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Letters, August 30 2013

PUBLISHED: 16:25 29 August 2013 | UPDATED: 16:25 29 August 2013

Shame on you for comments

I was disgusted with Mike Rawlinson’s letter in The Mercury last week entitled “Was slimmer the best story?”

I’m assuming by reading his comments he has never faced any challenges or overcome any hurdles in his life. Mr Button did not choose to stop eating for a while and promote a slimming club, he chose to make a lifestyle change for medical reasons and to take the strain off the NHS.

Technically the back pages are for sports articles, maybe the Mercury should have shoved Mr Button on the back page or not have him in the Mercury at all!

If Mr Button can help just one person that’s all it takes to start a chain reaction to help many others on their way too. Or are you happy Mike Rawlinson to be paying your taxes for overweight people who are bedridden in NHS hospitals?

Shame on you for your comments. Well done Mr Button for getting up and doing something positive and inspiring others to make that change too.

SAM WORLEY

email

Cancel stupid parking charges

When is someone on a vast salary going to wake up on the James Paget Hospital car parking issue. People use the car park as a necessity, they don’t go to the hospital for a day out. It is for treatment or to visit someone who is in there.

Perhaps someone will get the message and cancel these stupid charges.

CHARLES PEASE

Caister

Pontins site is indeed a mess

I read with interest the letter by David Singleton, July 26, about the stat of Pontins site in Hemsby. He states the site is run down and on occasion he has seen rats and foxes. I worked there in the early 1970s and the site was kept neat and tidy and immaculate.

I would like to see the site retained as a holiday camp and as other people have said, the site does need tidying up.

Mr P TURNER

St Margaret’s Way,

Fleggburgh

Support museum Trafalgar Ball

Tickets are now on sale for the Nelson Museum’s Trafalgar Ball. It is being held at the Town Hall on Saturday, October 19. We are looking forward to this as it will be our first!

Please come along and support us and enjoy the lovely evening we have planned. For more details please contact me directly on 07767 323483, email krp.nelson@gmail.com or at the Museum.

KERRY ROBINSON PAYNE

Nelson Museum

Permit parking: Response low

I refer to Mr Castle’s letter. He says that 52pc of 22pc of residents have problems parking. That is a low percentage of residents surveyed and a low percentage on which to base this scheme.

There seems to have been no response from 78pc, which is a substantial amount.

The survey itself went to residents and businesses. It seems to assume tourists are using these parking spots. No one seems to have considered the low paid who use the free spaces. Having to use car parks will impose a financial burden and so affect greatly their quality of life.

Surely this is just as stressful as having to park down the road from where you live. Neither does it make comment on the number of cars which householders own. This has a knock on effect.

From I can see residents in the current zones use free spaces instead of residents’ spaces. Just look on St George’s Road on a Sunday for proof.

I think Mr Wainwright’s comments hit the real nail on the head, the scheme pays for services. Unfortunately, some of us are faced with the strain of paying more than others.

That is not fair.

JENNY NEWCOMBE

email

Answer queries about sick leave

Official statistics reveal in 2002, the average sick leave taken by Norfolk Police officers averaged 11.8 days per annum. And according to the EDP, June 6, 2008,”Norfolk police take more sick leave than average” officers were taking an average of 84.5 hours per annum , costing £3.1m a year.

In the Evening News of 13 August 2008 it was announced the then chief constable Ian McPherson was planning to introduce a policy of taking into account the sickness record of all candidates for promotion.

However, Freedom of Information Records readily reveal the Metropolitan Police had already implemented this obvious management tool with great success a full ten years earlier on the 15 June 2008.

One might be forgiven for asking why Norfolk’s Police Authority which purports to hold to account the chief constable with regards to how he spends the budget took so long to cotton on to this idea.

A force of about 1,500 officers costing about £100 a day each to maintain could save presumably about £150,000 per annum by cutting its sick leave by one day.

In 2005 published statistics reveal that Norfolk police were taking at least 10 days per officer per annum sick leave compared to the Metropolitan police’s eight days and the Met were seventh best in a league table of the 43 forces compared with Norfolk’s 35th position.

According to the Evening News of August 12 2008, Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Charlie Hall tells us: “Norfolk Constabulary absence rates from April to July 2013 indicate that 2.78 pc of available police officer time was lost to sickness” and “This has resulted in sickness rates that are among the best they have ever been and placed Norfolk up with the very best performing police forces in the country.”

Amazingly according to the Evening News of October 25 2006, “Norfolk Constabulary has been ranked 33rd in a league table of 43 forces in England and Wales. It’s local policing has also been rated as poor.”

To what does Mr Hall attribute this remarkable turn around? What management tools are now being used which couldn’t have been used years ago?

Where does Norfolk stand in the current league tables.

