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Letters, July 12, 2013

PUBLISHED: 22:20 11 July 2013 | UPDATED: 22:20 11 July 2013

Councillors come to the rescue

Some councillors are helpful to the needs of the electorate. My views on councillors have been blinded in the seven-year verbal fight over decisions taken by the unelected officers over the port. Regardless of the bad blood over these seven years there has never been any grudge between councillors and our scrutiny group.

This fact became quite clear this week when my family had a problem with county council bureaucracy. What to do, I thought? In stepped Cllr Trevor Wainwright, leader of GYBC and Cllr Michael Castle, county cabinet member for schools, no recriminations over the sometimes personal attacks on both sides, and my problem was solved.

To me, the present political party governing our council is capable of improving the residents standard of life, though for councillors it’s an uphill struggle not just financially, but they are up against officers who can make poor decisions causing the councillors to fend off ratepayers wrath. My thanks to both of them.

JOHN L COOPER

Burnt Lane

Gorleston

Slap on the wrist for offenders

Having read the latest travesty of so-called justice it is no wonder honest citizens get upset. Our police do a really wonderful job even with their restricted budget. But they too must get uptight at solving a crime and seeing the offender getting no more than a slap on the wrist

It also seems that drugs and alcohol are a licence to get off Scot free? Are all magistrates and judges so out of touch with reality?

ROY BATLEY

Colomb Road

Gorleston

In-car gadgets a distraction?

I read of yet another single vehicle accident in Norfolk last Thursday, this time on the A47 Norwich bypass, the knock on effect causing chaos. Thank goodness no one was seriously hurt.

There seems to be one single vehicle crash a week. Is this the curse of in-car gadgets, particularly the dreaded phone. Also what’s the point of campaigning for complete dualling of the A47 including the notorious Acle Straight when some drivers cannot drive safely on dual carriageways anyway?

I often see prestigious car drivers with their ears to the phone who should be able to afford a hands-free kit but they would rather have a personal number plate instead. Thank goodness latest models have phone kits built in.

As a lifelong motorcyclist of over 40 years with to-date a clean licence, more luck than judgement I admit, I often see drivers doing everything but concentrating as I come up alongside them on dual carriageways. I’m also a car, van and ex heavy recovery driver and heaven forbid getting on my push bike!

PETER CHURCH

Belton

Group saying no to the dredging

The Borough Coastal Group is writing to the Marine Management Organisation to strongly object to the application for a licence to dredge just off the Great Yarmouth coastline for a 15 year period.

Over this period the extraction would be approximately another 40 million tons of aggregate from the sea bed. In the application paperwork it states the work could impact on tidal currents and on sediment flux, the natural cycle of sediment flows across the coast.

As we are fully aware our coast is suffering from dramatic erosion and it is causing a great deal of distress to residents and the holiday industry.

At Long Beach (Winterton), Hemsby and Hopton the loss of the beach and dunes is affecting the economy of those areas without a beach holidaymakers will not return.

Our view is they need to re-assess the area before taking this application any further and suggest they meet with local representatives. If they decide to proceed with the application then a more vigorous monitoring on the impact on the area needs to be carried out by an independent company.

SHIRLEY WEYMOUTH

Secretary

Borough Coastal Group

Vultures circling the borough

Once again the vultures circle the borough, this time Hanson Aggregates, head office Southampton, with an application for a licence to dredge nearly 40 million tonnes of aggregate from the sea bed in the next 15 years. They really must be joking.

Meanwhile BAM Nuttall, head office Camberley, Surrey, continue to fence off the Weaver’s Way behind Asda and look as if they are about to tarmac the whole path there. No time frame and apparently no set of rules governing this.

It is the Outer Harbour business all over again in each of these cases and they get away with it because we just don’t seem to care enough about our natural environment.

What was it in the song about “Knock down all the trees.. put them in a tree museum”?

MIKE SPRAGG

Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Not enough jobs or homes here

The relocation of banks into the town centre reflects changing trends and should increase the footfall in the centre. In the past, much business was centred on the quays but less so today. The premises they vacate need new uses urgently.

We have too many shops with changing shopping trends and out of town centres. Some shops have been empty for years. It is vital to get the former Co-op back in action. I am not sure about another market but a training centre is an idea although there is already an empty training unit in the centre! The Rows, King Street and Victoria Arcade have huge potential. Some King Street shops may need to revert to houses.

