Letters, November 4, 2011

Where’s right to democracy?

I WAS disgusted to learn this week that our MP Brandon Lewis voted against a motion for the people of Britain to have a referendum on our membership to the European Union. By doing this, he has denied his constituents the right to democracy and I feel he is no longer fit to represent the people of Great Yarmouth.


Avondale Road,


Fed up with the

Paget bashers

Most Read

I AM fed up with all the James Paget bashers, those people that moan and groan about the inadequate meals, care, nursing, and anything else they can think of to discredit the hospital. I have news for you people, become a nurse, doctor, carer and make the difference that you want to happen instead of moaning. Look closer at the hospital see what they, the people that work there have to go through in one given day.

Night staff going from patient to patient telling the day staff what each patient had been through during the night amongst the patients’ constant ringing bells wanting to go to the toilet, have a commode etc. Temperature and blood pressure taken, breakfast has to be served, one or two patients have to be fed. Person has unfortunately wet/messed the bed. Bedridden patients have to be washed, linen on all the beds changed. Medication given. Three patients have to be ready for operations. Patients dressings changed, drips checked. Nurse must go down to theatre with patient, now the nurse is off ward, shortness of staff. Patient messes bed again, must be changed. Doctors rounds, nurse, and sister must be in attendance in case of change of treatment. Attend patient returning from theatre. New patients arriving, documents have to be filled in. Patient going home, nurse must get medication for he/she to take home, less time with patients needing attention. Another patient arrives from theatre. Midday meal arrives, and it goes on and on.

The problem is not enough money for extra nurses. You may ask why not. Answer: the scans being used to detect breast cancer etc, do not cost sixpence. Other machines cost a fortune to help detect diseases.

So, If you don’t like your free NHS, it’s not good enough for you or your family, go private, but, in a real emergency you’ll thank God for the James Paget Hospital and its overworked staff.


Yallop Avenue,


We need an EU


I READ with interest a mass distributed email from Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis. Incredibly the 1000-plus word email did not clearly state that Mr Lewis would be rejecting the chance to have a referendum on the EU. Mr Lewis of course rejected the motion that called for a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU, leave it or renegotiate its membership.

For years people on the streets have been growing anxious of our complicated relationship with Europe and its calamitous currency. It is not just about bendy bananas. Immigration, foreign labour, trade and the dreaded Human Rights act which means we can’t deport foreign criminals, are all big factors that are heavily linked to our distrust. From information freely available from the impartial theyworkforyou website Mr Lewis’s record on Europe is one of devotion to the EU.

Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems are in political alignment. Their leaders are all the same and now they even vote the same way with the exception of a handful. What choice do voters have at the next election? More of the same? Should they give up or take a risk?



Cannot believe

JPH complaints

I HAVE recently returned home after spending 23 weeks in the James Paget Hospital, and, I am angry. Very angry, over the latest spate of bad publicity the hospital has been getting. I cannot believe that any of these complaints are coming from people who have actually been patients.

I honestly cannot fault the hospital. From my arrival, the immediate medical exams, tests, etc Were prompt and extensive and vital medication started immediately. All coupled with sympathetic respect, reassurance and understanding. It was so much appreciated by my generation, as was the nursing care by all those lovely girls and young men). So busy, but always finding that extra minute or so to calm or reassure when you badly needed it. These people are special and should be treasured as such.

Not only the nursing staff but everyone, be they consultants, domestics, catering, whatever and not forgetting the ambulance crews and of course the cheerful “wheelie men” who transport us all over the hospital for the next phase of our treatment or a.

I found the menus for each day adequate and nutritious. Choice was generous.

There was just one small issue whilst I was there: mentioned it to the nurse; quickly and quietly dealt with and no fuss, job done.

Whatever my contribution was over the years has long since been used, yet here I am, still alive and kicking thanks to the wonderful care and attention from the James Paget Hospital, and the amazing follow up care now that I am home.

For goodness sake, let’s hear more from patients themselves, or satisfied relatives who appreciate the care they have received.


Mariners Close


Larger coffins now catered for

I ATTENDED a focus meeting at Great Yarmouth Crematorium recently. Funeral directors representing several companies attended and were shown the progress of the major works that are going on behind the scenes. Yarmouth Borough Council is investing a huge amount in updating the cremators, and these new cremators will be able to facilitate larger coffins, which at the moment have to go to Kings Lynn. The new cremators will be more efficient, and hence more friendly towards the environment. The new management at the crematorium are really approachable.

