Candidates face the electorate

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Candidates standing in this week’s Suffolk County Council elections for the Tower division of Bury St Edmunds came face-to-face with their electorate last Monday.

All eight candidates attended a meeting at the Newbury Community Centre in St Olaves Road, Bury, organised by the Howard Association of Residents and Tenants (Heart).

They were each given three minutes to introduce themselves and make their pitch, before taking questions from the floor.

Residents raised concerns over the future of the Howard estate’s primary and middle schools, following the ‘debacle’ with the School Organisation Review, and the future of its Newbury Centre, which the council wants to transfer to local management but requires investment.

The impending Vision 2031 development and the perceived problems of increased traffic congestion, lack of affordable housing and need for a doctor’s surgery on the estate were also raised.

Other issues included litter and dog fouling, unsafe pavements, long-term problems with a road not yet adopted by the county council and planning queries.

Most residents were of the opinion that the Howard Estate had been neglected by the council, a view which was supported by some of the candidates.