Letters, October 3, 2014

Help with history of Blue Buses

I’m currently researching the history of Norwich Tramways, Norwich Buses, Lowestoft Corporation, Great Yarmouth Corporation and Great Yarmouth Blue Buses. Also if anybody has any fleet lists or photos they will greatly appreciated please can you contact me via email chriswisken1988@gmail.com



There is another PO in Caister

In reply to Charlie Peace’s letter regarding “no mention of North Caister Post Office” on Second Avenue as an alternative while Caister Post Office in the village is closed for a counter replacement.

I feel as a member of staff working in the North Caister Post Office I had to reply.

Most Read

The reason for this is Caister North Post Office is a local Post Office and not a main one therefore can offer a lot of services but not able to offer all the services that are maybe required during the closure.

Regarding the “queuing for groceries, newspapers etc in the same queue” not being ideal I feel I have to correct you on that as between the hours of 8am and 6pm there is a member of staff on the PO counter and also another member of staff on the shop counter with a sign indicating as to where to queue.

The post office is open between the hours of 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm in the shop and the quiet periods with possibly only have one member of staff operating both sides, it has never caused a problem


Arnold Avenue,


Garden waste will rot in landfill

I have read that garden rubbish is no longer going to be permitted to be put into the black bins? I did email the council but did not get a reply as I cannot see the logic behind this decision.

What leaves and twigs we now put into the black bin are bio-degradable and will rot down in no time on a landfill site and the provision of a brown bin is not an economic alternative, as leaves only fall a few months of the year. a garden incinerator seems the best a cheapest option.


Colomb Road


Do not sell our personal details

Today I received a letter from the council to inform me about the Electoral register and the open register; the latter tells me that it is not used for elections but it can be bought by any person, company or organisation to be used, I assume, for marketing purposes.

In order to be removed from this register you have to inform the council. Surely it should be that they should ask if you would like to have your details published this way and not the reverse. The council is passing on our details, almost furtively, as a large majority will not even read or realise that their personal details are being sold on.

Don’t we get enough junk mail, phone calls and texts now without the council encouraging for their own financial gain.


Caister on Sea

Why having to pay for new bin?

Could someone from the council please explain why, with the introduction of the brown wheelie bins, we will have to pay to have one? We didn’t have to pay for the two we already have. Surely the cost should be included in the council tax we pay.

And as for the alternative of “paper bags”, has anyone thought about what will happen if it is raining, I can just imagine piles of rubbish on the pavements as the bags split when being lifted.

I have relations in Ipswich who have three bins, including a garden rubbish bin, which are supplied free. It will be interesting to see what happens if people refuse to purchase a brown bin and continue to use the grey bin. Will the refuse workers search every bin to see what’s inside?

What will happen to the people who keep the front of their houses clean by sweeping up the leaves that fall from the trees and up to now have put the leaves in the grey bin. We no longer have sweepers that used to collect the leaves in the roadside so what do we do with them now? Does it mean the council will “charge” us for a brown bin to put the leaves in, thus saving them the cost of employing a sweeper?

There doesn’t seem to have been much planning in this change to the system and I would like to add we have just had our bins emptied today and there is no notification leaflet about the changes due to take place as from Wednesday, October 1, so if you didn’t buy last week’s Mercury and read the small article about the changes, you would be none the wiser.

Do other readers agree?



UKIP opposing parking charges?

I watched much of the UKIP conference in the hope of enlightenment on their policies. Not sure how much I learnt as the idea to have a tax on luxuries only lasted a day! Brilliant idea to not tax minimum wage earners which could save on benefit top ups. I could certainly see why UKIP is very popular.

UKIP seems to recognise the impact on car parking charges on the economy of town centres. UKIP oppose the use of car park charges as a “cash cow”. They want common sense policies. I wonder what their policy will be for our town (Mercury, September 26.

