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Your letters on Lidl's Downham Market plans, politics, health, animal legislation and education

Here are the letters from the Tuesday Lynn News of February 7, 2023...

What we need is a grassroots campaign

Wow! Small children are students attending academies, school leaving is a graduation, and about half of young people go to university where nearly half (40%) get first class degrees.

This nonsense conceals a thoroughly undermined education system deliberately broken up as a political aim (all the ‘trusts’, accountability ‘payment by results’, no university grants but fees for minimal tuition, vocational courses cut,

etc ).

‘Numeracy and literacy’ was the apparently sensible slogan that eliminated focussing on pupil needs and what will actually be useful in life.

But, for a maths example, our so educated MPs were asked the likely outcomes of twice tossing a coin (two heads /two tails/one each) and most got it wrong. (If you’re puzzled, try a dozen times, then think it through.)

And how many of us can confidently speak 1,010,010, tell a quarter of a third, or draw a simple graph or pie-chart? Can we usefully balance a budget, write a correct apostrophe, measure our BMI, use a map, wire a plug, follow a recipe, understand climate change basics?

Above all, can we think about our lives, get on with others, be sensible?

Content and method are thoroughly wrong, so it’s unsurprising that schools are sometimes unhappy places. Discovery and thought, creativity and personal development, and learning how to learn are secondary in

teaching toward tests for parrots.

Much needed is a grass-roots campaign by teachers and educationists with parents in support. Anyone local in agreement?

Edwin Salter


We suffer from no-strategy, reactive decisions

Local services, the NHS and schools all suffer from no strategy reactive politics.

It is good to see a new doctor’s surgery being built on Low Road, or is it? Consultation was narrow. Was there an opportunity to incorporate safer access to the school in Hall Lane?

I understand the council has owned the land for a long time without doing anything with it. This would help to alleviate the daily nonsense of safety being put at risk, with traffic laws
being flouted and residents being subjected to mass invasion. Sadly, a common theme around schools.

The NHS needs to be restructured, not just pour money into a sinking vessel. Some processes are archaic and wasteful.

I’m not talking about the front line, who are generally magnificent. I’m talking about the well-meaning but excessive layers of bureaucracy.

Non-essential roles have been created to ‘weigh the pig’, not improve its health.

Why have whole departments reported daily problems when there is insufficient staff to solve them at the sharp end?

How to demoralise a great workforce. Pay has been eroded for many years, so they eventually leave.

Many incidents occur in many departments that require investigation. This cannot be a good way of working. There has been a large increase in ‘never’ events.

Privatisation is largely through stealth, not constructive planning and strategy. Asking the motorist to fund hospitals through parking is not equitable. Withdrawing funding for NHS dentistry has had a serious impact on supply. Many services are now restricted.

Why is it that you can get an appointment privately and not through NHS?

Council tax has been changed so many times, it needs redefining. How does adult social care sit with a council rather than the NHS?

Robert Gardner

South Wootton

They don’t legislate against stupidity

My wife and I remain grateful for the devoted treatment we received from frontline doctors and nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn. Our criticism is directed at the feckless and unaccountable bureaucracy behind closed doors.

This was exposed by newspapers on January 26, reporting controversial expenditure at the QEH triggering opposition, due to its leanings towards diversity.

Posters were posted on Twitter with symbols showing a silhouetted character in trousers and a skirt, accompanied with the word ‘inclusive’.

Money was also disbursed to the installation of many gender-neutral toilets, raising eyebrows considering that parts of the hospital are in a dilapidated state.

This announcement was made with pleasure to reflect administrative operational requirements, no comfort to patients in theatre recovery rooms from operational surgical requirements.

The anomalous office managers must answer some searching questions. How much money did these vanity projects cost, including labour, and what amount of medical equipment could have been purchased in the first instance with the same expenditure, and how many leaking roofs in the wards could have been repaired?

A solution to sectional interest would be the Treasury insisting on NHS Trusts earmarking rationally where public money is being spent as a prerequisite for funding, prioritising the fundamentals of healing and saving lives. To this end the prime minister should appoint a minister for profligacy to circumvent financial squandering. It would be sensible job creation if it saved billions of pounds on the non-jobs culture, but common sense isn’t common, explaining the stagnant state of people and systems out there in the field. Unfortunately no Government so far has legislated against stupidity.

David Fleming


I don’t think many would agree with her

I’m sure the Downham responder to my anti-Lidl letter, one Erica Adams, has only the best interests of herself and her neighbours in mind when she calls for a full-on Lidl to be built on the Downham A10 bypass and then goes on to dream of an entire retail park alongside and lots more houses to add the suburban mish-mash I dread.

Clearly her dismissal of the potential breakdown of our vibrant town centre doesn’t bother her and I wonder why?

Don’t the existing retailers and local businesses have a right to thrive?

Most local business owners are residents too and have a vested interest in a rural economy and life in Downham.

Erica Adams relishes the day when we’re all just residents in a sprawling dormitory blob of characterless houses and seething residential streets full of people who only shop at retail parks... and if that’s her idea of progress and the future, then I want no part of it and I don’t think you’ll find many who agree with her vision either.

Steve Mackinder


Puppies being deliberately bred with deformities

Following the BBC1 Panorama programme ‘Dogs, Dealers and Organised Crime’, which aired on Monday, January 23, pet charity Blue Cross is appalled that puppies are being deliberately bred with life-affecting deformities and that the painful practice of ear cropping continues, despite being against the law.

We are calling on the Government to improve legislation around dog breeding and demand enforcement to prosecute breeders and others who practice horrific ear cropping. We urge anyone considering getting a puppy from a breeder to ensure they are being bred with their health and welfare at heart and not just for profit. It is only by not buying from these unscrupulous breeders that deformities and exaggerated features in puppies will ever be stamped out.

Tracy Genever

Blue Cross

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