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PUBLISHED: 10:54 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:39 30 June 2010

THE Trustees of Home-Start Great Yarmouth and District would like to reassure your readers our organisation is alive and well and still supporting families with young children.

THE Trustees of Home-Start Great Yarmouth and District would like to reassure your readers our organisation is alive and well and still supporting families with young children. In fact, we are advertising for two new members of staff and plan to recruit and train more of our unique volunteers to support even more families in the next year.

The article reporting voluntary groups hit by council cutbacks: "Yarmouth and District Homestart [sic] has also been told its entire funding was being withdrawn," refers to our funding from Norfolk County Council Children's Services and obviously we are disappointed we didn't get the funding we were applying for. Our staff and trustees now have to work very hard and very fast to try to replace that lost funding. However, we do have money coming in from other sources and will continue to support local families. We remain in contact with Norfolk County Council and are also approaching other funders. This setback will not stop us doing our crucial work to support parents who are struggling to give their young children the best possible start in life.

JOHN HOLMES

Chairman of Trustees

Home-Start Great Yarmouth and District

HOW dare Patrick Hacon write to complain about a campaign to improve our town and get us much overdue improvements to our railway station! Brandon Lewis and the people campaigning on this are getting to grips with something I have heard people complain about for years, so good on them for getting on with it productively. I hope they get the change we desperately need. I hope the local Labour Party and our MP will support this campaign.

LEWIS ROBERTS

Gorleston

IN response to Councillor Patrick Hacon's letter I would like to say there is no disputing that the train journey through Breydon marshes, Reedham and the likes, is not an uplifting trip, we are also not debating on the state of the stations at Chelmsford, Manningtree, Colchester or even the capital city. Our problem is Great Yarmouth station and how unwelcome the state of it must be to visitors to the town, and locals. The holiday brochures show Yarmouth as a wonderful holiday town but on arrival what do they see: an unkempt station, the rear of a supermarket, a rundown site where there was once a garage, and a bridge that should be repaired and treated as part of the heritage of railways past. It would be nice to see a sign at the station saying "We are trying to get this sorted, please bear with us."

RON LOVICK

Brasenose Avenue

Gorleston

I CANNOT even comprehend what was going through Councillor Patrick Hacon's mind when he tried to defend the station in last week's letters page. The campaign makes no reference to the lovely view of the marshes coming into Yarmouth, only of the dirty and tired station itself. I have lived in Yarmouth my entire life and have never known it to be a clean or welcoming place. I have spent time talking to passengers on several very early mornings at the station and picked up many petition signatures. I have talked face to face with disgruntled Yarmouth commuters, these are all local people, are they wrong to support the campaign then?

MATTHEW SMITH

Hawthorn Road,

Gorleston

EVER since I moved to Great Yarmouth with my partner I have been disgusted at the state of the railway station. It's bad enough it being so far out of town without the derelict buildings and rubbish everywhere making it worse! The station is cold damp and disgusting. It is about time that something gets done about the train station it has been left far too long. I have sent an email to Councillor Patrick Hacon inviting him to meet me and a few people at the station so he can explain his comments.

DAVID FOWLER

email

I READ the letter in last week's paper from a Councillor Hacon that included the surprising line: “Is it really a high priority for our town to have a makeover for our train station, and have the campaigners had a proper look at it lately?” I wonder has he really looked. The most positive thing he can say about the station is that the toilets are clean. That is only because the poor staff do their best to make the place hospitable, whilst it has been neglected for years by the railway companies. Did he miss the fact the station has paint peeling, weeds growing and no proper welcome sign, no kiosk and nothing to let you know you have just arrived at the second largest holiday resort in the country!

D MULLENDER

Gorleston

I WAS astonished to read the letter by Patrick Hacon last week that seemed to say we should be happy with a train station that is in a terrible state of repair and is an embarrassment to most of us. Why? I travel to London regularly and would not compare any of the stations that he mentions with the disgrace we have in Great Yarmouth. Why should we settle for less than the best? Why would anyone compare an urban station like Liverpool Street to Great Yarmouth, which is a major tourist resort and the first port of welcome, if you can call it that at present. As it happens, I have visited Colchester, Chelmsford and Liverpool Street; all three are in far better state of repair than our station and provide decent facilities for travellers. I, for one, have signed up to the petition to support the work Brandon Lewis is doing with the campaigners to get us a better deal for Great Yarmouth.

DANIEL MINISTER

Gale Close

Hales, Norwich

HAVING read with dismay the various comments, supposedly from regular users of Great Yarmouth train station, I finally couldn't stop myself from writing to inform you that the station does indeed have a very nice (if mobile) catering unit that is open seven days a week.