There are too many theatres with the Regent and Empire still awaiting new uses. The seafront has too many amusement arcades.

There are too many shops, too many pubs, too many churches for demand and a too big railway station. The quay is another of concern where there are too many empty offices. New uses need to be found and before buildings fall into dereliction.

It seems the private sector is unable to bring enough new investment and we still face a huge unemployment problem. There was big announcement about the casino and related developments -not a single job or brick has been laid. We got half an enterprise zone but progress seems slow there too. Hopefully, the new skills centre will help.

We do not have enough homes and jobs. There is a case for job creation schemes, partly funded by benefit savings. A scheme to train builders for the future by renovating some of the disused buildings could be a start. The government obviously prefers to pay benefits rather than invest in our people.

I see Chloe Smith, one of the Norwich MPs, is running a jobs campaign and I wonder what is Brandon Lewis doing apart from wrecking the council budget so more people lose their jobs?

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Coastal erosion will get worse

I am very surprised and horrified that dredging is still occuring off the coast from Great Yarmouth. This is absolute folly and stupidity by those who should know better. The erosion on the coast from Winterton to Hopton will get worse.

It was said several years ago that this was a stupid thing to do and those who thought it was stupid have been proved correct including myself. Being an Hons graduate in Earth Science and Oceanography and seeing all this coastal destruction which could be avoided makes me very angry. What is so worrying is this has been allowed to continue with little control.

It reminds me of the three wise monkeys. Blind to what is obvious to most people apart from those with their fingers on the money.

At this stage it is difficult to see whether the damage already done can be resolved and rectified. Cosmetic efforts could be put in place such as boulders, revetments and large groynes but the main problem is the continued extraction from the seabed.

If the extraction continues then you can say goodbye to the beaches at Hemsby, Scratby, California and Caister. No doubt Gorleston and Hopton will also be seriously affected. What shortsighted people have allowed this to continue for whose financial gain? Definitely not the people of Great Yarmouth.

M KEMP

Address withheld

Gorleston toilets were a disgrace

I went to use the public toilets near the Ocean Room and Pier Hotel in Gorleston at the weekend and they were a disgrace! It was on the hottest day of the year and you couldn’t walk into the toilets because of the smell. There was urine all over the floor and toilet seats, toilets hadn’t been flushed and there was toilet roll everywhere.

People were walking in holding their nose. This is definitely not good hygiene – young boys and girls are using these conveniences when coming off the beach. It needs sorting, so bring back the attendants before Gorleston seafront gets a bad name.

L SAUNDERS

Jenner Road,

Gorleston

A hospice more local, excellent

Having recently been involved with visiting a good friend at St Elizabeth Hospice at All Hallows’ in Ditchingham, I have to say it is a superb facility manned by caring, excellent staff and my friend is very impressed by the care he is being given.

I suppose the only drawback is the distance from Gorleston which is some 18 miles. This is not a great problem for me as I am semi retired and have transport but the patient’s family has to find transport and time to visit as well as the travel expense.

A hospice more local would be excellent and I wish success to East Coast Hospice with the possibility of a more local facility.

I am not sure how many beds St Elizabeth provide but with so many persons needing hospice facilities another establishment would not go amiss.

Many people supported the hospice at JPH but under the impression that was what it would be, not an information centre which I am sure was needed but mislead some of the fundraisers. I hope that the local public will support East Coast Hosipice in the future.

MICHAEL SMITH

email

Let’s have dogs on lead bylaw

For the second time in as many weeks the national press has reported on dog owners being incapable of controlling their own pets in the street resulting in horrific deaths of other smaller dogs.

It is quite noticeable that more and more dog owners, some with as many as five or six, are exercising their animals, unleashed on Gorleston’s Lower Parade and cliff-top area. It is my personal view that it is only a matter of time before there is a similar incident, maybe resulting in serious injury to a child, along the Parade.

I would therefore ask Yarmouth councillors to consider the introduction of a bylaw requiring dog owners to keep their animals on short leashes at all times when in the vicinity of both areas.

As well as reducing the risk of such attacks it would ensure that these people have no excuse for not cleaning up when their dog foul paths and verges.

