Readers’s letters, December 15 2017

The poor are only just managing

The thousands spent on the ice rink could have been better spent on resolving the homeless issues in the town. The rink for the few contrasts the plight of the poor with the better off who can afford to spend out for a quick bit of fun. At least the rink adds to the shanty town appearance of the market.

Two years ago, each user was subsidised by £10 each, I am sure a better use could have been found for that.

The Conservatives are really hitting the poor with Universal Credits fiasco. Why did they charge for phone calls? Why did they assume claimants would be paid monthly? Why did they delay initial payments assuming everyone has cash reserves? Why were people not told advances were available?

It is because many of the Conservatives are out of touch with working people.

Ordinary folk are told how they benefit with the personal allowance tax cuts. This ignores the increase in council tax, increased council charges, NHS charge increases and cuts to public services due to the Conservatives which explains the con.

The wealthiest are getting wealthier while the poor and many others are just about managing.

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The Conservatives told us the NHS was safe with them and how extra funding has been made available. That may be true but it is clearly not enough as A&E struggle to cope, waiting lists grow, ambulances miss targets, mental health provision is inadequate and service for young people will take until 2020 to be corrected.

Social care is failing too as cuts pile up. A&E issues can be solved by not stopping people going there but having a drop in service like the one which was closed!

Bed blocking could be solved by having a discharge unit or increased social care provision. They often talk about the problem of an aging population - I am not sure the elderly like to be seen as a problem. The problem is a lack of funds. Still many Conservatives have private provision.

I hope the Prime Minister and other Conservative politician churchgoers, when they trot off to their Christmas church services, reflect on what they are doing to the poor and needy and how this fits in with their church going.


Victoria Street,


Compassion of the care home staff

In a time when everybody complains about treatment etc in care homes we would like to share our experience with Claremont care home. Our mother has just been in Claremont care home for six months, and she could not have had better treatment anywhere else.

There was the kindness of the nurses, carers, kitchen staff and cleaners who were all absolutely first class.

She was bedridden but looked after with compassion which made her feel special.

It was a pleasure to go there to see her because we knew she was being looked after.

We can’t thank all the staff at Claremont enough for looking after her right to the end.



I voted against expenses rise

As an elected local county councillor I am proud to represent and serve my Nelson, Cobholm and Southtown communities. I stood in May and again in June at the General Election to fight for the rights of local residents and provide a voice to those who deserve to be heard.

This week I voted against the proposal to increase councillors allowances, as I truly believe that at a time when services are being cut and frontline jobs being lost, then any other decision would be both morally and ethically inexcusable.

Enforced austerity is destroying lives within our town and it saddens me to know that those elected in order to champion improvements have ignored the needs of the many in favour of their own personal financial gain.

Mike Smith-Clare

Labour County Councillor

Vote with your feet at bank

The High Street banks do not care about their customers or business, all the care about is their profit margins and how much they can pay themselves and how much bonus they can make.

They are like the big six utility companies and the broadband and TV providers. The way to let them know is vote with your feet and change banks or suppliers.

Come April 2018 I will be moving my account from NatWest to a branch that is still open on the high street, I did the same when HSBC closed.

The more customers they lose this way will maybe make them think about closing branches and maybe stop the ones who remain from closing so everybody who can afford to change banks can do so that includes all business.

When you consider it, interest rates went up by the Bank of England but how many banks have increased their interest rates for their savers, they are quick to take them down. Vote with your feet.

On another issue the Police Crime Commissioner is on about hitting the council tax payers for more money well he should be looking nearer home.

Firstly cut his salary, expenses and perks by at least 10pc

Then cut the amount of office staff he has and reduce their salaries and expenses as well

We are getting less and less every year and we are paying more and getting less police response times, maybe the PCC should be done away with altogether.



Birth of Jesus date is wrong one

Jesus was not born on December 25 – but pagans celebrate the birthday of the sun god, Sol Invictus, on that date. It was also the last day of the Roman Saturnalia festival, named after the god Saturn, the “hidden one”. Yet millions of churchgoers around the world celebrate “Jesus’ birthday” on December 25. Also, it’s interesting that “Santa” is an anagram of “Satan”.

Sadly, many UK churches have departed from “the faith which was once for all delivered to the holy ones” (Jude 3). These people mainly follow the teachings of the “church fathers”, who lived from the second century AD onwards, and not those of Jesus and His apostles.

Thus much of what goes on in these groups differs greatly from the blueprint for God’s church found in the New Testament.

Because I follow the Son of God and the holy Bible, I will not be celebrating the birthday of the sun god this year – or any year. How about you?


