Readers’s letters May 5, 2017

Traffic problems must be stopped

Yet again today I have been stuck in a long, long (almost back to the roundabout) queue, trying to into Gapton Hall to shop. This is caused by drivers trying to order at McDonald’s drive-through at Gapton Hall retail estate, although you don’t know that when you join the queue.

In fact these cars are holding up all the traffic coming out as well, trying to get into the drive-through both ways.

This can’t go on, because lots of people are hooting and calling out, and it is only a matter of time before tempers are lost, to say nothing of the people trying to walk along being injured in all the chaos.

I think McDonald’s is in the wrong place, and now that M&S is just across from it, even the zebra crossing is dangerous, because it is impossible to go from one side to the other pushing a shopping trolley without going onto the road, because of the raised kerb.

The whole thing needs a re-think.


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Toilet visit impressed me

I have just paid my first visit to the newly refurbished toilets in Gorleston High Street and I was very impressed by how they have been transformed. Now I’m on the subject I am appalled at how many toilets are boarded up especially us being a holiday town. Surely the answer is to charge people a nominal sum of 20p a visit.

I’m sure most people can find that amount. It always worked years ago hence the old adage I will have to spend a penny.


East Anglian Way,


Council contracts must be shown

Ten out of ten to John Cooper for highlighting this nonsense in last week’s Mercury, on behalf of all taxpayers.

The most critical issue however for any of us to critique these payments, is the terms and conditions, and contract for the employee.

I suspect that many of the so called contracts for council employees are so loose that the employee can drive a horse and cart through them, when its necessary, such as dismissal.

Several months ago, at the time of the CEO change, I tried to get a sight at the contracts of the outgoing and incoming CEO. Although I was referred to the on-line detail of the council, it was a nonsense; no detail existed.

Taxpayers should know the terms and conditions for all senior managers and in particular, the performance criteria, review procedures, bonus commitments, and disciplinary protocols.

After a lifetime in the private sector, I know this absolute tightness of individual contracts dramatically reduces questionable payouts to individuals and protects the employer (our council) from legal challenge.

On the other side of the coin of course, the employee has every right to negotiate the best “leaving package“ possible if his or hers contract is so loose.

On the face of it John Cooper’s spotlight is just this, councils’s very poor management and controls.

Well said John.



All sinners must be willing

In his letter last week Mr Pretty quotes a Bible text out of context to support his view. He implies that God forgives sinners even if they do not repent. The reason why Jesus, God the Son, died on the cross was to take upon Himself the punishment due for our sins, so we could avoid the wrath of God. With astonishing love for us, God the Father punished His innocent Son, so we could go free and have access to the Father and be made holy as we take up our cross daily and obey Him (see Romans 6:22, New King James Version Bible).

To avoid the torment of eternal fire the sinner has to be willing to (1) come to the Father, (2) ask His forgiveness for past sins, (3) decide to stop sinning, (4) be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins, (5) receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues as the proof of having received Him (see Acts 2:4, 37–38; 19:5–6; Mark 16:16–17), (6) be gradually made holy by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and (7) finally be perfected, so she can enter heaven, the holy place where God is (see Philippians 3:12–14; Hebrews 6:1; 12:22–23).

Many churchgoers who claim to be Christians think it’s OK to sin, because they are “under grace”. But the Bible says: “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning” (1 John 3:8).


Albemarle Road,


Car mobiles need turning off

I realise in this day and age a radio in a car is a necessity, but with concentration being the main sense needed while driving.

Isn’t it a shame mobiles have to work on the same basis as the radio in the same lethal weapon.

Would it not be possible to separate a mobile signal from a radio signal by building into car a resistor or a scrambler which could interfere with the mobile signal making it inefficient as soon as the car engine is working?

Although a radio advises drivers of road conditions, there must be some way whereby the running car engine would scramble a mobile signal?


Gonville Road,


Pension funds left my dismayed

I am responding to last week’s letters regarding the failings of Mr Lewis and the letter from the Waspi group.

