The Politics Show!

PUBLISHED: 15:33 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:47 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

A WAR of words has broken out after manifesto leaflets began dropping through letterboxes, just weeks away from elections for Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

A WAR of words has broken out after manifesto leaflets began dropping through letterboxes, just weeks away from elections for Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Conservative and Labour candidates - and councillors not affected by the election - are already at loggerheads after the Labour manifesto attack on the Tories over a series of local issues, including the outer harbour and the Gapton Hall roundabout. Labour blames the Tory-led council for “muddle and mis-management.”

Labour asks “Where has our car park gone?” next to a photo of the former viewing area at South Beach Parade, now fenced off as part of the £50m outer harbour development. It also brands the Gapton Hall roundabout as a “Tory muddle.”

Deputy Labour leader Mick Castle admitted the comments were “harsh” but said at election time a war of words was only fair.

And while he realised the outer harbour development area would be out of bounds for people “it was not beyond the Tory council or EastPort to provide a temporary viewing area” for the “hundreds” of people that enjoy parking up and looking out to sea.

He said: “People might see it as harsh but hundreds of people used that parking area each week. As a councillor I thought it was an issue and the party has been contacted by several people asking why it's gone.”

Regarding Gapton Hall, Mr Castle said it was up to the Conservatives on the council to sort it. A taskforce of Tory and Labour councillors had met several times, but Mr Castle said it was up to the party in the “driving seat” to sort out the problems. He said: “They are in the driving seat. We've had traffic lights there, cosmetic changes to the lanes but we still have a problem and the ruling party know this.”

However, the deputy leader of the borough council, Barry Stone, said: “It's mischief-making. There is no question that the Tories are behind solving the congestion at Gapton Hall, it's not about a muddle. And as for the car park at the outer harbour, it's going to be a working port so there needs to be security in place, we knew that and so did they.

“When I saw the leaflet I thought to myself, if this is all the Labour party can come up it means Yarmouth in general is in a very good state. We believe things have got better. The town is on the up and prosperity has been assured for a number of years.”

The Green party revealed this week it has candidates standing in two wards. Anne Purchase-Walker will go up against Labour's Michael Jeal in Nelson Ward and Ralph Woodcock will stand against the Tory's Tony Blyth in Claydon Ward.

Nominations for the borough council elections close at midday today and a full list of candidates will be available on the Mercury's website, www.yarmouth, later today.

The list will also be printed alongside parish council candidates in next week's Mercury.

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