I am sure I speak on behalf of all funeral directors in saying a big “thank you” to the crematorium staff for their efforts.


Arthur Jary & Sons Limited

Councillors must

listen to people

WHY do local councillors not listen to what the people of Gorleston are saying with regard to the proposed extra parking along the promenade? If they get their way parking meters will be the next thing to appear. Why were they so quick to do away with the parking facilities on our pier? If it was thought to be unsafe why was it not kept in good repair over the years? Likewise the swimming pool which so many people enjoyed. Also there was the idea of putting reefs out to sea. Outside experts were called in to give us their opinions, hence the idea of reefs to save beach erosion. A meeting was called in 2004 about this and listened to what was being said by the local people. Look at our beach now with no reefs. It is fine (perhaps you should listen more to the local “oldies” leaving the councillors to put their heads in the sand and leave us alone. Of course I too strongly disagree with more parking on the prom.



Park plan must

be withdrawn

HAVING attended the rally on Saturday against the recently submitted planning application for car parking on Gorleston Lower Promenade, it was quite clear from the numbers of residents attending from across the borough that this application should be withdrawn.

It would appear this application was made by the borough council solely because of the loss of car parking on Gorleston Pier. As with residents parking in Great Yarmouth, and now parking on Gorleston’s Lower Promenade, this administration seems to be taking no notice of residents’ views.

I ask once again that the Conservative administration withdraws this application, and enters into negotiations with Eastport to try and find a solution to re-opening the pier for car parking.


Magdalen Ward

Leader of the Labour Group

What a brilliant

protest turnout

WHAT a fabulous attendance for the protest rally on Gorleston prom Saturday, against the proposed parking of 26 cars, petition signing in place, a great response.

So many people have strong feelings about our beautiful seafront being spoilt. There is a charm about Gorleston beach, promenade, the yacht pond and paddling pool and not forgetting the few shops etc, which are not overly commercialised. This is what attracts so many people, freedom from the car. To have more parking there would be detrimental.

Why can’t we buy the pier back, it’s not being used, the money the council want to spend on making more parking spaces, could be put to good use there. I’m sure there would be overwhelming support for that to be reinstated.

What is wrong with our councillors? They work for us, the people, and we will have the power to re-elect, so come on and listen to “the people” I suggest these councillors get out and about more and speak to the people in the street, to find out exactly what the feelings are. It’s the same old problem; money talks, and the outer harbour springs to mind, and what a fiasco that has turned out to be. I rest my case.



Children depend

on prom space

WE went to the rally in Gorleston to show support. I felt I wanted to write and explain how important it is that the prom is left as it is. I have a 15 year old autistic boy who through his condition cannot go out to play like other children do.

He depends on areas such as the prom to use with his scooter and where he can run free up and down the banks in safety with no cars. Having read the article in your paper he spent time over half-term making a fairly big banner and looked forward to going to the prom and proudly holding it up. He has asked if I can take him again with his banner. Although he probably won’t understand the public meeting in November he has asked to attend.

I am sure I am not alone and there are many other children like mine who depend on the play area.



Help me find the

Gedge family

I am trying to find information about the family of Horace Gedge who lived in Pegottys Hut on Camden Road, for a friend who lives in Hampshire and is a direct relation to Horace.



A century of

dedicated care

I HAVE read with pride your coverage of the unveiling of a blue plaque celebrating 62 years of continuous service given by my grandfather Dr Hamilton-Deane senior in his family practice in Gorleston. I am thrilled that it has been recognised as a national record. Mathematics was never my forte but adding the 38 years service given the practice by my father, Dr William, must mean that between them they gave an incredible century of dedicated care to their patients.


(Nee Hamilton-Deane)

Goodman Square, Norwich

New blood is needed at JPH

IT is with much interest I read about the failures of the James Paget Hospital. The failings lay with the governing council. The doctors, nurses, and all of the catering and cleaning staff are very good at their jobs, but are being failed. Where in a management team does a person who attends one or two meetings in a year get re-elected to office?

It does when election time comes round at the JPH. New blood is needed on the governors’ council, but it seems the old hands would rather have the old governors in place. In my humble opinion all elected governors should attend every meeting unless there are illnesses in the family or they are ill. Give the new candidates a chance: that is what a democratic election is all about.


Foxglove Drive,


So where were

our councillors?

LAST week I wrote saying I looked forward to meeting all the councillors who were proposing the plan for more parking at Gorleston. And yes, you have guessed it, none of the councillors supporting this proposal turned up to listen and talk to the general public! We will remember this when it comes to the local elections!