What is the average sick leave per officer currently?

How is the officer on the street with an excellent attendance record supposed to motivate himself on maintaining this record without being told how he compares with fellow officers?

The cost to the taxpayer caused by the apparent complacent and inexcusable delay by senior management to take remedial action in this area must be massive.

JOHN KENNY

Acle

Fundraiser was in bad taste

What a sad society we must live in when to support a charity established after the tragic murder of a young lady in 2007, her supporters feel the need to dress as zombie flesh-eaters to create respect and understanding for sub-cultures.

Paticularly disturbing was the picture displayed in the Mercury of a young lady holding a fake bloodied severed arm.

Was this display of death and mutilation really the best way to support the charity?

JOHN SALTER

Acle

Probus for all walks of life

Following the letter concerning the Great Yarmouth Probus Club (August 23) in which it is inferred the club was exclusively for professional business men: this is not the case. Our members come from all walks of life, are interested in the activities of their fellow men and the business of the town.

After the regular presentations and over coffee: members enjoy discussing current affairs, hobbies and in many cases recounting tales of their youth – usually in the excellent bars

Regular attendance is not a pre-requisite. I would be glad to welcome any gentleman interested in attending one of our meetings as my guest. Call me on 01493 721261.

We meet on Wednesday mornings at 10am in the Assembly Rooms on Albert Square. Car parking is within the Assembly Rooms forecourt.

RON TUCKER

email

Slimming story right for Page 1

The Mercury editor is to be applauded for running the front page lead article two weeks ago, about a local person who achieved such a magnificent weight loss.

National tabloids are full of depressive news, misrepresenting crime, creating public fears of a crime-wave that does not exist and news far from home of little relevance.

Great therefore, inclusive and person-centred, that the local paper has taken up the cudgel to celebrate a local success and what a successful achievement.

A big inspiration to the rest of us that with effort and not a great deal of time, it can be done. My congratulations to the respectful person.

ROGER HAYES

Beccles Road,

Bradwell

Councillors are active and help

I would like to suggest to Kevin Hubbard (Letters, August 23) that he should get out and about a bit more himself.

If he was to take part in just a few of the many local activities that operate in Yarmouth he would find that our councillors are very active and helpful.

It is good to see our friend Mr Barkhuizen is still with us. As he correctly points out a church is not really a building but a group of people united in a faith of some description.

However I think he has a problem when looking for a church that fits in with his ideas.

DEREK BROWN

Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Soiled nappies left for 6 days

How many more excuses can a council make about its shoddy street cleaning?

I am a resident of St George’s Road and have been in contact with the council about the 
terrible litter down our road especially as it is a throughroad to the seafront and gets more litter than most.

Excuses so far are he doesn’t sweep between cars in case of damage, he doesn’t sweep anymore he is a litter “picker”, or there have been cuts.

Last week there were three soiled nappies left by a car from the Wednesday night fireworks and these were still in the gutter six days later. What do we pay our council tax for Great Yarmouth Borough Council?

PAUL MOYSE

email

We support the parking scheme

During the life of the Zone A resident parking scheme operating, the Great Yarmouth Residents Association has been fully supportive of not only its existence but its continuance. We have also been active in addressing the elements of the scheme that have for too long been acknowledged as not working.

The changes such as dual use (resident/pay & display) and the rationalisation of time limited spaces will all contribute to a more effective scheme and we will continue to adjust the scheme as need dictates.

We have supported the scheme on the basis of its introduction and that is to protect the quality of life of the residential areas within the town centre from 
the effects of parking, in a similar way the parish areas temporarily employ yellow no parking 
bollards to protect residential streets when the hold village fetes etc!

We are now committed to supporting those residents in the areas that have shown a need and support for a new Zone B scheme and will support the financial and operational model of Zone A to use as the basis of its development.

When you strip away the idealistic and political opposition to the scheme you are left in the main with people who, enslaved to their motor car, want to park when they like, where they like and more importantly for free.

Wouldn’t we all like that.

P FITZGERALD

Great Yarmouth Residents Association

Councillors help for campaign

I am replying to a letter from Kevin Hubbard about councillors. Fifteen months ago I started to campaign to get residents’ parking in Nursery Terrace, and the first person I spoke to was Cllr Lee Sutton who advised me to go to our councillor, Mike Castle.

It was the best advice I had. I was advised what meetings to go to and who to contact. Cllr Castle contacted the council himself concerning this campaign so was a great help to me and the scheme has now been given the go ahead.

Also we have had lots of fly tipping issues here but as soon as I contact the department involved at the council within a few days the rubbish has been collected.

I would like to thank Cllr Castle, Cllr Lee Sutton and all council departments who have helped me. If you have a problem, contact your councillor; they are willing to help.

