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Your views on new King's Lynn hospital, politics, alcohol crime and climate change

Here are the letters from this Tuesday's Lynn News...

No news this month and it may not happen

Emergency props on the QEH theatre corridor (61535833)
Emergency props on the QEH theatre corridor (61535833)

This is a copy of a letter sent to MPs Steve Barclay (North East Cambs and health secretary), James Wild (North West Norfolk), Liz Truss (South West Norfolk), Duncan Baker (North Norfolk), John Hayes (South Holland), Jerome Mayhew (Broadland) and George Freeman (Mid Norfolk).

I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. I would like to, but I find it very hard to do so due to the continued delay in making the announcement as to which hospitals have successfully made it onto the New Hospitals Programme; whether as a part of the 40 original hospitals or the additional eight which were added at a later date.

As you are all aware, Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital was built to last 30 years. Since 2006, the trust has had the RAAC planks included on their risk register.

The public became aware in April 2021 that the risk was listed as ‘catastrophic’.

Local campaigners took immediate action and formed a community action group, led and funded by the Lynn and District Trade Unions Council. This is because our local TUC group represents workers in our area; workers who not only work at the QEH, but use the services there too.

We know exactly how important our local hospital is to our community and to the wider healthcare system.

Since the start of our campaign we have been given assurances time and time again that an announcement would be forthcoming about the status of our hospital on the shortlist.

First we were told it would come in autumn 2021, then December 2021, then January 2022. We were then told it would be spring 2022. This was then moved again because of the local elections taking place and the pre-election period.

We were able to see clearly from this that any decision made about funding a new hospital in Lynn was entirely political because it is only political decisions which are restricted in a pre-election period.

Following a visit to see James Wild and Duncan Baker last April, we were assured, almost promised, that we would hear the week after the local elections (which we did not actually have in North West Norfolk). But still we wait.

Another incredibly strong assurance was given that we would hear by the end of 2022, and now we are told we will hear “in due course”.

If we do not have an announcement this month, I do not think we will hear until after the local elections which are being held in May.

Your Conservative government will delay until the pre-election period for this round of elections and then wait to see how the vote goes. If the local Tories lose seats and lose their majority, we might get an announcement as a sweetener to voters. If they retain their majority then we stand no chance of getting a new hospital

because central government will be confident their constituency seats are not reliant on MPs actually delivering anything around our area.

I urge you to make that announcement this month. Make it clear that you value the people in the 150km2 area that is served by the QEH; that you value the 330,000 odd people who rely on these services.

Please do not leave this until

after the local elections. Should no announcement be forthcoming this month then I will make sure that every time we knock on a door we tell them the exact state of play and the fact that if they vote Conservative, they will not get a new hospital.

I’d really like to be proved wrong on this. I’d much prefer to say “I got it wrong” and get full funding for a new hospital.

Why? Because my family, my friends and myself, rely

absolutely on the full range of services being offered from our local hospital. We can’t afford private healthcare. My friends and family rely on the jobs offered there – and your local economy is reliant on it too.

I look forward to hearing from you – particularly you Steve, as we sent you a lovely Christmas card with thousands of signatures on as well as thousands of signed letters from worried constituents.

Jo Rust

Secretary, Lynn and District Trades Council

Two pimples on the same buttock

I’m neither Tory or Labour and outside the political class but Labour leader Keir Starmer is correct when he says Tory policies have all been tried and tested and are now stuck

together with sticking plaster.

Yet he and most of his Labour shadow cabinet who pose as the opposition are quite simply political hypocrites.

With Labour’s vacuous alternative economic policies which are in essence the same (in

order to not sound too lefty and radical) and rely on the same neo-liberal criteria and constraints, there’s actually

nowhere to apply any tape or sticking plaster whatsoever.

Two popular political metaphors: “Barking out of the same hymn sheet”. “Two pimples on the same buttock”?

They both couldn’t be more applicable to the state of UK mainstream party politics

today and all that does is provides a yellow brick road to the Wizard of Populism and Extremism.

The two party leaders’ new year speeches, particularly

Labour’s, were based entirely on sound bites... boosterist slogans which just prey on the political apathetic and faint hearted voter.

They’re the clearest affirmation yet that neither of the main parties have any idea how to solve the UK’s capitalist

economic and social problems and that the UK under this current pathetic unfair first past the post voting system may as well be a one party state.

It’s all presented as a democratic choice of parties for the sake of choice at general elections which many just blindly accept because they feel powerless to change things.

Nick Vinehill


When do we make these idiots pay?

If I count the contribution from ‘The Bar Man’ in Friday’s Lynn News, there were 13 separate reports concerning alcohol and intoxication.

The miserable tally of court convictions for drugs, drink driving, drug driving and general disorderly behaviour would suggest too many of our citizens either have little or no self-control or self-respect and clearly see getting plastered and stoned as a lifestyle choice. The cost to the nation in terms of court appearances, police work, administration of fines or prison costs, never mind the crashed cars and ambulances and hospital costs, must run to hundreds of thousands.

At what point do we call a halt and actually make these drunken idiots pay the real cost of their stupidity?

If these hopeless miscreants were expected to pay back the thousands it must cost to handle each and every one of these breaches of the law it might concentrate a few minds.

But even if it doesn’t, at least the rest of us can be sure we taxpayers aren’t paying to clear up somebody else’s moronic mess week in, week out.

Steve Mackinder


Don’t be fooled by fake news about weather

There are questions over the Met Office claim that 2022 was the hottest year since records using select measuring devices began 150 years ago.

A dubious example was at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, not too far north of Lynn. A weather extreme of a high of 40.3 degrees centigrade was officially recorded on July 19. The temperature held for only 60 seconds at 3.12pm and was preceded by a 0.6 centigrade jump in the previous two minutes. By 3.13pm the temperature had fallen back to 39.7 centigrade.

The Met Office attributed the sudden rise to cloud cover, but satellite photos show clear skies across Lincolnshire at the time.

Nothing was said about Typhoon jets being operational at the base then, and emitting intense heat.

The Earth looked very different in the past, and 8,000 years ago the UK was connected to mainland Europe.

Next time readers bathe in the sea at Hunstanton on what used to be land, do not be dogged by fake news by the purported experts on weather change with jet air.

David Fleming


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