Letters, June 28 2013

Join our defence of Britain’s NHS

The NHS is 65 years old this year and will be celebrated across the UK as part of the social bedrock of our society.

Unfortunately, it is under unprecedented attack from this Con-Dem government by way of the health and social care act. This act seeks to undermine the very principles the NHS was founded on as competition and privatisation are introduced formally by way of section 75 of the act.

The act will make the NHS unrecognisable in ten years time, as private healthcare providers start to cherry pick off the most profitable parts of the NHS and leave the rest struggling and fragmented.

Patients will end up with a postcode lottery of healthcare provisions and the service will travel down the road of our American counterparts, expensive and inefficient. Accountability will be reduced under a cloud of commercial confidentiality clauses and ultimately the quality of care could suffer as non-lucrative services are cut.

If readers feel as strongly about this as we do, please join the defence of the NHS stall in Market Place on Saturday, July 6 at 10am.


Most Read

Great Yarmouth Trades Council

Dredging causes loss of beaches

I support the connection in Mike Gibb’s letter in the Mercury, June 14. about the large amounts of seabed material removed by offshore aggregate dredging along this coastline and the recent accelerated loss of sand from our beaches and coastal erosion.

When offshore dredging commenced along the east anglian coastline in 1973 just three million metric tonnes were removed per annum but by 1994 this annual extraction rate had increased to 22 million tonnes and in 1996, 26.1 million tonnes were removed .

In the 12 years between 1989 and 2003, a total of 113,937,813 tonnes were removed along the Norfolk shoreline alone. It must also be recognised that more than three times these quantities are actually stripped from the seabed because non-commercial large stones and fine silt are dumped back into the sea as waste.

These high annual seabed aggregate extraction rates continue (to date) mostly by re-dredging previously dredged areas causing deeper water nearer to the shoreline resulting in beach drawdown because of the mobile nature of our near shore seabed.

The UK Hydrographic Office 2005 survey report of Hemsby Hole concluded that: “There has been a general deepening along the total length of this near shore area since the last survey.”

There is also plenty of evidence to support the correlation between the increased amounts of seabed material removed by offshore dredging and the recent accelerated loss of sand from our beaches and consequential coastal erosion, on our website www.marinet.org.uk see: Marine Aggregate Dredging and Coastal Defences/Shoreline Management Plans.

During a coastal erosion meeting at Gorleston Conservative Club on February 22, organised by MP Brandon Lewis to bring all the local action groups together to present a united approach, I asked Brandon if one of the group’s actions from this meeting could be: Asking parliament if a levy could be put on aggregate dredging operations in the North Sea to help pay for coastal defences, I also confirmed this statement in my letter to him on 7 March 2013.

It will be a great shame if we cannot do anything to preserve our famous Norfolk golden beaches for future generations, consequently all maintenance of current sea defences, beach sand retaining measures and planned sea defences schemes should be supported and I support the Save Hemsby Coastline DIY scheme.

This scheme which is supported by Yarmouth Borough Council obtained approval of G Watling Norwich (the beach land owner), the borough engineer and local councillors and also obtained unanimous approval at a public meeting on 26 April with no objections. The DIY sea defence scheme is to build 1,031 concrete blocks; volunteers would build one or two of the two cubic metres four tonne blocks per day and place them in front of what is left of the remaining marram grass sand dunes from Newport Fisherman’s Cottages to Long Beach, Hemsby.

Further information about the DIY Save Hemsby Coastline Scheme can be obtained from the website: www.savehemsbycoastline.co.uk. Donations can be sent to, or information obtained from: Lorna Bevan-Thompson, Lacon Arms, Sea View Road, Hemsby NR29 4JG or call 01493 733281.



UKIP councillor alerted authority

In response to the letter in the Mercury, June 21, “No complaints when UKIP Lost”.

This matter has nothing to do with winning or losing, and the instigators of this investigation have nothing to do with other political parties as suggested in the letter.

This investigation was triggered by a UKIP councillor who approached our elections officer with concerns about alleged irregularities on a nomination paper, which he wanted investigated.

Once these allegations were made to Great Yarmouth Borough Council officers, they had no option other than to pass these concerns on to the authorities for investigation, who then decided on the scope of the investigation.

I am sure that is what residents would expect.


Leader, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

This area needs end of life facility

I was saddened to read that talks between the James Paget Hospital and East Coast Hospice had broken down following a lot of negativity over where the hospice should be built. Call me cynical but it seems that some loud voices from prominent people in the area involved with the palliative care unit have done nothing but lambast the hospice plans instead of getting behind them.

Agreed, changes to the original plans may be necessary but why can’t we all support the building of the hospice as we did the Louise Hamilton Centre. A huge effort was made from the fundraising team and the public resulting in the centre being built but at the end of the day this is principally a cancer information centre with ancilliary treatments and consultations available.

