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Your letters on landline telephones, King’s Lynn’s New Queen Elizabeth Hospital and striking council staff





Here are the letters from the Lynn News of Tuesday, September 5, 2023...

Landline users should make their voices heard now

The good old dog and bone is heading towards a premature death at the hands of those obsessed with anything digital.

All of us know lots of folk around our community who rely heavily on landlines to make essential phone calls.

So it has become difficult to obtain cash and now you won't be able to phone a friend either.

Rather than allow the traditional copper wire system to run alongside the new digital technology, BT will remove landlines completely.

Countrywide it will impact on millions of people who rely on their phones which many have used for a lifetime.

Vulnerable groups, especially the elderly, will face the struggle of learning how to use new devices and processes. New digital systems require stable internet access, meaning rural communities are far more likely to be disadvantaged over urban areas.

Additionally, copper wire landlines will work during power cuts and often through natural disasters.

If the changeover represents progress then it should be possible to manage a smoother transition than will be possible under current plans. Telephone subscribers should make their voices heard now if the project is to be reviewed in a meaningful way.

Otherwise it will be too late because BT will have the 'upgrade' under way.

Bryan Brunswick

North Elmham

Kindness, care and education

As I turned a corner in the Vancouver Quarter of Lynn shortly after 1pm on Wednesday, I was greeted by a scene that spoke volumes of human kindness, care and education.

I saw a toddler being aided by paramedics to pump a plastic bottle full of air into the lungs of a crash dummy, which was stretched out on the blanket.

As well as the East of England Ambulance Service, Norfolk Police were there.

Both emergency services meeting and greeting members of the public.

In these challenging times for us all, the demonstration on resuscitation was very heartwarming. Well done, East of England Ambulance Service and Norfolk Police.

John White

Hunstanton

Let’s restore some kindness and care

I am writing about Robert Jenrick’s order to paint over children’s cartoon murals at UK asylum intake centres. It’s been a month since our campaign to restore the cartoons launched. We won’t give up on this issue and I wanted to explain why.

A cartoon mural could provide a moment of escape for a child during a distressing time. This was taken away from them - and we can’t ignore this. The cartoons have become symbolic of immigration policies that fail the most vulnerable in our society - and with no benefit.

The Government said cartoons were “too welcoming” - then that they were not “age-appropriate”. But its own inspection reports show that young children pass through these centres.

We need to set things right and show these children that we see them.

To readers who support the Cartoons Not Cruelty campaign, sign our Change.org petition. It’s already backed by 120,000 people. We’re taking steps to get cartoons to children ourselves to help restore some kindness and care. And we’ll keep campaigning, to make sure this never happens again.

Ray Bayliss

via email

Protestors were from Unite, and not UNISON

Further to your report on the council’s pay award in last Tuesday’s Lynn News, I wanted to provide a fuller account of proceedings which I don’t think were represented in your report.

Following a too-long debate at West Norfolk Council on August 24, I was glad to see the staff pay award, recommended by Cabinet, was, eventually, accepted by a majority.

Negotiations had begun last February, accepted by Unison in July and debated at Cabinet briefing, two panels, and Cabinet again where any remaining questions were answered.

Appropriate awards and changes to pay scales are very important both to address cost of living issues, staff retention, and recruitment which is difficult at the middle and upper levels of responsibility.

Costs of advertising such posts can well exceed reasonable increases in remuneration.

UNISON members’ responses were presented to Cabinet on August 1 where the pay report was recommended for approval.

The union’s responses were also referred to in the Council meeting on August 24.

Following the council meeting UNISON West Norfolk branch chair sent an email of thanks to the leader of the council, acknowledging on UNISON members’ behalf that he and other elected members had spoken up for staff at the meeting.

UNISON’s branch chair said that the union are now looking forward to productive discussions on next year’s pay, and hopefully an earlier settlement for 2024/25.

I can also assure you, despite the inference in your article that council staff were protesting outside the Town Hall as the pay award was debated, that this was not the case.

The protest referred to was Unite members from another organisation.

As you can see from above, Unison had accepted the pay award on behalf of their members and there was no need for a protest.

Terry Parish

West Norfolk Council Leader

Great news but the wrong site

I know we're all still wallowing in the glory of the finally successful bid to secure funding for a new hospital to replace the current collapsing out-of-date edifice, but does anyone believe it makes any sense to build it on the old site?

I know it's been discussed before but having fought so hard to force the Government to cough up the bigwigs now seem prepared to accept second-best and oddly reluctant to find a more sensible, accessible, flexible site. Why?

I get the feeling there's a school of thought that thinks we should be grateful for the funding and shouldn't be 'rocking the boat' by insisting we review and then find a better, less cramped site.

I've crawled up and down the Lynn bypass recently and struggled to get around the Hardwick Roundabout, the Greenyard Way Roundabout, the Hospital Roundabout, and the Knights Hill Roundabout.

It's already a miserable nightmare 'day-in and day-out'.

In-patients, visitors, doctors and nurses, delivery trucks and maintenance crews all waste hours and money crawling through this gridlocked hell and we need a re-think.

We've heard from local farmers who have suggested parcels of land which might be suitable but there seems to be no appetite from senior health planners to get to grips with the reality of what the future holds. The old QE site would make a perfect brownfield location for thousands of new houses . You're in the hot seat now Jo Rust... time to get together with Liz Truss and make some more waves and some more banners?

Steve Mackinder

Denver



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