Your views on Lynn pavement cyclists, the full West Norfolk Council meeting, petrol prices and Lynn and Boston football hooligans
Here are the letters published in this Friday's Lynn News...
Are West Norfolk garages taking us for a ride?
A friend of mine lives near Shrewsbury. Attached is a photo of his local supermarket’s fuel station prices this week.
Are our local garages taking us for a ride by charging 10p a litre more?
Maybe one of them might care to explain why we’re being mugged?
A pity police do not have the resources
Why do cyclists hereabouts not follow the Highway Code regarding using our pavements?
The number of close shaves by cyclists riding by at silly speeds makes me amazed that more injuries have not occurred. People leaving their houses are also in grave danger, as at the speed most cyclists use they would be unable to stop.
The Highways Act says that cyclists must obey all traffic signs and should not ride in pedestrian-only areas.
Riders who break the rules run the risk of a fixed-penalty notice of up to £500.
This being the case, it is a pity that the police seem not to have the resource to be able to tackle the uncaring cyclists.
This meeting was so important
Last Thursday (23 Feb 2023) not many watched the full West Norfolk Council meeting yet it was important because the subject was the budget for the next four years, which will have implications for all borough residents.
During the meeting there were moments of impatience, anger, claim and counter claim. Not ‘a who done it’ but the meeting raised many questions.
Will the various capital schemes such as 226 dwellings to be built at Parkway break even or incur future debt? Does the amount of time and money that is put into what the opposition described as ‘risky’ capital ventures contribute to our well-being?
Is it in our best interests that reserves are being used to prevent an overspend or should they be used to provide immediate help for those hardest hit by the rise in fuel and food costs?
A report attached to the budget papers states that in December 2022 the use of foodbanks increased by 86% as compared to December 2018 to 2021.
In April the reduction in government help with fuel costs and inflation above 10% is likely to mean even more people needing to use the foodbank.
Finally, the opposition claimed that it’s an electioneering budget so if there were not council elections in May, how would the budget be different?
What is so great about this deal?
It’s hard to pinpoint what it is exactly most professional career MPs and mainstream political journalists are generally euphoric about over this so called Irish protocol deal.
Is it their sense of relief, a ‘feel good’ factor where they think this ‘Windsor Framework’ is a convenient substitute so they don’t have to think or debate about it any more; or is it over applauding embattled PM
Sunak’s alleged leadership and negotiating skills?
Whatever it is neither are relevant in the real world.
The very fact there will be blue and red trade lines which will be utilised according to what goods and services will remain in Northern Ireland or cross the border into the Republic of Ireland EU area respectively and where the EU and the European Court of Justice will still exert a massive influence when things get problematic fully underlines the outright futility of the UK leaving the EU in the first place, yet alone holding a referendum in 2016 where this Irish issue, like many other key issues, were hardly ever mentioned.
However, whatever consensus they arrive at over whether “Brexit is done” or not, it is paradoxically yet another distraction from addressing and dealing with the obvious adverse political and economic repercussions of the UK leaving the single market and customs union, all of which is actually happening regardless of simplistic point scoring between mainly ‘Leave’ voters and ‘Remain’ voters.
Give workers the pay rise they deserve
The right to strike is a fundamental British liberty, but it is under direct attack from the Conservatives’ draconian strikes bill.
The bill would mean that when workers democratically vote to strike, they could be forced to work and sacked if they don’t comply.
The TUC says this is undemocratic, unworkable and almost certainly illegal.
The Government is wasting precious time and energy on this spiteful bill while millions are struggling to heat their homes and put food on the table.
And it will do nothing to solve the staffing crisis in our schools and in the NHS – but only make matters worse.
It’s time our Government got its priorities straight.
They should stop attacking the right to strike and give our public sector workers the
decent pay rise they are owed.
Only way is to make hooligans lose out
It made hideous reading in Lynn News on Tuesday about 17 football fans from Lynn Town and Boston United in court for fighting at the Walks Stadium on New Year’s Day. What was equally startling was these teams are not further up the leagues where the pressures are greater. What are the reasons for this? I will try and come up with some explanations.
My sport is rugby union, formerly as a player and now as an avid supporter. At school we had self discipline instilled into our minds and in the playing field there was the Corinthian Spirit with controlled abrasiveness, and wisdom mindedness over decisions by referees which were not to our liking, all of which rubbed off on spectators.
Punishments for indiscipline by players is more severe, a tried and trusted deterrent, unlike soccer where awards are lenient by comparison, a symptom of being bad role models.
Without being condescending, bad behaviour is rare in this rugby culture as club members and supporters are from the Executive League with only a minor criminal conviction needed to engender loss of careers and livelihoods, guaranteeing restraint whatever the provocation.
Looking at the convictions at Lynn Magistrates’ Court, some of the defendants have got previous form looking at the antecedents. They had nothing to lose from their gratuitous violence, which is at the roots of their problems.
This has to be tackled at source before pupils being old enough for attendance at football matches, through an overhauling of the education system, especially in returning to a traditional discipline code, coupled with more responsible parenting.
Companies should have a disciplinary code to address bringing jobs into disrepute for misbehaviour, accompanied by penalties, even though it is external, bringing an end to ‘slope shouldering’. Unfortunately ‘human rights’ will interfere.
Regardless, the bottom line to tackling soccer violence is putting supporters in a position where they have to count their losses before indulging.
Help our emergency appeal
At the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox, we have crucial aid supplies in Türkiye and Syria to help people affected by the devastating earthquakes that have claimed more than 40,000 lives.
This is a complex humanitarian response spanning two countries and one of the most challenging that ShelterBox and the international community have faced in the last decade.
The number of people affected is significant and we know that behind every statistic are people who need our help, including in very hard to reach, conflict affected regions.
We have an emergency response team in Gaziantep working with local authorities, partners, and Rotary, to make sure people affected by the earthquakes get the aid they need.
Our tents have arrived in Türkiye from Panama – one of the places where we strategically pre-position aid to help get supplies to disaster affected communities as quickly as we can.
The humanitarian need in Syria was already substantial before these earthquakes happened, with three million people displaced by the war in the north of the country
Now, freezing temperatures are presenting an immediate risk to life to people in both countries who are either too afraid to return home or have no home to go back to.
A truck of aid carrying thermal blankets has crossed the border into Syria and has reached our local partner, Bahar, who will be distributing our aid. More trucks of our aid should arrive in northern Syria in the coming days and weeks, and we’ll be getting winter coats to children affected by the earthquakes in Syria through our existing partner, ReliefAid.
None of our responses are possible without our supporters, which is why we have an emergency fundraising appeal to help people affected by the earthquakes and other disasters around the world. For more information visit www.shelterbox.org
Emergency Response Manager, ShelterBox