Readers’s letters, September 1 2017

No Acle member on committee

I read Andrew Stone’s article on Acle cemetery in the August 25 Mercury with interest.

It seems very wrong to me that the Broads Authority, whose planning department are responsible for approving planning applications for the cemetery in Acle, do not have a representative from Broadland District Council on it, despite Mrs Lana Hempsall being Councillor for Acle Ward and a council appointed Member of the Broads Authority.

I believe if the Broads Authority is to have a planning department at all, it is essential the appointed member from each appropriate council sits on the committee and I understand Broadland DC is the only local council not represented on this committee.

It would be interesting to know why.


New Close

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Dare we expect to have input?

I cannot be the only resident to read with sadness the Mercury report on the state of our once great market place. It is obvious the shopping development at Gapton Hall has attracted retail business away from the town centre, and also added to the traffic congestion on the western bypass.

The attitude of the authorities to people without cars or the inclination to become involved in this appears to be dismissive. The encouraging report by the Chief Executive in the Borough News announcing that considerable sums of money will be available “to enhance our historic town centre for the 21st century” leads us to hope it will be well spent.

I have no political allegiance and perhaps I am a bit cynical but I do recall some events that cost the ratepayers dear. Your readers may recall the parks and gardens fiasco, the huge non-working TV screens, the Icelandic Bank problem and 1st East (remember them?)’. Easily the biggest waste of funds and assets must be the matter of the Outer Harbour which has been hidden from public scrutiny.

Dare we expect to really have some input in these challenging decisions?

Nick Pownall


All pubs at risk should be listed

I have read Michelle Turner’s comment in the Mercury concerning listing the Iron Duke as an asset of community value.

While Camra would like to see all pubs at risk listed, unfortunately this pub is not at the moment an asset because it is shut and has been for many years.

If, however anybody has a pub that they believe is at risk or is the last pub in the area, then either Camra or their local Parish Council can apply to the District Council (Yarmouth, Broadland or South Norfolk) for it to be listed. This does not guarantee it’s survival but does put obstacles in the way of possible developers.

A further new law has come in this year where the owners of a pub or even an ex-pub must obtain planning permission before the use of the site can be changed. This hopefully will stop some of the loss of pubs.

Although Camra was set up to champion real ale, we are very much aware that nothing affects the availability of beer like a closed pub.

If you have a valuable asset don’t wait until it is about to be lost. Do something now. Details of how to go about getting a pub registered can be found on the national Camra website.

Or come along to one of our monthly meetings and talk to us. We are at the Red Herring in Yarmouth at 7pm on Monday, September 11.


East Norfolk CAMRA

Market belongs to the people

Great Yarmouth market, a genuine market with a market cross and with a history it is thought goes back to the reign of King John with his Charter in 1208.

Defining a market: it is a public place for buying and selling, belonging to the people. “Public” means the community and shared by all indefinitely. I repeat, belonging to the people!

Now on whose authority was it to cover part of the market without first speaking to the public to get their permission? Taking it to another level, on whose authority was it to impose a toll on the stallholders?


Gonville Road,


Many cars don’t have tax or MoT

Our council say they are short of money? Why are they not doing something about all the untaxed, un-MoT’d and uninsured vehicles on our roads?

Someone has been doing vehicle checks on Wellington, Victoria and Waterloo roads and found up to 10 cars without tax and MoT - some ran out as far back as 2016 and some are even Sorn offroad, but are still on public highways. It is said to be the car parks department to sort this, but nobody seems bothered. It costs around a £1,000 a year to keep our cars on the road legally, so is unfair when so many people are getting away with it. Another question is, who is responsible if any of these cars have an accident as with no tax and no MoT the insurance, if they have it, would be cancelled out?

I have the list of cars registrations and it is increasing daily.

Name and Address withheld

Cyclists continue to pose a risk

Fanatical speed cyclists are current in the news but the problem generally with dangerous cycling is increasing, especially in pedestrianised town centre areas.

Gt Yarmouth Borough Council, in its wisdom, has allowed cycling on Gorleston’s lower promenade, despite objections voiced and without apparently considering fully the safety of pedestrians, especially in the vicinity of Jay Jay’s cafe.

Some idiotic cyclists, instead of dismounting,take pleasure in cycling at full speed through pedestrians, including small children. It is not only teenagers but includes some Lycra clad adults on racing bikes.

I witnessed this behaviour again on bank holiday weekend.

