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Letters, December 16, 2011

PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 December 2011

Support over parking issue

OUR association has been spearheading the local campaign to retain the resident parking scheme but we would have not been able to amass the support we have to date without the support of local residents, local councillors, businesses and support organisations. Our Association has been involved around the town for the last 16 years and I can honestly say that whilst we have been involved in “partnerships” by name before, we have not experienced the collaboration between different sections of the community and a cross party alliance in this fashion before. We are fully supported and assisted by all local councillors Michael Castle (L), Michael Jeal (L), Valarie Pettit (L), Kerry Payne (L) Mike Taylor (IL) and County Councillors Rex Parkinson Hare (UKIP) and Thomas Garrod (C). We still have a long way to go on this issue so we ask of you all not only to consider your position on the scheme itself but the manner in which your council has conducted itself in this matter. Please if you have not already done so, return your consultation documents, sign our petition or contact your local county councillor with your support.

Should you require any further information on this issue please contact us at gyresidentsassociation@gmail.com

M BIRD and P FITZGERALD

Great Yarmouth Residents Association

Publicise good JPH news

IT is a shame, with all the recent adverse publicity about the James Paget University Hospital, which has been given front page coverage, that when some positive news arises ie being hailed for their majority use of British food in their menus, it was tucked away in a side column on page 26 of last Friday’s edition. I would have hoped that our local newspaper would have been more supportive especially in this season goodwill.

STEPHEN WASSELL

Heather Gardens,

Belton

Parking issue not to blame

OK, so the businesses along Regent Road need day trippers but let me ask Mr Docwra what he thinks happens to day trippers when they arrive in Great Yarmouth.

Firstly they will look for free parking, then they won’t just head for home if they can’t find any, they will instead pay for parking in a car park which is really what Great Yarmouth needs them to do surely.

With this in mind, the same amount of visitors will still be the same.

I would be very surprised if every visitor to our town doesn’t at some point stroll along Regent Road which would indicate to me the decline of business has absolutely nothing to do with residents parking but possibly more to do with the businesses concerned.

GARY SMITH

Trafalgar Road

Great Yarmouth

Cinderella show was wonderful

I HAVE just returned from accompanying our school children from the school to the Pavilion Theatre to see the production of Cinderella - and what a wonderful experience.

I have worked at Cliff Park Junior School for over 21 years as premises manager and due to the pressures of work have had little opportunity to be involved with external school trips. In the past 21 years the whole school have not had the opportunity to attend a production or school trip as a whole school.

I was honoured, but shaking in my boots when the head teacher Chris Tye told me that he was intending on taking over 300 children to the Pavilion Theatre and needed my support, as they were walking. We spent many hours carrying out risk assessments and safe guarding requirements etc. Although working at the school for many years, I had not realised the planning, preparation and risk assessments that go with such a trip.

The movement of the children can only be described as a military operation (In the nicest possible way) but hopefully reassurance to parents. The children were checked out and in of the school and at the Pavilion Theatre by no less than four members of staff.

I am proud to say what shining ambassadors our children were for our school, each and everyone of the children followed staff instructions with no fuss at all. Once at the theatre the children had a wonderful time. It was probably the loudest audience the theatre had had for a while. Our children were mesmerised by the wonderful production and enjoyed and participated at every opportunity.

The children were treated during the interval to refreshments provided by Jane Blance and the Friends of Cliff Park, which were delivered by Father Christmas with the help of Barry Nicholls, one of the school governors.

My two children who attend the school had a wonderful time and I would like to thank those who provided invaluable support and commitment for the event, including the teaching staff, support staff, governors, parent helpers, local PCSOs and the Friends of Cliff Park.. oh and not least, the patient motorists who had to wait for over 300 children to cross the roads.

What a fantastic day

MARTIN STEELE

Premises Manager

Cliff Park Junior School

Bid to cut booze hours welcomed

REGARDING the bid to curtail boozing hours, I never thought the day would come when, after Cllr Reynold’s ludicrous notion of scrapping the residents parking scheme​ was dreamt of, I would agree with him on another matter.

Anything that can be done to help prevent drunken revellers vomiting and urinating over peoples properties in the early hours would be a Godsend, not to mention the early morning arguments, fighting and loud singing that wakes most people up.

