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Letters, August 23, 2013

PUBLISHED: 22:02 22 August 2013 | UPDATED: 22:02 22 August 2013

When do you see a councillor?

Having written several times to the letters page of the Mercury, I am wondering if anyone from the council reads it. I have lived here all my life but find it very disheartening that one council after another lets the people of this town down.

When do you see a councillor? A week before the elections? Then just like magic they are nowhere to be seen.

If I could give our council a bit of advice it would be get out and about a bit more, have a good look around the area where you live in or the area you represent, and ask yourself are you happy with what you are doing and are you doing enough.

My final thought is if you were not born here you should not be on our council as you have no knowledge of our town.

KEVIN HUBBARD

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Fewer positive male role models

I am writing in respect to an article in the Mercury, August 9, entitled “Beach Photos unacceptable”. In what appears to be an incident where a person was taking photos of children playing on a beach, we now seem to see potential paedophiles everywhere and get scared.

According to the report, the person in question said he was a street photographer. Regardless of what his profession was, it is completely legal to take photographs of anyone (regardless of age) in public, for the police to say that his actions were not acceptable is Orwellian at best - are Norfolk Constabulary making new laws up as they go along?

In a survey by the BBC a little while ago, almost 50pc of men would not stop to help a child in distress - and with scaremongering articles like this, it is not difficult to see why.

There have also been scout groups that have folded due to men not wanting to be involved and even primary school teachers have seen a sharp decline over the last few years in applications from men.

Couple this with the number of single parents and there will be a plethora of children growing 
up without a positive male role model.

Name and Address withheld
When will councils realise they can not just keep on asking for more. Great Yarmouth is a great place to work and live. As a tourist destination it is vital we make the visitor welcome.

The market place car park is closed at 5pm many days, in fact the sign has been up most days for the last eight months.

Why should a car park close at 5pm when some of the shops don’t close until 6pm or later? Why make it difficult for people to come and spend money in the town?

I manage a shop in Great Yarmouth and found a fall in sales after the introduction of the first residents’ zone parking which has resulted in a cut in staff hours. We have many empty shops around the town which reflects very badly on the council.

Maybe the council wants the title of seaside “dumping ground” for the unfortunate who claim on the welfare of the taxpayer? If jobs are lost due to this, the council will have even less of our money. So in a nutshell, look after what you have or you may lose it!

IAN DIXON

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I witnessed the Belton incident

I have just read the very long letter from Colin Orr regarding the cycles left outside at Belton Tesco. I witnessed this incident and the lady stepping in.

To my mind, the lads were neither loud nor abusive. Whilst standing in the queue several of the lads were paying for their items, I just said that maybe next time they should place bikes against the wall, save any problems, all smiled and politely agreed.

Louts they certainly were not. I have full sympathy for those that had to walk around the bikes, there was plenty of room, but the young lads don’t deserve the lout label.

Mrs A CATON

Gorleston on Sea

Thank you to man who cared

On Tuesday night last week my darling cat Cocoa got knocked over and later died of his injuries and although I am so very upset and miss him so much, I would just like to say thank you to the man for stopping and coming to let us know, and to say there are some caring people about.

JOCELYN BULLEN

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Seeking God’s ‘local’ church

Jude, the brother of Jesus, writes: “Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the holy ones. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men” (Jude 3–4).

In those days, the church was being corrupted by people who tried to change what the church was supposed to be. The apostles in their teaching had laid out clearly how the church should function.

Today also we see how far the church has fallen from what it’s meant to be.

Take Great Yarmouth and Gorleston – where do we find a church here that follows even 50pc of the New Testament blueprint? God’s church is not a business. Nor should one man (or woman!) be in charge and have a title (“Reverend”, “Pastor”, and so on). Nor should Christians meet in a named building (“Saint” this or that) or give their group a name (“Baptists”, “Assemblies of God”, “Kings Church”, and so on).

