Letters, March 11
PUBLISHED: 16:46 10 March 2011
Not my idea of public service
I EMAILED the “Big Society”, otherwise known as Eric Pickles, about the contemptuous behaviour of our borough council, to ask what he proposed to do about it.
Surprise, surprise, to date no reply! Is this really the way democracy is supposed to work? All we hear from our new MP is recycled Tory high command gobbledygook.
However, my main concern is our local administration who I regard as having chosen an interesting way to resign.
Surely they must be shipped out en bloc at the earliest opportunity to be replaced by people who understand the concept of public service!
Perhaps we need a fresher ‘crop’
THE local elections will soon beset us and I wonder if anything needs to be done about this situation.
The election leaflet for Joe Bloggs will tell everyone how good he is. He has served eight years on the transport committee, and 14 years on the housing committee. And 23 years on the “promote the toffee apple” board.
I am wondering if the electorate, considering the state of Great Yarmouth, will decide if Joe (and his friends) should continue, or whether they are all past their various “sell-by” dates, and a fresh personnel crop with NEW ideas might achieve more for the town.
“Precarious” is a good word for the present circumstances, and maybe any alternative to the present set-up might give a necessary jolt to the general tone of things.
Then, a well-trumpeted phrase: “This will bring 34,381 jobs to the town” could ring more true, and the newly-elected mayor might head a miraculous council.
C J GRICE
Sinister threat to our way of life
HAVING now moved into a period of “status quo” with the outer harbour situation, another interference to our way of lives has been allowed to grow. The problem of erosion.
Apart from the existing causes, a far more sinister cause is being carried out unhindered in the form of marine aggregate extraction being done by Hanson Aggregate Marine Ltd. Now to be joined by another extractor by name Volker Dredging Ltd, all in area WGS 84 degrees decimal minutes.
Although a large area, it is highly concentrated with the rate of extraction running at two million tonnes of aggregate per annum. That’s Hanson’s quote and the added quota of Volker Dredging presents us with quite a lot of material being moved, never to be replaced. But when Hanson Aggregate Marine Ltd were pulled up on this, they indicated that this material was self-regenerating.
This then being the case, why are they applying for a licence under the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Reg 2007 to dispose of dredged material, unsuitable for aggregate use in area 401-2.
Is it now becoming obvious to these people that this self-regenerating material is in fact coastal structuring material which is being torn away from our coastline. To stop this, have they decided that it would be advisable to back fill these great voids they are creating? In a normal, natural environment this material creates shingle ridges and sandbanks to form its own coastal protection. So let us please allow nature to do its job.
Can anyone tell me exact date?
AS a committee member of the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society, I am researching the history of the Market Place site of the St Nicholas Priory School, prior to us placing a plaque on the present building.
So far, I have been unable to establish the date of the Dissolution of St Mary’s Hospital, and wonder if any of your readers can assist me in this matter. It was, presumably, in the 1530s or 1540s, but the exact date would be welcomed.
Elected mayor’s role clarified
THERE has been a lot of confusion with many ordinary members of the electorate regarding the possible referendum in May over a directed elected mayor for Great Yarmouth.
The explaining of the details has been very badly publicised to the electorate by the politicians both for and against the suggestion.
The title “elected mayor” is very misleading as many people refer this to the possibility of electing a mayor to replace the present civic mayor’s position and duties.
Successive governments have called this position mayor, where the title of directly elected mayor would be more simplified and more easily identified with the title of elected chief executive or managing director of the council.
The nearest example to the present proposals for Yarmouth is like of Boris Johnson in London where he is the business head of London Council and there is still a civic Mayor of London.
This is what is being put forward in proposals in the referendum for Yarmouth, a business mayor and there still can be a civic mayor.
I hope printing this letter will let most people understand the misleading duties of an elected mayor.
What a criminal waste of money
PLEASE sing to the tune of The Teddy Bears Picnic:
If you go down to the beach today,
You’re in for a big surprise,
A very loud voice will greet you there,
But no-one will meet your eyes.
For once again they’ve got it wrong,
The box is closed, but the TV’s on,
Today’s the day the council is wasting money.
The TV was on inside the box at noon and still on at 6.30pm this evening, Sunday, March 6.
This is a ridiculous situation and a complete waste of money considering the financial cutbacks that are taking place. The issue should be brought to the notice of the powers that be.
My request has been dealt with!
RESULT! Readers may just remember that early last year I had a letter published in the Mercury regarding the unneccessary 15-second delay at the traffic lights on the junction of Yarmouth Way and South Quay for vehicles turning left.
At the same time, I sent a copy of that letter to the person in charge of roads at Norfolk County Council headquarters. I received a reply promising that the matter would be looked at, and, if and when money became available, the delay – unless pedestrians wished to cross South Quay at that point at that time – would be eliminated.
I have noticed that during the past couple of weeks the delay has indeed been eliminated.
It just goes to show that sometimes those in authority do actually listen to individuals!
Just a few ideas I’d like to share
I FEEL I must write and air my views regarding the proposed extension of Market Gates.
Please, please keep the curves of the Lighthouse Cafe – we love to sit there and watch the world pass by!
The alterations to the bus station would be much improved if the support pillars could be painted along the lines of the hoardings around St George’s – maybe if young people painted them they would be less likely to be vandalised and would brighten up a rather dull area.
When altering the bus islands, please could there be seating all along the railings, what is there at the moment is never enough!
