Letters, November 27 2015
Everywhere you look: Housing
Re the front page of last Friday’s Mercury Villagers’ anger over homes bid and feeling so sorry for the residents who are battling to stop houses being built and losing the countryside and village life etc in Caister and Ormesby.
Oh how we agree. Living in Green Lane, Bradwell for 40 years we are now surrounded by houses, and still they are going up, everywhere you look, the horizon, the countryside, has and is still disappearing by the day. It’s horrible.
There were meetings way back for locals to raise points etc but unfortunately it all falls on deaf ears, and away they go with no regard for anyone or anything.
I’m sorry but I feel you will just have to put up with it as Bradwell has. But I do wish you good luck with the fight. You keep on battling!
You may also want to watch:
- 1 Man in his 50s dies after head-on collision on A143
- 2 How Great Yarmouth are you? Take our quiz to find out
- 3 Part of A143 closed after three-vehicle crash in early hours
- 4 New vintage store opens bigger premises
- 5 Bid for new affordable homes on 'eyesore' site in Gorleston
- 6 N-Dubz themed bottomless brunch announced for Norfolk
- 7 Picture special: Fire on the Water thrills crowds
- 8 Fire on the water bursts into life on Yarmouth seafront
- 9 Charity walkers celebrate some unexpected news
- 10 'Never seen anything like it' - Norfolk Christmas shopping frenzy has begun
Government is in a big muddle
Does the Government know what it is doing?
The Inland Revenue has posted me a statement of tax paid and how it was spent. What a waste of taxpayer’s money. I know how much tax I paid already from my P60 and the breakdown is not much use. Millions are being wasted on preparing and mailing this useless document to every taxpayer. Why can’t it not be sent with the tax code for next year? Surely the money should be spent chasing tax avoiders?
The Government spent £23m in 2012 sacking GCHQ staff. In 2015, they are now recruiting loads of staff! Likewise, is it sensible to have made police redundant when fraud, sex abuse and terrorism is a big threat? Is it sensible to continue with police commissioners who have done little to improve policing? Is this what we want? Is cutting defence spending, a sensible reaction to the terror threat?
Is the NHS safe? Hospitals are struggling to cope with demand and finances reaching crisis point. Mental health services struggle to cope. A&E waiting times target of four hours is not much use if one is pain. Shortages of staff and GPs sees the use of agency staff because of a failure to train enough. Social services are struggling to cope and facing a financial crisis. A strike threat from junior doctors due to a botched pay restructuring. Is this what we want? Is it sensible to be increasing national insurance payments for NHS staff and employers when the NHS is under pressure?
The privatised railways were unable to run local trains this week and there are frequent delays when they do. Is it sensible having foreign state-owned rail companies running our railways? Accidents on A47 continue yet delays to road upgrading plans to the A47 -is this what we expected?
This week council budgets are due to be cut. How will this help regenerate our town? How will that help social services protect children at risk and the old and disabled?
The Government continues to sell off our assets which past generations paid for. Are we happy with privatised companies profiting at our expense?
Is it sensible to give huge tax cuts to the wealthiest yet decrease tax credits to the working poorest? Many of the wealthiest made or make their money from the rest of us.
No doubt the Government will this week show we are not all in this together. Will MPs lose their subsidised meals and drinks? I wonder if there will be hidden tax increases like the national insurance increases for public sector workers which are due in April and more tax cuts for the rich?
It all seems a big muddle.
I worked for the Vettese family
I was saddened to hear of the death of Joe Vettese and also sad to hear that Gina had passed away in 2013. I worked for Joe in the 1960’s, mainly in the what I always called The Little J.
Joe and Gina were so lovely and you could not ask for better employers, just like to say to all the boys and their families how sorry I am.
They were very happy days there.
SUSAN DEXTER nee Hanson
Our Scrooge county councils
Welcome to your new county councils in the East: Norfolk Ebenezer Scrooge Council and Suffolk Ebenezer Scrooge Council. Then there will be those people who believe we should save for a rainy day!
My personal opinion is simple, it’s about time the councils in the East of England changed their spending reviews, instead of cutbacks and more cutbacks. Spend your reserves and give us some seasonal greetings in the East of England.
Councils across the East of England are sitting on reserves of £470m, a media investigation has found.
Spendable reserves by county estimated unallocated reserves for 2015-16:
Bedfordshire £34.892m, Milton Keynes £9.923m, Cambridgeshire £55.025m, Essex £112.786m, Hertfordshire £57.024m, Norfolk £55.006m, Northamptonshire £40.238m, Suffolk £72.660m.
