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Letters, June 1, 2012

PUBLISHED: 16:41 31 May 2012

Low turnout from the young

I ATTEND East Norfolk Sixth Form College and study politics. I also am involved in a political party.

At the last local elections I was astounded as to the hugely low turnout from young people in the area. I doubt even 10pc turned out to vote! I think that councillors should talk to school children to try and increase political participation otherwise in 20 years Great Yarmouth Borough Council won’t have enough people in politics to be councillors.

We have to get the young involved to help with the future of the town and the surrounding area. Politics is not merely confined to Westminister!

BRIAN PILKINGTON

Spruce avenue,

Ormesby St Margaret

Torch bearers are not local

I WAS both disappointed and dismayed to read that most of the torch bearers going through Norfolk are actually not from Norfolk. Surely there must be plenty of worthy local people available for the honour?

I was going to go into Great Yarmouth to watch but will now not bother to support non local torch bearers as my personal protest. I hope others feel as angry as I do about the apparent disregard of Norfolk folk.

Mrs M HARVEY

Bradwell

Support photo lab in the town

REGARDING the letter in last week’s Mercury, “Support photo lab service”. Yet more jobs lost. I work on the market and have used Boots photo lab for many, many years. The staff are very friendly and always very helpful.

Over the years I have had countless hoildaymakers asking where to go to get their photos done within the hour. I send them straight into Boots, and while they are waiting they have a wander around the local shops. So where do us locals (who don’t drive) and the hoildaymakers go now to get photos developed? Asda? Oh yes! Why not just close Yarmouth town down, and make it all out of town shopping.

Not everyone has a computer to download or develop their own photos. So come on, let’s give them our support to keep their jobs and to keep something in the town. Write to PO BOX 5300, Nottingham NG90 1AA and register your disgust, or ring 0845 070 8090.

JULIE ALEXANDER

Queens Road

Great Yarmouth

Fond memories of Coronation

I ALSO have memories of the Greenacre Infant School Coronation Party. I too can name most of the children in the photo, amazing my children and grandchildren as it is nearly 60 years since the photo was taken. I was on another photo with a small group, obviously the photographer went round and took other photos after the group one. I also remember the party was held in the Greenacre Senior School Hall and I was most reluctant to enter by a different entrance to my normal one and go into a “scary” unknown place.

I knew Susan Wooden quite well as we went to high school at the same time and, living fairly close to each other, went about with a group of others in holiday times. And then we went our separate ways.

JENNIFER CHILCOTT

Forties Close,

Caister on Sea

Stop the sale of guns and knives

I AM so surprised about a few shops in this town who sell guns and knives. I went into one and the size of the knives was beyond me. There was loads of them out on the wall for all to buy. It’s getting more like America every day.

All you have to be is 18 to buy these items. There should be a law to sell these dangerous things.

In the States you can do the same thing, but their age is 21 to buy them. Let’s put a stop to dangerous guns and knives being sold here.

Mrs THEREA WHITMORE

email

Promises are hot air until in stone

THE euphoria of the council elections are over, and once again promises have been made by a variety of people. The one that interested me the most was the statement by the new boss of Eastport UK. Another promise of jobs with that little word with a big meaning, if. If contracts can be won in the not so distant future.

So, I ask, what distant future? A year, ten, 20? It has taken a lifetime, so it seems, to get the harbour up and running with the promise by a former council leader of 1,000 jobs.

People have praised the letter by Chris Wright, and I give him a standing ovation, but I can assure him promises are just hot air until they are written in stone, because no-one will want to rock the boat. Many people, including myself, have asked the council to help bring us into the 21st century.

In the last 12 years Great Yarmouth and the surrounding areas have been left to stagnate. The harbour has been a building disaster but there are local people who have the knowledge, but they were never approached.

If you want to know about traffic and the way to ease it, ask the people that use the roads professionally but we don’t.

I hope this new leadership puts right the wrongs, and builds very quickly for the future. The future is now; our youngsters and their parents need jobs. If the council want to look into building something for the future, how about a water refinery plant.

We have the sea, they have them in hot countries with little rain, so why can’t we. With the casino, cinema and hotel complex, new train station, new bus station, and the new four lane Acle Straight, we can’t go wrong.

Oh yes, I forgot the changed harbour to accommodate ferries, so, that’s the future. If.

DAVID BROWN

Yallop Avenue

Gorleston

Traffic still grid-locked at times

DESPITE the layout change of the traffic light junction outside the Yarmouth railway station it remains a grid lock at numerous times of the day.

