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Letters, August 19

PUBLISHED: 16:44 18 August 2011 | UPDATED: 16:45 18 August 2011

We’re concerned for play park too

I FELT I had to write in response to the article “Mum’s plea over play park” in last Friday’s edition of the Mercury. The article gave the impression that Mrs Peacock was a lone voice in her despair at the condition of the children’s facilities at Acle recreation centre – how wrong can you be! I, and many other parents and grandparents, totally support everything she said.

I was born in Acle and remember when the recreation centre was built and facilities moved from the old War Memorial playing field.

The children’s area was inadequate for the size of the village even then, and tucked away at the back of the centre. Very little maintenance and no improvement, has been carried out since that time and it is now not only a disgrace to the village but a danger to the young children who use it.

Among other things, the seesaw is not working and has been in that condition for several months; the metal edges to the “tractor” are curling up; the square rubber ground cover is curling up at the edges making it very easy for children to trip over; and both the benches provided are broken – one with no back and the other with no seat!

I, too, spoke to a member of the parish council about the condition of the play area and was dismissed with a curt reply of “no money available”.

If money can be found for the upkeep of the excellent range of sports facilities available, then surely something can be found for the children of the village.

C HARPLEY

Fletcher Way,

Acle

It’s not fair that I cannot get help

AFTER recently being made redundant I was disgusted to find out I couldn’t claim a penny. I have worked since the age of seven when I helped on a farm. The only time I haven’t worked was after a car accident (not my fault) and I was off sick for 18 months; I was still employed.

Hardworking and conscientious and in my hour of need I can claim nothing after paying into the system for 30 years.

Others however seem to get money thrown at them and have contributed far less. How is that fair? It angered me when I first signed on and was told I had to sign off after a few days as I was going on holiday.

So much for being honest! How do they know I wasn’t using the computer or my phone to look for work whilst away? When I returned, I received a letter stating I couldn’t claim anything as I had not paid enough national insurance contributions. What a joke!

They look at just one year, the year I was still employed but off sick and will not budge and look at the other 30 years. It’s about time this country started looking after the people that work hard and have paid into the system, not those that lounge around drinking, taking drugs, have lots of children and have no intention of working.

To add insult to injury they told me I could try again in January as they might look at a different tax year. You can imagine my reaction!

Name and address withheld

Changes to planning laws

IF, like me, you love the sight of our beautiful local countryside, you may be shocked to learn the government has published a new set of planning rules which could give an automatic green light to any new development in the countryside outside the most protected sites such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

For over 50 years the planning system has balanced the need for new buildings and houses with those of the environment and local people. But the new national planning policy framework contain a “presumption in favour of sustainable development” which, as ministers are reluctant to tell anyone what “sustainable” might mean, looks like a default yes to development. Local people will find it increasingly difficult to campaign against unsustainable development, nor will we get any appeal; green field sites will be concreted over. These are hardly the actions of a government aspiring to be the greenest government ever.

I am supporting the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in fighting these changes, and they have helped me send a letter to my MP asking ministers to reconsider.

I urge anyone else who wants England to remain a green and pleasant land to do the same by visiting www.cpre.org.uk.

STEPHEN GURR

Grange Road

Caister-on-Sea

Dog attack made me bite back

WHILST running on Gorleston beach last Saturday I was suddenly attacked by a medium-sized snarling and barking mongrel dog. It was off the lead but the owner was nearby.

It rushed at me, completely unprovoked, with bared teeth. I was frightened because I have been bitten before.

Over the years I have learned that what these dogs do not like is to be kicked in the teeth and this is what I resorted to on this occasion.

It is a risky strategy because it can make them even madder. However this time it worked, together with a direct hit, follow-up foot-full of sand in the face, the dog backed off and was eventually rounded up by its owner.

I reported this incident to the beach lifeguards, but probably too late. What I fear is this will happen again to some unsuspecting child running or playing on the beach.

I can only hope this dog owner will, in future, show much more consideration to fellow beach users. After all it is a wonderful beach and all users deserve to feel safe there. Meanwhile, I can only say – the best form of defence is to bite back.

