Letters, September 30, 2017
Change mindset, potential is here
Off the back of the recent decision by councillors to reject the development of a retail park by Pasta Foods, may I offer a humble piece of advice to those making such decisions?
Rather than maintaining their mindset of “How can we regenerate the town centre?” I think another, more proactive and realistic question should be asked, ie: “Why are local people choosing to spend their money in Norwich instead of Great Yarmouth and how can we entice them back?” The council’s ongoing commitment to focus just on the town centre isn’t working, if the number of shops either closing down or relocating over the past 10 years is anything to go by.
Great Yarmouth is not in any position to be picky. If someone brings a sensible option to the table of building a few out of town retail units, my suggestion to the council would be simple – let them do it! The more shopping there is in the town - wherever it is - the less likely I am to jump in the car and head to Norwich for the day.
The more choice I have to shop in Yarmouth, the more likely I am to then spend the rest of the day in and around the town spending money on other things such as a lunch out, something for my children to do or going to the cinema – money I currently spend in Norwich. I’m sure others would follow this lead.
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For someone who is in their late 20s, a graduate in a professional job, who has chosen this area where I grew up to raise my own family, I feel my generation will have a huge impact on the future of this town.
There is potential here and people willing to spend money, but unless a different mindset is applied by decision makers, my generation will continue to travel - and spend our money - 20 miles westward.
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Not told about the yellow lines plan
We are extremely concerned about Norfolk County Council’s plans to extend double yellow lines to more roads on the Magdalen Estate and Kennedy Avenue in Gorleston.
While we completely understand the problem of hospital workers parking in the residential area we feel further yellow lines are not the answer. Yellow lines in Gresham Close did not solve the problem, it just moved it.
If this planned extension is made it will just move the problem again and cause lots of problems for residents. Where are all the residents of these roads to park?
The whole problem stems from the hospital workers not wanting to pay to park when they are going to work. We sympathise, you shouldn’t have to pay for parking at your workplace. The solution to the problem though is not to put large scale sets of yellow lines on local roads and further inconvenience the residents.
Surely a solution should be sought at the site itself. For the hospital to provide free parking for its staff.
We are residents of the Magdalen Estate and have witnessed all of the problems and the results of the so-called solutions. We, and our neighbours, feel the planned changes will not work and will move the problem yet again.
We also feel Norfolk County Council were perhaps trying to obscure plans from some of the residents as notices were not posted at all of the roads concerned and letters not sent to large sections of the estate. We only found out about this by word of mouth as despite being a resident of one of the roads concerned, we and our neighbours never received a letter.
Mr and Mrs HOUSTON
Let our dogs run free on beach
I refer to the proposals for dogs to have to be kept on the lead on the beach between Salisbury Road, Great Yarmouth and Tan Lane, Caister.
I am a responsible dog owner. I have taken the consultation survey and agree with 90pc of the proposals being put forward. Most of which are, in fact, common sense - at least to a responsible dog owner.
However, the proposal to insist dogs remain on a lead whilst on the beach/dunes between Salisbury Road and Tan Lane could possibly be reviewed. The area of the beach between Barnard Bridge and Salisbury Road is used almost exclusively by families, friends and couples etc walking their dogs. It’s a wonderful space for dogs to run free. Responsible dog owners pick up the dog mess, but there’s always the minority who would not wherever they were. This area is not used for sunbathing, picnics or playing. I walk this area regularly and would challenge anybody to have to dodge dog mess all the time.
Contrary to the proposal to designate the area to force dogs to be kept on a lead, it would be far better to erect signage to inform the public the area is an open space where dogs can run free with their owners.
The public then could make an informed choice to walk on that specific part of the beach or choose a section of the other miles and miles of beach where the dogs are not allowed,
We all create our final future
The other day I saw a billboard in Gorleston. It read, “Create your own future.” This got me thinking... We all create our own final future – we choose, by following or resisting the Lord Jesus, to go to heaven or to hell, says the Bible.
Jesus warns, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. How narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Holy Bible, Matthew 7:13–14).
Sadly, even many churchgoers are on the wrong road because they choose to go to a church that does not obey the Bible.
God’s apostle prophesied this would happen. He says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound teaching, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3–4).
