Time to plan events for venue

AMONG other things, I own Orion Taxis in Great Yarmouth. The beginning of this year has not been the most promising and everywhere I go in all areas, people tell me what a hard time they are having.

AMONG other things, I own Orion Taxis in Great Yarmouth. The beginning of this year has not been the most promising and everywhere I go in all areas, people tell me what a hard time they are having. I was shocked the other day when I walked through our Victoria Arcade to see most shops are empty.

Within the taxi trade, it is being said this is the worst start to a year for 20 years, and many taxi drivers are considering their future in our industry, and it does not help this might be a national, if not a global problem.

However, after last Saturday night/Sunday morning, it has given us some unexpected encouragement that not all is bad in Great Yarmouth. The town was buzzing, and it was great to see people walking along our seafront, and in a happy mood. But this was due to some quirk of fate, not so much a cunning plan by anyone here: The Tower/Atlantis staged a Drum and Beat engagement on their top floor due to a cancellation in Norwich.

I just wonder why we are not having more planned events like this, in what used to be the largest ballroom in East Anglia; clearly an under-used asset in our town. I have had many calls from some of my drivers who worked right through until about 8am on Sunday, as I did, and it has renewed a much-needed faith in our hearts. It was like warriors discussing a well-fought battle, and we hope we can now face 2008 hoping things can only get better.


WHEN the time comes for the council to give their permission for the new casino complex, I do hope they choose Mr Jones' South Denes site - The Edge. As a long time entrepreneur, he has always had his thoughts on improving things for our town, our visitors of all ages and the community.

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Not only does this turn a derelict eyesore into a “Great Gateway” for new visitors arriving in our country, it extends our newly furbished seafront right up to the harbour. If our landau drivers can be persuaded to extend their journey as well, wow! What a great experience visitors would have, they won't know where to go first.

Seeing Mr Duffy's proposed site, it really doesn't do much for the town except create a one stop, gamble, then return home experience. I feel that once they have “done their dough” they will just go home.


Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

I AM writing in response to an article regarding an incident on Vauxhall Bridge (Vauxhall Bridge mugging anger, February 21). We would like to reassure readers that Sustrans, the UK's leading sustainable transport charity, is keen to help with the regeneration of this area, however we only have limited funds to maintain the bridge at present, and we need to ensure that whatever happens to the bridge fits in with future plans for the area.

As a charity we rely on funding from supporters, local authorities and other organisations like the National Lottery to build and develop cycling and walking routes across the country. We recently won £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund, not the government as the article states, to help 79 communities across the UK improve their environment for walkers and cyclists. This funding is shared out across all 79 schemes and they were chosen following a lengthy selection process over the last 18 months. Unfortunately none of the schemes are in the Great Yarmouth area, but this will not stop us continuing to look for funding to improve facilities for walkers and cyclists here.

We have been discussing the bridge with the borough and county councils, 1st East and others to try and find a solution and we will continue to do so. We all need to find a long term solution to improve this popular gateway route for Great Yarmouth.


Sustrans East of England Regional Director

WHAT a shame your correspondents have no appreciation of Vauxhall Bridge. (Letters, February 8). It may be squat and graceless but over the years it has been a welcome sign of homecoming to thousands of Yarmouthians; not exactly the Statue of Liberty but in a small way an icon for which it is easy to develop an affection.

Sentiment apart it is a mystery why this bridge has been allowed to deteriorate so much that it can no longer take motor traffic, or why it has never been restored to fulfil this purpose. A second crossing to access the station and the supermarket is clearly needed, the more so should this outer harbour succeed in generating yet more traffic. “Greens” no doubt have been thinking of the savings in greenhouse gas emissions if station or supermarket traffic no longer had to idle at the roundabouts.

If the bridge is repairable it may be not too big a stretch of the imagination to visualise a handy rail link across this bridge connecting the outer harbour and the station.

Lack of funds is I suppose is the excuse though billions have been available locally and nationwide for pointless grand schemes and cheap cosmetic jobs; cement seats by the Britannia Pier were mentioned in the same issue.

The bridge's status as a listed building will not be enough to protect it though. As the neighbourhood is developed the bridge could well achieve real iconic status as a link with the past amidst a sea of modernity. One hopes permanent residents will do all they can to preserve this bridge though in a town with no Civic Society and little apparent interest in conservation one cannot be too optimistic about this.


Mossley Hill


JUST looked at the Mercury; surely this leisure facilities' proposal by Patrick Duffy is an early April Fool's joke. It looks like he has obtained his hamster's cage from Argos. Perhaps he has made a mistake or has he actually moved the Acle New Road and Great Yarmouth has also become a city. Mr Duffy appears to have transported himself to another world.

Name and Address withheld

NOW the imaginatively named Garibaldi Place, on the old Garibaldi site, is nearly complete it can be clearly seen just how close together these new dwellings actually are. There are no parking spaces or garages, no green areas as far as I can tell and the buildings are virtually on top of each other. The famous “rows” of Yarmouth were mostly destroyed as they were considered to be slums, with people living right on top of one another with little or no privacy.

