Readers’ letters, November 10 2017

Truckers thanks for support

On behalf of my fellow trustees and members, I am writing to thank readers and supporters for helping make this year’s convoy day on August 27 another great success. The children were overwhelmed with happiness.

You may be interested to know we raised £2,581.03 for the charity on the day. We at East Coast Truckers consider ourselves very lucky for all the help you have provided for the benefit of the children.

Once again, thank you for helping us make this day special for the children of East Anglia.


Trustee and charity secretary,

East Coast Truckers

Most Read

We don’t need seafront centre

I am reading about demolishing the Marina Centre to rebuild it for possibly another leisure centre. Do we really need that sort of facility slap bang on the seafront? I don’t think people come on holiday to go to the gym.

These sort of things should be on the outskirts of town. The Marina Centre looks like a factory, so drab and dreary. Why was the lido got rid off? I spent many hours there and it was always packed.

People seem to think people don’t need new attractions, they do but let’s have something bright and cheerful, like a permanent skating rink or a go kart track or even a really good play park. Please no leisure centre.


The Pastures,


I switched for a bigger say

Dear constituents of Central and Northgate in Great Yarmouth, I want to inform you I have taken the decision to move to Ukip to the Conservatives. This is controversial, but will give me a larger group to be more effective in representing your interest.

I remain completely dedicated to the best of my ability.


Euston Road,

Great Yarmouth

Party switch was a betrayal

The news that seven Great Yarmouth Borough UKIP councillors have defected to the Tories should surprise no one, but will inevitably dismay local residents.

In the last borough elections there was a strong anti-Conservative vote from the people of Great Yarmouth, which should have provided a council that stands up to the Tory government’s huge cuts to local services.

Instead the UKIP councillors elected promising to fight the Tories have betrayed those who voted for them, and sided with those doing so much to damage our community.

That those councillors have chosen to stand with the Tory government, and against the people of Great Yarmouth, shows that the only way to protect our crucial local services is to vote for a Labour Party that is on the side of the many, not the few.


Magdalen Ward.

Leader of the Labour Group

A dereliction of duty to electors

I agree with your leader that (Ukip defection, November 3) may indeed be legal and I am sure every legal process has been adhered to, but it certainly does not make it moral or ethical for these seven councillors to be reincarnated as Conservatives.

I had to read the article and readers’ comments several times to finally obliterate the ‘red mist’ forming in front of my eyes, because this smacks of an unethical defection and a pragmatism to be re-elected. Personally I would be incandescent if my ward councillor is one of the seven and because of my allegiance is to Ukip and then for them to change their allegiance, would make me very cross indeed. I agree also they should indeed resign and for there to be by-elections held in their wards.

This also begs the question that local elections have become far too political. I was always told to vote for the party in the General Election and the person (not the party) in the local elections. This has gone by the board and it is a shame because it has certainly muddied and polluted the waters. Yes, Ukip are a one issue party but this is a total dereliction of duty to the people they represent in their wards, people did not vote for any other party except Ukip and presumably wanted to stay under that political umbrella because they may justifiably feel that Brexit is not being handled well and the negotiations are constantly being stalled. I do not personally support their vision for Britain but many people do and I am sure Graham Plant and the Conservative councillors are over the moon at this move as it hands them a majority but this ‘marriage of political convenience’ is exactly that and should not be lauded as a decent and fair move.

I am sure too that Brandon Lewis is also jubilant because his party is experiencing a very difficult time at present with all the scandals hitting Parliament and Theresa May must now feel she has inherited the poison chalice from hell. That is not to say Labour is not being implicated in this as well but where it will all end is anyone’s guess.

So to have this manifestation of political expediency in our own area is deeply disappointing, and will just reinforce the message that morality and politics are not synonymous and I too would not be surprised if voters registered their disapproval in very concrete ways and who can blame them.

I sense we need our own Gina Miller to challenge this complete dismissal of the people in their wards, who voted for them in good faith in essence for what they stand for and not for them to ‘jump ship’ when it suits them and not the people they represent.


Winifred Road,


Homeless on site is not the answer

I would like to reply to G Helyer’s letter from last week on using the Pontin’s sight for the homeless.

I too, thought this would be a good idea but after thinking about it, it would only work if the area was supervised. I say this because - and I’m not saying for certain it would happen - it could be in danger of becoming a dossing area for all and sundry and bring in others from outside or even further afield.

Maybe I am too wary or over cautious, but imagine (unless there’s some sort of curfew), the gates being open 24 hours a day for people to come and go. Once chalets get allocated to people what’s to stop them bringing in unauthorised people onto the site.

Left unsupervised or not patrolled, it would get out of hand very quickly because the area is so large and it’s very possible you could not just get the homeles, but drunks, drug users, more vandalism etc and once the word got out that it was there for using, Yarmouth could very well end up with a lot more homeless and others who otherwise wouldn’t come here.

