Letters, June 17 2016
PUBLISHED: 21:45 16 June 2016 | UPDATED: 21:45 16 June 2016
Tree would be a lasting memorial
I have just read this week’s Mercury and see more balloons were released to remember a friend who died. How lovely that there are so many kind people who want to show their love and remember those who are no longer with us. But, please, is there not a more enviromentally way of doing so?
These balloons, not only look unsightly when dangling off trees, fences etc, but cause damage and death to animals, birds, sealife, both wild and domesticated. I think they should be banned along with the Chinese lanterns. Surely a more long lasting memorial could be made such as planting a tree to enhance our country, not destroy it.
Sticking to guns has paid off
The gabion sea defences for Scratby - from California cliffs to Newport - are now complete, many thanks to Scratby Coastal Erosion Group (SCEG) for sticking to their guns for the last 11 years to see the fulfillment of this project.
When this group was formed their two objectives were to revise the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP3b at that time, later renamed SMP6) policy for Scratby section from No Active Intervention (NAI) which did not allow any defences to be installed or measures taken to prevent coastal erosion, to Managed Realignment which did, and to extend the California Cliffs rock berm sea defences to Newport.
We got the SMP policy change for Scratby section; we did not get the rock berm extension we got the gabions instead, but one and three quarters of two original objectives is good work, and if my many letters to our previous MP Tony Wright, current MP Brandon Lewis and the Environment Agency helped I am pleased. Though the gabions will not provide a frontline sea defence as tough as Norwegian rocks they should control erosion of the dunes and cliffs giving the Scratby coastal residents piece of mind for many years.
Too many half truths and lies
Last Post for the EU. When Cameron announced last year he was off to negotiate new terms his main aims were: 1 Curb free movement across Europe, 2 Stop sending migrant’s child benefits abroad, 3 Stop the scandal of spending £100m a year for moving the EU from Brussels to Strasburg every month, 4 Overhauling the huge CAP budget which French farmers are allocated 80pc of, no surprise that many with large gardens register as farmers.
He returned with none of the above but proclaimed victory, too many half truths and lies from the Remain camp, it has to be Leave.
Trade will have to be renegotiated
My letter last week, questioning the legality of former local politicians manning the Leave bench was a little badly phrased, but the rest is legally and factually accurate.
So is this, while I have the space: Brexit will mean the UK will have to renegotiate all the 80+ trade agreements that the EU has with the rest of the world. We will be doing this during the bitter EU negotiations. While doing all of this, we will also be renegotiating our place in the world economy with all 160+ members of the WTO. In total, this means about 200 simultaneous and separate trade agreements being made by the UK just to get back to where we are now.
An obvious question: How many qualified trade negotiators do we have to do all of the above? The answer: About 35. Vote In!
It’s time to make your vote count
This Mercury letters page is the last before the Referendum, so make your vote count! Germany, under the aegis of the EU, is now pursuing a policy of assertive economic nationalism! The power duo of Merkel and Juncker are more than keen for the EU to dictate to member states. We did not fight two world wars to be governed by our twice time foe!
Wolfgang Schauble, Germany finance minister, is threatening Britain would be shut out on the Single Market if the UK does not toe their line.
A little over 40 years ago, ex Labour leader Kinnock was a leading figure in a campaign for Britain to leave the EEU. It is a very different story now; we can take what he, and all Tory and Labour MEPs and unelected bureaucrats, say with a pinch of salt.
Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock of Bedwellty, his wife Lady Kinnock of Holyhead and son Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP for Aberavon, have all been busy banging the drum for Remain. He and his family have existed in a public sector bubble, notably in relation to the EU. At the same time we hear secret plans are already in place to extend our open door policy to enable 1.5 million Turks free entry.
The whole case for the Remain group is based on threats, scaremongering and a multitude of untruths. Vote Leave on June 23.
JOHN L COOPER
White Swan is less visible
Last year, I visited Gorleston for the first time since moving away in the 1960s. Something that I noticed was that not only was the White Swan less visible than it had been 50 years ago, but I thought that it had drifted further south.