We hope helpers read this thanks
Last Sunday whilst we were going up one of the slopes from the Gorleston seafront, my wife tripped and had a nasty fall, cutting her forehead and nose.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the couple who were following us. They stopped to help and gave us loads of tissues to staunch the bleeding from the cuts. It did more or less stop eventually, thank you to them. Also another thank you to the lady who came up from one of the cafes with a first aid box. She helped tend my wife and also rang for a paramedic and stayed until the paramedic arrived.
And of course thank you to the paramedic for arriving so quickly and sorting all the problems out.
I don’t know whether these thank you letters ever get seen by the actual people who aided on such an occasion as with my wife, but for someone who does read this and if a friend or relation happens to mention the incident and helped, please thank them, from us especially.
ALAN and MARGARET MARSHAM
A non-councillor on port liaison
Several letters question footfall in Great Yarmouth town centre. There are no statistics that ice skaters increased footfall spending. Empty stores and banks cutting opening hours is all the proof needed that shops are suffering; free car parking during opening hours would be more helpful to burdened shops than ice skating.
Riverside homes in Gorleston are planned to be built on the ex-Halls site and causing consternation as the council seems not to have given thought to traffic. Also the area from England’s Lane to Ferry Hill was, and still should be, an industrial zone, and turning the land over to housing will not bring jobs.
In 2010 it was suggested an interested ratepayer/ stakeholder should attend Port meeting: the Community and Marine Liaison Committee (CAMLC), enabling community stakeholders to participate in matters that affect the borough. But this was rejected by IPH so will Peel Ports consider having a ratepaying stakeholder attending meetings; after all the port has benefited from our £50m investment?
We are now trusting out councillors to site the third river crossing in the right place. Where they want it is Gas House Quay. Has the council consulted port users and stakeholders?
They not only want to blight Gorleston they will stop shipping working offshore from using our port. That will happen as it’s a fact shipping companies do not like bridges.
Perhaps then the council will instigate a previous idea of turning our quays from Gashouse to Haven Bridge into “yuppie” homes.
One other matter concerns me: Bollard Quay, where there are voids or caverns underneath the brick weave quay that could collapse without warning. All of us have seen the quay blocked off. Why has this happened? Are the voids being monitored to ascertain if a collapse can jeopardise those ratepayers’ houses on the flood plain, Halfway House to Haven Bridge?
I would like to see a non-councillor representing ratepayers in CAMLC meetings.
JOHN L COOPER
Anyone want old programmes?
I am clearing stuff out and have a programme dated Sunday 19th June 1949 for BBC (Midland Region orchestra) for a musical concert at Great Yarmouth Town Hall. The conductor Gilbert Vinter has signed the programme and it was being broadcast on the BBC Home Service.
I also have many old programmes including the Crazy Gang and more of that era. If there is anyone who collects such ephemera and is interested, I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy roller skating rink as an asset
In response to Mr Blyth’s letter last week. Documents for the economic development committee, which took the decision regarding the ice rink are available to the public on great-yarmouth.cmis.uk.com, click on to meetings then go back to June on the calendar, then select June 6 (economic development,) scroll down and click on ice rink.
Then if you go onto September 7, economic development, you will find an updated document which states, the ice rink for 2016 will cost £197,295. Income: Admissions estimated £69,884, sponsorship estimated £35,000, net cost (loss) £92,411. This loss does not take into account bad weather, breakdowns and lack of sponsorship. The report clearly states there is extra competition for sponsorship as a result of the proposed airshow.
Cllr Kay Grey asked at the meeting, why can’t we buy our own roller skating rink which would give us approximately 10 years of magical Christmases for our residents.
To this end we believe a more responsible way forward is to purchase a roller skating rink that becomes a GYBC capital asset and could be deployed whenever and wherever throughout the borough, all year round.
As for councillors replacing others at meetings, many of the borough’s meetings have substitutes; it is not new, in fact at that same meeting that UKIP, as pointed out by Cllr B Coleman had a substitute, so did the Conservatives, Cllr Mary Coleman stood in for Cllr Ron Hanton.
For a more in depth summary of this principle view our website www.UKIP-GY.co.uk
Cllr CHRIS WALCH
UKIP Councillor Central and Northgate ward
Valuable service of lollipop people
I am a lollipop lady and work on a very busy road. Parents, children and the public appreciate all I do to keep them all safely crossing the road morning and afternoon on weekdays.