No-one wants a massive great doss house in their back yard.

Also G Helyer talks about the serious number of people in rent arrears and a rising number of newly homeless, does he/she believe the homeless or evicted should not pay any type of rent or pay for the water and electricity on-site?

Does he/she expect the taxpayer to pay their bills and even supply their rubbish bins? A lot of homeless people wouldn’t be if they didn’t pay out for high end mobile phones, ipads, game stations, expensive toys and clothes and 55ins TVs etc (On Benefits TV series showed that) that are bought with the rent and food money.

Do up Pontins or part of it and open it up like a summer camp in the summer months for charities, orphanages and sick children to have a low cost holiday by the sea, the chalets are self catering, the owners could just charge a minimum payment towards the electric (or keep the slot meters) and water.

The main building could be used for functions (Elvis convention 1993 was a week of brilliance), if the whole area looked really good, wedding receptions, birthday bashes, New Year and Christmas functions. Yes, it takes money but would pay it’s way eventually.



Anyone recall the actress Stella?

I wondered if your readers may be able to help me. My husband’s mother was an actress and played on stage in the local area in the 1950s I believe.

Her name was Stella Holles. She died when he was 17 and he has no real history of this time. We do not live in the Great Yarmouth area.

If anyone knew Stella and has any memories please email me at



Put bowls into new centre plan

Having been a member for most of the 36 years the Marina Centre has been open, I feel the proposed new build details seem to be forgetting about the older generation re no plans for any bowling facilities.

I believe the age people are now living to (according to statistics) is increasing so why is there no provision for a bowls area?

Just over the water at Hopton, to their credit Potters recognised at least 20 years ago there was a market for a very successful bowls venture, but come to Great Yarmouth and we are not interested in keeping the older generation active in what is a popular sport, yet there is a provision for squash courts which is not as popular as it was years ago.

Surely bowls is an area where a better marketing approach could be considered and bring a bowls plan back to the table and include in the feasibility study.



Winter park fees are a stupid idea

So now Norfolk County Council wants to put another nail in the coffin of Great Yarmouth businesses by introducing winter car park charges. This is another stupid idea to boost the coffers of the county council, regardless of the damage to local traders.

We need to encourage people to come to the town all year round not drive them away with high car park charges. It was bad enough a few years ago with the idiotic plan to shut all the public toilets in the town and surrounding areas.

Well done to Mr John Potter of Potters Resort for condemning the idea, he can see how damaging it could be to local businesses and his business wouldn’t be affected.

Wake up Norfolk County Council and start thinking of the people you are suppose to represent and not how much money can be made at the lost of the traders in Great Yarmouth.



A generation that gave us so much

I was surprised and disappointed to think that a third of young people did not want to buy a poppy as it “glorified war” according to a report in a national newspaper this week. It doesn’t.

The fact is that the freedoms we all take for granted today were only possible because of the sacrifices made by our parents and grandparents generation. I have met two men who survived the trenches of the First World War, one of them a family friend, named Harry in London, never spoke of the horrors he had witnessed, the other was a man of 90 whom I met while I was working as a reporter in Bishops Stortford 42 years ago.

I asked him what was the emotion when he heard the whistle blow and had to go over the top and risk death or serious injury ever day? He replied: “You just said, well best of luck boy.”

In the Second World War, innocent people risked their lives on a daily basis throughout the Blitz. My family lived in London at the time and I heard of some of the horrors ordinary people, as well as those, in the forces encountered.

I do not represent any charity but to anyone who is sceptical I would say, give for those who gave, if they hadn’t have given none of us would be here today.



Thanks tribute to charity chairman

The Trustees of Age Connected (formerly Age Concern Great Yarmouth) would like to say a big thank you to Mike Randall for all his hard work and commitment in helping what is now Age Connected get off the ground in their new building in Regent Street.

Mike joined as a trustee in 2009 and has been treasurer and the last three years chairman. He has helped steer us in the right direction and now the centre is a vibrant hub for all sorts of activities for all over the age of 50, whatever their disabilities.

We look forward to the future with ever interesting new projects.


Age Connected

Fear of approach to opposite sex

Where has my light-hearted way of life gone? Now, at the age of 90, my whole mode of existence has changed.

A handshake, a pat on the back, the complimentary embrace or a word of praise… all these words and actions are getting misconstrued. There is a fear of approach to the opposite sex.

You will get evasive so appear unfriendly with your conversation probably to them, full of innuendo.

This light-hearted attitude is foreign to them. In you, there slowly forms a despising of the opposite sex, only feeling safe in your own gender.

The tweeking and patting ways have now turned into a serious assault. Unwittingly you seek solace in your own gender. Can we not go back to a state of approachability?


Gonville Road,


Better chance in next elections?

