Letters October 29
PUBLISHED: 16:43 28 October 2010
People should have their say
I AND others applaud the late efforts in getting business to use the Outer Harbour, but I take exception to Cllr Graham Plant publicly branding criticism as “disgusting and poisonous”.
Is he forgetting that he represents the very people he is attacking? Albeit some will always have different views to his, it’s called democracy and should not be a case of “you’re either for or against us.”
Most of the issues raised over the past weeks and months have mainly been over the way grants and assets (so called useless lands) were “gifted” to achieve the outcome and the “functionality” of it.
Whether the Outer Harbour becomes successful (which we all want) still does not answer these raised issues. Is he saying that, we as ratepayers and voters are therefore not allowed to express our opinions, concerns or comments to those held “accountable?” I bet these privileged few, as with the majority, didn’t queue up for three hours on a cold wintry day, at the Pleasure Beach to get a bus into Fortress Outer Harbour to view HMS Dauntless.
KENNETH W J EKE
Confusion over where to park
HOW come one day I can park outside my doctors and then all of a sudden I am going to get a parking ticket?
I was attending my doctor’s surgery on Monday, October 18 in Alexander Road. As there was no room in the car park I parked where I have parked for the last four years. As there was a car in front of me with a ticket, I asked a traffic warden who was walking by if I was still okay to park and he assured me I was fine.
Within seconds I was approached by two police officers who told me if I didn’t move I would be given a fixed parking ticket. When I challenged them, I was told I was causing an obstruction – which I wasn’t as while I was there a bus went through and a large lorry.
There was no prior warning. As I had to move I missed my appointment. Just for curiosity I went along the same road the next day and there were cars parked in exactly the same spot with no ticket.
I am disabled and cannot walk properly due to osteoarthritis in my knees (I have also just had a knee replacement) and lower back. If I have to see my doctor I’m afraid I will have to call him out as if there is no spaces I will have to park in Market Gates and that is too far for me to be able to walk.
I would like to find out how many other disabled drivers were given tickets on said day.
Hunt for Helen
IN August 1951 I stayed at Gorleston and visited the Floral Hall to see a musical troupe known as the Musical Elliotts. I also understand that a singer well known in the area as Helen Hill was very popular years ago. Can any of your readers recall the above mentioned personalities?
W D GEE
sOne voice for
IF you are one who tries to keep up-to-date with Town Hall decisions, and who is genuinely interested in ensuring ratepayers’ interests are best served by those in power at the Town Hall, why is it then that we hear so much adverse criticism or read about so many bad decisions concerning Great Yarmouth from individuals, who express their views to the media?
Surely it must be time for those individuals expressing their strong views to be heard as one voice, since they probably represent, and are the views of, the many ratepayers, who care not to express themselves individually and publicly.
It has been suggested that we meet together and establish how best to represent those, who disagree, or are at variance, with decisions made by those, who are in power and, who may not be sufficiently experienced in making decisions, which affect us all.
The rates we pay are substantial. Most of us never query them, but it has to be asked, whether or not we benefit sufficiently from these substantial payments. Please contact me, if you are interested in taking this matter further. Perhaps any cause we may have, would be better heard, if we express ourselves as one voice rather than as individuals.
Is rock berm project needed?
CAN anyone tell me why Great Yarmouth Borough Council (Public Notice, Mercury) has decided that at this present moment a rock berm extension at Scratby should go ahead at the cost of £3.9m?
The present Pathfinder Project to find out what Scratby residents really want has not yet concluded. Surely GYBC could wait and see what Scratby residents do want, which might not be the same as the conclusion reached by Scratby Coastal Erosion Group. Please support the Pathfinder Project.
The cost of the rock berm extension of £3.9m could be used to set up a compensation fund for Scratby residents who might lose their homes due to cliff erosion.
If you think a rock berm extension is not required at Scratby and the costs could be used to set up a compensation fund instead please send your objection in writing to Great Yarmouth Council and the Dept of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by 12th November 2010. Details can be found on the Public Notice.
Witchcraft is quite harmless
I WAS pleased to see two replies to my letter, October 15, and in answer to Mr Huggins I did not say witchcraft was fun.
It is in fact a serious pagan religion but it is certainly harmless and the aim of that particular pagan sect, like all other pagans, is to do good and take care of the Earth and the people on it.
