Letters, January 28
A heartless and callous decision
I HAVE refrained for many months now from showing my feelings at some articles and letters written in the Mercury, but I have to put in my pennyworth after reading about the callous, unsympathetic Hemsby Parish Council refusing to allow Mr Frank Jackson, a man who fought and was wounded for his country, to be buried in the village.
Have any of the councillors done the same?
Because Mr and Mrs Jackson do not own a so-called permanent residence in Hemsby, he could not be buried there, how ridiculous. Are these real people with families?
I hope that when it comes to election time, the people of Hembsy remember and refrain from voting for them again. I wonder how they, the council, would feel if they were in Mrs Jackson’s place? Not being able to mourn him the way she wants without the added heartache caused.
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I hope that future holiday visitors, or those thinking about living in Hemsby in a holiday home, will forget it.
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War record not relevant to case
AS I was about to write a letter about the outer harbour, it was with some trepidation that I have decided to launch myself into the current furore over the burial of Mr Frank Jackson.
I have lived in the Gorleston area for almost 50 years and my parents both lived here. They were Londonders, by the way, my father being a true Cockney and my youngest sister was born here in the early 1960s. My three sisters and I all went to school here and I married my young Norfolk bride over 30 years ago.
Now, after all of the above, do I have the right to go hammering on the doors of any of my local churches to demand that I be buried there because I am now a local? If I had behaved 50 years ago in the fashion of some people who have moved into this area over the last few years, I think I know the responses of the local population.
Mr Jackson’s war record is not in question here. This is a smokescreen – a red herring to hide the fact that large numbers of people have moved into small villages from all over the country and their version of what village life should be is the right one. Often local people’s views are brushed to one side.
Hemsby Parish Council should not have allowed itself to be browbeaten into changing its mind by, I suspect, a lot of people who were not born in Hemsby or have not lived there for very long.
M S DIMMACK
Why should I be out of pocket?
I WAS under the impression that Great Yarmouth Borough Council was short of money and having to cut back on services to the elderly and disabled.
It then leads me to wonder why, as a socially responsible landlord, I have the full weight of the council brought to bear on me after taking action on a tenant, who has not paid me any rent since the beginning of November 2010, owing me over �800?
I supply good quality flats with double glazing and central heating, conforming to the latest fire and environmental regulations.
Yet, when a tenant does not pay their rent I have to give them notice giving them two months to leave. Because I made a small error in the notice, I then had to do the notice again and start the process again.
The council homelessness department have also sent me a threatening letter that should I do anything to ask my tenant to leave then the council will prosecute me. Yet, should I need to get the tenant who has not paid rent out, I have to pay all the court fees and get a warrant, as well as probably writing off the owed rent.
Madness in these times, and the council wonders why there is a shortage of good quality housing. Who can afford it when they behave like this!
Spend money on maritime history
I FEEL very sad that our jetty is being consigned to the scrapheap due to lack of funds.
As a child, I spent many happy hours during the summer holidays playing on and under the jetty (health and safety would have had a field day ), and my Dad used to fish from the end of the pier.
It seems there is an unlimited amount of money for St George’s Chapel, which has no historical significance to our maritime past, in fact it was only built to take the overflow from the parish church. Even the one-way traffic system has been relocated and pavements altered to accommodate it.
As the council keeps banging-on about how the outer harbour will revitalise our maritime reputation, it’s a pity it doesn’t put its money where its mouth is !
Give us a chance to voice feelings
WITH reference to the Great Yarmouth Planning Committee’s vote to demolish the ancient seafront jetty, reference should be made to another matter which reflects on this. It is the question of the money invested by Great Yarmouth Borough Council in the Iceland Bank. I can never understand why the last government allowed town councils to invest in such as the Iceland Bank. I can see there would be a higher rate of interest, but it’s surely a risky business, such as the Stock Exchange.
Had the council put the money in a reserve account at its own bank, it would have been safe, although, of course, with a lower rate of interest. However, part of that money could be used to pay for the refurbishment of the jetty, so this ancient pier could have lasted for another 50 years.
It would be interesting to know whether any efforts have been made to recover any of the money invested in the Iceland Bank. In any event, the vote will have to be ratified and I hope this will not be by the council’s cabinet – those members might be the same people who were on the planning committee!
The whole matter should go before the full council, when the objectors could then lobby their own councillors.
Service beyond the call of duty
A WORD of praise for our refuse collectors. This week I did not put my bin out in time. This did not stop one hard-working man from wheeling the bin down the drive, emptying it, and replacing it carefully.
He need not have bothered, but he did – well done!
Why destroy our valued heritage?
I AM writing regarding the destruction of the jetty; I am at a loss at why this has to happen .
Why is there an urgency to destroy it, it is a major part of Great Yarmouth’s history. If it is a safety issue, well, the town is littered with the valuable past and some of it needs attention, such as the town wall, but it doesn’t mean you have to pull it down.
Also, it is not making way for anything better, as money is tight for everything at the moment.
Make it into a tribute to all the famous parts of history it has been involved in; tell its story for all the holidaymakers to see – that has to be the way forward, not taking it away.
We have to protect our history and carry it forward to the future so the story keeps being told. So leave the jetty alone.
Our heads should be in the clouds
ONE of the much publicised consequences of cutting down the tropical rain forests is that of exacerbating the global climate change situation.
In part, this is due to commercial exploitation of tropical wood, and then soils, for profit to the hamburger, genetically modified crops and bio-fuels industries, to name but three.
Now the government in this country is debating a bill that could result in selling off many of our forests to the commercial market.
