Letters, September 13, 2013

Does software measure up?

I was most interested to read the article about the unfortunate schoolgirl Demi-Leigh Rowland, refused a free bus pass by Norfolk County Council because their Izzywizzy GIS measured the distance at 2.929 miles (ouch!), just short of the 3 miles required.

I don’t know precisely what GIS product NCC use but if it is the one I think it is then I used the same software for many years working in a government department before I retired.

I remember only too well the embarrassment our small GIS team suffered from queries about the measurements and co-ordinates we supplied to a neighbouring ‘friendly’ country in an issue to do with a fairly crucial international demarcation line.

It turned out that our GIS was simply not up to the job of providing really accurate geodetic based measurements. In the end, we had to ask the Hydrographic Office in Taunton to help us out.

It is my opinion that the only organisations worthy to carry out the most exacting geodetic measurements in this country are: The Ordnance Survey, The UK Hydrographic Office (Admiralty) in Taunton and the the various departments of Defence Intelligence (MOD) plus perhaps, a few GIS industry funded Universities. The average ‘off the shelf’ desktop GIS software available and affordable to most users in the UK are generally a big compromise of usability versus accuracy.

The distance shortfall in question equates to roughly about 114 metres (I’ve seen back gardens longer than that!), I wouldn’t like to say whether the NCC’s GIS measurements are an improvement on their pre-GIS measurements but I have my doubts. It is a great pity they cannot use their discretion in this matter and give that poor girl a bus pass instead of blaming it on the government.

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Mapping and Charting Officer (Retired) Brundall

Volunteers do a wonderful job

What a wonderful job these beach volunteers do, as well as all the other volunteers in the country, in hospitals, clubs, charities etc. Should not councillors become volunteers again and save us money on our council tax to be better spent on many different things like bussing children to school who are .071miles short of the three-mile limit?


Amhurst Gardens,


Hope would-be workers answer

I note with interest the letter from Mr Colin Thompson in the September 6 edition concerning people out looking for work in this area. I have been advertising for taxi drivers for some weeks and also for a mechanic, and have had very few applicants which is surprising if so many are out of work.

I realise not everyone can drive and that some people cannot face the public and that is understandable but if the cuts and caps on benefits are so serious our problems should soon be over.

Taxi driving is a lot different from the back street job it used to be and the larger companies have invested a huge amount in the latest technology so I feel the employers are making the effort. Let’s hope the workers answer our latest adverts.



Loss of seafront toilets wrong

I noticed in last week’s Mercury in a list of current planning applications was a proposal to build a car park solely for Marina Centre visitors. Unfortunately this planning entry omits to say that in doing so, a much valued toilet facility will be demolished at Central Beach.

There is no plan to relocate these toilets and that being the case there will be no toilet facilities on Central Beach. This would be an unthinkable outcome in the most popular stretch of beach/seafront and will particularly affect the elderly and disabled or those with young families.

It will also have a devastating effect on local businesses whose guests rely on the facilities.

Surely if absolutely necessary it would be better to reduce the size of the toilet block thus maintaining at least some toilet facilities. I appreciate that GYBC has a need to save money in these times but simply demolishing their responsibility to provide toilets seems wrong and detrimental to tourism.

I also notice there is a planning application to convert the seafront tennis courts into a car park. Soon the entire seafront will be one giant car park and families will be able to have a trip to Yarmouth to view the car parks!



Local history memories plea

I am now researching the parishes of Halvergate and Tunstall for a local history book. If there are any Mercury readers who have any old photographs or stories they would like to have included in the book I would be pleased to hear from them and have a chat.

This will be my 11th local history book and it is lovely to meet local characters and write about their memories and the stories told to them by their parents and grandparents about how life was in the good old days.

I can be contacted on 01508492239 or by email at irene65.hutch@btinternet.com


Stoke Holy Cross

Busseys Loke is not a toilet!

Having lived here for many years, and encountered many acts of indecency along our road I feel it’s time that certain things are brought to light.

We have witnessed people urinating up our fence and more disturbingly, in our drive and up our bins. We are now on a constant clean up mission after dog fouling. Many people walk their dogs down the bridle path of Busseys Loke to go to the toilet which is bad enough, but what is truly disgusting is the mess being left behind.