If any Mercury reader knows of a local church that’s more than just a religious social club and that follows the New Testament blueprint, please let those of us seeking such a church know. And no, I’m not looking for a “perfect” church, just God’s local church, which practises “the faith which was once for all delivered to the holy ones”.

E BARKHUIZEN

Albemarle Road

Gorleston

Pay more for any improvements?

It was good to see, in the Mercury, the good news about new jobs, new construction training centre (to replace the one closed earlier) and extra cash for our college (having had cuts last year). It shows what investing some money can do.

There is much to be done to restore the fortunes of the borough. We need to shake off the image given in the Sunday Times recently (28/7) of “a faded resort” “stepping back in time” with “shops boarded up and dilapidated houses”.

Exaggerated but coupled with the “crap town” book very worrying.

This month’s reports of the town as dumping ground for the vulnerable, 5k children living in poverty, 3,200 unemployed (plus the non registered and under employed) should give rise to concern about the need to invest in people and not waste human potential. There is a need to train young people and retrain others to fill possible offshore jobs. There is huge scope for job creation schemes, like in the thirties and the current excellent graveyard renovation.

An ageing population, nor most of the rest of us, do not wish to hear of NHS job cuts, we want an effective NHS. Most of Greater Yarmouth cannot afford private health care.

The failing road surfaces of the A12 and Acle New Road, the worsening traffic jams (30 minutes from Caister to rail station the other day!), poor rail services and land being lost to erosion suggest the need to invest in infrastructure if we are to recover.

The Mercury carries never-ending request to spend money - new seats on Gorleston prom, staffing toilets, extra refuse collections (with the scope for more recycling like glass), extra litter bins, free parking....

It is good that the government is hunting out waste in government but how can our borough recover without public investment expenditure? We may need to pay more taxes if we want to improve rather than chasing tax cuts.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Where are police falling short?

Eight years ago I voiced my concerns about how force like Norfolk. which claims to patrol one of the safest counties in the country could have such a poor sickness record.

The Mercury published some of my letters on this subject and these were greeted with sullen silence by police bosses.

Neither was there any reaction from the Police Authority which purports to hold to account the chief constable over the way he manages the budget.

Thus there is primary documentary evidence to prove conclusively that it has taken about eight years for the Constabulary to get its act together in this area as a straight line graph of the force’s sickness trends over recent years would show.

And one wonders in which other areas the force is falling short compared with others such as the Met which adopted the policy of taking into account the attendance records of promotion candidates a full 10 years before Norfolk did.

And as long as Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett continues in his well-documented opposition to the notion of the publication of police performance league tables we are not likely to find out.

JOHN KENNY

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Public toilets are unacceptable

I live locally and visit Yarmouth and Gorleston equally. Since the council has got rid of the ladies that managed the public toilets I have found them to be totally unacceptable. It doesn’t matter what time of day you visit them they are awful.

The toilets near the bowling green have had the soap dispenser empty for weeks. The hand-driers in the Market Gates toilets have been out of order for a while with no means of drying hands, only with toilet roll paper.

I realise the public is the blame for a lot of the state of the toilets but at this time of the year when there are a lot of people about it is quite important they are clean. Bring back the ladies in their little kiosks, at least they dealt with problems as they arose – not hours later.

JULIA GALLAGHER, Mrs

The Pastures,

Hemsby

Classes on how to raise children

It saddens me to read of continued mindless vandalism that society has to endure, among other things. This time Stokesby Church is a target. Now the village fundraising money sadly has to be spent on repairs.

One of the churchwardens reported that the obscenities in the visitors book looked like younger people’s writing and obviously have low IQ’s - I wager she is right, only those with very little intelligence could behave in such a selfish manner with a complete disregard for others.

Pity there’s no money to use on some parenting classes to teach the guardians of these young thugs how to raise their children to be inclusive, not intrusive, members of society. A sorry sign of the times.

