Not in public interest

WHILST certainly not one for conspiracy theorising I am of the opinion that the borough of Great Yarmouth is “sleepwalking” in a future to be decided by company interests, rather than due process of what is in the public interest.

WHILST certainly not one for conspiracy theorising I am of the opinion that the borough of Great Yarmouth is “sleepwalking” in a future to be decided by company interests, rather than due process of what is in the public interest.

I refer to EastPort, notwithstanding any such debates as to benefits or not they may/may not bring to the region, their ability to affect the lives and rights of the public access seem to go ahead unfettered.

Specifically, I understand the road access around the harbour mouth will be closed, and traffic in future will use a roundabout to turn around and come back from whence they came. How is it possible for a company to have a public thoroughfare closed without due publication (an assumption because I would assume this has to at least appear in the Mercury)? I would have thought the highways agency as well as others would have granted permission for this based upon a detailed assessment that gives security as the main reason?

Access to Gorleston pier car park has just been stopped on the ridiculous claim as being a “health and safety” issue, that only being the case because if EastPort are indeed landowners, they have neglected their duty in letting it deteriorate into an issue. That begs the issue of are they content to block this access for longer term intent? If really concerned about their duty of care, stick a “No liability” sign on the entrance and open it up.


You may also want to watch:


It is unbelievable that a company can have such affect on long standing public access with little or no public consultation. With all the poor publicity EastPort are presently suffering. I would have thought they could have at least managed their hosts (people of Great Yarmouth borough) in a better fashion. The talk of a third river crossing, rather than a needed Acle Road to Caister link has coincidently come to life with the evolution of EastPort Facilities, who would be the major beneficiaries of such a link.

Has this company followed due process (would suspect they have) and if so, why no consultation with the public?

Most Read

STEVE TAYLOR

Clarence Road

Gorleston

PEOPLE really do have power if they aren't frightened or too apathetic to support those who are prepared to state the case and fight for it. Remember it was people power that stopped the notorious Riverside development, the misplaced restaurant on the prom, the filling of the yachtpond with sand. Don't think the improvement of our seafront just happened; no, it is the pressure from a small group of activists that finally bore fruit.

The Mercury is our local paper prepared to take up the case when we want action and your letters do help because the Audit Commission really do take notice of what you say. The Audit Commission report is on the council website and makes interesting reading.

The subject of the moment is the pier car park and we need help to ensure our views and needs are taken notice of. It is called democracy and remember if you don't use it you will lose it. We can do it but only if you, you and you support those who want the car park back

Please go to my website www.gorleston-heritage.co.uk or just google “gorleston heritage” which will find it, click on "Links, News, events and Conservation", scroll down read the details and click on the link to the petition. Please tell all your friends and relations about this. If you signed the petition at the Gorleston Gala, and a wonderful 560 people did, please remember this internet petition is a separate petition addressed to the government and your support will count. Anyone who moans about the car park tell them to be positive and do something about it.

The aim is for all the car park area to be reinstated because the elderly and disabled, residents and visitors, deserve to be able to take advantage of this unique facility and this is only possible if they are able to park on the seaward side.

The borough council leader, probably the most important and influential person in the town, made one of the most negative statements I have ever heard to the Mercury: “It would not be possible to provide any council funding for the repair of the car park because it is privately owned.” (for owned, read leased from us).

In a council lease, is the upkeep of the property the responsibility of the leasee and is the leasee responsible for dilapidations? It is after all a conservation area. If the council needs some help as it did with the reef problem (another win for people power), how about inviting a sub committee of interested people to help?

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue,

Gorleston

I READ read last week's Mercury regarding the youths driving at the lady on the horse on Hobland Road. We have lived on Hobland Road for two years and I have to say I'm not surprised this has happened.

Every day we get these idiots driving their mobile discos down our road at breakneck speed; windows down, music full blast and some driving like lunatics.

There was traffic monitoring equipment installed some months ago but the report we got back was there didn't seem to much of a problem. Those people should come and live here; at certain times of the day it's like a main road.

There is a sign at the end of the road stating it is unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles but we get large HGVs down our road every day, and when passing other motorists the only option is to mount the bank which erodes the verges.

There are plans, we are told, for a new road from the Beacon Park estate by the new ambulance station to link up with the Beccles road dual carriageway. I suppose this will only happen when the new housing estate is built forcing the developers to pay for the road construction. Ambulances and police cars use Hobland Road every day with the odd fire engine, as the quickest route to Bradwell, Belton and other outlying villages.

