A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, June 20.
A DSITINCT LACK OF INFORMATION
The closure of the Bury Tourist Information Office is a disgrace – a loss to the town and its visitors. The so-called Tourist Information Centre at the Apex has no information literature whatsoever, either on the town, surrounding areas or the rest of the country.
The office on Angel Hill was full of every booklet and leaflet that could be required. However, financial considerations obviously outweigh all else to the detriment of the town.
-- M Seager, Bury St Edmunds
CONGRATULATIONS ON NEW CENTRE
I would like to congratulate Bury St Edmunds Cricket Club, South Lee School and others involved on the completion of the Victory Ground Sports Centre. Also to compliment them and the building contractor for their excellent public relations throughout the building programme. Residents were given advance notice in respect of increase in levels of noise, heavy traffic and temporary road closure. The contractors also ensured that the Nowton Road site access was kept clean throughout the operation.
Together with many other people, I recently took advantage of the Victory Ground open day and enjoyed a conducted tour of the entire complex. I was impressed with the excellent quality of each and every amenity provided and would urge Bury St Edmunds residents to give this sports centre maximum support to ensure the success it richly deserves.
-- Charles Culley, Bury St Edmunds
BEWARE OF ‘CONSULATIONS’
I am writing to compliment the letter from Ruth Brady (Bury Free Press, June 13), former manager of The Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce, for sharing her concerns about the design of the alleged ‘improvements’ to St Andrew’s Street South. In it, she supports both the views of the manager of the arc and myself about the bad design and ugliness of the street. But she also says that I was incorrect to state in my letter (Bury Free Press, May 30) that ‘Traders and the Chamber of Commerce along with borough councillors’ made the decision on what to do. Of course, technically, she could be considered to be correct, as the St Edmundsbury borough councillors at the time took the actual vote to agree the changes. However, where she is mistaken is that the ‘workshop’ she mentions which was attended by her and included myself in 2010/2011 as chairman of the Risbygate Street Traders Association, was in fact what is known in council circles as a ‘consultation’. In council speak, a consultation, is where a scheme or scheme(s) are shown to people who attend the meetings, their viewpoints are noted, then generally ignored so that what the council wanted in the first place can be implemented. When complaints are raised, the standard reply is: “Well it went out to consultation”. An email from Steve Boor, the west area highways manager at Suffolk County Council, dated February 4, 2014 clearly states: “These changes arose from stakeholder meetings undertaken by St Edmundsbury in late 2010, early 2011.” Well, clearly Ruth and I did not agree with them, so one would have to ask, ‘Just who did?’. (It is here that you should now refer back to my definition of a ‘consultation’!)
So I would say to Ruth, and anyone else who is invited, next time you attend a ‘workshop’ or ‘consultation’, beware, because you are most certainly, and without a shadow of a doubt, a large part of the council decision-making process. You have been warned.
-- Paul Hopfensperger, Independent councillor for St Olaves ward, St Edmundsbury Borough Council
SCHOOLS’ MOVE NOT SURPRISING
It is hardly surprising that Tollgate and Howard Middle have withdrawn from the Bury Schools Partnership (Bury Free Press, June 6). It makes no sense at all that those children might have to be transported to Moreton Hall to be educated when their natural secondary provider, County Upper School, wants to keep them within their very successful Academy Trust. Existing schools within the trust are already working with them to the benefit of their pupils and I have no doubt that the educational outcomes will be very positive. It seems to me that this all-through model has got it right by carrying on with what they do best, providing the children within their group with an outstanding education, instead of being party to the wrangles going on in Suffolk County Council’s determination to ‘get their own way’. It would be immoral for SCC to deprive these children of being educated locally which is what parents and the Academy Trust, want.
-- Charles Thomas, via email
THANKS FOR YOUR DONATIONS
RE RNLI Flag Day Collection Saturday, June 14.
On behalf of the local Branch of the RNLI, a really big thank you to the people of Bury St Edmunds, who generously donated a total of £1,220.58 in support of the Lifeboats, the charity that saves lives at sea.
Also my sincere thanks to all those who collected, and a very special thanks to our friends at Abbey Rotary Club, with seven of their members helping with our collection.
Special thanks are also due to Richard Bird, at Street level Café, on Abbeygate Street, who again made a very generous donation to our cause.
Bury St Edmunds and District branch of the RNLI, undertakes various collections in and around Bury St Edmunds and last year raised in excess of £8,000 for the Lifeboats. If anyone is interested in helping to support us then please contact John Riley on 01284 810398.
-- John Riley, Chairman, Bury St Edmunds and district branch RNLI
BOROUGH MUST FACE UP TO THE COUNTY
Following your report on the Waste Transfer Station (WTS) fighting fund (Bury Free Press, May 23) and Mr Corrie’s letter (May 3o), I decided to check it out further before making a donation and am now convinced that if the W T S goes ahead on the Rougham Hill site it will be a complete disaster for all the townspeople as well as those who live locally and who will live on the proposed 1,250-home housing estate nearby.
Suffolk County Council appears to be determined to bully St Edmundsbury Borough Council to use this site in spite of the fact that our councillors have unanimously opposed this development and have found suitable alternative sites far enough away from homes to be a health risk.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council urgently needs to face up to SCC to make it act sensibly. If this fails then, on behalf of all local taxpayers, it must top up the fighting fund to ensure that a court hearing goes ahead next month.
Providing the money should be no problem. Our council has money in the kitty from keeping the change in the car parks, which is not normal taxpayers’ money and can be used for the benefit of the community as a whole.
-- David Evans, Bury St Edmunds
PUBLIC SHOULD SUPPORT CAMPAIGN
I am in support of the group appealing for funds to continue the fight against Suffolk County Council’s scheme to build a waste transfer station on Rougham Hill, I feel it is important to point out that Suffolk County Council failed to inform the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of the impact of the dumping of hazardous waste at Rougham Hill.
The county council played down the amount of clinical waste, asbestos etc, which would be deposited at Rougham Hill and, only afterwards did they admit publically that it could be up to 5,000 tonnes a year.
I believe that people in and around Bury must support the team as they move towards the final battle to stop this dreadful plan, a plan, which would make our town the only one in East Anglia where there is a waste transfer station placed in a residential area.
-- David Marriott, Thurston