To me, the new “affordable housing” developments like that at the old Garibaldi site and numerous other sites around the town and indeed the country as a whole are nothing more than modern day “rows.” It seems in its desperation to provide more housing the government and local councils alike are merely building slums for the future.


Trafalgar Court,

Great Yarmouth

LEADING experts are continually warning us that climate changes due to the effects of global warming is the biggest threat facing mankind for generations. Why then, is the Outer Harbour Project receiving European and government funding without the proviso that the majority of freight generated should be transported by rail!

Some estimates have forecast as many as 270 lorry movements per day, I sincerely hope this is not true. An additional 270 commercial vehicle movements per day on this town's fragile road infrastructure will be catastrophic, not only from pollution generated, but also congestion when the town is gridlocked.

Traffic growth has increased enormously since the days when Norfolk Line and Frans Maas lorries frequented the port. In fact, in the last 10 years road traffic generally has increased by 12pc with most counties outside the major conurbations recording rises of up to a fifth. Surely, if those in authority are serious about reducing carbon emissions, congestion and pollution, then clearly the way forward is to use rail to transport freight to and from the outer harbour. A line would run from Vauxhall Station down the middle of the road along North Quay, South Quay and South Denes Road to the harbour mouth. The six sidings at Vauxhall can be used to stable arriving and departing trains.

A rail scheme would necessitate the welcome replacement of the old Vauxhall iron bridge with a road/rail bridge containing separate pedestrian access. If this went ahead and commonsense prevailed, the various stakeholders could seize the opportunity to develop an integrated public transport system to match what other cities and towns have achieved.

Naturally the freight train option would cause inconvenience to road traffic during the early hours, but faced with the alternative scenario of increased congested, polluting road traffic, we as a society have to decide what quality of environment we want our future generations to inherit!


Wensum Way


THE fact that Great Yarmouth Borough Council cabinet approved the amendment for Areas 3b14 (Winterton to Scratby) and 3b20 (Hopton) in the Shoreline Management Plan to be changed from “No Active Intervention” to “Managed Realignment” for submission to Defra and the Environment Agency (EA) for formal approval at the above meeting does not change anything regarding the possibility of installing the rock berm sea defences at Scratby.

Because the definition of “Managed Realignment” in this SMP means: “Allow retreat of the shoreline with monitoring and if appropriate management.” This means there is a possibility that any existing sea defences may be maintained for a period (which may help Hopton residents) but existing defences cannot be extended or new defences erected, so the situation regarding the California to Newport rock berm extension remains a non-starter because it will still not be funded by Defra and the EA under its new status for this area in the SMP; if this change is approved by Defra and the EA.

The most significant statement at this meeting was confirmation that the Environment Agency will be taking over the management of GYBC area of responsibility for coastal erosion and defences and will be making all management decisions from April 2008 which means we can forget any possibility of obtaining government funding for the Scratby rock berm after this date.

Councillor Shrimplin made the statement that GYBC had allocated £100,000 in next year's budget for the Scratby rock berm scheme study. This is “pie in the sky” and yet more carrot on a stick approach by GYBC so they can say they did their best until the handover of their responsibility to the Agency in April.


Marinet Friends of the Earth


REFERENCE your article (February 22): “Man jailed after driving car at group of teenagers.”

Well, what a surprise? What was the most likely outcome of a situation that has been prevalent outside McDonalds in the town centre for a long time? Readers may remember an email sent by myself last September about my brother and daughter being attacked outside McDonalds, at which time I warned of what might happen; I even warned the police this may happen. Well someone has finally cracked.

Was the individual who attacked Mr Pereira's brother, breaking his nose, brought to justice? My bet is no. Have the reprobates who attacked my brother and daughter been brought to justice? No. Did the judge who imprisoned Mr Pereira ask why nothing is being done about this situation? Does he even know what it is like in this area? Again my bet is no.

These are not isolated incidents they are commonplace in this area. It is a systematic example of an endemic problem throughout society, not just here in Great Yarmouth.

Who to blame? You start at the top: the current government is systematically breaking down all levels of discipline not only in education but at home and on the streets; the borough council knows there is a problem here but when something “uncomfortable” comes along it buries its head in the sand. Parents must be really proud of their children, well done.

So what can we do? I am calling on the people of Yarmouth to get behind myself and all the other like-minded people; we must not tolerate this behaviour. Even if you just write a letter/email to the Mercury or to the council of your experiences of anti-social behaviour, eventually someone must listen. Let's get our town back.


Address withheld

Would anyone like to take up Mr Sanderson's challenge. Tell us your examples of anti-social behaviour, beatings, muggings. We do need to have your full name and address but if you wish we will not publish those details. We will pass on all letters and emails to the borough council and the police.

I CAME back to Yarmouth Vauxhall in 1990 after spending 10 years at Ipswich as a driver. The quay traffic at that time was plentiful. There was Kings sScrap which kept us busy and then there was the coiled steel which was very difficult to handle. I might add at this juncture I with another member of the LDC (Local Departmental Committee) were the men's representatives and with the railways then in decline we were doing all we could to preserve what little work we did have.