JOSIE FITZGERALD

email

Who is really causing erosion?

For many years I have been on a crusade against aggregate extraction, raving every time an application for a licence to extract millions of tonnes of aggregate was made.

I might have well as bayed at the moon. My ravings should be aimed at the granters of these licences, those who allow these firms to vacuum multi-millions of tonnes of aggregate away from our shoreline. And how many millions of tonnes they are extracting should also be published in the public notices section of the newspapers.

Who is really causing this coastal erosion?

JACK DYE

Gonville Road,

Gorleston

Priest touched many lives

Visions of Chesterton’s Father Brown came flooding into my mind on reading the article about such a respected parish priest as the late Neil Spencer.

Described as a “familiar figure, striding around his village (of Ormesby St Michael) in flowing black robes” – a very brave and unassuming gentleman, he certainly touched irrevocably, the lives of many parishioners with love and good humour. And I dare say, without the need for constant reference to the Bible!

In similar vein it was with real sadness I read of the death of the Rev Margaret Freeman, who also battled the odds to give us all a fine example of Christian love and caring in the face of adversity.

Both will be sorely missed, but both have left behind a legacy that cannot be bought summed up by Margaret’s son “a profound sense of hope for the future, a clear example of what life should be about.”

So with that in mind, and reading again the Letters pages I am tempted to suggest to our friend Mr Barkhuizen that what he is busy seeking, God’s local church amongst the scriptures, he might be better looking around him.

Where “the church” (ie the people) in an imperfect world are trying by their example to live out a practical gospel in their everyday lives, taught by Jesus Christ himself, namely to “love God and our neighbour as ourselves”. That is what the new testament says.

DUSTY MILLER

Links Road,

Gorleston

Seeking photos taken by Barkers

Next year sees Barkers Photographic celebrate 100 years on the east coast. Many people will be familiar with Barkers (also known as Chadwicks) and quite a number will have worked for us at some point over that period. We are putting together a history of the company and we are looking for photographs, both taken by Barkers as well as staff members.

If you can help, please contact victor@barkersphotos.co.uk, call 01493 843399 or pop them into the shop in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston. We will of course return your original.

VICTOR LING

Managing director

Barkers Photographic

Drop park charges to lure shoppers

My family is infuriated and fearful at the proposed parking zones, having lived and worked in Great Yarmouth for generations.

Our once great town is quickly becoming a national laughing stock, when it should be the Jewel of the East. We offer everything from museums, amusements, seaside, broadland, restaurants and much more. We fully agree with Ralph Childs 
to scrap this scheme, going further still to reduce all parking charged to £2 a day, using it as a lure to bring people back for shopping and holidays.

My grandmother lived in Crown Road and although she didn’t drive, the scheme impacted greatly on her quality of life. With only one permit she no longer had coffee mornings for a group of friends, also noticing a marked decline in people popping in to see her.

A question arises: how will people go about small gatherings for birthdays, barbecues etc. Is there a strong case for the human rights court?

Lastly, everyone has already paid road tax allowing their vehicles to be on the road. Another £40 or more per household, even more for business, is crippling for all.

Trevor Wainwright and Mick Castle appear to have modelled themselves on King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Dictating to and taxing their subjects instead of serving the community who elected them!

I am upset and angry I have to divert my energy from my business in tough time to fight the very people who should be supporting me.

MARIE WRIGHT

Wrights Art shop,

Stanley Road, Great Yarmouth

Grave of parents was desecrated

I visited my mother and father’s grave at Gorleston Crematorium on Monday, as this would have been my father’s birthday. When I got to the grave, flowers were out of the pot and strewn over the grave and grass. Then I noticed the ground had been disturbed and some of the primroses had gone.

It was not the birds or the wind, if had to be somebody despicable enough to rob and desecrate yet another grave. I tidied as best as I could through tears and called my two sisters who came over asap, and like me they were livid and very upset. We made good the grave and agreed we would not be putting anymore plants around it for these light-fingered people to steal again. They are low life scum.

BRENDA WILKINSON

Address withheld

Congregations had no leader

Mr Barkhuizen is absolutely right. The early Christian congregations had no clergy, so saints, their meeting places were in private homes, their life was described in God’s word as the way and their claim was that they were no part of the world just as Jesus was no part of the world, because as God’s states, “The whole world lies in the power of the wicked one”, including Christendom.

However, there is a worldwide Christian brotherhood who in spite of their imperfections model their way of life on the life of their master Jesus Christ and their meetings are totally based on the example of the early Christian congregation and the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. They have no paid clergy. The work they do is entirely voluntary.

They preach the Kingdom good news in 236 lands in 30 of which the work is banned and they are imprisoned. They conduct 8,490,746 Bible studies with people of other religions, in their homes without charge.

