Readers’ letters, July 14 2017

Who will help us with problem?

Can someone please advise me who to turn to.

During this spell of hot weather it would have been nice to have the windows open in our house. However that is not a luxury allowed to my wife and I unless we want to inhale the extraordinary level of both smoke and strength of drugs being consumed just a few doors away from persons openly using them in their front garden.

I approached the local council who advised there is nothing they can do but did contact the police on my behalf. Unfortunately the message came back that they, the police, can do nothing but I could try ringing 101. However, an officer probably would not attend such an event.

Who can I turn too, where can I go? My wife and are not smokers and certainly not drug users and should not have to be subjected to it in our home. It’s bad enough smelling it and seeing it being openly used when walking through town.

Advice would be appreciated through the Letters in the Mercury.

Name and Address withheld

Most Read

Disabled bays are for the disabled!

Standing in a supermarket car park, in any of our super markets, why not play a game of sleuth as I do.

Walking for me is very painful caused by advanced Neuropathy. I sit in the car in the car park and spot the disabled and the cheats, those of you that have time on their hands watching the disabled bays and seeing the ratio of cheats to genuine disabled.

Today (Sunday) at 10.20am in my 14 minute stay at a Gorleston supermarket, seven cars pulled into the disable bays and four of those cars only contained what seemed to be perfectly able-bodied people. One was a chap by himself in his early 50s walking fast unaided, then a man and a woman, quite young, and without sticks.

The third was an old boy very debonair in his summer rig who actually ran to the trolley park. Lastly in my short stay were three people, man, woman and child parked in a disabled bay, the man walked unaided to the cash machine and the woman and child retrieved a trolley and went into the store

Just three of the seven vehicles were genuine. Multiply these figures by all the supermarkets in Britain and that is an awful lot of cheats, and what other financial costs are they cheating on?

My disability warrants me the use of disabled parking, and there would also be a financial gain for me.

But like so many other people that could claim for a blue badge and all that goes with it we can sleep at night and feel good about the fact at the age of 80 I can still manage.

Here is a job for our MP Brandon Lewis; all vehicle drivers that I speak to have the wish there was honesty amongst the disabled.

I know Mr Lewis’ position is immigration but as a cabinet minister can he push for the health secretary to instigate or set up a more accurate judge to ensure only genuine claimants receive Blue Badge benefit.

An afterthought, I notice all these people parking in the disabled spaces drive big posh cars, why is this?


Burnt Lane,


Are we too blasé about squalor?

The lady writing in last week about the parlous state of the streets in Great Yarmouth certainly has a point and perhaps those of us who are here most of the time have become a little blasé about the dirt and the general squalor.

Then again there are plenty of other things which cause concern.

In the last couple of weeks I have seen two things in particular which seem to indicate the way in which public life in this country is on a downward spiral. The first was in the window of one of the many tattoo parlours which seem to be springing up all over the place; here a number of young children were watching their adult companions being tattooed.

The second was a couple of young men using mobility scooters as sort of recreational vehicles and racing them all over the place, something I gather you can do with impunity in some of the Mediterranean holiday resorts. One of them was moving at speed through a very busy part of the Market Place.

Next time: the betting shops which won’t pay out; and the vaping establishments which won’t be happy until everyone is walking around enveloped in a cloud of smoke.

Welcome to Great Yarmouth.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Awful state of beachside loos

Last week I was going to write asking if the grass cutting depot for Gorleston had closed down. I took my little dog to the playing field on Mill Lane in Bradwell and have never seen the grass as long, it had gone to seed and was full of spiteful arrow barbs that get into animals’ ears and feet. So needless to say I cut that walk short.

Net day I went up the cliffs at Gorleston and parked in the large car park at the south end. The grass was just as bad, may I add it is expensive to have these barbs removed by a vet and it is also very painful for the animal.

Today at 4.45pm on July 5 I walked along the promenade at Gorleston. I decided to pop in the ladies opposite the Pier Hotel. I wish I had not. I still feel sick at the sight and the smell of such a dilapidated interior. There was paint peeling off walls, paint needed on woodwork, toilets full of paper, locks hanging off doors.

Last week in the Mercury it was mentioned Gorleston could be the second Southwold - not with the people in charge of grass cutting and maintenance departments.

