Letters, March 17 2017
Rules encourage dumping
I have just watched the One show on TV with an article about fly tipping, which I find outrageous behaviour.
I regularly use Clay Road in Bradwell where fly tipping is a big issue along this narrow road.
However yesterday I decided to get rid of an old shed which had been dismantled ages ago. I loaded the car and drove to the recycling centre at Caister, where I was told that the load of wood I had in the back of my car exceeded the limit of 70 cubic litres, however much that is.
Fine I thought I’d empty half leave it in the car and go back today. Oh no. Only one load a week. We are encouraged to recycle so why make it so difficult to do so. And they wonder why people fly tip!
Good news for Brexit
I write again after airing my thoughts pre June 23, in your letters column, stating how difficult it was to make any commitment to vote to remain, or leave the EU,
With virtually no guidance from any source, other than those who had a high financial interests, and on this one issue we were advised to remain by them, there was no advice in respect of us leaving, possibly because the outcome was not expected.
But my goodness, post 23rd, you can’t watch, or listen to any news without the negative Brexit attitude by whatever body, or who ever is speaking, all forecasting doom and, consequential disasters, the advice it’s a bit to late now, it should have been made available pre 23rd.
In my mind we had a referendum, the country has voted, we should be acting, and talking positive about the future, and this includes the media, in every form. They should be reporting positive news, and not speculating bad news.
Looking a bit closer to home, how much worse can our Great Yarmouth get, with violence and crime, anywhere west of the sea front is nearly a no go area, shopping is now mainly taking place on Harfreys, no parking worries, all the shops you need.
Our council are making noises regarding a new cinema/ complex, it would be prudent to include the Victoria Arcade in any future plans, as it is structurally in a very sorry state, there has been four landlords in the last five years, all trying to make it work, and uncountable tenants, good hard working people trying to make a living.
So I don’t think Brexit could make matters any worse for Gt Yarmouth, let’s hope with careful planning applications, and a positive approach by the councillors Yarmouth could be Great again.
D S HEWITT
Budget fails our town
Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget utterly failed to address the challenges facing Great Yarmouth and the rest of the country today.
With our NHS and social care in crisis, and air pollution contributing to 40,000 lives prematurely ending in the UK each year, this budget should have been an emergency intervention.
Instead, the Chancellor revealed the extent of the Government’s obsession with scaling back the state.
This Budget was a chance for the Government to take a stand for public services like the James Paget Hospital, which we all rely on.
But the funding changes announced for the NHS and social care are woefully inadequate and instead of investing in our hospitals and care homes the Government is continuing to push ahead with planned Corporation tax cuts and handouts to high earners.
The Chancellor also utterly failed to get a grip on the air pollution emergency currently facing the country.
While the cost of motoring has dropped in recent years the residents of Great Yarmouth know only too well that the cost of public transport is rocketing.
We should have seen the fuel duty escalator unfrozen and the money ploughed into public transport - not more handouts for motoring and persistent neglect for cleaner, healthier forms of transport.
On top of this the Spring Budget followed the trend set by Hammond’s Autumn Statement in failing to even mention climate change.
Great Yarmouth desperately needed the Chancellor to announce real solutions to the problems facing the area today - now it will be down to local communities, campaigners, residents and public sector workers to pick up the pieces for his utter failure to do so.
Great Yarmouth Green Party
Bus station is a dark place
After recently alighting from an X11 bus at the Market Gates bus station, I could not help noticing what a dark uninviting place this is for locals, day visitors or holiday makers.
Most of the road tunnel lights that are supposed to be providing a light source for pedestrians and road vehicles are not working and the ones that are, just are not strong enough to illuminate even a back yard let alone a public road area.
It needs the council to get on the band wagon and either invest in brand new lighting or at least get the faulty lights repaired before the main summer season starts.
Also, it would be nice if one or two of the unused shop units under Market Gates could be turned into waiting rooms for bus passengers, instead of standing waiting in a dimly lit uninviting public space.
Where are safety works?
With regard to the letter from Chris King (10th March) I too have driven along the Acle Straight, and like him have seen no improvements.
I was under the impression that new safety measures were to be installed to make it safer to use the road.
That does not seem to have happened.
With regard to the pot holes I believe that the Norfolk County Council are deliberately leaving them so that the surface gets worse and worse, and eventually becomes too bad to drive along, and the road will then have to be closed.
By allowing this to happen NCC are probably hoping the Government will then find the funding to pay for the long awaited dual carriageway
What has been done on Straight?
