Readers's letters, January 5 2018
PUBLISHED: 17:06 04 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 04 January 2018
What's happened to my postman?
Just who hasn’t heard the tale of the lady trying to phone her local bank branch, after time and patience negotiating “press 1 for….” etc. She gets to speak to someone warmly greeting her in an overseas accent, going on to enquire her basic details so they “can resolve any issues…
“All I want to do is speak to my branch in the High Street”, is again met with the reassurance that “we hold all your details and can resolve your issues”. Again she politely thanks for the reassurance “but really needs to speak with the branch.”
Not to be dissuaded from their script the call centre operative again gives calming reassurances that they can “resolve her issues.”
Deciding 20 minutes out of her life so far in a phone conversation with an unbending and un-listening call centre bank representative, the women thinks enough is enough and will have to follow their script.
“Okay I was in the branch on Thursday and left my glasses on the bank counter, have they been handed in?” Silence from the other end.
A sign of how we now do business. I am involved in ongoing email and telephone conversations since long before Christmas with the Post Office. I want to ask my local postmaster/mistress: “Where has my longstanding postman gone to?”
Now that should be easy to answer, but again despite the expensive public face of organisations that serve, they don’t really want to speak or hear from you.
For my latest attempt I received an email with a cut and paste from the corporate brochure, from a customer services adviser that included “…As you may be aware, Royal Mail is undergoing a major transformation programme to improve the effectiveness of our operation, through making the best possible use of our resources. We’ve already invested £1.6 billion, of an eventual £2 billion total, to transform our business into a 21st century postal operator. …..” Fantastic, but where is my long serving postman?
Our present postman is both friendly and efficient but our previous went above and beyond, he knew everyone on his round and if the relations of some were on holiday he would divert mail, he would phone us as to packages rather than just leave on a doorstep.
For the postmaster, you can expect that I will continue to chip at your organisation with the simple question requiring a simple answer before involving Ofcom. For Chris, the postie serving the Gorleston cliffs area, drop by I’d like to shake your hand and thank you for all what you’ve done in the past.
Bus service need from rail station
In the Mercury December 29, the article entitled “Town Centre road works will last three months” detailed what was being done to improve the walk from the railway station via The Conge to the centre of town.
It was stated it would hopefully encourage more people to arrive at the town by rail.
While East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) applauds anything that gives a better outlook to and from the rail station we feel what is really required is a bus service to and from Market Gates daily right throughout the year and not just between May and September.
I am sure this would be much appreciated by rail users because no matter how much the walk via The Conge will be made better, it is still a long walk if you are accompanied by children, maybe an elderly person and also if carrying a lot of luggage.
ENTUA has campaigned for this for a number of years and the main hope of this happening is if rail operator Greater Anglia introduces a half hourly service to and from Norwich. If this happens then a bus could easily be employed operating a loop from Market Gates to the rail station to provide a connection to each train arrival.
East Norfolk Transport Users Association
Thanks from Lions for generosity
On behalf of Norfolk Broads Lions Club, I would like to thank the people of the villages north of Great Yarmouth who came out to see Father Christmas on his sleigh during his recent festive trips.
The generosity of all raised the sum of £4,563. This magnificent sum will be used both locally and for the wider International Lions charities.
Father Christmas could not have made these trips without the support of our members, friends and families. Special thanks also to Winterton Sea Cadets and Caister Scouts who were a huge help to us again this year. We wouldn’t have covered as much ground without you!
Tesco of Caister very kindly allowed us to be at their store for two Saturdays, thanks to management and staff.
Happy New Year!
Norfolk Broads Lions
Wealth not being shared in fair way
I have been called many things in my time but there is always a first by linking my thoughts to the Bolscheviks!. (Mercury, December 22. It is not unreasonable to seek a caring society where the nation’s wealth is shared fairly.
I studied Theology for four years and understood that Christianity is not just about church-going but seeking to put Faith into action. Mrs May proclaims we are a Christian country, which is debatable based on he last census and only 10pc attending church at Christmas. Her policies ought, therefore, to reflect her Faith and be compassionate and caring.
The NHS and social care services therefore, would need to be funded to cope with need. Likewise, we should not have homeless people on our streets or in poor housing.
The really wealthy are taking wealth out of the economy which could benefit us all. Much of their wealth is from profits made from the rest of us. Others from excessive salaries, sometimes from our pension funds. Others from the profits from our sold-off national assets, like gas and water, who profiteer with huge profits from ordinary folk..
Historically, much inherited wealth has often come from exploiting workers with low pay and poor conditions. Indeed, some employers are still out to pay the minimum. Further back in history wealth was created from slavery and dispossessing people of their property.
Some of these people claimed themselves as Christian. Indeed, Christianity has a chequered history -for one example, how any heads did the founder of the Church of England chop off and how many burned at the stake?
If we want the NHS and welfare state, it needs to be properly funded and not expected on the cheap with charities filling some of the gaps. I hope, but do not expect, in 2018, we can see some progress towards a more caring and fairer society. This is not an unreasonable hope.
Caister on sea
Numpties park in disabled spaces
Now we have had pressies, the Christmas dinner etc, I would like to whinge about the Numpties parked in disabled spaces, without blue badges last week at Tescos in Great Yarmouth. Thanks to you I had to park away from the store and walk painfully a longer distance to the shop. One day I would love to have the authority to give you a fine.
