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Letters, November 30, 2012

Road could run parellel to rail

I HAVE never heard so much twaddle over dualling a road.

The A47 is across marshland, and each new government brings in people who have no knowledge of this area.

Even Percy Trett, the local naturalist, reckoned during the last survey the only things that would be upset is six frogs and maybe one extra toad – but these people supposedly found all sorts of wonderful things, even I believe a flypast of a dodo!

Also the road does not have to be across the marshes, the area from Yarmouth to the Halvergate bridge could run alongside the railway line and join up with the rest before the Halvergate bridge.

G E ANDREWS

Eastern Avenue

Caister-on-Sea

Ask God about role of women

REFERENCE the great debate that has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands of years regarding the role of women in the church. Am I being naive in stating the obvious solution is to actually ask God what his view is on the subject and then follow that.

I’m no expert but I’m sure I am right in thinking that God speaks to the Pope directly and has done in the past on such important matters as contraceptive birth control and making each Pope infallible.

I am assuming that God does not speak directly to any of the great and good in the C of E or else they would have the answer already so couldn’t the C of E leaders ask the Pope to intercede on their behalf?

And what about the united power of prayer? We are lead to believe that God answers prayers for a lot less reason than settling an argument that is apparently splitting his church apart. Perhaps a reader can explain.

DAVE GAHAN

Havelock Road,

Great Yarmouth

Challenge thrown to police boss

IN the recent Police Commissioner elections, independent candidates were elected in 11 areas - including in Norfolk. It’s encouraging so many voters rejected the candidates from political parties. In my view the Police Commissioner role is not an appropriate position for a party politician. The Green Party opposed the creation of Police Commissioners and we were particularly concerned about the prospect of the Police becoming closely associated with one political party.

I congratulate Stephen Bett on his election as Norfolk’s Police Commissioner. I challenge him to remain genuinely independent of political parties and to give residents regular opportunities to raise issues with him and hold him to account.

In these difficult financial times it’s critical that Mr Bett continues existing good work in tackling domestic violence, sexual crimes and hate crimes. He should also prioritise preventative work to stop young people and people suffering from mental health conditions from entering the criminal justice system.

Preventative work is vital for growing safer communities and it is crucial, going forward, that it is extended, not cut.

Dr RUPERT READ

Lead Green Party Candidate for the European Election in East Anglia

Mercury meters report is wrong

I REFER to your article last week “Shocked visitor discovers parking meters flaw”, in which a visitor complained it was impossible to pay the correct amount into the parking meters in the borough as they cannot accept the new 10p and 5p coins. This is in fact incorrect as you could pay in a 20p and 50p coin to reach the total of 70p, and a pound, a 50p and 3 x 20p for a total of £2.10.

I was very surprised to see your newspaper hadn’t noticed this! Hopefully somebody who works in this area realises before they go to the expense of changing the machines.

A HUGGINS

Crab Lane,

Gorleston

Editor’s note: Hands up. We’re guilty of an error and not checking it through. Apologies A Huggins

I feel conned by Conservatives

I FEEL really conned by the Conservatives. I thought the Big Society was about improving society for all. It turns out to be about looking after people with big wallets and clobbering the poorer citizens.

The LibDems are a disgrace supporting policies that are the antithesis ot their values.

After a lifetime working with the unemployed, I found most benefit claimants want to work and by so doing would pay into society rather than drawing benefits.

I thought the Tories were anti officials snooping into our private lives. Now I read they are taking an interest in our bedroom and sleeping arrangements! I thought they supported family values. Yet younger grannies (under 61) on housing benefit will be penalised, or forced to move, for having a spare bedroom for their grandchildren to stay which sometimes provides respite for parents or for the children!

Why cannot they have their friends to stay like anyone else?

Meanwhile, parents with some money, can have as many bedrooms or houses as they like and enjoy their grandchildren as often as they like. Likewise, children love to have friends to stay which is no problem for those with spare money.

It is vital to reform benefits and stop the few “scroungers” and fraudsters and the few living in mansions. What is needed is simple -more houses and incentives to downsize. The Tory privatisation of housing has seen housing benefits soar as private landlords take money off the state. Public council housing would see housing benefits stay with councils for re-investment in homes. Incentives, like access to mortgages and part ownership schemes, to buy new homes would free up homes. Housebuilding would create jobs and training opportunites.

