of these letters. I cannot begin to tell you of the distress that has been inflicted on this lady who is a kind, caring person who does a lot of charity work to help others. It seems to me the Church is going out of its way to cause misery and suffering on those that least deserve it.

The vicar seems to be pleading ignorance when referring to these letters that have been sent out. I can well remember a few years ago a policeman who said “ignorance is no excuse”.

In this day and age all this seems totally out of place. Perhaps the Church should look to itself and correct this miserable action that really has caused suffering and pain to lots of innocent people.


Cherry Road.


Washed away, thrown away

Hemsby beach washed away. Inner harbour thrown away. Wellington Pier given away.



Holiday firms should help out

How was Hemsby beach allowed to look like a derelict builders’ site with rusting pieces of metal, large lumps of concrete and even the old bricks from the cess pits from the homes that used to stand at The Marrams, all uncovered by loss of sand? All it needs now is a couple of burnt out cars to complete a picture of neglect. So when the new holiday brochures are 2014 are printed, will the holiday businesses here show the real beach?

For years it’s been take, so is it not time to give back and help with the sea defence, or tourism businesses will find the £80m generated is a distant memory.


The Marrams,


Well done Mr King, for letter

May I say well done Mike King for showing concern about the aggregate extraction going on in a number of sea areas along our coastline, Humber. But also many others. Everybody knows what is happening and how long it’s has been going on.

The actual extraction tonnage of aggregate converted into water tonnage is multi-millions of tonnes, converting our coastal stability from solids to liquids. And liquids are gaining control.

Where there used to be shallow ripple waves now comes water-heavy, scouring waves, pulling aggregate with is on its return downhill.

There is a solution: put an end to this transfer of flat beach to cliff face. The changes in the seabed depth will self regenerate if left to do so. But a stop to this pillaging must be made now by stopping extraction licences being issued.

It’s as simple as that.


Gonville Road,


Church could sell power shares

With the recent events coming to light that the church will be asking for money from local residents for repairs, I wondered if the church would be contributing to the fuel bills of the elderly? I mean, the Church of England owns £7m shares in Centrica and £6m in SSE.

Surely they could sell a few shares to get their own home in order and then help out others? Wouldn’t that be Christian of them?

Also, how would people from other religions in our community feel about being asked to contribute? Not sure they would have much joy. The church could always pray for the repairs. Now there’s a way to prove God’s existence.



Help find mum’s stolen jewellery

It saddens me to have to write this letter warning local residents to keep their homes and valuables secure, especially with Christmas fast approaching.

I regrettably returned home from a trip away with my mother last week to discover that her house, in what has always been perceived as a safe neighbourhood in Gorleston, had been forcefully broken into and ransacked.

Those responsible for this selfish crime gained entry by smashing the glass panel in a set of French doors at the back of the property which itself is enclosed by six foot fences and double bolted gates. They then proceeded to turn the house over before leaving with private documents and a lot of fairly valuable and sentimental jewellery.

Unfortunately, I have come to realise that this is not an isolated episode and there have been other similar burglaries in the area.

Some of the more distinctive pieces of jewellery that were taken included a gold St Christopher pendant and chain, the pendant being approximately the size of a 2p piece with detailed filigree edging; charm bracelets including a silver Amore and Baci bracelet with a Swarovski heart clasp, pale pink and silver beads and a silver Links of London Roller Skate charm; and a lot of ornate Swarovski jewellery.

In addition to this, a fairly worthless retro Babycham deer ornament also appears to have been taken.

I know our case is not in any way unique but I am appealing to anyone that may have come into contact with any of these items to please contact the local police. Hopefully this will help trace those responsible and end this spate of petty crime.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the local police and CID for their very prompt response and diligence with this case.



Thanks for help with care week

Hospice Care Week, which ran from October 7-13, was a huge success and St Elizabeth Hospice would like to thank everyone who got involved, spreading the word and raising awareness of local hospice care. Thank you to all the shops and libraries in North Suffolk and South Norfolk for their involvement and to everyone who took the time to answer questions, pledged to spread the word and to learn more about St Elizabeth Hospice care. We also thank the Mercury for highlighting stories about our patients and their families during the week.

