Letters, October 5, 2012

Closing a church not the answer

WHILE not on a par with the clearly orchestrated letters in support of Brandon Lewis the previous week, two letters in last week’s Mercury suggested that churches should be subjected to market forces like everything else, closing down if nobody is attending. One correspondent even used the term ‘no longer fit for purpose’. How wrong can you be?

If there was ever a need for churches in our communities it is now. People have a spiritual side, whether they like it or not. This is not just a question of choosing the best supermarket or bargain holiday. Of course the churches have to work against the tide in an increasingly secular society. Closing down is not the answer.

MIKE SPRAGG

Collingwood Road,


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Great Yarmouth

Choices where to make the cuts

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I AM impressed the Labour council is getting stuck in to sorting out funding problems, inherited from the Tory administration and �10m government cuts. (Mercury 28/9). This is a massive task as the council budget is only �16m.

The local Tories must be looking at some different figures if they think all was well. It is ridiculous to say use the reserves. A reserve is essential. It is ridiculous to have proposed linking up with councils miles away, an idea Brandon Lewis still recommends. Senior council staff need a feel for the area and to know whether Winterton and some of the villages have social problems (and perhaps, therefore, potentially becoming dodgy places to live) according to the MP.(Did we get extra funds we bid for?)

There are not many choices for the council as the scope for increased charges is limited. Redundancies, hopefully voluntary, cost money, early retirements deplete pension funds and unemployed workers may claim benefits. I was made redundant and it cost nearly as much as it would to have kept me working and all my talent was wasted!

Unemployed people do not pay tax and have less to spend so more shop closures and more redundancies. There are also the hidden personal costs of unemployment - stress on individuals and families and related health problems.

It may be worth creating a job for a council fundraiser to seek out heritage, lottery, EU and government funds to address unemployment and decaying infrastructure. The Tories left the rail station area, boating lake, North Drive, King Street, North Quay, Iron Duke and Two Bears and other empty properties. It would help if the private sector sorted out their empty properties. The Tories left the Winter Gardens to be sorted out.

We have the economics of the Mad House (Parliament). At a time where we need to stimulate the economy, we create more unemployed. Shame all the magicians, including my brother, in town last week could not magic something up - although they did spend money here. Meanwhile, the council has little alternative.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

No running on roads in dark

RE Karen Gedge letter (Round Norfolk Relay) in last week’s Mercury: I am glad I’m in the dark if coming out means total disregard for people’s safety on the roads. I have lived in Norfolk for 45 years and have never heard of this event nor have the police, nor the local newspaper in Yarmouth.

This section of the A143 from Gorleston to Haddiscoe must be one of the most dangerous in Norfolk and in the dark even more so. You say Karen, you were at the Paralympics. You are lucky you didn’t add to the candidates for the next one on this strip of road on Saturday, September 15. Don’t you think it would much safer to go down the A12 to Lowestoft and then through to Bungay?

But the main point is, don’t do it in the dark!

GERRY JARVIS

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Books sale will help memorial

I READ with interest in the Mercury that Julie Staff was raising money for a memorial for the 1845 Suspension Bridge disaster on the River Bure in Great Yarmouth. Hopefully Julie can achieve this for a memorial for all those that perished that awful day.

I will be with Julie tomorrow 11am to 2pm selling my local history books and will be making a donation to the memorial fund for every book I sell. Julie will be using a charity barrow and be at the top end of Yarmouth Market. Come along and support Julie to reach her target.

SHEILA HUTCHINSON

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Scope fighting for the children

THE Paralympics got everyone thinking about disability in a positive way but many readers may not realise that families with disabled children face huge challenges in everyday life.

Many families have to fight long and complicated battles just to find an appropriate school or therapy for their disabled child and often the support can only be found far away from their home.

The impact on family life cannot be underestimated. Families can’t spend quality time together and may even miss occasions such as birthdays. At Scope, we believe all families with disabled children should get the support they need through local services.

We are launching a campaign called ‘Keep us close’ to put pressure on the Government and make the changes that will stop families having to fight or travel long distances, but we need your help. We’re asking the residents of Great Yarmouth to come into the Scope shop up to October 21 and sign our petition cards to help families with disabled children get the support they need.

And while you’re in the shop, you never know, you may be able to pick up a bargain at the same time.