Mr Barkhuizen accuses me of saying that Jesus was lying or mistaken. I would point out what Jesus did or said was not actually recorded in written form for at least 60 years after the events so we can never be certain the account in the Bible is accurate.
However this does not detract from the important message in the words whether they are from Jesus, the scribe or the person reporting to the scribe. Such things as astrology, devil worship, fortune telling and other superstitions are best avoided as they tend to attract venerable people who are then open to exploitation.
I fear that Mr Barkhuizen’s stance on this point does not help in discouraging people from indulging in such practices as many are attracted by the idea of some supernatural connection.
The Christian church is not immune from these phenomena as we have seen recently from the publicity about ordained priests exploiting their status to corrupt young people. Most of it has been about the Roman Catholic Church but it does happen in other denominations as well.
I do have to thank Mr Barkhuizen for his confirmation of my opinion that real witches are not evil and do not practise human sacrifice. He mentions the Luciferian witches in this context and of course they are not real witches.
Real witches, as I have already said, are pagans. Pagans do not believe in Lucifer, Satan or the Devil this mythical character is an invention of the early Abrahamic religions no doubt to explain some of the natural disasters which they did not understand but then carried on by the Christian church.
So there is no way a real witch can worship Lucifer. The Luciferian witches, like many other people, have just adopted the name due to the fact that the Christian church had already falsely demonized the true witches. Of course the Christian churches are not exempt from the accusation of human sacrifice.
For instance over 300 people were burnt at the stake during Queen Mary’s reign. This was the punishment at the time for blasphemy which simply means saying something that the established church did not agree with.
I note both contributors are relying on the Bible to support their points of view. I would point out the current Bible is based on the bible devised at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 by the then leaders of the Christian church. They decided which writings and gospels they would put in and which they would leave out.
Since the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls we now realise that the interpretation of the events in the Bible is not the only one and not necessarily the most accurate, making it, I would suggest, a rather dubious source to base an argument on.
Royal Naval Hospital
Rich must put something back
IT is such a shame that in the last 25 years or so, society has changed so much and not always for the better. The main cause of the world recession, any intelligent person knows, is caused by the bankers mismanaging money, company directors being greedy and takers. We really need to look at the bigger picture because if the hard- working ordinary people in society have no money to spend, then many big companies will suffer and even go to the wall.
Benefit cheats I agree need to be stopped, it’s not fair on the rest of us, but there are benefit cheats on a much larger scale among us: the millionaires who deposit large sums in safe tax havens.
Many of these wealthy people may have worked damned hard but so have we all, because without road sweepers, toilet cleaners, refuse collectors, and of course hotel chambermaids, would millionaires do these jobs themselves. We all need one another. I congratulate all who work hard and make it in life but they just need to think back to their childhood.
Did they get, like you and I, a state education? Did they get free dental and free medical treatment in the early years of their working lives? If so, it’s time to put something back and pay their rightful, fair taxes like all of us in this wonderful caring country.
Noise in shops
MR Owen’s letter last week on music in shops does unfortunately only touch the tip of the problem. Much of the so called noise is truly horrible as well as being a literal pain. Those like my partner, who has to use hearing aids, find the noise reacts with the sensitivity of her units and causes her not to hear what is being said either by me or shop staff.
Although I do not need to use hearing aids, I find my ability to both think and enjoy going to certain shops is greatly diminished.
Some while ago, I was undergoing a consultation in a national chain of opticians where the noise was so bad I asked the member of staff if the noise could be reduced. The staff member concerned seemed astonished the noise could cause a problem. She went off and I did not see her again! I no longer use that company’s services because of the attitude of that individual.
On another occasion, I was in a local department store where the broadcast sound was bad. When I mentioned this to a member of staff they responded that they too had complained but been told that it was “company policy” to inflict the noise whilst the premises were open.
It seems the management of the majority of retail premises really don’t care about the instore customer. Is it any wonder many now shop online?
I AM trying to get hold of Dave Docwra; we made a “casting further” video years ago, it’s suddenly been rediscovered in the World Sea Fishing forums and people want copies. We were 50-50 partners in this from day one, and we last spoke years back. This year, after lots of web searches trying to find out what happened to him it was an article that let the sea angling fraternity know he is still about, brilliant news. Can any reader help?
