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Letters, September 21, 2012

PUBLISHED: 17:04 20 September 2012

Yes, to the idea of a velodrome

A VELODROME yes, (Mercury, September 14) - and what an asset to the Borough that would be for a whole host of reasons, not least the deservingly high profile which cycling now has after the Tour de France, Olympics and the Tour of Britain, (which incidentally showed Yarmouth at it’s very best last weekend).

But not at the Waterways, a site, which in its own way is an existing asset which we should cherish, albeit one which needs some refurbishment and a rethink about its function and utility. Bure Park should also be left as it is.

Let’s talk here not of replacements of existing facilities but the creation of new, additional facilities. We have plenty of underused or disused land here which could be used for the velodrome. A site on Caister Road adjoining the heliport and the Greyhound Stadium springs to mind, not least because of access and the complementary existing facilities.

Perhaps best of all, what about the site opposite the railway station? Imagine the impression first-time visitors would get if the first thing they saw upon alighting from the train was a magnificent and majestic edifice like a velodrome. Such an iconic building could trigger the transformation of this key gateway to the borough, an area which has been neglected for far too long.

MIKE SPRAGG

Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Anyone know history of house?

DOES anyone know the history of the empty house across the road from the YMCA going into the park in Sandown Road?

You turn in by the graveyard end to the Wellesley Park from the YMCA. right across the road from the coach station.The entrance is near the gates in the park.by the side of the YMCA. It looks a fine big house and it could even be Tudor.

Every time I go into the entrance I just see this beautiful looking house …but in a rather sad looking state.

I am sure there is history to this house. There are three houses, one which once was a shop, right next door. I really want to know the story of this house. Perhaps the park keeper lived there, but it’s been empty for years now. Hope someone can help with this bit of history.

THERESA WHITMORE

Email

Shame on you, Ofsted inspectors

I HOPE pupils, their parents and the staff of Cliff Park High School are feeling justifiably proud of their excellent GCSE results –the best ever. All this in a year of controversy, with English grades being downgraded.

In March, Ofsted inspectors decided that “Attainment in English lessons is poor because of inadequate teaching.” Wrong again Ofsted! Between Ofsted’s inspection and the time when the pupils sat their exams there was insufficient time for grades to be improved to any significant extent, so the teaching obviously was not inadequate. I hope the public has begun to realise how political Ofsted has become. A failing school is pressured to become an academy, in line with government policy. Cliff Park High is not failing and should not feel pressured to jump through Michael Gove’s hoops. They are doing just fine thank you!

The inspection report states that parents and carers felt that students were making satisfactory progress but inspectors did not agree with this view. I don’t agree either. They are making better than satisfactory progress. What better answer could they have made to a clearly biased inspection? The parents know better than Ofsted.

Should the inspectors not be held to account for being so spectacularly wrong in their judgements? How can they be trusted?

CERI WALFORD

Victoria Road,

Gorleston

Photos need to go to family

I HAVE old photos of Florence Randall nee Dyble, and her husband William’s families and want to reunite them with their families. Florence married William Randall and they lived in New College Close, Gorleston. They had no children. Did you know them? I can be contacted on annie1g@yahoo.co.uk

A GREEN

email

Encouraging signs in borough

IN the present “double dip” recession places like Great Yarmouth suffer more than most - under this Cameron/Clegg Government - much as happened a generation years ago in the days of Margaret Thatcher.

A diet of unremitting government cuts however will do nothing to get the economy moving. We desperately need some well-targeted infrastructure projects to help the regeneration of towns like ours.

The Outer Harbour facility is a major new driver for new investment and new jobs, and despite the generally poor economic situation we face there are encouraging signs of better things to come. Last week’s record 19,000 tonnes grain shipment out of the Gleadell agricultural terminal demonstrated the real potential of Yarmouth’s deep water facility.

We need to press the Government to bring forward construction of the third river crossing - a bridge straight from the Harfreys Link Road in Southtown into the heart of the South Denes Peninsula.

Some important design work has already been done - and the necessary land in and near Queen Anne’s Road was compulsorily purchased by the county council some years ago in order to facilitate this development.

This would represent a major construction project providing many jobs in these difficult times. It would also set a “marker” that Great Yarmouth is going to grow it’s economy and exploit it’s proximity to Amsterdam and Rotterdam as Europe emerges from the present world recession.

MICHAEL CASTLE

Borough Councillor for Yarmouth’s Central and Northgate Ward

Don’t apologise for us, Cameron

I AM incensed that David Cameron has apologised on behalf of the nation regarding the latest news about the Hillsborough tragedy. Pray tell me, how as a nation are we responsible for the deaths of 96 that fateful day.

