Letters, October 12, 2012

Let Bradwell people have say

IT has come to my attention from information provided by the UK Independence Party, that a large degree of funding has been approved for the building of and/or improving facilities in the Bradwell North ward of the borough.

As a resident in this ward I would very much like for there to be a public meeting to discuss this matter and other residents to be able to put forth their ideas for the outcome of the project. At this stage I am not certain many people have any idea the funding is available and as of yet there is no forum for people to voice their opinions.

So I have written this letter to help draw attention to subject, get residents involved and hopefully have an outcome that all affected can be happy with.

SCOTT LAZELL


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Kingfisher Close,

Bradwell

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Why must poor pay for mess?

I RECENTLY sent an email to Brandon Lewis asking him why the coalition government continues to make the poor of the country pay for the financial mess caused by the rich and why he goes along with it. I received a postcard from the House of Commons thanking me for my communication, “which will receive attention.”

Unfortunately, he has not answered my question yet. I would be very interested to hear his justification. I will keep you posted.

CERI WALFORD

Victoria Road

Gorleston

Campaign for full-time jobs

NOW and again the Mercury prints some very amusing letters. I particularly like those that could have been dredged up from the comment sections of the Daily Mail website, where the hangers, floggers, and haters of jobseekers seem to hang out, so I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Rawlinson’s “More on dole is less in the pot!”

Mr Rawlinson’s idea is to cut “dole and social” (whatever that is) by a small amount and to make claimants work for their money, apparently by giving the town a good wash and brush-up, “to earn what we give them”.

Listen, Mike, when I was made redundant after a solid 40 years in work neither you nor anybody else “gave” me a penny. I paid in, every week of those 40 years for that shortlived pittance. It didn’t cost you a brass farthing.

And as for taking out the dustpan and brush and setting-to making Yarmouth “spotless” I was far too busy out looking for work and finding vacancies and writing applications to job advertisers who don’t have the courtesy to reply – and just about everybody else I signed on with (try that humiliating experience, see how it feels) was in the same boat.

If you think the town needs a good scrub, Mike – and it sure does – then there’s some full-time jobs there doing it.

So why not campaign for that, why not lobby the council and our local Tory MP for that – it’s what you pay your rates for isn’t it? – instead of venting your spleen on those doing their damnedest to put themselves back in to work?

ALAN STEWART

Address withheld

Give me a treat or I will trick you

AS a committed Christian, I applaud the letter by E Barkhuizen published in last week’s Mercury. It is sad most people celebrate Christmas by eating and drinking too much, and celebrate Easter with hot cross buns and chocolate eggs. When it comes to Halloween, they spend a fortune on commercial rubbish that celebrates evil.

Trick or Treat is, of course, an import from America, but what does it mean? Think about it. “Give me a treat or I will play a trick on you.” It is nothing more than demanding goods with menaces, Isn’t that against the law? And of course, it’s all carried out in the name of evil.

If you ask most people, they will say that it is all just “harmless fun.” Harmless? Well, no, I don’t think so.

Last year, I spent the whole evening on patrol, watching out for youngsters playing “tricks”. Several elderly and isolated people in my area were terrified of these so-called harmless pranks. Eggs thrown at their windows, wheelie bins set on fire, and so on.

In these hard financial times, I find it hard to believe the amount of money that some people spend on the kind of rubbish last week’s correspondent mentioned.

I asked in a local shop, “Do people really buy this stuff for one night?” I was told, “Oh yes, they love it.”

E Barkhuizen, I don’t know who you are, but I say well done for having the courage of your convictions. This whole Halloween thing is wrong, in every sense of the word.

Parents, please do not encourage your children to take part. Last year, I saw many young people knocking on the doors of complete strangers, without accompanying adults. For any paedophiles in the area, this is like meals on wheels. I say, stop it now!

Finally, let me say this. I’m sure many of you will have seen the film “The Exorcist.” This is based on a true story, and it all started with a bit of “harmless fun.”

Please, please, think about what you are doing, and what your children are doing.