Please, whoever is in charge make an effort and supply some paint and disinfectant to this building before visitors arrive with their children. They would be horrified, and like me, not use it.


Burgh Road,


MP’s finger is not on the pulse

With reference to Mr Cooper’s letter “I want MP to have finger on pulse” (June 30).

I couldn’t agree more that Brandon Lewis cannot be in two places at once. How could someone who lives in Essex and works in London possibly spend much time in Great Yarmouth? That is part of the problem.

As for having his finger on the pulse, that doesn’t happen either. Did he have his finger on the pulse when, as housing minister, he urged against including sprinklers in fire safety rules as it could discourage house building because of the cost? The managing director of the Fire Protection Association has said that sprinklers in the Grenfell tower block would have undoubtedly saved lives.

Did Mr Lewis have his finger on the pulse while Tory MPs cheered in the House of Commons as they defeated the Labour Party’s attempt to scrap the pay cap? How about paying everyone the correct rate for the job? £1bn could be found for the DUP to keep Theresa May in a job but money couldn’t be found for the NHS, education, the fire service and police.

Does Mr Lewis have his finger on the pulse as young people, this country’s future, continue to be saddled with ever increasing debt as a result of escalating university fees and student loans?

The poorest students can now expect to leave university with £57,000 of debt, a higher level of debt than better off students. In the days when Mr Lewis was a student he wouldn’t have paid tuition fees and grants were the norm.

The finger on the pulse has resulted in seven years of austerity, which has achieved nothing other than hardship for the least well off, tax cuts for the rich and tax breaks for big corporations.

How about Mr Lewis having his finger on the pulse in his constituency? I see in his newsletter he has got round to meeting the chairman of the Eastern Landlords Association to discuss the impact of Universal Credit.

That’s a bit late for the many people who have already been evicted.


Hawthorn Crescent,


Bus doesn’t pull in at the stop

I often catch a bus from The Feathers in Gorleston. There are buses every few minutes and it is a major bus stop.

Every bus pulls into the bay for passengers to get on and I have used First Bus and Anglian without any problems.

Today I tried to catch a bus run by Border Bus, no 580. Instead of pulling into the stop as every other bus does, the driver looked over but remained in the road, not stopping for possible passengers.

Other people at the stop said that Border Bus will only stop if you put your hand out and they had given up with the bus. There were approximately 30 people at the stop and I was at the back trying to move forward.

I had no idea I was supposed to flag him down. The pavement was packed and I don’t think he could see everybody.

How are passengers supposed to know Border Bus does not pull into the stop unless they see you wave? The other buses (about 20 an hour during the day) all pull into the stop.

No doubt we will shortly read that the 580 has been discontinued due to lack of passengers but how are the potential passengers to know what Border Bus wants them to do? They are no signs.



Pedestrians are taking bad risk

The traffic calming measures in Gorleston High Street were, I recall, introduced because statistics showed that pedestrians were involved in a high proportion of the traffic incidents in the High Street.

I recently stood for a lengthy period of time mid-morning outside Boots and watched the High Street; despite there being a lights controlled crossing just down the street, outside Lloyds, and a pedestrian crossing a little higher, outside Hughes; far more people crossed not using either crossing than used crossings, some dodging through moving traffic and some crossing at the traffic lights when they did not show in favour of pedestrians.

It is a pity that more local people did not attend the consultation held in the library before the changes were made and it is a pity that Highways did not accept the local people’s view that their proposals were not the answer.

My suggestion that the issue lay with risk-taking pedestrians and not with vehicle drivers was not, and seems still to not, be seen as the true cause of many of the pedestrian casualties.


Lowestoft Road,


I will fight to get planters

It is nice to see a councillor having something fixed in Great Yarmouth.

I’ve been trying to get them to sort out the planters either end of Havelock Road for well over a year. Despite numerous emails to the council, Brandon Lewis’s secretary etc, and the council saying originally that they didn’t know who was responsible for the upkeep, then that they would be improved after Easter, nothing has been done.

I note from an article in the Mercury in 2012 that councillors visited Nelson ward in 2012 and agreed that improvements needed to be made, yet it’s now 2017 and still the roads are strewn with litter, buildings are in a poor state of repair and decoration.