St Elizabeth Hospice cares for local people living with a progressive illness in East Suffolk and South Norfolk. We recently invested £2.2m over three years to expand our services in Waveney and Great Yarmouth, and we provide day services in Beccles, Ditchingham, Gorleston, including at the Louise Hamilton Centre.

We hope your readers will continue to help us throughout the year.


St Elizabeth Hospice


Query over old bank’s signage

How delightful to see the Art Deco HSBC Bank building has been maintained and used instead of being pulled down. The only drawback is the rather insensitive lettering used for the new sign.

Okay, a business is a business and it has to get its point across but whatever happened to style! A more suitable lettering kept in period would have complemented the building and the business.

It is our duty to preserve our wonderful old buildings regardless of their age.



Seating plea for Market Gates

Can the powers that be explain why the seating in Market Gates has changed? There is not enough room to sit back to back and someone leaning into your back is not very comfortable. Why were the other seats taken away? There is also a great big space opposite Wilkinsons which could be used for another row of seats. I use the shops all the time and sometimes when I am with my daughter and she is in the shops I like to take a rest, OAP as I am. So some on, bring back the other seats.


Caister on Sea

Wonderful work on St George’s

Last Sunday afternoon I attended a drumming concert at St George’s Theatre, a very entertaining event. As the last chairman of the deposed trustee board 10 years ago, I had noted all the work that had been undertaken from the outside.

This was the first time I had been inside and it was wonderful to see the sympathetic restoration. The woodwork and the finish had to be admitted, also the building on the old car parkl which serves refreshments etc blends in beautifully. Well done to whoever carried out and oversaw the project. Yarmouth should be proud of it.



Putting rescue record straight

The Seal and Bird Rescue Trust (SBRT) was notified of the seal at Caister on Sunday night, October 13, just on dusk, but were also told by the ladies and gent reporting it they had also informed other organisations, and that the British Divers Marine Life Rescue were sending someone to pick it up. Therefore, it made no sense in everyone trying to rescue the same seal.

Upon the divers rescue group arriving at the scene, they declared the seal to be okay and that it did not require being brought in for hospitalisation, and as they are an accredited agency, their diagnosis put the matter to rest. The next morning, at approximately 9.30am the SBRT was contacted by at least three people asking for help, because the seal was still on the beach and needed rescuing but at the same time they had contacted the RSPCA. We immediately phoned an RSPCA inspector to enquire what was known and were informed an RSPCA inspector would not be able to pick it up until approximately noon because he had three other animals in need of his assistance, and could the SBRT step in and effect the rescue, to which we obliged.

We arrived at 10.30am only to find the RSPCA inspector had given the matter priority. He had tried to contact us to stop us making a fruitless journey, but we were already on the way.

SBRT would respectfully ask anyone who reports a seal with problems to contact one organisation only, calling everyone out (as in this case) only serves to complicate a situation and causes time delays, the very issue the good people involved were trying to avoid.

Our small charity rescues seals, seabirds, and all other wildlife in over a 100-mile radius of the Norfolk area and coast line, our people are all volunteers, we risk life and limb on a continuous basis, in all weathers, and have to put up with criticism and abuse from the public for not appearing on a beach five minutes after a telephone call.

I would very much like the people involved in reporting this seal to come to our centre and volunteer their services. We start at 8am and sometimes do not finish or get home until 1am in the morning, and an early evening is 7pm. Our hours are long and demanding, but we give our time willingly for the welfare of wildlife.

This season we have rescued 13 Grey seals, 23 Common seals, and have spent hours on the beach working on three seals with trawler rope/netting and other rubbish caught around their necks, causing pain, distress and slow malnutrition. Hoping this sheds a little light on seal rescue.


Trustee Chairman,