Letters, April 27, 2012

Husband’s care was great at JPH

OVER the last few months all we have heard is negativity towards the James Paget Hospital, because of this both myself and my husband feel compelled to write in. On January 5 my husband suffered a heart attack which resulted in 43 days of hospital care, after requiring a triple bypass and subsequently suffering a large infection, (approximately nine days of which were not at the JPH). Virtually all of his time was spent in CCU, and we could not fault any service he was given. The ward was extremely clean, the staff were not only efficient, but friendly and courteous, and the food was more than satisfactory. When the sickness virus was within the hospital the staff constantly kept us informed as to the best practice to ensure our three year old was safe - even if this meant her not seeing daddy for a week. We have been very disappointed that so many people have such negativity towards the hospital, but we would like to thank all of the staff on CCU and any doctors that helped. I nearly lost my husband and with their care and dedication he is well on the road to recovery. I would also like to comment on the fact that the maternity ward were excellent in their handling of the delivery of my daughter on August 1 2008 when I suffered complications. They acted very quickly and professionally which saved both my life and my daughter’s. I never had the chance to thank them at the time.

We are only commenting on the two wards that we have had personal experience with and wish to show our deepest gratitude by thanking them in public.


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God’s laws are not for bending

WOMEN, if godly, are as precious to God as holy men are. My reply to the letters in last week’s Mercury re: women teaching in God’s church is as follows.

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Ms Audus angrily accuses me of “sexism”! Then God too is sexist, for I merely quoted His words via the apostle Paul: “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:11–12).

As it’s God’s church, He decides how it works – women, in His church, are not allowed to teach or be in positions of authority.

Mr Bensley says my (actually God’s) views are “far removed from the reality of most modern churches”. He is correct. Man’s, or now woman’s, church simply does what it wants to. This church follows the latest fads, such as “Alpha Course”, “Caf� Church”, “Messy Church”, etc., whatever these are!

P Reeve agrees with Mr Bensley when he says: “There is a myth that God’s laws are unchanging.” Really? So we can bend the truth to make it fit our culture, or fashion it into whatever we wish? As logical as saying, in 1912 one plus one equalled two, but in 2012 it equals five.

Truly Paul prophesied: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires ... they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3–4).


Albemarle Road


Hospital merits all our support THERE has been yet more controversy in the press recently regarding the James Paget Hospital. A failed inspection in 2011, some five or six assessments since regarding the care and welfare of patients or lack of, new management and still more criticism.

It would appear that the JPH has now been given a deadline at the end of May to improve or face prosecution, and or the removal or suspension of services, and to cap it all, financial penalties are also on the cards.

I understand that the management must find savings of some �20m by 2014 and possibly more, some 64 jobs appear to be at risk and possibly more so. Is it any wonder that services will suffer, how can staff possibly work efficiently with the knowledge that they face unemployment?

Give back the �20m, inform the staff that their jobs are secure, and more importantly install a management team that can provide the guidance and encouragement to all of the members of staff and let them do what they do best.

I have a work colleague in ward 16 presently and I have witnessed care far above and beyond what is generally expected. The nursing staff have been amazing, and the support given to his family has been incredible. So let’s stop knocking our hospital, give it and its staff the support that it deserves and we can all help by demanding more of our local MPs. All very well pushing for the dualling of the Acle Straight to help save lives but should an accident occur we need the services of a hospital fully staffed and equipped to handle the emergency.

Well done to all those on ward 16, bless you and thank you for caring.


Operations director

Anglia Skills Academy

North River Road

Great Yarmouth

Cuts on villages ‘poor economics’ ONCE again central Government is launching an attack on rural communities in the name of economic efficiency and ‘market forces’. This time it is the turn of the education secretary Michael Gove who has announced new rules that will end the current protection for the budgets of small (mainly primary) schools with less that 75 pupils. This decision is based on flawed economics, since any supposed ‘savings’ do not take into account the cost of transporting pupils to larger ‘education factories’ often miles away. It also fails to take into account how important these small schools are locally, not only in allowing children to be educated within the communities in which they live but also in developing and sustaining the ‘community cohesion’ which is so important to the quality of life for all residents.

