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PUBLISHED: 18:40 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:22 30 June 2010

THE people of the Borough of Great Yarmouth need to realise the cuts being imposed on them by Norfolk County Council. As of April next year, the total number of front line fire engines, together with the firefighters, are being reduced by 25pc.

THE people of the Borough of Great Yarmouth need to realise the cuts being imposed on them by Norfolk County Council. As of April next year, the total number of front line fire engines, together with the firefighters, are being reduced by 25pc. This, along with several other county-wide cuts, is being done as part of a cost cutting exercise.

Recently, Councillor Bert Collins and Councillor Walker have written to the Mercury regarding this issue and, as a frontline firefighter, I would like to make the following points.

The proposal involves cutting a fire engine and 13 firefighters from Gorleston and, a period of public consultation.

I, along with several of my colleagues, was in the public gallery at the meeting in which this proposal was discussed. Mr Collins states his “anger” that Labour councillors voted against consulting residents on the plan, yet fails to explain that Councillor Walker did not specifically oppose a public consultation but actually opposed the cuts proposal as a whole.

The council meeting was subject to an address by the Deputy Chief Fire Officer, regarding statistics and roles currently fulfilled by frontline firefighters. Many of the things he said were unrecognisable to my colleagues and I. Furthermore, I witnessed the blank expressions on the faces of all the councillors in the meeting when they were asked if they had understood everything the Deputy Chief Fire Officer had said.

Mr Collins mentions his “concern” about “serious cuts” being made. From where I sat, the Conservative side of the table voted to approve the cuts, even though they did not appear to understand what they were voting for. Indeed, Councillor Collins voted to reduce the service to his own constituents!

Mr Collins also states that “serious cuts may be made to areas considered too middle class” to need the fire provision currently in place. It would be useful if Mr Collins could clarify whether he believes the fire cuts he approved for Yarmouth might have such “serious” consequences, or possibly, whether Yarmouth isn't "middle class" enough to concern him?

Everyone is acutely aware of the serious situation the public finances are in, and we've all heard that we're in it together. It just seems that some are more “in it” than others.

RICHARD MILES

Fire Brigades Union

Great Yarmouth Fire Station

WHAT on earth has happened to the Gapton Hall roundabout “improvements”? Driving north from Breydon Bridge, the roundabout is marked into four lanes, one going left into Pasteur Road and three lanes going straight ahead, with no arrows to turn right.

Once on the roundabout a right hand arrow appears, taking you through to Gapton Hall Road. Living in Bradwell we know to take the outside lane, but visitors to the town will take all three lanes, expecting to go straight ahead as per the lane markings, only to find when leaving the roundabout to go straight ahead there are only two exit lanes.

The same lane markings apply to entering the roundabout from Pasteur Road, two sets of arrows going straight ahead, none to turn right onto the bypass, but only one lane to leave the roundabout to enter Gapton Hall Road.

Also, we have noticed this past week, the traffic build up at peak times from Bradwell along Gapton Hall Road is as bad as before, if not worse, now that the traffic lights have disappeared. We were given to understand this was one of the reasons given for these “improvements'.

JOHN and JANE HUDSON

Lark Way

Bradwell

I WAS driving from the Breydon Bridge to Gorleston recently and on reaching the Gapton roundabout, I entered the middle one of the three lanes, all marked with arrows indicating a clear passage straight ahead to Gorleston, when a car in the outside lane moved across forcing me into the inside lane. Had there been a car in this lane I could not have avoided a serious accident.

In order to see for myself how this could possibly have happened, I returned and entered the outside lane this time and realised that any driver on his way to Gorleston seeing the arrow pointing straight head to Gorleston, could choose the outside lane only to be utterly confused when suddenly finding an arrow indicating a right turn.

To advert the danger of any such bottlenecks in future, surely the first arrow in the outside lane should be altered to indicate that there is a right turn to come and no straight way through to Gorleston.

Being local we become accustomed to idiosyncracies but strangers to our town are not and this road sign which is so misleading should be corrected before the influx of unsuspecting summer visitors occurs.

Dr Wm H HAMILTON-DEANE

Middleton Road

Gorleston

AS much as I admire Martham's efforts to slow down hurtling vehicles coming into the village at either end, I feel there is a more pressing and dangerous problem there. Residents parking many cars on Repps Road between Marlborough Green Crescent and The Victoria is causing a real nuisance in my opinion. Some might say it fits in with slowing down the traffic, but eventually through misjudgement or frustration there will no doubt be a crash.

I regularly go to work at 4.30am and usually go round five/six cars parked there all night, but the day gets busier after 7am with people going to work, school traffic, and buses every half hour - some tri-axle 12m double deckers.

How people can sit in their homes and watch traffic backing up behind their parked vehicles is beyond me, especially as some of their driveways will take three cars. If they can't be bothered moving one car to get the other out my answer is don't have so many and don't bung up the “public” highway.

