Letters, January 17 2014
PUBLISHED: 10:37 17 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:38 17 January 2014
Parish councils could do more
Norfolk County and Yarmouth Borough councils are engaged in making cuts to their budgets; they claim in ways that do the least damage to frontline services.
These councils could save money by transferring some tasks to parish and town councils.
Historically, that was from where these services mainly came in the late 1800s. In that way, residents will decide exactly what facilities they actually need, and how such services could be provided.
The county and district councils could just say that from a certain date to save money they will no longer by responsible for footpaths, bridleways, green lanes, local branch libraries, museums, traffic or community wardens, local street lighting, school crossing patrols, open spaces, playing fields, local nature reserves and many other local assets that benefit us in the local community
Perhaps it is time for local parish councils to show they are more than just talking shops. Surely the most efficient parish councils could take on these activities? We are too small is no excuse for doing nothing.
Rural parish councils could form a group to look after such activities within their combined area.
These smaller councils would be required (horror of horror) a rate, but the stark reality is if they avoid taking on what in reality is a local responsibility suchh community assets will be lost.
Then the question for us must be do we really need these local parish councils?
BRIAN E CALLAN
Speedy response to lights call
In last week’s Mercury there were two letters concerning the malfunction of various street lights in Gorleston and Bradwell.
Now and again, probably because of the frequent power cuts we experience in our neck of the woods, the street light outside our house either fails to come on or is on all day.
I’ve made a few calls over the years to the council to report faults, especially when the light is out at night and in my experience have been met with courtesy and a speedy response to the problem. So if you want to see the light, phone the council!
It’s becoming a step too far!
When are the steps leading from Cliff Hill to Beach Road, Gorleston, being repaired? I have more than a sneaky feeling that they never will be! If I am right, it is a disgrace. Another disgrace is the piece of land adjacent to the steps, on Cliff Hill. It looks like a fly tip!
Mrs SANDRA WEST
My solution to sea defences
Further to the Mercury reports, January 10, re protecting the beach at Hopton and the demolition of properties at Hemsby, may I suggest you contact the contractors who erected the Outer Harbour and get them to dismantle it and utilise the materials to shore up the defences at Hemsby and Hopton.
I expect we’ll get funds lift
We have a Government committed to cutting taxes and public spending, yet nearly every time cuts are proposed, MPs complain about the effects. The deeper the cuts go, the harder the decisions become like school travel costs. A number of councils are reviewing this budget.
I am not sure what UKIP stand for but had thought cutting public spending was one area and spending more another!
The ambulance services and NHS A&E are subject to criticism as they struggle to cope with budget constraints. MPs committed to cuts ask for a new rail station, dualling of the A47 (and I am not sure how extending it to Lowestoft will help!).
Cuts to the Environmental Agency seem the craziest yet with our town falling into the sea and much of the country flooded. Meanwhile MPs expense claims pour in and their subsidised meals continue.
Ideas emanating from the Communities Department to cut cups of tea at meetings, leaflets and council newsletters, chasing benefits cheats, hot-desking and selling spare space have their part but there are limits to efficiency savings.
We pay our taxes and get what we pay for or not!
Next year is General Election year, so I am expecting announcements about more funds for the borough, our rail station and the A47 at least!
Caister on Sea
Wall and groynes the only defence
I read with interest Mr Edmonds’ recent letter on sea defences, also the efforts being made at Hopton. Having worked on sea wall construction on various projects from Eccles to Winterton in my opinion concrete sea walls combined with breakwater groynes are the only sound defence.
The wall at Winterton was the last section I worked on as piling foreman. The work concerned three metal groynes which were covered by each tide necessitating the need to work six hours on six off due to the tides. These constructions are now completely buried as is the sea wall.
Between Winterton and Horsey nine rock breakwaters have been placed in recent years on a beach that was prone to sand being washed away exposing the bed of the old Hundred Stream. Now, despite recent storm surges and high tides the beach there has at a guess 15 feet of sand on it permanently.
I have been asked in the past why the sea wall wasn’t continued past Winterton. I believe that the wall finished at the Anglian Water boundary as they were responsible for sea defence in those days and financed construction. Other bodies did not see fit to carry it on.
Welcome back to town panto
I just had to put pen to paper to say what a fantastic time myself and my friend had at St George’s Theatre panto at the end of December. It’s great to have pantomime back in Great Yarmouth. Well done Gavin and team.
PETER C WHITWOOD
Can’t dig a hole in the seabed
I do not profess to know anything about tide flows or movement of the sea but what I do know, like any schoolboy, is that you cannot dig a hole in the seabed, so if you dredge millions of tons of sand and gravel from the seabed it is going to level it off with sediment from elsewhere; and the soft sandy cliffs and beaches are a likely possibility.
Looking at a map of the North Sea it appears to narrow down between Norfolk and Holland to a gap of just over 100 miles like a funnel, and even though the outer harbour only juts out a short distance it still must affect the natural flow of the sea. So it could be that which has affected the erosion of the north Norfolk beaches as well as the beach at Corton as it is a restriction to its normal flow.
A boatman took a reporter out to sea quite a long distance to show where the beach was 100 years ago off the coast of Blackpool and the prom could just be seen in the distance. The prom in Blackpool is about 15ft above the beach now and when the tide comes in, at times it goes over the top of it. So but for the high promenade at Blackpool the sea would be now nearly halfway to Preston.
Unless some very serious thought is made about sea defences on this coast it could happen here as Yarmouth is built on sand and the government policy appears to be very much penny-wise and pound-foolish.
J T TAYLOR
Trying to track down friends...
