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Letters, March 6 2015

PUBLISHED: 17:43 05 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:43 05 March 2015

Let’s have the Oz points system

I would like to reply to Timothy Knight-Hughes’ letter from February 27.

Yes, we welcome migrants but only those who come here and are willing to work or try elsewhere to get work, not those who come here to live on the dole, on the streets or squat in vacant buildings.

It doesn’t matter what country they come from, migrants that have no funds to support themselves before they come or don’t have a job to come to, sponsored by and confirmed by an employer, should not be allowed to come here.

We should have the same sort of points system that Australia and New Zealand have for migrants and as they and the US do, only allow people in who have the qualifications we want. There are plenty of people here already who have no qualifications and are not working, we don’t need any more.

I voted last year in the local elections for the first time in 40 years and will be voting again this May. I will be voting UKIP.

P LONG

email

Life of pedestrian is being blighted

I’m sure other readers will share my frustration at the issues which blight the quality of life for pedestrians in our town. Vehicles parked on pavements, speeding traffic and crossings which don’t allow sufficient time for people to cross the road, can make our area hostile and an unpleasant place to walk. For older people or those with mobility problems, it can be down right dangerous.

Piecemeal and conflicting rules abound on these matters making it confusing for police, enforcement agencies, councils and all road users alike. As the general election draws nearer, I would encourage readers to urge their local parliamentary candidates to support the charity Living Streets’ campaign for the introduction of an Active Travel Bill. Such a piece of legislation could regularise rules on pavement parking, reduce speed limits on the streets where we live, work and go to school.

It would make walking safer and easier which would benefit all of us

An Active Travel Bill could not only reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads, but create a healthier environment where walking to school, to work or to the shops is a pleasure and not a hazard. To take action visit http://www.livingstreets.co.uk/take-action.

RICHARD CHAPMAN

Nuffield Crescent,

Gorleston

We should have full-time MPs

MPs have voted against Ed Miliband’s call for a ban on MPs holding paid directorships or consultancies.

For me I can’t imagine how MPs feel the need to have a second job when people in your community have entrusted you with the most important position of service.

As if to further prove the divide between politics and us on the ground, some MPs suggested that £67,000 was not a high enough wage. That is a wage that most people would consider riches, it’s more than my families’ wages put together.

I signed a pledge when I became a candidate to never have a second job. Being a politician is not a job, it is an act of service and an absolute privilege.

LARA NORRIS

Labour PPC for Great Yarmouth

Surgery closures will cause chaos

The clowns have left the circus...re the proposed relocation of the Falklands Medical Centre to the James Paget site. Who on earth thinks of these crazy ideas, not someone who uses these surgeries?

Firstly there is no bus route to the Paget from Bradwell and not all have transport to get there, quite a number of elderly people use this practice almost daily if not weekly, yet no-one consider the problems and inconvenience this will cause. I totally agree with Lara Norris in last week’s Mercury, this must not be allowed to go ahead!

It will cause chaos not only for local people but at the Paget site also. They say they will be giving everyone the chance to have their say, well if that’s carried out in the same way as the vast amount of building going on along the Beccles Road where we were invited to have our say and then no-one listened.

I feel it’s just a waste of time or perhaps our parish council or Brandon Lewis our MP may wish to comment?

DEREK APPLETON

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Turn off lights to save pennies

If the council cannot afford to keep public toilets open, perhaps they need to look after the pennies by turning off street lights during the day.

Over a month ago I reported a faulty light, which had already been on for several weeks, in the passageway behind Hamilton Road. It has yet to be repaired. I did get a reply from the council telling me that the complaint had been passed to Norse although I reported it through the GYBC website, so I assume they subcontracted Norse to do the work.

PENNY BAILEY

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Loos essential for our tourists

I notice Great Yarmouth Borough Council is yet again making a stupid decision to close 12 public toilets around the borough.

