Letters, October 17, 2014

Brown bins are value for money

There were a number of issues raised in last week’s letters’ pages.

Firstly, in order to opt out of the Open Register, one has only to phone the number of the registration section to hear an automated message instructing the caller to leave their details and they will be removed from the list. Simple.

Secondly, the remarks about paying for brown bins. We have paid for one for years and can’t fault the service. It is value for money and the alternative is smoking out the neighbours with bonfires.

Thirdly, car parking charges. It cost me £3 at the hospital just to get a blood test.

As much as I think it’s disgraceful to have to pay, the upside is because so many people would rather use up gallons of petrol looking for a free space or block someone’s driveway, there is no problem for paying customers in finding a space.

Unfortunately in this life you get what you pay for!

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Let’s have port users on board

Two weeks ago the Mercury carried a news item by Lucy Clapham of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority having their board shaken up.

GYPA has applied to the Marine Management Organisation for a Harbour Revision Order to change the structure of the board make-up and the number of members reduced.

There are several objectors and UKIP are among those, whereas previously the borough council has not objected.

Why object? We, for nearly seven years, have been trying to get answers as to why such a bad deal for the taxpayers was made by GYPA.

If GYPA are awarded this latest Harbour Revision Order (HRO)then we can all say goodbye to any chance as to why we gave so much for so little return.

No-one need belong to a group or business to object if you feel after seven years you have waited long enough for the jobs and new dawn as promised by and it is your right to voice your opinion by contacting (MMO) Andrew.Watson@marinemanagement.org.uk before the last day of October.

If the HRO is awarded this would mean any input by any person group or business would be forfeited as the new board could quite easily be made up with persons from far afield, by board members from say International Port Holdings or possibly Global Infrastructure Partners.

What is wrong at present is there is no-one on the board that has an iota of local knowledge. Change the board by all means, but let’s have port users, local ship operators, local community, a local oil/gas operator on it.

Then and only then will our port start to be worthy of all the taxpayer’s cash that has been squandered on it


Burnt Lane,


Dog fouling? What about cats!

After reading so much in the Mercury over the past months concerning dog fouling, how about the big problem of cat fouling in the Jordan Road area of Caister, yes a big problem.

Cats are kicked out at night to foul anybody’s garden and drive, but not their own. Some houses have more than one cat.

As a dog lover yes, I do clean up after my dog. So come on councillors, do something about the problem as you are so quick to act on dog fouling.

One cat, one dog per house, or is the solution to train my dog to mess in other people’s gardens or drives.

Yes, I am fed up with the problem, no doubt somebody will say it is a cat’s wild instinct to roam, so what about a dog’s wild instinct. To finish I say this: if I spot which cat leaves a never-ending tide of mess the owners will be getting a special delivery.


Jordan Road,


Thanks to MP for energy bill help

It seems to be the fashion to knock politicians of all colours, but I would like to buck the trend. I have had a torrid time over the last few months with my energy supplier.

It has caused me a lot of stress and worry, but they did not seem to have sensitivity built into their bureaucratic procedures to understand the impact they can make on a customer’s life.

As a last resort I asked our MP, Brandon Lewis, to take up my case, which he promptly did and with great effect.

He wrote to the chairman and a very competent person was directed to contact me and deal with my problem straight away.

In a very short time he had sorted it out to my entire satisfaction.

So I’d like to thank our MP for his support, who puts his constituent’s concerns high on his list off priorities.



Head shave to help research

Three people I care about are fighting cancer, and statistics say that cancer will touch one in three people at some time in their lives. Researchers are working tirelessly to find a cure, so this is my small way of helping towards funding research.

I would be very grateful for any sponsors. People can do this online at Just Giving or ring me on 07549177537.



Malcolm’s epic trip completed

We have just heard from our friend Malcolm Metcalf that he has just completed his epic 10,000 mile journey across America, travelling on the Amtrak rail systems.

This, for an 82 year old is an incredible feat - particularly as he is doing it for charity.

It is his intention to raise £10,000 for the East Coast Hospice charity, representing £1 for every mile of his journey.

Anyone who would still like to make a donation to this very worthy cause can do so by visiting the East Coast Hospice shops in Caister, Yarmouth Market Row, and the High Street in Gorleston.

