Letters, April 4, 2014

World fast? Join Post Office queue

Wonderful isn’t it? Clocks going forward help to boost activity, improve fitness, save electricity, cut crime and traffic accidents, as well as being good for business, Mercury March 28.

And the reasons for their falling back in October? I’m sure they’ll think of a few reasons by then. Whenever I start thinking that the world is moving too fast, I go along and join the queue at the Post Office.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Wally is a true gentleman

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We write with reference to the announcement from Bradwell Butchery on the retirement of Wally (Derek), March 28.

We met Andrew and Lisa Edmonds at an awards ceremony years ago and decided to use the butchers as our source of sausages for breakfasts based on the quality of the ingredients. Wally was the person we usually dealt with when sorting out and picking up our orders.

It soon became apparent the quality of the sausages were not the only reason for our continued custom. Wally is a true gentleman with great manners and a willingness to fulfill our every need; he even carried the huge boxes of produce to our car outside.

Thank you Wally, we wish you the best of happiness, you’ll be missed by us.


Kilbrannan Guest House,

Trafalgar Road,

Great Yarmouth

It’s time, enough is enough . . .

After four years of a government favouring the rich while the workers creating the wealth struggle on, enough is enough.

Our roads are cracking up, the NHS and public services are under pressure. Sold off public assets are taking our hard-earned money to increase their profits.

Postal prices up this week are the latest.

The budget was classic spin. 1p off a pint - one needs to drink gallons and gallons to see the benefit in one’s pocket and cost one’s liver. Will the bingo tax cut benefit bingo fans or increase the operator’s profits?

A new second £1m premium bond top prize will see other prizes cut. Premium bonds allow a flutter without losing the money. Surely there is a case to enhance premium bond prizes to compete with the national lottery.

Oh dear, I forgot that is run for huge profits.

What a state to be in, so we have food banks back in town?

Tax cuts for the rich with the granny tax for pensioner savings.

We had failed pasty and caravan taxes and a mismanaged necessary benefit reform and the bedroom tax.

There are more public service spending cuts when we need better services to enhance our borough.

For the first time in my 65 years, I have joined the Labour Party which in spite of their faults seeks to represent working people and provide good public services.

So many people say to me I should try to improve things rather than just writing my thoughts in the Mercury, that I have decided to stand for election the council.

It seems to me Labour fights to maintain services while the Tories and our MP seek cuts and to send decision-making management to South Holland.

In 1974, we fought “Hands off Great Yarmouth” to try to keep services local. Why in 2014, should the battle be fought again?


Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

Bedroom tax sad anniversary

Tuesday was the first anniversary of the bedroom tax. On this very sad anniversary we discover that only 6pc of those affected have moved. That means that 94pc of people are liable to pay additional rent out of their already tiny budgets.

Has this saved the taxpayer anything? Well no, as the people who have left have gone into more expensive private accommodation and the rest are costing local authorities a fortune in administration and debt collection.

But I think even this argument misses the point. Bedroom tax was designed to force people out of their homes or make money from the most vulnerable in our society. Is that the actions of a government that represents your country?

I want my government to be a fair one. I want my government to make me proud to be British. How we treat people is how we judge our society.


Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Yarmouth

Council took my freezer away

I would like to give a huge thank you to Great Yarmouth Borough Council after years of pondering how to dispose of an old fridge freezer and loitering at the bottom of our garden and no way of transporting it to the local refuse centre.

In desperation I phoned the council where a pleasant lady told me it could be collected free of charge if left outside the front of the property on the morning of collection. And in just a few days it was collected. Wow, what a service. It makes me wonder why people feel the need to flytip in our beautiful countryside.

Thank you Great Yarmouth Borough Council.


Anglian Way,

Hopton on Sea

Parking fees will put off visitors

What an exciting new venture coming to Yarmouth in the near future. Somewhere different to go and you won’t have to pay to park, hopefully. If you go to town now and can’t find somewhere free to park it costs a fortune.

No wonder people shop out of town. I notice in the Mercury that parking fees are going up this summer, well that will put visitors off a family day out.

Car parking charges, something to eat and drink, and amusements for the kids aren’t cheap.

Keep the prices down to encourage people into the town. What happened to the 20p parking we had on market days?



Groynes need height to work

Hopton Holiday Village is under siege of the vagaries of the north to south tidal drift that is eroding the coastline at an alarming rate. Erosion is ongoing along the coast from Yorkshire down to lower Essex. Massive losses of sand and soil from falling cliffs have drifted downtide; revetments, groynes and ancient bastions rendered useless.

The North Sea tidal drift operates a lease-lend lifetime system, dispersing materials from one location to a beach down tide. The mobile fluidity of sand, soil and gravel is constant in motion.