I look forward, with deepening concern, to the Budget on December 5 and major measures for growth. This town and the country has immense talent under employed and unemployed – let’s get back to work. I suspect there will have to be more council and NHS job cuts and more unemployed for benefits.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

Cliff Top parking will cost money

A WHILE ago I wrote a letter, published in the Mercury, saying that I did not think the proposed residents parking permits system would, as they quoted be revenue neutral or even give the ratepayers a profit. This turned out to be the case.

So I think that the Gorleston cliff top car park will also cost the ratepayers money. As I said in my first letter, do not hold your breath! They should look again at the projected cost/gain figures.

MAURICE HOOD

Claydon Grove,

Gorleston

Third bridge will sink river port

SINCE the 1950s there has been serious “talk” about dualling the Acle Straight plus the length of the A47; lots of talk but no action, and the reasons given have been finance, environmental, or not having a sound business case. There has always been an excellent case to dual from Great Yarmouth to Peterborough to save lives.

With no discussions with industry, councillors collaborated with a regeneration company, 1st East, and a plan was published to turn the Port of Yarmouth from Gas House Quay to Haven Bridge, east and west into Yuppie dwellings and coffee bars. Some will say great, not realising the river as a whole is Great Yarmouth’s life blood, (hence the herring tails in our borough emblem).

So the whole A47 is dualled, and the result is traffic flow increases ten-fold; the road network in and out of the borough stays the same, what will happen? Chaos! Now add to that a third bridge.

That third bridge will cause the demise of the river port as we know it. The main selling point of our port is no locks or bridges. Yes, the third river crossing will lift, but with the extra traffic from an open arterial road from the Midlands the road traffic will take precedence over river traffic.

Why have we, since the year dot, had a flourishing river port? Because it is open to the sea and no obstructions, put in a bridge, add the extra road traffic, add the complaining new residents now occupying the Yuppie flats, add to that the absence of lay-by berths south of the proposed third bridge, the result a mass exodus of shipping companies and agents to other ports up north, or worse the Continent. .

Has anyone considered just how much cash the many companies that service these ships bring into the borough, they don’t do it for love, how many jobs associated with the port will be lost.

It could be called a bridge too far. I don’t think that even Great Yarmouth Port Company would want a bridge that would decrease the river port capacity by two-thirds and therefore its potential earnings in tandem.

JOHN L COOPER

Burnt Lane,

Gorleston

Is Sunshine van still on the road?

HAVING read the article (Peggoty’s Memory page, November 23 about Sunshine Bread, I was wondering if there is any information on EX7748. Is it still on the road, in storage or has it been scrapped long ago.

If it is available I would be interested in restoring it as classic/vintage cars are my passion.

ANDREW DIXON

McLaren Court,

Darby Road, Beccles,

NR34 9XT

God created the atheists

IN reply to Mr Gervais’ letter(November 23). It is pretty evident you are an atheist,but I think you should know that even though you do not believe in His existence, he created you in his own image, He loves you, as He loves all of us, and the most important message, is that God sent His Son to die for you on the cross.

I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which has helped me immensely down through the years. There is no other way to have a relationship with God, only through Jesus Christ.

If you look at any other religion, there is no substitute for sin, no redemption through someone sacrificing their life on a cross.

There are not many gods, Mr Gervais, but only one God, only one way, only one path that leads to eternal life. And He has given us free will, but choosing to reject Christ, He will reject us on the Day of Judgement, which could be any day now.

I always say this to an atheist: “If I am wrong, I have nothing to lose, but if you are wrong,you have everything to lose.”

JOHN HUGGINS

Turin Way,

Hopton on Sea

Matthew feature revived memory

REFERENCE the Memory article, Page 8, Mercury last week regarding Matthes Sunshine Bakery. It was very interesting and revived memories. My father sold our family business, Bullard’s Bakeries on Nile Road to Carman Bakers who took over in 1954. It is now Koi Jo fish aquarium shop.

Matthes took over all the rounds we had. I joined Matthes as a supervisor taking over when roundsmen were off sick or on holiday or day off. The vehicle in the picture is one I occasionally had to use if shops, hotels or roundsmen ran out of goods and I would have to deliver their orders. I believe a Sammy Pearkes was in charge of the retail and wholesale delivery department. He was a relation of Matthes family.