After being in temperatures of 99F and high humidity, we feel sure that Malcolm is looking forward to returning to Gorleston just as much as we look forward to seeing him and hearing about his adventures.


Veronica Green,


Services praise after tragedy

We would like to congratulate police, fire brigade and ambulance crews for the efficient way they carried out their duties during the tragic event on Admiralty Road, Great Yarmouth on Sunday, October 5. Well done.

Mr and Mrs P A SIMMONS

Address withheld

Political class is out of touch

In reply to Ms Norris’ letter, I want to point out we are in one sense all politicians, since the Greek root of the word means people.

The reason that politics has such a low reputation in this country is that its effects are generally bad and politicians have seem to be merely self-serving careerists. However there is also the problem of deciding when matters should also be apolitical in the sense of non-party politics. To have politicised everything, which the last Labour government tried to do - the police, the Civil Service, for example - was not acceptable.

We can see the residual anger in the country every time politicians dare to face the public and the anger, which comes forth from the public at public meetings, shows how out of touch the political class is from the people. An example would be Ed Miliband’s refusal even to countenance a referendum on Europe.

It is strange how two of the three forces for good that Ms Norris cites were passed by non-Labour governments.

Moreover the other - the NHS - whilst being a very good thing, has had problems with funding since its inception. It is wholly wrong of the left to demonize the pre-1948 medical service as doctors often helped those who could not afford medical help.

The last Labour government did more to disrupt the NHS than any other by open-door immigration, which has resulted in an infrastructure unable to cope.

The other mistake the Left makes is to make politicians into mere delegates who must do what their supporters want in their political activity.

No, the politician is a representative, who has, as Bagehot wrote in the 19th century, four loyalties: his country, his constituency, his party, and his conscience, but not necessarily in that order. This gives a certain freedom, which the delegate does not have.

The real sting in the letter comes in the last paragraph, in which she states she will not accept anyone as a politician, who does not conform to her strictures. Does that mean anyone, with whom she disagrees? I doubt very much whether any of us is qualified to judge in this matter.

We forget Voltaire’s words at our peril, that we may disagree with what someone says, but would defend to the death his or her right to say it.


Victoria Street,


Is Yarmouth recreating wall?

Following my letter in the Mercury, October 10, “Should I worry about changes?” Yes, I think I should. On closer study, something has struck me about the evacuation of businesses and the regrouping of banks in the centre of Great Yarmouth. It appears Yarmouth is gathering within its town walls. It could be the rebirth of England’s oldest town and would boost tourism.

And restoring the town wall would solve the unemployment situation by providing jobs.


Gonville Road


Benefits show was a disservice

I am writing about the Channel 5 production Benefit Brits by the Sea, aired on October 9, but originally on in June this year.

I think this programme was very damaging to Great Yarmouth in the way it depicted what it looked like - full of closed and boarded up premises and the streets full of rubbish.

They were actually showing Regent Road either before opening or after closing times, which is mostly shuttered premises but you and I know that Regent Road is the hub of Yarmouth when all the units are open during the day.,

They also showed piles of rubbish near bin areas but that looked like the rear of buildings, not the front as it seemed to depict.

They also zoomed in on the Winter Gardens looking derelict. Why? Was this to give the impression Yarmouth is not a nice place to spend a holiday, when I can say that I’ve holidayed there for 41 years and will be back again next year.

I think that Channel 5 have done a disservice to Yarmouth and I hope between the Mercury and the Tourism Office, and if there was an organisation of hotel, guest houses a complaints should be registered to Ofcom as it would be better coming from you rather than me.

Although I watched it on October 9, the original showing on June 16 was bad timing especially as it was just a few weeks until the summer season started.

This second programme really should not be allowed to show things that are not entirely true facts. I do hope some action will result from my letter.


Western Park,


Explosion fear in residential area

Last week there was a late night incident in Southtown - and Lichfield Road in particular, with fire engines and police having to attend a fire in a vehicle.

I believe the vehicle contained gas cannisters.

Although the fire brigade acted quickly to sort out the fire, it has left me thinking what would have happened if the gas bottles had blown up, exploded into the air and then landed on properties?

Is this allowed, to have gas bottles on a vehicle parked overnight in a residential area?