I was born in March 1954 and throughout my working life I expected to receive my state pension at 60 so planned my finances accordingly.

Imagine my dismay when I discovered my pension would be delayed by five and a half years.

When the government contacted me with this information I had already stopped working so plugging this unexpected huge gap in income was a struggle.

I was lucky because at least I have a husband to support me but I imagine there are many women in the Great Yarmouth area who are struggling to support themselves and will have to do so well into their 60s. I appreciate that it is fairer for men and women in this situation to retire at the same age but for women in this situation the short notice of the changes in shocking.

This brings me to Brandon Lewis. I wrote to him last year regarding these pension changes how it affects me personally. His response was to completely ignore me as an individual and instead send six paragraphs of party rhetoric. I don’t think this kind of attitude deserves my vote.


Breydon Way,


We won’t be watching team again

My son and I have been coming to Emerald Park for many years to watch Gorleston. I thought it was strange last month when Keegan Middleton left the club and the statement the Gorleston manager put on the back page of the Mercury to everyone to read.

No thanks for what he had done for the club and good luck at your new club.

Now a lot of supporters know the truth, football is a game of skill, passion and little bit of luck.

Us supporters are not idiots, we know a good player when we see one.

Whatever Keegan did was not good enough, even when he assisted with two goals against Long Melford. It was because they were rubbish according to the manager.

Social media has its advantages and disadvantages. I think what a lot of the supporters know now will only harm the club. There are a lot of good people at the club who give up their time for the love of the club. The supporters, who pay their money, are entitled to their opinions.

Now that a good majority of the fans know what has been said, I know a few fans who have stopped coming to the games, now you can add another two to that list.

We may even cross the river and watch the Yarcos.

R PALMER Gorleston

Force police to release figures

It is difficult to argue with the logic in John Kenny’s letter, “We should be told of police hours” (April 28), in which he argues that the public are entitled to see a transparent published form how our police forces compare in terms of complaints overtime and sick leave taken.

It is arguably an irrefutable fact that some forces are better than others at managing their resources.

Published performance league tables would serve to highlight any glaring anomalies thereby justifying credible explanations from the chief constables concerned. Perhaps those forces who achieve greater efficiency/productivity could be a benchmark for the rest to follow.

Surely the policing minister Brandon Lewis should be insisting on the urgent introduction of such an obvious mind-concentrating management tool in the interests of the electorate. I think there is a need for greater transparency in policing. Perhaps Brandon Lewis could explain this anomaly?



Did you know Ernest and Florence?

Not so much of a story as a request for help. My name is Andrew Macdonald and I’m trying to find close family of Great Yarmouth couple Ernest Leslie and Florence Edna Smith.

Both sadly passed away within months of one another in 1995.

Florence’s elder brother Reggie Middlebrook was a Sergeant Flight Engineer in RAF Bomber Command and his pilot was my great uncle. I’ve spent over a decade trying to trace descendants of the crew and Reggie is the only unknown.

Sadly, the crew were shot down and killed in June 1943 and I helped build a memorial to them in Holland. Any information relating to Ernest and Florence and perhaps their children would mean the world to me and close a chapter of my family history.

I can be contacted on email at



Rubbish was disgrace to town

Last week my wife and I decided we would visit the Time and Tide Museum. We parked the car near the Market Place and following the signs we walked along King Street and through various streets to the museum.

The thing that disgusted us was the rubbish and litter in all the doorways, alleyways and streets leading to the museum.

We enjoyed our visit and thought it a little gem for Great Yarmouth tourists. But it would be so much nicer to walk to if the council would spend time cleaning the area up.


Proctor Road,


Debates would benefit voters

I read the correspondence about the forthcoming General Election with interest and should imagine there will be much more discussion in the weeks ahead. My attention was then drawn to the half page announcement from Brandon Lewis our Conservative MP.

I found the title rather strange and this now overused strap-line is fast losing purchase and credibility, because Labour is not at the present time in a coalition with any other party and has very little relevance.