I had to make a journey at 4.15am one morning last week and I was astonished to count 10 vehicles parked along this short distance. The trouble is you could spend more distance on the wrong side of the road and it could be lethal for a cyclist or motorbike. Admittedly there are no legal parking restrictions but it would be reassuring to find some residents begin to think of other road users. Of course, environmentally speaking, vehicles braking, stopping and then accelerating away is bad for the atmosphere but I am more concerned from a road safety angle.

Accidents in Martham are mostly in the built up areas: Rollesby Road junction opposite the chapel, White Street corners, and around the Greens, not on the village boundaries where the new trees are. I used to be the village roadsweeper and I cleared up the aftermath a few times. Perhaps “TP” is the answer - not tree planting, but tins of paint, preferably yellow for some lines on Repps Road.

C G SIMS

Martham

SADLY, Fred Learmonth passed away last week. To those who didn't know him, Fred was a community activist who wanted to make his local environment a better place to live in. This included tenant participation in local affairs and service delivery, community involvement in local projects, and, very dear to his heart, anti social behaviour within the community.

Fred received many awards for his actions, and his passion touched us all.

It is true that some disagreed with some of his aims and ambitions. Many of us who supported Fred didn't always agree with him. But that was Fred. Love him or hate him, he provoked discussion, often getting others to “get off their backsides and get involved”.

This world, and this community, needs more “Fred's”.

Don't just complain, if something in your world is wrong, do something about it. Do it for Fred.

PETER KIRKPATRICK

Chair, Great Yarmouth Tenants Forum

Chair, Rural North Tenants and Residents Association

DOES anyone listen anymore? No, I don't think they do. Having been in touch with First Bus since January we are no further forward with our complaints about services in South Yarmouth. What is the answer I don't know, so does anyone else?

All we have had is “We are investigating the problem,” and this we have had now for over a month. We have been passed from pillar to post with no one apparently listening to what we have to say. I thought this was a “public” bus service or am I wrong?

Meanwhile people are still waiting long times for a bus and yes, First Bus are still investigating the problem. If someone has got any other solutions I would be glad to hear from them. However, we will keep fighting for a better bus service for the people of South Yarmouth.

S TASKER

South Yarmouth

ALL we keep reading about these days is either cats getting poisoned, being run over or letters complaining about dogs mess. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with clearing up dogs mess, it is unsightly, and a health hazard. Whilst walking in Fritton Woods the other day I was disgusted to see so much lying about. This has long been a convenient dog's toilet, where hundreds of people take their dogs to run and do what they like. I suppose there is a small minority of people who do clear up. There is a lot going on concerning Fritton Woods versus the extraction pit, and if we want to keep these woods why not keep them in a condition where it is pleasurable to walk without the filth.

What about cats? Owners do not care where there cats roam and do their business. I find nothing worse than working in the flowerbeds in my garden and all too often getting a handful of cats mess let alone the damage that cats do to plants and seeds. I have had various sorts of animals throughout my life, so I do not hate animals, but enough is enough. As for the cat that was run over recently, this is a chance you have to take with any animal running the streets be it cat or dog.

M HARMAN

New Road

Fritton

I AM compelled to write having again received literature from the local Conservatives condemning a Labour Government for cuts to the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, a fire service managed by a Tory controlled Norfolk County Council. However, the reasoning behind the claims that a fire service is under threat from Labour when the decision rests with the Tory County Council is mind blowing. The local Conservatives ask readers leaflet to sign a petition against the Labour plans, when actually if they really wanted to save the fire service they would be asking residents to sign a petition against Tory County Council cuts. Cuts which I believe will see one in seven fire tenders and one in 15 fire fighters axed. Stop digging and join us locals in opposing the Conservative County Council cuts.

LEE SUTTON

Willow Way

Martham

THE notion of Crimestoppers as a way of encouraging the public to become more involved in preventing crime and detecting criminals is not the only initiative of this kind pinched from the Americans by the British in the early 1980s.

Around about the same time a group of our senior police officers after a visit to the USA came home with details of how our American cousins were using to good effect a scheme called Neighbourhood Watch which took root in this country in Cheshire in 1982.

Anybody visiting the States these days will see how well Neighbourhood Watch has blossomed over there during the past 30 years as evidenced by a scrutiny of their web sites. And in certain parts of this country some Neighbourhood Watch Schemes are thriving examples to others.

In this county, which for some reason prefers the term Homewatch preferred to Neighbourhood, a radical long overdue revision of the system is apparently taking place. There are far too many dilapidated street signs dotted about claiming that Homewatch schemes exist there where in fact no meetings have been held for years; a sad sign of a very much underused resource.

JOHN KENNY

Acle

AS a resident in the area for six years and of Hemsby for two years I find it surprising that we cannot get the bus shelter at the junction of Yarmouth Road/Newport Road, the previous one flattened last year by a driver. It was replaced and yet public money is wasted on the eyesore that has disrupted Kingsway for the last two months. If this sculpture is meant to represent the sea ,it fails dismally, and with regard to health and safety, has anyone thought about the child or the drunk that can impale themselves on the downward pointing spikes? The whole thing looks tacky and I have yet to speak to anyone with a good word to say about it.