DENNIS Bean’s letter accurately outlined the Outer Harbour farce. We have already heard from Mr Freeman blaming lack of interest as being due to the worldwide downturn and stating that long term it should all be fine.
I remember my dad checking his football coupon for eight draws every Saturday evening and then telling us that one day his boat would come in but it was stuck on Scroby. Well, there are no boats stuck on Scroby likely to come into the Outer Harbour, so perhaps it’s time to be honest and cut to the chase. Perhaps for starters the security gate (keeping out what?) should be removed to give the people of Great Yarmouth access to their Harbour’s Mouth.
A distressing emergency call
YOUR news item last week referencing the Ambulance Service has prompted me to write. I understand the Emergency Response by the telephone Ambulance Service is in Cambridge. Last Monday week I was walking the dog on her lead along the esplanade between Britannia Pier and the tennis courts in Great Yarmouth.
On reaching the promenade section behind The Prince’s Tea Rooms I came upon a disturbing scene where a young girl had collapsed and her friend hovering over her and obviously distressed. Several passers by came across to offer any assistance they could, but because the teenager could not move or even lift her head I telephoned for an ambulance and it was an embarrassment.
On explaining the location I first of all had to reference that Great Yarmouth was in Norfolk on the east coast, stating that the unfortunate girl was lying on the ground behind the Prince’s Tea Rooms on the Esplanade by Britannia Pier.
The response was hardly believable: “What is Esplanade, I can’t see it on my map?” I then explained what an esplanade was, being the area between the road and the beach, which she had not a clue.
“What road are you closest to or alongside so that I can tell the ambulance?” I repeated I was on the north side of Britannia Pier dead opposite Princes Road. “Do you mean Marine Parade?” came the reply. “No, the other side of the pier from Marine Parade, North Drive!” I explained. “If you can see the Hollywood Cinema on your map, we are across the road by the beach,” I continued.
“Do you have the postcode?” she requested. So I gave her the postcode for my home addess in Princes Road and told her to follow the road to the sea and that we were located by the beach. “I’ve seen it now, is the girl breathing OK or changing colour” she finally asked.
Obviously the ambulance crew knew where to come because just then they arrived, so the emergency telephone call came to an end. The crew and paramedic on his bicycle arrived at the same time and attended to the teenager and her friend. I found making the call to the emergency services distressing. I wonder how many other readers have had similar experiences?
Wrong take on the harbour
ONCE again I see that us, the general public have had the nerve to criticise the Outer Harbour. So what if there is a grain store and machinery that can load a ship with thousands of tonnes in a matter of hours.
It’s just one of those things that the ship has to go into the inner harbour and wait for the lorries to tip the grain on to the quay so the crane could scoop it up to load the ship. Okay, so the multi million pound state of the art cranes have not been used to load a ship with containers. Seems to me we have got it all wrong on all the so-called problems that we think Eastport has. We are the same people that think we have been sold down the river on promises of jobs and a bright future. I suppose the next thing will be a public inquiry to find out how things got so terribly “wrong”.
HAVING read of the antics of a so called hero of the football world, Wayne Rooney, It was nice to read in last Friday’s Mercury of a true hero, namely Sam Austin, who recently tragically died at aged 17 of a rare genetic disease.
Despite his ill health, here was a young man who loved life, had many interests and was never sorry for himself. His parents and sister can be truly proud of him. An inspiration to them and his friends. I hope as a tribute to Sam a few people in our area will sign up on the donor register.
AS a mum of eight-month-old twins, I’m very reluctant to stop anywhere to eat as all I find are dirty high chairs. On recent trips, I’ve had to clean high chairs with wipes before I can put my girls in them. Do these not come under the same hygiene rules as tables. I can’t be the only mum to find this and it is no good complaining in store as they are always too busy.
Mrs V HOPKINS
Ormesby St Margaret
How I interpret the ‘party line’
AS a resident, I object to having my views called disgusting and poisonous by a councillor, as reported in last week’s Mercury. It is disrespectful to the people he serves.
Statement by Cllr Plant: “The council traded in some useless land for a £70m outer harbour. It is a fantastic outcome”
My view: Included were some expensive buildings, the thriving inner harbour and financial obligations taken on by GYBC for years to come plus £500,000 in cash. Not to mention Gorleston pier. NCC also took on obligations and paid £1m in cash.
This so-called “useless land” was an “under-utilised asset” which would have had potential for investing into the long-term future of the borough, not given away for 99 years.