VAL MOODY

Manager, Scope Charity Shop

Theatre Plain

Great Yarmouth

Cat injured by fishing hook

I HAVE just bought my cat home from vet annoyed and �68 lighter after he has had to have a large fishing hook removed from his mouth. This is a plea for the fishermen to please clear up after themselves. Alfie was lucky this time that he didn’t swallow the hook, next time he might not be so lucky or a child could be injured!

DEBBIE BLOWERS

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Anyone else seen the town foxes?

I AM a raving insomniac and often do my shopping at Asda between 1am and 4am. I live in the North Quay area and have sighted foxes on four occasions over the past few months.

Twice I have seen a fox in the car park at the bottom of Broad Row, once in George Street, and most recently outside the recycling bins near the bingo hall on Fullers Hill. The most recent sighting was a younger fox than the previous sightings. I wondered if anyone else has seen these creatures in the area?

CHRIS ANSON

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Leaving dog poo is pure laziness

I ABSOLUTELY have to agree with Linda Haye’s Letter in last week’s issue, regarding dog owners not clearing up their pet’s mess. It is disgusting and pure laziness.

I am a mum of three young children and we enjoy being outside in the fresh air, but almost everywhere we go is spoiled by dog fouling. The children are unable to relax because they have to dodge piles of poo, often standing in it and then we have to clean up someone else’s mess!

Fritton is terrible, Herringfleet, areas of Caister beach - I could go on. These areas of beauty are for everyone to enjoy. What right does anyone think they have to ruin them? I am sure there will be an influx of irate dog owners stating it’s the minority that are causing this problem, but I beg to differ - nowadays it has to be the majority of dog owners that are irresponsible, otherwise dog fouling wouldn’t be such a massive and ongoing problem.

C HACKFORD

Ormesby

Unseated and unsteady on bus

I AM most intrigued by the notices on First Bus vehicles telling passengers to “Ring the bell and remain seated until the bus stops”. All good health and safety.

But when boarding the bus, some drivers set off immediately on closing the doors even if people are halfway up the stairs, or elderly people are finding a seat downstairs. I have recently seen several elderly people come close to falling.

Please will someone explain this policy as I don’t see the logic of it. It seems you must not hurt yourself when leaving the bus but it is okay to do so when boarding.

I know drivers must keep to a timetable but Sanders drivers won’t move off until everyone is seated. I think a little more care is required from First Bus.

ANNE SAUNDERS

Eastern Close,

Caister on Sea

Goose Fair coach help please...

SINCE October 1985, I have been visiting Nottingham for the Goose Fair. For the last four years I have not been because in 2009 I was told the coach firm who did these trips from the Great Yarmouth area no longer existed. I miss going to Nottingham and the historic Goose Fair. Does anyone know if a firm still does the trip?

P TURNER

St Margaret’s Way,

Fleggburgh

Man ripped off head off pigeon

ON Wednesday, September 26 about 4pm I was walking along the seafront heading for Regent Road and noticed a man walk into the road and pick up a beautiful white and grey pigeon. He was having trouble trying to catch the bird and resorted to grabbing it. I thought this was strange as the pigeon was stepping off the kerb, pecking for food, and was okay as there weren’t any cars around.

While I carried on walking and watching, the man, who was in his mid-30s, twisted his hands around the bird’s neck. I was shocked and crossed the road and carried on watching. He then put it in a green recycling bin!

I looked into the bin which was being used for horse manure and saw the pigeon was still alive and very frightened.

As the bin was quite deep I couldn’t reach down to get the bird out, so I asked an older couple to help me. I explained what had happened and they looked at me in disbelief, I was shaking with anger. They looked at the poor bird and said: “Oh, it will die in a minute,” and walked off!

I then asked two men to help me and they ignored me and carried on walking.

Finally I asked another couple and together we tipped the wheelie bin on its side and he used the spade for the horse manure to try and get the bird out. However, it was so traumatised it just cowered in the bottom corner.

Then along came two men from the council. They rang for help with no luck. I called the RSPCA and couldn’t get an answer! The man returned and was angry at what we were doing.

He put the wheelie bin back up while grabbing the pigeon and then to my horror pulled the bird’s head off!

I am still shocked and upset while writing this letter. I cannot believe people can be so cruel.