The government and police are the ones who should apologise, and those responsible should be brought to justice. The sheer enormity of it all demands justice.

MARLENE DELAY

Email

We should be grateful to John

I GATHER that a long-term contributor to your columns, Mr John Cooper, has decided to bow to the passing of time and leave the debate on the Outer Harbour to others. May we hope that a worthy successor will come along.

John has ruffled many feathers over the years and, naturally, not everyone has agreed with all his views, but nobody can cast any doubt at all on his sincerity and integrity. He and the few associates who backed him have never sought personal gain or renown but have worked extremely hard to make public their serious reservations regarding this project.

Patently these are not the actions of destructive obsessives or vexatious complainers. The points they have raised are perfectly valid and reasonable, based on fact and, so far as I am aware, have not been answered satisfactorily by anyone in authority.

We should all be grateful that there are still concerned residents in the Borough of Great Yarmouth willing to draw attention to matters which relate to us all and affect our livelihoods as well as our heritage.

NICK POWNALL

Email

We Tories began personal budgets

I WAS interested to read in last week’s edition the statement by Trevor Wainright that the Labour Council had introduced the personal budgets of £2,000 for ward councillors.

This money can be allocated by individual councillors to fund projects in their area. The money was in fact included in this year’s budget and passed by the previous Conservative council.

It will be a benefit to many small projects throughout the borough which otherwise may have experienced difficulty to attract funding. Therefore if credit is due it is to the previous Conservative administration.

JIM SHRIMPLIN

Member, Norfolk County Council, East Flegg Division

Lovely paintings by local artists

I FELT I should write and say how much I enjoyed the Art Exhibition at the Great Yarmouth library staged by the Yarmouth Society of Artists. It was refreshing to see such lovely paintings by local artists and presented so professionally.

I was also pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and drink and the prompt polite service I experienced at the café in the library. Congratulations to all concerned.

VIVIENNE GEORGE

Westerley Way,

Caister on Sea

Who were the runners in dark?

I WAS travelling from Loddon to Great Yarmouth on the A143 at 8.15pm on Saturday and as I approached the Haddiscoe bends, coming in the other direction in the pitch black was a runner and cyclist followed by a van with flashing yellow light.

The lights were dazzling but they passed safely but I was confronted a little futher down the road by another runner and cyclist plus van wth flashing lights, then a short way behind that yet another and another and another.

This continued all the way to Gorleston in the pitch black.

Whoever was responsible for organising this should be ashamed of themselves putting the lives of so many in danger. As far as I know there wasn’t an accident but the risk was very high. Who ever you are don’t do it again.

GERRY JARVIS

email

Town’s churches closing: why?

REGARDING the sudden temporary closure of St Luke’s Church in Cobholm, which followed the equally sudden closure of St James’: Is Great Yarmouth about to become a one church town? Having been a member of both congregations and now at a third church in the borough, what does the future hold? Will there be consultation about the future, something so sadly lacking regarding St Luke’s and St James’.

While I have faith in Him above, it is now sadly lacking in those below.

ELIZABETH GILES

Email

Money lost at Marina fairs

WITH reference to the letter in the Mercury about the Antique and Collectors Fairs: let me explain what happened.

Yes, I was going to run the fairs throughout 2012 at the Marina Centre and last year I paid a substantial deposit. Unfortunately the response was very low from, reasons given were that Great Yarmouth was a bad area, free parking is not readily available and accommodation is expensive.

After losing money from the first three fairs, I had to turn it around in order not to lose more. Advertising by me was stopped, however some unknown persons did put it on the internet. I changed it to Craft and Gift Fairs and advertised it as such. What would the letter writer have done in my position?

I hire the sports hall from the Marina Centre and have been running Craft and Gift Fairs for 12 years and have been putting money into the Marina Centre’s coffers. The fairs also add an extra facility to the beach area - I am not an interloper as since 1992 I have owned a static caravan in the area and like everyone I pay rates.

Just as an aside, the fairs have been held to get money for our charity in Africa. We have built a school in a remote area and 120 children attend, every day we feed them. The last Craft and Gift and Collectors Fair is on October 12-13. There will be 19 in 2013 starting on the early May Bank holiday.

ROSEMARY CRISP

email

Railway sites freed for homes

WATCHING a DVD about the Yarmouth to Lowestoft railway and its last days made interesting viewing. It also brought back lots of happy memories but I was surprised at the scale of building in Gorleston, Hopton, Corton and north Lowestoft since the start of the 70s.

