Letters, November 9, 2012
The idle be made to contribute
IN response to Alan Stewart’s letter (October 12), I fully understand his indignation to Mr Rawlinson’s suggestion he should be made to clean the streets, or carry out other menial tasks in order to receive his dole / social money.
He quite rightly states he has worked for 40 years and paid into the system, hence he is more than entitled to some help now he has unfortunately been made redundant. I sincerely hope he soon finds himself gainfully employed.
However, I think he has missed the point. Despite his stating “just about everybody” he signed on with was looking for vacancies and writing job applications, this is simply not borne out by the facts.
There are countless thousands of people in this country who have never had a job, and would be horrified at the prospect of having to get up in the morning to work.
Unfortunately, Yarmouth has more than it’s fair share of these types.
I do not believe Mr Rawlinson was in any way suggesting those who have, through not fault of their own, found themselves unemployed should be made to work for their benefits. But something does need to be done to “encourage” the idle to contribute. If this means scrubbing the streets then so be it.
However, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Stewart when he hints that using those on benefits to carry out work in the community is somewhat counter productive. After all, if there’s a job that needs performing then somebody should be employed to carry it out.
Perhaps Mr Stewart, and others who are genuinely seeking work, could be employed to supervise those who are made to work for their benefits?
REFERRING to Tom Garrod’s letter in the Mercury on the plight of the residents of the Abbeyville Residential Care Home in crossing North Drive, I raised this matter in your columns some time ago on the similar danger for residents of St Edmunds Residential Care Home in crossing Marine Parade. I submit this needs equal attention.
Miss RITA L FARMER
Can Co-op help create co-ops?
THE changing patterns of shopping, with the internet and out of town centres, means our town centre area has many empty shops. The Arcade, Broad Row, King Street and the former Coop compound the problem. Market Gates even hopes to expand and create more retail space.
The proposed relocation of two banks could help fill some of the unloved units and bring more people into the centre. It raises the question about future use of their vacated premises and also what happens to upper floors in town centre buildings. Some could be flats and enable more people to live and shop in the central area and help reduce the pressures on housing.
Easing parking charges with stores like Palmers, re-imbursing charges for purchases would help too. Sainsburys do this at their store. I wonder if parking enforcement costs on Sundays are covered by revenue or could parking be free?
Schemes to find a new use for the long empty former Co-op are essential but otherwise, has the potential for flats. Perhaps the Co-op could help create co-ops! A new analysis of what stores are missing and a marketing campaign to could bring new stores in may be useful.
The policy of creating traffic jams at Gapton Hall Retail Park and Asda could be developed to discourage out of town shopping!
Could the frontages of closed shops be used for displays or mural? The bus station area is dismal. Murals about the shops upstairs, white paint on railings, concrete pillars and relocated shelters would be a start to improve the area and a project for offenders on community service or volunteers.
Meanwhile, the national press report some large retailers are legally avoiding tax and exporting profits abroad. Tax loopholes need tightening up but I cannot see a Government that favours the rich doing much about that or indeed much for our town centre. No doubt the MP is on the case.
Caister on Sea
WHAT a pleasant surprise to see my dear late mother, Nell Suggett, 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,
Top marks to NS in Yarmouth
FURTHER to adverse reports about the James Paget Hospital over the last few months, I would like to add my views after being in the hospital for nine days with a life-threatening condition. On the day I needed help, the emergency team were at my home within about five minutes of the call with both a medic and an ambulance - excellent. I was taken to A&E where the team worked on me for over four hours to find a medical cause - again excellent.
I was transferred to the acute cardiac unit and treatment was top grade. A special mention to pathology department staff who daily carry out tests so doctors can prescibe correct medicine. Not to be left out was the catering service where meals were as good as any top grade restaurant and adequate. The cleaning staff’s work was to perfection and the ladies on the tea trolley and the WVC trolley were so kind and friendly.
Now I am home I am being cared for by dedicated district nurses who call as and when needed to take samples to send off to the pathology department who then ring me personally to tell me my drug requirements. Thank you all, and when we consider this service is free at the point of use, top marks to the NHS in Great Yarmouth.
N W H FELLGETT
First’s No 2 bus failing to show
OVER the last three months I have had to contact First Bus nine times regarding the fact the No 2 bus at 7.15am fails to turn up, when though the James Paget is it’s start and end point of the day, and is always the first run of the day.
I have also caught the driver later at Market Gates. Are they skipping stops? I have contacted First Bus every time this happens via their website and phone and am still waiting on a response from the last three times. I feel I am being fobbed off; this issue is making the public late to work and I am getting nowhere fast.
Proud nation run by useless EU
WITH regard to the letter from Dennis Durrant (October 26), I totally agree with everything he said. Since Tony Blair opened the immigration floodgates it has got totally out of control and that old saying “You can’t squeeze a pint pot into a gill glass” stands, but that is what is now happening in this country. It is vastly over-populated and nothing is being done to stop it.
