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PUBLISHED: 18:56 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 July 2010

IN response to Kevin Boyne telling the public to leave off work early to catch the swift bus, this is an impractical response, as it is not an option for most people.

IN response to Kevin Boyne telling the public to leave off work early to catch the swift bus, this is an impractical response, as it is not an option for most people. Not only have we lost our bus on a Saturday morning, but now we are forced to walk in the evenings as well.

Many will get taxis, which will cause even more congestion leading up to the Gapton roundabout. If the bus service was good and reliable, I'm sure more people would be willing to give up their cars and use public transport, ie the number 600 bus, which would help the environment. They have also put the bus fares up. Is this to compensate for the lack of people catching the bus in the evenings?

GILLIAN PALMER

Nottingham Way

Great Yarmouth

I WAS bred and born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and I would like to remain a Norfolk man. Likewise ask a Lowestoft man and he will no doubt tell you he would like to remain a Suffolk man, so who are these idiots who are trying to take away our identity? Probably someone from another part of the country who's wormed his way on to the local council, and I expect there are plenty of them about.

Also, while I am on my soapbox, how come the Dutch can reclaim land, with aggregate that's been dredged up and sold by us for the past 30 years or more? Why can't we do the same and save our own coast? In my own personal opinion, if we keep digging big holes out to sea we will lose even more of our coastline.

D COLMAN

Gorleston

SO our wonderful government is to scrap spending cash on protecting key targets such as Bacton gas terminal and nuclear power stations. I would have thought we already have our own built-in security system, it's called the Armed Forces, but the armed forces we pay for seem to be protecting any country but Britain, because of this government we already pay taxes for the armed forces so there would be no extra cost to the hard up ratepayer. Not only if there is any attack, the army will be on hand to deal with it.

This government should be ostracised for its diabolical treatment of the British people.

D HENNEM

Marlborough Green Crescent

Martham

OPEN Letter re Democracy: What has happened to Democracy? Should I bother to vote at the upcoming local elections?

The wishes of our locally elected Parish Councils in Ormesby (re Royal Oak) and Winterton (Empson's Loke) have been overruled.

Without local input the roundabouts at Caister and Harfreys are a disaster. We have made little, if any, progress in Scratby's sea defences.

Regionally we, the locals, have been unable to impress anybody in power that the Acle Straight needs improving. A quango of the Environment Agency has put forward plans to flood a great chunk of Norfolk without any local consultation. This is already blighting homes as well as intending to lose us Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere to the sea.

Nationally we have been unable to vote for our Prime Minister and the House of Lords remains unelected.

Internationally we, the people, have not had any say, let alone a referendum, on our (EU) constitution.

I feel like shouting “Power to the People” - but that sounds too radical.

ALAN NOVAK,

North Road

Ormesby St Margaret

LET'S give the government a big well done and a pat on the back for succeeding in ripping the heart out of our town and every other town in the country with their smoking ban and now the budget increase in alcohol. I fear it will get much worse in the coming months. Experts predict that 1,500 pubs will be forced to close in England this year alone.

Perhaps our MP would like to answer through your letters column?

MR P HUBBARD

St Mary's Court

Great Yarmouth

HOW disappointing that Asda has decided to withdraw its appeal for expansion thereby handing the monopoly to Tesco. As a shopper I have no allegiance to any particular supermarket, however, it would have been nice to have had more choice not to mention employment for 40 people and a chance to have the Vauxhall Bridge approach smartened up. It will be interesting to see whether Tesco will be granted their extra parking spaces.

PAULINE LYNCH

Mill Lane

Bradwell

MR John Dott in the final paragraph of his letter (April 11), refers to resolving the question of the beach huts at the edge of the Marine Parade, Gorleston.

About 20 odd years ago when the idea was first mooted, the intent was to build the huts at the edge of the cliff. When the architect went to look after the work had started, he found the replacements had already been built on the beach edge of the parade. The council decided to leave the building of the huts there.

However the letting of these was never very successful and they have become a white elephant. The huts are of no historic interest and should be demolished. Surely the council having spent thousands of pounds on the Marine Parade at Yarmouth could find the money for demolition of these huts.

CECILIA EBBAGE

Lovewell Road

Gorleston

I WOULD like to take up some of the points mentioned by Mr J Dott in his two letters to the Mercury (February 22 and April 11) regarding Williamson's Lookout, High Road, Gorleston.

The council proposed to sell a portion of land at the southern end of the public garden to a developer in 2004. This proposal was vehemently opposed by Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage Group (GOSH) and other residents; see articles and letters in the Mercury, July, August and September 2004. This proposal was withdrawn and plans went ahead for the refurbishment of the public garden, which is now nearly complete and an asset to Gorleston's townscape.

