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Your views on North West Norfolk election, a town museum and high school places

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Here are the Lynn News letters from the edition of Friday, January 19, 2024…All Norfolk seats are winnable,Cllr ColwellI read with interest the piece in the Lynn News last Friday in which Cllr Colwell talked about his candidacy for the Lib Dems in the next general election.

Cllr Rob Colwell has announced he will be running for the North West Norfolk MP role at the next general election

He declares that he has decided to stand ‘to put a stop once and for all to the disgraceful neglect of our vital public services’.What he fails to mention is that the savaging of our public realm has been the direct consequence of the 13 years of austerity and attendant privatisations that his party, in coalition with the Conservatives, imposed on the country.He then moves into a fantasy world in which he imagines himself winning the NW Norfolk parliamentary seat.He claims that the Labour Party cannot defeat the Conservatives here and that the Labour Party has now declared it to be a ‘non-battleground seat’.He doesn’t appear to understand that all parties, including his own, draw up lists of target seats where they commit more resources, and that is what a ‘battleground’ seat is – a target seat.But I have news for Cllr Colwell. All Norfolk seats are winnable by Labour, not just the single one we now hold in Norwich South.Furthermore, only Labour can form the next government if the Tories are defeated, though we don’t know how many seats Labour will win.I say that he is in fantasy land because of the following facts:The Lib Dems are currently the fifth largest group in Parliament, with 15 MPs. In general elections since 1997 in NWNorfolk Constituency – the Libdems did not field a candidate in 2001 – their average percentage of the vote has been 10.5, and in 2019 Cllr Colwell got 3,625 votes (7.8%)The Lib Dems, no matter which constituency they are contesting, always claim, without any real evidence, that theirs is the only party which can defeat the sitting Tory MP. Their current tally of 15 MPs and their habit of coming third or fourth in the majority of seats they contest suggest this is simply untrue.I recommend that he refer to the electoral calculus website for a dose of reality. But he would probably prefer to dream.Peter SmithLynnSo many have not visited wonderful museum

True’s Yard

Last summer, the North Runcton Parochial Church Council hosted a Community Hour in their local church.The guest speaker was the eminent Lynn historian, Dr Paul Richards.The audience witnessed Dr Richards deliver a hugely entertaining and interesting talk. They will doubtless have learned something about the area that hitherto they did not know.During his talk, Dr Richards mentioned that he was the chairman of the Trustees of True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum.As I am a ‘Friend’ of and volunteer at True’s Yard, this prompted me to reflect on my decade or more of association with the Lynn area.During this time, I have only discovered a handful of residents who have visited True’s Yard, many of whom are in their later years and have spent most or all of their lives here.The museum is a gem of our historical past hiding in plain sight. These days folks visiting Lynn often look for St Nicholas Chapel but, as it is invariably closed presumably because of a lack of volunteers, do not venture any further along St Anne’s Street to the junction of North Street where the museum is located.I would encourage anyone who has not visited True’s Yard to do so. And those who may have visited some time ago would be pleasantly surprised at how the museum has evolved.Perhaps some background might be helpful. The Fisherfolk Museum is an independent museum which tells the story of the lost fishing community of the North End of Lynn.Visiting the cottages, the Old Smithy, Smokehouse, and the fishing smack activity you can open a window into Lynn’s maritime and social heritage.The Old North End was swept away by slum clearances and road building in the 1930s and 1960s. But its spirit is captured in this last remaining yard, saved for posterity in the 1990s and opened by His Majesty King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales.A proposal to restore the yard to something approaching pre-demolition is currently being considered.Another remarkable survival is the Victorian smokehouse which is the only remaining smokehouse in Lynn.Herring caught in the Wash would have been smoked here on speats over oak chippings.There is more than the museum exhibits available at True’s Yard:- Guided Tours of the old North End (June to September);- Tearoom;- Newly refurbished gift shop;- Research Centre (Family and Local History).If anyone is interested in more information on any of these please telephone 01553 770479 or email – info@truesyard.co.ukThere is also a website available – www.truesyard.co.ukThe Fisherfolk Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. Winter opening times may differ. There is a very modest admission charge with concessions for senior citizens, children and families.There are often exhibitions running on various topics.Pay them a visit, you will be pleasantly surprised.Michael KingNorth RunctonHigh school work is very impressiveIts fantastic to hear about the positive news of numerous hedgerows being planted around the Springwood High School area of Lynn.Well done Agnieska Minns and her team -this should be at the forefront off all schools’ minds.Teaching and nuturing young minds in this way will have a huge impact on decisions and the future of our climate in coming years.Annie Boxvia emaiGovernment are all out for themselvesMy heart goes out to all the doctors, nurses and junior doctors who are working day and night to look after so many patients.I understand why they go on strikes.It’s time the government listened to them and gave them a decent wage.No it’s not okay for the government to all have big wages and on top of that they get thousands of pounds for just giving a speech for two hours, which is outrageous to my mind.I also feel sorry for all the homeless people sleeping on streets and so many families finding it difficult to feed themselves.Nobody should be in this situation in these days.To me, it seems the government are all out for themselves.Mary UrryLynnHelp us to help young peopleAs one of the country’s largest youth organisations, we at St John Ambulance are incredibly proud of our young people and their achievements.In 2023 alone, 2,000 of our Badgers and Cadets (aged five to 17) gave an astonishing 54,000 hours of their time over 12 months, covering events, training, teaching First Aid and helping their communities. That works out to over six years of volunteering in just 12 months.We want to continue helping our young volunteers thrive and would like your readers to consider volunteering themselves as part of the Youth Team.They’ll be instrumental in helping the next generation of First Aiders develop their skills and help save lives.They can find out more and apply via our website at www.sja.org.uk/youthteam. We have opportunities all over the county and they don’t need any previous First Aid experience.Readers can also help us with a donation. A generous gift of £15 could help us cover the cost of one First Aid lesson, enabling St John to empower young people with essential lifesaving skills.And a gift of £50 today could contribute to training a youth leader who could learn how to equip hundreds of young people with crucial First Aid knowledge and leadership skills that last a lifetime. Those who wish to help us in this way can visit www.sja.org.uk/donate/. We’re immensely grateful for whatever amount they can spare.Matthew AtkinsonSt John Ambulance National Youth Operations LeadGrandsons may be shipped right across the countyThere will be few in Downham who will be surprised that our local High School has run out of places and parents expecting their children to be going to Downham might find themselves putting their kids on a bus to somewhere in Cambridgeshire.Cllr Andrew Jamieson’s hapless excuses will ring pretty hollow with those of us who could plainly see that the massive ugly housebuilding programme in Downham would generate a corresponding huge bulge in the need for infrastructure to support the influx of hundreds of incomers with children. Frankly, the feeble response to this outrage from Cllr Jamieson simply highlights this Tory (county) council’s total dereliction of duty when it comes to serving the people. Surely when you decided to build thousands of new homes in my home town it occurred to you that there would be a need for bigger schools, dentists, doctors surgeries etc?We’ve been horrendously badly served by this regime’s crass incompetence and while they continue to rake in their council tax millions from us all to build their vanity project bypasses my grandsons face the possibility of being shipped across the county thanks to the ineptitude and hopeless planning by this awful council.I’m looking forward to seeing the local estate agents rewriting the ubiquitous blurb on their sales brochures describing local amenities which need to start reflecting the stark reality of living in Downham… overflowing schools with no places, substandard social and healthcare provision.Thanks to Norfolk County Council’s abysmal abilities in terms of planning and maths we’re all going to suffer while the likes Cllr Jamieson mumbles, waffles and shrugs his shoulders.Steve MackinderDenver



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