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PUBLISHED: 18:04 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 July 2010

THE lead story from last week's Mercury highlights the vandalism taking place in the town's churchyards on Kitchener Road and St Nicholas. The story speaks of a mini rave last bank holiday weekend, making it seem as though events such as this, and the damage that has been caused by yobs are something new.

THE lead story from last week's Mercury highlights the vandalism taking place in the town's churchyards on Kitchener Road and St Nicholas. The story speaks of a mini rave last bank holiday weekend, making it seem as though events such as this, and the damage that has been caused by yobs are something new.

Sadly, as a resident living near the St Nicholas churchyard I can attest to the fact this kind of anti-social behaviour and disrespectful vandalism has been happening in one form or another for as long as I have lived at my current address, which is 20 years. If I were to list here every example I have witnessed there would be no more room on your letters page.

I ask myself how many residents of Great Yarmouth would not be affected by pieces of gravestone or the old historic town wall being thrown at their cars and house windows. Similarly I don't believe many people would appreciate bricks or airgun pellets breaking windows of their houses.

Locking the church gates at certain times of the day is an excellent idea, as we also suffer, drunks, drug addicts, and people urinating within the churchyard.

People such as Mick Castle, leader of Yarmouth Borough Council's Labour Group who are criticising the council for their decision to close the gates, I only have one thing to say: try living in my house for six months and see if that changes your mind.

Name and address withheld

ON Wednesday evening last week around 10.30pm I found myself among many others in gridlocked traffic outside the Town Hall. I could see that Haven bridge was closed to outgoing traffic and some form of work was being carried out. Unfortunately there I sat, moving very slowly towards Breydon bridge for over one hour.

When I finally made it to cross the bridge, I couldn't believe that one lane was also closed, and traffic lights were allowing three cars at a time to pass through. My journey from Great Yarmouth to Gorleston took over one and a half hours! Whose bright idea was it to carry out work on both bridges at the same time?

In fact no one was actually carrying out work on the new bridge, just a van and a few cones, causing a major traffic upset?

I would also like to congratulate Norfolk police who instead of trying to get the traffic flowing more freely decided to set up a speed trap on the Gorleston bypass to catch all the frustrated motorists trying to get home.

MRS ALISON WING

Lowestoft Road

Gorleston

HAVING attended the opening of the revamped St George's Park, it became abundantly clear to me that at no time in any of the recent regeneration projects that have taken place in Great Yarmouth has recognition been given to the input of the Labour government. Of course when we get things wrong, we should take the due criticism. Such as the recent issue of the abolition of the 10p tax rate, but also when government does the right thing then that too should also be recognised.

When I took stock of the speeches by both county and borough Conservative councillors, at the official opening of St George's Park, they were in full praise of the part that both authorities had played in the redevelopments as well as other regeneration projects such as the new harbour and the InteGreat projects to name but two.

Yet none of these would have gone ahead had the Labour government not had a strategy since 1997 to regenerate areas that had been badly neglected under the 18 years of a Tory government.

Yes, I remember well the 19.7pc unemployment level and interest rates being in double figures and the hundreds of thousands of repossessions. Thankfully, we now have a government that recognises the needs of communities.

I am not saying everything is perfect or the job is done yet but I do know there have been significant improvements throughout the borough since 1997. The facts are that the outer harbour would not have gone ahead without government money and support or the regeneration of the sea front or St George's Park. Neither would the improvements to our schools through a multi million pound investment scheme or new medical centres, the Sure Start Centres, the police community support officers as well as the extra police officers.

I am pleased to have played my part in what is happening and I am always the first to say it is down to team work and heap praise where it is deserved. This however, appears to be one sided and one could question the ability of the Conservative Borough Council and how they administer government grants.

Having had one of the worst audit reports in the country, perhaps instead of urging the Labour government to give help to the borough, the Conservative leader of Brentwood Council would do well to urge his counterparts in Great Yarmouth to get their own house in order first and congratulate the government on the excellent work that has been achieved since 1997, but then again, what would he know about Yarmouth?

TONY WRIGHT

MP for Great Yarmouth

I FEEL I must respond to the concerns highlighted in one of last week's letters in the Mercury: “Does anyone check CCTV?” which appeared on the same page as my monthly Around Town column that, somewhat ironically, reported on the annual CCTV statistics.

