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Letters, November 16, 2012

PUBLISHED: 11:00 16 November 2012

Better things to

worry about

IT is with great annoyance as I read that residents in the St George Theatre area complained about the temporary work done by BT. Surely there are more important issues as far as the King’s Street area is concerned. Let’s start with the empty shops with fly posters all over the windows, piles of junk mail and old letters visible on the floor.

People stand smoking on the pavement outside numerous coffee houses and don’t move for anyone or anything. And last but not least, mobility scooters parked on pavements outside various pubs from early morning. Most of the time it looks like the start of the British Grand Prix.

Please residents, get your priorities right.

STEVE ROSS

Email

Halloween was happy occasion

WELL, Halloween has come and gone and the 80 children who came to my house each left happily clutching a bag of sweets with no harm to anyone. So I say to Mr Barkhuizen, please forget what you have read and believe what you see. I surfed the web and could find no press reports of witches on broomsticks anywhere in the news this year, and once again Satan failed to appear.

Witches are not real and neither is Satan. They were all invented by the church to justify the church’s own ends. Evil is man’s own creation. So Mr Barkhuizen if you do believe in all those historic cases of witchcraft such as Salem, please stop and rest easy.

DAVE GAHAN

Havelock Road,

Great Yarmouth

Search is on for old RAF friends

WE are searching for old pals from RAF Changi who served there between 1946 and 1971. Our aim is to bring them together and find new ones.

We are non profit and not a POW organisation. For more information, free enquiry pack contact Malcolm Flack, 01494 728562 or website www.rafchangi.co.uk

B W LLOYD

via email

Stop the political shilly shallying!

I AM getting on in years and can remember when there were no party politics in local government but civic-minded people, things got done (whether right or wrong).

Personally I am sick and bored with all the carping, (what this party or the other party has done or has not done!) Why don’t they get on with what they were elected to do and stop this shilly-shallying. Which brings me to the subject of electing a spokesman to the police for us. Surely politics should not come into this but persons with a knowledge of the legal system.

Isn’t this a tremendous waste of money especially with the economic climate as it is? Couldn’t that money be put to better use, after all the powers that be are always going on about not having the finances for this or that, why then not use this expenditure for more important things, or is it a case of jobs for the boys.

JOSE O’MAHONY

via email

Leaders deserve a white elephant

US Bradwell dog walkers enjoy discussing the achievements of our local politicians and collectively we were in no doubt that when it comes to caring, far sighted, public servants we in the borough of Great Yarmouth are fortunate to have the pick of the crop.

We will all gasp with amazement next year when the virtual reality visitors drive ashore from our shimmering new Outer Harbour, past the magnificent virtual reality cranes and along the seafront to stay at the shiny new virtual reality hotels attached to the glittering virtual reality casino.

No doubt these virtual tourists will spend some time at the magnificent virtual St George’s Pavilion and gasp with amazement when they visit Yarmouth Market Place and gaze up at our virtual giant television screen.

Over the last few months, us dog walkers have chewed over the way our hard earned pounds have been spent to boost the economy of our borough and we have collectively decided as a reward for their wise economic decisons they should all be awarded with a pet of their own. We feel the animal of choice for those decision makers should be a virtual elephant. A white one.

ROSY CURTIS

Bradwell

How vital is fund under pressure?

INTERESTING article on the councillors’ discretionary funds (Mercury 9/11). This costs up to £78k a year and is an excellent idea when funds are not under pressure.

On examining the use of the funds, serious questions of value for money are raised. How vital is the spending? Flowers, Christmas lights, seats, picnic tables and parish newsletters, for example, are hardly vital services. Ridiculous! In particular, how far was other funding available if sought out? There is a spare bus shelter at the bottom of King Street. The parish councils could have been providing funds for several of these items and indeed in the present crisis could have a bigger role to play? Why not use lottery funds? Where are the PTAs?

The council needs to review the finances. Suspending this scheme would save £78k per year and not affect anyone. Clearly, discretionary spending is the area to start from. The town is poor on recycling. How much could be saved on landfill by increased recycling, like glass. would increased costs be offset by savings? Do all the second holiday homes, which contribute to the housing shortage, pay their full share of council tax? Do sports users pay enough for their facilities? How do service charges and rents compare to other towns? Does the market cover costs? Could staff buy more annual leave? Are staff pension contributions taken from their pay before national insurance is calculated? Could eased parking charges be offset by reduced enforcement costs? What are the cost benefits of firework displays? What can be sold off? Can charitable trusts be used to attract grants to restore the Winter Gardens (and the like) which must have some use or be axed? Can we obtain funds to build new council homes and renew the town and train the unemployed?