Does anyone have a photograph of the ship from that time, showing its location, as a trawl of the internet hasn’t helped at all in confirming or denying whether my memory is correct?
The nonsense from both sides
I am getting sick and tired listening to all the nonsense being spoken by both sides of the campaign - lies, damn lies and statistics.
I voted in the 1975 Referendum before David Cameron and Brandon Lewis were old enough to vote. I made my decision then and I have seen nothing in the last 40-odd years to make me change my mind.
I voted No because I was suspicious of the potential hidden agendas. Before Great Britain was accepted, French President Charles de Gaulle continually said Non. When he was sidelined, the countries, nine at the time, said Yes. Very suspicious. One of the terms and conditions was that we should “stop” trading with the Commonwealth countries. Very suspicious.
In 1463 George Podiebrad, King of Bohemia proposed to Louis XI, King of France for a plan to have a European Federation, creating political assembly, a Court of Justice, a combined army and a federal budget. It failed then and it will fail now.
I shall vote to leave the EU, not because of anything the various politicians and so-called experts have to say about trade, jobs, immigration or economy. I shall vote to leave because I’m sick and tired of the nameless and faceless bureaucrats in Brussels telling me how to live my life. Come to think of it this also goes for those in Whitehall as well.
However, I have the feeling the Remain campaign will win because of the “don’t knows” who keep asking for facts. There aren’t any facts - it is all guesswork and pie in the sky. The “don’t knows” will either vote Remain because they are happy in their little pile - or they will abstain because they are afraid to stand up on their two feet.
Thanks for our event support
I would like to thank everyone who came to support a fantastic event that took place at Woodlands primary academy on Friday, June 10 for the Queen’s 90th birthday and also Woodlands 40th anniversary. A special thank you to all the local businesses which helped to make this event a great success for the whole community.
Woodlands PFA Chair
Confused. In. Out. Who to believe?
Confused at being bombarded with wildly conflicting statistics and predictions from politicians? Even from within the same party! Who to believe? Better in or out? Who knows? Least of all those who bombard us with statistics and predictions.
The Prime Minister tells us of all the wonderful things which will happen to us if we stay in the EU. More jobs, better for trade and industry etc. If all these great things can happen, why haven’t they happened in the many years we have been in the EU up to now?
No mention of how much it costs us to prop up the Euro for countries with weak economies even though we don’t use it. Before the Common Market was forced upon us countries had different currencies and if that country did poorly it devalued its currency until it reached a level which could be sustained. Your country did well by everyone working hard and accepting a realistic wage. If you didn’t do that then your standard of living suffered.
We have been told leaving would result in difficulties with apprehending criminals across borders. Interpol existed and worked well long before the EU! With all the questionable statements by the PM and his supporters why, I wonder, are they pushing this?
Trade. Most of the consumer goods and technology comes to us on huge container ships direct from the Far East. It doesn’t have to travel through Europe so could not have punishing trade tariffs levied. Maybe we could give more support to our own industries.
Growers of fruit and vegetables tell us that, without foreign workers, their crops would rot in the fields and would cost us a lot more. Temporary visas could be issued. These things might cost us individually a little bit more but isn’t that a price we should be prepared to pay for our own independence?
Even if, and a big if, some of the PM’s wonderful predictions were to come true and thousands of new jobs were to be created, millions of immigrants would be able to come to Britain from the very poorest countries unchecked, as a right. We live on a very small island and such immigration would be unsustainable. I am definitely not a racist. Anyone from whatever country they originate who is legally here is very welcome. I have no political allegiances. My thinking at this time is I am going to vote Leave.
Please consider all the “facts” and, whichever way you think, do vote. If you don’t vote don’t complain about the outcome in the future!
Caister on sea
Praise for the emergency staff
I was recently admitted to the James Paget Hospital. I would like to praise all those involved, from the paramedics to the staff in A&E, observation and assessment wards. Their hard work, dedication and cheerfulness is a credit to all.