Caister Beach Road car park has been a farce for years. Charges from April 1 to September 31! Charge hours are from 8am to 9pm - what a farce! The place is empty apart from the school holidays and from mid-morning to mid afternoon. This is policy from the past from when Caister was much busier as a holiday destination. A local petition some years ago was ignored. It was said the council could not afford to lose £6k. The fact this was collected mainly in six weeks and in peak hours seems to have been too hard to comprehend.

Caister is a UKIP stronghold so it will be interesting to see what UKIP councillors make of car park charges and how UKIP respond for the rest of the town.

It was also interesting at the UKIP conference how the defecting Tory MPs were said to be “honourable” to stand down and seek by elections. Why not in Hopton where UKIP won last time in any case?


Victoria Street,


Car parks used by our workers

In response to the proposed pay and display charges at various car parks round great Yarmouth.

The two car parks, one on Pasteur Road and Lady Haven - are used by mostly people who work in the town so if they have to pay, where are they going to park in Cobholm? Of course our roads are bad to park in now, there is never any spaces so if all these people park round our roads where are we going to go?

Yarmouth is like a ghost town now so if all these car parking charges come in people are just not going to come into town.


Gatacre Road

Great Yarmouth

Port Authority should be busy

Last week’s headline, “Board shake-up planned”. Let’s get one thing straight, by act of Parliament the Great Yarmouth Port Authority (GYPA) is the Harbour Authority, GYPA is in charge of pilotage, upkeep of the river, bylaws, navigation, buoys, in fact everything to do with a commercial port.

The Port Company (EastPort UK), is not the Harbour Authority, so I beg to differ with Cllr Castle and affirm the GYPA should be exceedingly busy.

Cllr Castle said it makes sense as the Port Authority has a smaller role, and the real big decisions are made by Eastport UK.

This is from the 1989 Harbour Revision Order and the persons who should, by law, be on the board:

One person to be representative of oil and gas industries, using our port. One person from the general workers union involved in our port. Two persons from the Great Yarmouth Port Users Association Two persons representative of owners and operators of vessels other than pleasure boats using our port. One person with local knowledge and experience.

The 1989 HRO also states that one councillor from Norfolk County Council and two councillors from GYBC should be on the board.

We now have two from the county council and one person who is no longer a borough councillor.


Burnt Lane,


Headlines are entertaining

Your headline “Shoplifters get away with 14,500 items” made me smile as I recalled that splendid Harpo Marx scene in the film Love Happy, where he is asked to empty his pockets and produces an incredible array of items, including a welcome mat, a sleigh and a live dog. Well worth checking on YouTube.

Your headlines continue to entertain. I am still waiting for “Passengers hit by cancelled trains” or “Magistrates act to keep theatres open” - but you are certainly moving in the right direction.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Monthly tea dance thanks

Peggotty Road Community committee and South Beach Residents Association would like to thank Thompson Food Suppliers, for their generous contribution to our new monthly tea dances for the over 50s. The gathering for the first one was small but we hope to attract more people when word gets around that the food is tasty and the company delightful.


Russell Road,

Great Yarmouth

Charge 10p to visit the toilets

After reading of the borough council’s need to recoup money by taking away the few free parking spaces left in Yarmouth, would it to be a good idea to introduce parking fees in Gorleston?

Parking is mostly free in Gorleston, lots of visitors go there and if even £1 day was introduced this would bring in revenue – after all, it’s only across the harbour from Yarmouth. Have the council ever thought about charging 10p to visit the toilets? It’s a facility I would be happy to pay.

It costs money to keep them clean and this may stop people leaving them in such a state, and therefore respect them.


The Pastures,


What will council take away next?

What will Great Yarmouth council try and take away next? Why take every available parking space and make it pay and display? Who is going to man all these proposed spaces and pay their wages? It’s no wonder shops are closing in the town, people are choosing to shop out of town where there are no parking fees and you can shop at ease.

I can recall the council trying to put pay and display on Gorleston Marine Parade which didn’t happen, now they want to try again.