These are all essential public faciliies for the following reasons:

1)Tourists visiting the surrounding villages and beaches

2)Residents out, jogging, family time out together, leisure walking and dog walking

3)Residents and visitors with medical needs

4)An ageing population use these facilities

5) People with disabilities

6)Young children needing the toilet

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Great Yarmouth and the surrounding are a ‘holiday resort’. Then why are you treating our valid visitors like this? Surely when you have been taking your holidays, have you had something to say about a closed public convenience when you needed the loo? We are only human after all and it is a natural process.

Not all the public toilets are open during the winter months. That’s why we have seen people urinating in the sand dunes and at the back of the closed toilet building. Surely this only increases public health issues?

Also I don’t believe the quote of the figure £477,000 to run and maintain these facilities are correct.

G GREEN

Yarmouth Road,

Ormesby

Fleggburgh needs a shop

I have lived in Fleggburgh for nearly 25 years and until a few years ago we had a Post Office and shop but they closed and it turned into living accommodation.

If I want anything I have to do a three-mile round trip to the Post Office store at Filby to do some shopping. I get a taxi to Filby and back.

We desperately need a village shop. We have an old chapel which lays empty, doing nothing, which could be put to use.

P TURNER

St Margaret’s Way,

Fleggburgh

Doing more harm to cause

“Over the past months we have held successful stalls in the town centre engaging those who reject UKIP’s ideas,” says Timothy Knight-Hughes, inviting readers to attend his Stand Up To UKIP Great Yarmouth meeting.

My reading of the word “successful” is probably different to his. Does he mean the “successful” event held in the Market Place before Christmas, when hundreds of shoppers witnessed this group attempting to drown out the Salvation Army carols with their loudhailers, and when some people who said no more than that they were voting UKIP or wanted immigration controls were shouted at.

When, if my memory serves, market stallholders complained and the police moved Stand Up To UKIP on?

I have news for Mr Timothy Knight-Hughes. I am an anti-racist, I am a trade unionist, I am a member of three community groups, but I won’t be going to his meeting because of what I witnessed that day before Christmas.

I suggest Mr Knight-Hughes and his group are doing far more harm to their own cause than they are harm to UKIP.

MARTIN ECCLESTON

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Iconic Empire is now a disgrace

The building near the train station in Yarmouth was rightly so made to be more presentable, and they did a good job. Next up surely is the disgusting site of the old Empire on the seafront, filled with pigeon mess. A once iconic building is now a disgrace.

Fair enough, it may not be used, but at least give it a clean.

SAM PINDER

Email

Message to old folk on council

Heard the other day Great Yarmouth is the third richest in the all of Anglia yet places fall to piece like the Winter Gardens. After a little digging it is surprising just how much cash the council has coming in from the places they have given away, yet they penny pinch all the time.

Year on year the footfall in the town has gone down and down, and what do they do? Nothing. Now they have come up with this BID.

I would like to know how places out of town that will not get any tourists have to pay to this silly tax. My message to the old folk on the council, the 1960s will never come back.

MICHELLE SWIFT

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Stairway to hell or to heaven?

The Gorleston proposal for a new venue incorporating nostalgia. Is it a Stairway to Heaven or a Stairway to Hell?

But some people who know the song by Led Zeppelin will also know Stairway to Heaven played backwards is Nevaeh ot Yawriats, a love letter to Satan.

The planning application says the original entrance of the historic Cliff Hotel could be given a new lease of life - 100 years after the grand building it led to burned down.

The owners of the Cliff Hotel are looking to get permission to transform the old archway entrance on the lower prom into a cafe-restaurant bar.

There are around 40 people living in 25 housing association flats exclusively for elderly people.

I’m sitting down on the beach thinking why does the Cliff Hotel need two stairway steps, are they not content with the one they have already got?

No wonder the elderly people living in Grenfell Court have put their name to a letter firing off a string of concerns to planners.

Their concerns are crystal clear that a majority of residents next to the proposed plan are elderly and just want to live out their rest of lives in peace and not a living nightmare if the plan is granted. Not too much to ask for, is it?

I personally think the residents already put up a lot of rowdiness on Friday and Saturday nights that I’ve certainly witnessed while walking along the promenade.