Through your letters page I would like to contact some friends who used to live at Fleggburgh. I would like to contact Ben and Mel, sometimes known as Wonga, who have a baby daughter called Lexie. They used to live in St Margaret’s Way, Fleggburgh and I believe they moved to Nottingham Way, Great Yarmouth.
I can be contact on 01493 369938
St Margaret’s Way,
Your memories of Trade Unions
I am in the process of writing a book on the history of the Great Yarmouth Trades Council and Trades Unionism in Great Yarmouth.
If anyone has any memories of trade union activity in Great Yarmouth I can be contacted on 07817524337 or 740694. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am interested in memories, pictures, minute books, especially on Birds Eye, both Grouts disputes, Omnipac, the building of the Waterways and boating lake by the national unemployed workers. Does anyone have memories of Northgate Hospital as a workhouse? Any leads would be appreciated.
22 Clarendon Drive,
We run a clean quiet workshop
Reference Mr John L Cooper’s letter in the Mercury, January 10. It was actually the Mercury and EDP that referred to Hydra Rig as heavy industry not myself.
I believe if Mr Cooper revisits the original article he will note that I have made no reference to “heavy industry” in my quotes.
I will reiterate that Hydra Rig UK does not build equipment that would be classed as heavy industry and Great Yarmouth Borough Council made very sure about this before we were allowed to bid on the Beacon Park building. We have a very clean, quiet workshop and make no more noise than the ambulance station or the Virgin Flightshop which are located in the same area.
The other buildings Mr Cooper refers to in his letter were not suitable for our manufacturing needs. We were not looking for office or warehouse space, we were looking for a high quality manufacturing facility.
Our office number is 01493 666200, and Mr Cooper is most welcome to call and make an appointment anytime.
Caister is capital of dog fouling
With interest I read the letter “Has Great Yarmouth become the dog fouling capital of the UK?’
I, for one, would nominate north Caister on Sea as the dog fouling village of the UK.
Only being a resident in the area for a short time with pet dogs, always on leads, always under control and always mess cleaned up after and disposed of in a appropriate manner, the level of local irresponsible dog walkers surprises me.
I moved from a built-up area, many people with pet dogs, not many dog mess bins, but the footpaths, grass verges and even the parks were relatively dog mess free.
Here in the north Caister on Sea area (beaches, holiday camps) it’s a dog mess minefield.
Footpaths, grass verges, private driveways, the beach and sand dunes are become a stepping stone area to avoid dog fouling.
Since the change of area I have lived in, built-up to coastal retirement, it is clear that there are many pet owners locally who you would think to be more considerate and pet conscious living in a holiday area with many children around. They should understand that all dogs need to be under control at all times by a lead and any fouling cleared.
Lions thanks for festive support
On behalf of all the members of Norfolk Broads Lions Club we would like to thank all in the villages North of Great Yarmouth who came out, waved to Father Christmas and supported our Christmas Sleigh collections. The total raised was in excess of £4,000 and this will be put to good causes both locally and to Lions projects worldwide.
We thank all who helped with our collecting including; Hemsby Lifeboat, Winterton Marine Cadets, Caister ATC, Caister Scouts. Thanks also to Tesco who kindly allowed us to collect outside their store.
Norfolk Broads Lions
James Paget is a great hospital
Following an eight-week stay in ward 16 at the James Paget Hospital we recently lost a dear elderly relative. As a family we were all so grateful for the wonderful nursing, care and compassion shown by all the staff on that ward and in general the hospital.
Not only did they care for our relative but also for all of our needs during that time. We are so fortunate to have a great hospital on our doorstep.
Dog fouling is a social problem
I write following the letter by John Stevens, in last week’s Mercury, to raise awareness of the great amount of work undertaken by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to tackle dog fouling. Dog fouling is no better or worse in the Great Yarmouth borough than elsewhere in the county – it is a social problem – but Great Yarmouth is particularly dedicated to maintaining a clean and attractive environment, as the economy is reliant on attracting visitors.
The borough council has three full-time environmental rangers, who continually work to educate people that fouling is not only anti-social and potentially hazardous, but could leave offenders with an £80 fixed penalty notice, or a fine of up to £1,000 in the courts.
They also investigate reports of dog fouling by specific individuals or in specific locations, prosecuting or issuing a fixed penalty notice where they have enough evidence.
During 2013, the borough council brought six prosecutions and issued seven fixed penalty notices.
So this vital work is paying off, but the rangers cannot always be there at the right time to gather evidence.
Therefore I would urge the public to assist us by reporting individuals they see breaking the law to the rangers on 01493 846478. Please provide as much information as possible, such as the description of the dog and person walking it, where and when the animal is walked, and the location, date and time of the incident.
To further aid this enforcement work, some civil enforcement officers in the Great Yarmouth borough are now authorised to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £80 for dog fouling.
Their focus will remain on parking enforcement, but officers on routine patrols will be able to take action if they witness someone who fails to clean up after their dog. All civil enforcement officers will be authorised in the coming months.
And later this year, with the expected royal assent of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013, the borough council will be able to refresh its local dog fouling rules, meaning there will be a legal requirement for owners to pick up waste on land types which are currently exempt.
Cllr VAL PETTIT
Great Yarmouth Borough Councillor
Cabinet member for the environment
See Report on Page 4
Grateful for hip op aftercare
I would like to thank the people who have helped me since my hip operation a few months ago. Namely, the Red Cross, the physio department on Magdalen Way, East Coast Community Healthcare and Norfolk First Responders.
Stroke Club is on the move
On behalf of the Great Yarmouth Stroke Group I would just like to thank everyone who has phoned with help on trying to get us a new venue for the group and that includes the Yarmouth Mercury. We are moving to Cobholm Community Centre on February 6. Thank you everyone.