A selection of readers’ letters from the BUry Free Press of Friday, April 15.
NOWTON COURT: A WELCOME DECISION
As reported (Bury Free Press,April 8) the Development Committee of St Edmundsbury Borough Council voted last week by a narrow 9-7 majority to reject a controversial proposal to build a modern, three-storey nursing home in the gardens of historic Nowton Court, one of the town’s key heritage assets.
To those councillors who voted against the proposal: thank-you. We are grateful that you listened not only to the voices of park users but also the unambiguous advice of planning officers who said what anyone could see – that the new home made unacceptable demands of the site, it’s distinctive trees and the amenity of park users.
To those councillors who voted in favour: please reflect, again on this. While we understand the need for nursing home beds in the borough, we do not think this warrants going against a clear steer against the development from the borough’s own planning, parks and tree officers.
The welcome decision to reject makes strong long-term sense for St Edmundsbury. In the next 20 years, we will welcome thousands of new people to live in the borough. Important beauty spots like Nowton Park, which today hosts 360,000 individual visits every year, will become more necessary as the town grows.
Well done to councillors for getting it right this time. Let’s meet any appeal from the developer with resolve.
-- @ParkLifeNowton, Campaign group
EUROPE NEEDS OUR TRADE
It never ceases to amaze me that those who advocate our continued membership of the EU do so either out of self-interest or because they fear the future on the outside.
One of the fear tactics they frequently use, for example, is the old chestnut that the EU would raise tariff barriers against us if we leave. This argument is complete nonsense,of course, and is rather like saying that before we can buy goods from a supermarket we must become members of the grocers union.
Exploding the myth of penal tariffs being raised against us on leaving the EU, Prof Stephen Bush said recently that what we are currently paying to them by way of budget contributions equates to a tariff of 7% whereas Australia, for example, pays a tariff of only 5% for its exports to EU countries. And Nigel Lawson on the Andrew Marr Show last Sunday estimated that any external tariff the EU might impose on us when we vote to leave would be about 3% because of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules of which the EU is a member and so must comply.
Aside from the WTO requirements, the countries of Europe will continue to trade with us when we leave the EU in just the same way as they did before we joined it. The reason for this is that they sell us vastly more goods than we sell to them and so it will be in their own best interests to conclude a reasonable bi-lateral trade agreement with us sooner rather than later in order to preserve their own market share of our economy and to protect the many millions of jobs in Europe that depend on this trade with us.
-- Bill Attwood, Little Whelnetham
LEAFLET DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH
This week a leaflet has dropped through our doors from the Government, setting out its position on the forthcoming referendum. The leaflet is devoid of sensationalism and confines itself to the facts, including pointing out some, though not all, of the risks our country would face should we leave the EU.
I hope everyone will read this leaflet and consider its contents with an open mind.
Some have complained that the leaflet is propaganda and a misuse of tax payers’ money. I do not agree. The Government’s role is to implement the policies it has decided upon, and to justify them to the electorate. I do not notice people complaining when Government publishes advertisements extolling the benefits of changes to welfare, for example, nor should they.
Whether one agrees with a policy or not, the Government has a perfect right to publicise and justify it, and thereby seek public approval.
In fact, the leaflet does not go nearly far enough in warning the British people of the dangers we face should we exit the EU. It makes no mention of the risks to rights enjoyed by workers in this country which come from our membership of the EU: equal pay and maternity rights, for example, or the restrictions on driving hours which make our roads safer.
Outside the EU, it is very possible that these rights will be eroded or abolished in the pursuit of profit. Nor does it mention the beneficial impact of European rules on our environment: minimum standards for our beaches, for example, or limits on air pollution. These too could be at risk. Nor does it mention the benefits brought to some of our most deprived regions by European funding, nor the benefits to British science. I could go on.
Of course, the EU could be improved. I would like to see it more democratic and far more accountable.
I would like it to act to curtail the power wielded by transnational businesses and introduce trading and other policies which benefit and support smaller business.
I would like it to tackle aggressive tax avoidance by large companies. Above all, I would like it to take the lead in combating climate change and protecting the environment.
We do not have any real chance of tackling these and all the other problems facing us on our own; there is a strength and security in being part of a group. Moreover, shouting from the sidelines will not enable us to influence those European policies which will, inevitably in a globalised world, continue to affect us.
A decision to leave the EU will put all our futures at risk, our young people’s above all. It is the most serious decision facing us and I urge everyone, young and old, to register to vote (this can be done until June 6) and vote to stay in.
-- Julia Wakelam, Member for Risbygate Ward, St Edmundsbury Borough Council
BROW BIN SERVICE SHUOLD BE BETTERS
The new brown bin service appears to be a farce.
Our brown bin was not emptied because it contained ‘kitchen waste’, a few potato peelings, onion skins and orange peel etc. Since when were these non- compostable?
The sticker left on the top of the bin says no ‘invasive’ weeds, surely all weeds are invasive?
Paying for a brown bin should result in an improved service not a more restrictive one, when we have already paid our Council Tax.
-- June Plackett, Hopton
INEXPLICABLE RULE ON FRUIT AND VEG
Given this age when we are encouraged to recycle, can someone please explain why, amongst other items, fruit and veg from our gardens can be placed in our brown garden waste bin, but apparently vegetable matter from supermarkets or other such outlets cannot?
Granted, the bin is described as ‘your garden waste bin’, but the rule is somehow inexplicable.
-- P Jones, Westley
FIVE PAGES OF INSTRUCTIONS
How many jobsworths were required to produce the masterpiece on brown bin use along with attractive pictures of leaves,twigs and grass etc for those who have never come across such things. Five pages of script and illustrations dealt with the difficult task of putting the bin out containing the appropriate materials. There are other volumes concerning blue and black bins.
For only £40 you can join the BBC (Brown Bin Club) an offer not to be missed.
-- Brian Perrett, Bury St Edmunds
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