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Letters January 4, 2013

Reducing funds is gross interference

HAVING been brought up in Gorleston where my community values were formed, I felt I had to write to the Mercury to express my grave concern at the 19.3pc reduction in spending on services which will occur in 2013/14.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council will be forced to review even further the services it provides (despite currently looking at large cutbacks) due to the reduction in grant given by the department of communities and local government (DCLG). If you look on the DCLG website it states their role is in “supporting local government by giving them the power to act for their community – without interference from central government”.

I would suggest reducing funding by such a large amount in an area that has some of the most deprived wards in the country is gross interference of the worst kind.

Where was Brandon Lewis, the MP for Gtreat Yarmouth when all the negotiations into the proposed funding round were being discussed? I would suggest Brandon Lewis’ allegiance is not to the ordinary people of Great Yarmouth but more to his blossoming ministerial career working alongside Mr Pickles.

SONIA BARKER

Deputy Leader Labour Group,

Waveney District Council

Fight the cuts in any way possible

I SAY stand your ground Brian Walker and don’t be blackmailed, fight the cuts any way possible.

By our MP, who should be representing us, lining up with Eric Pickles, he has shown us where he stands. Our turn will come at the next election, call that blackmail if you like.

ERIC MOORE

Martham Road,

Hemsby

Concentrate on the residents

I WAS pleased to hear Great Yarmouth Council is being awarded extra money from the government to make savings. We knew councils would be having their budgets cut this year, but I am pleased such a lot of money is being made available for the council to make changes.

I was not surprised Labour councillors have come out against the budget cuts. It is their job to oppose everything the Conservatives do after all. I hope that, in spite of themselves, these councillors will see they have to use this opportunity to help local people by making savings and using our money properly.

It is time for councils to concentrate on us residents rather than themselves. There is so much that could be done to make Great Yarmouth even greater, we just need politicians, businesses and residents to work together and we can do it.

C WINGROVE

email

Yarmouth been unfairly treated

WE may have too many costly councillors in Norfolk, but we elect these people because they live near us locally. We expect them to know the area they represent, also the needs and wishes of us the electors and residents.

A good councillor will be in close touch with the local electors, perhaps talking to many of them daily, and will try to look after their requirements.

Unfortunately Yarmouth has been most unfairly treated, indeed penalised, by the present local council settlement by a government concerned only with their often misguided ideology. Leaving our elected councillors reduced money, with which our council is expected to run our local services.

It seems to me the current council is doing a good job by streamlining their management, and providing more efficient services. I would say this is a classic case of local councillors knowing exactly what is needed with their local knowledge, and are doing what is in the best interests of us the electors in Yarmouth. Yet that is not good enough for the questionable ideology of government politicians.

They are people who do not live in our area, and have no real idea what is in our best interests. Not satisfied with previous potty ideas that constantly waste money, such as police commissioners, pointless unwinnable wars, a failed politicians club known as the EEC, along with £75m wasted on trying to change the election system, they now are trying to force Yarmouth into being run by people living miles away. Obviously people who have little or no knowledge of Yarmouth and its electors’ needs.

Of course such a daft idea is not in our best interests. So by not accepting this dictatorship we seem to have been selected for punishment by meddling absentee ill-informed politicians. As a result we have been given this much reduced inadequate grant. This is little more than a penalty for not agreeing with unproven political dogma, and our representatives looking after local people’s wishes.

Our MP gains absolutely no credit from this issue, as he clearly is not acting in the best interests of us the local electors in Yarmouth. With only just over two years to go before he seeks re-election I, an uncommitted voter, am not very impressed with our MP’s preference for his party political ideology rather than doing what is right for us, and getting us a decent settlement.

If Yarmouth Borough Council must link with another council it would be best all round if this is nearby Waveney, particularly when in all probability the controlling party will change in a couple of years time. It would be a logical local link that would go a long way to creating an east coast unitary authority.

But how dare I suggest that as, of course, that idea is against party political ideology.

BRIAN CALLAN

Busseys Loke,

Bradwell

Christmas Eve handbag theft

I AM a disabled pensioner and on Christmas Eve I dropped my handbag in Morrisons car park. I went into the shop but it had not been handed in.

My purse contained my name, address and telephone umber, not to mention personal things, cards for making payments for utilities etc, plus my driving licence. I had £220 in the purse to pay for my car tax and the rest for presents for family.

What sort of person would do this, particularly knowing who it belonged to? If they had kept the money and handed in the purse and handbag it would have saved me a lot of aggravation.

Whoever took my bag just remember, what goes around come around. Your turn will come.