How do I know this, you may ask yourself, because it is mine and having spent several thousand pounds refurbishing the old catering stall, which has been on site for several years, I am just wondering if these people travel wearing blinkers?

In addition to offering hot drinks from 80p (surely the cheapest, arguably, in any train station in the country), we also offer a selection of newspapers which we buy and sell for no profit (as a matter of fact sometimes even making a loss on them when they do not all sell), as well as hot and cold filled rolls, chocolate and cakes.

I would also like to point out that the station toilets, whilst not large, are kept spotlessly clean by a small but dedicated team of staff that try hard with their limited resources.

Finally, it may interest your readers to know that I have recently agreed terms with Lambert, Smith, Hampton (National Express managing agents) and the unused kiosk will be opening bigger and better than ever in the very near future.

So please people, stop the negativity and make a point of popping down to see us for a nice cup of tea, coffee and a quality burger.

F HARDING

Station Snacks

Great Yarmouth

IN response to the letter from J Greenacre "New Breed of Councilor." Mercury, February 5. Although many issues are raised through the letters page between the political parties, I would like to assure the writer that most parish, borough and county councillors take their responsibilities very seriously and are in touch with the people who elected them. It is not rare to see a councillor taking action in his or her community. During my period as both a county and borough councillor I took many actions in the community and dealt with issues and concerns of residents that achieved positive outcomes, but these were not published in the local press.

TREVOR WAINWRIGHT

Lapwing Close

Bradwell

I WOULD just like to say that parking in King Street is absolutely wrong but why did the one-way system have to change? Yes, I do think the reason for some of the buses being late is due to the fact they have problems in King Streeet but it does not account for the fact that then not one, not two, but three buses turn up at once. People in the south Yarmouth area are really fed up now waiting for a bus so we are hoping First Bus will be able to sort this problem out so the people at the south end of town, especially the elderly, are not left out in the cold. Double line parking and parking altogether should be stopped in King Street - surely we have enough car parks for people to use. But then it is the same old story: people don't liking paying to park.

Mrs S TASKER

Ordnance Road,

Great Yarmouth

THE portrait of Alderman Ethel Leach is doubtless part of Yarmouth's history too, so when we have finished with the exploration of the Jetty and the South Pier, perhaps we could reconsider the oddity of the reappearing portrait. Unless there were two in existence, this portrait was presented to East Norfolk College Library, by Hugh Shearer himself, on the day of the official College opening in 1983. As the first Librarian, I was the de facto curator of the portrait until my departure in 1993. She hung at one end of the Library, and I fondly recall our irreverent assistant-caretaker telling me how he called "Morning, Ethel" each day on his arrival. The library was later relocated to new buildings from its original site in the former hall of the East Building, and presumably that would be the occasion of the Alderman's painting going on vacation. It is good to know she has come home again, looking no worse for her trip. Or was there a portrait of Ethel Leach in the attic throughout?

BRIAN HAYLETT

West Road,

Caister

I AM emailing you to ask you to save our buses from the Barrack Estate into town. We have many elderly people who use the bus to go to town and also to go get their pension, and it would a shame to lose the services.

Mrs A CLUTTON

email

I FAIL to see why the road around the harbour mouth needs to be closed for custom and security reasons. Surely all that should be contained within the port area behind a high security fence. Over the last few years access to the port area has been eroded and this has got to be stopped. I can understand that access has been stopped in some areas for safety reasons but there is no safety reasons why this road should be closed. It should be reopened immediately.

H G PERRY

Gorleston

THE reduction of street lighting, currently being proposed by Norfolk County Council has shown scant regard to the opinion of the Tenants and Residents of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and the Rural Community. The Great Yarmouth Community Housing Tenants Forum (GYCHTF) has expressed its disappointment at the total lack of local consultation in this matter. The overwhelming response to this proposal, is to suggest an increase in crime and anti social behaviour (ASB). We understand that others may welcome this black-out as a means of moving anti social behaviour perpetrators to other areas. Some suggest this may stop anti social behaviour.

Time, I suppose, will tell. But, if this is an indicator as to how a possible new Unitary Authority may act in the future, then we may have cause for concern. NCC has deemed to impose its views, regardless of the local views and opinions. We suggest that local consultation may result in positive feedback, co-operation and understanding. The fact that borough councillors share this view is surprising, as reported in the Mercury, considering that a number of borough councillors share the role of county councillors.

Where is the local consultation When was the last time that you were asked for your opinion? Now is the time to start asking questions. The Great Yarmouth Community Housing Tenants Forum will be canvassing opinion from all borough and county councillors over the next few weeks. Their responses, if any, will be discussed at the next meeting of the GYCH Tenants Forum meeting. Please call Peter on 733578 or email rural.north@virgin.net to register your opinion on this matter.

