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Letters, June 8, 2012

PUBLISHED: 16:45 07 June 2012

Why was there no investigation?

FROM the report in the Mercury on dredging in and around the Outer Harbour we are led to believe that Mr John Cooper was a bit naive in his assumption that a dredger came all the way from the continent to do what one expects dredgers to do and then illegally dump the spoil off the coast.

I recall watching from near the Wellington Pier the comings and goings of the vessel about a mile offshore in, I think, January and June 2010 and I am convinced that it was merely running fishing trips for the crew’s supper. If my memory is correct it was escorted by a squadron of flying piglets!

On a more serious note, if the MMO were indeed notified of this operation as early as 2007 the public are entitled to demand an explanation why no investigation was initiated and action taken?

NICK POWNALL

email

Stub out smoke at James Paget

RE “Fuming reaction” in last week’s Mercury, I have always been a strong advocate on a total ban on smoking in public places especially the James Paget Hospital, the ban there seems to be totally ignored by the majority in pursuing this disgusting and anti social practice.

The last complaint I made about it in late March was a written letter to the chief executive who replied a short while later stating that planning permission was being sort to provide three smoking shelters.

I had hoped sanity would prevail and that permission to build three such shelters in a “no smoking site” would be denied.

I predict that within a short period of time these havens will be totally ignored and smoking will be prevalent across the whole of the site, as these havens seems to send the message out it is acceptable to smoke here, and the site will be littered with cigarette packets, filters and spittle from some whom a good cough to clear their airways after their enjoyment of a cigarette can bring them.

The public whom travel by aircraft, indeed any mode of public transport, who use restaurants, cafes ,pubs and clubs have a ban on smoking which is widely respected and adhered to, why not the JPH? Will they now change the signs that state “This is a no smoking site”, to a sign which reads: “This is a partly no smoking site” to appease the minority in their habit? Or will the management show any signs of a backbone and uphold a total ban!

PETER McKINNA

Alderson Road

Great Yarmouth

Do we have high killings rate?

A MAN much older and wiser than I has told me that, per head of population, the borough of Great Yarmouth has the highest rate of unlawful killings (murder and manslaughter) of anywhere in the country!

Is there any way of verifying this would you know? May I ask readers’ thoughts on this statement and is there any way I could collate the number of deaths fulfilling this criteria to prove or disprove his statement?

GREG PLATFORD

email

Gorleston steps need looking at

IN light of the recent collapse of the wall at the White Lion steps in Gorleston, I wonder if the relevant authorities have considered the situation at the steps further down the road opposite the old Piccolo restaurant?

The retaining wall is visibly leaning from the perpendicular towards the steps, with the brickwork returns at the Cliff Hill end and the Beach Road end no longer offering any retention properties due to being cracked. These steps are a much used means of access between Cliff Hill and Beach Road and without some preventive action this is an accident waiting to happen.

MIKE HANCOCKS

North Road

Gorleston

Welcome news over caravan tax

AS your readers may be aware, the government has, this week, announced its decision against a 20pc VAT levy on static holiday caravans, as originally announced in the last Budget. Instead, the tax will now be applied at 5pc, and its introduction delayed until April next year.

In coming to this decision, the government listened to the representations of MPs who expressed concern at how increasing the cost of static caravans would impact on jobs and our economy here in the Great Yarmouth area.

I would like to put on record our gratitude to Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, who took a close interest in this matter, and who supported our holiday park, our customers, our staff and all those whose livelihoods rely on our business. We thank Brandon Lewis for his unwavering support of the Somerleyton Estate and also on behalf of all the holiday parks in our borough.

I see this as evidence both of grass-roots democracy at work, and of a government listening and responding to the concerns of MPs’ constituents.

LORD SOMERLEYTON

Court award call scam warning

I WAS contacted by someone today pretending to be from the county courts in London. They told me I had been awarded a large amount of money but to get this I would first have to give them £200.

They were very plausible and seemed local so I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem. In any case I would warn anyone against these phone calls because they do sound very genuine.

BARBARA HAY

email

Justify giving £30,000 to club

NOW that the “back slapping” and “self adoration” of a few weeks ago are over, I feel a question must be asked. Where is the justification in awarding £30,000 to promote “awareness to underage drinking” to a youth club where it has actively encouraged drinking on its premises with underage persons in attendance?