The man, who worked on the seafront, was shouting and swearing in my face, said he had tried to put it out of its misery and said it had been hit by a car, which it hadn’t! I asked the two council men if he was allowed to pull the pigeon’s head off and they said yes, the birds were vermin. I will never understand or forget what happened that day.

Name and Address withheld

St Luke’s Church - get it right!

I HAVE to take issue with the letters sent last week by Messrs Phillip Knight and Derek Brown, which were sent in reply to Mrs Elizabeth Giles’ letter of the previous week. Clearly, they are both missing the point.

Phillip Knight says that our church is “not fit for purpose”. I have been going there for over six years and have always found it fit for purpose. I don’t recall ever seeing Mr Knight there.

If he is referring to recent reports of the repairs needed, he may be interested to know that a possible source of funding was found, thanks to Brandon Lewis MP. Sadly, the powers that be have decided not to apply for the funding required. The church is not being closed for that reason – it is just part of the plan.

Mr Brown talks of “supply and demand”. The Church of God is not a business, and should not be run as one. He talks of “the availability of cars and public transport”.

I do not own a car, and there is no public transport that will take me to the Minster (we still call it St Nick’s) in time for the regular Sunday services.

If he wants to talk about the decline in Sunday morning congregations, perhaps he should look at the number of people in St Nick’s on a Sunday morning.

Having said the above, I have to say that there is a demand for a church in Cobholm. In addition to being a place of worship, it is also a centre of community activities that has now been taken away from the people of Cobholm. A recent petition showed how the local people feel about this. This has been ignored.

Finally, we are told, as Christians, that we should encourage others to come to church. This is difficult enough when there is a church on their doorstep.

Closing St Luke’s has made this task even harder, and is defeating the purpose of the Church of England in the Parish of Great Yarmouth.

HANK ALLCOCK

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I, too, caught fantastic display

JUST a short note to say how much I appreciated Cathy Mijatovic’s letter last week. I also caught some of the fantastic light display and felt that she captured the magic of the event very well.

It was odd to see clouds light up so brightly yet in complete silence and against such a clear and starlit sky. We are very fortunate to live in this part of the country, whether it’s the beautiful landscapes inland or the magic of changing seascapes offshore. Thank you to Ms Mijatovic for reminding us of this.

R F WARD

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More on dole is less in the pot!

I READ in the Mecury last week that the council needs to save �10m over three years so they are cutting jobs.

Is it just me or is there anyone else who thinks that putting more on the dole would mean less putting in the pot and more taking out of the pot?

Why don’t we start by cutting down the social payments: if we cut dole and social by a small amount it would do the same thing, after all they are just taking out of the pot and most have never put anything in the pot.

It is about time we thought more about the people who work putting in the pot.

Why don’t the people who are taking out of the pot be made to work for it .... this town could be spotless if all the people taking out would do a bit of cleaning around the town to earn what we give them.

Most people I know who take out of the pot have cars, mobile phones, sat TV, and money to go up town and get drunk.

Not so long ago they were giving jobless laptops and broadband for free.

We who put in the pot should give the ones who don’t the bare minimum to get by on and then they might try and find work.

I do realise not everyone on the social or dole is a scrounger, some have lost jobs through no fault of their own and they are the ones that have put in the pot and are entitled to it.

So let’s keep the people working and cut down on the handouts.

MIKE RAWLINSON

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I warn of perils - Halloween again

HALLOWEEN is just a few weeks away. And sadly it’s unlikely any local church leader will write to the Mercury to warn of the deep dangers of this satanic high festival – their silence during the 15 years I’ve lived here speaks volumes.

The Roman Catholics actually celebrate this feast! So it falls to me to speak out, again.

Halloween is one of eight yearly witches’ sabbaths, a time when satanists carry out human sacrifices.

Says Tom Sanguinet, former high priest of Wicca (witchcraft), “Halloween is purely and absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have or will do that make it acceptable to the Lord Jesus.”

If you really loved your child, would you expose her to Satan’s power?

Buying her filthy occult toys (cut-off arms, skulls, witches’ hats, and so on) opens doorways into the dark supernatural.

It tells Satan and his demons (yes, real demons) you and your child are on their side!

Responsible parents (and shop owners), please watch what ex-queen of witches in Europe, Doreen Irvine, author of “From Witchcraft to Christ”, says: http://tinyurl.com/csoo49w.

E BARKHUIZEN

Albemarle Road

Gorleston

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