Letters, December 21, 2012

Conspiracy to destroy the NHS

I WAS born in 1941, so for most of my life the NHS has been beside me as a constant, caring companion, sheltering me from malnutrition and lethal contagious diseases as a child, from the consequences of injury or illness as an adult and now in old age from the worst fears of past generations.

I literally owe the quality of my healthy life to it and I will in turn defend it to the death. I believe there is now a conspiracy of private greed to gradually erode and finally destroy the NHS.

I believe that local Clinical Commissioning Groups should protect the NHS by adopting the 38 Degrees amendments to their constitutions. There is now a large 38 Degrees petition showing that local people want their NHS protected in this way.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups should listen - lots of us are committed to protecting the NHS from being privatised, either by stealth or by open competition.


Cliff Park,

Most Read


Stop the abuse of Blue Badge

AS a holder of a disabled person’s blue badge, as I only have one leg, I agree with John Spooner that more should be done to stop the abuse of the badge.

I do believe that some local authorities are taking some action on this by having dedicated teams of traffic wardens targeting areas where they believe this is happening.

This is probably an expensive solution but if all police officers. PCSOs and traffic wardens were told that if they see someone parking using the blue badge they should just check to see if it was being used correctly. I think this would go a long way to reducing the abuse.

All blue badges carry a picture of the user, on the back for some strange reason, so checking would only take few seconds and I am sure no genuine user would object.

As to Mr Spooner’s incident I would point out that it could be that the disabled person may have been a passenger who was waiting at the back door of Palmers to be picked up. I have often done this for my wife who is also disabled.

Just to clarify a point: while Mr Spooner and myself share a concern to the abuse of the blue badges I suspect that our motivations for that concern are very different.


Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Any old photos of Darby’s Hard

AFTER many years of fruitless campaigning, the formation of the Gorleston Conservation Area Advisory Committee has given the opportunity to work with Conservation officers to decide on a plan to make the historic area of Darby’s Hard, the last piece of unpiled quayside in the borough, become a reminder of our heritage when Darby boat builder and ship breaker worked on his “hard” area.

It would be very helpful if anyone with old photographs or paintings of the area as it was pre 1950 to either phone me on 600452 so I could come along and copy the picture rather than have it leave your possession or email a copy to jimminy.cricket@ntlworld.com .

It would be great to hear of any memories of Mr Darby, his work and others who had used the area.

At last it looks like my dream of seeing this area and the old volunteer lifeboat shed given the attention they deserve. The latter is underway thanks to the vision of the new owner.

Anyone who would like to get involved in Gorleston conservation, who will be coming to the Gorleston Area Meeting on January 8, 6.30pm at Gorleston Library where many Gorleston issues will be discussed, can learn about the work of the conservation committee or phone me.


Brett Avenue,

Gorleston on Sea

No give way sign at A47 junction

WHY do so many drivers insist on treating the turn to Halvergate at the old Pontiac Roadhouse as being a give way, and insist on stopping on the main road – the Acle Straight, and give way to those turning from the side road onto the main road.

For the third time this week, driving to work in a stream of traffic at 50mph, suddenly brakes are slammed on as the main traffic flow on the Straight has to suddenly stop, as a “courteous” driver decides that he should stop to allow the traffic from Halvergate to join the Acle Straight!

It beggars belief that some drivers think this is being courteous without a second thought for the mountains of nose to tail traffic behind them who have just come to a sudden halt behind a vehicle who does not indicate that he/she is about to stop.

No wonder this is an accident blackspot.

Perhaps a mini roundabout would make it safer if these drivers are intent on stopping.



Dog poo on play field is not on!

FOR the attention of all those irresponsible dog owners who happily allow their dogs to leave excrement on council playing fields!

On Sunday, December 17 I had a Sunday League cup game fixture at the Great Yarmouth council’s Beaconsfield Park.

To my absolute disgust the football pitch we were playing on had six very large piles of dog mess. Never in all my time of 20-plus years of playing local and district football, have I witnessed so many piles of dog excrement.

Thankfully the groundsman at the park had a shovel for us to use and remove the mess.

The thought of playing football surrounded by piles of excrement does not appeal to me.

