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PUBLISHED: 16:53 27 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:52 30 June 2010

RE the article in last week's Mercury about dog fouling, may I give a few comments here please? Firstly I am in 100pc agreement with the action being taken to help eradicate this problem in the borough, as it is not only unsightly but carries a possible danger to human health.

RE the article in last week's Mercury about dog fouling, may I give a few comments here please? Firstly I am in 100pc agreement with the action being taken to help eradicate this problem in the borough, as it is not only unsightly but carries a possible danger to human health.

Now to my point: I am a Guide Dog owner. The point being is that when out with our guide dogs working on our own, if our dog should foul then we are exempt from the law as it applies to fouling. The reason for this is obvious as how, with little or no sight, are we to be able to find the mess? Our dogs are wormed at least four times a year, so any droppings should be quite safe and present no danger to the public.

Before we go out anywhere we try to spend our dogs in the garden before we go to lessen the chance of fouling while working in harness. This doesn't always work as with some guide dogs there is a spending problem. The other point is if we are accompanied by a sighted person, then that person must pick up the droppings for us. Perhaps this will clear up any misconceptions of the general public where guide dogs are concerned.

ROBIN C EVANS

Trinity Avenue

Gorleston

I READ the letter complaining about a cyclist by the bus stop near Matalan in Great Yarmouth. I have to admit the description sounded very similar to my daughter and I, and I apologise if I caused the elderly people any distress but we are always very polite when we ask people to please respect the cycle paths. It is an issue I find of great irritation that pedestrians cannot comprehend that the section of the path with the white bikes painted on them are designated for bicycles and the other half is for people walking.

The indignation that pedestrians have when you ask them to move off the cyclepath is incredible. My children regularly cycle to school at Cliff Park and I often cycle with them and then off to work. Incidents we have suffered include my son sacrificing himself by riding into a fence to avoid a child who ran into the cyclepath, this despite sounding his bell and calling out. I suffered a parent shouting at me along the railway line that the county council have not divided because people walking to school are four abreast and force cyclists to take to the grass. Why can they not respect cyclists' right to use the cycleways. I have emailed the county council to applaud their success at getting kids to cycle to school which is great, but why can they not put a bit of effort into educating pedestrians about cyclepath etiquette.

I have also spoken to the PCSO for the area for assistance to no avail. I cannot see why the PCSOs cannot invest a little time in standing in the area when people go to and from the schools and educate people on where they should, and should not, walk. After all, you would not walk in the road so why does nobody mention them walking on the cyclepath?

JERRY STONE

Email

CONGRATULATIONS to Brandon Lewis on his first week in Parliament (Mercury, May 21). He said: “It's a bit like walking into Hogwarts…” Mr Lewis has just discovered what the majority of us “ordinary” people have known for ages - MP's live in a fantasy world! Hope he has his magic wand with him 'cause he's going to need it!

LESTER BULLEN

The Mews

Gorleston

MAY I thank RB Davidson for the comments relating to fireworks within Ludham graveyard. Myself and my immediate and extended family have been horrified by the fact there are those who feel it is necessary to organise firework displays within the churchyard. Do they not consider this to be an inappropriate venue? When I wrote to a councillor following the first display, expressing our concerns, I received a short note in reply saying I was the only person to complain and the firework event would continue each New Year's Eve. We have a number of family members who were good servants of the community and each attended church for decades. They now rest in Ludham graveyard. We would like to think that a churchyard is a haven of peace and tranquility. In our opinion, fireworks do not allow for this!

THE ROPER FAMILY

Caister-on-Sea

TO add further to the chaos at the Gapton Hall Roundabout, one only has to watch what happens when an emergency vehicle attempts to negotiate the grid-locked traffic.

1. The A12 is the major road, while Pasteur Road and Gapton Hall Road are minor roads.

2. Traffic approaching from the minor roads is not halted in its passage by traffic lights.

3. The A12 traffic, regardless of whether there is any minor road traffic, is systematically thwarted in its progress by traffic lights.

4. The construction of a separation island between northbound A12 traffic and those turning left (for Gapton Hall Road) combined with the lengthy metal screen dividing north/south traffic, effectively boxes the vehicles together.

When an emergency vehicle approaches this lengthy grid-lock, there is very little, if any space now for the vehicles to move out of the path of the oncoming emergency vehicle. Result? The emergency vehicle is unable to continue its mission until the now-stressed traffic sorts itself out. (Not their fault).

As for that separation island, it is forcing traffic entering the roundabout to drift into the wrong lanes as they avoid impacting the raised kerb...all it will take is one tyre wall to blow out on a large vehicle and the whole roundabout will be at a standstill until the tyre is replaced. When will people who have a direct impact on the lives of others, realise that repetition of their chaotic systems is not only frustrating motorists, but placing lives at risk?