Name and Address withheld

Come back C5 and film again

I was most distressed to see the Channel 5 Benefits programme which featured Great Yarmouth was on TV again last week. It was distubring last time to watch and even more so this second time.

It showed Yarmouth in an awful light and Channel 5 should come back to the town and film an account of it in the summertime when it is full of happy hoidaymakers and day visitors.

Let us please have a truer story of what goes on in the town please.



Thank you for ambulance call

May I use your letters’ column for a slightly unusual thank you? Tuesday, July 1 was a day to remember – at least it would be if I was able to recall a major chunk of it. It being very warm and sunny I was heading on my bike down the slope next to the Ravine on Gorleston Cliffs at about six for a regular dip in the sea.

On the last bit of the slope before it joined the prom was a dog which, I hasten to add, had every right to be there.

What happened (and here it becomes guesswork) is that I attempted to dodge the dog with my bike slipping off in one direction while I (not wearing a helmet) fell heavily on the slope, breaking my collar bone, bruising my hip and waist and taking a head bashing which left me unconscious and concussed.

An ambulance was quickly on site, and though I recall little I must have been able to say who I was and where I lived because my dear wife appeared within minutes.

I was treated incredibly well at the James Paget Hospital remaining for three days’ and being able to vouch for the excellent care, food and standard of cleanliness.

At my age it took a while to recover but I’m happy to say that almost exactly three months after the crash (on October 2) I finally had my swim in the sea at Gorleston having also resumed cycling (now wearing a helmet which I so recommend to others!).

The reason for this letter, apart from my gratitude to the Paget, is that I have no other way of sincerely thanking the couple – the dog owners I assume – who were the only people about and who summoned the emergency services and saw me being taken into their care before quietly heading off. Whoever you are I am so very grateful!


Lowestoft Road,


Clear the Tories plan more cuts

I was surprised by Brian Dolton’s comments on car parking. I was musing on whether UKIP will show they mean what they said at their recent national conference.

It will be interesting to see how any loss of parking fees will affect public services.

Much local parking is private. Sainsburys have an excellent deal -spend £5 and get two hours parking free, Market Gates could do a similar deal if they wanted to promote the centre, I note they have yet to repair last year’s storm damage so may not want to invest in such a scheme.

Likewise Palmers could offer deals for shoppers on the car park adjacent to the store. Why should councils fund parking for private enterprise?

I was even more amazed to hear how the Conservatives want cheaper fees and more free parking. They were in control of Norfolk and Great Yarmouth council for over nine years and had plenty of opportunity to implement such a policy.

Indeed, the Mercury for 2009 reports the Cabinet refusal to implement free parking in Caister Beach Road, following a 266-name petition organised by Councillors Pat Hacon and Marie Field.

The Mercury records Conservative Councillor Reynolds, in January 2010, as the council opposed any change as saying “it is irresponsible to chuck away the money”. £6k was unaffordable and the locals were ignored.

The issue even went to the ombudsman. In January 2012, the Conservative borough council voted to raise local car park fees by 28pc which was felt by the leader to be “reasonable” and “fair” and would not impact on the town. Short memories some councillors!

Brandon Lewis MP may support free parking but it is his savage cuts to council spending that has some councils seeing parking fees as an alternative income source. I find it odd that Yarmouth and Norfolk councils, both Conservative controlled for several years until recently, were overspending so heavily to justify savage cuts.

Conservatives make out they are so careful with public money. I wonder if there was free parking where Mr Lewis was a council leader and if he never increased charges?

There is a great opportunity for the Conservatives to join UKIP and implement parking fee cuts. They will then have to find cuts in council services or dip into the reserves to fund the losses. £6k was too much find in 2010! If you want cheaper parking, what else becomes more expensive or cut? It is clear that a future Conservative government plans more cuts to services in any case.

I suppose they could always sell off the Caister car park to developers for luxury sea view flats..


Victoria Street,


Doctor was man of many talents

I have the honour of being a good friend to Dr William Hamilton Deane and his lovely family and friends.

He was a man with an abundance of talent and many stories to match. He was a gentleman, a local at The Dock Tavern and much more a family man old-school doctor who I’m sure many people will know.

It is with great sadness he passed away this week. I’m sure you will join me in paying a big tribute to him and his lovely family.


All Seasons Lodge Hotel