The difficulties experienced by rural communities have been well documented, but what is not often touched on is how ‘cost effective’ rural communities actually are. Not only do residents have to ‘pay through the nose’ for what are often skeletal services (transport, lighting, road repairs, access to council offices etc) they also cost far less to police. People in rural areas are also statistically much healthier, far less in health care.

One of the reasons that villages are so cheap to police is their very low levels of crime and disorder. A major reason for this is the sense of community engendered by shared experiences of village life by all sections of the community and central to much of this cohesion is the role of the village school. It is rather ironic then that a Government committed to ‘Big Society’ is introducing rules which threaten the survival of institutions which do so much to promote it!

I think it’s about time that Governments and politicians of all political hues stopped attacking rural communities in the name of ‘efficiency’ and started instead to support and celebrate them as examples of much that is good about our society. A first step towards this would be to give rural schools the support they deserve rather than kill them off in the name of the ‘Free Market’. We have local elections coming up in May, how about our local politicians start challenging Mr Gove on this issue?


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People entitled to their beliefs

MR Barkhuizen is giving his opinion about religion. Yes we do have freedom of speech but feel Mr Barkhuizen has had his 15 minutes of fame. Everyone has their own opinions about religion but we don’t all think the same as him. Please give it a rest Mr Barkhuizen and keep your opinions to yourself.


Holly Avenue


Show was music to all our ears WHAT a magnificent show the Dusmagrik have provided with their Music Hall production. We have rarely had such an entertaining evening. The Dusmagrik are always good but this time they have excelled themselves.


Lowestoft Road


Always time for some Old Time

AT our delightful old Edwardian Pavilion Theatre here in Gorleston there is always time for Old Time. Every summer the theatre’s professional company remind us of a bygone age and now once again Mary Carter and the Great Yarmouth Operatic and Dramatic Society have made sure that the younger generation will not miss out on a genre which remains a part of the proud heritage of this country.

The sheer professionalism, discipline and dedication of Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company has once again filled me with pride and admiration, watching a maturity beyone their years. My heartfelt gratitude goes to all who work so hard in continuing to uphold the standards which my late partner and I set out to attain so long ago.

The Music Hall has left a great wealth of British songs living in the memory of its people, long may those melodies linger on - enhanced by the talents of our young people they will surely remian for yet another generation to experience and enjoy.


Co founder Dusmagrik YPTC

Out with old and in with the new

OUT with the old in with the new! We all know those cabinet members and some councillors who believe they have the right to rule just as they like, so choose the person not the colour of their rosette, it is the only cure for a cabinet that has been in power too long and has become so arrogant they believe they are the only ones who know what is best for our borough.

I believe they have forgotten what democracy means and believe because we elected them they have carte blanche to do as they please without reference.

Without our local paper the Mercury, much of what we know would have been hidden from us. It also offers the freedom there to write letters and express our concerns. This newspaper is our only means of finding out what we should have been told. It should be required reading. If you can’t afford 65p you can always go on line at the library and read some of this information and all the letters from concerned residents. It will give you the appetite to know more.

Last week a Mercury reporter summed up the cabinet’s giant TV fiasco very succinctly and simply in his first paragraph in a article reporting the result of an inquiry into the affair. “Seafront regeneration bosses enthusiastically launched into the purchase of �900,000 of big screens with wide-eyed enthusiasm but scant regard for risk a report from the authority reveals.” There then follows a list of all those involved but of course it would be the cabinet who had the final decision when the grant was applied for. All I can add is: Out with the old in with the new and please use your vote because our democracy relies on it. You may think you worry a councillor by not voting, not so, their only worry is that you will vote them out.

