A selection of letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, February 22
Decision was slow but democratic
Paul Hopfensperger blames not getting his own way over shared space in St Andrew’s Street South on my and Cllr Richard Rout’s ‘ignorance and party politics’ (Bury Free Press, February 15). He seems to think that as ward councillors we are responsible for all the street’s current ills. If only we had such power to put to good use!
In 2007 the borough’s sustainable development panel (of which only one of us was a member but which included the opposition) decided to consult on an enhancement scheme for King’s Road (East) and St Andrew’s Street South. Following considerable local support, cabinet approved the scheme in 2008.
By 2009 the Bury area working party (also including opposition members) was concerned about traffic abuse and pedestrian safety in St Andrew’s Street South, and in two meetings in 2010 considered various options to remedy this. It decided to hold a half-day workshop of users and interested parties in January 2011, at which all options, even including closing the street, were thoroughly examined.
Paul Hopfensperger was one of over 30 guests at that workshop, but in the subsequent officer’s report on it, shared-space did not emerge as an agreed way forward. The outcome was a scheme of changes to the street’s layout, crossing points, additional loading and waiting restrictions, and improved signs. This was approved by cabinet (of which we were not members) in March 2011.
There followed a lengthy hiatus as highways transferred from borough to county responsibility, and an imminent gas main renewal was awaited. In the absence of a timetable for the latter, we understand that the county now expects to go ahead with these enhancements this autumn.
So much for ‘ignorance and party politics’: just the rather slow but democratic non-partisan workings of local government. We suppose an apology is too much to ask
Cllr Paul Farmer
Cllr Richard Rout
Borough councillors Abbeygate Ward
Scandal is tip of the iceberg
The current horsemeat scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the meat in our supermarkets gives us no information about the welfare of the animals. Of course, the higher welfare products carry labels like ‘free range’ or ‘organic’, but other products offer little or no information on how the animals lived and died.
I think it is high time we were given a window into the lives of the animals we may eat. I’m supporting Compassion in World Farming’s campaign to get compulsory labelling of all animal products so we can know how and where these animals were reared, how long they were transported for and how they were killed. For more information about this campaign, please contact Compassion in World Farming on 01483 521953 or visit their website ciwf.org
-The ‘horse meat’ scandal has again exposed the extent of our country’s inadequate regulation of the mainstream food industry; and this is surely a wake up call about our whole food supply chain. Now we must act to re-localise the food supply chain to support British farmers and improve traceability. Let’s buy food locally – what about using, if you eat meat, the three excellent butchers we still have in the Tower division I represent. In fact, there are some excellent food, and other, suppliers on St John’s Street. Greens believe that globalisation of the food supply has made many environmental and social problems so much worse, and that answers lie in sustainable agriculture and re-localisation – which shorten food supply chains and increase self-reliance on a regional and local basis. This means supporting local farmers, farmers markets, suppliers, independent butchers and other food shops. The challenges of a changing climate and its very impact on what we can healthily eat couldn’t be a more important issue for all of us. I recall the old adage: we are what we eat!
Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer
Leader, Green & Independent Group (Suffolk County Council)
Bury St Edmunds
Library could become hub
Stowmarket Library is ideally based to become the social hub of the town, that has no community centre.
The free-standing bookcases can be removed from the central areas. This space could be filled with table tennis tables and pool tables from the soon to be defunct Childer Road adult learning centre.
There could be an area for the older people and single mums to gather for self service coffee.
The books on the wall could be borrowed and returned without restriction.
Those who need a quiet study area could be accommodated in the staffroom area.
The staff, much reduced, could occupy the Christmas card shop. Computing could be from cheap tablets through Wi-Fi, thus reducing the need for trained staff.
Give swimming higher priority
The article ‘Leisure centre reintroduces family swim session’ (Bury Free Press, February 1), goes some way to remedy a problem which I think is far greater than the report may suggest.
I was lucky enough to have been taken for my first swim at the old outdoor Corporation Baths by my dad at the age of about four. I then spent many years under the stewardship of the late Colin Farrant then John Stemp being taught to swim as a member of the now defunct Bury St Edmunds Swimming Club after my mum entered me in the one width freestyle of the club championships aged about five to “Give me an interest and keep me off the streets”. We also had regular swimming lessons at The Convent of St Louis where I went to school.
Parents and toddlers having access to the teaching pool at the sports centre after school is an important element in being able to firstly give children the pool time to gain confidence in the water, and secondly to give them an interest which can last a lifetime. The school curriculum is, in my opinion, woefully inadequate in this area with just one term teaching at primary school. Suffolk County Council should be promoting swimming lessons far more at school than they currently do.
I would also call on Abbeycroft Leisure to re-think access times to the teaching pool for parents and toddlers after school. After all, one day it could save someone’s life.
English Channel swimmer 2007/08