Without doubt we need an end of life facility and this does not mean a 10-bed clinical hospital ward. It means a place of quiet and peace where people can end their time with loved ones around them, in private and tranquil surroundings.

The one thing we can all be sure of is the end of life and if this cannot be at home with our family around us then the next best thing is a custom built hospice. The NHS contributes to almost every other area of our lives but nothing is given for end of life care so instead of talking down the creation of a hospice lets all support this essential facility.



Charities issue cannot drag on

I am pleased Mr Potter decided to put on record again my support for East Coast Hospice. However I am disappointed he has tried to politicise the issue. This is a non political issue which receives cross party support. I support the hospice along with patrons such as our own current Conservative MP Brandon Lewis and former Labour MP Tony Wright.

East Coast Hospice offers end of life care, something that is absent in our local area. Whilst I do support the work of Palliative Care East it simply cannot offer an independent hospice away from hospital grounds, something which is vital in ensuring that once built will remain for many years and not be at the mercy of hospital finances.

There is too much confusion and not enough clarity given to the public on what Palliative Care East actually does and how it differs in its aims to East Coast Hospice.

I will therefore be calling on the Mercury, as a local paper, to offer a clear and objective view on the two charities. As I understand the Mercury website has a tab dedicated to Palliative Care East, I do hope they can extend the same virtue to East Coast Hospice or how can they remain impartial on the matter? The issue with the two charities cannot drag on any longer as this is to the detriment of Great Yarmouth residents.



Bottles from soft drinks makers

Reference the letter in the Mercury last week about the discovery of two glass bottles. The names on the bottles were two of the three Great Yarmouth soft drinks makers.

Hunts was in Howard Street and although I am not sure where Lawrence’s were based my step grandad used to drive one of there delivery lorries. Fields, if my memory serves me right, were in Runham Vauxhall and I recall as a child being taken to see around the factory by my father.

On the way, father would talk about the suspension bridge disaster. The man in charge was Mr Bloomfield who lived at the bottom of Second Avenue, Caister on Sea. All three were in business after the war having worked through the war.



Mallard picture made me smile

As a regular reader of the Mercury and especially the letters page with all their diverse comments, it was most refreshing to read about the mother mallard and her babies.

And what a lovely picture to go with it, it put a smile on my face and made my day. We could do with more letters like this. Thank you to the reader who submitted it.


St Peter’s Plain,

Great Yarmouth

The best team? A can of worms!

Peter Self opened a can of worms when he recently stated he thought Catfield are the best-ever side that has competed in local football. Not unnaturally members of the fine Gorleston Rangers side of the 1960s have begged to differ. As a purely neutral supporter of local football, I would like to plead the case of a few other sides.

Going back to pre-war days, the 1920s were dominated by Jewson’s Athletic, who won three consecutive championships as well as winning the Junior Cup on two occasions, before moving on to a higher level.

That doyen of local football, the late Percy Nockolds, always rated The Caledonians as the best team he ever saw. They won the League six times in eight years in the 1930s, winning the Junior Cup once, runners-up on another occasion and reaching the semi finals three times, very similar to that of Catfield’s.

Freethorpe won the title eight times in nine seasons directly after the second world war. The late 1950s were dominated by Gorleston United who won the title five times in seven years as well as six consecutive Wiltshire cup victories (a record that still stands), all this was achieved against such strong opponents as Acle United, Potter Heigham and the Ravens, among others.

Of course Ned Hewitt and Ronnie Rumsby have already pleaded the case of Gorleston Rangers. The 1970s, it was Reedham who were the dominant side, winning the title on five occasions against sides like Town Hall, Hemsby and Burgh Castle

So who was the best? Of course all this is pure speculation as would be Joe Louis if knocked out Muhammad Ali or could Roger Federer beaten Rod Laver, unfortunately we will never know.

My personal favourite for the title would have to be the fine Cobholm side that dominated the 1980s and 1990s against opponents such as ABFC, Halvergate Utd, Parkside and THOSA.


Harbord Crescent,

Great Yarmouth

Marlin was no threat to anyone

Reference the landing of the marlin fish, Mercury last week. That was no sport, it was not equal. It was hunt and kill for pleasure. Oh, how sad, the fish died of a heart attack and what brought that about? It had a fight for life and freedom.

It was no threat to anyone, did not encroach on anyone’s territory, and was not a hindrance or annoyance to anyone.

With all that money spent on self satisfaction instead of doing some good, help preserve the natural world.


North Road,


Beached whale helped by young

I have read a few accounts now of the sad incident where a baby Minke whale was beached at Gorleston. It has come to my attention though they all neglected one very important point: the whale was discovered by a few regular young people who got into the water with it and tried to look after it in the only way they could think of - by keeping it wet and afloat.