Also reported in last week’s Mercury was GYBC’s enthusiasm for a management merger with two distant councils - councils we have very little in common with, one of which is in Lincolnshire. This means some of the top decision advising officers will be many, many miles away and have little local knowledge. Apparently the merger is to save money. �140,000 has been quoted but just a short while ago Steve Ames the council leader stated he “didn’t know how much but there would be a saving”. I understand he is an accountant and they usually account to the last penny because you have to know pros and cons before you can make a sound judgment.

Is this another case of enthusiasm getting the best of our cabinet? This seems an even more strange decision when you realise Waveney who we already share some facilities with and a mirror image of our borough are just a few miles down the A12. Is it a good decision to save money when it will bring problems. I believe the problem is politics again, Waveney is Labour controlled and our new partners are Conservative. Another reason to vote for the person and not the rosette. More importantly for residents the cabinet show their arrogance again by announcing the public won’t be consulted – so nothing new here then...Is this yet another GYBC tragedy waiting to happen?


Brett Avenue


Stop cycle peril for pensioners

CAN anyone suggest what I can do about cyclists riding on the pavement along North Quay in Great Yarmouth? We have this problem all the time and can get no help from the highways department or the council or the police. We are pensioners who live right beside the pavement and have almost been knocked down at least four times recently. It is so bad I have to warn people leaving our house to please be aware of cyclists. They use the pavement morning noon and night.

Highways will not even put up a sign asking cyclists to dismount They just do not seem bothered and every department passes us on to yet another department but nothing ever gets done.


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Dusmagrik never lets you down

THE thing about Dusmagrik is they never let you down, their shows are always professional, well costumed, packed with content and pure enjoyment. I have seen every one for the last five years and this is up there with the best (not that they ever do a bad show). This was polished, colourful, fast moving and pure pleasure. David Emmerson held it all together as an excellent chairman, John Stephens was in charge of music, and the choreographers and costume ladies deserve a special mention. But most of all, the players themselves took it on under the guidance of the talented Mary Carter and turned it into a special day for us. There is so much talent there - Jonathan, Thomas, Aiden Connor, James, Abbie, Taylor, Emily and Hannah - all so talented and confident in their singing. The little ones are always heart rending with their little faces so full of joy. To top it all a large dollop of comedy made our sides ache. Very well done to all concerned.


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Show has talent to be proud of

TWO hours of pure escapism, that’s what this week’s Old Time Music Hall by Dusmagrik’s young people was. So much talent in such a young cast. From the glorious solos by Abby Hayworth (wonderful) Taylor Seabrook, Thomas Forder Aiden Pulford, Emily Forder, young William Anverali and all the others too numerous to mention, down to the tinies singing their hearts out, it was a joyous occasion. There was comedy from Jonathan Rust and the Russell brothers among others. Aiden Pulford and Taylor Seabrook have natural comic timing and so all bases were covered - we even had knife throwing and conjuring tricks, hilarious. Wonderful costumes, choreography and music added to the mix. Many thanks to all concerned. I had a great time as did the rest of my party.

The town should be very proud of these youngsters, really proud.



It was real treat not to be missed

I FEEL compelled to bring the Dusmagrik production of their Old Time Music Hall to the attention of your readers. Everyone who missed it, missed a treat! These youngsters deserve all the encouragement we can give – with their band of helpers, they are so dedicated and their talent and enthusiasm shines through in their performances. There are some individuals to watch for the future, but they all give of their best.

They are performing ‘Bugsy’ in November – don’t miss it!


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Vibratory piling

is risk to homes

THANK you for the opportunity to speak last week to Mercury reporter Sam Russell, regarding the wall collapse at the White Lion Steps, Gorleston.

While the exact text of his conversation with me is correct, the nuance is slightly misleading: I was very concerned when the first detached house was constructed on Beach Road, as this used vibratory piling which damaged all of the adjacent houses on Cliff Hill. Upon appealing to the council for them not to let this happen in future, I was told that it was nothing to do with them. I argued that they might just find some rule if someone proposed vibratory piling next to the Town Hall, but received no assurance that it would be prevented in future.