Will expenses rise be overturned?
I was really pleased to read Councillor Mike Smith-Clare’s letter (December 29) that a meeting has been arranged for January 8 to revisit and hopefully overturn this decision to raise expenses for county councillors by an astronomical 11pc.
I was also very gratified to read that two councillors have had the necessary and right-minded change of heart and renounced these
rises. All power to them and hopefully others will follow their lead because sometimes we all make wrong decisions and this was probably a gratuitous rush of money to the head and in the cold light of austerity Britain think better of it. I sincerely hope others will not this time vote for or abstain and follow suit.
This extraordinary council meeting outlined by Mike Smith-Clare is the right and honest undertaking because as he states to be voting for closures of children’s centres and other divisive cuts and then vote for an obscene rise is clearly not a laudable or moral course of action and I share wholeheartedly in his shock and horror at the outcome of this vote.
There is now a chance and opportunity to show us councillors and the rest of us are singing from the same hymn sheet. We all know and appreciate hard decisions have to be made and the perceived
funding gap of £125m has to be pragmatically approached, so make an honest stand and adhere to the independent panel’s recommendation that although there was a need for a review it would be just and fair not to raise allowances, certainly not in this massive incredulous and selfish leap.
To do this would reinstate our faith in councillors and that they are in their very important positions for the right reasons, as stated they did know what was involved when they signed up and now need to listen and pay heed to the ‘chorus of disapproval’ which is being sung loud and clear from many quarters.
To lose faith with their electorate at a time when there are on going cuts and decimation of services is a certain drilling down to the bottom of what is right, fair and equitable in our country today and
will not be easily forgotten or forgiven. So please place your vote where your conscience is instructing you and we will applaud you all from the rafters and this matter can be finally consigned to a totally
daft decision made in a pre-Christmas loss of common sense and have to say an arrogant sense of entitlement.
JUDITH A DANIELS
Santa Sleigh thanks to public
Great Yarmouth Lions Club would once again like the express their thanks for the generosity shown by the public during this years Santa Sleigh campaign. In addition to a number of local businesses and First Bus for storing the sleigh.
Club Members, supported by a very valued group of volunteers took to the streets and supermarkets over a total of 15 evenings and 6 days.
Despite some very cold, at times damp weather, this did not seem to deter the numbers of children and adults lining the various routes in support. With further messages of goodwill generated through social media.
It was regrettable that the Hopton run had to be cancelled at the last minute, due to the sleigh generator breaking down. Thanks go to the borough council for issuing a replacement permit, thus enabling it to be rescheduled.
A sum in excess of £6,000 has been raised through public donations and support from a two public houses, this will enable Great Yarmouth Lions Club to continue making donations and supporting local good causes during 2018.
Once again, many thanks.
We would take this time to wish everyone in the borough a happy and prosperous new year.
Cautious welcome to Edge complex
It is welcome to know that The Edge, a long held dream of Albert Jones, is to be finally started and I congratulate him as this will bring much needed employment to the town.
However in a town that is currently in its winter season, with many empty beds in the hotels, guest houses and caravan parks in the area, when the initial phase of the new complex in a year or so, the 81 new beds may lie empty.
This town needs an attraction to get it on the map, failing that it needs somewhere that can be used for multi-purpose uses, perhaps like the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, where shortly they will have a national caged birds show. This brings in thousands of competitors and people to watch the show and as a consequence many beds in the town are booked.
We need either an ice rink or a bowling alley, but failing that, a hotel with an exhibition space capable of holding a major sport event, such as Potters Resort with indoor bowls or the recent darts competition run by Butlins in Minehead.
If it was my decision to oversee the Edge project, I would have approached Bourne Leisure who own Butlins as having lived in Bognor Regis I have seen their three iconic hotels and they have been very popular. Bourne Leisure is well established in the area, it is able to quickly recruit and train staff and would be able to get the hotel up and running quickly.
My only reservation on the new project is on the amount of local jobs or local employers who will benefit. I will bet that local building suppliers are not used.
It seems there will be several chain restaurants, these will be owned by big companies or franchised out, so I wonder what happens to the local caterers who currently have operations in the Pleasure Beach, as we all know kids will want to eat at their favourite restaurants and this could push out the small players.
So I hope there are few problems and this venture is a success. If a cinema could be built first I think that this would be a better way to generate an income to the town.
Nelson Road Central
Stay away from town seafront
I wish Albert Jones every success on his vision for the seafront and hopefully it will come to fruition in my lifetime.
The trouble is, the council has long tried to get rid of any footfall on the seafront by forever increasing parking charges and thus providing a deterrent from people visiting the seafront.
I have many relatives who used to come here for the day during the summer, they would pop in and see us, and we would join them on the seafront for a meander and then a spot of lunch at one of the lovely bars/restaurants on Marine Parade. However now, my relations say, they cannot afford the £10 plus car parking fees they are being forced to pay in order to park near the seafront. And as walking has become an issue as they have got older it clearly makes a difference.
The council seems to be discriminating against the disabled, those who are finding it harder to walk too far, and even though young families with toddlers who cannot possibly walk from the town centre parking facilities to the seafront.
The council is driving away custom and no-one seems to want to fight it. Please tell your friends and relatives to stay away - maybe go elsewhere, Cromer is lovely in the summer time.
Name and address withheld