This is the only youth club in the borough where I have seen such facilities being run. Consequently I find the award contradictory and hypocritical to the ethos pontificated by Mr Pickles and Baroness “whatshername?”, both of who made the award.

Secondly, how is this money to be utilised to this end? Is there a master plan that we can follow or is it purely to assist in buying equipment.

If so, many other youth clubs will, and at the moment, do feel very vexed at such a large amount of charity/public money being give to one club.

For example £100,000 is regarded as a large amount of money to be given to regenerate 12 deprived towns across the country, and they are giving £30000 to a club! How crass is that in comparison?

I would like to think that their “drinking club” has been closed and they have adopted a more exemplary and responsible attitude to drink as followed by other youth clubs and not “drinking while on duty”.

Name and Address withheld

Union Flag not

flying correctly

THANKS to Peggotty for the picture of Palmers decorated for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

I found it interest particularly as the Union Flag shown in the top left corner of the picture is being flown upside down.

I am not sure about the other two as the picture is not clear enough. There is also a flag on display in Southtown Road which is not upside down as it is horizontal but is the wrong way round.

I have seen boats in the river flying the Union Flag upside down from time to time.

DEREK BROWN

Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Superb time at Gorleston theatre

SUNDAY morning, cold, grey, wet, miserable. Macs and umbrellas accompanied us to Gorleston Bandstand for a quick peep to see what was going on. Balloons outside the Pavilion welcomed us to a different venue and our brief visit turned into several hours. What a superb time we had.

Great music by a variety of artists, masses of free food enthusiastically given away by the young people of Cliff Park Youth in Action, a party atmosphere provided by the Rotary Clubs of Gorleston and Yarmouth and a warm, dry venue courtesy of the boys of the Pavilion.

The community in action. If you didn’t venture out because of the rain then you missed a real treat.

JACKIE COLE

Heather Road

Belton

Thanks to Rotary for Jubilee fun

THROUGH this newspaper, Gorleston on Sea Heritage (GOSH). wish to thank Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Rotary Clubs for inviting them to display photos of old Gorleston in the marquee at the Jubilee picnic near Gorleston bandstand. Because of the rain the event was held at the Pavilion Theatre.

Our thanks to Kevin and Stuart for allowing us to display our photos in the foyer of the theatre. It was a wonderful day. Pupils of Cliff Park School provided and handed round refreshments to everybody. A programme of musical entertainment had been arranged for the day. It was a joy to see so many people of all ages having such a good time; a very fitting tribute to Her Majesty.

Mrs BERYL THOMPSON

Chairman GOSH

We are so proud to be British

I KNOW that usually letters sent to the Mercury are about this area, but wherever you are throughout the country, please tell me that over the last few days you are not proud to be British.

More so after seeing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, standing throughout the trip on the Royal Barge along the River Thames.

It was a shame the weather spoilt the Sunday street parties and picnics arranged, but it didn’t dampen the thousands of people lining the banks of the River Thames to cheer Her Majesty, or participate in the Armada, the like that has never been seen before along London’s River Thames.

The various shows on TV, the Queen’s horses and the concert in The Mall, plus the insight of Her Majesty from her children and grandchildren; plus a big thank you for the various Royal families’ photos and films.

Me, my chest stuck out with British pride, and yes, a few tears. This weekend showed why we are called Great Britain.

DAVID BROWN

Yallop Avenue,

Gorleston

Letters missed

WE miss reading Mr Barkhuizen’s letters. Please could you put him in again?

Mrs MARGARET KNOWLES

Portland Court,

Southtown

Help find keys

A SET of three keys on a ring with the initial L have been lost, possibly in Wilkinson’s car park, Gorleston on Wednesday, May 30 or in Great Yarmouth. If found, please ring 0790 8845487.

Politicians must engage young

IN response to Mr Pilkington’s letter about low turnout from the young in recent elections, I believe this is down to a failure from the old parties to engage young people.

This year I stood as a UKIP candidate at the age of 22 and we also had two 19 year olds and a 24 year old among our 13 candidates. No other party in Great Yarmouth had such fantastic youth representation.

Our educational establishments must do more to engage their students in politics and in an unbiased manner too. Perhaps local schools and colleges should invite local representatives from the main parties in the town so they may engage young people?

ALEX MONK

Email

We will continue to fight elections

MR Wright’s letter from last week is quite right; UKIP will need to be active all year round, not just at election time, to build upon success in Great Yarmouth after winning over 22pc of the vote.