The council spends bucket loads of money on Yarmouth's seafront and I give credit where credit is due, it looks very nice but let's see some being spent in other areas of the town to benefit the local people.

Another problem is fly tipping, the scourge of the countryside. We get all sorts of rubbish dumped in the hedge rows.

Our council has been very good, it only takes a phone call and they come and clear the rubbish up. I spend a lot of time in our garden and I would like to take this opportunity to warn anyone who thinks Hobland Road is a good place to dump their unwanted rubbish, I have a camera and will report anyone I see, so be warned!

I look forward to reading next week's Mercury for a few replies to my letter. I'll get off my soapbox now and do some gardening, it's good to have a moan now and again, not that it will do any good, we are like little mushrooms kept in the dark and fed on bulls----.

PAUL DALLIMORE

Hobland Road,

Hobland

WHAT is wrong with the people who are supposed to take care of this town, for heaven's sake spend a bit of money and save the jetty before it really is too late. We will lament its departure in years to come, like we do so many other things we have lost due to shortsightedness. We really must keep our heritage.

Mrs T WEST

Garnham Road,

Gorleston

I'VE just read about the dustmen who stayed with the injured cat who had been run over in Gorleston (Letters, August 21). He was my daughter's cat which we had had since she was a few months old and she loved him dearly. I didn't know what had happened until the vets phoned me and said they had him. I would like to thank the dustmen and the passing vet who took him for treatment, but sadly his injuries were so bad we had to have him put to sleep. He is sadly missed by his brother and our family. The lady driver who hit him didn't even stop to see if he was okay.

JEMMA MILLER

Magdalen Way,

Gorleston

AS a response to Mr A Boggis's letter (August 21), I really could not agree more with his comments. As a resident of Gorleston and a regular visitor to the pier on a daily basis I find it such a shame to see the pier fall into such a state of repair.

The pier and surrounding areas are such an asset to Gorleston with local families and visitors walking or cycling with their children, or the older generation enjoying a enjoyable walk to take in the sea air and views. I and other visitors to the pier find it hard not to think there maybe a hidden agenda behind the neglect to maintain and service this much used and enjoyed area, and that is it will be allowed to fall into such disrepair so that a lovely “Health and Safety” rule will be used to close the pier off completely.

Gorleston harbour and beach are a valuable asset to Great Yarmouth's tourism as only too clear to see when the visitors arrive to enjoy this fantastic area in their thousands.

D RICHMOND

Drudge Road

Gorleston

YOU ask our opinion on whether the borough council should pressure Eastport to reopen Gorleston Pier car park. I emphatically say yes. It is such a nice place to see ships passing in and out. It is time there was money spent on Gorleston. Also buses should run again down to the front, so people who do not want all the noise of Yarmouth can spend a nice time there. It would also help the shops.

V E ELLINGFORD

Briar Avenue

Bradwell

SINCE MP Tony Wright has asked questions regarding the work carried out as Great Yarmouth regeneration could I ask him to also pursue the following points? Unless our councillors can provide me/us with the answers.

1 Why have we lost control of the Gorleston pier? Why did we not order EastPort to repair the surface and guarantee everlasting access as a condition? No repair no change in ownership, simply we and they get something, Ratepayers lose out again.

2 There appears to be money for the Winter Gardens repair. Why is there no money for The Jetty repairs? The Vauxhall bridge? Am I being cynical or is this due to the council letting out the Winter Gardens so getting an income whereas the other do not bring in a penny?

3 Regarding the Gorleston cliffs car park. The ill-thought out idea to charge for parking was defeated. So why has the area not been returned to its original state?

4 Who thought that allowing The Long Bar to have tables and chairs outside the premises is a good idea? Seems to me this just gives the troublemakers easy access to ammunition to throw at each other and the general public.

MAURICE HOOD

Claydon Grove

Gorleston

AT the time of reading today's Mercury our Outer Harbour will be receiving its first ship. A 117metre DSV drawing just under seven metres, a proper vessel!

The lack of container trade must have focused the minds of management running things at EastPort. This DSV is the type of vessel that is exactly what the new facility was granted the state aid for! Not container traffic. What a shame our port is not able to re-fuel her using static tanks, as there are no facilities. Her fuel capacity will be around 1,000 tonnes (nearly 1m litres) - a lot of road tankers at 30 tonnes a truck. So if the container side starts up, not only will there be daily container lorries but heavy refuelling trucks clogging up our streets. Another reason to doubt a well thought-out planning stage, I thought several million pounds was spent on planning?

Is anything materialising as we were led to believe back in 2007, when our council and MP were allowing the foreign company International Port Holdings (IPH) to take over our port.