DAVID KELF

Address withheld

Accident caused by dog mess

WHEN I was out and about in my powerchair at the weekend, I had to dodge a lot of dog poo on pavements. You can always tell when holiday folk are around.

On the way back from the Market Place here in Yarmouth, I was coming along on North Denes Road on the pavement and had to swerve out quite a bit because of the dog mess.

Unfortunately my wheels caught the edge of the pavement and I fell into the road. I was very grateful that some drivers came to my rescue – as I’m a double leg amputee – and they got me back sitting on the pavement and rang the paramedics. Please owners, don’t leave your dog’s mess behind. Please clean it up and dispose of it yourself.

MAVIS McGOUGH

Beatty Close

Great Yarmouth

Changes needed to parking zone

WHEN residents and businesses in the Great Yarmouth area known as Zone A were sent some 2,000 questionnaires on whether a residents’ parking zone should be created, a few responded yes. A few responded no as well, but by far the biggest proportion made no comment. Perhaps they wished it to be left as it was.

It was to be self-financing and not a burden to the town. The records show it is costing thousands of pounds to police and to administer permits, fines etc. This clearly cannot continue.

For some within the Zone, the Trafalgar Road area in particular, it has been an outstanding success in helping them attract holidaymakers and the area needs ring-fencing to help them continue to prosper.

But other traders: retail, restaurants, public houses, etc, have not fared so well as the hundreds of empty spaces unused every day are costing such businesses thousands of pounds in lost income.

We have lived and traded within this area for more than 50 years and experience tells us by pulling together we can breathe life back into our town for many years to come. There must be an abundance of parking schemes throughout the British Isles. Let council officers cherry pick from them and present a system to enable Great Yarmouth to welcome visitors and put the town back where it belongs; at the forefront of holiday destinations in the UK.

J W CHILDS and SONS

Why is the grain store still there?

BOWLING Green Walk. What a serene title for an area which has the most prominent eyesore in Great Yarmouth within its precincts. I enquired over a month ago as to why the old grain store had not been demolished. Still nothing has changed, apart from the population of rodents infesting this Rats HQ. I wonder is there a preservation order on this eyesore? Or is it that no-one is interested in the appearance of the town? Politely I inquire again, why has this eyesore not been demolished?

JACK DYE

Gonville Road

Gorleston

(Editor’s Note: Perhaps one of the borough councillors for the area would like to furnish Mr Dye and our readers with a reply?)

Seeking the history of Acle

I AM seeking a book, if printed, recording Acle when it was – I believe – a port decades ago. Where was the landing stage and harbour? What were the positions of the dykes and water courses? How did people live?

I would like to know everything else of interest, preferably with maps, if possible.

I already have a book entitled An Acle Chronicle, but it doesn’t tell of Acle as a port.

One other place I am interested in is Hemsby, as my great-grandfather lived there in about the 1840s.

How did people live in those times and what did they do? Can anyone help me?

JACK EDMONDS

Queensway,

Caister-on-Sea

Ambulance had to wait for bridge

I NOTICED last Friday that just after the Haven bridge started to open to allow pleasure boats through, a emergency ambulance with flashing blue lights pulled up on the Gorleston side. I naturally expected the bridge to stop and go back down to let them over, but it stayed open for approximately eight to 10 minutes to allow what looked like three cabin cruisers and a yacht to pass through.

Most people are aware of the ‘golden hour’, which can make a massive difference to life if care is administrated within the first hour. To lose this time over passage of some pleasure craft is bordering on a criminal offence

Since no major ships use the bridges any more, is it not time common sense is applied to the openings of the bridges?

If there was co-ordination between both bridges and the police, fire and ambulance service so that drivers could be pre-informed, say 10 minutes in advance of 
when either bridge is opened, 
they could take the alternative bridge, which would stay closed until the emergency vehicles are over.

CHRIS ASHDOWN

Managing Director

Internet Workwear Ltd

Enterprise Zone is welcomed

THE announcement that the government has approved an Enterprise Zone for Yarmouth and Lowestoft is very good news for the local economy. There is absolutely no doubt the town’s deep-water East Port facility was the key to the success of the bid. Opponents of the Outer Harbour scheme might not like to hear that uncomfortable truth, but it is true all the same. For local people it spells better job opportunities for the future as Yarmouth re-inforces its important pivotal position in the expanding Energy sector.