C HACKFORD

Great Yarmouth

Jenner Road is getting worse

I have lived on Jenner Road, Gorleston for nearly two years and the parking on there is getting worse. We have been told the money is there to have yellow lines put down but then we get knocked back when the council says it will take a year for them to do it.

Now the council don’t know what to do to stop the parking and it is thinking of not putting yellow lines down and sorting other options instead. I think it’s about time the council sat and sorted this out. While this isn’t sorted our road is getting like a car park, we now have cars parking on the verges where the children play. The other day I counted six cars parked near mine. I contacted certain people this week to see if parking on the verges was allowed and I couldn’t get a answer.

If I parked up in Yarmouth on a permit space I would have been fined. I was collected at the JPH the other day nowhere near the busy part of the grounds and the driver got told he could get clamped sitting there. He was only there two minutes waiting but I did see they have got their new yellow lines down.

If the people from the hospital hadn’t parked outside my house I could have got picked up there. The council should sort a quick solution.

Name and Address withheld

Upset by change in guide Promise

What I’m writing in about may confuse, surprise or please some of you. You may not be aware but as from September 1, Girl Guides will take a new promise. No longer will they promise to “Love my God or “Serve my Queen and my country” but instead they will promise “To be true to myself and develop my beliefs” and “Serve the Queen and my community”.

As a member of GirlGuiding for over 10 years I am somewhat upset by the change of the promise. As a Guide eight years ago I took the promise that stood by us through our centenary year, a milestone within Guiding. The promise was changed a few years back from “To love our God” to “To love my God” which is, in my opinion, a suitable adaptation for the multi-faith society we all live in today.

Many of you reading this will probably have been a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide in your childhood, or even possibly leaders now or know someone who is involved in the movement, so what are your opinions? Is GirlGuiding trying to remove the small amount of religion linked to the movement? Or are they just trying to keep with the times?

POPPY

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Smaller parking zone proposed

The public consultation process with regard to a new town centre permit parking zone has now ended and the preliminary analysis has been completed. Results should be published next week.

The consultation had a 22pc return rate, which is very good for a post-back survey. The council surveyed residents/businesses beyond the line of the proposed Zone B to test the appropriateness of Friars Lane (south) and Ormond Road/Kitchener Road (north) as boundaries for the Zone, and having taken on board public responses we are now proposing a slightly smaller Zone B running northwards to Garrison Road (Courthouse) and Town Wall Road.

As was the case for the last consultation in 2004 residents north of that point do not seem to suffer the same degree of difficulty with parking and are content with the status quo.

The new Zone B will fit tightly alongside the existing Zone A in the core CPE area where all except two of our pay and display car parks are situated. Getting on for six out of 10 respondents in that area experienced real difficulty with finding a parking space and over 52pc of residents expressed support for a paid permit scheme.

Contrary to speculation, free “time-limited” on-street shoppers parking will indeed be retained in streets like Northgate Street, King Street etc.

Council tenants will be able to pay for their permits via their rent which will enhance the take-up of permits. The Car Parking Strategy Steering Group will also be looking at whether the parking to the front of the Town Hall can be transferred to the borough to enhance the Town Hall’s role as a register office/wedding venue. There will also be scope for some county council on-street meter parking in the town area as part of the overall Zone B roll-out in spring 2014.

It is a real shame the Tory Opposition Leader on the borough council has once again chosen to mislead the public about the scope of the consultation (Mercury, August 9) and to denigrate town centre residents by showing a disregard for their right to some quality of life.

MICHAEL CASTLE

Town Wall Road, Yarmouth

County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central

Was slimmer the best story?

That just about sums up Great Yarmouth ... The front page of the Mercury. The headlines “The incredible shrinking man” a whole front page of someone losing a bit of weight after abusing his body for a long time and part of the second page with a picture of his big trousers.

Is this the only thing worth putting on the front page that has happened in Great Yarmouth. A small bit about a world champion is telling us to go to the back page as this shrinking man is more important.