This is the kind of behaviour that will eventually deter people from visiting Great Yarmouth which will decline all businesses that rely on tourism.

I also don’t quite agree that people don’t go out drinking in the early evening because of cheap supermarket drink prices.

In general, people these days want to spend a little more on a better standard of accommodation than in years gone past and so have less to spend on other things such as the extremely high prices of alcohol in some of our pubs and clubs.

GARY SMITH

Trafalgar Road

Great Yarmouth

The villages of the Fleggs

I WONDER if any of the following would be of interest to your readers.

In my letter published Mercury December 2 ‘Historical point of boundaries’ on the composition of the Flegg Hundreds, my friend David Tubby pointed out to me that I stated that Clippesby was in West Flegg which is an error. This was written from memory and better examples of villages in East Flegg but at the western end of the district would have been Stokesby and Herringby.

For interest I give a schedule of the villages of the Fleggs from ‘The Domesday Book’ from the History from the Sources edited by Job Morris (Phillimore 1984).

East Flegg.

Caister

Filby

Herringby

Mautby

Ormesby St Margaret

Ormesby St Michael

Runham

Scratby

Stokesby

Thrigby

Yarmouth

West Flegg

Ashby

Bastwick

Billockby

Burgh (St Margaret)

Clippesby

Hemsby

Martham

Ness

Oby

Repps

Rollesby

Sco

Somerton (East)

Somerton (West)

Thurne

Winterton

ANDREW FAKES

Lawn Avenue

Great Yarmouth

Waterways should be oasis

I FULLY agree with councillor Fields’ comments as to the updating of the Waterways.

As a child I spent many happy hours in those lovely gardens. These were lovingly tended by a group of council employed gardeners, one of which was my uncle.

Unfortunately when the Tory Government brought in compulsory competitive tendering in the late 1970’s, dedication and expertise gave way to profit and loss.

As the Waterways was never a money-making venture the upkeep has suffered somewhat and it would be lovely to see it again as a well kept oasis of calm on an otherwise busy seafront.

PAULINE LYNCH

Bradwell

Still questions over pier issue

I WAS interested to read Richard Packham’s well researched and relatively quick replies to some residents question at the Pavilion meeting but however I am not sure some of the answers relate correctly to the actual questions and reasons for asking.

I presume my question concerning the substructure of the pier wasn’t answered because the fact that the council has been in negotiations with Eastport, who are now happy to negotiate the car park lease.

A question I asked Richard Packham at the meeting why the council hadn’t pressured Eastport Great Yarmouth Ltd, the consortium they were part of, to place a covenant on the pier car park so it could remain as such regardless of ownership. This question just received a blank stare!

This is an item from cabinet Minutes 21st October, 2009 car parking at Gorleston pier: On reference from the Gorleston Area Scrutiny Committee meeting of 7 October, 2009, cabinet was recommended to ask the head of regeneration and environment to liaise with Eastport to see if an agreement could be reached in principle to reinstate the car park at a future date to the residents of Gorleston. Answer: Resolved that no further action be taken on this matter. This proves that the council had no interest in the residents’ plea for the car park and it was only when Mr Scott took an interest GYBC approached Eastport, not as a public car park, but privately owned paid park. Pleased as I am that there is now a result but as Mr Scott points only if it satisfies their business. What if it doesn’t? I presume the council will take their own negotiations further to retain it for the benefit of residents and visitors, minus the fencing as they should have done in 2009.

Why when GYBC, NCC and the Port Authority formed a partnership company does our council claim no knowledge of negotiations and decisions when there were officers as part of the negotiating team and also councillors on the board of the Port Authority? Surely they all had to report back. There must be minutes and full reports given to the cabinet, if not all councillors, so they were able to make decisions?

When Freedom of Information requests are submitted the answer is generally “we don’t hold that information” or commercial sensitivity. The records of the Port Authority are being locked away in Norfolk record office for thirty years the commercial sensitivity surely can’t need that length of secrecy? Five years would be more than adequate?

On the good authority of an Eastport representative it will probably be sold within ten years. Until we have a public inquiry or our council comes clean with the facts there will always be speculation about the validity of the project. We all wonder what there is to hide and believe there is no smoke without fire.

This could be smothered with a little transparency and openness. I have to repeat once more that one cannot blame Eastport who will do as most businesses do but the council is responsible to us for whatever they do.

