Letters, February 4

Proper focus of

memorial day

I ATTENDED the Holocaust Memorial Service at Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth last Thursday and I would like to say how refreshing it was that two gentleman, who were not there in any official capacity, either from the church or the council, but who had served during the second world war as soldiers, stepped forward after the official ceremony was closed and asked if they could say something to the small gathering.

Their short messages about their own experiences when as young men they encountered the horrors of Nazi philosophy and saw the nightmare of concentration camp conditions upon liberation was more to the point and more compassionate than the endless religious praising that had gone on just minutes before.

I was not the only one there who has no interest in praising any God, but I was there to pay my respects to all of those who had suffered and died in their millions in the Holocaust.


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It was Holocaust Memorial Day, and these two men focused on just that, as before they had spoke it could have easily been described as nothing more than the church turning Holocaust Memorial Day into a platform for praising their Lord.

I would like to say thank you to these two men for bringing it home to us why we were really standing there on Thursday and hope in the future that more people who witnessed the horrors of the Nazi regime may take a leaf out of their book and step forward and address the gathering on Holocaust Memorial Day.

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It is far more fitting than turning it in to a church service. Let Holocaust Memorial Day be just that, remembering what went on during the holocaust and not dressing it up as anything else, and be a wake-up call to us all.

N TOVELL

email

Sort things out,

Post Office

I EXPECT you have many letters like mine regarding delays in deliveries of letters and parcels but I think the more people complain perhaps someone might take heed.

I posted a parcel on December 6 to my son and grandchildren containing their Christmas presents, this was before the weather closed in. Needless to say they did not get their presents until December 30. I mentioned this at my local post office and was told you should allow 15 working day for any 2nd class parcel to arrive. Post early for Christmas, that’s a laugh.

Come on Post Office, get your act together.

NORMA HADDEN

Belton

No alternative to

public inquiry

THERE are two short paragraphs in one of the many documents uncovered by John Cooper in his researches which answers a lot of my questions concerning the negotiations with International Port Holdings (IPH).

One indicates to me that EastPort Great Yarmouth, our negotiators, published they were going into the talks with an entirely open mind and were prepared to accept franchise, partnership, or whatever it took to get the outer harbour built. This is seen in negotiations. In fact in the words of one councillor we gave them everything they wanted.

The other states quite clearly IPH would decide how the outer harbour would operate. Our council knew they needed to get residents onside so we were given a package which was bound to appeal. Who would argue with 1,000 new jobs, 120,000 potential tourists and the chance of a weekend on the continent?

In fact there was only a potential for this as no agreement had been reached or ever was, despite Great Yarmouth Borough Council publishing a schedule of sailings.

EastPort were given the power to make their own decisions regarding strategy and decided on containers – no potential jobs and eventually no cranes. Grain with five workers imported from another port – no new jobs here. Aggregates with one man and a digger – one job here. Importantly it appears the council had no controls in place to attain the original aims they quoted for the outer harbour despite all the public money given to the project.

In fact if a Harbour Revision Order goes through, EastPort will have the power to compulsorily purchase land on the peninsular, some of which was described by one councillor as useless but is in fact valuable development land. There are businesses with many employees that could be lost in this process to the detriment of the borough and its residents.

I see no alternative to a public inquiry and the sooner the better because it seems value for money was never a priority and we could be on the road to a disaster.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue

Gorleston

Man from the

Pru’s memories

HAVING read Peggotty’s article about deliveries being made to the door, and where people would have chance to talk and air their problems, it brought back lots of good memories.

I was the “Man from the Pru” for 33 years and would always be asked for help and advice: mending a fuse, filling in forms, lighting the fire, being prepared to listen and being a shoulder to cry on. Or just having a good natter about the family and their problems.

Surprising how that can relieve one’s feelings. I still receive phone calls and get stopped in the street by ex-clients asking if I can help or give some advice as they have lost all trust in today’s environment, especially if it relates to having to phone someone.

What a pity it has changed so much. No wonder people are so alienated these times.

DON BULLARD

Elm Avenue

Gorleston

Poem gives an

apt summary

I READ this extract from DW Nash’s The Fox’s Prophecy many years ago when all was relatively well with this country and we were “united”. This was before the advent of the Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly. Considering it was written over 130 years ago, as a “prophecy” (in jest?), these historical sentiments seem to me more in line with modern Britain today. It reads:

“For not on these hills alone, the doom of sport shall fall, o’er the broad face of England creeps, the shadow on the wall.

“Time-honoured creeds and ancient faith, the Alter and the Crown, Lordship’s hereditary right, before that tide go down.

“Base churls shall mock the mighty names, rite on the roll of time; Religion shall be held a jest, and loyalty a crime.

“No word of prayer, no hymn of praise sounds in the village school; the people’s education Utilitarian’s rule.

“The homes where love and peace should dwell fierce politics shall vex; and unsexed woman strive to prove herself the coarser sex.

“The statesman that should rule the realm, coarse demagogues displace; the glory of a thousand years shall end in foul disgrace.

“Trade shall be held the only good and gain the sole device, the Statesman’s maxim shall be peace, and peace at any price.

“Her Army and Navy Britain shall cast aside, soldiers and ships are costly things, defence an empty pride.

“The footsteps of the invader then England’s shore shall know while home-bred traitors give hand to England’s every foe.