Cyclists going

hell for leather

IN response to the recent correspondence concerning the behaviour of cyclists, in lots of cases they choose not to use the designated cycle tracks or the roadway. Living on one of the busiest roads in the borough - the rat-run from Beccles Road, Bradwell to the Gapton Hall roundabout - backing in and out of our driveway is no joke and has been made worse by cyclists going hell for leather on the pavement. Indeed we have nearly killed two in the past couple of weeks!

Added to that the convoys of motobility scooters going back and forth, it would probably be safer to walk in the middle of the road.



Prom parking:

Think on . . .

I WOULD like to add my voice to the numerous objections to the plan to add more parking spaces to Gorleston Promenade. The area under consideration is widely used by the whole community, from new parents pushing babes in buggies, toddlers taking their first steps, children trying out their new bikes, rollerskates etc, to the elderly sitting taking in the scene or having a gentle stroll. I am down there every Saturday morning as one of the 100 plus Parkrunners doing our weekly 5k. The community spirit is fantastic. When 500 of us gathered on Saturday to protest it did not escape my notice there were still plenty of parking spaces in the current car park. More parking is completely unnecessary. To the businesses, who I understand requested more parking, I suggest they look further down the promenade to the beach cafe, which is flourishing with absolutely no parking anywhere near. I wonder why that is? Oh, I know....people like to have a cup of tea and take in the view without the obstruction, smell and sound of cars! Think on.



Help finding my

aunt and uncle

I AM trying to track down my aunt and uncle who used to live in the area. They are Connie and Harry Taylor and they had two sons, Ralph and Anthony. Uncle Harry worked in a hotel. They lived in Bradwell during the 1970s. I can be contacted by email at iphoult@hotmail.com or by post at 17/30 Fitzroy Avenue, Camden Park 5038, South Australia.


nee O’Brien

Stop all these religious letters

I WOULD like to ask the question no doubt many readers would: when did the Great Yarmouth Mercury change it’s name to the “Yarmouth and District Religious Debating News”? May I remind the bible-bashing gaggle that there are several different types of churches/temples/meeting houses/padded cells where the like-minded go, to talk/debate/argue about religion, so please stop ramming your beliefs onto those of us who just want to read the paper in peace. Why not get together sometime soon and leave the rest of us to enjoy our Mercury’s? Who knows you might even make some friends while you are about it.



I would choose

to go to Paget

I WOULD just like to say how well i was treated at this hospital, whilst staying at our static holiday home. Although they hadn’t heard of my condition which is called Fowlers Syndrome, the staff were more than happy to help me. They treated me with respect and dignity. They were also pro-active in asking me as the patient the best way to treat my condition.

When I visited this hospital I was more than happy with the service they were providing, and compering it to my local A&E Hospital Medway Maritime based in Gillingham, Kent, I would choose to be treated at the JPH.


Bridgewater Road,


Tory cuts have

hit hospital

THE headline in the Mercury last week was JPH Crisis. MP calling for heads to roll.

The only heads that should roll are that of the Conservative led Government. After the worldwide financial crisis of 2008/09 the NHS was charged by the Coalition Government to find �20bn of efficiency savings, this meant a 4pc saving every year for 4 years. On top of this although the Conservatives pledged to ring fence NHS funding, and said there would be increases in real funding year on year, this pledge has been broken.

It is no wonder that the JPH is poised to fail its third Care Quality Commission Inspection in certain areas of care, not through any fault of the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff, but by the pressure to make efficiency savings combined with the cuts to funding. We were told at the last election by the Conservatives: “We will cut the deficit, not the NHS.” Another broken pledge.


Magdalen Ward

No apathy shown

in Gorleston

THE residents of Gorleston must be very grateful to Dennis Durrant for his skilful organisation of the Marine Parade protest. With nearly 700 participants no one can say the ratepayers of Gorleston suffer from apathy. We must keep in mind that Dennis has shown the Great Yarmouth Borough Council for what they are. Brandon Lewis MP told us on August 4 that he would have the council leader and Gorleston councillors look into regaining use of the Pier car park. Leader Cllr Steve Ames confirmed this in a telephone call to me. But the promised meeting has been arranged for the coldest time, November 21.

Residents have shown their support for stopping cars parking on the prom. Once we get the time it will be great to see even more support on November 21 at the Pavilion. In answer to an FOI, the council has told me the pier is now exempt of business rates because its closed. This council is showing once again it supports the new owners of our port in preference and to the detriment of the electorate. The meeting on November 21 is not for the cars parking on Lower Marine Parade; the original call for a meeting was for officers and councillors to explain their actions in giving our pier away thereby losing all control.