Lots to think about and much more. I live in hope that the MP, with his new influence, will come up with some useful ideas or is he moving to a safer seat soon?

CHRIS WRIGHT

30 Victoria Street

Caister

Reminder of fun day of football

YOU may be interested in printing information about a football display which North Denes Middle School put on before the kick-off of the 1983 (April 30) first division match between Norwich City and Manchester United.

I happened to be cleaning my study when I came across the detailed plans of this demonstration. The reason it seems relevant is that Norwich City are again playing Manchester United at Carrow Road, and I thought it would be perhaps appropriate to just remind those 40 boys of the fun we had on that day. The two teachers involved were the headmaster Philip Unsworth, and myself deputy head Arthur Bowles (incidentally I’m one of the chaplains at the moment to Norwich City Football Club)

Players were divided into four age groups are were Wayne Mundy, David Kelf, Marios Parfitis, Sean Hewitt, Glen Winterburn, Matthew Gee, Martin Bright, Alan Smith, Simon Clark, Mark Tilley, Lee Mundy, Graham Jarvis, James Spaldiing, Paul Symonds, Ian Starling, John Edmunds, Derek Walker, Stephen Littlewood, David Wright, Philip Hughes, Daniel Brooks, Martin Dunbar, Anthony Fair, Warren Jacobs, Paul Wells, Krik Esherwood, Alan Goodrum, Adam Lawrence, Clyde Whiting, Julian Woodhouse, Mark Brewer, Carl Green, Michael Christophi, Stephen Houchin, Wayne Long, Donald Burnett, Warren Colby, Stevie Smith, James Stewart, Diccon Loy.

Each group experienced skills found within the game, changing at intervals to a different set of skills and finishing up with a five-a-side game.

We all finished up watching the professionals showing us how it should be done. Incidentally, I think the result was a 1-1 draw

ARTHUR BOWLES

Onslow Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

Lawyers will be the winners

I AM concerned about the fuss that is everywhere accusing Jimmy Savile of child abuse.

My first concern is that the man is dead and cannot defend himself. However a bigger conceren is that the only good I can see coming out of the whole thing is that the lawyers are going to make a lot of money. I don’t think that the people who were abused, if they were, will get any real benifit from dragging the whole thing into the open.

Far better I would think for any of them suffering from the effects to find a good counsellor to help them adjust without all the publicity. I read that his estate is now frozen to see if there are going to be any claims against it. The strikes me as a legal nightmare. If I was a benificary I think I would be claiming that as I was not the guilty party then there can be no claim against my property which under the terms of the will the money becomes. I can see these cases dragging on for years and possibly by the time it is all over there is no money left in the estate as it will have all been paid out to the lawyers.

DEREK BROWN

Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Debt is owed to harbour stalwart

Finally at last, an inquiry into the outer harbour. What really has been going on, its time the truth came out...with the MMO launching this inquiry, I hope they will get to the bottom of why rights to our harbour were given away, the millions invested of tax-payers’ money, when will we see any monetary return on this investment? So far all we can see is more wasted money, it certainly hasn’t helped any of the unemployed in this town and surrounding area.

We owe a great debt to the stalwart people like John Cooper, who refuse to go away or give up the fight for answers.

MARLENE DAY

via email

Inquiry should dig deeper

ABSOLUTELY delighted that after four years we are now seeing the beginning of the end with the forthcoming inquiry. This inquiry shouldn’t just rest on the HRO, (harbour revision order), but determine the validity of the two councils’ part in the negotiations and why it was necessary to give our working harbour away and take on liabilities. It seems the attitude was to get a private company at all costs to run an outer harbour. Cost is the word with nearly £20m in public money plus the give away of our working port valued at around £45m.

For all this money we would have no control of how the outer harbour would be used. We were promised 1000 new jobs and a ferry to bring thousands of tourists to help regenerate the borough, but it would be Eastport who would make the decisions and to them this wasn’t an option.

Suddenly two large cranes arrived - we were to have a container port. It was a big mistake because the port was unfit for this purpose because swell coming in made it impossible to load containers because of the the movement of the ships.

The containers left in ignominy and and eventually the outer harbour was a pickup haven for two self propelled barges working on the Sheringham wind farm. Barges brought in generator components which were offloaded onto the barges and taken to construct the generators.

When this came to an end in July the outer harbour was empty for days on end with just a small number of ships working on narrowing the entrance.