HANK ALLCOCK

Email

Fewer believe in myths in bible

IN reply to E Barkhuizen, let me just say that thankfully less and less people believe in the fairy tales, myths and nonsense to be found in the bible and most of us place witchcraft where it belongs; in the folk lore of yesterday.

Real witches have never existed and neither has witchcraft.

It saddens me that certain people are still trying to frighten children with silly talk of God, Satan and witches.

Halloween is harmless so let the children enjoy it.

DAVE GAHAN

Havelock Road,

Great Yarmouth

Relay has run for 25 years

IT was interesting to note that only one person was apparently offended by runners taking part in this year’s Round Norfolk Relay, Gerry Jarvis, who felt so strongly that he sent in two emails.

This major event has taken place every year for 25 years. I also cannot understand his comment about nothing appearing in the local press, when in fact the Mercury has produced excellent reports, almost every year without exception; reports have also appeared in the EDP.

He also says the police knew nothing about the event, but it would not have been allowed to proceed without the prior approval of the police.

Mr.Jarvis’s concern about safety is of course commendable, he will therefore be pleased to know the main consideration of the organisers is always the safety of participants.

The part of the route through Haddiscoe is one of the most difficult, but he will have noticed that each runner was accompanied by a vehicle with flashing lights, and a support cyclist, and every runner without exception has to wear a reflective bib otherwise he would not be allowed to take part.

Since the first race in 1987 well over 12,000 runners have taken part and there has not been one traffic related injury.

Concerning the question of why the route doesn’t go via Lowestoft to Bungay,this is because the event is the Round Norfolk Relay and Lowestoft is in Suffolk.

KEN OVERY

Email

Beware of house keys cloning

WARNING to ladies who like to slip their house key into the small top pocket of their driver’s door in their car - even if they cover it - you never know who is watching, when you get into your car.

I have had my key stolen, cloned and returned within five minutes in A Great Yarmouth supermarket’s car park, whilst shopping. The particular the store has, I have discovered, a key cutting department. Also their CCTV only covers the disabled parking spaces. So be warned, as the lowlife who stole mine, went systematically through every drawer and cupboard in my home.

Name and Address withheld

Crazy goings-on in the Commons

GOOD to see the From the Commons column (Mercury 5/10) which gives Brandon Lewis MP the opportunity to explain the crazy goings-on in the Commons and how our borough is benefitting! The column is best not used for spin.

Mr Lewis tells us his department is giving some planning powers back to councils. Excellent but what about all the ways councillors have lost influence? I am not sure how his department cutting �10m from the local budget gives back powers to the council apart from the need to make real people (not just posts) redundant.

Councillors will lose powers with the costly police commissioners taking over and Norfolk Police do an excellent job already. Why do we need them and why have elections now and not in May? More waste while police budgets are cut and police staff lose their jobs!

Councillors have lost serious powers to the unaccountable Local Enterprise Partnerships with their many unelected members. The Government was to save money by abolishing quangos. Why set up new ones? Regional assemblies were made up of elected councillors.

Have councils got our concessionary bus fares support money back from the Governemnt yet or will we need to have more cuts? No news yet on cutting meal subsidies for MPs on �65k a year and more for ministers!

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

Labour attempt to hoodwink

MARK Twain once said “there are lies, damn lies and “statistics”. The so-called �10m deficit in the borough council’s budget over the next three years currently being peddled by Labour and it’s letter-writing supporters is such a “statistic”.

The 2011/12 accounts, recently given a glowing report by the external auditors, highlighted balances well in excess of �5m including an additional saving of �2m over the projected outturn, by the last Conservative administration.

Following the General Election in 2010 when every sensible person agreed that stringent economies, including in local government, were needed to halt the country’s decline into financial ruin, the Conservative council under my leadership, was one of a small handful of authorities to secure an extra �6m of Government grants in recognition of its sound, prudent budgeting.

The current budget, set in February of this year, outlined all the above with the recognition of the need for a further �3.3m saving over the next three years. This saving has to be made once, over a three-year period.