There we heard about the terrible condition of the Vauxhall Bridge; “it must come down” was all we heard. My colleague and I had meetings with our MP A Fell, we also contacted the traffic agent to find out how long this traffic would last, but the coiled steel gradually stopped as did Kings scrap, the closure would now go ahead.

But the bridge could not come down because of the water and gas services to Runham. That altered with the new road bridge.

Still nobody wanted to know anything about our derelict bridge.

Even the Germans had a go at it and didn't miss it by much, for there was a small tea hut close to the bridge and a bomb fell close, killing a few men having a cup of tea. On that dreadful night of June 25 1942 the brewery was also destroyed as was the church. I apologise for getting off the subject but the bridge still stands.


Wainwright Close


FURTHER to the correspondence on the outer harbour may I ask if there are plans to create a viewing area within the proposed outer harbour, and will anglers still be able to pursue their historical rights of fishing from the piers. There are areas where they could put a viewing area even at this present time to give Yarmouth citizens the right of access. Perhaps the mayor or Member of Parliament should start protecting the citizens against the erosion of their rights. Whilst not wishing to stand in the way of progress, the port operators and borough council should show respect for the people's wish to view a good project for the town.


Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

AS a resident of Martham in West Flegg for over 70 years until 2004 I note that the worst thing that happened to Martham from a local government viewpoint was the abolition of the old Blofield and Flegg RDC and the inclusion of East and West Fleggs in the Borough of Great Yarmouth.

The reason being that the newly created authority contained quite distinct urban and rural communities with little or no homogeneity or unity of purpose, resulting in the domination of the rural community by an urban/suburban majority which, although often well-meaning, was quite insensitive to the way of life of its new hinterland.

This experience convinced me that, if local government areas are to be successful in delivering the policies and services that are in the best interest of the majority of their residents, they must be made up of areas with a population that is as homogenous as practicable in terms of its way of life and aspirations.

On February 21 your sister paper, the EDP, attributed to Mr Graham Elliott, the Green Councillor on the Waveney Authority, the comment that rural Waveney would not fit well in a new “Yartoft” and that those areas to the south of the town should become part of a coastal Suffolk unitary authority. His comments fit exactly with my own feelings, as noted above, concerning the Fleggs.

I therefore wish to express through your columns my firm belief that, should Yarmouth with Lowestoft be considered as a new unitary authority, the Fleggs, with the exception of Caister and its environs should also be excluded from a new “Yartoft.” The remaining rural area would fit far more naturally with a unitary coastal authority in North Norfolk.

It is also noteworthy that in the recent government review of financial management in the Norfolk and Waveney local authority areas, only the major urban dominated areas of Norwich, Yarmouth and Waveney fell into the bottom grade in need of urgent remediation. If the rural areas of Waveney and Yarmouth were integrated with coastal authorities in North Suffolk and North Norfolk respectively their residents might well be able to look forward to the bonus of a higher quality of administration and more reasonable council tax dues. Urban areas with urban problems could then focus more single-mindedly on sorting out those problems and everybody would benefit.



I READ with interest Derrick Hill's letter “Get priorities in the right order”, (Mercury, February 22) and agree with some of his points. But more in his letter disturbs than encourages me. Take his statement: “The worshipping community at Park Baptist Church have set their priorities as worship ... and we rejoice at God's blessing upon us as we grow.”

Worship means the expression of reverence or adoration for a deity. But how can a group claim to honour God when their denominational structure and practices differ so widely from the pattern laid down in the NT (New Testament)? (see Jude 3).

Plus the NT church met as disciples of Jesus (Acts 11:26, 29), not as Baptists, Anglicans, Newfrontiers (Kings Centre), The Tabernacle etc. Jesus promised only to be in the midst of those who gather in his name (Matthew 18:20).

Moreover, nowhere in the NT do we read of the pastor of a church. In the NT church, leadership was always by a team of co-equal male elders/pastors/bishops/overseers (different terms for the same office); not by one man (see Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5-7; 1 Timothy 3:1-5). Also the titles rector, vicar, canon, archbishop etc appear nowhere in the bible. Does God recognise offices He never ordained?

And does God bless (as Mr Hill claims) a group that follows its own map instead of his? An expanding congregation can be interpreted in more than one way!

Furthermore, God's church are pilgrims in this world (Hebrews 11:13-16; Acts 4:34-5). They don't borrow money and buy land on which to erect a highly visible building, which they use for self-promotion and business - that provides status and a living for some of their members (I'm not referring to the Park Baptists). See Matthew 21:12; 7:21-7.

Before we start listing God's priorities for the borough, let's first make sure we ourselves are on God's path.


Albemarle Road


THIS Government is an inept rabble of traitors to this once great country. The treatment of our troops with lack of equipment and compensation when young men's lives are destroyed through horrific injuries is abominable. This government must stop paying out taxpayers' monies to schemes like assertiveness courses for immigrant women and stop bankrolling immigrants who claim benefit for children not in Britain. Why should we be subsidising half the world when our troops desperately need essential equipment.


Marlborough Green Crescent