They had no training and no skills yet they stayed with the poor animal in the freezing water doing their very best to try and keep it safe and alive. They called the emergency services who eventually arrived and watched them as they struggled in awful conditions to help the animal. The only support the coastguard offered was to tell them to get out of the water and leave it as it was dangerous. I’m proud to say they didn’t listen.

Young people are very often judged badly in our society. I think it’s sad when they do make an effort and try to do something selfless and decent it gets ignored. I for one am very proud of those young people who went out of their way to care for a poor distressed visitor to our shoreline. They did their best in very difficult circumstances and deserve credit.


Back Pier Plain,


Objections fell on deaf ears

I recently attended a development control committee meeting at the town hall where one of the agenda items was Lynn Grove High School’s submission to install more floodlights on the west side to enable them to get more use from their facilities.

A neighbour and I had previously looked at the plans and it was apparent if this went ahead it would seriously increase the traffic on Lynn Grove, a road already heavily congested with vehicles. A petition we organised had almost 100pc backing from residents of Lynn Grove and The Walk in opposing the plan.

My neighbour spoke at the meeting but was not allowed his three minutes. Our ward councillor Mr Williamson said a few words but they fell on deaf ears.

Nobody asked why we had presented the petition. In short, our complaint against the plan was not properly heard or discussed. I thought the idea of councillors and publicly-attended council meetings was to execute democracy, not ignore it. These elected representatives just sat there like toys on a shop shelf. When the chairman called for those in favour, their hands went up like puppets.

I do not object to schools becoming bigger, and if headmasters have become accountants rather than educators then that is the way of the world, but I do object to the lack of forward-thinking from councillors and planning officers who are happy to allow Lynn Grove to grow like Topsy without any thought for the local infrastructure or the residents.

I can only apologise to the residents of Lynn Grove and The Walk that our best efforts were ignored. Cllr Reynolds noted the achievements of the school in recommending the plan. I wonder what he would think if this was happening on his doorstep in Ormesby and his electorate were complaining.

Lynn Grove High is serviced by a small residential by-road that cannot currently cope with the volume of traffic engineered by the school. This will only exacerbate the problem further. What will it take to make the council listen? A serious road accident with someone being injured or worse? Then perhaps we might get some clear thinking on this subject. Much, much too late.

I would like to thank MP Brandon Lewis and his team for their efforts on our behalf.


Lynn Grove,


Bank moves = more out of jobs

Firstly, I am writing about M&Co’s closing down sale. They have had their sale sign up since November, not last summer. They put it up thinking they were coming out just after Christmas, as Barclays Bank would like to relocate there. But they got the knock back and Barclays are still trying to get in to M&Co.

It’s only a matter of time before the bank gets in there and puts more people out of a job.

It is also a very sad farewell to Burtons and Evans who have been on the Market Place forever, but have had to shut because TSB bank needs to move into there. Hence say more people out of a job!

Second: With reference to an indoor market. It was true what Andy Harris said last week, we do not want the old Co-op turned into a market. If you go onto Yarmouth market and ask the traders who would like to go into the Co-op they will all say the same, they don’t want to.

There is a nice all-year round market now open on Regent Road and a lot of time and money has been spent on it. I think it is dreadful for Yarmouth council to even think of having a market in the Co-op, for goodness sake, support the one that’s already open.

Thirdly: Will people please stop feeding the seagulls. Walking through the market the other day I got splat on, it was like a tin of paint thrown over me. Everyone says the same. You can’t sit on the seats as they are covered in muck; you can’t walk or eat as you get attacked.

Fourth: This is the worst one – bikes. Stepping out of Boots on Saturday I was run down by a gobby yob on a bike. He gave me a mouthful for not looking where I was going on the pavement. Two policemen stood by didn’t bat an eyelid: I give up!

Welcome to Yarmouth, enjoy your stay.



Trying to trace my grandmother

My name is Kate Bentley and I live in Leicester. My father’s name is Steven Bentley, born March 31, 1953 to Walter Bentley and Betty Cruickshank of Gorleston. I am trying to locate Betty, my grandmother, or any living relatives. Betty moved to Leicester from Gorleston in the 1940s/50s. She left when my father was young and I believe she has since moved back to Norfolk.

My father’s brother John and sister Wendy are also Betty’s children, and when she lived in Leicester with my grandfather Walter and their children, they lived in a village called Aylestone where I still live today, in the exact house believe it or not.

I believe she may also have associations with the name Bodycote with a son named Terry or Terence, however I am unsure if that is the correct spelling or even name.

Betty is believed to have been adopted therefore I am unsure whether Cruickshank would have been her birth name. If alive she would be around 90.

Although there is a chance she may no longer be living I would still like to know anything anyone may know or could put me in touch with.

Life’s short and I would like to know more about my family as there is so much unknown. I can be contacted on 07714 003912.