Conservative plans were well advanced to achieve this challenging target without affecting “frontline” services, as demonstrated by the ability to make �2m-worth of economies in our last year of control. The controlling Labour group is attempting to hoodwink the people of the borough, so when they claim the need to cut services because of their “statistics” remember Mark Twain.

Cllr BARRY COLEMAN

email

The Minster is not so far away

I WOULD like to thank Hank Allcock for his clarification of some of the points in the discussion of the closure of St Luke’s Church, Cobholm.

I am sorry he can’t get to the services at the Minster but I do not understand why, as it is very close to the bus station and they do have more than one service on a Sunday.

However, I think his letter illustrates my point very well. St Nicholas does have a good Sunday attendance, although I suspect is seldom anywhere near it’s capacity, and it is supported. So the demand is there and the supply is there. Even more so when you see what is currently being spent on the fabric of the building.

Mr Allcock says the Church of God should not be run as a business but if I am correct we do need to know where central funds come from. Since the Church of England is one of the biggest landlords in the country I would think some of that funding comes from the rents paid on their many properties and I can assure Mr Allcock the Church certainly does run that as a business and if they did not, the Minster would be falling apart round the congregation.

I am sorry about St Luke’s. The loss of a local community centre in Cobholm is a bad thing. I do not know what the solution is but it may well be the preservation of the church building and thus the community that use it may well be down to running that as a business as well.

I am pleased to see Mr Barkhuizen has not let us down this Halloween. What would we do without him?

DEREK BROWN

Royal Naval Hospital,

Great Yarmouth

Grab a bucket and help CLIC

I AM writing to ask your readers to grab a bucket in December in support of the Big Bucket Collection, a national fundraising event run by CLIC Sargent, the charity for children and young people.

CLIC Sargent has been offered the chance to hold a Big Bucket Collection at Tesco, Caister on December 9 and I wonder if your readers could give a little time, with friends, family or colleagues, to help out on the day? If they could spare just a few hours to help it would be great if they could get in touch!

The Big Bucket Collection is held every December as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This December, the charity is highlighting the impact of cancer on the school life of younger children. Staying in school can be difficult for young undergoing cancer treatment. It may be difficult for them to keep up with schoolwork and also to stay in touch with friends, which can make them feel isolated and left out.

If you can spare a little time please contact the CLIC Sargent team on 0845 121 245 or visit www.clicsargent.org.uk/bigbucketcollection.

ALISON RAMSEY

Fundraising Manager for Norfolk & Suffolk

Watching port from sidelines

ELIZA O’Toole, vice chairman of Great Yarmouth Port Company is telling us the harbour is profitable but when asked for figures she “replied I don’t have them available”.

We are just watching from the sidelines with no tangible indication where and when the jobs and regeneration will come apart from her statement “in the next few months we will be able to make some announcements to put the people out of their misery.”

I was very much for the outer harbour when GYBC promised 1,000 local jobs and regeneration with a big improvement in tourist numbers. This was what the outer harbour was all about to myself and others, just as was the possibility of a public-private deal at one time but not without making residents aware the port was given away plus �20m of public money to a private company without GYBC, NCC and the Port Authority having any say in its future use. It appears to me that Eastport have been clutching at straws from day one.

Eastport is just looking to the bottom line and little else but obviously they want to succeed to satisfy their investors and they will do it to satisfy their own agenda primarily, not ours. With GYBC, NCC and the port authority, they represent our interests, a public inquiry is needed because I believe their part in the negotiations was lacking and to hide away the negotiation details for 30 years what should be in the public domain, smacks of fear.

Had the outer harbour been built to the specifications in the councils’ plan there would have been no need for the narrowing of the entrance now and GYBC and partners would have been considerably better off because Eastport demanded we pay for the plan we had commissioned because they had their own ideas which was to provide the maximum amount quay heading by not having a spending beach. Everyone associated with the port will tell you for health and safety the “missing beach” would have provided safety for even the smallest ship in an easterly blow seeking shelter, narrowing the entrance using profits from the river port which should have been used on maintenance.

To put some reality on the spin, since mid-July when the barges went, to the end of September, which is 69 days, there has been something like 16 service boats berthed for a few hours and 13 cargo boats of varying times.