MICK CASTLE

Borough Councillor

Labour spokesman on Regeneration and Tourism

We support calls to reopen pier

IT was interesting reading the letters in the Mercury, August 12, “Meeting made me proud”, “Honest answers to questions” and “Think of us Port Authority.”

It would have been appreciated if both John Cooper and Dennis Durrant had informed local councillors representing Gorleston, St Andrews, Magdalen and Claydon Wards of their intention of calling a meeting to discuss the pier and Gorleston issues in general.

I can assure you if an invite had been extended, the Labour councillors representing these wards would have made every effort to attend.

We Labour councillors fully support the local residents in their efforts to have the pier re-opened for car parking, and for those who want to walk along the pier.

We ask once again that the Conservative administration in Great Yarmouth enters into negotiations with Eastport to have this important part of Gorleston’s heritage re-opened as soon as possible.

Cllr TREVOR WAINWRIGHT

Magdalen Ward

Leader of the Labour Group

Possible danger of internet sales

I THOUGHT your readers ought to know the possible dangers of selling an item on eBay.

I am disabled with MS and can no longer get in or out of my car in safety. A friend suggested I use eBay to sell it.

As it is safe and you only give your email, the system is you take photos of all parts of your vehicle and give details of any faults, repairs needed, etc.

We followed all the guidelines and put the advert on at 11.42am. By 11.44am the phone started ringing. Some people were polite, some were a bit stroppy and some were vile and threatening.

I cannot tell how awful it was for my wife and I to receive phone calls from people threatening to burn the house down with us in it if we didn’t sell them our car for a pittance.

The language was the worst kind. We were very shocked and upset but the police were great, as were BT, who monitored our calls.

I later found out that the second someone puts a bid on an item they can ask eBay for your personal details.

We had no idea and went through hell as a result.

If we can help save someone from what we went through, I would be very happy.

KEITH BRIGHT

Address withheld

Great memories of the circus

I VISITED the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth recently and afterwards went to the Hippodrome Circus Museum where there is more than 100 years of circus memorabilia and memories.

This took me back to the year 1971. I had just finished my first summer season at the Britannia Pier Theatre with Ronnie Corbett and I was offered a job by the late Ben Dean, at the start of the winter, working for Billy Russell’s Circus at the Hippodrome.

Working with a small team, we had to paint and spray the whole circus inside and out, including the ceiling – not easy when you don’t like heights.

That winter I spent a lot of time working with the great George Barnes, who was the ring foreman.George was a man who knew everything about the Hippodrome; he was a great man with plenty of knowledge and I learnt a lot from him.

At the start of the summer season of 1972, I was offered a position of ring groom, working in the circus ring under the directions of Roberto Germains. I have some great memories of those times.

PETER WATTERS

Nelson Road Central

Great Yarmouth

Questions to be raised over study

MYSELF and the Marine Information Network for Friends of The Earth (Marinet), the organisation I represent in Great Yarmouth, cannot understand why Bourne Leisure has chosen HR Wallingford to produce their £100,000 computer model of the predicted longshore drift and tidal flows, to Corton and Hopton area coastline with and without the presence of the Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour.

In the Mercury on June 10, in the article titled “Outer harbour coastal survey ‘flawed’ claim”, it was stated: “And in a letter, Bourne Leisure highlights fears that HR Wallingford’s yearly monitoring reports on the coastline, which report no proof of the port’s responsibility for the sand’s disappearance, are based on “old science” and are “not fit for purpose”.

HR Wallingford, the company who carried out these monitoring surveys for the harbour owners Great Yarmouth Port Authority, are the same company that has now been awarded the £100,000 computer modelling study by Bourne Leisure.

Yet they criticised HR Wallingford’s monitoring report for Great Yarmouth Port Authority. Surely there is a conflict of interest here?

Also we (Marinet) have found in environmental impact studies carried out for offshore dredging companies that companies back up and quote statements from previous reports!

See Marinet website: www.marinet.org.uk and click on Marine Aggregate Dredging.

MIKE KING

Marinet, Great Yarmouth


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