PETER McKENZIE

Church Farm Crescent,

Hemsby

THAT Pasteur Roundabout Fiasco...

Seeing as it was late at night, I was driving home and the road crew were carrying out their nocturnal “improvements” to the Pasteur Roundabout, I stopped (at a safe place) and asked them about the changes. When I pointed out that when approaching from the south, (travelling towards Breydon Bridge), the construction of the curb adjacent to the left hand lane at the entrance to the roundabout forces traffic to move right infringing on the next lane, they said “Yes, we know. We have told Atkins about itbut they ignored our comments.”

When I then raised the subject of the arrows on the road surface (when travelling south from the direction of Breydon Bridge) they said: “Yes, we know, the right hand arrow should be a Turn Right arrow and not Straight Ahead. We have told Atkins....”

And then it was pointed out that there is a road sign 20m before the painted road arrows on which the right hand lane indicates a Right Turn arrow....

“Ah,” they said, “that is enough for motorists to know they have to be in the right hand lane if they want to turn right.”

But if they do not see that road sign they will see all three lanes indicating straight ahead and an accident will happen.

“Yes, we know,” they said.

Now, I am no Highways expert, but it would seem clear that Atkins is getting paid a lot of money getting it wrong and it begs the question :“Why did they not just construct underpasses for the pedestrians and forget about the traffic lights?” After all, roundabouts are designed to keep traffic flowing and underpasses are to ensure pedestrian safety away from high volume traffic.

Name and Address withheld

DO we have “Mad March Hares” on our council these days? Firstly they chop down perfectly good trees on the Market Place, then they want to move the lovely donkeys from the side of Britannia Pier to an isolated part of the beach that no-one uses!

BARBARA FERGUSON

Arundel Road

Great Yarmouth

WHAT great new year! In November my doctor referred me to see a cancer specialist at the JPH. With some trepidation I was introduced to 'my team' at the wonderful consultant's 'Mrs Downey's' breast care and oncology unit, and met the doctors and nurses who would be responsible for my diagnosis, biopsies and necessary treatment. I was treated with the utmost care and compassion and left hospital exactly 21 days from seeing my GP.

Four days after Christmas my husband awoke with blurred vision in one eye. His doctor had no appointments available due to the Christmas period, but was offered an appointment to see a nurse practitioner at the central surgery. After an examination he immediately fixed an appointment at the eye clinic at the hospital for the same day.

At Mr Goldsmith's eye clinic he was examined and had successful surgery for a detached retina the following day - New Year's Eve. Two different clinics, both consultants clinically excellent with their teams of staff.

Lucky? the only luck we had was having access to our wonderful James Paget Hospital and the dedicated staff who care for us whilst under a relentless work load. A fine tribute to all the staff and our NHS, thank you.

DIANA WATLOW

Hopton-on-Sea

IN reply to the anonymous gentleman who posted a letter through our door and many others in the area on Saturday, concerning a personal plight with regards to another gentleman who lives in his vicinity in Gorleston who incidentally has mental health issues.

Whilst I sympathise with your ongoing situation, we and many others have to question your motives as we find your letter troubling.

Was it meant to warn others of your plight or incite others to a more violent outcome?

If the latter was true then we find you disgusting, that you have laid it open for people to do this.

There are always a minority who will try to take the law into their own hands and seek this gentleman out, and to what dire conclusion? What if the wrong person was targeted?

We, however, did act on the information you gave us and we reported you to the police as did many others; we seriously thought more for the plight of the gentleman with mental health issues more than yourself. All you have achieved is the opposite of what you wanted as many people complained about you and had more sympathy for the other person.

Names and Addresses withheld

WINTERTON has had a bowls green and bowls club for well over 100 years, and in order to try and secure the future of this club, we are urgently seeking new members. If you live in Winterton or the surrounding area and are looking to join a friendly group of Bowlers either for a Roll-up on a Summer Saturday afternoon from 2pm, or would like the opportunity to participate in friendly league matches against other local clubs, then we would be pleased to welcome you. The green will be opening, weather permitting, on April 24.It is located on the playing field off the Somerton Road. Any questions or queries can be answered by contacting either Val Green (secretary) Tel: 393544, Gary Bendelow Tel: 394995, or Paul Green (chairman) Tel: 720992. We really would be pleased to welcome you so please do not hesitate to give the bowls club your support as it is an important part of the social fabric of Winterton.

PAUL GREEN

I WOULD like to say to the three or four so-called disabled people who decided to point out to my son, daughter in law and grand-daughter in Tesco car park on Bank Holiday Monday that they were parked in a disabled sport because the mother and baby park was full up. And as there were several disabled spots free they could not see a problem with parking there. It certainly made it easier to get the car seat out of the vehicle without causing any grief to other cars.

I call these people “so-called disabled” because they shook their walking sticks in the air without falling over. If they didn't need the sticks they don't need the disabled stickers either.

Don't tell me how rude the young ones are today, this lot took some beating, as if they were owed something. Get a life.

Mrs S J GIBBS

Leman Road

Gorleston


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