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Letters, January 18, 2013

PUBLISHED: 21:54 17 January 2013 | UPDATED: 21:54 17 January 2013

Paget's ladies deserve respect

WHILST visiting a relative in the JPH for the last few days I have been sitting in the main foyer waiting areas waiting for my lift home and have been totally disgusted with the ignorance and attitude of some members of the public.

The poor ladies who man the front desk deserve a medal or even some form of protection regarding the verbal abuse they get from some people who think it is their right to attack them with all the problems of the hospital ie wheelchair shortage, smoking in the entrance, no gluten free food in cafe, car park charges, etc.

These ladies are doing a great job of giving information and they are not there to be abused.

Put yourselves in their shoes and think before you start ranting at the wrong person. If you have a complaint, go through the proper channels.

I shall continue to watch what happens and will not be afraid to go and face up to the abusers. Keep up the good work ladies.

RONALD LOVICK

Email

No way to get home in floods

WE asked readers for their memories of the Great Flood in January 1953:

MY memories of the night of the floods are that I was attending the Regent Cinema to see Abbott and Costello in Jack and the Beanstalk – a film I haven’t seen since.

When coming out of the Regent to catch the bus home to Gorleston, I could hardly stand against the gale force winds and was informed nothing was going over Haven Bridge as there was a massive flood.

With many others, I spent the night at Deneside Methodist Hall, travelling home the next day via Southtown Road by lorry.

My twin brother Malcolm was also in the cinema at the Palace in Gorleston, and watching the film High Noon starring Gary Cooper.

Then an announcement was made for people to leave for Cobholm and Yarmouth as there was a flood; he and a few others were the only ones left to see the climax of the film.

TREVOR METCALF

Sunnyfield Lane

Cheltenham

How are we all in it together?

I WOULD like to ask Brandon Lewis, Tory MP for Great Yarmouth, some questions about Christmas.

Did he visit a food bank to help him feed his family? Did he take out a pay day loan to help him pay his bills? Did he turn off his heating because he could not afford to keep it on?

Were either of his two houses - the one he owns and rents out and the one he rents at taxpayers’ expense cold and damp?

If the answer is no, how can he agree we are all in it together? The MP earns £89,000 and claims £57,000 expenses. What does he know about making ends meet? Nothing.

T G RIFKIN

Byron Road,

Great Yarmouth

Are the turbines affecting seals?

I HAVE, in recent weeks, been following with great interest the high number of grey seals coming ashore on the beaches in the Winterton area this year. Could anybody tell me the reason for this?

Has it anything to do with the wind turbines that were erected on Scroby Sands, which is the seals’natural breeding grounds or is it a coincidence?

PAUL SCALES

Email

Rail museum at the rail station?

IT was interesting to read of the art project of the Vauxhall Links group. (Mercury, January 11). I would like to suggest the idea be developed into a job creation project. There is scope to develop a mini low maintenance rail museum at the station linked to the art scheme.

The shunters that used the tramway still exist, Newtown Halt could readily be reconstucted, Birds Eye containers, a Moy, Bessey and Palmer or Raywood coal wagon created, station signs exist or replicas made, posters exist, mail on rail exhibits.

Models of stations could be made and exhibited as do the engines. I see the county council is wasting another £1.5m on unnecessary community project grants perhaps we could tap into that as match funding for other funding bids and help create jobs.

Likewise, the area needs landscaping to create a welcoming environment. The old office block needs a repaint and if vacated demoltion- what a welcome!

The bridge neeeds to be re-opened to Asda and station light traffic. This would ease the Acle New Road which our MP sees as a priority and would be a quick fix in time for the general election! Shame it will not happen.

A similar strategy may help secure the Louise Stephens lifeboat and save another piece of history rather than lose it as with the jetty. This would boost our maritime history base as would something of warships and the town which may survive.

I read in the EDP that Catton (in Norwich) gained a £1m from the Lottery for job creation. It may be worth trying for that. The government is still spending many billions and billions, perhaps our MP, instead of cutting our funding could help identify some job creation money.

I wonder if there is scope to save money by abolishing some Government departments and their ministers and their subsidised meals?

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

School helped daughter bloom

I WOULD like to draw attention to several names missing from the article about the Love Dance School in last week’s edition of the Mercury - those of the teachers: Janet, Julie, Emma, Kim and Holly.