F G McHUGH

Gorleston

Councillors have wasted millions

SIX years after Cllr Michael Castle and his Tory friends in the last cabinet gave away our port; he talks of thousands of new jobs. (Mercury, December 28). Where, one would ask?

He mentioned grain ships, well yes, there are about five workers brought from Immingham, not local. Seajacks, they just moved office from west of the river to the east and increased their admin.

Gardline, the most forward looking company in the East of England, well Mr Castle why is it we never see their capital ships in our port? Richards are doing nicely building Work Boats, so where are these promised 1,000 jobs?

Do you see shore-based workers working quay side on decommissioning or wind farm work? No, because the quays are not strong enough, like the swell problem.

Oh, you must be talking about our replacement ferry service that is to bring the 120,000 tourists, now that will increase the fortune of the borough. Then you banged a 30 year embargo on all documentation relating to the Port Authority so those interested cannot see how and why the decisions came to be made.

And in Yarmouth there are businessmen controlling £millions and telling all and sundry there must not be a third river crossing, as that would be the death knell of the river port as we know it.

You talk about the outer harbour as though it is the saviour of our fortunes. It should have been.

Our unfortunate borough is taking a bashing over the loss of government funding, but look at what councillors have wasted over the past decade: £1m on big screens, millions on the seafront, the waste on the sea front, and don’t forget the £55m on the outer harbour.

If a parent gives a child pocket money and the child wastes it, the money stops. If borough councillors had not wasted so many grants our borough may have been in a more agreeable position to carry on receiving grants.

JOHN L COOPER

Burnt Lane,

Gorleston

Anyone recall Grouts football?

READING about Grout Silk Mill in the Yarmouth Mercury of December 14, I would like to share my memories of the mill. Firstly as a young boy walking past the mill on my way to the Market Place from the Yarmouth Beach train station.

The main reason I am writing is to remind people that Grouts had a football team in the Yarmouth League Division One in the 1960s. They played in orange silk shirts, I expect made from the silk at the factory.

Looking back in the Great Yarmouth and District Football League Book 1907 to 1957, they won the second division league in 1931-32 season.

If anybody played in the 1960s for Grouts I would be interested to hear from them.

RICHARD SMITH

email

Remembering herring heydays

I READ with interest Peggoty’s article about the herring fishing. Born in King Street and attending Greenacre schools we were in the centre of the herring industry.

I can remember coming out of school and going straight down to the wharf on our bikes and picking up the fish as they fell from the swills and also going round the fish houses around Abysinnia Road and the Tower Street area and asking if they had any mackerel, as they didn’t have any use for this fish.

We would take some of the herring home for mum to souse and keep some of the herring and mackerel for bait to go on the beach to fish for whitings and dabs which were plentiful.

The other point that caught my eye was the Romany Rose winning the Prunier Trophy, because my mother’s family name was Seago and we had a scrapyard on Southgates Road, opposite Trinity House and also where the petrol station is near Newcastle Road.

We owned what was know as Smiths Dock, which fronted the river. Sadly we used to break up the old drifters. We used to strip out all the metal on the quayside. Two employees I can remember were Ernie Slack and a relation nicknamed Shango.

When there was only the wooden hull left, the tug Richard Lee Barber would take the hull down to Sandy Hook, now called the Spending Beach, where we had two big winches to pull the hull up as far as we could and it would be sawed up and sold as firewood for 2/6d (12 1/2p) for a large sack.

The last of these was the Romany Rose, a picture of which can still be seen in The Fishermans Return at Winterton, where, I believe, the owner/skipper came from.

JOHN JOHNSON

Kenned Avenue,

Gorleston

Doing what the voters wanted

PERHAPS the MP would like to explain why the last Conservative administration mishandled the £7m transitional funding which they then ran the council with for the last two years like they were sailing the Titanic on it’s maiden voyage?

The present Labour Council have been doing all in their power to make the budget work by doing exactly what the voters, at the last council election voted for. This was to stop the proposed merger with South Holland and Breckland.

Has Mr Lewis missed the point of the election or is he upset that the electorate were against both of his projects?

Clearly mergers are not what the people of Yarmouth want or are you going to starve them into submission?

In retaliation to the people of Yarmouth he imposed a 19pc cut which was the largest cut in the whole country. Just to list a few of the “spiteful” things that the last Labour governments did to the then Conservative Council - £16m on the seafront, £12m on the Outer Harbour, £2m on St George’s Park.

Mr Lewis missed the Remembrance Day service in Yarmouth remaining in London. I can’t remember the elected MP for Yarmouth over the last 30 years not attending the Remembrance Day service in his own constituency.