Mr Plant pledged in his new position on NCC he “would be giving priority to a third river crossing, improved rail and road links built on the economic stimulus provided by the outer harbour”.
My view: Is this a little premature? As yet the outer harbour shows no sign of providing this stimulus or those all important 1,000 jobs which was the main reason for the grants.
Cllr Stone said: “Critics don’t know the whole story but it is difficult to refute the allegations because of commercial sensitivity.”
My view: This, just like health and safety, is an over-used excuse to put a blanket over anything that councils or businesses want to keep from us. Great Yarmouth Port Authority records have been buried in the vaults of Norwich Record Office with a 30-year embargo.
It was a trust port which should have been open with stakeholders (that’s us), and particularly port users. I presume this is another way to hide information they would rather we didn’t know. What we have discovered is the reason why we think a public inquiry is important. In this age of mass information and internet research, even the Americans find it difficult to bury their mistakes. We are getting closer and now need the help of more residents to demand an inquiry with us.
Mr Stone then said: “It (the outer harbour) is doing well and the future looks rosy, but there are not going to be 1,000 jobs from day one.”
My view: The inner harbour is keeping very busy but, in the outer harbour, trade is slow and the only new jobs are replacements for the redundant dockers.
In fact, the grain boats have been using the inner harbour rather than the new much vaunted £5m new terminal in the outer harbour and have been loaded by grab in all weathers with grain tipped on the quayside by lorries.
I am most surprised Gleadell agreed to this, I wonder what the farmers would say?
Apologise first and then resign
CONCERNING last Friday’s article in the Mercury “Pour Oil On Troubled Waters” and what Councillors Plant and Stone said. The value of land given to IPH was £1,600,000 and that they say is useless? They also gave cash. In three years, what have we received in return? Their sentence “traded in useless land for £70m outer harbour”, should read IPH was given £70m, (£18m grant plus the value of inner harbour), we the ratepayers’ are left with nothing.
I quote them again. “Business plans are not set in stone”, it is obvious to all that the plan was set in putty, as nothing in the plan promoted by them to the ratepayers between 2000 and 2006 has materialised!
From Cllr Stone, “we are ill-informed”. He states “critics don’t know the whole story”. Well this is because all the dealings between the cabinet and IPH were done behind closed doors – not even genuine stakeholders, port users, were privy to what they were up to.
We asked questions concerning what ratepayers are now responsible for, Haven Bridge, West Bank, why give the freehold of the South Pier? Those questions are not commercially sensitive.
They view the Outer Harbour as “doing well”. Why is it then no new jobs have come out of it?
Mr Freeman talks proudly of “advertising for non-permanent staff, where did the 1,000 go? Why is Harwich full of wind farm shipping? The council members and those officers that allowed this waste of our grant money and disposal of our inner harbour for a harbour which is unfit for purpose should resign, but not before apologising to the ratepayers of Norfolk.
JOHN L COOPER
Honour those who gave us so much
ON behalf of the borough council, I would ask your readers to support this year’s Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, which is the legion’s most important source of money.
The work of the legion is devoted to people whose needs arise from service to their country.
They range from veterans of the first world war to those who served in conflicts in places such as the Falklands, the Gulf, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.
Our donations provide the practical help for those in need during times of hardship and distress and is wisely spent on such things as helping to maintain residential homes, convalescent homes, sheltered workshops and a multitude of other large and small measures which help those who have given so much for our freedom and security.
I would like to invite members of the public to come to St George’s Park on November 14, for the Remembrance Day Service starting at 10.55am.
Also there will be a service at 12.30pm at the Far East Prisoner of War Memorial at the Jetty, Marine Parade.
I also hope that you will observe the two minutes’ silence on November 11, to express your gratitude and honour for all those who have died in the cause of peace and freedom throughout the world, and to remember the sacrifices made for future generations to enjoy the freedom that was won.
Mayor of the Borough of Great Yarmouth
Add a marina and problem is solved
WE should stop this argument about East Port. Add a marina and call it East Port and Nelson Marina. It could be hosted by the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club, as is the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club for Lowestoft Marina.
Do not overcharge for moorings; these could be increased gradually.
It would need a small market for provisions (excluding large supermarkets). Then it would need a yacht equipment repairer, like Johnsons, a taxi service and perhaps the use of Gorleston’s inshore lifeboat.