This is utterly unacceptable and disgusting in any case, but we have two young children who play in and around the area. Environmental health enforcers have placed notices down the Loke after being made aware of the situation by local residents. It would be greatly appreciated if people took note of these and used their own toilets and doggy bags.

It’s not too much to ask is it? How would you like to step out of your front door on a daily basis and find your drive covered in human and animal excrement? It’s really not very nice or healthy.



A12 white line markings bizarre

It’s pleasing to see that I’m not the only one to notice the problems associated with the bizarre white line road markings on the southbound A12 bypass, though it’s not unique.

Take a look at the markings on the roundabout where the Apex Garage used to be. South to north at the turn for Middleton Road are what is left of the lines clearly marked as two lanes right for the A12 bypass and one left for Middleton Road.

Because the lines are well scrubbed, and most of the drivers heading to Yarmouth already know this road layout well, everything works. You indicate left for Middleton Road or right for the A12 and Yarmouth.

Subsequently, given how many motorists drive this route daily and probably have an opinion about this junction, I’m angry more haven’t voiced their objection to these idiotic road markings on the bypass.

As it’s been said before, most traffic is heading south along the A12 with few going left to Park Road and the seafront or Gorleston. Conclusion - if more motorists show their displeasure then maybe something will be done about it.



My beliefs based on evidence

Oh Mr Barkhuizen. I find your letters very close-minded. I believe in doing good because I want to be good to people. I don’t pretend to be good based on the belief I will be rewarded in the future, often after death.

Many Christians conveniently forget the Old Testament. They forget about the parts where their God causes death and destruction. Where children are killed for mocking a man with no hair, where a daughter is sold by her father into slavery. If you’re going to live your life by the book, stop skipping paragraphs and pages that are unrealistic and inconvenient.

If God has a plan for you, if he controls your day to day life, why do you look when you cross the road? Why wear a seatbelt? You starting to see how ludicrous this whole thing really is?

My beliefs are based on evidence, common sense and reason. Theists beliefs are based on anecdotal lessons from parents, teachers, religious leaders and ancient ‘holy’ scriptures. I will adapt or alter my beliefs if contrary evidence is uncovered. Theists only rationalise when presented with contrary evidence or logic. I see them as unwilling to learn more about science, history or literature.

We are all born atheist, some people are able to think logically and rationally and question what they are told, others take things at face value and won’t change no matter what facts are put to them.


Downing Road,

Great Yarmouth

Christian origins were Jewish

Philip Knight’s August 30, claims that early Christians had “no paid clergy”, “only met in private homes” and “all the work they did was voluntary”, is far from the truth. The early community comprised mainly Jews who had accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah. Therefore the origins of Christian worship, was Jewish worship. Acts 3.

The origins of Jewish “public” worship had its roots in an event some 1,250-years before Christ, a “specific place of worship” was given as were the Priestly ministry. In Exodus: God instructed that a tabernacle be constructed. The tribe of Levi was set aside to serve as priests for “His people”.’ The Old testament books of Exodus and Leviticus provide specific instructions about the manner of worship. It was this past manner which helped shape Church worship. Though the old law had reached its fulfilment, worship of early Christians was still required to be “in truth.” That is, in conformity to God’s revelation in Christ.

Therefore, disenfranchised believers had no precedent. “The Way” had the order of Apostles and elders supported by deacons. Paul emphasised in the first letter to Timothy that God’s labourers deserve to be paid for their preaching! [1 Tim 5:17-8]…and “let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour!”

By AD 70 [destruction of Jerusalem], there was a huge recruitment of presbyters and deacons to hold together the highly esteemed church of Jerusalem at risk of becoming dispersed and believers becoming disenfranchised.


Beccles Road,


Congratulations Aileen and team

I would like to congratulate Aileen Mobbs on another very successful Maritime Festival held in Great Yarmouth over the weekend.

It is through the selfless efforts of people such as Mrs Mobbs that Yarmouth can continue to call itself ‘Great’.

Organising events such as the festival requires a great deal of hard work and personal sacrifice, but the benefits for the town are immense, especially in these difficult financial times. I, for one, take my hat off to Aileen and her team - well done!



Allotment shed items appeal

Can I through your column help solve a problem of an allotment shed contents. An allotment was let early this year on our Selwyn Road site to a Mr Colin Turner, or a Mr Keith Sewell and uses the nickname “H”.

His shed on the allotment contains quite a few personal items, some of which are quite valuable. We have tried without success to trace the gentleman, whom we have had no contact with for months.