Consultation? The surgery will close
Is the fight to save the Greyfriars Walk-in surgery a waste of time and energy? I have lived long enough to have met this form of consultation and decision-making by powerful governmental bodies several times before.
I regret its closure having needed it on two occasions when we had family with us for a weekend and a grandchild was unwell: A&E would have been a most inappropriate place to go just to get a prescription for what his mother already knew was required. When we hear people needing appointments at local surgeries are so often told there are no longer any appointments available for today, phone in again tomorrow; why have they not been redirected to the walk-in-surgery?
However, we are told the surgery “will” close at the end of September, the contract is already cancelled, and that the decision was made at a higher level before any consultation, involvement of our MP, or petitioning could begin. What a way to treat the public.
We are cause of extreme weather
Around March 2014, I mentioned the unsettled weather were getting. It was, I thought, due to solar activity. Now I am convinced this is so.
With Australia suffering what they referred to as an extreme weather event it confirmed my supposition – the sun is getting hotter.
After millions of years of the Sun doing its own thing, man entered into space, depositing his debris under the Sun’s orbital control. Now the Sun’s solar action is being fuelled by this space debris so getting hotter and hotter and causing electrical upset on our planet. This situation is not going to change because of the fuel we are stoking the fire with.
Let’s see more of Jimmy Tarbuck
On Sunday, June 5, I went to the Gorleston Pavilion to see Jimmy Tarbuck appearing there. This was a rare chance to see a comedian of his calibre and he had lots of stories on his life, innuendo, jokes and situations with brilliant punchlines which the packed audience thoroughly enjoyed. A refreshing part of this show was no foul language, just pure humour. He also introduced one of his old mates, Kenny Lynch (brilliant banter) and both were sharply dressed in suits/ties. A great show and hopefully he will return in the near future.
Cameron fighting for his career
Please don’t listen to Cameron on the EU because he is fighting for his political career. The facts are we give the EU every year £20bn. £10bn comes back but we can only spend it on whatever the EU decides and it still costs us £10bn every year to be in the EU. It’s money down the drain and it is money we need so much and could do so much with. Also, as long as we remain in we will never be able to control immigration.
Finally we should think about the burning question: if we were now voting to join the EU in the state it is now, with no growth, some countries with over 50pc unemployment etc, would we? Of course we would not.
P J MANTRIPP
Albania is one to worry about
Your correspondent who thought membership of Turkey in the EU was unlikely in the short term is correct but what does he think about free visa travel for several million Turks. This, however, is not my concern. It is the distinct possibility of the membership of Albania, one of the smallest countries in Europe but with probably the highest crime rate of any other country. It has Mafia-type gangs freely trading in drugs and weapons and a large sex exploitation industry using young females and children. It is a very poor country and bodies come cheap.
Should they become EU state members we could see criminals arriving in the UK to add to those we cannot deport due to laws and rules laid down by those faceless and nameless people who run the Court of Humans Rights - something like 3,000 at the last count, but not including those still serving time.
I am 83 years old and if the vote goes to stay in the EU I shall probably not be affected but shall be gravely concerned for the future of my children and grandchildren.
Let us vote out and regain our sovereignty, our Houses of Parliament, our economy, our Bill of Human Rights, and which by the way was in David Cameron’s manifesto at the last general election but which seems to have fallen by the wayside. Most importantly let us regain control of our own borders.
Hope more assets not given away
It was good to read in the Mercury that the public have been invited to have some input into the future of the Waterways. May we hope this will ensure the council will not be able to give away more of the borough’s assets and cut a canal to the sea, and build another harbour which is unfit for purpose causing erosion along the coast.
They would then slap an embargo on the whole fiasco to ensure they cannot be held to account. Sound familiar?
Seriously, I do have grave concerns regarding the waste of public funds on a large scale which we see reported on too many occasions. I have no political affiliations and would point out that a variety of authorities and departments are responsible for these and I may have been misinformed or misled in some cases.