We must play by the rules, meeting chairman Anne Edwards, editor of the Mercury has made it clear it has been arranged just for questions relating to the pier car park and parking in general.

But: Why was the pier freehold given away? Where is the survey results that are so secret? We know the Pier can stand the weight of 60 tons plus of cement trucks. Why was the Pier Hotel’s offer to resurface the pier car park rejected? What promises were made to the new owners of the Port by the council.about the pier?


Burnt Lane,


It’s time to live and let live

I SEE Mr E Barkhuizen is still imposing his personal views on readers of the Mercury. I had to read his letter about the definition of “church” three times to understand what he was talking about. The dictionary defines the word church as a building used for public Christian worship. If he wishes to interpret this to mean something else he is free to do so - likewise he can interpret the Highway Code (which he sets as an example) as he likes but he would soon be caught if he went through a red light. May I suggest perhaps he should broaden his mind and live and let live. By the way the quote from Deuteronomy was spoken by Moses not God!



Mother treated

with respect

RE the comments about the James Paget Hospital. Sadly last month I lost my 90-year-old mother Doris Symonds, she spent the last 12 days in the hospital. She was mainly in ward 17 and the service and care she got was second to none. Although some family member was with her 24 hours a day, it was hard to believe the amount of care and attention which the hospital gave to her and my family, and I felt it would have been almost surreal had it been greater. Due to her grave health, it was her desire to be allowed to die, and her wish was granted with all the dignity possible. She had run a large boarding house on Albert Square for most of her working life, and had had a good life, but with failing health in mind and body and the fact all her friends had gone before her, she saw no reason to go on, and we hope now she is in a better place.



Where were our


ON Saturday, people came out in their hundreds to tell our council they do not want our beloved seafront to be defaced with more cars parking at a focal point disrupting the ambiance of the area.

Three councillors who are trying to promote this plan are leader Steve Ames, Charles Reynolds and John Burroughs, who is a ward councillor for that area.

All three had a personal invitation to attend the rally to put their case to the 700 residents to whom they are responsible for their actions; none came to put their case and allow constituents to put their case to them.

When elected, leader Mr Ames wrote in the Mercury that he wanted a more open council. He said: “I hope people will be positive about it”.

Probably the worst insult of all to his constituents is the non appearance of the Gorleston ward councillor: His contribution to the plan in the Mercury was: “a good idea”.

I had previously been in correspondence with Anglian Water because of the sewerage tanks under the prom at that point. Their reply stated they had only received a request on the 24th and would let me have a copy when they replied. Now isn’t this interesting because it is three days after the planning application was opened to the public!


Brett Avenue,


Largest rally seen

in Gorleston

I WOULD like to express my personal thanks to all those people who took time to come down to Gorleston Promenade on Saturday morning to sign a group objection to the planning application to turn Kiddies Corner on the promenade into a car park.

More than 600 people were there; 620 signatures were recorded, 580 of which were from local addresses and the remainder from further afield. This rally - possibly the largest ever seen in Gorleston - goes to prove the strength of feeling in the town, backing up the many objections recorded through personal letters sent in to the Mercury over the past 3 or 4 weeks.

Since then, we have been approached by people who were unable to be present. We have therefore arranged to be on the prom again this Saturday from 10.30am to give those people the opportunity to the sign the group objection

If anyone cannot get there, can I urge them to write a letter of objection and send it in to the planning department at the Town Hall.


Gorleston Chamber of Trade

Another chance

to sign petition

THE rally by the boating pond on Saturday was an outstanding success. We would like to thank the three borough councillors who did not bother to turn up to support their scheme which turned into a massive position for Gorleston Action Group.

Their non-appearance was noticed by the bulk of people attending. We would like the borough council to take note that of the 620 folks who signed, 580 lived in the borough and all had a vote and I am sure they will all remember the next time they need these folk to vote for them.

On Saturday from 10.30am there is another chance to add your names to the petition to make the council see this is a scheme not worth pursing.


Gorleston Action Group

Malawi thanks for

woodwork tools

READERS may remember an appeal for unwanted woodwork tools that were needed in Malawi. The following is just part of a letter of thanks we have received:

“I, Frank Banda, a carpenter from Aquaid Namisu, on behalf of all carpenters at Namisu, all carpenters from various centres of Aquaid in Malawi, and all carpentry students at Namnisu. We are congratulating you for sending us carpentry tools. We are saying thank you very much.”