“Disarmed before the foreigner, the knee shall humbly bend, and yield the treasures that she lacked the wisdom to defend.”

The poem summarises the events developing in this country over the last 60 years. We have slowly surrendered this country to a silent invasion of radical views. This after my father’s generation, many of whom gave their lives, died defending our way of life against an invading army massed on the coast of France in 1939.

This week’s news on the actual scrapping of the Royal Navy’s Ark Royal and the RAF Nimrods, coupled with the reduction in the Army by Gordon Brown’s government, is in keeping with “Her Army and Navy Britain shall cast aside”. The dangers! Another 1938 situation... the country unprepared!

Not readily mentioned is the scrapping of one of our nuclear subs after it having completed a �10m refit! Is this leading to the downfall that Fox’s Prophecy depicts?

DAVID MORRICE

Villarome

West Caister

Mayor’s cadet

nominations

CAN I please through the letters page request that any youth organisations who would like to nominate a young person to be the next mayor’s cadet for 2011/12 send in nominations to me at the Town Hall or via this email address.

Ideally the person should be 16 or over. The chosen candidate would then be expected to attend civic events and assist the mayor. We would like to hold the interviews during the February half-term break. Anyone wishing for further details can contact me at the Town Hall or by calling 01493 846125.

LAURA GOODMAN

Mayoral and civic events officer

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Fears over

cliff erosion

AS a Scratby cliffs home owner whose home is threatened by the predicted erosion zones in the Shoreline Management Plan SMP3b, I have a keen interest in Scratby Coastal Erosion Group’s (SCEG) efforts to extend the rock berm to protect Scratby.

The three main points established from very lengthy speeches by councillors and other speakers at the recent annual meeting were:

1 All units (areas) in the ACAG SPM3b designated No Active Intervention (NAI) will be changed to Managed Realignment – this does not mean any new defences will be forthcoming but they will be allowed if funds are available.

When I later questioned the borough’s head of regeneration Tim Howard he gave me his assurance that this change would be implemented in the ACAG SMP 3b on their website by the end of February 2011.

2 The second main point was when I directed a question to Brandon Lewis MP and Bernard Harris of GYBC regarding the article in the Guardian on January 20 titled “Where are the planned flood and coastal defences” and quoted the EA statement in this article “Defences already under construction will be completed but fewer new projects will start because of the government cuts”, I was given assurances by Mr Harris the Scratby rock berm extension was not classified as a new project as the plans for its implementation had already been submitted.

3 The third main point was the Pathfinder project had established that the majority of residents in Scratby want the rock berm extension and residents who say there has been no erosion are in the minority.

My only criticism is this meeting seemed to be mainly a forum for the MP, councillors and guest speakers, and by the time they had all made their lengthy speeches it was late and Scratby residents (who the meeting was for) were bored and wanted to get home on a cold night. Consequently the agenda did not allow sufficient time (from the total meeting time) for a general discussion by the people of Scratby.

So I would like to make two important points for those who say that there is no erosion at Scratby:

1 The historic erosion (or non-erosion) of Scratby was not affected by the intense area of offshore aggregate dredging off this coastline prior to 1980 – the legacy of this extraction of vast seabed areas will now be with us for many years to come. When offshore dredging commenced along the East Anglian coast in 1973 just three million metric tonnes were removed per annum, by 1994 this had risen to an annual extraction rate of 22 million tonnes. Details on MARINET website: www.marinet.org.uk

2 Two recent reports support the statement that coastal erosion has accelerated since the 1980s, and also explain the important role our offshore sand banks play in protecting this coastline and its beaches from erosion.

These reports are:

1 The UK Hydrographic Office 2005 survey of Hemsby Hole which covers the near shoreline area from Winterton Ness to Caister and is carried out every six years to monitor seabed movement. This report concluded that there had been a general deepening along the total length of this near shore line area since the last survey.

Full details on www.ukho.gov.uk

2 The Crown Estate Historic Research report on the (Geomorphic) evolution of the Great Yarmouth Coastal spit sediment dynamics carried out by the British Geological Survey. This report states that links and interaction of the coastline and beaches with its offshore sand banks has been overlooked.

It concludes: “Predicted regional changes in sea-level and storms are likely to cause landward retreat of the coastal platform and a reduction in the stable spit area.”

MIKE KING

Scratby Cliffs

Parish council’s

total savings

COULD I just point out an inaccuracy in the report carried on page 7 in last Friday’s Mercury. Firstly my name is Williamson (not Wilkinson) and secondly the total savings Reedham Parish Council has made on next year’s budget is �300 – the meeting cancellation accounts for about two-thirds of that, not the whole amount.

I think it is important to point out that although there are no meetings in February and August, there is no threat to democracy as myself (the clerk) and councillors will still be available, and arrangements have been put in hand for committees to deal with anything that is time sensitive ie bill-paying/planning etc. Lastly in these days of being environment conscious, it is also an important point that cancellation of the meetings will cut out a minimum of 20 car journeys, albeit that most of those are relatively short.

STEPHEN WILLIAMSON

Parish clerk

Reedham

Flagship fear

I NOTICED in a recent newspaper article that the Ministry of Defence was spending �20m to give HMS Victory a complete refit, and rightfully so. Then I thought, it’s a good job Nelson’s Flagship isn’t based in Great Yarmouth as no doubt our borough council would be selling her off for scrap.

BRIAN BUNN

Address withheld

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