This could have dangerous consequences and is being opposed by a strong alliance of well-known figures. Please support the Save Our Forests campaign if you can.
I am a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society. One reason (but not the only one) for this is that cloud tops reflect solar radiation back to space and therefore act as cooling agents. I guess we have had enough cooling here this winter already but in other parts of the world this is not the case.
Over-heating causes more vigorous atmospheric circulation patterns, hence more storms and extreme events which cause floods, landslides and forest fires. One of the inevitable results of global warming is rising sea levels (due to thermal expansion of the oceans and not so much, but also, by melting ice caps) and this will affect us all in time.
There is much uncertainty about how the various feedbacks, both positive and negative will play out here.
In this country there are many bird hides and, as a member of the RSPB, I appreciate watching birds from them. However, there is only one cloud hide in the whole country. It is at a small place on the Lincolnshire coast called Anderby Creek and it is marvellous.
It is like a bird hide but instead you go on the roof, which has a 360 degree view of the sky and tilting and revolving mirrors to aid observation.
There are also many explanation panels describing all the different types of cloud you might see.
At present the Cloud Appreciation Society is campaigning for a new cloud type, called the “Aspiratus” to be recognised by the official WMO classification system.
It seems to me a refurbished Gorleston Pier might just include the buiding of a second cloud hide. It would make sense to do this at the same time as the much-needed repair works take place – as they surely will have to soon if the pier is to be saved from its continued decline and currently parlous state.
Repair work must not be cosmetic
AT last recognition from EastPort following the groundswell of concerns expressed by residents showing how much Gorleston people value their pier.
I say “their”, because regardless of who claims to own part of our heritage and rights, it is important they don’t neglect what has been left by our forefathers.
We mustn’t get too excited over what EastPort are saying regarding the pier untiI we know the intention, because I fear this may be just a cosmetic approach to make it safe to be walked upon.
This isn’t sufficient when Gorleston desperately needs the return of our car park, not only in the interests of residents but also the continued success of our tourist industry.
If the sub structure won’t take the weight of a car park then certainly more important work needs to be done, not just for a car park but, even more importantly, the protection of a structure vitally important to the port and our riverside and seafront.
February 8 is a very important day for our borough when John Cooper will be a witness at the NCC scrutiny committee meeting.
We believe Great Yarmouth Borough Council did not fully take the interests of ratepayers into account during negotiations for the provision of the outer harbour. Our group has always been for an outer harbour which suits all the criteria demanded of it and believe this scrutiny meeting should be the catalyst for a public inquiry giving us answers and the benefits of any further help towards these aims.
Shame we’ve lost out to Hull
TWO and a half years ago, regarding Gorleston Pier, a borough councillor wrote in our Mercury: “It is not possible for Great Yarmouth Port Company (GYPC) to repair the surface as structurally under the surface the piling was rotten, so we should not push the port company to do any repairs yet”. Now EastPort says it’s just surface work!
Wonderful news about the jack-up rig now in the outer harbour, this is the sort of work that our borough can handle so well and has done for the past 50 years.
Mr Eddie Freeman has done well to get this work. We need more!
But it was sad to note on Friday morning that the turbine manufacturer Siemans which the borough council, MP Brandon Lewis and others have been courting for here, have announced their new plant will be in Hull, “Prescott land”.
There is no way that any turbine made by them for installation off here, will need to come into Yarmouth. Obviously they will go straight to the offshore location.
The vast majority of “new” wind farm jobs will emanate from the river port, therefore it is absolutely essential that all available quays are maintained in a “fit for purpose” condition by Eastport.
This, under Trust Port Status, is a legal requirement. The inner harbour has had no maintenance since International Port Holdings took over.
The port has over three miles of quay and it is a similar job to what painting the Forth Bridge is: it needs an ongoing repair scheme.
JOHN L COOPER
Time to put their house in order
IF enough people complained about the state of my front garden, then I would be held to account and for certain I would be made by the powers that be, ie the council, to put my house in order, wouldn’t you agree?
So why is it then that EastPort, who have the rights or ownership to Gorleston pier and car park, be allowed to let the repair of this area fall into a greater disrepair than was already left to happen by the previous owners?
Surely if documents are signed, they are legally binding and, as such, the company concerned, Eastport, should put their house in order and renew the carpark and pier head surface?
What a great deal of others, and I would like to know, is why the council is dragging its heels over this issue? Is the area to be left to decay to a point where they will close it and then come up with a plan to tweek it a little. But perhaps this is too “commercially sensitive” to discuss in a public forum.
Musician does our town proud
RECENTLY I have spent a lot of time in Cardiff, allowing me to attend many outstanding concerts at St David’s Hall. I was privileged on Friday to witness a brilliant player of the timpani, who at 26 is a leading light of the Welsh National Opera Orchestra. His name is Patrick King and he was born and brought up in Great Yarmouth and his parents still live here. His performance in a demanding programme was scintillating and Yarmouth should be justly proud of this fine ambassador for the town.
ROBERT J PARRY
Christmas card arrived by Easter
I HOPE Pauline Lynch doesn’t have to wait for her Christmas card for too long.
One card I think of can top that for distance and date. It happened the Christmas of 2009.
If I recall, there were no weather problems. A friend lived in the council houses just past the First and Last pub in Ormesby and I lived about a mile or less away in Second Avenue.
The card was posted on December 15, 2009, and was delivered to me on March 29, 2010. I wrote to the manager at the sorting office in Norwich airing my views.
So if any people who have written about the subject expect an apology, forget it. None was forthcoming.
Caister on Sea