To take that lovely view away and make people pay is totally out of order. I take my dog walkies almost every day along that part of the cliffs and there are always people sitting in their cars enjoying the views. That will not happen if a charge is made.



Classics get film club underway

After three months of planning the Great Yarmouth Film Club, based at St George’s Theatre in King Street, got off to a “dancing” start with the classic 1952 Gene Kelly film Singin’ in the Rain. Over 55 people attended and at the end of the film the audience showed their delight and appreciation with a spontaneously round of applause.

Movie lovers are reminded the next film, another classic, Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid is on Thursday, October 23 at 2.30pm and admission is £4. Seats can be booked by telephoning St George’s on 331484 or turn up on the day.


Ludkin Square,

Great Yarmouth

Blue plaques to Victory sailor

On October 21, two blue plaques will be erected in Great Yarmouth in honour of James Sharman who was a sailor that sailed with Nelson on HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

The first is at the Monument on South Beach Parade at 11am and the second at 12.15 pm at the site of the Wrestlers in the town centre. If James is one of your ancestors could you please let me know by emailing me at baden1907@aol.com


Nelson Society

Nelson Museum volunteer

Are the police breaking law?

I was very interested to read the letter from Councillor Trevor Wainwright concerning cars blocking a driveway and that a penalty charge notice could be issued for “Being Parked Adjacent to a Dropped Footway.” One evening last winter, a marked police car was parked across our driveway (with a dropped footway) for over an hour.



No, to council’s cabinet system

I read with interest in the Mercury the debate going on within the Town Hall between UKIP and the combined Labour and Conservative members over what system the council should operate under.

In my opinion there is only one winner and that is the committee system.

The present cabinet system which is operated by most councils is very undemocratic with only a handful of councillors being involved in the final decision on quite a number of issues.

The cabinet system was original introduced to enable decisions to be made more quickly and to save money. It is debatable if that has been achieved. It also gave officers more power to make decisions without all of the councillors being notified.

When the cabinet was introduced a scrutiny system also came into being. It never worked when I was a councillor and I am led to believe it still does not work now.

Officers and councillors bringing proposals to a committee enables a debate to take place, often valid points have been raised at this stage and sometimes proposals modified before being put on the full council agenda where all councillors can have their input and vote on which they think is best for the borough.

The committee system gives every councillor a chance to voice their views in public instead of the cabinet system which clearly is a closed shop affair as we all witnessed at Norfolk County Council over the incinerator at Kings Lynn, with the original decision being made at cabinet and most local councillors from all parties were not given a chance to vote for or against.

We know the final decision was eventually made at a NCC council meeting and the democratic decision was made by all councillors.

The sooner a committee system is introduced at GYBC the better to enable councillors, who we send to the council, can at least have a say and a vote in most matters.



Councillor should resign her seat

If Cllr Sue Hacon was so sure of her convictions then she should have the courage of these convictions and resign her council seat immediately and stand for election under the UKIP banner. Her excuse for not resigning is the cost to the borough of another election is hogwash.

With her majority as a Conservative of more than 500 over the then UKIP candidate would mean she is highly unlikely of winning and thereby losing her position.

Talking about costs, when are the true facts and figures about the new chief executive’s package going to be revealed to the ratepayers of this borough or are all of our elected representatives too frightened to reveal these costs for fear of being ridiculed.

Come on you councillors, especially leader Trevor Wainwright, stop messing around with penny-anti charges on motorists and let us have the true facts and figures we are having to pay for the new Chief Exec.



Tribute concert was wonderful

It was wonderful on Saturday night to be at Gorleston Pavilion for the concert in memory of Michael Hoods who was killed in a motorcycle accident two years ago.

The Pavilion was very special to Michael who had been a much-loved member of Dusmagrik and especially dear to Dusty Miller and the late Mags, who were both very proud of what he achieved with their company.


Fastolff Avenue,


Council hitting motorists again

Once again the Great Yarmouth people are to be hit by this council imposing further parking charges. What happened to recent election promises they would reduce parking charges with up to two hours free parking to help this town to survive if they were elected?