If any of your readers have any idea who the gentleman is, we would be grateful if they would ring me on Yarmouth 658750 to discuss. Sadly, the contents will be disposed of shortly if no information is forthcoming.


Chairman, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Allotment Association

More plans to suck coastline

In one capricious act, the government has changed the road fund licence into an exhaust emission tax. In cost, such is the value of a piece of paper.

Is it any wonder the marine aggregate extractors pay little attention to what they claim to extract with their licences.

With the number of coordinates they have created it is possible, in a 15-year period, to legally extract millions upon millions of tonnes of aggregates. With newly applied for follow on 15-year periods uncontrollable amounts of coastline are being sucked away: reference last week’s public notices in the Mercury.


Gonville Road,


Co-location with hospital wrong

I write this without much detailed knowledge of the inevitable, behind the scenes talks but - after all the recent doubt and confusion I am so glad to learn the planned Margaret Chadd House Hospice is to go ahead on the original site away from the hospital and this site has now been purchased for the purpose.

I would like to thank all those responsible for clarifying and resolving this including, after recent talks, the JPH. Perhaps now we can forge ahead with this much needed facility and give a clearer and higher priority to the fundraising for it.

I would encourage people to pick up a copy of the new, very informative brochure about the project and/or visit one of the local fund-raising shops.

My own view is that co-location with a hospital would not have been an appropriate place for a hospice, where people near the end of their lives benefit from peace, quiet and a restful atmosphere, both inside and outside in beautiful surrounding gardens, which are conducive to letting go of worldly lives and gaining a better understanding of our journey and contributions to this mortal existance, where we are all here to play an inter-related part.

A place that enables us to extend Wordsworth’s sentiment that “... but “trailing clouds of glory” do we come from God, who is our home”, to also include a similar return, or home-coming, to the Self-same God in celebration of a worthwhile life. Each little contribution has inevitably made a difference.

I am sure that to have such a hospice for local people will be a very great asset for us all.


Cliff Hill,


Put seats back inside shelters!

We went to see the three Edwardian shelters along Gorleston seafront, that have just undergone a £230k, refurbishment.

We cannot believe why there has been so little seating returned to the shelters, and what seating remains has been set forward from the rear of the shelters.

If shelters are to be used for the purpose of sheltering, why on earth would you not put the seating to the rear, to give more rain/wind protection?

Has Great Yarmouth Borough Council waged a vendetta on our seafront seating? So may we have a few extra seats please for our hard earned cash.



Greenacre school reunion planned

Greenacre School Reunion will be held at the Furzedown Hotel, Great Yarmouth on January 31, 2014, for classes leaving pre-1963. The ticket price is £15 to include a hot and cold sit down buffet.

This is the third reunion I have been involved in organising and they have all been very successful, the attendance has gone up each time showing the success of the functions, and everyone seems to enjoy the night chatting and catching up with old school friends.

So if you went to Greenacre School and left roughly about that date above, please contact me if you would like to attend. Partners are more than welcome. Contact me on email: nanettes@sky.com, call 07510 258544 or +44 (0) 1493 650395, or write to me at 11 Olive Road, Cobholm NR31 0BH.



Thanks for the success stories

I would like to take time out to thank the editor and Great Yarmouth Mercury. I am a new consultant for Slimming World in Great Yarmouth. With obesity levels rising it’s amazing to know our local newspaper supports groups such as ours by printing many success stories and editorials.

I have an amazing job, I love being able to care about and support members through their journeys with the help of the newspaper.



Cllrs should refuse expenses

Now is the time to be honest to the electorate. From 2007 until the Conservative borough council lost to the present political party, three Conservative councillors were on the board of Great Yarmouth Port Authority. They met just four times a year, and because the Port Authority had limited responsibilities, since handing everything except pilotage and tariffs to the port company, the meetings were very short. The three councillors pocketed £700 each for just about an hour rubber stamping decisions made by others.

Two weeks ago the Mercury highlighted the councillor who refused to draw £1,200 in expenses. An honest lady. What the electorate would like to see now is county and borough councillors of the Labour Party, new to the board of GYPA and who have just had their initial meeting, wake up to the fact that with just two items on the agenda £700 each for one meeting is, putting it mildly, excessive.