Govt has failed over benefits

WHAT is the difference between £108 and £109 the answer is £13.55. No, I did not fail my O-level maths but I think this Tory government in which Brandon Lewis is a junior minister, have failed let me explain if you work and earn £109 week you are covered for national insurance benefits at nil cost.

When you earn over £148 week you pay 12pc earning £149 a week national insurance cost is 12p earning £258 a week your national insurance cost is £13.55, earning less than £109 a week in one job you might have two or more jobs but one of them must be over £109 you are not covered for any benefits working less than 16hours week you are covered for benefits by going to the job centre.

So what about those who are not covered the government answer is to buy a voluntary contribution of £13.55 a week so if working less than 16 hours nil charge earning £109 to £148 per week nil charge, but working more than 16 hours week but earning less than £109 a per week costs £13.55. Is this fair, Any reader working part-time and who is affected by these rules should ask Brandon Lewis is it fair, on 01493 652928.



Were you once a Girl Guide?

Are you a member of the Girl Guide Association? Once a Guide, always a Guide?

Are you over 18 years of age? Do you have happy memories of being a Guide, Ranger, helper with Rainbows, Brownies or Guides, camping etc? Are you unable to be an active member now but miss the laughs and friendships of your Guiding days? Feel there isn’t a niche for you now but wish there was?

Would you love to have the chance to meet with others in a relaxed atmosphere and perhaps plan some future activities together?

If you said yes to any or all of this, then look no further, we are here to help! We are having a Coffee, Chat and Cake evening on Tuesday, July 16 at Blue Sky Community Centre, Sunninghill Close at 7.30pm to see if anyone would be interested in meeting on an informal basis quite separate from our normal Trefoil meetings. Small posters are being distributed locally, but if more information is required call 01493 444558 or email pamshaw1@talktalk.net



Say goodbye to a landmark

Scouring along the beaches from North Norfolk down to Hopton is not a new story; we are well aware of damage that has occurred after the winter gales and the loss of millions of tons of sand exposing dunes to further demolition.

Each site is different and conditions dictate the potential damage of wind and wave induced mobility of the surface layer of sand which is susceptible to scouring. The depth and lateral extent lost to natural or unusual behaviour of sea states dictates the loss of sand down to the substrate of secure boulder clay. To date there is no protective system in place as an adequate breakwater to deplete the power of aggressive incoming wave action.

The coastal regions are feeling the same impact in some shape or form. The future regarding protection of these coastal regions is decided by the powers in London and local authorities. Their heads are stuck in the sand, that is if the can find any! The decision is to leave the coastal buffers to their own devices. If the loss of a few metres per year happens it’s acceptable as it is too expensive to protect.

This applies specifically to Happisburgh as the once important lighthouse is the latest casualty in the realms of abandonment. Trinity House in its infinite wisdom has decided the lighthouse is past its sell by date. The protective cliff has eroded extensively and the final decision is to let it topple into the sea! How crazy is that?

Where do these people come from; they have no sense of value and no consideration for Norfolk heritage, so say goodbye to another treasured landmark. Comments would be appreciated and maybe someone in power may take notice and act accordingly.



No atheist organisations

I am amazed at John Huggin’s opening sentence of his letter on belief. As unlike theists there is no atheist organisations to tell us what to believe. I can only speak for myself and I certainly do not have all the answers.

For instance I do not know how life started on the earth as while this is being studied no positive evidence has yet been found. I also do not know how the universe started. Of course we have the “big bang” hypothesis based on the available evidence but it not yet proved.

Having said that I support John’s right to believe in whatever he wishes too and I recognise how that belief is important to him. My objection begins when people try to impose those beliefs on the rest of us. I previously mentioned homosexuality and it was only in 2008 that blasphemy ceased to be a criminal offence in this country.

Fortunately the influence religion has on our laws is now greatly reduced.


Royal Naval Hospital,

Great Yarmouth

Pull together for a hospice

Two letters last week, concerning the hospice situation, from Brian Potter and Julia Bloch are deserving of comment and make perfect sense – one common interest: to do what is best for the patients.

Isn’t that enough to make an end to all the argument and pull together to make another dream a reality: a bedded hospice so desperately needed in this community? We can do it – so let’s just get on with it and not waste any more time for those who may have only a little time left.

And thank you for your kind words Julia – the many volunteers you mention appreciate it.


Links Road,


Thanks for day to remember

I would like to say a word of thanks and praise to the staff of Gorleston Library for putting on such a pleasant Reminiscence event last Wednesday.

This was very much enjoyed by a number of people who turned up for tea and chat, especially the Magdalen Memory Club, whose members enjoyed the visit, talking about times past and looking at the memorabilia provided by the library and Gorleston on Sea Heritage Group. I think everyone who attended would be very pleased to see a similar event happen later in the year.