I would like to express my own frustration at what is happening in the newly refurbished St George's Park, and assure residents that the two CCTV cameras located in the park are being monitored, along with the other 59 cameras, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Since the new park cameras were switched on in mid-April, they have recorded 31 reportable incidents ie those of a criminal or anti-social nature.

In each case the police have been aware of every incident. In some they have contacted the CCTV control room, which is on the police radio system. This may, for example, be in response to a complaint from a member of the public. On other occasions the CCTV operator has contacted the police, having identified an incident that is visible using the CCTV cameras.

In all cases I am aware the police have taken the matters seriously and have spent a number of hours viewing the tapes of all of these incidents. Therefore, although it may appear at times that nothing is being done, I feel sure the people responsible for any crime taking place will, where possible, be identified and charged for their actions.

Finally I want to emphasise how important it is for all of us to report to the police any criminal or anti-social behaviour that is witnessed in the park, or anywhere else for that matter, as we all have a part to play in making St George's Park and Great Yarmouth a safer, cleaner and friendlier place for everyone.

JONATHAN NEWMAN,

Town Centre Manager

I SAW the letter in the Mercury last week regarding CCTV and whether anyone is monitoring it. I have asked this question many times to various council officers and also police representatives, and I have always got the same answer: one person, apparently, has to watch all the screens in the control room.

Now, we on the Middlegate have about half a dozen cameras dotted around the estate, so I would assume there are five or six times that number around town. My maths makes that at least 30-40 cameras. If this is the case, then how can one person be expected to see everything that is going on anywhere at any one time?

This is probably the reason why there is so much vandalism and goodness knows what else which is never picked up on.

Nottingham Way for example, is regularly used as a dog's toilet, right under the eyes of a CCTV camera, along with a few other things like vandalism are also never picked up on.

I suppose the argument of cost comes into the equation in regards to manning these cameras, but myself and a lot of other residents argue that the council can find funds for other crackpot schemes ie giant TV screens that no-one takes any notice of or don't work at all, so why can't they find the funds for something that is really important to everybody?

We were told when these cameras were installed that they would be a great asset and a deterrent against crime and disorder, but they won't work properly if they are not used properly. So, I would say the council should pull their fingers out and get their priorities right and get this sorted. The cameras may then become the asset and deterrent they were meant to be.

JOHN DONOVAN

Clarendon Close

Great Yarmouth

REFERENCE your report in the Mercury dated May 23 regarding the payment of water bills. If the bill payer checks the reverse side of the bill it will be seen that depending on which bill needs to be paid, they can be paid free of charge at either Barclays Bank or Nat West Bank. I have been doing it that way for years.

D LEAK

Wolseley Road

Southtown

AS many of your readers know Waveney VC C of E First School is to close at the end of the summer term, ready for its amalgamation with Breydon VC C of E Middle School in September, as the new Moorlands VC C of E Primary School.

There are many events planned to celebrate Waveney School, and we would like to extend a welcome to any readers who have, or have had, a connection with Waveney, to come to one of two open afternoons in June. These will be from 3-6pm on Thursday, June 12 and an extended time from 3-8pm on Friday, June 13. There will be a cuppa and biscuits available and a chance to meet up with past friends!

We have tried to contact as many people as we can who used to work at the school, but we have lost contact with a few. I would like to ask readers if they know of anyone who may have moved away from the area, who they know may be interested in having a final look around the school, and to see the display in the school hall. Past committee members of the Friends of the School would be particularly welcome - there will be a memories book for people to jot down things they remember happening.

Later in July there will be the opportunity to come to the circus! Circus Ferrel are putting up a Big Top on Breydon's field. The children from both schools will be learning circus skills during the week and a few will be joining the professionals to perform to the public! The show will be on from July 10 to July 13, and tickets will soon be on sale at both Waveney and Breydon schools, at a cost of £5 each.

On July 12 there will also be a Grand Fete on Breydon's field with many stalls, a barbecue and two music groups, a French dance music band and a Barbershop Quartet. There may even be some children performing country dancing to the band.