Name and Address withheld

Seagulls are uncontrollable

After reading the letters re seagull nuisance around the Market Place area from Julie Mendicroft and Theresa Whitmore, I agree they now seem to be uncontrollable in this area, my wife and I witnessed two such events a couple of Saturdays ago; a small child had her sausage roll snatched from her hand and a while later a gentleman eating his hamburger was “mugged” by about six of these marauders, which have gained the name and reputation of Flying Pigs.

The problem stems from members of the public feeding them chips etc mainly holidaymakers and the elderly, surely it is now time for the borough council to take positive action to prevent these incidents happening by displaying larger signs in all public places and parks making it an offence, with penalty of a hefty fine if caught doing so, as many councils in the West Country coastal towns have done, with success.

These birds are opportunist feeders and when there is no food to scavenge they will soon disappear to find it elsewhere.

And finally, concerning the riding of bicycle on the pavement it is still an offence in law to do so, with the exception of designated cycle paths, pavements for pedestrians and roads for cars and bikes!

PETER McKINNA

Alderson Road,

Great Yarmouth

Dont go ga-ga over skills plan

Let’s take stock before we all go ga-ga over more South Denes development, purposeful as it may be. My hopes were raised initially with the outer harbour going containers, with visions of the rail connection back through the streets to Vauxhall Station, the harbour could not have survived without it. We might have then got complete restoration and strengthening of the bow string bridge at the station. As we all now know, some bird-brained department lost their senses and the outer harbour, or yacht pond, got the go ahead.

How a public highway could be included around the harbour’s mouth is beyond me. Did no-one give thought to a public vote over the loss of this parking and relaxing amenity with sea views?

Cannot EastPort be forced to return the original highway back to the borough now they must have surplus land due to no security area being required, and relocate their offices etc off the highway and give back to the people of the borough this amenity?

Let’s hope the new EPIS centre won’t be built in the middle of the road opposite the Pleasure Beach and then we have lost another piece of highway.

C HOPKINS

Bradwell

Village carnival was the best

Through your letters page may I say a huge thank you to the organisers of Martham carnival. It was a fantastic weekend and the best carnival the village has seen for years. Almost everyone had huge smiles on their faces soaking up the sunshine and the wonderful atmosphere.

As for the Red Barrows in the parade, what a brilliant and original idea, I lived for a while on RAF Scampton base, and I’m sending them a photo of the Barrows...they will love it! Thank you for a lovely weekend and hope to see you again next year.

SHEENA McBAIN

email

Macmillan Ball raised over £4k

We recently held a summer ball at the Town Hall to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support which was a tremendous success. Almost £4,500 was raised which would not have been possible without the support of so many generous people.

We would like to sincerely thank all those who contributed in any way, either by sponsoring, donating raffle or auction prizes, providing an excellent meal, also all those attended.

Last, but by no means least, thanks must go to an extremely hardworking committee not forgetting the assistance given by members of the Town Hall staff. We were asked by many people to arrange another event at the same venue as a result of which we will be holding our Christmas Ball, November 29.

BERT COLLINS

Chairman, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Committee

Why paddling pool empty?

Well at long last we have some lovely weather so we can enjoy what the resort has to offer but how disappointing it must have been for the parents and grandparents who took there small children onto Gorleston Beach on Sunday and where unable to use the paddling pool, which we have there, as it had no water in it.

All it had in it was dirt and sand. This is a lovely thing for the young children to play in so you would expect it to be full for them.

The beach and parade are lovely but my partner and I were disappointed to see the seats facing the bandstand had been removed. Why were they were removed as there was nothing wrong with them. We could see they had put new railings up but even if the seats had to be removed to do that I think they should have been put back.

I have lived in Gorleston all my life and have often sat on the seats eating an ice cream with my children and grandchildren watching the world go by and is also such a nice place to be especially when there is music on at the lovely bandstand.

Gorleston is a traditional seaside resort with a yacht pond, paddling pool (when full) lovely beach and a clean sea for people to enjoy, when the weather is good, a lovely promenade to walk along and some lovely places to eat and drink.

Please let’s keep it like that for generations to come.

SALLY BEALES

Clover Way

Bradwell

What price for democracy?

At Monday night’s Hopton parish council meeting I witnessed the unedifying spectacle of councillors and members of the public calling for voters to be “named and shamed”. These voters had exercised their right to ask for an election to fill a casual vacancy on the council.

