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'I would still pick Great Yarmouth over London any day' – your views on the town

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:17 18 March 2019

The Market Place in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Antony Kelly

The Market Place in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Antony Kelly

Archant

With more than 400 responses, our survey sparked plenty of discussion among residents.

People cited the beach, the town’s historic market and the Golden Mile as their favourite parts of the town, and many were happy to share their love for Great Yarmouth.

One person who enjoys living in the town is Christina Sheridan. She said: “I’ve come from London and have been here 10 years now. I would still pick Great Yarmouth over London any day.”

Sarah Jane Russell added: “I love Great Yarmouth but it needs more chip stalls.”

Great Yarmouth’s market 
was viewed by many of our readers as one of the most important aspects of the town - 28pc said it was ‘very important’ to them, with 23pc suggesting it was quite important.

Barry Coleman, chairman of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's economic development committee.  Picture: James BassBarry Coleman, chairman of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's economic development committee. Picture: James Bass

88pc of our readers thought the town had changed for the worse over the last 10 years, with 6pc believing it had changed for the better.

Suggestions to improve the town included more policing, further investment on the seafront and improvements to the town centre.

Julie Greenwood said: “Great Yarmouth needs a serious cash injection for the people who live here. Money is spent on tourism but not on improvements for us residents.”

Corallan Varley added: “A ferry crossing and dualling of the Acle straight would help the economy of our town enormously.”

People’s least favourite elements of the town included the number of empty shops, level of crime and the roadworks.

Two issues which raised particular concern with our readers were unemployment and homelessness.

57pc of respondents to our survey said they were ‘very concerned’ about the level of unemployment in Great Yarmouth while 54pc said they were ‘very concerned’ about homelessness.

There was more of a split when it came to the standard of schools in the town.

Superintendent of Great Yarmouth Police Roger Wiltshire. Picture: Nick ButcherSuperintendent of Great Yarmouth Police Roger Wiltshire. Picture: Nick Butcher

41pc of our readers thought schools in Great Yarmouth were reasonably good and 5pc of respondents thought schools 
in the town were ‘definitely’ good enough. However, 
16pc believe they are ‘not good at all’.

When asked how happy 
they were living in Great Yarmouth, some 22pc said 
they were ‘not happy at all’. Around 5pc of readers said they were ‘very happy’ living in the town.

Residents also raised concerns about crime in the town with 63pc ‘very concerned’ by it.

Crime

Almost a third of crimes in Great Yarmouth in 2018 were violence or sexual offences, Norfolk Police figures show, with crime levels slightly increasing from those on the year before.

6,368 offences were recorded by Norfolk Police in 2018, which marked a 2pc increase from 2017 where 6,252 crimes were reported.

A total of 1,981 reported offences were categorised as violent or sexual in 2018, while 1,486 crimes reported were for anti-social behaviour - the second highest category.

Other common offences include criminal damage and arson, with 613 reports, public order offences with 525 reports, and shoplifting with 338 reported offences in 2018.

Superintendent Roger Wiltshire said Great Yarmouth faces challenges like many other towns but believes it is a relatively safe place to live.

He said: “People should not be deterred from enjoying themselves in the town because they are worried about what could happen.

“We don’t prioritise one type of crime over the other because we always look at the effect it has on the person before making a judgement.”

Brexit

Despite fears being raised about the potential impact Brexit could have on Great Yarmouth, the chairman of the borough council’s economic and development committee remains confident the town can flourish.

Many of these concerns were compiled in a report which was discussed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s economic and development committee in November 2018.

The assessment included doubts over the status of the town’s port as a major player in the offshore industry and how the borough’s workforce could suffer across a number of sectors.

Despite these fears, chairman of the committee Barry Coleman, believes Brexit will be good for the town.

He said: “I have always been in favour of Brexit and my position has not changed.

“We want to find a way for it to be beneficial for everybody.”

From our survey it seems residents in Great Yarmouth are split over its potential benefit.

28.5pc of readers thought Brexit would be ‘very good’ for the town whereas 28.5pc of readers thought it would ‘not be good at all’.

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