It’s also disappointing to know these irresponsible dog owners will allow it to happen where families take their children to play.

If you’re prepared to have pet dogs then take on all responsibility, don’t leave it, clear it!

Some reminders for those irresponsible owners; Estimates put the UK dog population between 6.m5 and 7.4m, producing 1,000 tonnes of excrement per day. It is therefore not surprising dog fouling is a major issue in many different areas of the UK.

The penalty for not clearing up dog fouling is up to �1,000. There is also provision for a fixed penalty scheme with a fine of �50 in England. If you’re prepared to leave it, then cough-up!



Woodland will stop the erosion

I READ the article on the creeping sea and its effects on Hemsby dunes and cliffs, which was sent from a member of Marinet and thought you might appreciate an alternative approach to coastal erosion the community can be effectively involved in today.

We are hoping to use community grown and planted coastal woodland to provide a natural living bioshield to protect East Anglia’s coastline from erosion and flooding.

The project has been presented to businesses and politicians, including the environment secretary and David Cameron and as yet it has been received very positively and prompted an interesting response.

We are hoping to set up a pilot study in Happisburgh or at North and South Woods but still require permission from a landowner, can readers help us find a site?

We have video which shows the reader how to go about starting a forest in their back garden at zero cost, it explains why there is a need and shows before and after photographs and video. The video showing how simple and effective planting trees in disposable supermarket carrier bags really is. Readers can find the video by searching for Pocket Full Of Acorns on Youtube or on Google.


Operation OASIS

Bad impression from our MP?

OOPS, a bit of a faux pas from our MP, Brandon Lewis, on Wednesday night’s BBC News. Talking of the difficulties faced by Yarmouth Borough Council, Mr Lewis talked of what “they” had to do. Surely he meant to say “we”?

Mr Lewis wouldn’t want to give the impression he had no concern for the welfare of his constituents?



The local people must be put first

SO much needs to be done to improve our town, yet the Government is cutting council funding and jobs, prefers to pay benefits than invest in job creation. The minimum wage for an apprentice (under 19) is �5k a year.

Surely �5k can be found for each under 19 year old to get them working. There must be a way of investing in the unemployed to invest in people and our future skill base for so little money.

Yet I see the Communities Department and Brandon Lewis is wasting �250m on re-introducing weekly waste collections. This could be better spent on stopping the waste in the potential of our people.

Funds could be switched from benefits, spending budgets, lottery funds bids and collecting unpaid taxes to improving the town. The station area upgrade, social housing, greening the town, estate upgrades, seafront and heritage enhancements, the Winter Gardens and training in growth areas are some ideas.

A dismal future ahead for the unemployed locally unless some big ideas emerge for a big society in our town.

Not much sign of that in the communities department and their interest in bedroom taxes and waste rather than people.


Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

Helpline staff open for callers

OUR One Stop telephone information line will be open to callers on Monday and Friday, December 24 and 28, 11am to 2pm. The helpline staff are there to help with any queries from older people, or people wanting information about matters relating to older people on 0800 0153 088. (Calls are free from land lines).

The usual opening times are on a Tuesday and Friday but due to Bank Holidays it will not be open on December 25 or 31.

The One Stop Helpline is funded by Norfolk County Council’s Living Well in the Community Fund and run by Great Yarmouth Community Trust at The Priory Centre. We look forward to hearing from you.


Living Well Project Coordinator

Priory Centre

34th service of Christingle

EVERYONE is familiar with the phrase ‘Christmas is coming’, and also, as we approach our 34th Christingle Service at the Minster Church of St Nicholas, with the phrase ‘Christingle is coming’.

This year’s service is to be on Christmas Eve at 3pm, once again we are combining Christingle with the annual Crib Service.

At Christingle, families, friends and children come together to bring their offerings for children and young people in need - in return those presenting a Christingle envelope , containing monies the children have collected, will each receive a lighted Christingle to process, in candlelight, around the church. This procession makes a memorable climax to a truly children’s Christmas service. A great moment for both children and adults.

We do hope that many, many of you will come to the Minster on Christmas Eve. We make 250 Christingles, but if you wish to make your own, as we know some groups do, please do so. All proceeds go to the Childrens Society.