When we visited people who wanted to donate tools, the same thing was said again and again: they had been given new modern tools as presents and did not want to throw out old tools. Now these old tools have found a new home where there is no electric supply, and there is a need for sustainability. The carpenters’ apprentices are so proud to be using quality British made tools. Thank you Mercury readers for your generous support.


St George’s Road,

Great Yarmouth

Why no injection

of interest?

I WONDER why none of the councillors who proposed the car parking on the Lower Parade in Gorleston travelled there on Saturday morning? What could have been more important than gauging the amount of interest from their voters. Flu jabs perhaps?


Victoria Road,


Hard act to follow

I WOULD like to extend my thanks to all those who supported me in my campaign for the recent by-election for Bradwell South and Hopton. I would also like to thank all those who voted for me. My predecessor, Mike Butcher, will be a very hard act to follow but I will do my utmost to continue his excellent work representing the community. The turnout was disappointing but I was pleased to receive an increased proportion of the vote; especially given how well known Mike had been in the ward.


Conservative Councillor

Bradwell South and Hopton

Swim session


ON Tuesday, October 25, we visited the Marina Centre to swim, with myself, my daughter aged 10, my disabled friend who has Motor Neurone Disease and needs a walking frame and her son aged 11.

Admittedly we had not realised the fun session was on and what was involved. We were allowed to sit inside the foyer due to the weather and being with a disabled friend.

We had to go to the desk two or three times, to find out about disabled changing rooms, etc and purchase the disabled key as well, but being disabled does not mean you are deaf and dumb, though I was spoken to rather than the disabled lady!

We went to the changing rooms, very well equipped, got changed and went to the pool.

First obstacle, no hand rail for friend to help her into the pool, I had to go in front and hold both her hands to help her in, until she could safely hold onto the edge.

Second, and most dangerous and we will not being coming back, the wave machine. We were in the middle roped area at the end of the large inflatable where my friend could swim with woggle and my daughter was also with us, it was extremely noisy, we heard the tannoy come on and that something was said, not a clue what it was.

Then the waves started and we were stuck, I could stand on the floor, my daughter couldn’t and neither could my friend. We got bashed against the ropes near the edge somy friend and daughter could hold on. The waves were too big to get back under the rope towards the shallow end.

My daughter suffers asthma and was trying hard not to go under with the waves, and was losing her breath, my friend couldn’t manage either, so I was left trying to hold up them both. The lifeguards looked on but we could not attract their attention.

We managed to get my friend’s son in the shallow end to attract a lifeguard’s attention, and she came over and blew a whistle and the waves stopped. There was no checking what was wrong. We did ask her to let us know when the next session of waves came on so we could sit on the edge, which she did.

I have written to the Marina Centre and have not had a response.


Norwich Road,


Old photo was

the Corinthians

ON August 12, the Mercury featured a letter from a gentleman named Alex Patterson about a photograph of a football team. Alex was trying to get more information about the picture and it turned out my father was a member of that football team. I have spoken at length to my father and have quite a bit of information with regards to the events surrounding the picture. The team was called Corinthians and they played their games in the Norwich and District Thursday League. The picture was taken prior their victory in the final of the Arnold Cup in the 1952/53 season which was sponsored by a local businessman, at the Wellesley Road football ground. My father is Ollie Scarfe who is 88 years old and played inside forward for the Corinthians. With regard to the photograph, the names remembered are: George Clapham (chairman), Roy Duffield, ? Ritchie, Larry Lambert, Ronnie Knight, Ollie Scarfe, Gene Manning, Ralph Coe, ? Garrod.



MPs should take balanced view

IN matters relating to our James Paget University Hospital, we would urge politicians to take a balanced view and recognise that many, many thousands of patients and their relatives are most happy with, and grateful for the quality of care received from the health professionals that serve this community so well. We ourselves have relied on these health professionals very much in the past 18 months and we have nothing but gratitude for their amazing expertise.

Of course we expect our MPs’ support if serious failings occur - in the present case, the needs of the elderly in JPUH. MPs have access to data that allows them to identify causes, and they can take action where these causes can be rectified through Parliamentary action. For example, is it true that on paediatric wards the staffing ratio is one member of staff to every four patients, whilst in geriatric wards the ratio is one to ten? Could that be a contributory factor? Their intervention is valuable only if they can influence JPUH’s services for the better. What would be undesirable is to hear the usual political scapegoating and allocation of blame.

However, it would be most valuable if they gave reassurance to our health professionals to raise their morale as they seem to be under siege at present.


Buxton Avenue