I will continue to fight to get these six planters planted with something other than weeds, and continue to report rubbish using the GYBC app, which I add is a waste of time as they never reply. Such a shame, Great Yarmouth is one of the most littered towns I have ever seen.



Fancy going to school reunion?

We are having a reunion lunch for pupils of the Technical High School intake 1953-1958. The reunion will be held at the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth on Friday, October 13 at 1.30pm. The cost is £19.50. If interested please contact me by August 1 so we know how many will attend. Call 07789 324797.

PAT RANT (nee Gain)

Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

Motorcycles were a joy to see

I would just like to thank all those who worked hard to make the motorcycle event on Saturday such a success.

As a rider it was a pleasure to see so many exotic and well cared-for machines that I usually only see in pictures in magazines.

The great bonus was the two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines running; to see and hear them at close quarters was a great thrill.

If events like this inspired people to take to motorcycles instead of cars, not only would they experience the fun obtained from riding, but everybody would benefit from fewer parking problems, and reduced congestion and pollution in towns and cities.

Thanks again, Yarmouth.


Old Market Close,


Scholarship is thanks to college

We would like to thank East Norfolk Sixth Form College for all the excellent tuition and support they have given our grandson Tom in the past two years. The staff are never to busy to listen, advise and encourage, with their help he has obtained a scholarship to the prestigious Pomona College in California to study maths.

From lecturers to principal the college should be applauded.



No cashiers just self checkouts

Getting off the bus in Market Gates this week I popped into the nearby Poundland after seeing there weren’t many people in, so I could race round before going to work.

What a mistake and what a faff! There were no cashiers, and I was steered to the self checkouts.

It meant getting glasses out of bag so I could read the screen, scanning the items one by one, pressing the button for a carrier bag, inserting the £10 note in the machine, waiting for the receipt and change, detaching a carrier bag, opening the carrier bag, placing the items in the carrier bag, and all the time conscious there was a queue growing behind me.

I am not a self checkout virgin, but I would like the option of using them or the normal checkouts. Is this the future of Poundland?



Volunteers call for fun festival

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking residents, businesses and organisations of Martham for supporting us throughout the past 10 years.

We started the scarecrow event as a fun activity for the village, giving everyone the chance to enter in many different ways. It has grown far more than we ever expected and it is great to see the village come alive.

During the past years we have been able to fund Christmas lights, benches, provide items for both the Community Centre and the Youth Club, support local charities and this year the Christmas Tree on the Green will be provided by us.

After much discussion and a great deal of thought we (Peter and Liz, Julie and Steven) have made the decision that 2018 will be our last event. This has not been an easy decision as we all love doing the event but it takes up a great deal of the year organising and getting everything ready.

We now put out an appeal to everyone that enjoys this event – would you be willing to take on this event for 2019 and onwards? We will of course pass on all details and paperwork that we have and support you with questions/queries etc.

If you would like to take this on or indeed just make enquiries please call Julie and Steven on 01493 748547 or Liz and Peter on 01493 740086.

Once again many thanks for all your support, we ask you the residents and businesses of Martham to help us go out on a high in 2018, start planning your scarecrows, yarn bombing, pompoms, decorated houses, garden/garage sales.



Seagulls are not welcome here

There are more seagulls than ever before. If we do not feed them or allow them to get to food waste in bins they will choose to nest somewhere else. We will all then be able to sleep better and have to clean our cars less.

I would like less noise and less seagull mess. I think most people would.

Together we can drive some of our feathered friends away. Here are the guidelines about how to reduce the numbers of gulls: Never feed them, do not give your food to the seagulls, secure all bins and do not let them over flow and put rubbish in your neighbour’s bins if yours is full (if they do not mind).

The problem will get worse next year if we do not act now. The council is going to encourage everyone to stop feeding the gulls with signs going up. If everyone does their bit it will help everyone.


Nelson Road Central,

Great Yarmouth

What has gone wrong with town?

We have had a two week holiday in Yarmouth for about 50 years. What has happened to the market in Yarmouth?

No stalls are left, it is empty. We had a chat to some of the stall holders and they tell us that the prices have gone up and they can not afford it any more.

Well you will not have a town once the market has gone. It is already failing. You have dirty streets, drunks and people sleeping in shop doorways. It stinks of urine.

I do not think we will be coming there for our holidays any more once the market has gone and with the awful smell. There is nothing left.