Figures include all unitary, county and district authorities. Source: DCLG
The public will see these figures and they’ll quite rightly be saying ‘hang on if councils say they don’t have enough money how come they can increase their reserves by almost £125m in our region’.
Enjoyment of Wizard of Oz
Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company once again brought to Gorleston’s Pavilion Theatre a show that gave us two hours of superb escapist enjoyment with their production of The Wizard of Oz.
The cast, as normal, were excellent but what impressed me most was the quality of the direction and presentation. The live orchestra was superb, the scene changes were seamless, the costumes spectacular and the use of video to transport us to and from Oz worked brilliantly. It was an exceptionally well put together production, a huge credit to all the unsung “behind the scenes” people who after 30 years ensure Dusmagrik productions continue to improve, impress and most importantly provide us with excellent entertainment.
Scheme buying council time?
As a resident of Caister living adjacent to the fields to be turned into yet another cramped, soulless housing estate I’d like to thank the Mercury for its coverage of the planning meeting which I attended.
The outcome of this meeting was very disappointing and will change the character of Caister forever as the build ignores and removes the boundaries between Caister and Ormesby. Not only that but it is totally out of character with the surrounding area.
Concerned local residents who attended the meeting came away feeling the whole scheme has been pushed through to buy the borough council more time to sort out its long overdue housing policy. Had this been in place sooner they could have opposed this with much more vigour.
It was particularly galling to read the comments of the Persimmon homes spokesperson who claims the developers have “taken every step they could to mitigate the adverse effect that the development could have on those that live close to the site.” What they meant by that was that NCC Highways department rightly demanded that plans to put houses with driveways leading straight on to Ormesby Road had to be amended for pubic safety.
The risk of flooding from the new pumping station and lagoon on the estate is a real concern to the residents onto Meadowcroft and Ormesby Road. We all know how the residents of Lords Lane Bradwell have been affected by the pumping station there in the heavy rain in June this year. It is extremely likely to happen on this development as the land is low lying and drains in that direction.
Through your paper I would like to challenge the Persimmon spokeswoman to come and meet with the concerned residents face to face and explain to us exactly how they have “mitigated” on our behalf. Perhaps the Mercury could facilitate a meeting as we residents feel we have not been listened to at all but have been sacrificed to save the borough council censure from the Government should it fail to meet projected future housing numbers.
Footpath is over 50 years old
In reply to the letter concerning the footpath between Hemsby and Winterton which featured in the Mercury a few weeks ago. I believe the footpath concerned is one which runs from Longbeach Estate in Hemsby to Winterton Valley Estate.
The letter goes on to state that the footpath has been used for the last 20 years but I can remember using it over 50 years ago.
St Margaret’s Way,
Appreciation for support
We would like to thank Jonathan, Duncan and the staff from the Great Yarmouth Town Partnership and St Nicholas Minster for allowing us to be part of the annual Christmas Fayre this weekend. This event always proves very successful for us with our fundraising and we really appreciate their support.
The Leah Wilby Foundation
No dualling, just tinker pieces
In the pages of our local newspapers we frequently find letters from misguided councillors stating we need the Acle Straight dualled. This would cost us, the taxpayers, millions and millions of pounds and such an undertaking is quite unnecessary in that form.
Councillor’s claim this road is unsafe, which is of course generally untrue if drivers act with some sense.
The vast majority of accidents on this road are caused by foolish and simply stupid acts by impatient drivers, mainly by overtaking and going too fast. Only very rarely do mechanical or weather conditions bring about accidents.
If a vehicle owner can pass down the Acle Straight much faster by performing suicidal overtaking moves, he or she should be able to get to Yarmouth just five or six minutes faster than normal, on arrival they then have to sit in a jam held up in all the congestion around this town. So I ask why put everyone at risk?
It is true certain changes should be made, and ones that would make this road much safer, alterations that will not cost vast public sums like those that some local councillors would like to spend on yet another white elephant idea.
First the entire road should be limited to 55mph with a double or no overtaking pair of lines painted along its entire length. At frequent intervals there should be fully working speed cameras, used to stop people overtaking, going too fast, and causing accidents. Also it would not go amiss if there was a regular police patrol.
A roundabout or traffic lights should be installed where the Halvergate Road joins the Acle Straight, this would also help to ease the only bend on that road, so the 40mph limit up to this bend could be abolished. The whole road could be re-surfaced and should be better maintained. Next, short but quick, developing willow trees should be grown along the sides of this road to cut cross winds.