I used to go to church but was told by a clergyman during the way that it was my duty to kill Germans and the more I killed the better Christian I would be. Another clergyman said: “You can’t believe everything Christ said, he was only a stage in the evolution of man.”

PHILIP KNIGHT

Wherry Way,

Great Yarmouth

Forgotten area not been cleaned

Inside the Town Hall is clean and fresh, outside the masses of flowers have been lovely. But what a shame the rest of the town is not of the same standard.

Our area is totally forgotten, with high weeds, smelly and sinking drains - one with a hole beside the sewerage cover, and the road has not been swept for over 14 months. Three councillors have been to this area in the last three weeks but none seems bothered by it.

Apart from the refuse collectors, who do a good job, what are we paying all this council tax for?

M TEASDALE

Market Road Place,

Great Yarmouth

Speeding up the shutdown of town

I don’t know if our present council actually wants to speed up the shutdown of shops in Great Yarmouth but parking permits for all areas east of the river will drive more local people to use supermarkets and out of town commercial retail parks as they provide free parking.

The planned Sainsburys superstore in Gorleston will keep even more Gorleston, Bradwell and Burgh Castle residents out of Yarmouth.

If the council were to ask residents west of the river why they didn’t use Yarmouth shops unless they had to, the answer would invariably be they detest paying parking charges in the areas they already pay rates.

There has been a lot of bad press for councils nationwide who are making huge amounts from parking charges and fines and I wouldn’t think the local Labour Party would like to make themselves unpopular over a subject like parking.

Let us hope the council will not waste a massive amount of cash holding an opinion survey on this subject as this seems to be a regular way in which all councils spend the ratepayers money.

MICHAEL SMITH

email

Village footbridge bid a daft idea

Your August 23 article “Bid to calm concern over new footbridge” is really a story of a community being destroyed, to provide another community with something they haven’t actually asked for.

Cllr Bernard Williamson is trying to force something through to benefit his ward. There is no other believable excuse for this daft idea being rushed though when half the council and residents affected are away on holiday, including Cllr Williamson!

Visit the site of the proposed bridge and you’ll see ‘Danger Deep Water’ signs just feet away. Our council are actively encouraging young kids to disappear, out of sight from everyone, and play near a potential hazard! Kids won’t just mooch across to the play area, ignoring the dyke – kids will always be kids, and they are going to be attracted to the dyke under this bridge like moths to a candle.

Why isn’t the dyke fenced off? It is! Cllr Williamson laments the “bits of boarding and chairs used as a crossing by the children” in the article, and there are pallets in the photographs (where do kids get pallets from? And how do they lift all those things on their own?). He forgets to mention the fence to protect kids from the dyke has been destroyed.

Dumping that stuff in the dyke would lead to prosecutions for fly-tipping anywhere else. Or even vandalism.

Nobody wants kids playing anywhere near deep water. The council’s duty of care to the public that Cllr Williamson mentions should prevent access to danger, not encourage it.

Cllr Williamson pleads the field behind Blake Drive is “the only suitable open space within walking distance of Castle Green”, ignoring an empty car park that’s actually on Castle Green – a perfect spot where kids can play within sight of their homes.

The council has dismissed it because it will cost too much money and because there’s a small pump for the dyke a few yards away which they perceive as a hazard – far more of a hazard than the deep water they want to bridge, presumably.

And that’s without mentioning the security issues, the rare wildlife, or the inherent dangers of such an isolated play area. So much for “no evidence” Cllr Williamson!

DANNY DART

Blake Drive,

Bradwell

Road changes are indeed wrong

Steve Ellis was spot on in his condemnation of the changes to the road markings and signs at the southbound end of the dual carriageway.

Not only does the need for 80-90pc of the traffic to squeeze into the right hand lane only for it to open into three lanes (2 for A12, 1 for local traffic exiting left) in the last few yards, but the signs are quite late so that as often as not, everyone is trying to squeeze into the lane in the last 300 yards or so.

Apart from the occasional person hogging the right lane all the way from Yarmouth (usually above the speed limit rather than below it!) it surely must be obvious to the authorities that this layout is problematic?

The previous layout with two lanes continuing to the roundabout where a third lane split off to the left for the last couple of hundred yards seemed an awful lot more logical as well as being safer.

Come to think of it, why it this stretch of road, which only has one filter exit on one side and one filter entry on the other, and a solid central barrier for its entire length have a 50mph speed limit instead of 60?

PETE BISS

Hopton

Well done to East Coast Truckers

Once again well done to the East Coast Truckers and everyone else involved in making a wonderful day out for all those children. The smiles on their faces is second to none.

I have supported them every year come rain or shine and this year the weather was good. I admire all the people who gave up their bank holiday to make this day possible.

C A BALLS

Bradwell

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