Now we await news of some enterprise which will we are told by Eastport will not bring a thousand jobs but thousands. I think this may well be a project that brings in money for the port company but will we get any benefit in terms of jobs and regeneration which was the whole reason for the vast investment of public money?

I, and I’m sure most others, wanted a real working outer harbour to provide work for our many unemployed and to regenerate what is now a sad borough. I wanted a well constructed deal in which in return for all the public money invested we would have a say in the running and get a return from the profits. I also want to know why the negotiations have to be secret for thirty years and why our, yes our councils refuse to give away any details and this is something I want to get from an inquiry. I know we can’t turn the clock back but our councillors are responsible to us and I want to know where the buck stops.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue

Gorleston

Let’s put October 31 finally to bed

WHILST I am glad that Mr Barkhuizen takes so much interest in the Catholic Church, his accusations are unfounded.

I have checked with those who organise the Church Hall and am assured that the party there on October 31 each year is designed for a disabled children’s swimming club to keep those participating away from doing Halloween things, as I have been assured. In any case what happens there is not under the direct control of the parish priest or the parish council, but the Knights Of St Columba. The hall is a commercial venture subject to its being hired out to those who pay the rent. However, I agree that wholly unsavoury functions should not take place there, such as an abortion clinic, but for us Catholics it is the Church where we are called for Mass that matters.

Once again let me also put the matter of Halloween to bed. We have the Feast of All Saints’ or All Hallows’ Day on November 1. On the day before, the Eve or the Vigil, there is no celebration of anything. In the old days it was a day of fasting and abstinence, a sombreness that shows the opposite of feasting or celebration.

It is too easy to try and be the policeman of what others are doing and not to check one’s facts. This of course smacks of totalitarianism and witch hunts. Are we to allow Matthew Hopkins, the withcfinder general, to ride again? Are we to condemn the Methodists for holding a sale on November 10 and go in and overturn the tables? This illogicality is what happens when we start judging others, about which our Lord of course said, ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged’.

Mr Barkhuizen’s failing to hear what has been said about the Catholic Church each year prompts me to invite him to the perfect remedy – instruction in the Catholic Faith so that he would know what it is about, even if he were not to convert.

STEPHEN CONWAY

Victoria Road

Gorleston

Hearty well done to Mr Cooper

AT last an inquiry into the outer harbour. When a man works so hard to achieve something which interferes with his health - that’s dedication. Then to finally achieve the result to which he was aiming must fill him with pride. I say: “Well done Mr John Cooper.”

Now with terrific support from us, the local ratepayers, perhaps we will all achieve a satisfactory outcome. On the subject of the outer harbour we must not finish up outer pocket!

Come on Yarmouth, let’s give it the enthusiasm John has given it. Let’s show these people why the town is called Great Yarmouth.

JACK DYE

Gonville Road,

Gorleston

To see mum’s pic was delight

WHAT a pleasant surprise to see my dear late mother, Nell Leggett, front middle row, who was a member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, on board a local ship in a picture on the Mercury’s letters pages recently. Happy memories for me.

Mrs J C GREAVES,

Great Yarmouth

What should we take from this?

“…Eliza O’Toole, vice chairman of GYPC, was delighted the MMO was progressing the order and “in the usual way” was planning to hold an inquiry that her company would engage in…..” (GYM November 9) A comment from behind the self erected barriers of Area 51 from a member of the leadership team who recently couldn’t recall the company’s financial performance, heartens this reader.

What are we to take from the announcement of an inquiry into the matters surrounding the project? The MMO, which oversees marine planning, enforcement and fisheries management would seem to have a limited remit at first glance, given the use of £18M of taxpayers’ money should be of interest to the National Audit Office, they would surely have the power to dismantle the shield of 30 years confidentially constructed by those within the project, to assess the proprieties of the funding. A week would also seem a remarkably short period of time for an inquiry, given the people and the documents to sift through.

On a more positive note, it would seem vindication of the effort and belief of John Cooper et al putting the facts and the questions into the public domain, despite the protestations of authority the simple fact is that spending the public purse demands a higher level of transparency and accountability. Through peer accusations in public press as a naysayer, he maintained a “ the king has no clothes” stance towards the public spin-from-within of jobs for everyone and riches galore.

Perhaps a few strands will be unpicked from the cloak of secrecy and spin covering the Great Yarmouth peninsular that other organizations will take up contrary to the “not in the public interest” mantras that is used by those with the power of intervention, to justify sitting on their hands. Just perhaps the simple logic of creating a secure customs area for a nonexistent container business will result in the walls coming down giving back public access.

STEVE TAYLOR

Clarence Road,

Gorleston

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