With its ancient maritime history, Yarmouth has so much to offer. First, the Nelson Monument, the Pleasure Beach and other attractions, and there is delightful Gorleston round the corner. It would need to advertise in the European sailing yacht brochures.
Forget about the roads and the third river crossing. There you have it, so use it! I am sure that prosperity will return, and being a seafaring nation, yachts and boats will forever want to sail at sea.
Is HMS Victory still the original ship?
ENGLISH Heritage does not have the last word on the prospects for the jetty.
Consider, if every original timber of HMS Victory could be gathered together and replaced; would Victory be a pile of rotting wood on the quayside or a ship? Obviously, the ship for heritage can be as much an idea stimulated by an icon as an original thing. The same applies to the jetty, and English Heritage, by its decision, aligns itself with those who have pound signs in their eyes, and the French and others who wish that Trafalgar Day never was and that Victory should be turned into pallets.
The estimated cost of restoration is questionable. Only one estimate seems to have been submitted, and there is a nationwide history of councils paying extravagant amounts to big companies for work which could have been done by local tradesmen for a fraction of the cost. Some of the necessary work could be done by local volunteers.
No thought seems to have been given to whether a restored jetty could offer sites for money-making enterprises whose profits could offset the costs of repairs or functions which, though profitless in money-making terms, would add to the seaside character of the place.
The jetty may even have been deliberately neglected to bring this demolition about. Unfortunately, there seems to be no strong civic group in the borough capable of resisting such an act of vandalism.
J F LAMBERT
Sad waste if we lose playing field
IT is interesting how there is great controversy over where the new sports field is going to be placed on the Bloors development site in West Road.
The parish council and the youth centre committee are up in arms about it all but, sad to say, an awful lot of residents surrounding the King George V playing field are up in arms over neglect to repairs of the safety netting around the field, not to mention the waterlogged car park after heavy rain.
There was an awful lot of money spent on the King George V playing field and pavilion – it’s so sad this facility seems to have not been used to its full potential.
When residents have asked for repairs to be done on the netting, the reply has been, “no funds”. What a sad waste of money.
The playing field committee and the parish council seem to have abandoned it in favour of the new playing field.
The plans to situate the new sports field near the Caister bypass are very unsatisfactory, but the neglect of the King George V playing field and pavilion is also very unsatisfactory.
Safe driving event so worthwhile
DURING a time when our Emergency Services are under-funded and often criticised I wish to bring the following to the attention of a wider audience.
At very short notice, I discussed with Sgt Hales at Acle Traffic Police the possibility of having a member of the force present at a “Lady Drivers Safety Evening” we were hosting on October 20.
Sgt Hales was very keen to assist and arranged for Mick Doidge, a member of the traffic team, to come along to discuss driving safely with those present and to answer any motoring-related questions.
Everyone there found it educational, interesting and a major contribution to road safety, with positive comments all round. I am sure it made all present aware the police officer’s job is to promote safer driving and not to persecute the motorist. The whole evening was a great success and we hope to be able to repeat it in 2011.
Halloween has a Christian message
WHILE I can understand the concerns of your correspondent John Huggins (Letters, October 22), we must not forget that Halloween marks the ‘een’ (eve) of All Hallows or in modern speak: “Eve of All Saints”.
This great Christian festival is a celebration of all Christendom, irrespective of denomination and is a great ecumenical event and statement of equality among Christians of which I am proud to be a part.
It is also a universal proclamation of St Paul in his letter to the Philippians ch2 v 6-11. For me Halloween and All Saints are a mirror image of the events of the Easter Triduum (crucifixion and apparent defeat on Good Friday, overshadowed by the event of the Easter Proclamation): “He is risen!”
Please note date of annual service
I WOULD like, through your letters page, to remind readers that the Parish Church in Caister will be holding its annual memorial service to remember those who have died, and especially those people whose funerals have been conducted by the ministers of the parish over the past year. It is a service some people like to attend every year but I hear that there has been a little confusion over the date and I would like to make sure that everyone knows when it is.
The service will take place on Sunday, October 31, at 6.30pm in the Parish Church in Norwich Road, Caister. Everyone is welcome to attend.
We have written to relatives of many of those whose funerals we have taken over the past year inviting them to the service. But we are aware there are gaps in our lists and we know some people have been missed.
Rev TIM THOMPSON