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Admit you got it wrong

PUBLISHED: 17:53 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:15 03 July 2010

IT would appear that the old adage "the pen is mightier than the sword" is true. I refer to the work carried out on the mini-roundabout at the Tan Lane/High Street junction in Caister on Sea.

IT would appear that the old adage “the pen is mightier than the sword” is true. I refer to the work carried out on the mini-roundabout at the Tan Lane/High Street junction in Caister on Sea.

It seems that the Norfolk County Highways (NCH) Department has had a change of heart. Recently you published a letter pointing out that this roundabout had, after roadworks, been reinstalled in the wrong location. Of late, work has been in progress again to re-position this roundabout, of sorts. I think it would be fair to say Caister now has its version of the Gapton Hall roundabout, be it on a smaller scale.

To tinker with a bad idea hoping to make it better is never a good idea. The replacement smaller hump does indeed make it a bit easier for those who are determined to drive around the mini structure whilst turning right into Tan Lane, but I'm not too sure about the necessity of the very large white arrows on the road to indicate the direction you have to go around.

I was informed, when I first raised concerns regarding the deployment of the original larger hump, that it was permissible to drive over mini-roundabouts as they are merely an indication for motorists to give way at the junction as they would at a major roundabout. These arrows would of course be of great help to all our European friends who may not be too sure of the procedure at these locations and to ensure they negotiate the junction correctly. Or could they be seen as a visual acknowledgement by NCH that the roundabout is still unsatisfactory and potentially dangerous, as are other roundabouts so marked?

I personally believe it would have been far more cost-effective and therefore more beneficial to the ratepayers with no adverse effect on safety, if NCH had just painted a circle on the road.

I wonder if the NCH official I spoke to originally, who spent an age telling me the new roundabout was put in exactly the same position as the old, and that I was therefore mistaken, has decided to fall on his sword. Likewise, would it not be nice if when Norfolk County Highways are made aware of such a problem, as they were in this case, they show a humanitarian face by admitting they got it wrong.

T ANDREWS

Northern Close,

Caister on Sea

I DON'T think it matters to the majority of Great Yarmouth rate-payers who is running the council, be it Waveney/Great Yarmouth or the North Norfolk option. All most people are interested in is getting their bins emptied without silly rules, street lights that come on at night and the roads being kept clean and safe. It matters not a jot whether it's called Golden Coast, Golden Wonder or Golden Balls!

PAULINE LYNCH

Mill Lane

Bradwell

I read the letter from Mr M Williams (mercury, June 13) and obviously he will not allow the facts to get in the way of his propaganda. He claims the Tories are the experts in fiscal management but where was he during the Thatcher governments?

We lost so much of our traditional industries, hundreds of people had their homes repossessed and we had the infamous Poll Tax. Like the time of the Callaghan government in the 70s we have now worldwide problems, this time being the high price of food and oil over which no one country has much control. The Thatcher government had the bonanza of the North Sea revenues but unfortunately so much of that went in paying the benefits of the unemployed which reached three million at one time. Without that revenue the government might have been financially as well as morally bankrupt

That discredited government was followed by the John Major set-up. His Chancellor, Norman Lamont, supervised the Black Wednesday fiasco when interest rates reached 15pc. It is understood Mr David Cameron was a Treasury adviser then, so he is well qualified to lead a Tory government.

Can Mr Williams really equate the Tory record with “proper fiscal management.” It was the local Tories who gave us the ludicrous and costly giant screen in Yarmouth Market Place.

A SMITH

Lilac Close

Bradwell

I HAD a stroll along Great Yarmouth seafront at about 12.20pm on Wednesday, June 11. I looked at the big TV screens and what did they have on? Politics, House of Commons. Tourists don't want to see politics, they are on holiday.

What a great way to promote Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and the Norfolk Broads. They should be promoting the above on DVDs bringing in the tourist. It's about time this council woke up, it's not a tea party in their office, get on with the business.