This once proud nation is being run by the useless EU and foreign-owned multi-national companies – even our most important utilities. What this government must bear in mind is it is the people of this country that will be asked to vote for them, not the EU or the countries our government is giving our money to.
J T TAYLOR
Car licence for ‘hoss and cart’!
I DO not wish to add coals to the fire regarding Mr England and his landau, with him not having a licence to drive a motor car. My first question is, would it be valid? Would he first need a PSV licence to transport fare-paying passengers, then would his landau be subject to Ministry of Transport inspection to see that it is roadworthy and safe for it’s intended purpose; and obtain a vehicle licence with a tachograph. As he does not need any of these, does it not make the need to have a car licence invalid.
Is it possible anyone could be, in my opinion, anything more stupid than having a car licence to drive a “hoss and cart” or could they?
Caister on Sea
Why has old tree been ripped out?
I AM absolutely appalled about the recent changes made to the car park behind King Street, in front of the new NHS buildings. I walked passed recently to find workmen had ripped out one of the oldest trees.
I understand they are re-levelling the ground, but why did the council give them permission to rip this tree out? It was beautiful, blossomed every year, home to many birds and not in anyone’s way. As if this town does not look awful enough already, with empty shops, litter on streets, dog poo every where; the little greenery we have in the town makes it look a little nicer.
It’s the same as when the council decided to chop down the trees next to St George’s and what for? Will the council replace all the trees it keeps pulling up?
Ratepayer is the one to suffer
COMET, House of Wax, and yet more smaller shops all either closing or shedding staff. It seems it’s always the ratepayer or potential ratepayer that is made to suffer, whilst the well-to-do may see a drop in their shares but their standard of living stays the same.
There is a group. some of whom do not see their way of life vary when the common man is suffering when employment prospects fail. That group is small by comparison to the numbers in fear of losing their livelihood but they have a big say in controlling the ratepayers future. This group are MPs, councillors, and council officers.
The Borough of Great Yarmouth is struggling more than at any other time. Throughout the centuries it has prospered because it had its river at its heart.
Because of the actions of the council the borough’s heart is lost, they gave away the “earning engine”, not just for shipping but for manufacturing, renewable energy, domestic sales, and our holiday trade.
Because of these three groups, we totally lost control of our port, giving millions of pounds in cash, land, buildings and plant to a group who have not brought the promised tourists to fill our shops and hotels, casinos, manufacturing industry, and renewable energy.
In the meantime the three groups are still being paid in full and getting or receiving a bonus.
JOHN L COOPER
Grave concern for disbelief
IN response to your correspondent Derek Brown, November 2, where he alludes to “putting Mr Barkhuizen at rest’” in belief in the devil: “he only exists if you believe in him!”
I would like to remind Mr Brown it was the words of the Saviour Himself who said: ‘I saw satan [small ‘s’ intended] falling from Heaven like lightning!’ Lk 10: 18. If the Saviour [viz Son of God and second person of the Holy Trinity] saw satan, who is Mr Brown to allude to him existing “only if you believe in him!”
But all is not lost: compared to the omnipresent omnipotent all loving Almighty God, he is [as Mr Brown points out] nothing and nothing to worry about, nothing at all! That is only because of the price paid by the Saviour. However, If you do not believe in the Saviour, then I would suggest that the former is cause for concern, grave concern
Remember the families too
AS we are nearing Remembrance Day, let us remember all those people who laid down their lives for us in the two world wars, and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let us remember latterly, not just the military in Afghanistan but their wives, children and families who sit on tenterhooks worrying if their son , or daughter, is safe, as nearly every day there is tragic news of a soldier or several soldiers being killed in the line of duty.
All it takes is two minutes at 11am this coming Sunday. Do stop what you are doing, sit, or stand, with your head bowed and just reflect, and remember. And then I hope you will be praying for peace and for an end to the conflict.
Hopton on Sea
MD did not set his own salary
NO doubt much will be written and indeed, has already been written regarding the retirement of Great Yarmouth’s chief executive, but hey, wait a minute what is all the fuss about?
Mr Packham worked his way up to the top of the tree and is now coming up to his time to join us poor old pensioners. He did not set his own salary, he did not set his ‘golden handshake’, he did not set his own date for retiring.
Is there anyone in the borough if offered two thirds of a salary of £120,000 per year for the rest of his life as a pension, index linked, plus a severance pay of £100,000 whatever his contribution to society, who would not accept it? For someone to say “A Labour council always looks after its cronies” but this applies, equally to all other parties.
If people want to complain then they must look, much much deeper. There is no need to read Alice In Wonderland when all you have to do is substitute Britain for Alice.
It starts in Brussels. Most of it’s bureaucrats quickly become millionaires for wrecking our country. Move to parliament. All those well dined people in the commons who need no qualifications whatsoever to be there other than they had the good fortune to sway a certain area of the country to vote them in. Look at that great old people’s club the House of Lords where people into their nineties can go in, go to sleep for the day and collect £300 for doing so, plus expenses, and of course, subsidised food and drink.
