Letters, January 20 2107

The community of Hemsby thanked

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Hemsby community for their generous support over the tidal surge last Friday night.

We are so fortunate and blessed to live in such a caring and compassionate community, from the volunteers at the lifeboat station to the ladies and gentlemen at the village hall expecting and ready to receive evacuated residents from all over the borough. Pets were also cared for, amazing work. Thank you.

We had donated food from the Hemsby Spar shop and Tesco’s Caister which was an amazing gesture to feed over 100 people which was then moved on to a foodbank to avoid any waste. The fish and chip shop in Hemsby gave donations to the lifeboat crew to keep them going Friday night and all the agencies and community did a superb job.

Really pleased and proud to have been a part of it. Well done all.

Cllr James Bensly

Angry at closure of school for snow

Most Read

So, so angry that Woodlands School decided to close on the first day of a small amount of snow, on Friday. My grand-daughter was in tears and very upset she couldn’t go to nursery at noon, and all other children had to be picked up at 12.30pm.

This was totally unnecessary as by 2.30pm there was not a scrap of snow to be seen, just rain and wind. It caused a lot of problems for parents and I hope in future the powers that be think before acting. It’s unbelievable.

Name and Address withheld

Migrant workers health insurance

Just a few thoughts on the subject of immigration. Migrant workers are filling the gap where British workers turn their backs, especially menial work like auxiliary care, on the land, leaflet distribution, office cleaning etc. These workers from other countries are not too proud to take on this type of work and good luck to them but while they pay their taxes and National Insurance as we all do, their contributions are very small, compared with many British workers, who like myself have paid for over 40 years.

When retired British people move to France to live, they are allowed to use their National Insurance contributions to pay for health treatment but have to take out insurance to top up their bill by 25pc. This is a more fair way of doing things.

I believe all the underlying unease over migrants settling in the UK is because of lack of long-term contributions. I for one would not begrudge small children, healthcare, education and a roof over their heads. We are all God’s children but there has to be fairness. I have met quite a few top politicians over the years as a former Great Yarmouth borough councillor and each time from 2007 I have voiced my opinion on funding services, especially to immigrants who have only been in the UK for a short while.

Governments over the past 20-30 years should have put in place a top-up insurance just like the French have had for years over their health care funding. Health, education, housing, policing, transport all need money, you can’t expect the people who have lived and worked for over 60 years to top up the people who have just lived in the UK for only one to two years.

Come on politicians of all parties, be more fair minded towards us all,



Thanks for letter about Rotary

Thank you Rosemary Williams of Reynolds Avenue, Caister for your kind remarks regarding The Rotary Club of Great Yarmouth manning the Father Christmas Grotto in Palmers Great Yarmouth Department Store. It was a privilege and pleasure and everyone who visited us was delightful. As president I would like to say thank you from myself and the club members.



Call for debate on universal credit

Great Yarmouth Trades Union Council welcomes Labour councillors’ call for a public debate on the crisis that is unfurling in Great Yarmouth caused by Universal Credit. The Labour motion follows the trades council question in December, calling for all agencies, those affected, and Brandon Lewis MP to debate the impact the new benefit is having on the lives of residents and the local economy.

At that December meeting the Conservative leader of the council said there was no need for a debate and that the system was working well. UKIP made no comment.

You do not have to look too far to find charities and others helping those impacted by Universal Credit. The DWP instructed by Government, has caused hardship and misery and left charities to pick up the pieces. People have been left without money for months, unable to pay rent, stacking up unpaid bills, pushing families in to poverty and causing homelessness. The system is making people poorer and more vulnerable - whilst our MP ignores a public debate on the crisis.


Secretary, GY&DTUC

Tidal meeting for our businesses

I am writing, as chairman of the Tidal Defences Business Partnership, to update businesses on work to refurbish Great Yarmouth’s vital tidal defences along the River Yare, and to invite businesses to find out more at a special on-site open day on Wednesday, January 25.

Everyone benefits from Yarmouth’s tidal defences, which is why we have formed the Partnership: a group of businesses, of various sizes and sectors, which is working closely with the public sector to help move the refurbishment works forward as quickly as possible.

In addition to reducing the flood risk to thousands of homes and workplaces, the defences are key to attracting and sustaining business investment and jobs in key industries that are essential to the prosperity of the local, regional and national economies. And our own economic study shows that the much-needed investment in the tidal defences will enable Great Yarmouth to realise its full economic potential and unlock huge opportunities for businesses.

The Environment Agency has a robust, deliverable plan to refurbish the defences in five-year phases over the coming decades, with the first phase of works now complete. The second phase of work is to refurbish 2.65km of defences over the next five years. So far we have secured more than £28m in funding, but further funding is required and we need as many businesses as possible to assist in lobbying and levering in this funding from every possible source.

A current rejuvenation approach should provide a further 50 years of life from the walls, for an estimated 30pc of the cost of replacing them wholesale.

I would like to invite businesses to find out more about the trial and about the Business Partnership at a special open day for businesses at Bryant’s Wharf on Wednesday, January 25. If you plan to attend or would like information about joining the Business Partnership, email Bernard Harris, the group’s co-ordinator, via bernard.harris@great-yarmouth.gov.uk.