Why did the Ukip representatives cross the floor of the council chamber to pitch up in the camp of the sworn enemy? Had they seen the Tory light at last?

Don’t be daft, this has nothing to do with politics but scratching backs.

This stand-by-your-principles gang of seven rallied to the call to give the Tories a majority in council.

And at the next election, Cllr Graham Plant will field them as candidates to give them an opportunity to hang on to their council seats, something that would have been nigh on impossible with Ukip.

This lot just hate to be “out of office”.


Hill Avenue,


Artists society’s book a real treat

If you missed it last weekend, then it’s too late now but you missed a real treat. The annual Exhibition of the Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists was in itself very special as it marked the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Society.

On display for the first time was a selection of 34 paintings from the society’s permanent collection and to mark this occasion the society published a book. This beautifully produced hardback book is introduced by Julian Macey RMS, who was president of the society from 1994 to 2014. It contains 50 pages of fascinating cuttings, pictures and text depicting notable moments in the history of the society from 1927 through to the present.

This section is followed by 15 pages dedicated to the permanent collection. Each picture is beautifully reproduced and the quality of the print really does have to be seen to be believed. It is a great credit to the editors, Susan and Nick Marshall.

The book concludes with a tribute to the current members of the society with their biographies and examples of their work. The Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Cllr Kerry Robinson-Payne, was presented with a copy of the book for the Borough.

I bought a copy for just £20 so if you missed out on the exhibitions don’t miss out on the book as it is real value for money. If you would like a copy you can write or email direct to me and I will forward your request.


Patron of the Society,

17 Barkis Meadow, Blundeston

Lowestoft NR32 5AL

We do not want a unitary Norfolk

I read online about proposals, albeit in the early stages, to create a unitary authority instead of having Norfolk County Council. That would mean the demise of Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

This is totally unacceptable to the people of Yarmouth; over the centuries and decades we have helped Norwich and the rest of the county prosper through herring fishing and as a holidaymakers’ destination.

Then in the latter years, Yarmouth has been cast into the wilderness by the county council which is happy to take our council tax, but not to spend it here.

For at least 40 years there have been calls to dual the Acle Straight – calls ignored by the county council; who instead decided to spend it on improving the A14 link and any link which wasn’t towards the east coast. And this was despite the fact we had an oil and gas boom here making sure they were able to collect lots of revenue.

Now the county council is supporting the town by pushing for the third river crossing, why? Because of the decommissioning and windfarm work and possible boom heading this way. This means money for their coffers.

The people of Great Yarmouth will fight any attempt to take away our ancient borough council. In fact, here’s a thought: why doesn’t Great Yarmouth declare independence and then keep all the council tax money to spend here.

The county council currently takes the majority of our council tax.



Overnight hotel stay enjoyable

Thank you to Sonia and all her staff at the Star Hotel in Great Yarmouth who contributed in making our overnight stay pleasant and enjoyable (as winners of the Mercury’s recent competition).

The bedroom was very comfortable, tastefully decorated and furnished. Evening dinner and the breakfast were a credit to the chef as was the first class service from our waitress.

All our best wishes to you all for a successful future, and once again thank you. Would highly recommend.


Burgh Castle

‘Honourable’ to hold by-election

Seven Ukip councillors leaving a sinking ship or following their consciences? It is interesting to read what some of these individuals have said previously.

Kay Gray, the Ukip group leader who was elected in the 2014 local election wrote that Ukip councillors do what they think best for residents, “unlike the other groups who have to abide by their party whip and do what their party wishes neglecting the residents views.” Further, “by voting Ukip you will be voting for a party that represents you instead of a party that represents their government by implementing cut after cut to our everyday services.”

Not only has she and the other six defectors joined the Tories who follow the party whip, but in the council meeting last week, she and her group voted along with their new party to defeat a Labour motion to seek extra government funding to increase the pay of council staff, thereby supporting austerity. Take note council staff!

Another Ukip, sorry, Tory councillor, Sue Hacon, has previous form in defecting. As a Conservative in 2014, she transferred her allegiance to Ukip stating she had become disillusioned with the leadership of the town’s Tory party, the leadership being Graham Plant! (reported in the Mercury 23.09.14).

Mr Plant is on record as saying he was very disappointed to be losing a member and that Mrs Hacon should trigger a by-election as that was the “honourable” thing to do as she had been voted in as a Conservative.

Fast forward three years and he and Brandon Lewis are delighted to welcome seven defectors without triggering any by-elections. Where is that honour now?

It would be understandable if many Ukip voters feel cheated and Conservative voters resent the arrival of councillors putting their own interests first by jumping ship. Of course this gives the Conservatives complete control of the council, holding 21 of the 39 seats by undemocratic means, that is, collusion between the two parties.

One councillor “crossing the floor” is understandable, seven is not.

A case of vote Ukip get Tory.


Hawthorn Crescent,