D J BULLARD

email

Where have all bookshops gone?

HOW the Great Yarmouth shopping centre has changed! Ten years ago there was a good mixture of bookshops that sold local history books and supported local authors, of which there is quite a few.

It takes a lot of time researching and putting together these books and there are a lot of local people who are interested in buying them.

We do have one shop today that still supports local authors: WH Smith who now stock my latest book Wickhampton Memories.

SHEILA HUTCHINSON

email

Make Gorleston pay, we have to

I DO hope the pay-and-display car park idea on the cliffs in Gorleston goes ahead, or otherwise there will be no fairness in this borough. Please take note Mr Trevor Wainwright.

In 2009, we Caister people, with the help of Labour councillor Marie Field, gathered 300 signatures on a petition asking for a free car park on our Beach Road site.

We are your voters too Mr Wainwright. The old saying comes to mind: What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. If Gorleston gets to keep its free car parking where does Caister stand?

J GREEN

Beach Road,

Caister on Sea

Warning to town cat owners

TODAY (Thursday, November 22), I witnessed three females to the rear of the block of flats where I live (on the pathway that leads to Friars Lane and that end of Middlegate Street), trying to entice an adult black and white cat from the garden area which is railed off.

They rustled a bag, and when the cat went to them the oldest female grabbed it by the scruff of the neck making it cry out. She only released it when it kicked and struggled. The cat then ran to safety and despite them trying to get it to go to them ago, it would not do so.

Had the cat been theirs it would have done.

I believe the cat belongs to someone living in the flats to the rear of my flat. I do not think their motive was a good one and I want to warn people in my area to keep a look-out on their cats.

SUSAN MITCHELL

Great Yarmouth

Wildlife work in old cemeteries

WE welcome interest expressed and the concerns about welfare of wildlife in Great Yarmouth Cemeteries. There are currently two work programmes being undertaken in the Old and New Cemeteries either side of Kitchener Road.

There is a community payback scheme underway in the New Cemetery organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, for which we are not responsible. However, completely separately a conservation and habitat improvement project is being run by Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust in the Old Cemetery.

The Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust is working in close partnership with Norfolk Wildlife Trust and The Conservation Volunteers to ensure there has been no disturbance to nesting birds during clearance in the Old Cemetery and that future plans for the site include careful management to provide a rich biodiversity in the long term.

This includes removal of aggressive and disruptive non-native species such as sycamore saplings, new planting of native species, installing bird and bat boxes and a nesting platform for a peregrine falcon. The work will also allow a rich flora specific to this light sandy soil to thrive.

This type of re-colonised sand dune is especially rare and the correct management encourages the establishment of a number of species that do not flourish elsewhere.

A Friends of Great Yarmouth Cemeteries group is being formed to draw up and implement a management plan, and new members are welcome. The Friends are meeting at the old St Nicholas Churchyard between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, December 1 to undertake some measuring and recording work, and will be happy to talk to anybody interested in future activities.

In conjunction with these plans for habitat improvement, conservation work is being undertaken to neglected and vandalised monuments of regional and national significance.

The project is also addressing skills shortages by providing valuable and meaningful training for volunteers in both built and natural conservation.

BRIDGET HERIZ

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust

In praise of officialdom

ONE reads and hears so many grumbles about local authorities I wonder if you would like to publish a letter in praise of officialdom for a change.

At midday on Thursday, November 22 a water leak in Pit Road, Hemsby was reported to a parish councillor.

The leak was confirmed and the details passed to Shirley Weymouth, the parish clerk, along with details of three areas of pavements where there were possible trip hazards.

At 11am the following day Essex and Suffolk Water were marking the site of the leak and locating the water main. Later that afternoon the leak was repaired.

On the morning of Saturday, November 24 the areas of pavement requiring attention were seen to have been marked up for repair by Norfolk County Highways staff.

I am sure better service could be not be asked for. Congratulations to Essex and Suffolk Water and to the County Highways Department. Parish Councils can get things done.

GORDON CRAIG

Highlands Pit Road,

Hemsby

Loo charge will be election issue

FIRST it was the proposal to charge for parking on the Gorleston cliffs. Now it appears the Labour Council wants to charge everyone 20p to use the toilet.