Man, over recent years, has interfered with the encompassing ecology around the coastal regions, extracting millions of tonnes of subsea materials to build and secure beaches in Holland, increasing land acreage to the detriment of the beaches along our coast. Only the government gains any financial benefits from these practices.

The proposals to install extensive defences stretching out to sea will require constant monitoring and upgrading. Subsea anti-scour systems around the wind turbines suffer the same fate, requiring long-term maintenance.

The proposed orientation of the rock groynes will stall erosion in benign sea conditions, but will not save the beach or the cliffs at Hopton if the sea conditions prevail as last winter indicated.

The rock groynes need to be angled toward the south, this profile will ensure that sand retention is possible if backwash of waves is depleted.

Reducing the wave impact is the key to success if the series of groynes are erected with an extension shaped on the outer profile, each rock groyne will form a small bay to trap sand, gradually building foundational sand and giving ideal wind breaks. But the rock groynes need to be 8-10 feet tall to work efficiently.



Village needs new bus route

As a resident of Filby I was particularly interested to read the article of the buses to and from Norwich, giving the Acle Straight a miss and re-routing through Caister and Filby.

This would supplement the virtually non-existent “stopping” bus service we have at present and these, I believe, are provided by local firms. When my wife and I, both well into retirement, moved from Potter Heigham to Filby almost 16 years ago there were three First bus services – 702, 703 and 704 , serving Filby en route to Norwich and return.

Admittedly these were not particularly well used (a bad move!) but sadly within a year or so of moving here First took not one, but all three, routes away from the 600-or-so adults who live here.

There must be several in the village like us with just one car driver per couple.

Maybe they think as we do, of how they would cope if the driver (in our case, me!) died or became incapacitated and could no longer get behind the wheel.

So for us two oldies, any decision to reroute the First bus to and/from Norwich via Caister and Filby (even alternative ones) makes a lot of sense – the company would gain a potential fare intake - surely much better than nine miles of open road and no fares.

Also, of course, it would give a wonderful fillip for so many people in Caister and particularly almost-bus-less Filby.


Thrigby Road,


Just where are the 10,000 jobs?

Whist I have no doubt that Brandon Lewis, being a government minister, has up to date accurate information, we are intrigued to learn that there are 10,000 jobs available within a ten-mile radius of Great Yarmouth.

Bearing in mind that half of that area is the North Sea, would he please tell us all where these jobs are?



School birthday display superb

On Monday, I was, with many others, at the Freethorpe Primary School celebrating its 100th year.

The display of photographs of schoolchildren back through the years were very well displayed along with various bits of nostalgia on the tables. The children provided excellent entertainment with their music and singing, and the refreshments and the beautifully decorated centenary birthday cake were impressive.

I would like to congratulate the headmistress, Rachel Quick, all of the staff and helpers, and of course the pupils, for the warm welcome and an interesting and pleasant afternoon.


Stoke Holy Cross

Remembering Kate O’Mara

Like many I was saddened at the news of Kate O’Mara’s passing. I interviewed her face to face for my radio programme a few years back. I think the quote I shall remember from her is when she said: “I have so much energy that if nothing else happens, I have to move the furniture around. I can’t sit still think I must have a pointed bottom.”

When I interviewed her she said she was pleased she played Joan Collins’ younger sister in Dynasty. She was a lovely lady and I am pleased I got to meet her.


North Walsham

In recession for at least 40 years

Last week’s Mercury report of over 300 applications for a couple of jobs is not the first such in recent times. Local people well know the score regarding the state of the economy in these parts with empty shops in the town centre and food banks clearly pointing to an economic black spot.

In fact the town has had a recession for at least 40 years, starting with the shock closure of Arnold’s department store back in the 1970s and with no recovery since.

Add to the mix a Jobcentre engaged in pressurising the unemployed into just a handful of jobs and Brandon Lewis’s attempts to put a gloss on matters is predictable. To promote his Jobs Fair as a bit of seaside fun was not simply tasteless but deeply offensive.

Another correspondent was right to point out that most of those attending were there under duress. Brandon Lewis himself apparently left early.

The jobless though who had to find a fiver for the privilege of attending such a non-event, ridiculously stuck out on a limb at the racecourse.

The town needs to reinvent itself, aiming towards hi-tech jobs in software and related industries. This is not going to happen as long as business is content to replace potential office space such as the Two Bears with yet another retail outlet.

Yarmouth College also should be providing quality training in software engineering with courses lasting a few months, not years as currently, which would help locals quickly step into these new roles. Without business and education aspiring to these value-added sectors it’s unfair and dishonest to string people along with false hopes of employment in the area.



Paget is a very good hospital

Have just read the article, Family hit out over JPH care. The JPH is a very good hospital of which I have had personal experience. There are two questions which came to my mind. Why did they go to Bupa? There was no need to go private. There is another NHS hospital at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney. It would have cost them nothing, so why go to Bupa if they cannot afford it.



Caister on Sea