They may have their inherent problems but then so has the government with all manner of ills affecting our country, namely our beleaguered NHS, education and the economy to name just a few.

The calling of this snap election was not I feel “stunning”, just a reneging of countless announcements that this would not happen and this has concerned many people. Theresa May feels rightly or wrongly that her Brexit negotiating hand needs strengthening but the implication of a Brexit fight can also be counterproductive and misleading. The viewpoint this is the logical time for an election does have some credence but it is a somewhat rushed affair which could lead to many logistical problems.

Of course that goes without saying we want a strong and stable leadership especially in these unique times but there must be real substance behind these vacuous headlines. This is largely being seen as a Brexit election and all that entails and it will be very interesting to read the parties manifestos when they are published to ascertain what else is promised.

Because this is important as well and this cannot and should not be a one issue election and that is why I feel television debates with the respected leaders would be beneficial for the general public to witness them up close and personal and their own individual party’s take on many and varied topics not just the Brexit Brouhaha.

So I personally hope Theresa May changes her stance and mind on this. All the leading parties have their strengths and weaknesses and we, the bemused electorate, need and want clarification not just political infighting and I am in sympathy with Brenda from Bristol with her exclamation “You’re joking, not another one” and so say all of us!


Winifred Road,


Benefit system is flawed

I receive Universal Credit.

Since I have been on this benefit I have found it hard to make ends meet.

I use to receive employment and support allowance and everything was alright.

But since I have been on this new scheme I am worse off. I am paying back rent and unemployment benefits and seem to have nothing left for food.


St Margaret’s Way,


A47 traffic action is needed

As Mrs Dunne pointed out again recently the roundabout chaos at the end of the Acle Straight at the town end won’t go away.

Isn’t the A47 like a catheter which needs dualling to ease pressure. A spillage off northwards, as at Acle, is more appropriate to this area. So many cars, lorries and buses travel both ways on their purposes.

That remedy mentioned could be a practical ace card to make people’s lives easier and improve facilities here for many folk, in and out of the holiday season and all year round.


Mill Lane,


I know who will get my vote

On the letters page of the Great Yarmouth Mercury of April 28, Peter Turner wrote that he was confused and didn’t know who to vote for in the forthcoming general election. Perhaps consideration of the following will help:

Theresa May would have us believe that she is the only one who is capable of leading the country in these difficult times.

I am sure that a strong and stable government is what most people in this country want, but for Theresa May to claim that this is what she and her party will provide if they win the general election is laughable. Their track record is littered with failure and their policies show them to be “weak against the strong and strong against the weak.”

The recent stronger economy is already beginning to weaken, borrowing increased under George Osborne thereby missing the target he set himself to reduce the deficit, austerity measures with further cuts to come are set to continue, the disabled are still being punished financially for being disabled and more children are living in poverty.

Universal Credit is a disaster, school budgets are being cut in real terms and teachers are losing their jobs while money is being diverted to free schools and future grammar schools, the NHS is in crisis through underfunding, there is a shortage of doctors, nurses will see their pay cut by 12pc over a decade resulting in an even greater shortage than there is now and there is a shortage of mental health beds.

Food banks have multiplied because people can’t afford to buy food, there is a shortage of affordable housing, despite record numbers of people being in work there are thousands on zero hours contracts with no security, an uncertain future for essential migrant workers, big cuts in the number of police and Theresa May still claims that only the Tories can be trusted with the economy.

Through all of this, the rich have become richer while the rest if us are paying for the excesses of the bankers. Do we really want more of this?

Theresa May is also trying to convince us that her hard line, arrogant stance to Brexit talks will get us the best deal, whereas she is actually alienating the 27 countries she needs to negotiate with, thereby damaging our chances of a good deal with our closest potential trading partners and putting thousands of jobs at risk. She is doing this to placate the far right minority of her party who are pushing for a hard Brexit, showing how weak she really is. This is far from strong leadership.

I, therefore, am not confused over who I will vote for. Definitely not the Tories, but the party which is committed to fairness and justice for all.


21 Hawthorn Crescent,