Also in the pipeline is the desire to introduce permit parking in new zones B and C, which would result in a blanket pay and display parking regime throughout the urban area of Great Yarmouth.

These are some of the ideological, penny pinching, stealth taxes the Labour administration has for the hard pressed residents of the borough.

I note that the Gorleston parking issue has resulted in a hasty U-turn with a face-saving referral to the area committee.

This proposal had been weeks in the planning with the Cabinet agenda having been published a week prior to the withdrawal of the item from the agenda just 24 hours before consideration!

May I remind people that the last Labour administration some 12 years ago also introduced toilet charging?

It was no coincidence they lost seven seats and control that year, and I think it reasonable to expect the issue will be an election issue at the polls next time if the proposal goes ahead.

BARRY COLEMAN

Deputy Leader of Conservative Group

Stranger made birthday special

WE were in the Market Place, Great Yarmouth and did not have the right money for car parking as we only had two pounds and we needed to find change for a pound so we could pay for two hours.

I asked a man who was passing by if he had change for a pound he looked and said no, he then asked me how much I needed.

I told him 40p so he gave me the 40p and started to walk away. I offered him the pound but he refused to take it and said it was all right and walked away.

I would like to thank him for his generosity and to tell him that he made my birthday a day to remember.

SUE McNEILL

Email

Invitation for former Bloaters

DID you play for Great Yarmouth Town FC during the 1970s? If so, would you like to be the club’s guest for the day on Saturday, December 1 when the first team entertains Brightlingsea Regent?

Come along and have a chat about the good old days, and renew friendships with ex-team mates.

We are aiming to make this a regular feature at home league games featuring other decades, details of which will be posted on our website.

Dates so far are December 29 ex players from the 1980s, January 5 ex players from 1990s, January 26 ex players from the 2000s, and February 5 ex players from the 1950s and 1960s.

If you are an ex Bloater from any era but would like to attend on a different day please feel free to give me a call.

If you know of any ex Bloaters, please pass this message on. All replies to Len on 01493 859587 or sandysauce@hotmail.com

LEN BERESFORD

email

£10m cuts, no services impact?

I ASKED Cllr Bernard Williamson a public question at the council meeting on Tuesday - if there would be an impact on services and staff at the Town Hall. Cllr Williamson said there would be no impact on services - even though the council is looking to make savings of £10 million.

Cllr Williamson believed his staff were happy with the idea of working harder for the same pay, but only time will tell if they deliver the services we all rely upon.

RICHARD HUDSON

Email

Gorleston Xmas event success

THANKS to all those who attended and those who helped make the Gorleston Christmas Extravaganza a wildly successful event.

It would be futile to name everyone individually as there are far too many people and companies, but the committee would like to thank most especially the ten borough councillors who donated money to help fund the event, the stewards who came forward to help with manning the barriers, and to the numerous businesses who gave money, equipment and time to help keep the costs as low as possible.

The Committee

Gorleston Traders Association

Lay on skips for the flytippers

I REALLY don’t see the need for separate bins for household rubbish, because where I live no-one seems to adhere to the rules - so why should I!

I carefully grade all my rubbish, from newspapers to empty tins, and tin foil, to crisp packets, polythenes and man-made products. I even make sure, out of all the useless junk mail through my door, all the envelopes are kept separate and put into the black bin.

Every fortnight when the green bins are emptied I hear clanking of bottles as other people’s bins are lifted into the waste lorry; and what’s more, stuff has been wrapped in plastic bags.

So it’s no to a weekly bin collection from my point of view anyway because neither of my bins (and there are two people in our household) is ever full to the top.

The money could be spent elsewhere like stopping the blight of flytipping in the back alleys round where we live near the town centre. Why not have a couple of skips placed strategically in town instead of extra bins, so people can still get their thrill of flytipping, but put it into one of these skips?

A mess. What’s gone wrong? We have always had problems with litterers but just recently it seems to have become worse - and not only here. Visiting Nottingham last week we were astonished with the crisp packets and fast food papers swirling around in the wind on the pavements.

Great Yarmouth is no worse or better than anywhere else.

D HASLAM,

Great Yarmouth

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