Mr E A EGGLETON

Ashwood Close

Caister

IN response to a letter that was printed in the Mercury on June 8 regarding the condition of the St Nicholas Cemetery.

On June 10, I visited my mother's cremation plot in the Caister Road Cemetery. Driving through the older part this was all well kept and mowed. Same applied into the newer part of the cemetery. But what a different story in the cremation area. It looked a total disgrace. The grass was not mowed and high, why mow the rest of the cemetery and leave this area, I just can't understand.

A few years ago I placed a four inch white edging around the base of the headstone. A short while after I received a letter asking me to remove it due to the reasons being that it 'ruined' the appearance of the area and also it was a hazard to the lawn cutters. Also there was a note saying that 'glass or plastic pots' should not be there.

On my visit I found going to my mother's plot was a hazard to myself, glass jars, jam jars, plastic pots, majority of them hidden by the height of the grass.

My mother's ashes have laid there for nearly 20 years and I've never seen it so bad. Perhaps there is a discrimination regarding being cremated.

I was asked to move my edging because of it possibly being a hazard to their workers, but what would happen if someone fell over something that was hidden in the un-mowed grass I wonder?

H NUNN

Great Yarmouth

I WAS watching The Hotel Inspector on TV this week with avid interest, as Great Yarmouth again featured.

The message getting across to the great British public (I hope) is that if a guest house or hotel cannot deliver customer service, comfortable accommodation, good food, sprinkled with some business acumen and a good dose of common sense, they will fail in today's climate.

Hopefully if this is the impression gained from national television, our great resort can, along with visitors, look forward to a great British summer.

MICK KENMORE

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

M WILLIAMS' (Letters, June 13) must be suffering from selective amnesia when comparing previous Conservative governments with this Labour government. I will gladly compare my government's record against that of any previous Conservative one. Remember 19.7pc unemployment in 1989? Or 15pc mortgage rates? What about Black Wednesday?

Just look around and see the transformation we see in Great Yarmouth. This hasn't just happened by chance, it's happened because we have a government that has invested in an area that needed help back in 1997.

Nearly every aspect of that transformation has an element of government funding and good teamwork in Great Yarmouth, and I am pleased to be a part of that team, along with hundreds of other individuals and organisations throughout the borough. I certainly cannot remember any help from the previous Conservative government that comes anywhere near the levels we have seen in the past 11 years from this Labour government.

Perhaps M Williams should take a look at the damning District Auditors Report on the Conservative run Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Details of how this can be viewed were on Page 69 of last week's Mercury.

TONY WRIGHT

MP for Great Yarmouth

HAVE you seen it? No? Neither have I. And neither have I spoken to anyone who as seen it. I did ask but I was told it was not available.

I refer to the elusive customer survey that has changed the opening times of the parcel office at our local sorting office in Yarmouth. Now, instead of being able to pop in during my lunch hour to pick up a stray parcel, I either have to take the parcel to work after picking it up before I go in to work at around 7.30am, or wait until a Saturday.

And I do wonder what people with a busy family life do? They are delivering breakfast at that time and then taking children to school or playgroup on a weekday, so they can't go between 7am and 10am in the morning, and in the afternoon they are picking up children and getting home. And usually on a Saturday, families are either going to clubs and activities with children or shopping, or having a lie-in.

And while we are on the subject, I have never ever received my mail at 3pm in the afternoon. But that is when we all get mail now in our street. Too late to sort out business on the day you receive the mail and too early to do anything but wait until the next day. And how has this decision been reached? I know! Another survey?

Who are they asking? If anyone knows, maybe they could send us all the results!

ANNE PURCHASE-WALKER

Great Yarmouth

I WRITE to express my extreme disappointment at the front-page article entitled “School Closure Threat” published on Friday, June 13. I am the deputy headteacher of Oriel Specialist Mathematics and Computing College and I have worked at Oriel for 10 years.

Oriel has suffered from a great deal of negative press in the past despite the commitment of its staff and students. I work with a dedicated team who give above and beyond the requirements of their posts to ensure that Oriel is viewed as a school which serves its community well and personalises learning successfully. I am certain that families and local residents would support me in saying that Oriel's “reputation” has changed beyond recognition. Is it not time, given the success of the collaboration of local schools, that we defended our young people in this area?

Having recently dealt with an Ofsted inspection on Wednesday and Thursday, the results of which will be released publicly in the near future, students and staff were faced with unnecessary “scaremongering” by a newspaper which is allegedly “supportive” of its community.

Our five A* to C figure in 2007 was, in fact, 35p - not 19pc - and since suffering the stigma of being in “special measures,” our results at both Key Stages are on a rising trend, and we expect them to continue to rise. We are all committed to seeing results in mathematics and English improve in every school in the country, but in order for this to happen, our students need to have high aspirations and strong self-esteem. How can they be expected to be in possession of these qualities when their local newspaper undermines their efforts with negativity?

On behalf of our students and staff, I ask that in future the community newspaper supports our schools and the people within them who dedicate their lives to building better futures for our young people.

NAOMI PALMER

Deputy Headteacher

Oriel Specialist Mathematics and Computing College

Editor's Note: See the Mercury Opinion on Page 10

WITH reference to the proposed polyclinics, I shall be grateful if either Tony Wright and/or Bernard Williamson will tell us from where the NHS will be getting all the new nurses and GPs and other support staff needed to run these 'wonder clinics'.

I understand that these clinics will allow access to medical help when normal surgeries are closed. As their opening hours are from 8am to 8pm where will we go when the clinics are closed?

M GOLEBY

Laurel Drive

Bradwell

I FOUND the letters from Bernard Williamson and a Labour politician last week extremely amusing. To suggest it was one patient with the wrong idea is incredible. It was not one patient, but one amongst thousands who signed the BMA forms against the polyclinics. It was not my ideas that were quoted but those of the BMA and many doctors' surgeries everywhere. As for the BMA 'whipping up this issue' - how ridiculous can you get!

Personally I find the idea of these people trying to produce lethargy over this matter rather frightening.

No-one surely can believe their word against the BMA and our doctors. As I said it is not one surgery we are talking about but many, all over the country and to say it is only London that will be affected is only the tip of the iceberg.

Remember - they weren't going to close our post offices either and if we all sit back and don't stand up to be counted the same will happen over this 'bright idea'.

BARBARA TILDESLEY

Gorleston

I HAVE written to Mike Stonnard, Chief Executive of Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust (PCT), asking that he release details of all sites in the Great Yarmouth area being considered for a polyclinic or 'GP led health centre. There is clearly widespread concern across the local community that a polyclinic will open in the area and force smaller GPs surgeries to close.

There is widespread concern across the Yarmouth area that the Government is about to force the local PCT to impose a large impersonal polyclinic on our community, which the community will not see any real benefit from. My letter to Mr Stonnard also asks for some assurance that a polyclinic will not be imposed on the local community where it can be demonstrated that public opinion is firmly against its creation.

Large polyclinics could well mean the closure of many local GPs' surgeries across the county. Our local GPs' surgeries, like Post Offices, lie at the very heart of our local community. For many, especially the most vulnerable, it takes a long time to build up a level of trust with their GP and a large impersonal polyclinic will make this much more difficult to achieve. The Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Medical Association and the Family Doctor Association have all voiced their opposition to these proposals. These are the people on the frontline in healthcare and it is to them that we should be looking for advice - not faceless bureaucrats in Whitehall.

Last week the independent King's Fund published a report which concluded that there is no evidence larger GP practices deliver a higher quality of care. In the face of this advice and the opposition of medical professionals it seems staggering to me that Gordon Brown is persisting with these plans.

We have a PCT in Great Yarmouth that works hard for the community and I look forward to Mike Stonnard's response and want to assure local people that I will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them on this issue and will be relentless in my support for our hard working nurses, doctors and support staff.”

BRANDON LEWIS,

Conservative Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Great Yarmouth

I WAS surprised to read in your response of the council planning committee, concerning the development at West Road, Caister, that the council would have been obliged to pay a very considerable amount of compensation to the developer, if they rescinded the planning permission granted in 1999.

Writing as a layman, the only expense until work actually commences on the site, would appear to have been the preliminary explanation as to whether the site was suitable for development or not.

The opportunity to rescind the planning permission, would have been possible, long before work commenced at the site, and could have been based on experience gained from flooding at other parts of the country, principally Tewkesbury, Toll Bar (yes), round Shrewsbury. I do not know whether it would be incumbent on the developer to make any prospective purchasers of property on the site aware of the dangers of flooding or dampness. If not, I am sure the insurance companies will surely reflect such a danger on their premiums.

D S KING

Kipling Close

Caister

I'M enquiring if any of your readers can recall an incident of an elephant dying at the Hippodrome Circus perhaps some time in the 50's or 60's and buried somewhere in the north end of the town. A small wager going to charity.

J ESHERWOOD

Gresham Close

Gorleston

REGARDING the article “Praise where praise is due” (Mercury, June 13), I would like to add my voice to the many others supporting Mrs C Walker in this, who over the years has done more in aid of my situation than those who made those diabolical remarks in the “derogative” flyer pushed through my letterbox.

I can say that in the 25 years I have lived in my house, I have never, never, ever had a Conservative candidate knock at my door to ask how they may help, or how I'm going to vote. This is in complete contrast to Mrs Colleen Walker, who has gone out of her way to assist in any way possible, saying she will do what she can. To date, the 100pc speaks for itself, with this letter being small recompense for her help in the past.

And on another matter, I was drawn to and read with interest the recent article regarding Yarmouth Council and their idea of residential properties to the east side and south of Haven Bridge. So much flooded back as I recalled the community of Bunns Lane, St Marys Lane, Portland Lane and Ferry Lane, who were systematically wiped out 25 years ago for the sake of making the west side of the river completely commercial. How many still remember the pain and financial loss they bore?

I wonder how long it will be before changes are thought of when new becomes not so new once more?

S WHALL

(ex Portland Lane Resident)

St Edmunds Close

Great Yarmouth

I AM writing with reference to your article in last week's Mercury dated June 13.

Mr Dennis Durrant suggested that the old lifeboat shed be restored and made into a wine bar or a cafe. I think that the old lifeboat shed should be restored and made into a museum for the old lifeboat that is in the lifeboat station shop, as this is a part of Gorleston heritage. Where the lifeboat is now then could be made into tea rooms to help raise funds for the lifeboat.

DAVID KILPATRICK

email

I WRITE as an old time ex student of the old time Art School in Great Yarmouth I was privileged to be a student of the old and well loved Priory School. I still fail to understand why this ever closed and likewise the old Art School.

While at the Priory School I was one who passed an exam to enter the Art School, yet never even sat for an exam. My work throughout the term qualified me to enter the Art School on what in today's terms would be called a “scholarship.” To me and many of us who came and joined us, it was an honour just to be able to walk up the steps as students. They were indeed great days and I often look back on to them with fondest and pride.

I still wonder why? Why did they close the doors but then why did they ever rip up miles of railtrack?

There must be thousands of youngsters who would love to experience what we did in those Good Old Days and they were…just to walk up those steps you felt a real student of Art. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle… to reopen its doors - recycle artists.

CYRIL B WESTGATE

By email

GORLESTON is not just the poor relation - it's on the endangered list. What planet is Barry Coleman on?

The £2m windfall payment was to Beacon Park, which is in Gorleston, not Yarmouth seafront!

The people that populate Beacon Park made Gorleston's population rise considerably, so surely that £2m should have been used for much-needed services in Gorleston. The council sees fit to dump all these extra people here, then, when there is money rightfully belonging to Gorleston, the councillors, who are Yarmouth seafront mad, fleece the residents once again.

With more residential population in Gorleston than in any one place in the borough, doesn't Mr Coleman think that the vast amount of income generated from council tax-payers warrants some sort of allegiance?