Conservative councillors since 2001 I have estimated have received over £100,000. Labour councillors are now taking over the role of board members at £700 for each short session. It is time to call it a day.

If the GYPA cannot take action in its role of harbour authority because they chose to hand all the action to the private port company, those councillors on the board of the GYPA, should do the decent thing and resign, thereby opening the avenue enabling the GYPA to comply with the Government directive of putting in place a board made up of business people as detailed in Modernising Trust Ports 2nd Edition as qualified at the public inquiry by those giving evidence.


Burnt Lane,


Are Bloaters worth so little?

Gareth Bale=multi, multi-millions. Great Yarmouth Town Football Club=peanuts. It saddens me in the game of football that one person is worth so much when a club representing a whole town is worth so little.

The publicity the elite footballers get for just going shopping completely overshadows anything that a non league footballer achieves. Our club is a prime example.

How many people nationally know we have the oldest grandstand in the world still in use at football matches? Last season one of our players played in his 750th first team game for us, a feat which is only equalled or beaten by a few professional players, which received national media coverage of zero, although I must thank our local media for their support.

On Saturday our first team put on a great show in front of just 56 supporters running out 8-0 winners. At the end of the game Radio Norfolk, interviewed our leading goalscorer who scored four goals in the game.

A picture was taken for our website of Mitch Forbes holding the match ball, and traditionally the one who scores a hat-trick would receive the ball to mark the achievement. We had to tell Mitch we could not afford to give him the ball, which he of course understood and accepted.

We of course are not the only club in this position, bigger clubs like Kettering found themselves in a worse position and indeed no longer exist. Like most clubs at our level we need to get more people behind us. We need more support from our town, we need more volunteers to help out on matchdays and we need more sponsors, local or national, to help keep a senior club in our town.

Of course it is not all doom and gloom here; we play good football and have good decent people of all ages representing us at every level.

I urge every football fan in our borough to come along to the Wellesley just once this season. I would be surprised if you left disappointed and did not return.



Great Yarmouth Town FC

Gardens tidied, at long last

On visiting the North Drive boating lake recently, I was delighted to see the gardens have at last been weeded and tidied. Hopefully by next summer we will see the gardens fully restored and re-planted. Many thanks to all involved.


Well Street,

Great Yarmouth

Youths attack our waste bins

The waste bins are constantly tipped up and kicked around the street leaving a dirty mess. This happens in the evenings on the weekend by youths passing through Exmouth Place. It’s very unsettling for the residents and some are elderly.



Where were the boats at festival?

I would like to ask the organisers of the Maritime Festival, where were the boats? The various stalls and other activities were all well and good, but if I went to an air show I would expect to see aircraft as well as these stalls.

It was, in my opinion, very disappointing in this respect. I know that it costs a lot of money to get these aircraft to come to these shows, and I assume it would cost money to get boats to come to the festival but a job worth doing is worth doing well.

Also it was difficult to see the boats that were there, due to the high wall next to the river, which I know is essential, one could only see the upper parts of the boats without leaning over the side of the wall. This was made worse at low tide.

Would it not be possible with the help of the powers that be to open up the west side of the river just for the two days of the festival? This would enable people to see the boats in full from the other side of the river without having to stretch.

I can remember when you could walk the length of the west side of the river bank from Haven Bridge right through to Gorleston Pier without obstruction.

This, if I remember correctly, was stopped in the late 1980s when the then firms along the stretch of river decided they would take the river frontage into their ownership, and put barriers up to stop people walking along the river under the health and safety banner. This must have been done with the permission of the relevant authorities at the time but I cannot recall anything in the press at the time relating to this matter.



Centre 81 has own transport

Thank you for your report on Centre 81 members being evacuated due to the garage fire in Yare Close.

I am pleased to confirm everything went well, with no injuries sustained. Centre 81’s fire evacuation drills proved to be of worth as our plans worked and our members just treated the day as “business as usual” without becoming anxious or stressed.

The report states that: “A total of 30 people from Centre 81 have been transported by the borough council to the rest centre, where they are expected to remain for several hours.” For clarification, the transport used to evacuate members was Centre 81’s own fully accessible fleet of minibuses.

Our community transport service is available for residents of the borough of Great Yarmouth who are unable to access ordinary public transport. It is a membership service and operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. For more information visit www.centre81.co.uk or call Phil on 01493 332253.


CEO, Centre 81

Great Yarmouth