I am sure local people who know this garden appreciate the efforts of OWL in helping to promote the great improvements to this historic piece of land. The house being built to the south of the public garden is on the site of two old smokehouses which were demolished before building commenced. These old buildings were separated from the garden by a public footpath.

As a member of GOSH I would like readers to be aware of the group's opposition to the selling off of any portion of Williamson's Lookout, and their efforts to prevent this happening.

DOREEN FEUELL

Church Road

Gorleston

AS chairman of the Gorleston Model Boat Club, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from a Mr Michael Stephenson of Great Yarmouth Borough Council with information about the Gorleston yacht pond.

It was due to be emptied April 14 for about two weeks for cleaning, repairing and re-filling. In the past there has been a great deal of adverse publicity concerning the pond and I am assured that the rumour of impending closure is not true.

Gorleston is lucky to have such a free facility which is appreciated by visitors with their boats and the local clubs and it is good to know that GYBC is taking action to maintain it. Our thanks to all concerned.

MIKE SMITH

FROM September 2008, Homefield VC First and Nursery School will become a primary school. We would like to hear from former pupils, staff, governors and friends, of any memories you may have of your time at Homefield School. You may have photographs you would be willing to lend us. We are going to hold an exhibition later in the summer term to which you would be most welcome. We shall be advertising the date in local magazines and shops.

Please forward any items to myself at Homefield First School, Homefield Avenue, Bradwell NR31 8NS.

N JAMES

DUE to the awful weather over Easter, I had a visit to the Norfolk Nelson Museum on the historic South Quay.

What a lovely little place it is. I was taken aback by Lord Nelson himself, I thought he was going to speak to me he was so lifelike! There was so much to see and do, wincing at the torturous medical instruments on show, the little ones were well taken care of by all the hands-on “silly bits” ie what sailors ate, dressing up and many more fun exhibits

They even had a lift, so everyone could see all the nice things upstairs. There was also a lovely courtyard to sit and have a lazy picnic (as yet no refreshments!) where the kids could let off steam playing with giant draughts, quoits and clambering over the cannons pretending to be sailors!

It was so nice to see this, after all the excitement of The Golden Mile, well worth the visit and everyone learns something new about Great Yarmouth's historic past. Quite a little gem on the South Quay!

LYN BYFORD

Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

WHY is it such a problem for the UK to provide sea defences.

The proposal in the recent report by Natural England to allow a vast area of Norfolk (6,500 hectares) from Eccles-on-Sea to Winterton-on-Sea and as far inland as Stalham to be flooded by the sea has made residents in this low lying area more aware of the importance of providing and maintaining sea-defences because if present neglected defences are breached homes and land in this area could now be flooded.

The Norfolk Broads and our fresh water marsh wildlife habitats are precious, irreplaceable and should be preserved.

How can Natural England an organisation that is supposed to care for our environment and the unique wildlife in this area propose such destruction, are they acting on their own initiative or are they following government guidelines?

The government sea defences (applicably named) guidance document “Making Space for Water” published in 2006 laid out the government's defeatist policy that we must accept the destruction of present sea defences and erosion losses to our coastline and make space for water.

This was followed by the pilot study Kelling to Lowestoft Ness Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) 3b which put this guidance into practice with policies of “No Active Intervention” (do nothing) for 50 per cent of its unit areas and “Managed Retreat” for many others.The UK is one of the richest and most technically advanced nations in the world but it has a relatively small land mass compared to its population size which has now rapidly increased to an all-time high of 60,000,000 plus.

This ever increasing population has increased the demand for homes which has resulted in properties still being built on flood plains and in areas with out sea defences threatened by coastal erosion.

With these pressures on our restricted land area surely it would be common sense to have a positive attitude and policies for the provision and maintenance of sea defences for all at risk areas.

Holland has much more low level land threatened by the sea than the UK but they are able to defend every square metre - so why is it such a problem for the UK to provide sea defences?

MIKE KING

Marine Environmental Information Network

Great Yarmouth

WITH thanks to The Mercury for allowing this debate to be aired, and to Derek Brown for his responses. It was my clearly stated position that my stand against sanctioning the hybrid DNA experimentation that specifically includes the mixing of human and animal DNA is based on the biblical teaching of special creation - namely that man is uniquely made in the image of God. Anything we do that detracts from that holy standard is wrong. This obviously includes a great range of deviant human activity where we devalue ourselves and others from substance abuse, economic and other exploitation, racial prejudice to name but a few. These letters have looked at one aspect, but it is symptomatic of man's arrogance that thinks he is Lord of all he sees and has liberty to build his towers of Babel wherever his intellectual curiosity leads him. Yes, medical research has won great benefits for which we can thank God and the dedication of scientists, but our “true freedoms” do not rest on secularism, including scientific advance. In the context of being servants of sin, Jesus said in John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”.