They all do a fantastic job and deserve a big thank you for all their hard work. My daughter is one of the pupils mentioned in the list of achievers. She has been going to the dance school for just under a year and in this time she has blossomed from a shy, anxious child to a confident, happy young lady. We attribute her transformation to the friendly, encouraging and fun environment at the Love School of Dance. So, once again, thank you to all the dance teachers. We appreciate all your hard work.

JO BLACKWELL

Foxglove Drive,

Bradwell

Still talking of police highlight

ON New Year’s Eve, about 10 of our family and guests at the Raynscourt Hotel saw in the new year in a large circle on Euston Road, singing Auld Lang Syne. A police van drew up and eight officers joined us in our circle.

The guests were so impressed with our police it stayed the talking point. It has even been mentioned in thank-you letters we have received. It was the highlight of our celebrations. Thank you Yarmouth Police Force.

DONNA HAMMOND

Euston Road,

Great Yarmouth

Tory cllrs fail to put people first

THE funding settlement for Great Yarmouth is the worst in the whole of the UK. By April 2013 the council’s funding will have been cut by 44pc if the area based grant is taken into account.

The more recent decision by the government concerning transition funding has left Yarmouth with the lowest settlement in the country. Brandon Lewis, our MP, who is also the responsible Minister, is quoted in the Guardian as saying this is, “fair to north and south”.

The resolution by the Labour group at full council was to ask the government to look again and to seek equity of funding with other local authorities. This resolution was carried in the face of hostile opposition from all Conservative councillors who voted against the resolution.

The most upsetting aspect was the way in which the Conservative councillors heckled as they voted against the interests of the people of Yarmouth.

By backing the Government deal, the Conservatives failed to put the people of Yarmouth first.

Since taking control in May 2012 the Labour administration has worked tirelessly to radically reform the council, to bring down costs and become more efficient. We inherited no detailed plans or work beyond a saving of £160K despite constant claims by the local MP of millions of planned savings.

A key issue is that on seeking election in 2010, Brandon Lewis promised in his published contract with the Yarmouth electorate that: “I will always be an independent minded Member of Parliament and put the interests of Great Yarmouth first.” I am asking this promise is kept and as Minister in the department responsible, he should look again to give real long term help to the council and residents of the borough of Great Yarmouth.

BERNARD WILLIAMSON

Borough Council cabinet member for transformation and regeneration

There is already an art gallery

IT will certainly enhance Great Yarmouth to have an art gallery opening in a disused shop, however this will not be a first for the town.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines an art gallery as “a room or building for the display or sale of works of art” - precisely what The Guild Gallery, in Victoria Arcade, is and has been for the past three-and-a-half years.

It seems a feasibility study indicates that an art gallery would be well received. I wonder exactly who was asked?

Presumably none of the thousands of people, both local and holidaymakers, who have visited The Guild Gallery since it opened, all of whom, I’m sure, would be happy to confirm that The Guild Gallery is already “well received”.

When the new gallery eventually opens, I hope the artists’ collective who will be chosen to run it has more success with the venture than the extremely short-lived Seachange Gallery, which opened in an empty shop in Market Row several years ago, and, as feared by many, offered little opportunity for local artists to exhibit their work, closing down after a very short time.

The article also suggests it is only the Central Library which has hosted exhibitions. However, there have been several other venues for artists to exhibit their work, not least of which was the Minster, where a successful exhibition, supported by many artists local and from further afield, was held towards the end of last summer. So, far from struggling in a cultural desert, as your reporter and the conservation officer would have us all believe, Yarmouth’s artistic community is flourishing, with ongoing opportunities to exhibit their fine artworks.

VIVIENNE RAINSBURY

Bells Road,

Gorleston on Sea

Trades Council asks MP to meet

BRANDON Lewis MP, in his contract with the residents of Great Yarmouth, said: “I will continue listening to residents’ views by holding regular listening to you public meetings.”

Great Yarmouth and District Trades Union Council decided on Tuesday to take him up on this commitment and arrange a public meeting enabling Brandon Lewis to honour his pre-election pledge to listen to residents. The Trades Council hopes he will take up this opportunity to meet the community he represents.

It is expected that residents will ask questions on issues like welfare reform, the outer harbour and the worse local government funding settlement in the UK for our very own borough council. The meeting is expected to take place in February subject to Mr Lewis’ acceptance of the invitation, the public will be invited to attend.

LEE SUTTON

Secretary

GY&DTUC

A high regard for council officers

SINCE Brian Hoare has had a bad experience (Mercury, January 11) regarding the proposed chalet bungalow in my mother’s front garden and ten individuals complained to the Ombudsman when permission was granted I think they need to be brought up to date on developments in Mill Lane.