Name and Address withheld

RE the letters on May 14 and 21 in the Mercury about the market stalls. I am a vegetarian and I also think the chip stalls should put up a sign to say what the chips are cooked in. The term “what they don't know, won't hurt them,” does not apply - someone who was brought up vegetarian/vegan - or has been one for a long time can become very ill. To Mr Dennis Bean, I don't know if you are aware, that because someone is voicing a valid opinion, it doesn't mean that they are imposing their beliefs on other people, and there really aren't a lot of options around Great Yarmouth for vegetarians/vegans to go and eat.

To Ms Pauline Lynch, here is an example of an allergy; if something was cooked in nut oil and you weren't told, and you suffered from a nut allergy, you would be very ill, and would probably be one of the first to point a finger at the restaurant saying the food should be labelled. I also thought by law, that food was meant to be labelled so people knew what they were eating.

It never ceases to amaze me how many times a year I hear “there's not much call for it”, hasn't anyone stopped to think that if things aren't labelled, people can't voice what they want?

When I used to eat meat, I found animal fats left horrible films on the roof of my mouth, and I used to get the same when I ate the market chips. I also highly doubt people from all over the world are told to try the market chips - because if that's all Yarmouth is famous for, it is a pretty sad state. On another note, re-heated animal fats give off nasty chemicals that can cause cancer, it is a saturated fat, so can contribute to obesity and heart problems.

I think Miss Louise had a very good point, not just from a vegetarian/vegan point of view, but on a whole health point of view also.

MARK WATSON

Nelson Road

Great Yarmouth

I HAVE been involved with Great Yarmouth & Gorleston in Bloom and our entry into the regional competition, Anglia in Bloom, for many years. Together with a small committee we have seen many changes within our borough ie less litter and graffiti, more community involvement and encouragement of residents across the borough to take care of their own environment and we are pleased to know we have played a small part in that. Most won't have heard about us and some think Great Yarmouth & Gorleston in Bloom is just involved with hanging baskets around the town. Our slogan last year was “Not Just Hanging Baskets.”

SUE HACON

Great Yarmouth & Gorleston in Bloom Co-ordinator

I WAS interested to read the article about plastic windows in the old Caroline/Seagull building on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth. As a resident and an avid walker, I regularly stroll along the seafront and surrounding areas and have noticed over the years the building in question has fallen in a state of disrepair. So what a lovely surprise to see scaffolding up and work being done to give this wonderful building a facelift.

I was even more delighted when the scaffolding came down, revealing a newly painted exterior with new windows installed - you could actually imagine what the whole of this block would have looked like many years ago, built as houses rather than as cafes and restaurants as they are now. I've since learned the block is called Britannia Terrace.

Are we really interested in what material the windows are made of? Other windows along that block are made of plastic - so what's the problem? If you walk along from the Majestic Bingo to the Queen's Hotel some of the buildings look very rundown, a shame when they are the backdrop of our beautiful, award winning beach. Is it that this building is highlighting how shabby some others are?

My second point: If you walk round to the back of these buildings you experience something resembling what you might encounter in a third world country. A service road runs parallel to the seafront from the Majestic Bingo to the Queen's Hotel and serves as a dumping ground. Rubbish is dumped regularly; wheelie bins and other bins are often over loaded and smell to high heaven in the summer heat. I think the powers that be should be concentrating more on cleaning the back areas of these listed buildings up whilst also recognising and applauding the owners' admirable effort to renovate this beautiful building.

LORRAINE HOWARD

Orwell Crescent

Belton

BUSINESS Break (Mercury, May 21) written by Peter Barry, past President of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, was a very well thought-out and written summing up of what is and what should be happening in Great Yarmouth. I was disappointed at seeing no mention of the ferry service, the extra cost to businesses and private dwellings now that the negotiations between the GYBC and IPH settled on the ratepayers paying out millions more towards the upkeep of the Haven Bridge and the West Bank, and the lack of any employment, not to mention the 100 staff that under the business plan should have been retained.

It is also worth noting that if we had a ro-ro ferry service not just Mr Barry's produce and other producers, the smaller businesses on the Golden Mile, the hotels in the borough and the many places of interest in our county, would have all gained.

Mr Barry talks of the unemployed, we all thought the Outer Harbour would be a lifesaver, I do not believe we have “generations unwilling to work”! What we have is a council that promotes the Golden Mile that provides employment for 13 weeks a year, over real jobs for 52 weeks of the year, so people say, “the low paid seasonal work is not worth our while coming off the unemployment register with all the hassle of re-applying”.

Even if the container work arrives we are not looking at many jobs, just look at Felixstowe. A ferry, for which the £18m in grants was for would have provided jobs.

Mr Barry hits the nail on its head when talking about Quangos. A prime example is EEDA; they have produced reams of paper on subjects for regeneration, their 80-page business plan for Great Yarmouth is a classic, in carrying out their own plan they could not adhere to their own plan. How much I wonder Yarmouth would have had extra if EEDA was taken out of the equation and we had dealt directly with the Dept of Transport.

