Readers’ letters, April 28 2017

Who can we trust at the ballot box?

To the people of the town my message is that on June 8 we have probably the biggest general election that will impact this country since the one after our entry into the ‘Common Market’ in the early 1970s.

We have been shown by our standing MP that he has little regard for the town or its people. He has refused to meet us to discuss Universal Credit and its effects and this has been complicated by the loss of jobs at Bernard Matthews, as many of those workers will be on UC, and even more damning the loss of pensions, that have been asset stripped so that retirees will live in poverty and may need financial help.

No word from Mr Lewis about this.

So should we trust our future to the Tories and can Corbyn deliver? Our very big question. I don’t like what I hear about Tim Farron.

If Theresa May is tight-lipped about June 8, Farron is worse for allowing religion to interfere with his party’s politics.

The people need something different and as Brexiteers with over 70pc there is sill a place for UKIP in the region, on a local and national level.

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I have written to their HQ last week because I was unhappy with what The Sun had said about them and suggested that the Independence be changed to Independent.

Nothing can change in this country, until the parties change or a new one comes along. The SNP had a reasonably small following until they overhauled their ideas and got most of the seats in Scotland.

So I want to see UKIP sell the Independent in their name and make a difference to the local area and country.

GARY HELYER Nelson Road Central,

Great Yarmouth

Big thank you for sponsoring our team

On behalf of the team manager Stephen Driver, coaches Lee Vaughan, Ben Flaxman, the players and everyone connected with Gorleston Rangers Eagles FC U9’s we would like to say a huge thank you to Peel Ports Great Yarmouth for their kind sponsorship of our football team for both the 2016/17 & 2017/18 seasons.

Their generosity enabled us to purchase a fantastic new away kit as well as raincoats and presentation polo shirts for each player, meaning we look great both on and off the pitch.

We are extremely proud to be associated with such a prestigious company as Peel Ports and wish them continued future success.

Stephen Driver

Via email

Air Mail charges have gone up

Your readers who have posted letters abroad in the last few days will have noticed that the Air Mail charges have been increased. The cost of a Royal Mail International Standard Letter weighing up to 10kg has increased from £1.05 to £1.17. This represents a huge hike of over 11pc.

The devaluation of the pound, after the Brexit vote, against the dollar and the euro is of the same order of magnitude.

The increase in domestic postage - not affected by exchange rates- is less then 2pc.

DAVID LEAK Brasenose Avenue,


Which party should I cast vote for?

So we have another general election on the horizon. Theresa May assumes she can win this with a bigger majority to get a better deal for Brexit. Never assume, look what happened when David Cameron and George Osborne assumed they could win a referendum, one is holding a needle and thread while his wife is making dresses and the other is editor of a free London newspaper.

Theresa May says she needs a bigger majority to get a better deal. Could the other reason be to be able to force through her mandates with less opposition.

We then have the likes of Gina Miller/Tony Blair etc telling the people to vote strategically cross party for a softer Brexit. How will this help? If May can not get her majority to give her a stronger hand to force the EU for a better deal, what is the point of this election.

In the last election and referendum I knew what I was voting for. Now I do not. Do I vote for what’s best for me or for my country. I feel very confused.


Breydon Way,


Fair was full of disgusting music

I want to put in my complaint about the Easter fair being in Great Yarmouth.

I live near the river and this fair is horrible, they seem to turn the music up at night.

After walking past through the rides in the afternoon they were playing music on a ride called Oblivion near the bumper cars and it had unpleasant words in.

When I said to them they were playing music with swear words and racist words in they changed their music to Ed Sheeran.

This should not be happening. I myself do not want my children hearing such words.

I reported this to two police officers I met outside Iceland due to the racist words in the music being played.

Also several women were walking around drinking cans of Carlsberg.

This funfair is appalling and should be banned.

Today has really upset me I went along with my partner and his little boy and the main thing that upset me was the swear words and racist words in music that they played on the rides.


We should be told of police hours

If it’s considered acceptable for Policing Minister Brandon Lewis to publish details of how our 43 forces compare behaviour-wise, then why cannot this policy be extended to how the various areas within these forces compare not only in terms of complaints but also in average overtime earned per officer and sick leave taken?

As the budgets of our various public services currently come under even more closer scrutiny then the sooner the mind-concentrating publication of such important performance indicators is introduced the better it will be surely for all concerned.

Hopefully Mr Lewis will have some hard facts for public perusal by June 8.


Habgood Close,


MP does not deserve votes

I feel I must respond to the recent letter from John Cooper voicing his approval of our MP.

In my opinion he deserves none of these accolades after presiding over Great Yarmouth as our MP for seven years he has done little to enhance the town, in fact many of his contributions have been detrimental to the borough.

One of the points he brings up is the £20m given away, it was indeed taken away by central government as punishment for not following their suggestions and guide lines, surely locally elected official are better placed to make these decisions.

In consequence we were one of the worst funded boroughs in the UK.