The outer harbour has been empty for almost 40 days in this period. In this same period the inner harbour appears to be doing very nicely with over 700 arrivals. In these figures I haven’t counted tug activity or boats working on port maintenance because they aren’t significant for the purpose of the exercise.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue,

Gorleston

Why long wait for ambulance?

I WOULD like to share my recent bad experience of our local ambulance service, and it’s a good way to get it off my chest.

My grandfather and nan both live a 15-minute walk from the James Paget, it is literally round the corner. My grandfather of 86 had a funny turn - he suffers from angina and many other problems.

Immediately my nan called for an ambulance as he couldn’t breath, and no word of a lie, the ambulance took two hours to get to their home.

Both can’t walk very well, my nan suffers from bad hip joints and arthritis, my grandad gets out of breath too quickly. I would have to say it would have been quicker for him and my nan to crawl to the hospital than wait two hours!

I think it is a disgrace. What if someone had a heart attack - they would be long gone after a two-hour ambulance wait. Even if they just live round the corner from the hospital.

I do not know why the waiting time was so long ... maybe drunken yobs on a Saturday night are priority over OAPs.

SOPHIE GARROD

email

Windows gone from shelters

PERHAPS the council expects a heatwave during the length of the winter as I was surprised and disappointed to discover that the windows in the Jetty shelters, after being removed and then replaced earlier in year, were removed again on October 1.

The little trains and the landaus are still running, the tea-stalls are still open, but if you want, when taking your dog for a walk, to relax and have refreshment I and many other members of the public are once again faced with being buffeted by the wind and rain.

As mentioned in my previous letter there is not one covered seated shelter along the sea-wall, a disgrace in such a well-known sea-side resort not much of an encouragement to locals and visitors alike.

At the same time may I ask when the seats are going to be replaced on what is left of the Jetty, the old seats were perfectly adequate and used continuously. This is ideal opportunity to re-install and replace them with covered seating.

Also while the council is having to make financial cuts, why are the lights on the Winter Gardens still switched on? Such a waste of money.

MOLLIE TIMBY

Lancaster Road,

Great Yarmouth

Shock, dismay at meeting

OVER the past few months I have noticed a number of letters and articles in The Mercury relating to Hopton Parish Council. As a resident, I decided to attend the parish council meeting on October 8 in the village hall.

The meeting was well attended by the public and all parish councillors, chairman and clerk were present and proceedings commenced at 7pm. What followed shocked and dismayed me. It appeared from the outset there was a clear division between eight councillors and three others, as demonstrated by voting practices.

The meeting itself generated such a feeling of self gratitude, and arrogance that it beggared belief. If that was not bad enough, matters became toxic when the meeting was opened up for the public forum. One member of the public - who had the audacity to raise concerns was personally belittled.

Name and Address withheld

Were you a Navy Articifer?

WE are trying to contact all ex Royal Navy Artificer Apprentices who joined up at HMS Fisgard, Torpoint back in May 1953, and would greatly appreciate it if you could kindly find room in your newspaper to help us find them, as we have all long lost touch with most of our old colleagues.

We are organising a Diamond Anniversary Reunion to be held at The Langstone Hotel, Hayling Island, Hants on Saturday 4th May 2013, and would be delighted to hear from any ex Boy Art classmate interested in joining us there.

There were about 250 in number in our entry (Series 18), and we are hoping there are still well over a 100 of us out there somewhere.

SID FOSTER

csfoster6@gmail.com

Norfolk relay is impeccable

THE Round Norfolk Relay is a very prestigious event which has been going on for many years now. It’s credentials are impeccable and it shows the county at its best.

Gerry Jarvis, Mercury, October 5 and previously, is wrong on two counts:

The event has received extensive coverage in the Mercury. I can say this with authority as I provided much of the copy.

The event has always taken place with the full co-operation of the police.

Mr Jarvis may well have a point about running at night and some particularly dangerous sections, issues which I know organisers are constantly toying with. Dismissing the event out of hand is not the way forward however.

MIKE SPRAGG,

Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

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