Traffic entering Yarmouth and wishing to turn right at the lights as well as traffic attempting to enter the junction from the railway station and Asda are denied access due to the thoughtless and arrogant drivers who are leaving Yarmouth and straddle the box junction ignoring road signs and red lights.

As a professional driver I spend many hours behind the wheel every day and witness the antics and “near misses” as innocent drivers suffer at the hands of these recidivists.

To complain is one thing; but to offer a solution may encourage the relevant highways authority to take action.

There is a simple and easy solution which would not require any structural changes to this junction.

By employing a system that recognises when there is no traffic wishing to enter or leave the railway sides of the junction, through traffic could remain on a constant green light, stopping only when requested by pedestrians activating the crossing lights.

The same system would stop the main stream of traffic when the sensors detect that there is traffic wishing to enter or leave the railway station / Asda area and allow them to use the junction.

However, for all traffic to safely and efficiently use the junction the existing road signs and surface markings require changing. The entire area of the junction should be painted as a yellow box and signs erected stating “DO NOT enter yellow box area if your exit is NOT CLEAR”.

This is the biggest cause of congestion at this traffic junction because there are currently two yellow box areas and although some drivers stop outside the yellow boxes, they then enter and sit in them effectively preventing traffic from entering or leaving from the railway station / Asda area. The result is gridlock and frustration.

The traffic junction could be monitored by CCTV which would be able to record the offenders and their number plates identified.

Name and Address withheld

UKIP needs to stay active

I WAS dubious about the claims of UKIP about their local election success and have no idea what they stand for. After some research, I am now amazed how successful they were.

They were close to gaining a seat in Gorleston and were second in five wards

UKIP recorded a total of 3,615 votes and about 18pc of the vote. At the General Election they only managed 2,066 votes (4.7pc of the vote). This is amazing progress and may reflect dissatisfaction with the former Tory council and Government and a desire for change

The Lib Dems are obviously struggling, which is not surprising given their performance in Government. They only raised three candidates and 118 votes! They had 14pc of the General Election vote.

Labour’s performance was impressive to gain seats and control of the council. Labour gained 43pc of votes (33pc at General Election) whilst the Tory performance was disappointing with 33pc of votes as against 43pc at General Election. A reversal of the 2010 election.

It seems to me there are big messages. First that the town is disillusioned with the council as under 30pc voted. The Tories have no divine right to run Great Yarmouth and they (and the MP) need to listen to the people and see what is going on in the town. There is more to being a councillor or MP than attending meetings and pontificating.

Labour having won power, need to do a good job and see what is going on in the town - like seeing rubbish dumped off the prom between Jellicoe and Barnard Bridges, a wrecked boating lake, damaged Beach Coach Station signs, a part neglected cemetery, derelict Gorleston shelters and the Pier car park - issues inherited from the former council.

UKIP will need to be active all year round and not just at election time if they wish to build on their success. I am afraid the Lib Dems have had it after their broken promises nationally.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Rail line not shut until May 1970

PEGGOTTY is most interesting on local history but reveals ignorance on railway matters in his article, Four died in aircraft plunge (May 25).

The “unused former track of the Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft railway” as he describes it was, in the summer of 1962, a busy dual-track line, enjoying mainline status, to which it had been upgraded following the closure in 1959 of the line to London from Southtown station via Belton and Beccles.

The line near which the plane crashed did not actually close until May 1970 by which time, although it had been reduced to single track, was very much open to passengers.

K BROWN

Exeter Road,

Gorleston

No police officer in seafront hut

MY wife and I were with a couple of friends along Gorleston seafront, near the pavilion, on Sunday afternoon. It was a glorious warm, sunny day and hundreds of people on the beach were enjoying themselves. What was surprising was the police post was shut!

Now we’ve had good weather all week and everyone knew the weekend was going to be pleasant, so it was surprising that no officer was occupying the hut?

Can somebody please explain why this was closed, especially when it was obvious many people would be in the area?

LES TAYLER

Watsons Close,

Hopton on Sea

Roman shelters do need repairs

I SEE a change in energy and the attitude of our new cabinet. They are demonstrating a more inclusive, open and transparent approach which means residents must now play their part and respond with more interest and more involvement to gain more democracy in the borough.

The Roman shelters at Gorleston desperately need repairs.

They are focal points, run down and an eyesore. I have been told by a resident that when she approached her ward councillor, part of the old administration, he replied “there is no money” - this is the reply I heard many a time when talking about Gorleston to cabinet members over the years.