The Acle Straight was closed nightly for a fortnight, so can someone tell me what’s been done. All I can see is a couple of signs and white painting at the Yarmouth end, no repairs to road or are they waiting for the holidays to start before doing them and causing the usual tailbacks. We where promised the dualling of the Acle Straight in the 1970s; another myth from the department of transport.
I, too, hear whining sound
I read with a sense of relief the letter from C Collins concerning the whining noise which he hears at night. I hear it too and find it very disturbing, especially when I lay my head on my pillow.
I had begun to wonder if I was imagining it as my husband does not hear it. Thank you Mr C for putting my mind at rest.
St George’s Road,
Rise in benefits came from oil
In last week’s letters, I found the comments re universal credits most interesting. In some it was pointed out to me that the main solution is to have the landlords rents paid direct to them again.
Okay yes, go back to that, but by doing so any optimistic thoughts on getting the long term unemployed back in work will be lost as it is obvious that with landlords being paid rent centrally the residue cash is enough to pay for their other expenses.
Margaret Thatcher increased the benefit payments to help financially the thousands of miners who lost their jobs and the money for this came from a glut of North Sea oil. Taking advantage of this increase the long time unemployed had no incentive to find a job as the increased benefit payments were more than they were paid by working for a company.
I was asked by one writer “to get out into the real world”. I know I am in the real world, the real world is soon to be upon us all, especially the long term unemployed. By 2020 Britain will not be known as the world’s number one benefit country as it is now, with Brexit our unemployed will be used to fill unskilled positions as the present unskilled migrants leave our shores.
I now come to another comment in a pro universal credit letter: “The point of universal credit is to save money”. Any political party in office will have to save cash, and that saving should start now. Universal credit does not mean the unemployed will get less in their pockets, it means local and national social services will lose staff, that alone will save cash.
JOHN L COOPER
No surprise at MP’s call
We were not surprised that Brandon Lewis has not attended meetings, as when I went to him for help on a matter that changed my life forever he did not want to know.
He said he represents us in Great Yarmouth and he has not.
A waste of time to go to him for any help at all.
E BUCK Barnard Avenue,
Countryside is being ruined
In all 56 years of living in East Anglia one particular area has always given me a great deal of pleasure and that is Burgh Castle, Belton and Bradwell and of the surrounding countryside.
Now unfortunately the wreckers seem to have moved in with so many trees and hedgerows being destroyed that the only sounds you hear are not of song birds etc but of chain saws, diggers and dumper trucks etc.
You too can be a millionaire if you build that retirement bungalow chalet or executive house.
The roads the drains etc are overloaded and the roads are in an awful state, I know I have gone through 10 bikes in 11 years riding them.
The wild what’s left of it has all but disappeared, shot, run over and trapped etc. Drivers hurl through villages at 50 to 60 miles per hours, ie get out of my way I have important things to do!
In the national newspapers and on TV we have article after article about rubbish dumping, particularly in forest and woodland and there is an awful lot of that going on as well.
Prior to writing this letter I have just picked up a bag of rubbish dumped near our old village pond, spoiling the care the council and other people have taken to look after the area.
By the way I was on the way back from the Essex and Suffolk Water reserve owned by the water company run by Suffolk Wildlife Trust and guess what I was doing? Oh yes I was picking up rubbish and litter.
This shows a couple of points that there are still people who care about the countryside, including me and the other volunteers. It also shows that there are still firms out there who do their bit and spend time and money and effort helping to preserve what is left of our countryside, often with much praise.
Butt Lane, Burgh Castle
Dilemma on child refugees
Having first read My Ken Petersen’s letter last week (Disgraceful action over refugees) about the Government’s intention to end the Dubs scheme I felt morally remorseful.
Child refugees fleeing war torn countries because their lives are at threat is both inexcusable and pure wrong whatever way you look at it.
The question I asked myself was ‘when is it morally right to say no more?’.
If you look at the problem pragmatically; allowing more and more people to come in to the UK is going to, and maybe already is, cause great problems to this country.
Mr Peterson states that we let in 10,000 child refugees around the start of the World War Two, however the population at that time was about 46,000,000 whereas now it is about 65,000,000.
This an increase of 19,000,000 people.
The 2011 census showed that there were 7,337,139 foreign born people living in this country. The United Kingdom has gone above and beyond compared to other countries, such as France, in letting refugees and immigrants in.
Mr Peterson says at the end of his letter that we are all citizens of the world.
This statement sits well in a utopian society but unfortunately, we do not live in one. The majority of us are citizens of the United Kingdom.
The figure of 3,500 children that the original Dubs amendment might not sound a lot, but what about the next 3,500, and the next 3,500.