However they are only a small sample of what is worrying me and possibly someone can provide a few answers. Here are a few examples:
1 Remember the parks and gardens fiasco which we were told cost us about a million pounds? 2 The Winter Garden, a fine listed building which survived near misses in the wartime bombing of the town, will cost an enormous amount mainly because it did not receive annual repairs and maintenance. 3 Giant TV screens which just didn’t function. Did nobody consider a guarantee when they were purchased? 4 Recently the walk-in clinic. Did someone say £8m? 5 The Blackfriars Road Tower which was refurbished as a tourist apartment but has never been occupied. 6 1st East was supposed to rejuvenate large areas of the borough and after a few years its only achievement was to ruin the proposals for a first class marina with financial backing which would have brought trade and employment. 7 Speaking of the council, before I add him to this list can anyone tell me what the last CEO did for us to justify a salary 100pc over our own council cap?
I wager that many of your readers can add to this list.
Let’s start to clean up our streets
I support your correspondent Kevin Hubbard re the lack of cleaning in the Palgrave Road area and ask why certain roads get cleaned everyday while others are ignored? Surely in some cases every other day would suffice and, were this to be so, labour and machinery would be freed up to clean the areas that are currently neglected. Certainly the Market Place and shopping district deserve a daily clean, but Marine Parade every day, even out of season?
When I was a child and learning to wash myself I was constantly reminded by Mum, “Don’t forget your neck and behind your ears”. This would seem to be a maxim the authorities should bear in mind.
This isn’t to say the responsibility for the appearance of an area lies solely with the council. Palgrave Road, once a road of fine terraced properties which had a small courtyard and adequate rear yard, was described when built as The Garden Estate.
It has however suffered the onslaught of DIY with perfectly good brickwork and fine terracotta fascias being attacked by the paintbrush. Further, many able-bodied persons have dumped their unsightly rubbish bins to the front of their houses and allowed weeds to take over when a few minutes with a weedkiller would improve their perimeters.
Finally, the policy of “right to buy” and the lack of council houses has seen the rise of buy to rent landlords, some unscrupulous, who care not for the locality and ever less for their tenants.
Some areas of Great Yarmouth have become bed-sit land and I fear Palgrave Road may join them.
Name and Address withheld
Crossing needs to be buttoned
For a very long time I have been contacting the local authority about making the pedestrian crossing at the south end of Gorleston’s High Street into one which would be controlled by electronic buttons operated by pedestrians using it.
One has only got to spend a little time watching the pedestrians crossing the road on the existing one. You will see when traffic is heavy it has to stop many times for a second or two to allow just one person to cross. The minute they have crossed and a vehicle or two has moved, then another person is using the crossing and the traffic stops again. Consequently the traffic never flows for even a short time.
If there were pedestrian crossing lights, they could be timed to allow the traffic to flow for at least a minute.
I am sure the engineers who carry out checks of the traffic flow conditions in the High Street are aware of this, but I believe very often they work on the premise that whilst the traffic flow is very slow, there are very few accidents.
The traffic controls at the nearby library junction are controlled by such a method, and pedestrians obey them.
I would imagine there would be certain regulations that have to be considered and applied before any such change was made, but I think it would certainly help in the difficult conditions that exist at present.
I will be voting to Remain in the EU
There has been a great number of letters recently in the Mercury in favour of Brexit - time for the counter-narrative! I voted in the 1975 referendum to join the EEC.
I will be voting again on June 23 to Remain part of the European Union. It is encouraging so many young and first-time voters have registered to vote in this historic referendum.
The main enemy to democracy is apathy - people not bothering to vote or examining the arguments for and against but they are also often the same people that complain the most vociferously afterwards.
A vote for Brexit will hurt you because as predicted by many experts the economy will shrink, investment will dry up, the market will contract and we will end up in a worse off position than we are now. The EU funding for the farming community, universities, sciences, research etc will not be as generous if we withdraw.
There is no ready made alternative to the single market and so leaving would make us much much poorer. New trade agreements would take years to negotiate.