If the MP or Mr Pickles can do any better - then get off your high horses and give some useful advice.

Cllr MICHAEL JEAL

Nelson Ward,

Great Yarmouth

Bin collections doubled up?

WE are always being told how the council is short of money these days so maybe one solution would be for the refuse people to help by saving fuel.

An example of this is that I live in Southtown and last week our specified collection day was the December 29. I was at home over the Christmas period and on December 28 lo and behold the refuse collection people arrived just before lunchtime. I thought I had got the day wrong but no, after checking the website December 29 was the correct date.

And next day, on the 29th, they were back!

Such a waste of taxpayers money on fuel when they are doing the same route twice. This is not the first time either. Does this only happen in Southtown or has it happened in other parts of the town?

ROGER SILVER

Email

Christmas Day wipers theft

A LITTLE thank you to the person who nicked windscreen wipers off my car whilst I was working a shift from 16.00hrs to 20.00hrs at Greyfriars Clinic on Christmas Day. They were removed with such consideration that the stems have been left undamaged. So the wipers can now be replaced at relatively little expense.

While I’m at it can I also thank Matt and his wonderful team at Greyfriars Clinic who provide primary medical care to anyone who walks in 12 hours a day, 365 days of the year? I hope the people of Great Yarmouth appreciate this fantastic facility. Season Greetings and Happy New Year to all your readers.

Dr F A O’DRISCOLL

email

Cemetery floral visit upset

I AM writing about the people who run Gorleston cemetery. My Mum is there and in the winter, my Dad spends a fortune on artificial flowers so we don’t to go there so often. Well, after he spent between £20-£30 on the flowers and vase they disappeared off my Mum’s grave.

Someone had taken a liking to them and stole them.

When my Dad complained the cemetery people said they would be in touch.

But this is the best part … they phoned my Dad a day or two later and told him he had been seen and photographed putting the flowers on someone else’s grave.

My Mum has been gone for nearly five years. I have met up with my Dad at Mum’s grave.

I would like to see these pictures – and how on earth do they know when my Dad goes there? I want answers.

Mrs D CHAMBERS

Email

A busy thriving proper harbour?

AFTER many years of letters to the Mercury, I thought I was the exponent of the wry comment. But after reading Mick Castle’s letter, December 28, I feel I have lost this honour.

His comments, coupled with the picture on page 2 of the same issue, said to be of a busy thriving, proper harbour, not a white elephant. Deem it duly claimed aided by his further comments!

JACK DYE

Gonville Road

Gorleston

Prosecute the dog mess owners

AS a responsible dog owner I make sure I clear up any mess my dog makes but I am disgusted at the amount of irresponsible dog owners that see fit to walk away from theirs.

I walked my dog down Salisbury Road to the beach and counted 19 piles of dog dirt on the pavement, you walk down Northgate Street and it’s the same again; try putting your bin out in the Garfield Road passage without standing in dog dirt. You owners know who you are and we have a pretty good idea too.

Something needs to be done about this as it has become a serious problem, the dirty owners have no consideration for anybody else including the poor parents and their children who end up playing amongst this.

We pay our rates and have a right to live in a clean town, and these irresponsible people need to be dealt with!

Name and Address withheld

Car scratching cost me £800+

I AM writing to wish the unknown Santa’s Little Helper a very Happy Christmas and New Year after giving me the £800+ criminal damage present for my car while it was parked on Harley Road in Great Yarmouth on Christmas Day. You’ll be happy to know that your key worked very well and every deep scratch looks stunning in the daylight.

LYNN MANNING

Ormesby

Proud regiment won five VCs

MAY I add a footnote to the report regarding the Royal Norfolk Regiment: The Royal Norfolk Regiment is one of the oldest regiments in the army, having been raised in 1685.

In the second world war, they gained five VSc, more than any other regiment. Those honoured were Corporal Bates, CSM Gristock, Captain Jamieson, Lieutenant Knowland and Captain Randle.

R PARKINSON-HARE

Lichfield Road,

Great Yarmouth

Christians went door to door

NEITHER the service of Christingle, nor the letter headed “All Protestants once Catholics” seem to have anything to do with being a follower of Christ.

Christ himself said: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” Neither Protestants nor Catholics use God’s name. They all go to war and kill one another. Christ said he who lives by the sword will perish with the sword. They do not obey Jesus’ command and preach the good news of the kingdom from door to door as the Apostle Paul and all early Christians did.

PHILIP KNIGHT

Wherry Way,

Great Yarmouth

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