EastPort boasts that the Outer Harbour is dredged to 10m deep, big deal! If the Great Yarmouth Port Authority (GYPA) had shown more business sense over the inner harbour, we would have retained our chain bucket dredger and the inner harbour would have been 10m deep. As in previous years, “steam” vessels drew in excess of 10m, but like every hing to do with our harbour today we have a “pick and mix” culture selling our dredger, allowing the Yare to silt up.

Our esteemed borough and county councils, and the port authority, have caved in to all demands from the new foreign owners. IPH are picking just what parts of Great Yarmouth Port they feel are possible profit earners. The excellent Page One article in last Friday's Mercury highlights just one part of IPH interests. Of course they are not interested in the pier car park, that's not a money earner but money loser, so seal it up.

The same can be said for the Haven Bridge. The county council, using taxpayer's money, is taking over the upkeep, as the bridge runs at a loss. Brush Quay, on the Gorleston side from the South Pier to the lifeboat shed is another money loser, so Yarmouth council has agreed to use our money for the upkeep of this quay area, not IPH.

I have tried to get answers from the port authority under the Freedom of Information Act as to just what has been given to IPH. Their chairman has written to say that the port authority is not a public authority so does not come under the Act. Many others, and I would like to know how a public authority such as the Port and Haven Commissioners could suddenly be sold off to a private concern.

There are three borough councillors on the board of the port authority to represent the council.

Let's recap: The council, through the port authority, has handed over all our river Yare, the acres of land on South Denes, North and South entrance piers, the harbour offices valued at �500,000, plus �454,000 in hard cash, and we have no say at all! We were promised 1,000 jobs, 120,000 tourists, regeneration, wind turbine work, a ro-ro ferry service, decommissioning of platforms, etc.

But what is so very wrong is we are giving so much with no financial reward for 99 years.

The least our council now can do is to force IPH to re-open our car park on South Pier, repairing it with IPH money.

JOHN L COOPER

Honorary Freeman of the Borough

Ex Port Welfare Officer

Gorleston

COMMENTS in the media regarding the proliferation of quangos in recent years has prompted me to examine our very own example of the species. I refer, of course, to 1st East which was established in March 2005. It did not take much of my time to list what had been down for my home town Great Yarmouth, in 4.5 years. I am led to believe that the running costs of this organisation (I use the term in it's loosest form) is �700,000 per annum yet nothing has been achieved for our benefit. Surely we who pay for this are entitled to know who is responsible and why it is allowed to continue.

Mrs M FARMERY

email

WHAT a country we live in. we must be the laughing stock of the world. We have not only let out a major thief out of jail; Ronnie Biggs who broke out of prison and fled to the other side of the world to evade capture and poked fun at us and our authorities. But when he fell ill and the cash ran he gave himself up to be looked after by the State he had mocked. Now they have let out a mass murderer, the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Ali Megrahi. If you can't do the time don't do the crime. I would not want to wish their illnesses on anybody, but they are not anybody, so they should let them rot in prison. Who has any faith in this country and those who govern us.

D J COLMAN

email

THERE has been a massive increase in the number of mobility scooters in and around the Great Yarmouth and Caister area. They are being driven regularly on the road. To the best of my knowledge, they are not taxed or insured and the drivers do not have to take any test. They cannot keep up with traffic and are often driven in an erratic manner. I have witnessed several near misses/hits. These vehicles are a menace on the road. Whilst I have sympathy with the users of these vehicles, I cannot see why they are being allowed to regularly drive on the highway. As a vehicle user who has to take a driving test, pay road tax, MOT test my vehicle and pay insurance, I find it a very annoying and potentially dangerous.

M TIERNAN

email

IN response to the letter in last week's Mercury from Matthew Smith of Gorleston, re MP should be accountable.

I would like to say in Mr Wright's defence, he attended two meetings on August 17, in the early part of the evening in Burgh Castle, with holiday park concerns, after which he drove to Newtown Youth Centre arriving at 7.30pm and not leaving until 9pm. The latter I attended also, because we are trying to raise funds for a very worthwhile youth centre in Newtown.

Carl Harding, the youth leader, is doing a marvellous job with well over 100 youngsters. All of the staff at the centre have been working closely with Insp Nick Russell of Yarmouth Police, and have helped cut anti-social behaviour down by approximately 50pc.

Tony Wright used most of his evening trying to help in two areas of our community. I am sure if Matthew Smith wants to know more about his activities during the summer recession, his office staff I am sure would be glad to supply him with more details.

MARIE FIELD

Harley Road

Great Yarmouth

ends

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter