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Consider needs of over-50s

PUBLISHED: 15:50 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:12 03 July 2010

IT was with great dismay that I learned of the proposals to section off the York Road Drill Hall and use it solely for youth activities. Surely there are many other establishments in the town which could facilitate these needs instead of doing away with an excellent sports hall.

IT was with great dismay that I learned of the proposals to section off the York Road Drill Hall and use it solely for youth activities. Surely there are many other establishments in the town which could facilitate these needs instead of doing away with an excellent sports hall.

There are other citizens in this town whose needs should be considered, and many who use the Drill Hall during the day every week. One of these groups is Sports Club 88, which has been meeting at this venue two mornings a week for 21 years. It has a membership of 100 people and offers badminton, short tennis and table tennis for the over 50s. Where else in this town could they find the same size hall to facilitate all these activities in one area with four courts and two tables?

Why are the needs of senior citizens always pushed by the wayside; they have paid their taxes all their working lives and should be entitled to more consideration by town councils and government bodies.

There is talk of the Marina Centre being closed and now the Drill Hall. What will be left for all the sporting and active people of this town who want to do something healthy and energetic in their lives?

LYN HUDSON

Secretary, Sports Club 88

RE J Bracewell's letter, June 12. First I have to say I agree the Gapton Hall roundabout is very badly designed. This is surprising since there is masses of space to do the job properly.

I also use the road to come into Great Yarmouth from time to time and I use the right hand lane as I come from Gorleston. However, unless there is no or very little traffic on the roundabout I would not dream of trying to move out of that lane into the left hand lane as I go round the roundabout. Mr Bracewell asks "why not?" I would suggest that it is an unnecessary and dangerous manoeuvre. Pasteur Road has two lanes and both lanes on the roundabout indicate that they can both be used to go down that road.

Remember the story of William Hay,

Who died defending his right of way,

He was right so right as he sped along,

But he is just as dead as if he'd been wrong.

DEREK BROWN

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

WHEN Fritton Forest is such a lovely woodland place for dog owners to walk there pets, and is very popular for meeting and socialising with others, why do you get the very small minority of people that actually have what they call dogs themselves, but are so small they don't want them meeting other dogs off leads because they are too big, and may stand on there's. It's pathetic; do these people think we would have our dogs off leads if they were not friendly. For God sake let dogs be dogs and play with each other instead of treating them like babies! Or don't take them down there if you're scared of meeting another dog.

J SAMPSON

El Alamein Way

Bradwell

SO the EastPort executive Eddie Freeman has decided that one of our tourist places - the Gorleston Pier - is to stand and rot.

He forgets that a few years ago the Volvo car people used our pier for a large advertisement and they said that the money from the advertisement would pay for the carpark to be resurfaced, so where has this money gone I wonder?

When tourists come to a seaside holiday everybody likes going on the pier, but when they come to Gorleston they see a damn great fence facing them. Is our Pier going the same way as Vauxhall Bridge? Why cannot Mr Freeman get the surface done and then put up a car park charge? We will see what he does or does not.

IVOR STEADMAN

email

AS A senior citizen of 85 years I remember when County Hall tried making York Road Hall a youth club. Within weeks a Victorian mirror disappeared, toilet pans broken and cisterns filled with paper, the payphone money box was stolen (it has now gone missing again!).

Norfolk County Council installed some new lights unfortunately some lads playing five-a-side managed to break diffusers and a wall clock with a ball not supposed to be above shoulder level.

A youth club? The county council should think long and hard, and be wary, very wary. Has the county council done its sums? Where is the money going? When we, the Drill Hall committee, ran the hall and did the bookings, we made a profit and paid for new wash basins etc as volunteers and not earning thousands.

Keep the sports hall as it is, let the 'youth' people find somewhere else. Remember Hands off Great Yarmouth booklet? Why have the front offices been refurbished with extensive alterations and what about the upstairs room. The government urges us to get fit and active. Take away the sports hall and several hundred people of all ages will lose their activities.

Joining GYPCC in 1965 I ran the badminton section for around 30 years, now playing short tennis with the over 55's, I may not remember what I had for dinner today but I do know about the old Drill Hall without referring to archives.

I think Pat Allen, Billy Ecclestone, Jim West, Stanley Ward and many others will condemn any attempt to interfere with the future of the sports hall.

LESLIE COLLETT

The Fairway

Caister

SO borough councillors consider the Vauxhall Bridge to be an eyesore (Mercury June 12, page 7). Well, the whole of the new outer harbour is an eyesore but they don't seem to be bothered about that!

MISS R L FARMER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

IT was so good to hear the Tailevent shanty men singing at the jetty last Sunday as part of the Band Factor attractions on the seafront. They had come by sea the day before, all the way from rural Morbihan in Brittany.

As the nine men wended their home after entertaining 30 bystanders, they too, were a bit sorry to find that traditions of heritage, in both our countries, are of very limited interest.

When asked, there was no one in the typically laid back Norfolk audience who had heard recent shanties in town at the Time and Tide Museum. Neither equally unfortunately, anyone to share greetings who is involved in the twinning with Rambouillet.

C'est la vie, as they say, but many thanks are due.

ROY WALDING

Mill Lane

Bradwell

REGARDING the county council elections, Mercury, June 12, where it was stated that this was my 16th county council election, it was my fourth.

The confusion possibly arose as for 30 years I have been and still am a borough councillor. Recently the BBC Question Time programme was recorded at the Hippodrome. In this programme the question of second jobs for MPs was raised. A Conservative MP told the audience that her received £24,000 per annum for 12 days work at a second job. A comment from one of the audience members was that many people in Yarmouth would love to have this to live on for a year.

A new re-numeration system is needed for MPs. They should not have second jobs, it is a full time job representing their constituents.

MIKE TAYLOR

Central and Northgate Ward

Yarmouth Borough Council

I HAVE lived in Great Yarmouth for 20 years and enjoyed the improvements that have taken place in this time; the outer harbour, seafront, quayside and St George's Park.

Another great improvement is that pubs are now smoke free and so much cleaner.

The one blot on the scene is the cigarette ends on the floor outside a lot of premises, I realise many places have trays for these, but you still often see the dog ends strewn all over the pavements by customers. I should be in the landlord or landlady's interest to keep the areas around their doors clean.

In the past I have been a smoker and know the problems caused by the lack of places to dispose of cigarette ends. It would help in places like betting shops, restaurants, cafes and clubs, provided such facilities so we could clean up this unsightly mess and make out town more attractive. It would be a shame to see people being fined for dropping litter when it could so easily be avoided.

D L NASH

Trafalgar Court

Great Yarmouth

DECOY Farm, Belton? The report in Mercury stating that the Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee had granted planning permission for change of use of farm building to a residential care home, for Kingsley Care Homes Ltd, is again evidence that they pay no attention to residents expressed concerns.

Leading up to the application it had been presented to be for people with learning disabilities, yet on their website it is for patients with complex and challenging behaviour problems.

On Saturday before last it was reported in the Mercury's sister paper, the Eastern Daily Press, that assaults and violence in care homes have almost trebled in three years. Surely the residents living close by should have been consulted and informed on what category patients would be treated there and what security would be in place.

I doubt very much if the previous owner of Decoy Farm, or any village resident, would have got planning permission for residential use in these farm buildings. Great Yarmouth Borough Council planning department has a history of allowing outside business people to abuse our village, planning wise. This seems to be just another example.

In conclusion, Kingsley Care Homes Ltd's Decoy Farm is in Browston, not Belton and Browston is in Norfolk, not Suffolk as they would have you believe on their website. I wonder what else is incorrect.

A J BEANE

Cherry Lane

Browston

I AM sorry that readers have been disappointed after recently visiting Caister recycling centre.

It's probable that Beryl Payne's delay (“Tip changes are proving rubbish”) was because the waste bins were being emptied - a 30 minute operation during which sites have to close for obvious safety reasons. It can be frustrating for customers who arrive just as a site is closing but during these periods staff are always on hand to keep customers updated about the status of the operation - and to advise them about their nearest alternative recycling centre.

In relation to garden waste disposal, new low level bins now enable customers to load their waste from ground level which is much safer than before, where people had to climb stairs and throw their waste over a high edge. Nevertheless, we realise that some people will still experience difficulties and this is why recycling centre staff are happy to help customers use any of the facilities. I encourage all visitors to ask for assistance whenever they need it.

The new traffic system at Caister is also a safety measure. Drivers are now required to park in bays which sometimes means we have to limit the number of vehicles on site but this system does protect pedestrians from traffic, which is an important improvement.

In response to “So, how much is recycled?”, Caister is a “Pay As You Throw” site, where householders can dispose of large amounts of DIY waste as an affordable alternative to, for example, hiring a skip. The service fee is fixed according to vehicle type so your reader shouldn't have experienced any confusion about the charge and I am very sorry that this occurred.

To avoid difficulties of this nature, however, I always recommend that if people aren't familiar with the very wide range of recycling centre services they should check before they make their journey. Full information is online at www.norfolk.gov.uk/recyclingcentres or by calling 0844 800 8004.

I would also like to clarify that all timber taken to recycling centres is recycled in Norfolk. On average, over 60pc of the materials taken to recycling centres in Norfolk is recycled, which is one of the highest levels in the UK.

Ian Monson

Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste

Norfolk County Council

SO Norwich is to be blessed with a visit by the Tory leader, David Cameron, to support the candidate for Norwich South.

Whatever your political preference, he will, at least, hold an open discussion event at the Hewett School. Sceptics might associate his open meeting with the up and coming bye-election.

Have you ever seen the like from our ruling Conservative Council, in Yarmouth. Possibly, if you live in the urban areas of Yarmouth or Gorleston, you might get a sniff at a “meet your councillor” event, but your questions will need to be pre-vetted and approved.

If you live in the northern villages, your chance to address local issues that affect you are largely ignored. As chairman of the Rural North Tenants and Residents Association, I have pressed the leader of Yarmouth Borough Council, Cllr B Coleman, and the response received was that the rural areas have parish councils to address our issues. Further questioning produced no response.

Frankly, this reply, or lack of it, shows scant regard to those living in the northern parishes.

With respect to our parish councils, and their members , their remit is fairly limited to grass cutting and dog fouling. Although these, and other matters can form part of local, important issues, they fail to address matters that affect local tenants and residents.

Many, but not all, of parish and borough councillors live in an outdated world, believing they control power and influence within their world, although I have met with many parish councillors who have genuine concern for their villages and their environment. Many private individuals, however, seem more switched on to the real world, and what is happening around them.

Some, however, feel the need to represent all levels of local government, often failing to listen to the views of the electorate.

Local politics, across the country, county and borough, and one party control, is a stain on any form of democracy. If you want to represent your local villagers or ward, why do you need to belong to a political party?

The answer is the bigger the gang, the bigger the rule. Have a look at the voting of your local councillor, see what committee he or she sits on, and see how they vote along party lines. Then compare how that represents the best interest of your area. I bet some of you may be concerned.

The days of dusty councillors in dusty rooms, deciding matters in darken corridors needs to be changed. Only you can change it.

Make them accountable, make them serve you.

Peter Kirkpatrick, Chairman

Rural North Tenants and Residents Association

BEING a long standing member of Sports Club 88 who regularly use York Road Drill Hall I must protest at Norfolk County Council's proposal to impose a change of use on the building, at the expense of existing users,

As the name implies, our club has been in existence for over 21 years enjoying unfettered use during that time. A membership of approximately 100 over 55s regularly enjoy playing badminton, short tennis and table tennis twice a week. This activity supports the Governments health policies of encouraging older people to keep fit by taking regular exercise.

I do not wish to enter into any debate about the merits or otherwise of providing additional facilities for the youth of this town apart from saying that other adult and youth organisations regularly use York Road. They would also be affected by such changes.

The council should not be allowed to impose changes on the hall without first consulting existing users and providing adequate alternative accommodation.

Better still, retain the Drill Hall in its present guise and find alternative premises for the proposed youth centre.

ALAN PRICE

Bradwell

I WONDER how many of your readers remember “copper holes”? These were in most kitchens of houses before the war. Most of the household rubbish was burnt in the copper-hole and the water in the copper was heated by the fire.

As few married women went to work, Monday became the traditional wash-day. Unfortunately in Yarmouth the tall destructor was bombed and I believe the war damage money received by the council was only £1,000; hence the purchase of land at Cobholm as a rubbish tip. In my opinion incineration is the answer to avoid the use of land-filling for rubbish.

CECILIA EBBAGE

Lovewell Road

Gorleston

HOW I sympathise with Peggotty over his loathing of PT, bred in his schooldays, as was mine. Being the shortest girl in the class, the slowest runner, with no eye for a ball and apt to get giddy, it was no wonder that I was often humiliated when nobody wanted me in their team. Sports programmes are wasted on me; sports columns are at once discarded; and I really couldn't care less who wins at a national or international event. The joyful day when I shook the PT class dust from my feet for ever; the knowledge that never again would I stand on frozen ground (naturally) in goal on the hockey pitch; and never again be cast aside as useless, set me free for ever. Small wonder I feel strongly that children should not be forced into things for which they are clearly unsuited - and unhappy.

MISS R L FARMER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

THE Autistic Way-Smart Kids OK is a registered charity based in Great Yarmouth. We are dedicated to supporting families who have a child on the autistic spectrum and would like to say a few words of support to our patron MP Tony Wright.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Tony for the constant support he has given us in the 10 years that we have been open. He has seen our charity grow from strength to strength over the past few years and is actively aware of the need for respite and advice these families so desperately need. We know we can rely on Tony to support our families in the multitude of educational difficulties they face and he has given his professional advice to assist in these issues to many of our families.

Tony has attended every Smart Kids OK open day and has always shown interest in meeting the dedicated staff and offers his help with fundraising activities.

With all the negative press that some MP's are receiving at the moment, we thought it important to put in a few good words for Tony and say 'Thank You' for all the hard work and commitment he has shown to Smart Kids OK.

JACKY PORTER, manager

ANNA HOMER, deputy manager

ON Saturday, June 6, my son took me for a ride out and we decided to have a cup of coffee and sausage roll. I really wanted a toasted cheese sandwich (two rounds of bread with a bit of cheese). How much, £3.55, I could not believe it. I know shops need to make a profit but that is taking things too far. It was at Potter Heigham.

Mrs Keyzor

Potters Field

Gorleston

FOLLOWING the recent local elections in UK, I have now reached the stage where I feel it is necessary to speak out against the large political parties that seem to take turns at leading our country. Having spoken to activists from the red and blue parties (I refer to them as such due to their total lack of idealogical stance and, to be frank, startling political similarity) it seems as though Great Yarmouth, in terms of a general election, is merely a seat and just a small stepping stone on the path to power in Westminster.

Although this isn't a recent revelation, especially given the current media spotlight on our ever-so-slightly corrupt parliament, I still find myself indignant at the fact that our town continues to degrade in most aspects as a result of severe neglect, seemingly at the behest of the political class.

This town was Nelson's home port, a centre for fishing trade and then a tourist haven. Now, in the modern day, it struggles to find a direction in a country where successive governments have ignored it. Like most parts of the UK that relied on primary industry, we lie forgotten, a nothing-town relying on minimal government spending and EU funds intended for Eastern European villages.

Yes, we have an outer harbour being constructed and various investment schemes dotted around, but where is the cohesion, the pride and the determination we need from our representatives, both actual and potential?

I for one will no longer stand idly by and watch this continue. If no one from the political parties will stand up for the people, businesses and future of this town, then perhaps I will. Great Yarmouth is worth fighting for and come the next election, I very much intend to do so.

DANIEL T ASKEW,

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