We provide an invaluable service and we are a tradition going back years. The thought of us all losing our jobs fills me with fear for the future safety of the children crossing unaided. A child getting seriously injured or losing their life is not, in my opinion, worth the pittance that Norfolk County Council will save by disposing of us. Our invaluable service is in danger of disappearing and if this happens I predict it won’t be long before a tragedy transpires.
I’m related to Admiral Riches
How surprised I was to see the article by Peggotty about Admiral Riches, known as Happy. He was my great uncle Arthur’s son and uncle Arthur was my grandfather’s brother. My grandfather was Harry Riches. He had a tugboat and used to rescue people at sea as well.
I knew great uncle Arthur well when I was young and heard a lot about Admiral. I moved to London and lived there for 54 years so lost touch with a lot of people. I moved back to Norfolk nine years ago so it was great to read about Admiral.
M FELTHAM, nee Gamble
Grass-cutting left strips of cans
On Tuesday morning I spoke to the GYB personnel after they had completed the grass cutting around Rollesby pavilion. The grass around the pavilion, adjacent to Rollesby Primary School, forms part of a footpath which is used by dog walkers and schoolchildren and is now littered with strips of aluminium cans that have been driven over by the lawnmower.
This is not the first time this has happened either. The cans are still there, and the GYB personnel left the site without even bothering to take a look at the problem I had highlighted to them.
Well done to the young lady Ruby
I would like to congratulate Ruby Stannard of Winterton, a very determined young lady who had her lovely long ponytail cut off, on August 26, to donate it to The Princess Trust/ They, in turn, have used the hair to make a wig for a child that has cancer.
Initially Ruby had hoped to raise £500 through sponsorship to donate to charity Spread a Smile, which does a wonderful job to entertain and support children and their families who are having a difficult time.
However, to date, Ruby has raised in excess of £1600.
She hopes this money will make a big difference to someone worse off than herself.
Unfair claimants have long wait
I was very interested to read your correspondent Daniel Candon (September 23) about the divisive implications of universal credit being rolled out in Great Yarmouth.
It is so unfair that claimants have to wait so long for these benefits to be paid and effectively place them in a position of poverty, which naturally in turn leads them to food banks to survive. In the 21st century, and in a still very wealthy country, this should not be allowed to happen.
I would like to be charitable in hoping that these are teething problems and the whole system needs to bed in but being cynical I have grave doubts.
I subsequently read a letter in the EDP (September 26) from the chairman of the Eastern Landlords’ Association which highlighted clearly the situation Mr Candon was alluding to. He writes very lucidly about this situation in Great Yarmouth, where decent landlords are being placed in the position when they don’t know when they will receive their rent. So it is a complete lose-lose situation for landlords and tenants alike.
Now Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected with an increased mandate, it is to be hoped the Labour Party can get on with the job of a being a valid and strong opposition to highlight these growing problems
with this always contentious issue. They need to get their act in gear and fight for disenfranchised men, women and children who are being let down by this government.
I also sincerely hope our MP Brandon Lewis will highlight our town’s situation where deprivation and poverty in synonymous with bureaucratic delays in the paying out of this benefit.
JUDITH A DANIELS
Right decision on ice rink priorities
I write regarding the letter in last week’s Mercury from Cllr Penny Carpenter regarding the voting of our borough councillors against a return of an ice rink in the Market Place this Christmas.
The councillors who voted against this, should actually hold their heads high, by getting the priorities on this matter right.
The ice rink cost over £100k to the residents of this borough. Despite the car parking fees being waived the trade did not increase or improve from previous years in the town centre. During such times of austerity, rather than an ice rink in the town the residents may have preferred a 2pc reduction in their Council Tax.
The councillors who voted to waste a further £100k plus this year are the ones that should be hanging their heads in shame for putting dancing on ice ahead of dealing with the economic state of this town including low wages and zero hours contracts.
JOHN CANNELL President,
Great Yarmouth Trades Union Council
St George’s Park cafe is an eyesore
Well, I’ve just been through St George’s Park in Great Yarmouth and I couldn’t believe my eyes at the state of our new European café.
It looks like a child’s carousel painted in brightly colours, with what I can only describe as a garden sprinkler.
What an eyesore and what on earth did it cost? What a waste of time and money and did the local townsfolk foot the bill?