For me, it’s Bible versus Vatican
IN his letter of February 18, Mr Hayes wrote: “Catholics are Christians too”. But is this true? For while Christians obey the teachings of the Bible, Roman Catholics follow those of Roman Catholicism. Here are three examples.
Vatican website: “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things…”
Bible: “There is none righteous, no, not one … all [including Mary, who was thus not “Immaculate”] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23). Also Mary did not remain a “Virgin”: she had other children after Jesus: “Is this [Jesus] not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” (Mark 6:3).
Vatican: “Children also have need of the new birth in Baptism … The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on…”
Bible: “He who believes [an infant cannot believe] and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women [not infants] were baptized” (Acts 8:12). The New Testament was completed in the first century, so writings that arose “from the second century on” have no divine authority.
Vatican: “The seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts [people who destroy images used in religious worship] the veneration [adoring, revering] of icons – of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints.”
Bible: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image ... you shall not bow down to them” (Exodus 20:4-5).
Truth seekers weigh the facts and base their conclusion on the evidence. If the teachings of Roman Catholicism clash with those of the Bible (which they do), how can Roman Catholics be Christians?
Give us a taste of true democracy
DEMOCRACY is a word that makes one think of Social Equality, Fair Play, Truth and Justice. It is what the Middle East is now in turmoil over.
Sadly, it appears democracy as defined above, does not exist in the Borough of Great Yarmouth; councillors run rough-shod over legal requirements of a referendum – as they did over the gifting of our port, and the acceptance of liabilities for the ratepayers.
If democracy did exist, our application for guidance in attaining a public inquiry into the loss of borough land; the taking over of liabilities of West Bank, Gorleston and the Haven Bridge, each costing ratepayers many millions of pounds in future, would not be delayed/ignored.
We must also take into consideration the loss of income of Gorleston shops because of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority giving away the freehold of Gorleston Pier, so holidaymakers are not able to park or to enjoy the sights and will stay away.
MP Mr Brandon Lewis has written making it clear he will not discuss the outer harbour any more.
The public inquiry that the electorate is asking for is nothing to do with the outer harbour; that is a done deal and one day it will be an asset.
The inquiry we are after is simple: it concerns what we consider is the poor deal ratepayers were dealt by Norfolk County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and GYPA concerning the West Bank, Haven Bridge and South Pier; and ignoring the mandate that called for equal shares between the GYPA and the company that was to partner them in building the outer harbour.
I do not think an inquiry is a matter of cost, it’s a matter of what an inquiry will uncover.
JOHN L COOPER
I’m not afraid to be challenged
I RECEIVED a phone call this week from a councillor to tell me I had misunderstood the council’s intentions in the way they voted in the elected mayor debacle.
I’m just a poor uninformed resident who takes an interest in our council’s machinations and tries to make some sense of how our borough is being run by a very secretive council. If I get anything wrong, which I haven’t been convinced I did, I would be more than happy to be challenged in the Mercury, which I consider a community newspaper that allows residents to raise their point of view to allow debate.
An elected mayor is an important step in democracy for our borough. If we get a non political person who chooses his/her cabinet without party allegiance, it will encourage some independent councillors to stand in elections, which would be a massive step in the direction of democracy.
Our present council is a communicator of the worst order as recent events have shown. We should have a CV of every candidate before election, they should have meetings to explain what their policies would be. Why not have surgeries periodically when elected, or, better still, town meetings to put across their position and keep us informed while allowing us to make points? A councillor once told me that I put my head above the parapet then jumped down again. No, my head is up there all the time. I don’t think I have ever failed to respond to a councillor’s challenge.
Now is the time for a public meeting for both sides of the elected mayor debate to put their cases and allow us poor misinformed residents to put our questions. How about it? We have been denied a consultation period on the constitution so let’s get going now and inform us all of the for and against arguments with ample time for questions.
I understand there are two cabinet members who will be throwing their hats into the ring, even though they are against the concept. Does this mean if either is successful that it will be more of the same old thing with the same old bunch around the cabinet table?
I believe some independents with proven business acumen will eventually show themselves, and these are the ones I will be looking at for their strengths.
How are differing penalties all fair?
THREE cases reported in last week’s Mercury regarding driving vehicles with lamps not in working order:
Case one (two counts) – penalty £450
Case two (one count) – penalty £275
Case three (two counts) – no penalty. Strange that.
Hopton on Sea
Why not stage a tribute to Jack?
It was so interesting to read in The Mercury What’s On last week about a show, perhaps to be given in May, at the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre by Great Yarmouth Operatic and Dramatic Society.
It was also good to meet those who, while eating a fundraising pancake at Hemsby, are like-minded about the survival of amateur theatre here.
With costing, casting and longevity factors, some youths could patiently gain experience to add to their CVs until they are ready to lead.
Though so expensive to stage, a show next May by the Ops and Drams would be a worthy tribute to the work of performer/producer Jack Bacon, who had served this town so well for many years.
If only we could be more green
IT would seem that Great Yarmouth council has enough money to rip up perfectly good traffic lights, and replace them with new ones, but it has not got the money to replace our single-glazed windows with double-glazed windows.
At the same time, we hear on the TV that our government is asking us to lessen our carbon footprint.
Well, we would if we could, but we have to have the heating boiler on all through the winter, or we would freeze to death!
If we did have double-glazed windows, we wouldn’t need to keep the heating on all winter, so where is the sense in this?
S I MATHER