Albemarle Road,


Church service was very uplifting

On Sunday, December 10 I went to St Margaret’s Church in Fleggburgh for a dedication of the church by the bishop of Thetford after it had been re-thatched and a sound system installed, etc. The service was very uplifting. Afterwards we went to Fleggburgh Village Hall for lunch.


St Margaret’s Way,


We put our hands up to mistakes

I loved the paper last week - such great fun.

The upside-down photograph of the lantern parade for a start. Then the story about the Gorleston parkrun which morphed seamlessly into a completely different story about rugby union. Oh and also all those missing verbs in a variety of places.

I’m so glad that the proof-readers are having a well-deserved break - though the whole of December does seem a little on the generous side.

I guess that what I am particularly pleased about is the fact that I do not believe there was a single mention of the accursed Brexit in the whole paper, and for that we should all be extremely grateful.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Santa’s grotto deserves a visit

We came to Great Yarmouth for a long weekend as a treat for our twins’ birthday. We come regularly from St Albans. I wanted to tell everyone about Merrivale Modal Village’s Santa’s grotto.

New owners took over earlier in the year and are doing lots of wonderful things with this tourist attraction, including extending their season up to Christmas. This is the reason we came to visit, also taking in a show at The Hippodrome, having three evening meals out locally, lunches, shopping - we love the market and sweet shop and other local shops.

It amazed me that none of the locals seems to know what is right on their doorstep. Yarmouth is not just a tourist destination, it is a busy town too, with children who want to see Santa.

The Merrivale grotto is really beautiful, they arranged it so he knew our three children’s names, spent a lot of time with them and they said it was the best Santa they have ever been to. For the price you get to look around the village which was even more beautiful adorned with fairy lights, and a kids skating rink too!

The whole town could benefit from this beautiful place, with a longer season and bringing more tourists and locals. Everyone could benefit, but it needs support, and it needs children to see Santa there!

As I said, we came and spent a lot on Yarmouth over our trip, came to Yarmouth because we knew Merrivale was open. How come none of the locals know that, despite their advertising? Please go and see their amazing Santa!


Store doorway is blocked off

There has been a homeless man sleeping outside the former Marks and Spencer store for quite some time now. Well not anymore. The doorway has now been boarded up. It is so sad that he should have to be there in the first place, but now even more so because his sleeping area has been taken away from him.



I do not want any snow coming here

I am sorry to rain on B Brian’s Winter Wonderland (8 December) but I should imagine large swathes of the country would go grrrr to his remarks about wanting it to snow. Actually now times have changed so much as this type of weather just causes tremendous problems. There is much more traffic and I think it is selfish to want roads and shops closed at this horrendously busy time of the year.

They rely on this season often to survive and they certainly don’t want customers trapped inside their own homes. Also it causes severe problems for the emergency services valiantly struggling to get through.

At the present time of writing, we have got off lightly but it may yet come and I for one do not relish the prospect. All over the country schools were closed and this stops children benefiting from their education and all the fun fringe Christmas events which are held in schools.

It does often bring this country to a standstill, because we are still not sufficiently geared up to these often rare conditions and rail road and air travel become the victims, when people cannot get to their destinations safely or on time.

So no B Brian, January and February are the months for snow when life is a little calmer and then we can all enjoy its seasonal pleasures. I will take my Christmas snow on a card and a lovely vintage film and just start praying for a non white-out before the fun and pleasure of this season finally comes to its climax on December 25. So a very happy and snow free Christmas to you and I sincerely hope you don’t have to get your sledge out just yet.

JUDITH A Daniels

Winifred Road,

Great Yarmouth

Our choirs do the borough proud

This time of the year is a good reminder of what a wealth of talented singers and choirs we have in the borough including Matthew Hardy’s Chorus of St Cecilia whose annual concert is always something to look forward to. But it was also a real unexpected treat to welcome a newcomer in the G&S Singers, a group of around 25 who, as the title might suggest, was formed this year to perform Gilbert and Sullivan (and who will do so next summer) but turned to a Christmas selection with Jingle All the Way at Gorleston’s St Peter’s Church on Tuesday.

Karen Smith is the musical director and accompanist who has clearly worked hard to blend this well balanced choir together with excellent results. It was a wonderfully varied programme with such strong harmonies; several notable soloists and a chance for all of us to join the merry throng with favourite carols.

All interspersed with some well chosen and delivered readings with a tasty buffet thrown in at the interval for good measure. A most pleasurable addition to the festive season and well worth abandoning the telly and venturing out on a cold and frosty evening.


Lowestoft Road,