Boris Johnson/Michael Gove, when confronted with the facts and expertise, tell us they do not matter and call it fear-mongering!
The cost of EU membership is often quoted at approx £350m a week but that doesn’t take into account the UK’s rebate, what we get back in subsidies, trade etc and if you look on the back of your tax code letter this is a very small price to pay in comparison to total government spending. Security will also be compromised as we no longer have to European Arrest Warrant in place.
Many people have legitimate concerns about the level of immigration - but have you considered the impact on the UK if the nearly two million British citizens who choose to live abroad in Europe, decide to repatriate themselves over concerns of reciprocal health arrangements etc.
Finally, a vote to leave will not only wreck the economy but will cause a political crisis not seen since before the last world war. Vote In and demand more of what there is rather than vote out and expect more of what there won’t be!
Interesting read about Kenny
I was very interested in the accolade to Kenny Chittleburgh sent in by Mr Balls. My late husband Leslie Barker was a close friend of his and together, just before the war, would often go to London in an old Austin 7 and spend the night sleeping in Hyde Park - not allowed today, probably not then. Over 20 years ago we were in Holland and visited the cemetery where he was buried. We were both very impressed with the book of remembrance which told one exactly which row and number was his grave also a little resume of him being at Great Yarmouth Grammar School and swimming for Norfolk.
Only last year my grandson was in Arnhem and, knowing about his grandfather’s friend, went to visit the grave.
JOAN B BARKER
The NHS has only finite resources
Well, lots of indifferent letters in the Mercury Opinion pages so I thought a little bit of good news was appropriate.
For myself, it was a terrible end for 2015 and the start of 2016 continued in similar vein. I wish to congratulate the various departments of the James Paget Hospital and other agencies that helped me through that dark period.
It would not be fair to pick out individuals but the following agencies that helped: Sandra Chapman Centre, Ward 17, palliative care team, Macmillan Nurses, Great Yarmouth Council and Norfolk County Council with their carers.
I only mention these agencies in case people that have acute or chronic conditions are worried over not receiving the necessary care. Well, I realise this society of late tends to be of a “Me, Me” kind but the NHS has only a finite source to depend on.
I have a forlorn hope that the politicians of different colours will form a concensus to overcome the many problems facing the NHS.
I asked: British or European?
Perhaps I am less intelligent than most but I have read so much about the benefits of the UK either staying in or leaving the EU that I have become completely baffled. The disadvantages of both courses have been paraded, many supported by well-known bodies such as the IMF, Bank of England and so on which has confused me even more.
On reflection, these authorities and bodies have got so many things wrong in the past through using models and forecasts based on assumptions which fit in with their own wishes. Rarely have they been honest in what is not simply a black or a white analysis.
Therefore, I have taken a simple way out. I asked myself the question am I British or European. I concluded that I am proud to be British. Then on TV at the weekend I saw the magnificent and colourful Trooping the Colour one day followed by the Patrons party the next. The former showed the pageantry and the latter the love and fun the British can give.
To me together they highlighted some extremes of aspects of Britishness.
I have been fortunate to visit over 50 countries on assignments (rarely European ones) and found so much friendship and affection in these non-European places for the UK.
Knowing about British drive, vitality, energy and tenacity and the skills to innovate our country bubbles with, I have confidence the UK would go forward with great enthusiasm into the future under its own steam – so I have voted to Leave.
M G HARVEY
Buses parking on a slight bend
There’s an accident waiting to happen: First buses which used to go down Newport Road are now sitting on the main road at Martham for up to 30 minutes at a time.
This is happening every hour throughout the day. This time of the year with holidaymakers and emergency vehicles flying through Martham it is an accident waiting to happen. I can stand at my kitchen window and cringe when there are horns blowing and screeching of brakes. Due to the amount of traffic that uses the main road this should never be allowed to happen - they are parked on a slight blind bend as well.
The bus stop in the village has a lay-by so why can’t the buses sit there in safety and not put people’s lives at risk?
LIZ CARPENTER Email Apologies for omitting several letters which arrived after these columns had been filled