So here is the proposal in a nutshell: the Cliff Hotel wants to add a glass fronted cafe-restaurant and bar boasting uninterrupted views over the famous sandy sweep. Sounds good on paper.

I am convinced that won’t be the end to their magical plan. Next there will be a plan submitted to extend licensing hours so they can turn it into a nightclub that will be open all hours.

But we already have a nightclub, the Ocean Rooms, doing a great job catering for those who enjoy the nightclub life.

We must have opinions from those who object and those who don’t and yes, it will create a few jobs or even improve the area in question. But personally, a comment in last week’s Mercury I found most disrespectful to the elderly people of Grenfell Court, and I’m so sure other people will vouch for that.

STEVEN GILDER

Clarence Road,

Gorleston

Seafront area is so run down

Re the archway on Gorleston Seafront that was once the entrance to the Cliff Hotel.

It saddens me to see the state of the “archway” and the surrounding area. Walking/driving passed that eyesore gives visitors the wrong impression for the rest of the shops along the front.

When we built up and ran Anne’s Cafe there, more than a few years past, it was an extremely busy and popular place for meals, drinks, etc, for the locals. It was somewhat sad to see the place degenerate into what it is now. In essence, to open up the archway and smarten the area is a good idea, but not too sure over the rooftop bar proposal.

One thing I cannot understand is how the council allowed the area to become so run down; however, the few decades in business I spent along Gorleston seafront I should not be surprised by the council’s indifference.

A DELLA-SPINA

Buxton Avenue,

Gorleston

We must ensure cash used wisely

BID. The last word. We have been called anti tourist and anti-BID which could not be further from the truth, I was born in Yarmouth and hold it very dear, and many years have been spent in the tourist industry, along with other non tourist interests.

Our whole point was to obtain a democratic vote, which I believe in this country is our God given right. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the BID every success in going forward and to spend our money wisely, without the waste we have seen so far.

My comments are based on the following;

Our MP Brandon Lewis advised the BID they could get the same advice from the British Bid Association free of charge, but they chose to go with a company that cost £30k.

I have also been informed a Norwich company carried out all the printing for the BID, what happened to keeping it local?

I want to stress through the letters page the one major fact that led to doubt the organisers sent out four letters plus the ballot paper to more than 1,200 businesses. This would have been more than 6,000 letters in total.

I own 12 retail units on Regent Road without letterboxes, and a further 170 businesses who also claimed at a public meeting they also never received any letters. Yet the council and BID operators state not one letter was returned to sender. This is an impossibility especially as they stated they had more than 100 incorrect details on their database.

I personally use mail shot systems, and it does not matter how correct the database is, you will always have mail returned to sender for numerous reasons, especially on the scale we are talking about.

The BID needs to concentrate on free parking for everyone in the town, plus free coach parking which at present is £7.50 per day and £40 per week. We should not be charging anyone to bring customers into our town, in fact we should encourage coach drivers with meal vouchers etc. These are the main things that say our town hates business and tells tourists they are not welcome.

Every business can help the BID succeed by taking an active part in making sure our money is used to fund new events and increase footfall in all areas that are paying, and not use any of the funds collected to shore up council spending like public toilets etc, as these are what we already pay our rates for.

The council advertises the fact they need to save cash over the next five years. Why not turn this on its head and decide how to earn the extra cash, there are plenty of money-making ideas out there which have been untouched.

I would also like to thank my daughter Lisa Marshell, along with Eva Howkins, Martyn Share, Richard Marks along with others who put so much time and effort into trying to obtain a democratic vote. If people would like to comment, email Greatyarmouthforafairvote.co.uk

PHIL THOMPSON

Regent Road Indoor Market

Great Yarmouth

Beatles came to Yarmouth twice

Recently in your newspaper I recall some discussion concerning dates the Beatles came to the ABC in 1963.

I have just returned from a short holiday to Liverpool and went on the Magical Mystery Tour. I took the opportunity to ask the well-informed guide about the visits. He advised me that this was dubbed the Cinema Tour to promote the Please, Please Me album and they did come to Yarmouth on two occasions, both in the summer of 1963.