Even spaces on Marine Parade car park at Gorleston will be hit by charges, and this car park is mainly used by people of all ages who park tand go for a walk along the cliff top to keep healthy.

Is this what this council wants to be seen as, one that taxes keeping fit? What happened to the new highly paid Chief Executive who is being paid an extortionate amount to run this council? Anyone can run a council by increasing charges, it is a very effectual person who can run it within the town’s budgets constraints.

This town is dying in the centre, but councillors appear not to see it. It needs an injection of free car parking in an effort to restore confidence for business to return.

The council stated it was justifying itself because 12 other councils have done the same, are they also paying their Chief Executive the same high wages as we are? Do they have to follow like a load of lemmings? Are they not capable of making their own decisions about what this town needs, rather than what others are doing?

After Marks and Spencer closes its store I will transfer my banking to Gorleston, as I will not pay parking charges just to go to my bank.



Impressed with the food festival

Having visited the Great Yarmouth Food Festival on Saturday I am writing to say how impressed I was with the layout of if, and the atmosphere created.

I especially liked how the market managers had put the stalls at the top of the market (near Lloyds Bank) as I felt this revitalised the market area and I hope that they make this a regular feature.

They must have given it a lot of thought and they are really starting to achieve a better choice now and putting life back into the market which has to be good for the town in general.


South Walsham Road,


Welsh resort car parks are cheap

Having recently spent a very enjoyable week touring the Pembokeshire coast in Wales I was pleasantly surprised to find most car parks at most resorts from Tenby in the south to Aberystwyth in the north, were extremely cheap and in many cases free on a time limited bases.

And in Tenby the multi-storey car park just a short walk from the promenade was only 20p for two hours and 30p for four, as were the charges at most of the other resorts including the smaller places of Newport and New Quay. Needless to say they were teeming with tourists, and I might add many of the parks had clean and open toilets (free).

I appreciate these resorts are not of the size of our town and do not necessarily have the overheads we do but when our councillors are able to waste nearly £700,000 on three large screen TVs in the past and compensate a garden company on a failed contract, something needs to be sorted. May I suggest the borough council’s scrutiny committee contact some of the Pembroke councils to see how they manage things. I now avoid coming into town to shop for that very reason of parking charges, and please, don’t get me on the subject of parking at the James Paget.

Name and Address withheld.

Is brand match deal an illusion?

Has anyone noticed when one supermarket has a large reduction on a product that product vanishes from other supermarkets’ shelves, circumventing the brand match offer?

This has happened 14 times at my local supermarket. I wrote to the manager informing him and as yet he has not had the courtesy to reply. I have now sent back my loyalty card and I will no longer shop there. The brand match is just an illusion in my opinion.


Alexandra Road,

Great Yarmouth

Speed limit not being enforced

I have serious concerns about the current diversion in place through Browston on Lound Road from Belton crossroads whilst the Bluebell Meadow development and link road are in progress on Browston Lane.

As far as I can see nothing is being done to enforce the new 30mph speed limit along Beccles Road or indeed along Lound Road and the number of motorists adhering to the new limit are few and far between!

These roads are treacherous at the best of times without all the additional traffic currently using it; poor visibility, blind bends, roads narrowing in places all make a recipe for disaster.

I keep my horses just opposite the junction of Cherry Lane and Lound Road and whilst I’m tending to them in the fields I hear the sound of screeching tyres as cars almost collide at the junction where the road narrows and bends at the same place every day.

It is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs. As I was riding the roads on Saturday morning I saw at least two of the 30mph signs laying in the verge either knocked down or taken down, the vast majority of cars were travelling way in excess of the speed limit as they approached me on my horse and showed little or no consideration for horses on the road.

Why, I ask, has it taken this diversion to prompt the horse awareness signs to be displayed? In an area so densely populated with equestrian properties shouldn’t these be permanent fixtures?

The council and/or police need to take action to enforce these speed limits before a serious accident occurs.