Tidal Defences Business Partnership

Thanks for help given to husband

May I through your paper thank the many people who helped my 87 year old husband when he fell heavily on the pavement near the swings in Martham at lunchtime on Friday, January 5.

When I arrived he was surrounded by three or four lovely ladies all looking after him and an ambulance had already been called. We were taken to the James Paget where there was a queue but we were treated so well, gently spoken to and made comfortable.

We were some hours with X-rays and a scan but nothing was too much trouble. Not forgetting our daughter and son in law who spent hours with us, then got us safely home.

Our love and thanks to you all.


Willow Way,


Charge those who miss GP dates

Over several months the Mercury letters pages have had many letters on the NHS, JPH, and local doctors’ surgeries. At my own surgery if I don’t get there by 7.30am to ask for an appointment that day, invariably I would not get one.

But this is not the GP practice’s fault, neither is it the NHS or the fault of the JPH. There are for starters too many people in the borough and too few doctors. At the surgery I attend the admin staff publishes how many “missed appointments” the surgery has had, the number is disgusting; those of us that have a genuine need to see a doctor but fail to get an appointment can only curse the blinders that block up the system.

If you need the services of a plumber or electrician invariable there is a call-out charge, some as much as £50. It would be very helpful if surgeries charged a reasonable sum, say £30 for each missed appointment, this would boost funds and hopefully reduce the lethargic way the general community treat appointments. So surgeries reduce the waiting time for a doctor, and reduce the amount of missed appointments,

Let us charge those patients who fail to turn up then everyone will benefit.


Burnt Lane,


Volunteers played vital role in scare

As usual, on Friday during the flood warning, we all came together on such an event. However I would like to give a big, big thank you to all the people who volunteered for all their support, we would not have managed without them and all the authorities.

A big, big thank you to people and companies for donating food. Hemsby took the surplus to the food bank in Gorleston, so people in need will benefit from it.



Fortunate to have sixth form college

I write to send congratulations to the staff and students of East Norfolk Sixth Form College on their recent excellent Ofsted inspection judgement.

East Norfolk Sixth Form in Gorleston has proved a brilliant success since inception over 30 years ago, providing huge breadth and choice for the town’s 16-19 year olds regardless of ability.

The college alumni boast huge numbers of students who have gone on to excel academically at top universities and also via a more direct work route via higher apprenticeships at prestigious British and European employers.

We are indeed fortunate to have this college in our town.

Long may it continue to prosper.


Retired High School Teacher

Careers Advisor with The Careers Development Institute

Councillor stepped up and is helping

For the last two years I have been trying to get the Highways Authority (HA) to clear the drain at the side of my bungalow in Bradwell.

I had made several calls to the HA, but in spite of their promises to do something, nothing happened. I rang the parish council and and was told “Leave it with me and I will get something done.”

Again, after waiting for several months, nothing had happened. In desperation I rang my local councillor Mr Carl Annison of UKIP, who said he would deal with the matter. Then, wow, what a surprise when, just a few days later, the doorbell rang and there stood Cllr Annison who assured me he had taken up the matter with the Highways Authority, and that he would keep me posted on progress of the matter.

What a refreshing change! Normally the only time that one sees local councillors or politicians is at election time when they want my vote. Well done, Mr Annison, and UKIP. Many thanks. Keep up the good work.


Mill Lane,


Sterling job during the flood episode

UKIP Great Yarmouth would like to thank all at GYBC and all other agencies involved in the build up and clean up from last week’s threat of severe weather. Everyone did a sterling job and it was really appreciated by us all.

Gladly the worst didn’t happen but it was reassuring that everyone was working together for the safety of the borough and its residents.


UKIP Group Leader

Gorleston Ward

We don’t need another cinema

When will our council wake up to what is really Great Yarmouth? Certainly it is not another cinema. What would happen to the one on the seafront which is all Yarmouth needs?

Get that area in King Street tidied up yes but it’s a no from me to what is happening on the car park at the back. We need car parking in this town and that car park is handy for St George’s Theatre as well. A lot of money has been wasted in this town so I hope the council will use more money on better ideas.

It certainly needs a facelift because in my opinion it has gone downhill in the last few years. I am sure if you asked the public for ideas they would respond.


Perebrown Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

No excuse to miss appointments

In December last year, 500 people failed to keep their appointments at my doctors’ surgery. That is disgusting, there really is no excuse as everyone has a phone nowadays. All it takes if a minute to call and cancel then someone else can get an appointment. This is just one surgery; I would hate to think how many appointments have been missed added together over the Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas.

These people should be either made to pay or struck off the register. No wonder the NHS is in such a state. These failed appointments do not help and cost doctors’ time and money.



Has billions been wasted on roads?

Dualled roads are not necessary? If so, should there be an inquiry as to why billions of pounds of public money has been wasted constructing them through the land over the years.


Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

I am seeing more homeless people

I am writing concerning the homeless and the needy. I have noticed over a period of time that more people have been made homeless probably through no fault of their own. I could understand it if it was the Victoria era where people lived in slums or bad conditions. I believe some of it is to do with Universal Credit and the way the system has changed.


St Margaret’s Way,


Masterplan has to contend with sea

I seem to have upset certain people with my prejudicial views in my letter of January 6. Due now to the episode of weather on January 13, I feel even more prejudiced in what I have to say about the new masterplan with its remodelling of the town centre, and a cinema, restaurants and hotels, as on the Riverside in Norwich.

Great Yarmouth is surrounded by water, an island which is under threat of flooding from the sea, also from domestic sewage interference.Prospects of Yarmouth sponsoring something like this I feel are pretty slim, due to this flood threat.

Transport, due to reputation, would be one more headache. This is a marvellous idea, but the site is all wrong and will have restricted access.


Gonville Road,


Must protect the freedom of press

As I have strong opinions about thing like immigration, the EU and some of the things that are being foisted on to East Anglia in general and this area in particular, I often get into rather heated arguments.

Often they are with people who have not lived here very long or who are not very old, so how can they comment on immigration with any authority? I can, as I am 69, and have lived in Gorleston for 56 years and the reason I bring this up is that everywhere you go now ie police stations, hospitals, libraries, council offices, chemists and schools, there seems to be a notice pinned to a wall saying you must not abuse staff and every so-called minority group in the country – the list of which seems to grow by the month.

So do we come to the conclusion that society as a whole has become more yobbish or a lot of not very nice people have moved into the area, or is it a crafty way of stopping people expressing their views on subjects without appearing to do so?

This is why we must protect the freedom of the press and our local newspapers and by the way, I have never shouted or abused any of the above.


Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

I will never be a computernik!

Hands up all those who, like me, do not have a www.com. Looks like quite a number of us. Every day those of us who are “without” are punished for not keeping up.

Service providers are prime examples of those organisations which hate to have us dinosaurs still hanging around. We have to pay their bills and statements sent to us, in other words we shell out for their expenses and overheads if we don’t go online. We don’t serve the Great God of Increased Profit and so we are victimised and marginalised.

How many times have you wanted to contact an organisation only to find there isn’t a telephone number or mailing address – only a triple w?

Banking online is in our face as well. It’s what our customers want,” say the bean counters. Not me pal, I’m a customer but not me. It will get worse. All companies have to have licences to be able to operate so shouldn’t they come with stipulations such as maintaining contact telephone numbers and mailing addresses and meaningful provisions, without penalty, for those who don’t have a dot.com?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew someone who had the ear of those in government circles to represent the interests of citizens who don’t want to be pushed into an internet corner. Anyone think of a name?

I could go further and state it should be a human right not to have to use a computer to be part of everyday life. Us lot? Standing in the way of and refusing to accept progress? Maybe. But no more so than those from outside who come to live here – including those who have been here for many years already – and insist on keeping forced marriages, polygamy, honour killings, witchcraft, religious courts and holding women as inferior, second class chattels within their codes of conduct.

For years, successive governments have known the full extent of these regressive practices and apart from a few limelight prosecutions have maintained a low profile, preferring a regime of “forebearance and understanding”, hoping integration will eventually cure all. So how about a little of that forbearance, understanding and support for those of us who for various reasons are not, or ever likely to be, computerniks.


Hill Avenue,


Respects to rest centre volunteers

Having attended, with my wife Donna, the three main rest centres during Friday evening, we would like to pay our wholehearted respects to those volunteers and staff at the rest centres, borough council staff and catering services who worked well together, showing the cohesion necessary for a multi-agency response to what could have been a stressful occasion for the community.


Mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough

Grateful for the flooding alerts

I am writing this letter, still in my house in Cobholm for which I am really grateful. If that capricious wind had not turned direction, it might have been a totally different outcome. I for one am very grateful I am alerted by the Environment Agency early in the day, so the inevitable preparations can be made.

I am in the school of thought that if I do not proceed in this way and worry myself sick, the worst will indeed happen. I cannot and will not be blasé and I fully appreciate the council and all the agencies working on this community’s behalf. When the water does finally settle and we escape unscathed, there are some dissenting voices that proclaim ‘What was all the fuss about’.

The agencies are inevitably between a ‘rock and a sandbag’ and have to play absolutely safe, they cannot and should not play Russian roulette with the total unpredictability of nature.

I am always grateful too for the spirit of the local community and friends and neighbours who rally round, transporting heavy sandbags and being generally supportive and public spirited. If a gentleman in Cobholm is reading this, I so appreciated his bringing his van back and collecting my bags and then with his dodgy knee taking them to my front door.

This time rightly or wrongly I decided to stay put and when the time came went to view the river. Anne Edwards in the weekend edition of the EDP wrote a cracking article about the history of this bridge and there are some great pictures. On Friday night I clung to the rail of this historic bridge and the camaraderie was tangible.

When it comes to flooding concerns, we are indeed all in this together and this was manifestly true on Friday, so a well executed operation is what we want and indeed is definitely what we get.


Winifred Road,