GRAHAM TURNER: No-one local capable of filling David Ruffley’s shoes?

A personal view
A personal view
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I can’t help but feel disappointed that the shortlist of people wanting to replace David Ruffley as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate at next May’s General Election does not contain a single ‘local’ person.

Not only is Bury, Stowmarket, Needham Market and the surrounding area unrepresented, but it seems that no-one in the whole of Suffolk (who offered themselves forward) is capable of filling Mr Ruffley’s shoes.

Of course, it is entirely up to the local Conservative association to pick the person it thinks will best represent it at the election – not being a member, my views mean nothing, and the good folk of Bury will get a chance to voice their opinion soon enough, at the ballot box.

All of the candidates look to be very talented and able, with a multitude of skills, but local knowledge will not be within that skill set.

The election is just seven months away, so it would have been nice if – should the Conservatives be successful – the new MP could hit the ground running rather than spending a good part of their first term in office getting to know the constituency.

-- This week’s Bury Free Press includes a four-page feature – supported by ourbburystedmunds – on the independent traders in St John’s Street.

What a street it is – we’re so lucky to have such a range of shops, run by dedicated, knowledgeable owners.

I know you shouldn’t have favourites, but I do and it’s a totally irrational choice . . . I love Steamer Trading.

I say it’s irrational because I don’t cook – not properly, anyway – so really I don’t need to visit the shop as often as I do. But any excuse and I’m in there.

Usually, I find myself volunteering to search out some gadget for my wife and nine times out of 10, I’ll find it there, but really I just want to browse; fantastic coffee machines, mixers, ovenwear, picnic sets...

At heart I’m a frustrated designer, so seeing these wonderful objects – colourful, useful and tactile – gives me a warm glow inside.

Unfortunately, my budget does not match my attraction to the shop’s stock, otherwise our kitchen cupboards and drawers would be full of beautiful, but redundant, equipment.