We thank you for your support over the last 34 years - please continue - your help is needed more than ever.


Christingle committee member

No to the NHS privatisation

OUR NHS has been the envy of the world for efficient use of funds and availability to all who need it. Privatisation of its services was not in the present government’s manifesto.

It will prove to be a short-term fix with the long-term effect of destroying the NHS. Our practitoners should use their power in their local Clinical Commissioning Groups to protect the NHS by making sure their constitutions reflect the majority public opinion that the NHS should not be privatised.


Beech Road,


All Protestants once Catholic

MAY I reply to Mr Barkhuizen? He asserts that he knows about Catholicism but erroneously states that Catholics bow to the crucifix on entering a Church.

We do not. We are supposed to genuflect to the tabernacle in which resides our Lord - Jesus. We do not reverence the crucifix except on Good Friday. It is a matter of sacramental theology, something that is unfortunately absent from Protestantism.

We are not committing idolatry before the crucifix but bringing to mind what He did for us.

He has risen but He also sacrifices in order to give us salvation. We only worship, adore, and reverence God. We admire other people and things that can help us in Grace.

Grace is necessary to enable us to be saved and is far more active and effective than say Luther allowed.

There is properly on Catholic Church; there are as many protestantisms as there are protestants, and this does not help in our search for objective Truth. All protestants were once Catholic - just like Hitler; does that not more equate Hitler with protestants than Catholics.

Once again if Mr Barkhuizen wants to offer a critique of Catholicism he really does need to learn about it and experience it.


Victoria Road,


Keep museum and move Pillar

I HAVE just read in the Mercury about the possible move of the Nelson Museum out of Great Yarmouth.

Yarmouth needs to keep this museum, and popular support needs to be rallied to raise public awareness.

However, how about gaining public awareness to move Britannia from South Denes to the Market Place; floodlit ...how good would that look?

She might even look out the right way this time.


Beck Avenue,


Odd experience parking at JPH

I THOUGHT I would bring to your attention an experience I had parking at the James Paget Hospital today.

I travelled from Norwich and met my friend in Gorleston High Street for a couple of hours. I left her at approximately 14.45 then phoned my mother at 14.49 to say I would be with her in a few minutes to pick her up and take her to the JPH to visit my father.

We got to the hospital at approximately 15.20 and stayed with my father until nearly 17.00. As we were going, I looked at the car park ticket and noticed that it said 14.53, well as I’m sure you realise, there is no way we arrived at that time.

I pressed the help button on the ticket machine and the attendant didn’t argue with me, he just said to press the help button at the exit and he would raise the barrier, which he did and that in itself I thought was very strange.

I kept my ticket as I didn’t have to put it in the machine and today I had free parking, but how many people have been caught out because they haven’t checked the time on the tickets, especially if they are stressed or upset.

If they visit for the full two and a half hours and they have an extra half hour on their ticket, then thousands of people pay an extra 50p each visit and don’t notice and the James Paget Hospital reaps some very fruitful rewards.



We wait for bus but it’s no show

SO Michael Castle is complaining about no buses on Boxing day. Doesn’t he realise First buses couldn’t care less.

We have no buses every Sunday as well as bank holidays and when they should run it’s pot luck as to whether or not they turn up.

Often we have to wait in the cold and wet for ages with no bus shelter and the bus doesn’t turn up.



No-one will help with the rats

I AM writing about a saga of rats and waste at the back of my mother’s house in Ludkin Square, Great Yarmouth.

Several householders, and myself, have made countless complaints about black bags being dumped outside the front of a property, but it has been to no avail.

We have requested the council to ask the householder to put rubbish into bins provided, to no avail.

If the council won’t do anything what is the answer to this dilemma?

Come on borough council, we are afraid of being bitten by the rats.

Name and Address withheld

Thank you for our bus shelter!

ON behalf of all the people who get the No 2 bus on Trinity Avenue, Gorleston.

We have a nice Christmas treat with a nice bus shelter. We are very grateful to the people concerned who got this for us.

No more waiting in the wet and the cold and the wind, and it is much appreciated. A happy Christmas to all.


Trinity Avenue,