When you see the vast area of railway and farm land that has disappeared and large sums of money made out of this, it comes as no surprise the powers that be made sure the railway system was run down. My then father in law who worked for the railways, told me the profitable lines were put in with lines losing money to make them all look bad. Call me Mr Cynical but is it not the current fad of centralising old peoples’ homes and in the past hospitals ie think James Paget that conveniently freed up a large number of sites for building on, or conversions to house the elderly who moved here to retire, who need all the above plus hospices, palliative care centres and large care homes.

Plus you need houses and flats to house extra staff to service all the above that have come from all over the UK and the world because of a lack of trained locals, ie the key worker syndrome.

Conned, yes we certainly have been and not only by the outer harbour.

M S DIMMACK

Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

MP’s promotion to be celebrated

I FEEL the promotion of Brandon Lewis is something our town should celebrate and be proud of. Historically, Great Yarmouth has always punched below its weight when it comes to ministerial posts.To my knowledge, Tony Wright, Michael Carttiss or Antony Fell were ever made ministers. It appears therefore very likely Brandon Lewis is in fact the first minister from our borough in approximately 50 years.

I think his appointment means the Borough of Great Yarmouth has an advocate in the very heart of government. He will able to ensure that Yarmouth is firmly on the minds of government, when it is setting policy. This will mean that at last we have a voice on the top table.

Cllr TOM GARROD

Norfolk County Councillor, Yarmouth North and Central

Minister role is good news

IT was sad to see such negativity in the letters last week concerning the recent announcement of Brandon Lewis’ promotion to government minister. It baffles me why anyone would consider this bad news, for Mr Lewis or their town.

In the years I have lived in Great Yarmouth, I cannot remember one of our past parliamentarians having a ministerial role, so I am pleased to see this has changed and our local MP is gaining recognition for his work.

Mr Lewis’ new role as Local Government Minister, will be good news for the town, as it will enable him to work closely with senior politicians in Westminster, and influence policy on local issues - this can only be of benefit to Great Yarmouth.

Brandon Lewis has campaigned tirelessly in Parliament on local issues such as dualling the A47, providing better rural bus services, fair fuel prices and helping secure the town an enterprise zone, and I for one am pleased to see he has been rewarded for this hard work. I hope his new responsibilities in government take him one step closer to achieving these improvements for Great Yarmouth.

JUDY ROBERTS

Gorleston on sea

Our interests at heart of policy

DESPITE the typical wailing in the letters, Brandon Lewis’s promotion is a good thing for our town. The role of an MP is to lobby central government. In that light Mr Lewis has already performed brilliantly; from successfully campaigning for funding for the dualling of the A11; supporting the roll out of broadband to our rural areas, and staking Yarmouth’s claim to an enterprise zone, he has tangible achievements to his name.

As a minister he will able to make sure our interests clearly inform government policy; surely this is a good thing?

CATHERINE WINGROVE

email

Erosion is being accelerated

I ENDORSE Jack Edmunds’ letter in last week`s Mercury and Pat Gowen’s letter of September 7 re the large amounts of seabed material that have been removed by offshore aggregate dredging, which has lowered the sea bed by five to 10m over huge areas along our coastline. These deeper near shore areas are filled in over time by surrounding sea bed and beach silt/sand consequently accelerating erosion of the adjacent coastline due to the loss of beach sand.

When offshore dredging started along this coastline in 1973 just 3m metric tonnes were removed pa but by 1994 this rate had risen to 22m tonnes. There is plenty of evidence to support the correlation between removal of large amounts of seabed material and erosion of the adjacent coastline from history:In the 17th century, Hallsands in Devon was swept away by the sea 18 years after the start of the removal of large amounts of seabed aggregate to build the nearby RN dockyard. More recently the UK Hydrographic Office 2005 survey report of Hemsby Hole concluded: “There has been a general deepening along the total length of this near shore area since the last survey.”

More reports and a graph showing beach sand loss in correlation with periods of increased offshore aggregate extraction between 1971 and 1995 can be viewed on website www.marinet.org.uk

There is evidence of the mobility of Norfolk`s beaches and associated sea bed areas and confirmation that the removal of these large amounts of seabed material by offshore aggregate dredging along our coastline will in years to come cause significant erosion of the adjacent coastline, this effect takes many years or decades to cause devastating beach losses and consequential coastal erosion but it is inevitable.

I also agree with the two previous writers that it is getting late to execute remedial measures to rectify this process- but. The UK is a small over populated island and the government should be doing all it can to preserve any section of our land mass.

Not as suggested in the Shoreline Management Plan SMP 3b allow large areas to be sacrificed to the sea.

MIKE KING

MARINET

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