Nelson ward visit reveals problems

COUNCIL bosses saw first hand the issues local people face everyday when they took a walk around a Great Yarmouth ward on Wednesday.

Leader of the council, Steve Ames, and managing director Richard Packham, toured the Nelson Ward with local councillors Val Pettit, Kerry Robinson-Payne and Michael Jeal.

They identified areas which needed to be concentrated on such as derelict houses, street cleaning, flytipping and waste collection.

Bottles, cans, a sofa and even a metal bin were among the items which had been flytipped around the ward, making some public areas an eyesore.

When they arrived at Camden Place, the councillors were greeted by the sight of overflowing wheelie bins, broken furniture and dog mess on the pavement.

One resident described the area as a “dumping ground” with overflowing bins which refuse collectors would not empty.

“Refuse men won’t collect it because it’s overflowing,” they said. “Some of the rubbish has been here for months. Cats and dogs use the area as a toilet and the problem is not the people who live here but the people who walk through it as well.”

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Cllr Jeal said: “One of the problems we have is that kids keep knocking walls down. If one brick becomes loose then they all end up coming off.

“The brick walls are there so people don’t walk on people’s front gardens. We need to put metal fences up.”

More than 8,000 people live in the ward.

Mr Ames said: “There are some houses which have been empty for about 20 years. Houses are sitting there empty and people could be living in them.”

Councillors said that there is currently around 270 houses in the borough which are unoccupied.

However, facilities including parks and play areas were praised by the councillors.

“They are well built and well used,” Cllr Jeal said. “The borough services are excellent. We get the occasional problem about a bit of damp.”

The ward visit is a new scheme which is being introduced by Mr Ames.

He said: “It’s something I have introduced since I have been leader. We have a responsibility and doing these visits allows me to see things I wouldn’t otherwise see.

Councillors suggested repainting some homes and public signs to help improve the area.

“The day was very positive. There’s a lot we can take away from today to improve things for the community.”