I took the situation up with Cllr Wainwright the new leader who told me there is a budget but it was too small to do the work so they have now increased it by £80,000 to cover the costs in the budget to do the renovation.

The next meeting of the Gorleston Area Committee (Gorleston Forum) is to be held in the Macey Room at the Mesh office behind the new medical centre, Shrublands Way, Gorleston at 6.30pm on June 21. The committee will now have five co-opted residents as well as Gorleston councillors. Following debate, votes will be taken to present to cabinet. The meeting will be positive.

At the last meeting organised by the old administration when reports were given on subjects raised previously it seemed most were “on going” and voting wasn’t allowed. This is symptomatic of the previous council whose leader told me after we had been in discussion “you vote us in and we make the decisions”.

Please do your very best to attend this meeting with a new beginning which many of us have fought for previously. We are now given a chance to have a forum which I believe will prove to be much more positive and productive.

We may not always hear what we want but I am assured it will be open with explanations for actions taken.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue,

Gorleston

Council acted within powers

IN response to a couple of letters printed last week, those who run a successful business will know that certain financial negotiations need to remain confidential.

If the sensitive negotiations concerning costs of the failed(not aborted) Compulsory Purchase Order had been discussed in open forum, the matter would have been noted in the minutes, which are then published, giving the other party the advantage of seeing how financial negotiations are taking place.

When the Parish Council agreed to proceed with the Compulsory Purchase Order by majority vote in 2008 it did so in good faith and taking all relevant circumstances into consideration. Legal advice was received from GYBC both prior to the decision being made to proceed, and throughout the proceedings.

Members of the public who attended the meeting at which the decision was made were all in support, hoping that the eyesore next to the Vestry of the Parish Church could be made safe, and put to good use, either as a nature walk or using part of the land as allotments.

The Parish Council acted within its powers and if the outcome of the hearing had been different, residents of Hopton would now have the benefit of an additional open space rather than the unsightly mass of unkempt overgrown area that remains today.

With regard to the legal costs involved, the Parish Council has built up reserves over the past few years for this purpose which is good business practise. Negotiations are continuing concerning the final bill and/or phased payments to GYBC whose solicitor acted on our behalf all the way through proceedings.

One of the letters published last week makes mention of the 23 candidates that stood in the recent Parish Council election. It is pleasing to see that so many residents are taking an interest in the village. It’s also interesting that the writer wished to remain anonymous, so I have no way of making contact to discuss the points raised in person.

LENNIE GENT

Chairman

Hopton-on-Sea Parish Council

Night ruined by damage to car

ON Saturday night we had a party at the Rumbold Arms on Southtown Road, for my husband’s 50th birthday, and as we had to drop things off we drove there and left the car on the carpark overnight, and got a taxi home.

We all had a lovely time and it was a great night, but when we went to pick up the car in the morning some mindless idiot had banged right into it leaving a ruddy big dent and scratches. It ruined a great night, and left us with a massive bill. It was a white car that did the damage and I would love to know who the spineless person is. I hope what goes around comes around.

Mrs J BULLEN

Email

Cllrs represent ancient borough

CLLR Field is to be congratulated for her comments on Chris Wright’s letter of the previous week. I sincerely hope that, as a councillor, she will be able to initiate some action based on his suggestions.

However I must take issue with her last two paragraphs regarding Peter Kirkpatrick’s remarks. All councillors, regardless of their political allegiance, should bear in mind that they represent this ancient Borough and behave in a dignified and respectable manner. The bizarre antics of so many people in public life are aired in the media every day. Please can we expect higher standards in our own Town Hall.

NICK POWNALL

Email

Thank-you to mystery donor

DIAL Great Yarmouth would like to express their gratitude to the kind person who gave the anonymous donation of a cheque for £300. We would like to personally be able to thank the person concerned, and hopefully after reading this letter they would kindly contact me on 01493 856900. Donations are appreciated as this helps to provide our free service to the people within the borough.

Money raised from sales at our charity shop in Broad Row also helps towards this service, and we are always very grateful for any donations, including bric-a-brac, old bed linen, clothes etc for the shop too. Any items that are not in sale condition are recycled for which we also receive a small amount of money. If you have any items you can offer and are unable to bring them in, please call Jo on 01493 856900, where it may be possible to arrange a collection.

JO HOWES

DIAL Great Yarmouth

George Street

Great Yarmouth

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