It would also be helpful to have the entire road illuminated when conditions allow from electricity produced from wind towers, not unlike the former drainage towers seen all over this area. The road would only be as dark as it is right now in wind free calm nights.
This plan would make the Acle Straight much safer and clearly much greener, but little can stop semi-deranged drivers breaking the law and driving like maniacs.
Great care was taken of me
After spending one day in EADU and four days in ACU, I would like to thank all the medical staff of these two departments for the great care they took of me while in the James Paget Hospital, for the first rate food, and lastly for making sure my carers were in place on my return home.
Housing: Drains cannot cope
Well, well, well, here we go again, more building in Belton/Bradwell without upgrading the drainage systems. When are the councillors going to listen to local people that none of the drains can cope with what we’ve already got?
JPH should be proud of staff
My wife was referred to the JPH recently by her doctor. She attended the TIA clinic where she was diagnosed with having a stroke. The treatment she had following that diagnosis has been second to none.
The doctors and nursing staff in the TIA eye clinic, imaging, clinical measurement, bloods and Windsor ward have on all occasions fully explained the treatment being given and the side effects,
Although my wife has been apprehensive throughout the many procedures including a biopsy that lasted over an hour (with a nurse holding her hand), this care and nursing is of the highest quality and the hospital should be proud of each and every one staff member.
Nelson Road North,
Most successful production
The Dusmagrik production of The Wizard of Oz gave us a wonderful evening of entertainment. This must be one of Dusmagrik’s most ambitious, most accomplished and most successful productions ever.
It was good to see so many young people actively involved and, we assume, so many adults involved supporting young people, particularly that Dusmagrik has, again, such a strong group of young men; so often a group not engaging with drama and music. We just look forward to many future productions.
MAVIS and LES COCKRILL
Why didn’t the Twirlers appear?
I am writing to you to express my utter disgust at the events that took place at the turning on of the lights at Gorleston on Sunday. A local baton twirling group, aged six upwards, were scheduled to appear at 4.15pm.
At 5.15pm, after the lights had been switched on, and still not having performed, they were disillusioned, disappointed and extremely cold. It was then their parents decided they had had enough and took their children home. Between 4.15pm and 5.15pm two adults acts appeared.
I have always thought that at this time of the year, Christmas and the switching on of the Christmas lights, was for the children and I hoped the organising committee would have had the same view. Surely it would have been better to disappoint grown-ups rather than young children who still retain some of the wonder of Christmas and who, I am sure, had worked really hard and looked forward to performing. The least they should get is an apology and an explanation.
Grease was a fantastic show
I would like to say a big thank you to St George’s Theatre drama group for putting on a fantastic show of Grease. Well done to everyone, especially my favourite character Kenickie. What a cool dude!
The Oz ‘tornado’ blew us away
Last Saturday night storm clouds gathered over the Pavilion Theatre, and inside a “tornado” blew us all away for a couple of magical hours, to be transported to the merry old land of Oz. In the company of Dorothy and her friends we encountered the forces of good and evil, not dissimilar to those we had left outside in our poor battered old world.
The ever professional and consistent Dusmagrik Young Peoples’ Theatre Company needed no smoking mirrors or tin drum thunder to convince their audience they really could “fly” to a better place and bring us a truly joyful evening. As I left the theatre, and came back to reality, I recalled some words of advice I received as a youngster and by which I have always tried to abide. Quite simply, they were: “Don’t sigh for happiness – make it!”
So perhaps all it needs is a brain, a heart and the courage in each of us to bring about a safer and more contented world, then we too metaphorically speaking may even learn to “fly” over that rainbow – would I were that simple.
But we can always try – can’t we?
Wrong person was prosecuted
Great Yarmouth Borough Council would like to use your letters page to apologise publicly to Jake Sewell, of Alderson Road, Great Yarmouth.
Mr Sewell was mistakenly identified as a person failing to pick up after a dog had fouled and he was subsequently wrongly prosecuted. As soon the matter was brought to light, the council acted swiftly to quash the conviction and apologise unreservedly to Mr Sewell. This is the first time such a mistake has happened. The council has started an internal investigation to establish what went wrong and is also seeking to bring to justice the offender in this case.
Anyone who witnesses an environmental crime in the borough, or has information that may help identify an offender, can contact the Environmental Rangers on 01493 846478.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council