In 1958 my father and mother bought one acre of land from Mr Anderson and Mr Capon to build their bungalow. Mill Lane at that time was accessed via Bussey’s Loke or Market Lane. Ted Payne lived in two railway carriages, Mr Rudrum had a small bungalow on the corner (where Robertson Builders have just finished a bungalow in the front garden). There was no Briar Avenue or Willow Avenue just Jasper Matthews Scrap Yard.

Coming down Mill Lane (which was a cinder and brick rubble lane with hawthorn hedges both sides) there were small market gardens on the right heading towards Market Lane and open countryside on the left. The steam train ran over Mill Lane and Mr Barker lived in the Gate House, he opened the gates to let traffic down the lane.

Over the years Bradwell grew, Willow Avenue is now on the site of Jasper Matthews Scrap Yard, Jasmine Gardens is partly on the site of the piggeries, the rest down to the train line has countryside.

Where El Alamein now stands was part of Herbert Guyton’s Nurseries and Blackbird Close and the Co-operative store occupy what was Mr Tooke’s market garden.

Lark Way was part of my father’s garden and another piggery which was owned by George and Jimmy Horton.

In 1973, my father gave me a piece of his front garden and orchard and I built a house of my own and in 1987 I sold it to Mr Hoare who complains that building in people’s front gardens should not be allowed. No doubt he will have noticed two bungalows in what used to be his back garden. My father used that land to grow vegetables and I sold it in 2002 after he died.

So Brian, I have seen many changes in Mill Lane, I still have photographs and cine film of it in the late fifties and sixties if you would like to see them.

As for the borough council officers and the planning committee, they deal with every application on merit and have rules and guidelines they have to work to. I met all their requirements and overcame all objections and was therefore granted permission to build. Having spent 12 years as borough councillor for Bradwell North I can only say I have a high regard for the officers (even though at times we disagreed) and their professional integrity and advice. Whatever their decisions they feel they cannot win.

DICK CLAXTON

Forest Mount

Fritton

Was front page really the best?

DOES the feature “I lost 20 stone” really merit the front page of the current issue of the Mercury? What about “Fight to preserve Old Lady” (the Louise Stephens), or bus routes hit by roadworks etc?

Miss RITA FARMER

Marine Parade,

Gorleston

Hope monkey hurts the thief

WHOEVER stole my stone monkey out of my front garden I hope you are pleased with yourself. You have left my grandchildren in tears.

It was heavy, so I hope one day you drop it on your feet and break your toes and go through the pain my grandchildren are at the moment.

Mrs B HALLAM,

Gorleston

Why is house not being used?

OVER five years ago my wife noticed that the park bungalow situated in the Priory Park, Church Road, Gorleston had been empty for quite a while. I asked around and emailed people why it had been empty for so long but did not get a response.

Two years ago I got in touch with our MP and was told via his local agent or researcher that he had been in touch with Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the problem with the accommodation was that it had been left to the council but could only be let on short-term lease, as are most of the private let accommodation. But council housing was long term and it could even be purchased by a sitting tenant.

They had now come up with a solution in that the council would let a local Housing Association manage the build as they only let on short term and it can be filled by them. So problem solved? A deal was done they would begin work to bring the place fit for purpose.

Makes sense so far, but why it has taken nearly seven years or more to come to this decision is beyond me? Unfortunately over 12 months later the accommodation remains boarded up.

Why has this unit not been used to accommodate some homeless couple or persons who need single level living, close to all local shops?

KEITH HAWKES

Gorleston

Dog poo patrols are to increase

IN response to Mr Hubbard’s letter on January 11 and a reader’s letter, January 4, concerning dog fouling in Central and Northgate and Yarmouth North wards. The issue of dog fouling is something I and other ward councillors take seriously.

It was discussed at the Yarmouth Area Committee in December and prior to the new year, preparation has been made to increase the number of patrols by our environmental rangers from January using money from Cllr Fox’s and my ward budgets, targeting the problem areas.

Unfortunately a minority of dog owners have no regard to the impact on the local community and the town’s reputation of not clearing up after their dog. Cllr Fox and I hope the greater prospect of being caught and fines of up to £1,000 will encourage the irresponsible to comply with the law and importantly ensure our streets and open spaces are free of dog poo.

Cllr LEE SUTTON

Central and Northgate ward

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