A 'diary room' where views were positive

“Day one in the Big Brother House and the mayor of Yarmouth has been called to the diary room to tell viewers that his town is on the up.”The likelihood of those words and Paul Garrod ever appearing on the Channel 4 reality programme may seem non-existent to avid fans of the 24-hour fly-on-the-wall show.

“Day one in the Big Brother House and the mayor of Yarmouth has been called to the diary room to tell viewers that his town is on the up.”

The likelihood of those words and Paul Garrod ever appearing on the Channel 4 reality programme may seem non-existent to avid fans of the 24-hour fly-on-the-wall show.

However Big Brother of a sort came to the seaside resort as part of a two-day Yarmouth Borough Council experiment to gather residents' views on the town in order to shape its future.

Just like housemates in the popular TV programme's diary room or the X Factor's pod room, people were videotaped as they sounded off about issues affecting them and their community.

But instead of moaning about housemates' behaviour or ranting about hyper-critical X Factor judge Simon Cowell, people accentuated the positives on their home town.

First up in front of the camera in the Market Place was mayor of Yarmouth Paul Garrod, who stressed that his town had a rosy future with the St George's Park revamp, the outer harbour project

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and seafront makeover destined to change the look of the area.

He said: “The whole town is really, really on the up. You just have to walk around the town's streets to see that Yarmouth has a happy feel to it.”

Mr Garrod was sure that if he was nominated to be thrown out of the Big Brother House or chucked off the X Factor then his Conservative Party's success in running Yarmouth Borough Council would save him from being evicted.

Other people who recorded their views were a family of holidaymakers from Sheffield and police community support officer Andy Smith.

People who were too shy to go on film could leave their thoughts on a special graffiti wall, with one comment praising the look of the town's seafront.

Clare Metcalf, borough council head of customer services, said: “We just thought the diary room was the best way to get people's natural thoughts and reactions instead of asking them to fill out a survey form.”

The diary room and graffiti wall will be open today from 10am to 4.30pm. All the videos will be collated and edited to make a film to show to councillors as part of the 'Your borough, your councils' consultation.

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