The council needs to rescind the right to cycle on the lower promenade, at least in the vicinity of the cafe if possible and also to place temporary barriers which the cafe could utilise when open. This action needs to be reviewed for other town centre/Regent Road areas also.

On a similar issue, cycling dangerously on footpaths is increasing. It may be safer for cyclists in some locations but they need to consider pedestrians and also vehicles exiting driveways and ride with consideration and have the ability to stop safely.

If the council continues to ignore the risks without trying to address these problems, especially in pedestrian precincts and the lower promenade, it may find itself held at least partly responsible in the event of a death or serious injury.

Name and address withheld

Clacton put on a fine airshow

Well done Tendring Council on another brilliant air show at Clacton. We cancelled ours after much hype and promises from Great Yarmouth Tourism and many people lost money in lost accommodation bookings.

The reason given by Mr Gareth Brown was the cost of £130,000 for anti terrorism measures and medical costs. So where did Clacton find all this money to put on their tw0-day show?. I am betting Clacton didn’t spend £130,000 on anti terrorism measures.

Once again another wasted promise by the council to the people of Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas.

Now we have the council saying they are improving the local market, but stall holders are leaving due to massive increases in cost, so no more market. I don’t know about most people but I love a good town market. Wake up council and support your town and the people who voted you in.



How is market being taken on?

I regularly visit Lowestoft for shopping and continually ask myself why is its London Road main shopping road so full of shops - when our’s is not?

Is it the layout? Is it because it is part pedestrianised? is it because there are many fast food outlets and coffee shops for people to take a break and have a sit down and a meal?

Perhaps that is what is wrong wuith our market place in Great Yarmouth and why people seem to be suffering through a lack of footfall.

I have several questions to ask of all councillors, who were elected to represent our views not just their own, and certainly not to follow the political party line they represent. (and this begs the question why do councillors have to be a member of a politicaL party to be elected, but that’s another letter!).

My questions to councillors: what do you actively do to encourage people to take over empty shops/stores in the market place? Do you offer special business rates to encourage a take-up? Why aren’t the fast food stalls in the market place taking up these smaller shops? Could they not take over the shop premises and the upper floors be created into flats, which the council could then let?

I love the fast food stalls in the market place, but frankly I would like to sit down and eat their delicious grub but inside the covered market there is nowhere to sit if it is raining or cold outside.

The council is shooting itself in the foot - no, the councillors are shooting their own feet, they make the decisions, or do they?

I would like some response to this letter from a councillor, but doubt I will receive one. I doubt they even read the views of the public in this, their local paper.



Thank you for show of support

We would like to thank the many shops, pubs and takeaways who kindly let us put posters asking for information about the burglary in which two safes containing money and sentimental items of jewellery from 57 Western Road in Gorleston.

The information we have no received has been given to the police, but if anyone has any more that would help us to put the people involved behind bars.

We only hope that those involved are robbed one day or their families are, then they will realise just how it has affected us all as a family.

To be afraid to live in your own home, not to be able to eat and sleep, suffer nightmares, all this has happened to our 77-year-old mother.

Please keep the posters up. And we give a huge thanks to everyone who has shared our posts on Facebook.


Peterhouse Avenue,


Lack of empathy with the traders

It was disappointing to read the story relating to Great Yarmouth market in last week’s Mercury.

The blame for the markets demise is not solely the fault of Great Yarmouth Council but the lack of empathy with traders illustrates the uncaring attitude of a council in dire need of change.

Mr Plant proclaims that the market is a priority and central to the new vision of Great Yarmouth. Yet the master plan talks of change by 2025 when the stark reality is that without action now there will be no market.

Running a market is not difficult. It simply requires an understanding of traders needs and the mindset of a trader. GYBC need to appoint a person sympathetic to the needs of the traders to run the market. A trader or ex trader would be ideal.

Why plan to build, at significant expense, new stalls away from the existing site when the two-day traders have their own stalls and those in the six-day market do not want to move?

The ramshackle individually of different stalls gives the market character and adds to the atmosphere.

There are several issues that GYBC need to address now to reverse the markets demise. It currently takes weeks for them to consider an application to trade. That is unacceptable and if the market is to grow they need to actively promote it and use incentives to encourage new traders.

As a matter of urgency they need to resolve the issue over fees by agreeing to phase in the space related charges over a number of years to enable the affected traders to adapt to the new interpretation of the rules.

GYBC have gained a reputation of being an uncaring council. Maybe Mr Plant will show some understanding of the plight of the market and make it this year’s priority.