Then we have Whitehall where, at times, the man in the street gets more laughs than the old un’s got from Laurel and Hardy. But it’s a serious matter. Come to your county councils, these come up with such crazy ideas at times that a bar room politician has enough material to last him a year. Look at the available salaries, expenses and pensions that the private sector can only dream of but has to pay for.
Finally borough councils. Walk around Yarmouth, see how it’s stores, big and small, are closing and then walk past the car parks of the town hall staff. The government is cutting off millions from what they dish out to borough councils yearly but this has not stopped millions being spent of recent time on Yarmouth town hall, a building that is of the worst of Victorian design. No recession in this little space in the town.
Until our country finds a true leader, be he Labour, Conservative or other, with radical ideas that will sweep this comedy show away, we will be forever ‘bouncing along the bottom’. So good luck Mr Packham, I wish you a happy retirement and very many years to enjoy it, for you - like the rest of us - can only go along with the system.
Not all of us shop online
IN response to Michaela Daniels’ letter in last week’s Mercury regarding improvements to Yarmouth town centre. I am writing in response to the sweeping statement that “we all shop online now”. I am happy to say I am independent of the internet, although I am sure it is a lifeline for some and has novelty factor too. It is not inevitable the internet will become master of us all - we do have a choice, although sadly some organisations’ recruitment policies exclude people who are not on the internet.
The letter also states “people don’t go to shop in the town anymore as there are no shops”. I do not know what place is being described, as there are always crowds shopping in Market Gates and the town centre shops, cafes, sitting in the market enjoying music, chatter and chip stalls. Negative statements are not helpful for businesses trying to thrive. King Street is a major improvement now. There are a host of cafes, restaurants and hotels, including those on Regent Road and the seafront. We are lucky to have the beautiful St George’s Park, and Palmers department store, and a range of interesting shops and businesses in the antique Arcade, Broad and Market Rows, and some very good charity shops, antiques and jewellery shops.
The larger shops would not have chosen to invest if it was felt Yarmouth would one day revert back to a sandbank. It is unsettling to read the town “needs a radical change”, although I can see improvements are needed, perhaps with more trees, shrubs and flowers, nice lighting and extra CCTV, but not to depart from the main characteristic of our seaside market town, which is essentially tourism.
I like the idea of themed market days, with antiques, books and food fairs. It would be good to have some free cycle workshops for all ages, male and female, as emphasis does always seem to be on cars. More hotels and ‘waterfront’ type venues with jazz and art galleries could enhance the quay areas, and the former Co-op would be a wonderful dance or drama venue. A town centre that apparently lacks soul is still a treat for someone in a care home or who is housebound; they would welcome a visit to the Market Place however “bad” it looks, if anyone wants something to do as an alternative to shopping.
Hitler catholic claim obscene
IN answer to your correspondent Philip Knight’s suggestion “Hitler was a catholic” (November 2 edition]. The argument hardly warrants defending seeing as there is sufficient evidence to refute this obscene claim. However, for the benefit of your correspondent. Hitler was such a good catholic that he never set foot in a Catholic Church; ruthlessly persecuted Catholicism, sending three million European Catholics to the gas chambers and additionally ordering the arrest and murder of every Catholic Priest in Poland.
Some Catholic eh? After the war, the State of Israel [and other prominent Jews such as Albert Einstein] declared the Pope a Righteous Gentile for hiding and saving the lives of some 800,000 Jews from Nazis.
Who are police candidates?
IN last week’s Mercury, a correspondent asks “Who are the police candidates?” For Norfolk, there are five candidates - Labour, Conservative, UKIP, Independent and Liberal Democrat. The names and information on the candidates can be found at www.choosemypcc.org.uk or for those without internet access is by calling 0800 1070708.
Every household has received a general leaflet about the PCC elections on November 15 but no freepost leaflet service has been provided as is usual in general elections for candidate’s literature.
Wearing poppy is emotive
ARMISTICE and the wearing of poppies for remembrance is an emotive subject and a very important one not to be taken lightly, commercialised or politicised. War is war is war - would that it were not - but sadly is an unhappy fact of life.
I have always worn my poppy with pride and gratitude and I like to think no-one will ever tell me when to wear it or indeed not to wear it. I choose to do so simply for what it is, a symbol of respect and remembrance of pride in my country and servicemen and women past and present who are prepared to give their lives for ours.
It is for me a token of respect for the older generation and a reminder to the younger generation they should never be allowed to forget the sacrifices made for their future to enable them to live in relative peace and harmony. In conclusion if I may I would like to remind us all of some lines from one of our eminent war poets, Siegfried Sassoon, who in his poem Aftermath summed it up so succinctly.
He wrote: Have you forgotten yet? For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days, But the past is just the same - and war’s a bloody game, Do you ever stop and ask is it going to happen again? Have you forgotten yet? Look down and swear by the slain of war, That you’ll never forget.
And I for one do not intend to do so. I will remember.