Mr Wright is also correct by saying there is more to being a councillor than attending meetings and pontificating.

UKIP will continue to campaign, now and throughout the year to prove that by electing a UKIP councillor you will be electing a local champion who will do more than just turn up at a handful of meetings, but someone who will be proactive and engage and listen to the electorate.

We will scrutinise every penny spent at the council, after all it is your money. Indeed our rise in the recent elections is down to campaigning hard and a positive response to such messages.

There is still a lot more hard work ahead but UKIP is here to stay in Great Yarmouth and we will break the tired Labour and Conservative establishment in the town.

MATTHEW SMITH

UKIP Organiser

Great Yarmouth

MP must fight for local economy

GOOD to see Brandon Lewis MP writing in the Mercury last week. We need to see how good he is at representing the people of Great Yarmouth. He costs us £14k and a salary of £65k so needs to be good - probably three time the average local salary so well in touch with ordinary folk!

Unfortunately, I see he is into spin like many MPs. He says the Government has listened on the caravan tax but the Budget was a mess. With the salaries that MPs and advisers are paid they should anticipate issues beforehand and not need to backtrack.

The Government needs to get back to basics - repairing the economy and job creation (including replacing public sector job losses). We need more provision for the young and indeed older workers. This would be partly paid for from benefit savings and from work preparation courses when most people just want to work.

Is the time and energy being spent on NHS reforms, police commissioners and now Lords reform a good use of public money and the time of MPs and officials meant to be delivering services? What we want is a strong fully staffed police crime busting and NHS treatment when needed. According to the Register of MP Interests, Mr Lewis, has private medicine paid for by his company directorship so he may be less bothered about the NHS on which most of us depend. He also has an excellent public sector pension and severance pay scheme ready for after the election in 2015 and a part time job that pays £400 per hour. Not many of those in Great Yarmouth!

The Government, supported by our MP, has upset the NHS workers, the police and many public sector workers and many grannies with the granny tax. Potential university students have been upset by the increase in university fees and changes to student loans. (I favour a graduate tax).

The tax treatment of the rich may also not gather much local support in our low local pay economy and shortage of generous millionaires stimulating our local economy. Mr Lewis even found out, in a Commons question that there are 2 to 3m workers paying income tax on earning under £10k.

The last Government shouted education, education, education. Our MP should be shouting for and seeking funding for our local economy, local economy, local economy.

CHRIS WRIGHT

Victoria Street,

Caister

Contingency plan worked a treat!

THE Jubilee Picnic organised by the town’s three Rotary Clubs was a fantastic success despite the awful weather. Our contingency plan to switch to the Pavilion Theatre worked superbly. The bands all performed as intended, and it is estimated that nearly 1,000 people attended at some time through the day. There are many people who deserve our thanks for sponsoring the event, and they will each receive that from our three presidents. However, there are four people that we would like to mention especially who made a major contribution to this great celebration of the Queen’s amazing sixty year reign.

Firstly, the expert design of our posters and banners was done for us by TMS Media and we must thank Steve Scott for his generosity – it was key to spreading the message to our community.

Secondly, many will have seen the quality of the banners and posters around the town – so attractive – and we must thank Ian McCready of SPP Digital for his generosity in printing them to such a high standard and making them so eye catching.

And thirdly, the hospitality given our 1,000 visitors in the warm and dry Pavilion Theatre by Kevin and Stuart, the proprietors, was amazing. We can never thank them enough for allowing the four bands and Guitar George to entertain us for seven hours. It will be remembered by many for years to come.

Our politicians preach ‘The Big Society’. We can tell them with certainty, that it has always been, and will continue to be practiced in Gorleston.

PHILIP GUNN

On behalf of the three Rotary Clubs

Are aggregates cause of erosion

AFTER many years extracting aggregate, amounting to millions of tonnes, it was decided on February 18, 2011 that some of the stuff being sucked up, was useless aggregate.

It was then a licence was applied for “to deposit in the sea or under the seabed” material unsuitable for aggregate. It is here I wonder if this unsuitable material is causing some of our coastline destruction? And perhaps it ought to be returned from whence it came, perhaps the Hopton trench, in a bid to slow down the erosion in that area, and sourced probably by activities going on in Area 401/2.

JACK DYE

Gonville Road

Gorleston

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