Ray Carter raised interesting points in his Mercury letter last week regarding future jobs as reported by Cllr Steve Ames who told me recently he would only reply to letters in the Mercury if they were incorrect. So Ray Carter no letter next week means you were dead right in all your assumptions!

Looking at the plans for the Roman shelters which will be demolished because they could become dangerous I am pleased to see that although they can’t mimic Cockrill’s design they have a clear cut profile and I believe that although we will all mourn their loss the new ones will show a changing face to Gorleston and fulfil their purpose in a different age.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue

Gorleston

Parking permits are a Godsend

A REPLY to the letter from Stephen Docwra in last week’s Mercury. He states that parking permits have been a blight - how wrong he is. For residents living in Great Yarmouth they have been a Godsend. It seems he has a selfish reason for wanting to get rid of them as he talks about decline of sales due to the fact that day trippers cannot park for free, Maybe they are not buying rock due to the fact that there is a recession on and there are more important things to spend their money on. Yes I own a B&B but I need a permit for myself and my family who visit. If the spaces are used by day trippers, shoppers, workers then the people living here will be driving around looking for somewhere to park. Will we be reduced to having to pay in car parks on top of paying our rates. He also mentions maybe having permits just for night time use. So okay are we all going to do our shopping in the evening or visit friends after dark. Hey maybe we should all give up our cars to please people like Stephen Docwra and Charles Reynolds.

I have attached a picture and would love to see it in the paper, My three dogs and my friend’s two dogs also support the parking permits. (See picture above)

SUSAN DODDS

Seashells Guest House

by email

Ceremony was momentous

WHEN required our old town has an amazing ability to to combine impressive ceremonial with heart-warming sincerity.

This was amply demonstrated yet again on Friday last at the traditional Civic Carol Service when our ancient parish church became the Minster and Priory Church of Saint Nicholas, Great Yarmouth.

A long and imposing procession of dignitaries, including three bishops, the mayor, councillors and officers of the borough, in their regalia and escorted by the sword and mace bearers, joined a large congregation filling the brightly lit church to capacity. The team rector and clergy carried out their duties to perfection ensuring the smooth running of the celebration.

Obviously it is quite impossible to mention all who contributed to this momentous occasion but some of them are taken for granted and I should like to pay a special tribute to the organist and choir, the bell-ringers, all the official and unofficial helpers, the cadets and those responsible for the co-ordination and success of the event.

As a member of the Preservation Trust I hope that this honour will help us to raise the substantial funds urgently required to maintain and preserve the fabric of this fine old edifice which is arguably one of the oldest in Norfolk.

NICK POWNALL

by email

Why can road not be reopened

I WAS pleased to read the open letter from Richard Packman MD GYBC in last week’s Mercury where he replied to unanswered questions from the public meeting at Gorleston Pavilion Theatre on November 21 in his open letter.

But he has not answered the question that I published in the Mercury December 2 on behalf of the public residents in the Great Yarmouth area “Why not re-open Peninsular Road?”

As requested in my previous letter can GYBC please clarify why this public road around the peninsular from South Denes to the sea front cannot be reopened now that there is no longer a requirement for it to remain closed?

MIKE KING

California Avenue

Scratby

Community is so important

“LET’S bring a bit of the Albert Hall to Gorleston” was a dream at St Andrews Church over a year ago. Last week it became something of a reality. A Christmas concert with the outstanding band of the Norwich Citadel Salvation Army with their skilful arrangements under a quietly dedicated conductor, together with the Gorleston Community Choir going from strength to strength under an equally unassuming new conductor Chris Whiting following his late mother’s (Jackie) enthusiasm and drive - and to whose memory the concert was in part dedicated. It was truly a night to remember.

It reminded me that community is about people coming together not only for their own enjoyment, but for so many others in our borough.

Only just across the river at the new minster we had another coming together for charity. A splendid exhibition of Christmas trees decorated by schools and businesses across the town and I suddenly felt uplifted by the thought that amongst all the apathy and cynicism surrounding us there us a ray of hope when we all come together to make a difference - and to in modern parlance I say ‘bring it on’. A happy Christmas to all as we move together towards, hopefully, a brighter outlook in the New Year.