The livelihoods of many people depend on the market. Great Yarmouth will no longer be Great if it is left to die



Brexit team need to reign it in

I read your correspondents Andy Grant and Daniel Candon (August 24) with interest

concerning the topic of Brexit and how Britain is dealing with this momentous decision. Yes Mr Grant I am still a Remoaner and yes, there has not been the apocalypse which was largely predicted.

But then nothing has really happened in respect of these torturous negotiations. What has occurred is that sterling has devalued and there is a great deal of worry and concern for businesses in the wake of this largely unexpected outcome. What is totally reprehensible is the Government had no strategy or back-up plan and now they are playing ‘catch-up’ with increasing panic.

I now applaud the Labour Party’s position that it would support full participation in the Single Market and Customs Union during a lengthy transitional period. This is joined-up adult thinking and means it will avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ scenario and soften the edges of an economic downturn.

I personally wish Sir Kier Starmer was negotiating with Brussels as he appears to be a less bullish man than David Davis, who wants it all how own way with the proverbial bells on. Mr Grant it is indeed not easy just to shut up shop and leave the forecourt as he seems to imagine and the poor beleaguered Civil Service would no doubt concur with this. It is hideously complicated and mired in problems with untold ramifications.

As to Daniel Candon’s letter I appreciate there is a certain amount of arrogance emanating from Michel Barnier and his team but I feel they are genuinely mystified by Britain’s lack of preparation.

Mr Davis appears to want to leapfrog straight into the future trading deal with the EU, sorry but it ain’t gonna happen until these other matters are seriously dealt with and sorted. Of course there will be a a lot of positioning and posturing and in the end the pragmatic give and take will occur for everyone’s benefit.

But until that happens David Davis and his team needs to reign it in and become less bullish and more practical in their demands and ‘wish list’.


Winifred Road,


Seafront sights not so classy

I was speaking to a friend recently on the subject of the nice wide expanse of Gorleston beach and how nice and clean it is kept. My friend, although agreeing with my view of the beach, pointed out the view of the lower approach to it.

Starting at what was Phil kersey’s motorcycle shop which is now a rubbish tip, then the old White Lion steps with all the shuttering up one side for all these years.

Pop’s Meadow was traditionally an open space for public pleasure. It is a few years since it was maintained and opened to the public and in the last few weeks it has been plundered of what remained of the golf, trampolines, slide and other items of recreation. It would appear the heap of old tyres have been let as I believe they are expensive to dispose of.

I think this traditional open space should be kept as such and not left in the rundown condition it is in at the moment.

Would the local councillors intervene and ensure the council or any leasee put the area into good order or leave it to someone that will. There is a hotch potch of old caravans along Fishers Opening, some of which are an eyesore, and which have not moved for up to four years.

Would this be tolerated on Yarmouth seafront? I don’t think so. Gorleston seafront needs some environmental enforcement in this area.


Commander Court,


Brexit vote was correct result

I would like to congratulate Andy Grant on his superb letter regarding Brexit in last week’s mercury.

He is right in everything he said. We voted on June 23 last year to come out of the EU and we must do so.

Shame on those elected polticians who think otherwise but they must do their job and carry out the result of the referendum of which a fair and democratic vote was taken because the people are totally fed up with it now and even most remainers now accept the result.

Why can’t all the politicians do the same because it’s their job to support the will of the people? And of course there is no such thing as a soft or hard Brexit because we voted to leave and that is exactly what must happen.

It is good we went against the elite and gave them a shock to remember.

Let’s work together and get on with the jobs in hand because the people have spoken and I am certain in time to come the vote to leave the EU will prove to be the correct one and be the best thing we have ever done.


Leman Road,


Trafficking remains a major problem

Recent headlines have raised awareness that modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK is much more prevalent than previously thought.

It’s important to remember that traffickers do not care how young their victims are and that trafficked children are some of the most vulnerable children in this country. They are often moved away from their family and friends, only to be exploited for someone else’s gain.

Barnardo’s has provided support to children of all ages who have been trafficked. They might have been sexually abused, used as cheap labour or domestic servants, or have been forced to commit crimes.

It’s vital that professionals can spot the signs of trafficking and keep children safe. And we would echo the National Crime Agency and ask that members of the public look out for signs of slavery including visible injuries, a distressed appearance and any indication someone is being controlled by another person.


Barnardo’s South East and Anglia Regional Director