When councillors were told this could cost £2,300 their objection lead to calls for the voters’ names to be published. They have forgotten that little word called “democracy”.

Name and Address Withheld

I wasn’t asked re skatepark

I am appalled to learn there is going to be a skateboard park in Bell Lane playing field, Belton. I can’t imagine what the council is thinking putting it right outside residences.

I am not against a skatepark in the proper place but surely they need to be away from people’s houses and gardens. I live right by the park and how will I be able to enjoy my garden with all the racket of skateboards racing up and down and teenagers shouting at all times of the day and night?

I haven’t had a questionnaire asking me if it’s what I want but I live close by and it will affect me and my property value. Do you know anything about this proposed park as I can’t find anything out it seems to be the best kept secret in the village.

TROY BOTWRIGHT

email

Call for voters to be named

In Hopton on Sea a position on the parish council has become vacant and more than the requisite number of voters demanded an election rather than relying on co-option.

This prompted calls to reveal who were these voters so they could be named and shamed for wasting the council’s money. This call came in the public forum, when both the public and some councillors, demanded the disclosure of these people, who in their opinion should have their names published in The Village News.

ANNA MAUDLIN

Julian Way

Hopton

Double yellow lines question

We see in last week’s Mercury there is yet another twist in the Jenner Road parking saga. We moved into our house on Jenner Road in December 2003, one of the very first families and we have spent nearly 10 lovely years here.

Admittedly, we live at the southern end and do not have to endure endless parking outside our house, so it may be seen we shouldn’t have a huge say in what eventually happens as regards to yellow lines or whatever the current flavour of the day is. Nevertheless, we paid a lot of money for our house and as mentioned, have been residents for 10 years, so we feel we have invested in the road as well as residents closer to the JPH.

Before we paid the deposit on our house, we visited the planning office, as we too were worried about the possible build up of traffic and parking etc over the coming years and were told categorically by the planning officer, that the planned entrance to the hospital at the end of Jenner Road, would be for emergency vehicles only.

We were reasonably happy with what we were told and what we saw on the plans, although we have often said to each other in the ensuing years, that we thought the officer knew a lot more than he gave up to us. However, we accept that is conjecture. What is the answer to this now horrendous problem? Like most parties involved, we too have our thoughts and opinions but do the people of Jenner Road and some other adjoining roads, really want double yellow lines outside of their properties? We have no proof, but we are sure they must devalue property by a percentage, as well as the inconvenience of when family and friends want to come and visit, not to mention the fact that most households now own more than one vehicle…we won’t labour the point, as we are sure most people will agree with this.

Our solution would be to stop staff from entering the hospital via Jenner Road and also block off pedestrian access, as this will discourage not only the staff from parking on the estate but also people visiting the hospital. It will also stop people coming into the walkways at the end of the road to smoke, as they are not permitted to do so in the boundaries of the JPH.

These walkways look disgusting and we know one or two residents who see this as big an issue as the parking. Surely some money can be found to improve Wood Farm Lane to take the staff in at the rear of the hospital; perhaps this could be incorporated with the new road to be built through to Bradwell, and with the money that’s been made available to spend on yellow lines etc on the estate.

As a hospital, we would never knock the JPH and know there have been lots of negative views aired in the past, however, we feel most of the foregoing problems mentioned in our letter, lay at the door of the Trust or whatever the correct name is. Why charge their staff for parking? Why not tackle the smoking problem head on and if people really have to smoke in or near a hospital, give them something like most pubs have these days.

Finally, can someone from the Trust tell us what the plans are for the huge piece of land at the back of the hospital, the piece of land that always looks tidy and is home to scores of wood pigeons and rabbits? It’s never changed in the 10 years we’ve been here and it will probably be the same in 10 years time! To us it looks perfect for a staff car park but that’s too easy isn’t it.

Mr and Mrs D BUCKLEE

Jenner Road,

Gorleston

Schools show was, oh wow!

Wow. On Tuesday night my family and I went along to see the Great Yarmouth Schools Seaside Extravaganza of Song and Dance at the Britannia Pier. It was fantastic.

My daughter danced along with her school friends from St Nicholas Priory. Six other schools sang and danced. It was amazing to see so many other parents get involved and support their child’s school and community. All the staff were so organised, and fingers crossed they do it again next year.

I’m proud to say my children attend schools in Great Yarmouth.

SARAH HUNT

email


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