When Quangos publish vast quantities of “plans” to build “yuppie” flats and bistros along the quay from Ice House Quay to Bollard Quay, where are the occupants going to be employed? We all know residential complexes do not allow Quays to remain as working quays, so more lost employment.

Quangos should first spend the millions earmarked for regeneration grants on plans for permanent employment, as once the house, bistro, or flat is built employment finishes.

Yes, we want the wind generation work, we also want the dismantling work from the Oil and Gas industry, but from where I am standing it seems ports in Suffolk are getting first crack at the whip, whilst our lot are chatting about it.

Our problem is not the workforce, or the lack of engineering skills or the IT knowledge; since 1956 our skilled workers were up with the leaders in Britain in know-how. What we have not got is a forward thinking council with the willingness to involve the business community in decisions that would allow our town to retain its lead in worldwide engineering, instead of being so insular and concentrating of the 13 weeks holiday trade.

JOHN L COOPER

Burnt Lane,

Gorleston

I HAVE just read the article in The Mercury about zero tolerance on dog mess and over the past few weeks, regarding non-scooping dog owners still allowing their animals to mess everywhere and leaving us all with “presents” to step in. I too have also seen visitors open their car doors and let their dogs run onto the gardens on the seafront and into St Nicholas Park to use it as a loo. Non scoopers don't have anything to worry about, as this council's zero tolerance policy is have a shout and do nothing.

They did this last year, printed expensive flyers regarding wheelie rules and distributed them all over town. They have a “zero-tolerance policy” to wheelie bins being left outside of people's properties all the time blocking paths and letting rubbish spill out over the pavements, turning Great Yarmouth's streets into rubbish runs for dogs, cats, seagulls and rats.

With this kind of zero tolerance, Great Yarmouth will be better known for its dog mess and rubbish problem than its lovely attractions. If the council is going to announce measures for a better environment, they should act on what they intend to do - have an actual zero tolerance policy and implement it.

L BYFORD

Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

I WOULD like to express my opinion about your article regarding plastic windows fitted to the old Caroline Seagull office on Marine Parade. I have walked past this terrace for many years and have watched the steady deterioration of this terrace. I have grimaced as these once beautiful houses have been transformed into gaudy looking restaurants and takeaways. It was a pleasure to see the improvement to above mentioned property, as this is now the best looking building in the whole block. As for the plastic windows, I'm sure that at least 50pc of the other buildings in this terrace have already been fitted with new PVC windows! Is it then one rule for one, and another rule for this particular dwelling?

TERRY MANSI

Belton

ON Friday, May 21 in The Mercury Opinion column, we read, referring to the affiliation with HMS Dauntless, that Yarmouth's great maritime heritage is not just a thing of the past but is very much alive. Exactly. The reintroduction of the Portfolio page albeit monthly, is long overdue to many people who are interested in the comings and goings at the port. Of course, in years to come, we will be looking back with nostalgia at the photos of supply ships lining the quayside, just as we do with the herring industry. The maritime festive is a jewel in Yarmouth's crown.

Mrs JULIE GRINT

Springfield

Acle

See PORTfolio on Page ??

My friends and I often visit Yarmouth to walk the Golden Mile and we are familiar with the Caroline Seagull office as mentioned in your article about plastic windows, May 14. The other day, May 16, we saw the building has been restored, although not completely.

It does look very nice a reminder of the “Good Old Days” maybe. It's curious that this house had an article about it! Surely they have done nothing wrong? What happened to the 20 years before?

Has nobody done any work since they were listed there in the last 20 years? I do not think so! Good work Great Yarmouth Town Hall.

LINDA WILES

Brewers Court

Norwich

I WOULD like to point out further inaccuracies in the county council's response with regard to Warren Road. Contrary to what was stated: “the first phase of the development to lay down bitumen emulsion and chipping would not affect the trees,” I feel is not in the least factual. The reason I declare this is as follows: four workmen equipped with chainsaws and pole pruning chainsaws arrived on the morning of Tuesday, May 4 at Warren Road. They said they had been deployed by their bosses to “cut the trees to create a road which would enable aggregate lorries access.” These words were spoken in the presence of three other persons. I then called their supervisor who confirmed this was the intention and the tree works were scheduled to be completed that day. There was never a mention about these works being carried out at a later date and obviously the workmen wouldn't be sitting on site in their vehicle for weeks waiting to start the job. I then liaised with the county council's Ecology Officer and informed her of the intended actions and the hordes of birds currently nesting there. She then revoked permission to cut the trees until September. This was the real version of events that occurred that day. If NCC wishes to spend large sums of money on such projects, then it should ensure it's response to queries from people are answered honestly and factually, particularly if, as in this matter, it can have a detrimental impact on the countryside and wildlife, as well as impinging upon the lives of the people living on the road.

DAN GOLDSMITH

Seal and Bird Rescue Trust

Ridlington

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