PETER KIRKPATRICK

Chairman

Great Yarmouth Community Housing Tenants Forum

SO switching off 27,000 street lights across the county will result in a saving of £167,000 for Norfolk County Council. It's great to see that the Yarmouth Area Scrutiny Committee met to discuss the range of options open to them including the reduction of Great Yarmouth's carbon footprint. There are two significant issues which make this whole thing a farce - if my maths are correct then the cost saving in the north Yarmouth area would be £2,449. Take that to a pessimistic multiple of 10 across the borough and we're talking about £25,000 per year. It's going to cost far more than this to provide increased policing as a result of turning these lights off. Secondly, the concept of introducing automatic security lighting to reduce carbon footprint is ludicrous. Does anybody on the Yarmouth Area Scrutiny Committee understand the concept of electricity generation? Most electrical consumption in the evenings is on a lower tariff to daytime use. This is because electricity is generated on projections of national demand and then "ported" around the National Grid. In essence the power used for street lights is just using excess capacity in the National Grid - if it isn't used it's wasted because you can't store electricity in other than small amounts. Perhaps the leader of the Yarmouth Area Scrutiny Committee can advise a concerned rate payer of the committees views in respect of the significant rise in carbon monoxide emissions that must result from the projected traffic increases resulting from the Outer Harbour?

DAVID WILKINSON

Whinchat Way,

Bradwell

NORMALLY drivers curse roadworks, but for the first time I can remember I'm thankful for them. I have seen the end of traffic jams and near free flowing traffic at Gapton Hall Roundabout. Roundabouts were never designed to have traffic lights on them, so why do we put traffic lights on them and stop the natural flow. Last year the traffic lights at Gapton Hall Roundabout were turned off for a short period, maybe two weeks. The results were instant, no more long rush hour traffic jams, and I would have thought that the penny would have dropped with Norfolk and Yarmouth Councils. Why spend hundreds and thousands of pounds on a new Gapton Hall Roundabout traffic system, when turning off the problem solves the problem. Our Gapton Hall Roundabout woes have come about as a result of Norfolk Highways department planning blunder; the answer is not a £850,000 fix, but a simple fix. No traffic lights and let the roundabout do what it is supposed to do and save our council tax. If any of our illustrious highways planners want to see how roundabouts where designed to work and keep traffic flowing, take a trip to Cairo.

B STANDEN

St Olaves

WITH regard to the controversial switch-off of street lighting, I honestly don't think it will make much difference where I live.

The council has already replaced the street lights with brighter ones. The only drawback is they have taken out the one opposite my house which used to throw enough light for me to get from the car to my wheelchair.

Now I can't even see where the footrests are. On top of that, the new brighter light on this side of the road has been put so close to a tree that even at this time of year the only thing lit up is the top of the tree. The light simply doesn't get past it to throw light in our direction.

I am going to get my son-in- law to put another light outside my house in order to get in and out of my car safely.

I imagine that many people will have had to do the same. By the time you add up all the extra private lights the “green” saving will disappear entirely.

KEITH BRIGHT

Lowestoft Road

Gorleston

I WOULD like to congratulate members of the Nomads Theatre Company in Reedham on their excellent performance of Robin Hood and his not so Merry Men, pantomime staged at the village hall last weekend, another very good show.

DIANE RUSHBROOK

RE: Kerry Duthie's letter (January 24). I am a visitor to the area and also visited the facility at Winterton on its open day. I felt my £4 paid for entry was a waste, the facility left a lot to be desired. I question why obviously healthy young seals were still in captivity and had not been released. Having visited many wildlife organisations around the world I fail to understand why these healthy young grey seals were still being held in the conditions. Further the lady claims the local Great Yarmouth Borough Council should not have the right to impose a seven day opening a year policy; does she not know that the law in this country imposes this regulation through legislation to actually protect animals from exploitation, this is called the Zoo Licence and it is offered to anyone wanting to open to the public at all times. This Zoo Licence protects the welfare of the animals, makes sure that the conditions of allowing the public to view animals is in the interest of the animals.

Wildlife is just that, wildlife, and if one is operating a rescue service as was explained by a volunteer to me, for rehabilitation and release, then wildlife should not be on display to the public, these animals are not captive bred. I suggest that the proprietor of this establishment does as all other organisations do, that is obtain the correct licence to remain open as he/she is not above the law, and asking volunteers to spout this rubbish to visitors is simply not good enough, even worse was the propaganda being offered to visitors. These seals should be released, not put up for public viewing.

C O JACOBSON

Highlands

Harare, Zimbabwe

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