No, Barry Coleman, I do not agree with you. Gorleston is deprived, and it will carry on being deprived as long as there are people on the council that have no vision of the whole picture but only of your Golden Mile.

Gorleston will deteriorate much further, as now any money coming into the borough will be sidetracked into some regenerating scheme to tie in the outer harbour with the Golden Mile. Why do I say this? In today's financial climate I can see the outer harbour becoming a very expensive yacht marina.

JOHN L COOPER

Burnt Lane

Gorleston

IN response to D Clarke (Mercury, June 13) that height matters I agree police can climb walls, but I would like to point out after residing in East Road that backs on to the cemetery and having to make over a dozen calls to the police the walls have not yet been scaled. I would also point out that the walls around the churchyard are higher.

NICK LASHAM

East Road,

Great Yarmouth

TO the person who stole my Mercedes badge, I ask why do damage to a car like this? I parked it near my daughter's house on Alma Road on Tuesday, and a few hours later my badge had been snapped off. It seems to me nowadays, you cannot have anything nice. I will not replace it, there is no point someone will only do it again.

Mrs THERESA WHITMORE

Cobbs Place

Great Yarmouth

I AM researching the German Zeppelins L71 and L 64 which flew into the RAF base at Pulham on the July 1 and 21 1920 respectively. They were flown directly from Germany and handed over to the British authorities as part of the reparations agreement after world war one.

I am interested in making contact with anyone who has any family mementos - photographs, diary entries, newspaper clippings etc relating to the arrival of these two airships in Norfolk. Maybe your parents or grandparents worked at the base, or were keen amateur photographers? The sight of a Zeppelin flying slowly and peacefully over the county in daylight, would have attracted much attention and interest, and would have been a stark contrast to the raids of only a few years before.

I have previously published two other books on Zeppelins (see http://www.andrewstokell.co.uk), and am hoping to get together enough information to write a third - on Pulham's Zeppelins.

Please contact Andrew Stokell on 01977 681240 or andrew@andrewstokell.co.uk. Any assistance much appreciated!

ANDREW STOKELL

REGARDING the residents' parking issue around the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, the argument that those visiting the hospital and not paying car park charges in doing so, are somehow “getting away with it!” is a frankly ridiculous premise.

As the recent furore over charges and spaces at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has shown, obscene amounts of money are being made either by private firms or by the hospitals themselves as a result of people's misfortunes. Even if the hospital does get the money, such sums should not be relied on to finance essential services. Parking at hospitals should be free to all essential users.

MICHAEL SPRAGG

Collingwood Road

Great Yarmouth

YES, Gorleston is the poor relation. We get what Yarmouth doesn't want, and if Yarmouth needs it, we lose out. It's time our councillors for Gorleston did their job and got Gorleston on the map again. Why should they use money that's meant for Gorleston on Yarmouth's seafront.

If there was not enough money for the seafront, then leave it until they have saved up. That's what the people in Gorleston are always told. Have to wait, ran out of money.

Yes, let's make the High Street one way, but let's not forget the Bells Road area with its local shops. More could be spent on helping those too.

How come money can always be found for Yarmouth?

It's time Gorleston councillors got together and got Gorleston some of the things we are entitled to.

W WRIGHT

Nelson Road

Gorleston

REFERRING to the article in the Mercury last week on the Gorleston swimming pool. It should have never been removed to make way for a bandstand that is now being used for skateboarding by skateboarders going up and down the steps and this will damage all the edges of the steps which eventually will break.

We have heard that people are trying to remove the brass plaques - where is the old fashioned bobby who would give them a good clump and a telling off in the olden days? Don't they know the word “respect” for others' property, or is it let's go and destroy everything that's new in one day? My father would have given me a good clump round the ear and I would not be allowed out for a week.

Where is all the respect gone for other people's property? Out the window? And to think how much it cost to build the band stand.

Take pride in the things that are provided for you and treat them with respect. They are for you to enjoy.

E COOKE

The Crescent

Newton Flotman

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