We hope many people will help us to mark this special time in Belton. Any enquiries, call 01493 780345.

SUE CLAY,

Acting deputy head,

Waveney First School

FURTHER to the letter in The Mercury (May 23) from David Russell regarding the 50-year protection of the Norfolk coastline we fear that this could be misunderstood. In fact some areas are still designated “no active intervention” and as such will not be defended at all which is the very reason we are campaigning for a change in policy.

JIM BRATTON

Secretary,

Scratby Coastal Erosion Group

AN article in the Mercury about Gorleston yacht pond reported by Mr Simon Mutten saying he had received no complaints about the facility; who is he kidding? Is he trying to pull the wool over our eyes?

I have sent three letters to the Beaches Department about the condition of the yacht pond, without any reply. I think someone should go on a course on how to bring the yacht pond back to its former glory, like it was 50 years ago when I first arrived in Gorleston.

There are people all over England who come to Gorleston for holidays and bring a model boat to sail on the yacht pond only to find it is unsailable when they arrive. What must they think of us? I raise my hat to the Mercury for printing all of my letters sent, with great gratitude on the concern of the Gorleston Yacht Pond and promenade surroundings.

E D COOKE

Newton Flotman

Norwich

I WAS somewhat confused by Peter Gray-Read's letter (Mercury, May 23). It appears to me he is saying the cause of the earthquake in China is scientists carrying out research using human and animal cells.

Now we know that that area of the world is subject to earthquakes because to the movement of tectonic plates particularly I suspect in this case that India is gradually pushing its way north into Asia. So is Peter suggesting that thousands of years ago God started to move India northwards knowing that one day humans would start research using hybridization of human and animal cells and he would have to cause a devastating earthquake to stop them. If this is the case what I want to know is why did he not find a way of stopping them sooner rather than cause such pain and suffering to thousands of innocent people while leaving the scientists concerned unharmed.

Also I would like to know if this research did cause the earthquake what was the reason for the typhoon that devastated Burma? Okay maybe it was the same reason and if that is the case what caused the Krakatoa eruption in 1888? We had not even heard of DNA then.

Maybe we should put the whole thing into context. We had the Bam Earthquake in 2003, the Indonesian tsunami caused by an underwater earthquake in 2004 and the Henchun earthquake in 2006 so these events are quite common and appear to be unconnected with anything our scientists are doing and if they are connected how are we to know what the connection is unless God pops down and tells us?

DEREK BROWN

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

WHO pays? Street lights in Mill Lane and Busseys Loke, Bradwell have now been on day and night for the last three weeks. However, six street lights at the Gapton Hall roundabout, and many others in Gorleston can well beat this; they have been working continuously day and night for the past two years.

Quite clearly Norfolk County Council and Yarmouth Borough Council have never heard of global warming or they believe no such thing exists. I have news for them: to run street lights, power stations have to burn fuel which contributes to global warming, so these street lights do not come free. On the other hand perhaps these councils just think rates can be increased every year to pay for their inefficiency.

BRIAN CALLAN

Busseys Loke

Bradwell

I READ in The Mercury of Mr Steer, who disputes his £85 BT bill. He claims all his benefits are swallowed up in payments for food and clothes, leaving “very little money with which to pay off the phone bill.” Funny though, how he has enough money to pay for satellite TV and broadband connection!

JILL ALGAR

Stuart Close

Gorleston

ONCE again your paper has highlighted the problems of the benefit system, with an angry young man struggling to survive on £720 a month. He needs £200 a month for food, which only leaves him £520 a month as disposable income. Perhaps he should look to his basic needs and not be so concerned with satellite TV or Broadband Internet.

As a pensioner, if I received £720 a month, I would find it quite easy to survive.

H R TRUELOVE

Edinburgh Avenue

Gorleston

I AM a believer there is a time and place for everything. But advertising the beer festival on the railings and up the steps in the garden of remembrance at St Nicholas Church, just can't be right.

This is a lovely spot and also close to the entrance to the church, so why spoil it. The Priory successfully have small notices where to go for teas and meals. So why does the beer festival need huge advertisements when entrance by tickets and I believe sold out.

But if they really do need to, can I suggest the seafront next year and leave our loved ones in peace.