The first was on June 30 1963 when they did one show, then again on July 28 1963 when they did two performances. I hope this will be of help.

PETER WESTGATE

Email

Harbour Road public meeting

Following welcome support for our efforts to reopen the Harbour Road in Great Yarmouth we are planning a meeting at Gorleston Library, on Thursday, March 26 to be chaired by Anne Edwards, editor of the Great Yarmouth Mercury.

The meeting starts at 6.45pm and there will be tea and coffee from 6.30pm. Sorry it’s been slower progress than we had hoped.

In order for this campaign to carry any weight and have chance of achieving something positive for all of us we need the support of you all.

Gorleston Library is easily accessible by bus and there is ample free parking at Morrison’s supermarket, a few minutes’ walk away. This is an initial meeting to gather together and decide on next steps.

We do hope you will come and help us stand up for the public’s right to know why this happened in our town and how we can reverse the decision.

We do hope to see as many as possible at the meeting. Please confirm by email or phone to enable us to arrange refreshments and adequate seating and to ensure we have adequate capacity.

Email greatyarmouthharbour@hotmail.com or call 01493 202 201 and leave a message.

MARY KENT and PETE BISS

Great Yarmouth Harbour Road Campaign

Toilets decision short-sighted

The proposed closure of toilets in Caister and North Drive may be a little short-sighted as the National Coastal Path route will certainly pass these civil amenities.

The closure will certainly impact directly on the local businesses situated along the route.

Where will all these walkers let alone holidaymakers go to relieve themselves, on the dunes? Or do they knock on a householder’s door?

The local café’s owners have invested a great deal of time and money into their business and to close nearby toilets would be a travesty.

I am dismayed at this latest event, I have met with the portfolio holder for the environment and other nationally recognised organisations to discuss the North Denes SSSI and the promotion of this site to encourage visitors who have a keen interest in the environment and put forward an idea to promote not only this site but others and to create green pathways linking up SSSI sites with other areas of interest.

I also feel Cllr Wainwright has often been reported giving residents the clear indication as to how dire finances are yet they “find” a staggering £1m to dress up our town centre.

Let me think, would I like to see a piece of modern art or a fully working clean public convenience?

Great Yarmouth is not all about the Golden Mile.

It has a lot more to offer and it is a great pity the powers that be do not consider the whole of the area as a business.

I thought the idea is to promote the area and encourage visitors to spend their well-earned holidays and weekend breaks?

PENNY CARPENTER

email

Dunes removal bad for wildlife

The concerns of those who enjoy and want to protect our local wildlife, myself being one, are appalled that Haven are continuing to pull up vegetation, burning it, removing huge clumps of marram grass, and exposing rubbish and broken glass.

We have tried to establish exactly which enviromental/wildlife groups were contacted prior to this work being carried out and whether anyone actually visited the area to ascertain what animals, reptiles and birds would suffer 
as a result and it looks like very little in-depth consultation was done. Haven, if I am wrong, please show us written proof of what physical investigations took place and the findings.

We know the common lizard resides in these dunes and many will have lost their lives whilst hibernating.

Although not protected as such, all animals are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 from deliberate killing or injury and I have had it from very good authority that provisions should have been made to protect the lizards prior to the commencement of this work.

I am sure the act also covers the inhumane killing of rabbits by blocking up warrens, no doubt with them sheltering inside and also lizards use warren openings to hibernate in.

At the recent parish council meeting, the councillors, as a group, denied any knowledge of this work, which I find hard to believe.

There should be easy communication between parish councillors with action being taken between the monthly meetings.

BRENDA DAVIS

Email

We can use ‘our’ loos in Town Hall

Where to go if caught short, Mercury February 27. The obvious answer is to use the toilets in the Town Hall.

As council taxpayers, we pay for the upkeep of the Town Hall and its facilities and so should have right to use them.

M GOLEBY

Laurel Drive,

Bradwell

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