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Council won't reply to my offer

PUBLISHED: 16:35 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:16 03 July 2010

A COMMUNITY-SPIRITIED man has transformed a dishevelled dockside into a tidy garden - but his offers to continue have fallen on deaf ears at the borough council.

A COMMUNITY-SPIRITIED man has transformed a dishevelled dockside into a tidy garden - but his offers to continue have fallen on deaf ears at the borough council.

For the last few months semi-retired builder Barry Tough has voluntarily spruced up an area of Darby's Hard in Gorleston - strengthening a section of riverbank as well as creating a simple garden next to the Dolphins - the wooden jetties.

Mr Tough, 61, of Riverside Road, says his passion for his local area encouraged him to start the work in June this year.

On occasions due to the tide he has been pottering about on Darby's Hard at 5am.

After months of work, which resulted in a new smartened-up look for the area, Mr Tough along with wife Janet, 60, decided to contact the borough council offering to restore the rotting Dolphins and further enhance the area.

But despite several phone calls and emails to the council, the couple have received no response to their offer of help.

Mr Tough was dealt a further blow last week when the borough council erected permanent metal fencing - obstructing his access to the garden.

Mr Tough said: “I'm very interested in restoring this part of the old river and it seems a shame things cannot be done. The council just never get back to us. My wife has been emailing and made numerous phone calls.”

And about the metal fence he said: “This is the council's idea of conservation - they put a fence up and just forget about it.”

Mr Tough admitted the jetties were in need of restoration but said he had people willing to donate timber in order for them to be restored.

“It is unsightly and I could make this look a picture. It would of no cost to the council and I have people willing to help me.”

Mr Tough said the nearby sea cadet group had also shown an interest in helping him smarten up the area.

Over the last few weeks the Mercury has carried several letters about Mr Tough's efforts which have gone done well with the local community.

Mrs Tough said: “People along Riverside Road have named this Barry's Beach. On one occasion workers from the wood shop put a sign up which said 'Beach attendant back later'.”

She added that while local residents were often light hearted about her husbands efforts, several people were concerned over the future of Darby's Hard. She said the area had character and history and should be maintained.

“We thought the council would be happy to be offered a helping hand but I imagine the problem is health and safety,” added Mr Tough.


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