So, I pose my question I asked myself to our readers, ‘when is it morally right to say no more?’.
Dog poo bags blight dunes
Out on the dunes, the beach and along the sea wall in the last couple of days it has been wonderful to see that many more people out walking and enjoying the warmer weather and plenty of fresh air.
There is still plenty of litter about, despite the efforts of all those splendid volunteers, and one particular bugbear of mine is the proliferation of doggy poo bags - just thrown down and left for somebody else to dispose of. This is just not acceptable.
Just one other thing about the walkers. Some degree of eye contact with those they pass, perhaps accompanied by a ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ or whatever, would, I feel sure, be much appreciated.
Far better than heads down, looking away or, worst of all, being glued to the accursed smartphone. Interacting with the people you come into contact with just might be as important as the walk itself.
I demanded a public meeting
There are a greater number of people in receipt of benefits in this town, of whom I am one, who are not part on the Universal Credit system yet.
So what is happening in the town at present is important to me as any changes in my circumstances would put me in a system that I might not be able to cope with.
I was tempted to write in to support the initial correspondence of March 3, but I realised that however many of us called on Brandon Lewis to face a public meeting, he would not have to attend.
For this reason I have written to the Prime Minister, and the letter has been passed on to the relevant department, Department for Work and Pensions, so I am not sure if Mrs May is aware of my letter and has dealt with Mr Lewis appropriately.
One question I would like to the answer to is who volunteered this town for this ‘trial’?
Because in the last General Election we voted in a Tory, was this because they offered a referendum on the EU. Yet in the referendum there was a 70pc plus vote out.
Why did the town vote Tory when a vote for UKIP guaranteed a referendum and had we a UKIP MP would this trial have been foisted on this town?
Or was our MP after brownie points and we were volunteered?
I made clear in my letter to Mrs May that Mr Lewis has given up on us since Brexit, but has he the knowledge to explain things and sort problems?
So I asked her that a public meeting should have senior people from the DWP, civil servants or politicians to answer our questions.
I hope that they are following the debate in the Mercury and I will then inform the paper as soon as I get a response.
Nelson Road Central,
What was A47 work for?
I too have been using the Acle Straight during the current ‘road safety improvement works”, and like other contributors to this letter page, apart from notification signs of impending work, mobile cabins and traffic cones find it difficult to see any tangible improvements.
With me as “the litmus paper”, if the road safety work is not readily visible, then how will the Highways Agency measure the success of this project?
I think it needs me to ask the Highways Agency just what was the scope of work, the budget allocated to the project and what was the strategy to improve safety.
Scaffolds are waste of money
The Government is inflicting cuts on our towns and councils, telling our councils to make cuts to our services, eg road sweeping and bin collections, to save money.
Our councils tell us they are short of funds and also raise our council tax to pay for them. They keep putting council tax up but are we getting these services we paying for? No.
When were the streets in Great Yarmouth last given a good clean? Years ago. I can’t remember the last time they were cleaned.
Who, with all these cuts the council are told to make by the government, can explain why the council in Great Yarmouth is wasting good money. We get told they are short of funds but they are wasting money for doing work twice over, ie all the council houses opposite the Recruit public house on Blackfriars Road all the way down to Camden Road recently had scaffold erected to have new asphalt rooting done.
The work was carried out and the scaffold was taken done. Now the scaffold is being put up again just so bricklayers can do their work repainting brickwork round the top of these buildings as they are in need of repainting. The work could have been carried out the first time when the scaffold was up the first time thus savings hundreds of thousands. What a waste of council tax payers’ money. No wonder they keep putting council tax up when they keep wasting their resources.
NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD
Disgust at chalet fees
As an owner of a chalet in Scratby for over 20 year I am disgusted at the rise of over 100pc in rates. This size of a rise should not be allowed without any warning and has come as a great shock to me.
Great Yarmouth is a holiday town that relies on tourists who spend their money there. They do not use schools, hospitals etc and this rise will see many owners including myself sell up and move as it is just to expensive now (if anyone wants one now) so the council have done no favours to local businesses who benefit our trade.
Thank you to charity
Following my letter written a couple of weeks ago about the vagaries of Universal Credit where I mentioned we had been offered help at the Job Centre and Greyfriars Way.
In addition I would also like to thank DIAL.
DIAL is a free, charitable organisation based in King Street, Great Yarmouth, whose staff and their volunteers can offer assistance, support and information. They are also eternally patient.
Try them - you might feel better in a fortnight.
PATRICIA WEST, E mail