Readers’ Letters: Friday, August 30

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, August 30, 2013.

SQUARE’S NEW LOOK IS A TRANSFORMATION

What a transformation to Charter Square by the introduction of a number of beautifully prepared and presented planters (pictured), and by the coffee shop going al fresco to boot, the whole area comes alive, where previously no matter where you cast your eyes grey was the colour. The Apex, Debenhams, the pave, the two lonely granite like seats, all various shades of grey ( albeit not 50 ) so many thanks to whoever was responsible for bringing colour into a grey place,

it certainly brightened up our last visit.

-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds

DISMAY OVER DECISION

When Cineworld acquired our lovely Picturehouse cinema we thought, after our initial shock, that its future was secure. How wrong could we be? We now hear that the Competition Commission is proposing that a cinema in Bury should be sold. The cinema and cafe in Hatter Street are thriving, thanks to the excellent management and staff and a wonderful choice of programmes. The ambiance is altogether different to that of the multiplex and offers a far wider variety of films, mainstream and foreign, operas and ballets broadcast live. This is supplemented with live theatre broadcasts and even current exhibitions bringing culture to the provinces. We no longer have to go to London for all of these and although Cineworld has offered a few, in no way does it compare.

Far from limiting competition it offers the residents of Bury real choice.

-- Janet Taylor, Sapiston

-I was absolutely dismayed to read about the Competition Commission’s preliminary findings regarding Cineworld’s takeover of the company that runs the Picturehouse chain. I do not accept that it will lead to lack of competition and higher ticket prices in Bury.

Prior to the opening of Abbeygate Picturehouse, my husband and I went occasionally to the Cineworld cinema in Bury. However, we were put off by the excruciatingly loud sound and youngsters gorging on popcorn throughout the film. Following the opening and refurbishment of the Abbeygate Picturehouse, we now go on average twice a month to see films and enjoy the whole ambiance of the Picturehouse cinema. There is no way on this earth that the two cinemas offer the same package – they are as different as chalk and cheese. They most certainly do compete with each other for custom and each appeals to a different sector of society. I see no reason why ticket prices should increase as a result and if they did, customers would vote with their feet so the owners would gain no benefit.

The Competition Commission has got it all wrong!

--Lyn Lawrence, via email

-The Cineworld chain is ideal for families with children who enjoy their popcorn and sticky drinks and mainstream films and the Picturehouse chain has a different clientele who enjoy art films, opera, ballet, plays etc which are broadcast live for people who cannot see these art forms any other way. We can of course also enjoy a drink with our entertainment at The Picturehouse.

The merger of the two companies must have been allowed by the monopolies commission just a few months ago so why the sudden reversal?

--M R Shepherd, via email

-The Competition Commission should leave well alone, the Abbeygate Picturehouse offers much more than the Cineworld cinema. It is a pity that it was sold to Cineworld in the first place, but provided they leave this ‘gem’ of a cinema operating as it does, under the excellent management of Pat Church, then it should continue to be the successful cinema that it already is. Like the ‘Voices of Bury’ I too, never go to the ‘other’ cinema.

--Janet Simmons, Bury St Edmunds

YES, I AM GLOOMY OVER DECISIONS

Well done to Mr Warby; at last he has got something right when he refers to me as doom and gloom and saying nothing his Tory council does will please me (Bury Free Press, August 23).

When I speak out against so many of the irresponsible decisions made by his council, it’s because of the anger I hear from many in the community and what we see for ourselves. If a few more of us chose to represent that community rather than their political masters and their misguided advisors, maybe, just maybe, the doom and gloom would give way to optimism for the future of the town. As it stands, the political block vote ensures the misguided will triumph.

For the record, I am not against the so-called eastern relief road as it will help deal with the additional HGVs from the expansion of Suffolk Business Park. However, I do not share the exaggerated claims made regarding domestic traffic.

--Trevor Beckwith, Independent councillor, Moreton Hall

A FABULOUS LOCAL EVENT

A round of applause to all involved in the food festival – some great food, cooking demonstrations and a fun day out, many positive comments, saying how lovely Bury St Edmunds was. A few complaints about lack of parking details and lumpy pavements and cobbled areas, but all in all a 95 per cent success rate for a fabulous local event.

--Tom Murray, Howard EstateBury St Edmunds

HISTORIC MOMENT AMONGST THE RUINS

The majority of visitors to the Abbey Gardens during the afternoon of Friday, August 9, did not realise that an historic and momentous occasion was taking place amongst the Abbey ruins. A group of pilgrims, headed by two young priests from Italy paused on their way to Walsingham to celebrate Mass at the spot where the high altar had once stood, before the distruction of the great Benedictine abbey on the orders of Henry VIII .

That Friday afternoon was the first time since the Reformation that a public Mass had been celebrated there. Only a handful of people participated but it was a wonderful and moving occasion.

--Dan Lacy Scott, Bury St Edmunds

COUNCIL AND POLICE MUST TALK

I wish to make a plea on behalf of the Moreton Hall estate in the aftermath of the ‘unlawful occupation’ of recreational public land by the travellers. While it did not affect everyone it was certainly true that for many people the peace, quiet and harmony which we all enjoy on Moreton Hall was severely damaged while they remained.

Mr Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in reply to David Ruffley MP says that our police forces and our local authorities have the powers to move these people on when they cause damage and harm. Those who have spoken to me in private say sadly our local police force stubbornly refused to do so even though there was clear evidence of wrong doing. This in turn caused the borough to be perceived as powerless.

These circumstances required the borough to erect many barriers on other sites and conduct daily refuse collections. These actions were both costly and problematic. Many residents were so cowed by a series of antisocial acts they failed to report the abuse. Those who did received little sympathy from the police. Some felt the police were actually hostile to them.

I have been told that trouble was not confined to Moreton Hall, other parts of the town were affected, but once again people were too cowed to complain.

It is clear therefore that community leaders, the borough and the police, need to meet urgently. We all need an appropriate strategy to ensure the scenes of distress caused to parishioners on Moreton Hall and the town never happen again. I do hope the Suffolk Constabulary will respond positively to this plea and we all look forward to hearing from them in the near future.

-- The Rev Canon Jonathan Alderton-Ford, Minister, Christ Church Moreton Hall

MAKE SUNDAYS FREE AGAIN

Why have free parking on Tuesdays? Is this because that’s the day the least amount of people use the car parks?

I have been paying for my car park ticket, only to hear visitors say it is expensive here.

So be good to the motorists – do not rip them off. Make Sundays a free day across town and Wednesdays and Saturday mornings £2 for two hours between 8am andnoon. That will benefit a lot of locals.

-- Gordon Jones, Bury St Edmunds