To my relief, vibratory piling was not used for the semis at the bottom of the White Lion Steps, although the fact that there appear to be no rules preventing it in a building conservation zone is still a major concern. I have no problem with the building of new houses in the zone, I just want them to avoid shaking everyone else’s houses to bits in the process, and not use single-skin breeze blocks as retaining walls.


Cliff Hill


Do not vote for wasting money

MAY 3 is your last chance to decide what you want for Great Yarmouth, who do you want to represent you and the rest of Great Yarmouth as your councilor.

In last week’s Mercury we were shown in black and white the money this council had wasted. The money spent on wide screens we did not need or want, could have paid to keep a centre open for needy children, or care for pensioners, or a million other things this area needed. It is one of many blunders this council has made over the years since the last elections - blunders that have cost this area a fortune.

Look closely at the names mentioned in the Mercury, and decide if you want these councillors to represent you once again. Many of them have been voted back into office time and again. This last term shows their incompetence to rejuvenate our great seaside town. Promise after promise has been broken, with some lame excuse, a pat on the back and a smile.

We have to take the chance and vote for new blood, and new leaders; people with a vision to make us Great Yarmouth once again.

No 10 year plan or maybes, but a quick attack to put us on the map once again.

Going abroad can be expensive, and many people are looking for holiday escapes nearer to home, now is the chance to tell them all about what Great Yarmouth has to offer. These tourists will come by car, we must make sure we can accommodate them without robbing them with expensive car parking. Give the tourists what they want, and they will come back again and again. Let’s put it in its right perspective, we don’t always have the sun, but we can make sure the right people are in council to plan and put into action a quick solution to make up for the blunders and wasted money of those councillors standing once again. It’s your last chance to show those councillors how you feel. Don’t sit at home thinking my vote won’t count, believe me your vote might be the one that sways the balance of power.

Come on, make this the biggest attended council elections ever, let’s try a new guard.


Yallop Avenue


Does MP support

granny tax too

I WONDER if Brandon Lewis will be issuing a press release about his support for the Granny Tax whereby many pensioners will lose �83 or more. This seems to be necessary to offset the tax changes for the rich which Mr Lewis also voted for. He seems to think (according to Hansard) that the pension increases are real increases rather than compensation for continuing inflation. The Budget really showed the Tory Party is still the party of the rich. Worse still this removes a lot of money from our struggling local economy.

I still await his reply to a letter of a month ago making representations on this issue as someone who will lose over �320 by the changes. No doubt I can afford it! I will struggle (with others) to vote for Mr Lewis when the time comes as I have a long memory.


Victoria Street


Councillors ‘no business sense’

WHAT is the point of employing officers to interpret the best way forward for our cash and planning? We have councillors that have shown they have no business sense, then pull rank and sanction building work against planning recommendations.

A near �1m for the screens, just because the cash was there to be had, that �1m could have resurfaced Gorleston Pier, but no the Tory cabinet plonked for Yarmouth again, again. Again!

Just as they decided without discussion the GYPC should be given more help regardless of the fact that the outer harbour since built has been no help to Yarmouth’s unemployed.

At the community meeting of GYPC the chair stated that shipping companies are leaving the outer harbour, and our MP stated in the EDP, “let’s have a go at tide and wave energy”. Well, GYPC has discarded ferries, tried containers, dismissed de-commissioning and with a serious swell problem, cargo vessels are virtually nil. As we all know a half hearted attempt has been made at wind farm work.

In their minutes of the meeting they point out the outer harbour is making money, I add not for the borough but to keep their share holders happy. The chair also reiterated that Gorleston West Bank quays were the ratepayers’ responsibility and pointed out GYPC are not “car-park attendants”, in reference to Gorleston Pier car park.

This is the sorry state of affairs that our council cabinet keeps propping up implying that their “wisdom” is greater than what our eyes and ears tell us.