MAUREEN MILLER

Links Road

Gorleston

Matt the Cat’s site is running

MATT the Cat wants to let you know, that although his web site www.mattthecat.co.uk is up and running unfortunately Paypal have yet to activate their facility on the site. However, you can go to the “contact us” area on his web site or purchase his diary from Hemsby Post Office, Lathams, Potter Heigham, Haven Veterinary Surgeons, Great Yarmouth or The Chateau, or City Girl, Northgate Street, and RPD Printers, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston.

Matt says thank you very much for printing this on your letters page.

MRS V JORDAN

Ludkin Square

Great Yarmouth

Parking scheme is highly prized

IT cannot be acceptable that permit parking is running at a loss. Clearly the scheme is highly prized and everything should be done to keep it going. What would it take for it to break even, a doubling of prices maybe? Would the residents swallow this? As far as spaces going begging during operating hours some of the streets in the zone could be turned over to dual use, ie: non-permit holders could purchase scratch cards to allow parking. Would extending the zone help with running costs and is it practical? There are a number of spaces given over to 24 hour parking. These must be extremely difficult to enforce and it might be a better idea to scrap these in favour of a dual use scheme.

MICHAEL ZEGERMAN

via email

Parents know best over uniform

REGARDING your story Uniform policy is criticised, Mercury December 9, p22.

I can totally understand why parents of children attending Flegg High have reacted in this way.

For as long as I can remember parents have bought school uniforms for their children to wear so why should they need help now? These parents must feel as though Mr Boulton has no faith in their judgement and is treating them with very little respect. If as he says ‘people have remarked on how smart Flegg High school students look’, doesn’t that tell him something?

T HARMAN

Ormesby

Smoking outside JPH should stop

WITH all the bad press and publicity that the James Paget Hospital is getting at the moment, a lot of it unjustified, why don’t the powers that be make life a bit easier for themselves by applying the appropriate laws to the persistent smoking addicts who congregate outside the main entrance? Some are in hospital bed attire with their smoke filtering into the main lobby - and in spite of all the no smoking warnings in a no smoking zone.

If the hospital wants to up its ratings surely first impressions count for everything and this is the first place to start.

JOHN SPOONER

Cherry Close

Bradwell

Keep residents parking plea

SAVE our residents’ parking! It improved our quality of life no end in fact it was a Godsend. We live in a cul-de-sac with only 20 houses. It works so well for us. Before we had town workers parked all day, holiday makers up to two weeks at a time, big vans blocking daylight out of our homes - we couldn’t get up the cul-de-sac. We were willing to pay more but never got the chance.

Merry Christmas to all Mercury readers and to a permit retaining new year!

D & M BARRON

Priory Gardens

Great Yarmouth

Local councillors did not get say

THE car parking strategy group had a meeting in 2009. Permit price increases were discussed and no action taken.

At the CPSG meeting of July 2011 the decision to scrap residents’ parking was taken. Four councillors representing Ormesby, Caister, Bradwell and Gorleston made that decision. We the six local councillors had no votes. Is this democracy?

How would those councillors not representing our areas feel if we interfered in their communities.

CLLR MIKE TAYLOR

Central and Northgate Ward

Labour did not forget Yarmouth

On November 30 Brandon Lewis our MP spoke in a debate on Living Standards. He claimed that Yarmouth was forgotten during the Labour years. £17 million received from the Labour Government for regeneration of the seafront and town centre. £1 million of this money wasted by the Tory Council on three giant TVs when it could have been better spent. Brandon forgets that the Tories opposed the minimum wage, a Labour policy that increased wages of the low skilled and seasonal workers in our town. Brandon forgets that East of England Development Agency (EEDA), now axed by the Tories, helped bring us the Outer Harbour development. East Port will help attract industry to the area with the real potential of creating higher skilled and better paid jobs. £2.3 million for open spaces improved St Georges Park. £3 million from Labour’s Seachange heritage programme and £1 million from EEDA towards the regeneration of St Georges Chapel and surrounding area. Hard cash invested in Yarmouth by a Labour Government. Millions more invested in Great Yarmouth College and local schools to improve skills and provide training. Labour did not forget Yarmouth, nor has Yarmouth forgotten that unemployment under the Tories was allowed to rise and it is happening again under their stewardship– in 1989 unemployment in the town was 19.7pc.

LEE SUTTON (Labour)

Willow Way

Martham

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