JEAN HOLLIS

Vauxhall Terrace

Great Yarmouth

CAN I first of all apologise to the friendly, funny and smart doormen of Great Yarmouth? My letter published on May 16 was not a general criticism of doormen but aimed at the over-zealous few.

Not personally having witnessed Hitler's actions am I not entitled to an opinion of him?

Being a realist I accept that there is a rogue element in all walks of life, this includes guesthouses as well as doormen.

My letter seems to have upset the good people of Great Yarmouth (well two anyway) - this also was not my intention. I am also normally one of the silent majority but the incidents of the bank holiday were so severe I was prepared to voice my opinion.

Having interviewed, trained and employed people for over 30 years how dare I think I can be a good judge of character?

Finally, having made my point again this is my final correspondence.

MICK KENMORE

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

TWO letters in last week's Mercury (May 23) express differing views on the redevelopment of St George's Park. Mr John Donovan describes his despair at the continuous abuse by yobs and drunks. On the other hand Mrs B Wood acknowledges the improvement.

Both are right but did the council assume that vandalism would automatically stop and it was, therefore, in order to allocate a large sum of money for the project? If so, the council members were painfully naïve.

Another expensive undertaking involving of course more money than was originally thought, is the work on the town hall. It remains to be seen if the building is really worth it.

MISS R L FARMER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

I AM sure that the 49pc of Great Yarmouth's population who live outside of Yarmouth and Gorleston's boundaries are thrilled that the 51pc can grill their councillors at the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Forums, on June 9 and 16.

Or can they? All questions need to be submitted, in written form at least 10 days before the event, as reported in the Mercury, May 23. It also reports questions will be taken from the floor. I look forward to finding out how many questions, from the floor, are answered, if indeed asked.

Let's now look at the, almost half of the electorate, who have no such forum. The last time such an event took place, I sent an email to councillor Barry Coleman, leader of the council, to ask the same questions.

I received the reply that parish councils would act as a vocal platform for such issues. Anyone one who has ever been to a parish council meeting would know this doesn't stand up was. If you want to talk about hedge cutting and dog poo, then parish councils are for you.

Come on, borough councillors, in the northern parishes; stand up in front of your electorate. Let's hear questions, from the floor, and unscripted answerers. Do we want to know your opinions, and have you asked for our's, on matters that affect us, such as Unitary Councils, the Yartoft options, or being absorbed by Norwich or North Norfolk, future housing commitments, transport, health and education, to name a few. Yes. we do.

Party politics seem to have a total grip in Yarmouth. The cabinet style of local politics has totally excluded public debate.

PETER KIRKPATRICK

Chairman, Rural North Tenants and Residents Association

Ormesby

WHEN Brian Ollington first wrote some years ago suggesting that Gorleston should renew a Bandstand like the one it had before the war, I think people were sceptical about whether it would happen.

However, with Brian's enthusiasm together with Gorleston Rotary Club's determination and aid from the borough council, last Saturday was a unique occasion when the Centenary Bandstand was officially opened by the mayor at the Pier Gardens.

We then heard the first music from the Great Yarmouth Brass Band; there is something special about the sound of a brass band playing near the sea, and this was so nostalgic.

We were blessed with a beautiful day and Gorlestonians turned out in their hundreds to listen to the music, relaxing and carefree sitting in the deckchairs and renewing old friendships.

One of the Rotary Club's brilliant ideas was the installing of brass plaques on the steps of the bandstand expressing memories and contributions from the sponsors. One of my memories is of the famous London J M Squire Octet, playing popular classical music during the summers before the war.

CECILIA EBBAGE

Lovewell Road

Gorleston

Some of your readers, particularly ex-land girls and Timber Jills may be interested to know that they now have a national memorial garden and tree nursery of nearly an acre at Easton Agricultural and Horticultural College, near to the Royal Norfolk Showground near Norwich. This was funded with a big lottery grant and will be opened by Sir Nicholas Bacon, whose mother, Lady Priscilla, was a land girl on June 1 at 11am. Sunday, June 1 is also open day for Easton College so the public as well as the veterans will be very welcome.

MRS FRIEDA FEETHAM

Church Hill

Lower Tasburgh


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