Burnt Lane


Ward staff let down husband

I WANT to name and shame the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston. My husband had surgery on March 29 and discharged the same day. When I unpacked his bag he hadn’t been given any clean dressings or paperwork. He had been told the printers were down but what was wrong with old fashioned hand written care instructions and more importantly, dressings?

I rang the next day to speak to the surgeon’s secretary but no one was available so I left a message for her to call back but she did not. On April 5 I rang again and she told me she had no notes, but would get back to me. Low and behold she found them and it would be after Easter. My husband was losing blood and his dressing was black and leaking. I rang the district nurse who came to see him and said he should have had new dressings and he was lucky not to have an infection.

To be fair we had a phone call from the surgeon who was so sorry about the bad after care. We do not blame him, it was down to the ward staff.


Clover Way


Pension hope for ex-servicemen

I AM one of the many ex-servicemen in the area who are affected by the article by Kim Briscoe in the Yarmouth Mercury April 20 about the Equality for Veterans Association who are fighting for pro-rata service pension for those with over two years service who left the armed forces before April 1975.

Personally I only have three years’ service but talking to an army pal in Scotland at the weekend who I made aware of the organisation he told me that a friend who left the services after nine years’ service after April was awarded a lump sum and �200 a month. So the amounts are worth pursuing.

It is gratifying to know that Brandon Lewis is a member of the all party parliamentary group discussing these matters.

If there are any ex-servicemen who believe like me in direct action, including a petition which we could present to Mr Lewis, please contact me. I am at the Pleasure Beach all through the season.


The Colonel H

Nelson Road Central

Great Yarmouth

Family’s thanks to hospital staff

OVER the last few months I and my extended family have needed the services of our local hospital for which we have been extremely grateful. Firstly thank you to the midwifery department for their excellent care of two family members one of whom required extensive monitoring throughout her pregnancy. I myself after a consultation with my family GP in February was referred to the colorectal service at the hospital. From then on I was dealt with very swiftly in clinic, x-ray, CT scanning, endoscopy unit, pre-op clinic and anaesthetic department. Throughout this journey I was treated with dignity, kept informed every step of the way of my investigations and results and I was amazed how the system flowed. The end result is that I am seven weeks post op and recovering well. The information booklet for the service is excellent and well presented. My admiration goes out to all staff and departments of which there are many involved in this service. My deepest gratitude to you all not forgetting the nursing staff on ward 9. Lastly I must thank Mr Lal and the surgical teams for their hard work and commitment to this service to which many owe their lives including me. After my 50 years of nursing in the NHS and retiring at the age of 69 years I found myself needing some care which has been delivered with excellence.


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Sharing services won’t save cash

I HAVE had a leaflet this week from the Tories and have to admit to being surprised that there was no mention on it about the “shared local services”, how great this will be or how much money it will save. Maybe that is because sharing services with a town that is over 50 miles away is nothing short of a mistake. No one knows Great Yarmouth better then the people who live and work here. It will not save money, but local people who work in local goverment will lose their jobs, not to mention the loss of local knowledge. If shared services is a great idea why are they not shouting about it more? But even then, they have not even asked us if we want to share our services with anyone?


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Show’s cast was ‘an inspiration’

WE would like to applaud Mary Carter, and the cast of very talented young people, who entertained us at the Gorleston Pavilion. The show was well presented, and I am sure the audiences will agree, it was one of the best shows that Dusmagrik has ever produced. The timing was impeccable, as were the costumes. The whole cast was an inspiration. Well done to all of you.


Garnham Road


Well done to all at Dusmagrik

I WAS lucky enough to get a ticket for the Saturday evening performance of The Old Time Music Hall at the Pavilion Theatre Gorleston. What a truly wonderful experience it turned out to be. The performance of each and every one of the company was outstanding. Special congratulations have to go to all of the dedicated people who have given up their time to nurture and guide our young people to demonstrate such fantastic talent. Well done everyone at Dusmagrik.


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