We will bring irreparable damage to this country if we continue to deny the God of the bible room in our daily thought and behaviour.

In my last letter I tried to distinguish between evolution in the sense of a world view of “molecules to man” and evolution (lower case) which talks about small-scale changes to DNA. The former is a godless philosophy, while the latter takes the ideas of mutations, natural selection, genetic drift, selective breeding and so on, to explain changes and adaptations in the sense of antibiotic resistant bacteria, and certain genetic diseases.

I have no problem with the application of this genetic tool box to understanding of the diversity of life around us. It is clear to me that these changes all lead to a loss of information or genetic diversity in various ways. What we started with was a great storehouse of genetic potential in the created “kinds” referred to in Genesis. It is this storehouse of information that is evidence of an omniscient creator who also in his love and care for us has given us laws and ordinances to follow, and where we fail, has provided the great sacrifice that alone can bring us back to himself. This is the true hybrid that we need Jesus - God in Us.

PETER GRAY-READ

Fulmar Close

Bradwell

A UNIQUE opportunity has arisen. The Norwich branch of the Normandy Veterans Association are returning to Normandy from June 3 to June 8 next. At the moment there are a limited number of vacancies still available. It is an organised tour based in Caen close to the Caen Peace Museum, visiting the Commonwealth War Cemeteries in Bayeux and Ranville together with Pegasus Bridge, Arromanches, Tilly sur Seulles, the Longues Battery, the American cemeteries at St Laurent and Omaha and other places of interest as well as the delightful little town of Honfleur.

This is an opportunity for Normandy Veterans other than members wishing to make a possible one-off return and for members of families of former Normandy veterans wishing to learn something first hand of their forbears' experiences. All are welcome.

For further information, enquiries and/or advice, please contact Mrs Kitty Burge on 01603 456256 or the secretary on 01603 627706.

JACK S WOODS

Branch Secretary

Normandy Veterans Association

REGARDING the letter in last week's Mercury re parking by certain individuals on the grass verges in Great Yarmouth with numerous cars, it may interest you to know that the individuals doing this with absolutely no regard to property or other people are in fact tenants of houses that were originally lived in by private householders.

The landlords do nothing, because all they are interested in is the rent each month.

Name and Address withheld

I'M glad someone took the time to write and explain what is happening to our care system. Basically social services carers will be no more and the private sector will take over. So what is the problem with this I heard you ask?

Put yourself in the position of an elderly person who has had care for years, possibly with the same carer or carers. Now if they have to go into hospital for a period of longer than four weeks, they will come home to a situation where they are under an agency with new carers, who possibly cannot speak the English language very well. Carers who they knew, trusted and treated as part of their family will not be there anymore. How distressing this is for them. And the sad thing about this is that they have no choice. So why in all our training to NVQ Level 2 was choice the big word. Funny how this is forgotten so money can be saved. I'm sure money could be saved but surely in a more dignified way.

Do we not care about our elders anymore? Some who risked their lives for us in the war. We know these changes come from the government and social services are just implementing them. So this isn't really aimed at social services but to the person who thought this all up. I hope you are very proud of yourself as you sit behind your desk with your nice suit on and expensive car outside. I just wished you knew the upset that you have caused to service users and carers. Carers that have been told their job is being phased out over the next couple of years.

I hope your mum, dad, nan or granddad never have to have care or then again maybe I do, then you might realise what a huge mistake you have made.

Name and address withheld

LAST Friday my daughter and I attended a celebratory Mass at St Peter's, Gorleston for headmaster Peter Cleary, who has recently resigned his position at St Mary's RC Primary School. It was a lovely tribute for his outstanding work in education over the years and it was great to see past pupils and teachers and parents showing their support and appreciation.

My daughter attended the school for six years and really thrived there. I absolutely loved the atmosphere of the place, it was just so different to my experience of primary school education. I know times have changed but I still remember my old headmistress and it was not for her looks or personality!

However, I think you can say Mr Cleary will be remembered for being that “nice man.” It is very rare to come across genuine people today. I do hope he continues to contribute in some way to the education of our young people with his wealth of experience and we wish him well for the future.

Thank you for touching Mairead's life, it was a pleasure to know you.

Shirley Pendergast,

Oak Lodge,

Hemsby

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