I pay to advertise in the Mercury and it looks like all you have to do to get on the front page is stop eating for a while and promote a slimming club. God knows how much effort and training Jessica-Jane did to be a world champion. Great story for the front page.

MIKE RAWLINSON

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Parking zones complaints tip

Before it’s too late, those not in favour of the new residents parking zones outside the present seafront area may find this email address useful: complaints@great-yarmouth.gov.uk and if you are not happy with the response you may wish to contact the local government ombudsman who investigates complaints of maladministration against local government: advice@lgo.org.uk

Good hunting.

ARTHUR BALLS

Duncan Road,

Great Yarmouth

Reunion to recall the Talbot days

Calling all Talbotarians from over the years to come together on September 7 in The Mariners, Howard Street to celebrate this great, old, fondly remembered pub, from 6pm onwards. There will be music from the old vinyl jukebox rescued by Big Pete. If you would like to hear such Talbot classics again such as Fish-heads, and Mac The Knife (and old drinking game favourite) then come along. Check out the Talbot Reunion Facebook page.

ANNE WATLING

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Get parked cars off Regent Road

I am not sure if a percentage of local people understand the definition of the word “pedestrian”.

Walking down Regent Road at the weekend was like a combination of the Tour de France and the M25. We had to dodge cyclists (who may I say was not youngsters, but families) also I counted ten vehicles all parked causing people to have to walk round them which is a hazard to all concerned.

I have been informed all vehicles delivering should do so before 10am and after 5pm which is acceptable: obviously those drivers also feel it’s okay to flout these restrictions.

My question is why is this area not policed better, as this is one of the most popular areas in our town? The way things are going means one of these days a serious accident will occur. I visit Regent Road most weekends and have yet to see any law enforcement officer anywhere in the vicinity. Hence I believe the lax attitude by these law breakers will only continue, or get worse.

We want holidaymakers and locals alike able to enjoy a day out without having to walk through an assault course.

So please can we have some positive response from the people who decided to implement these rulings, and not let law breakers get away with believing they are exempt.

I would also like to point out the vehicles parked were there for most of the day and only one was showing a disabled badge which I believe only allows a three-hour maximum stay. I’m sure if you print this some of the persons guilty of the aforementioned will take note and give Regent Road back to pedestrians.

Mrs B HORSEPOOL

Belstead Avenue,

Caister on Sea

Will wardens be ready to pounce?

Once again we have a Labour councillor claiming the residents parking permit revenue generating scheme will be used for other services when he should be fully aware that income from parking must not be spent in this fashion.

Also how and at what cost will this plan be enforced, ie an army of traffic wardens waiting to pounce on the poor unsuspecting visitor or resident? Will Councillor Wainwright dare to publish the full costings of this scheme to enable a full and frank discussion take place.

Also where in the Labour manifesto for the last elections was there any mention of this proposal, or is this the first of their hidden agenda?

JOHN STEVENS

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Market seats in the wrong place

As the topic is still simmering, may I at least conclude: In hindsight were the trees and seats placed wrongly in relation to each other at our market piazza and would it be detrimental to our local economy for a council operative to give 
the affected seats an occasional wipe?

Whatever, please don’t deny us the pleasure of watching little children experiencing the joy of sacrifice by sharing their delicious chips with our feathered companions.

In past years, an eminent local company proudly adopted the title Seagull Coaches.

DAVID KING

Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

Probus club seeks members

Great Yarmouth Men’s Probus Club is seeing falling membership and we would like to contact gentlemen who have not heard of our organisation, or who may have recently moved to the area, to find out more about us.

We wonder if the wives of such men would like to get their husbands out of the house for one morning a week. It is a brief meeting place for men only but we welcome the ladies at certain of the meetings and for meals etc. We have regular speakers to entertain us. The club is for retired businessmen and should anyone wish more detail, contact numbers for officers are: President John Bebbington 01493 669433; programme secretary Edward Hayden 01493 850120; and secretary Ernest Hodds 01493 842387.

ERNEST HODDS

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