Also our port was not “given” away. It was a financial arrangement made by Peel Ports to purchase the concern, and may I comment what a great success it has been since then.

Then on the dualling of the Acle Straight. After spending considerable sums to improve sections for safety sake recently, I travelled along it on several occasions lately and cannot see any visible signs of improvements.

On the actual dualling of the A47, there is another five to six years to wait in spite of a rash of accidents.

The town centre shopping area is in terminal decline, two major outlets have left the town and their buildings left vacant, if it continues in this way the centre will consist of couple of local shops, bookies and chip stalls.

The Greyfriars Medical walk in centre closed after millions spent up grading the service.

The jobs situation is also in a terminal down spiral with the oil industry in the decline.

If there are any vacancies for apprentices, most are substitute cheap labour with no job prospects at the end. It seems the only things Mr Lewis has added to Great Yarmouth is the amount of increased reliance of food banks and people rough sleeping.


Alderson Road,

Great Yarmouth

What was behind council payouts?

The Great Yarmouth Mercury and the EDP published the cash amounts paid to staff on leaving the various council offices in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Nearly £3 million of taxpayers cash has been used to pay off staff in some controversial settlements, which include some gagging orders.

Headlining the various amounts one council beggars the question: “What is so fundamentally wrong with GYBC that forces it to pay out £820,169.00 to 57 ex-employees”?

Just what is it that some of these 57 people have knowledge of, what necessitates our council leaders that needs staff to sign a non-disclosure notice for which a payment can be paid on leaving the council’s employ?

I could understand it if the GYM/EDP article was writing about the era 2007 through to 2010 when we had the public enquiry of the giving away by the council of our Port and outer harbour.

The period covered by the payments disclosure is 2013 through to 2016.

If GYBC are so meticulous in the accounting of our funds they are responsible for, why the need for concealment? Freedom of Information requests showed compromise or settlement agreements, through such voluntary agreements, staff get a severance payment and agree to not make a tribunal claim and the confidentiality element prevents them speaking about their former employers.

Rather than spend our council tax on items for the benefit of the residents, part of the £820,169 was used to stifle any leak to the paying voters of the council.


Burnt Lane,


My sadness at leaving charity

After over two years of volunteering for a local charity, only working three hours a week, I was amazed to be told because I had also started to volunteer at an animal charity that it was a ‘conflict of interest‘ and so felt I had to leave.

This charity I also helped when volunteers were thin on the ground and did extra hours. My gift aid donations also raised £400 in one year.

My friend, a 84-year-old volunteer, was surprised after working at the same charity for over three years to be asked to read a rule book which was for the most part filled with details for paid staff.

She declined to read it and was the following week told she had to be ‘let go’.

I think this is a disgusting way to treat loyal volunteers, especially sad for my friend, a lovely lady.

We have both spent all our working lives in retail and in my own case ran my own business in partnership in Great Yarmouth.

Sadly it just leaves a nasty taste in the mouth after being honest, reliable and dedicated to raising funds for what I thought was a good cause. I have met some lovely people working there, and will miss my customers especially the One o’clock Club.


We should all remember Daniel

I note that more publicity, and no doubt more taxpayers’ money, is being given to the search for Madeleine McCann who disappeared on May 3 2007.

Whilst I admire her parents’ ability to keep the search publicised after ten years, I can’t help thinking of another child who went missing on May 3, but in 2003.

Daniel Entwhistle went missing in Great Yarmouth exactly four years before Madeleine. His parents weren’t solid professional doctors though.

They didn’t get to meet David Cameron. His parents were living on benefits.

Where was the publicity for Daniel? In fact the police closed the case after three months.

Surely I can’t be the only person thinking that the reason the police are still looking for Madeleine after ten years must be the difference in class?

It appears that in this day and age all people are equal, but some are more equal than others.


Via email

God will show his mercy

So now Mr Barkhuizen tells the population at large that God will not listen to the prayers of some of them, let alone answer them.

He carefully chooses passages from whichever Bible he reads and which are pivotal to his conception of how he convinces himself that God operates.

He also has a very narrow band of reading, plucking the odd sentence from whichever chapter he thinks will prove him right.

Well Mr Barkhuizen, my knowledge of the subject may not be as academic as I would like, but I would put this to you: Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy.

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19


Great Yarmouth

Bikes and horses should follow law

Is there a law that exempts cyclists from road traffic regulations, having no road tax to use the highways, do they have insurance to cover road accidents or when they cycle on the footpaths?

Vehicle drivers do have to by law. Do they not have to stop at traffic lights, observe road signs?

They ride three abreast on a road, not using cycle lanes that have been provided by council tax payers. If an accident occurs with a cyclist it is always the motorist’s fault.

Do horses need to be on the road when there is a grass verge or field either side that the horse or pony would prefer.

The affluent society of equestrian hobby gentry, do they consider local residential road users or do they think they are above the law?


Arnold Avenue,