A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, April 17.
£20k WASTED ON QUIRY ART
So those mythical long-spoken of tin trees have at last been sighted, lopped and abandoned outside a Rougham industrial unit.
Hopefully it’s their final resting place, and cuts out the middle man: let’s face it, they are never going to be erected in St Andrew’s Street South without provoking ridicule and wanton vandalism.
Just a few weeks ago a lady was hospitalised after colliding with a bus: to further restrict the view of pedestrians who already take their life in their hands crossing the road is stupid beyond words.
‘Austerity’ is preached by our political masters, but £20,000 can be thrown away on ‘quirky art’ no-one wants, meanwhile the town’s infrastructure is going to ruin – the pavements outside the Post Office are cracked, broken and waiting for someone to trip and injure themselves.
Can anyone enlighten us which councillors approved this scheme so we can show our disapproval where it counts on May 7.
-- Keith Chapman, Bury St Edmunds
A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT
There is a very bad smell about the way the council is apparently steam rolling its plans for the West Suffolk Operational Hub (WSOH) at Hollow Road Farm.
While the principle of a combined hub might well be sensible, the choice of location is absolutely wrong.
Apart from contravening a whole raft of previously published policy documents – Core Strategy CS11, Vision 2031, and the Green Infrastructure Policy – the practicalities of this being the best location do not stack up.
It is difficult not to get the feeling that the council is employing some stealth tactics here by holding a consultation over the Easter holiday period and the lead up to the General Election. The consultation also looks flawed – the online comments form gives the impression this is a ‘done deal’ with questions that are not about the overall suitability of the proposal but focused on what the buildings should look like and what other services would residents like to see at the site.
This appears to be setting a dangerous precedent as to how these sensitive issues get planning permission. Shouldn’t it be about which is the best site given all the requirements, not just which site is the most conveniently available at the time. Just because other potential sites are not available yet doesn’t make the choice of Hollow Farm right.
We deserve better from our council staff and councillors to thoroughly investigate all possible sites until the best solution for all is found. We have a beautiful market town surrounded by lovely countryside – the council should concentrate on preserving that with every planning application they consider.
-- M L Corcoran, Great Barton
SITE TOO CLOSE TO EXISTING HOMES
I am a Barton Hill resident and the proposed waste transfer hub will be built less than 400 yards from where I live.
I cannot believe the councillors even considered building on this beautiful 16-acre greenfield site.
Bury Vision 2031 policy BV14 identifies areas of available employment land within the borough – it doesn’t identify Hollow Road Farm. Surely this contavenes the policy. The whole field will be developed which amounts to the same area as the whole of Barton Hill and the estate behind.
If you ever come via Barton Hill to work in the mornings, you will know what the traffic is like – gridlock. Imagine what it will be like if this waste transfer station is built with all the extra traffic from miles around going to and from it 24/7, 363 days a year. Think of the huge lorries taking the waste from the site via the busy Tesco roundabout to Great Blakenham. Imagine the congestion, disruption and disturbance.
I may be biased, but would anyone want all that traffic, noise pollution, smell and vermin (gulls and rats) that this will inevitably lead to 400 yards from your home?
This is an industrial estate-type of development that should not be built so close to existing homes.
There must be another site nearer to Great Blakenham on the A14 corridor that it can be built on. Nobody is denying that it would be good to have an area where everything is together, but please, think again about using this site – or is it already a ‘done deal’?
-- J Stocking, Fornham St Martin
ROADS STILL IN DIRE NEED OF ATTENTION
I read with amusement your newspaper’s article relating to £1 million being paid for pothole repairs in the last two years across West Suffolk (Bury Free Press, April 3). I very much doubt that an extra £1 million has been spent – merely re-allocated to this cause.
Are we to be grateful that Suffolk County Council is spending our money repairing our roads that they allowed to fall in to disrepair while in its care?
The motorist is expected to keep a vehicle to an acceptable standard or face consequences. My recent dealings with Suffolk County Council is that poor road quality is acceptable as long as not dangerous. Simply wrong – poor roads increase wear an tear on cars.
Our roads are still in dire need of attention.
May I suggest the two members of Suffolk Constabulary I saw putting a microphone up a car’s tail pipe last week may serve the public better by protecting our property (ie cars) by noting the poor and dangerous areas of road and informing Suffolk County Council.
-- Mark Oliver, Bury St Edmunds
OTTER KILLED IN CULLUM ROAD
I can understand why residents of Hardwick Lane would prefer the bulk of traffic to be directed to use Cullum Road, however, I recently removed the freshly deceased remains of an otter from Cullum Road which only goes to prove that the river and water meadows are becoming good habitat.
Shame the road was ever built in my opinion.
-- Linda Hayward, via email
INJURED PUPPY IS ON THE MEND
I was wondering if you could help me?
On Good Friday I was visiting my son, who lives in Hospital Road, Bury St Edmunds.
My 17-week old little girl beagle Steffi – posh name Pintarra Princess – shot past everyone when the door was opened and straight into the road and was immediately hit by a passing car.
There was nothing the lads driving could have done. I thought Steffi was dead.
The two lads turned round and picked me and my son up and took us to Eastgate vets. They were fantastic and managed to get Steffi stable and out of shock. She was transferred to Christchurch vets, in Ipswich, who operated on her broken rear leg, her right rear leg is tender to put down as she has bruising and a cracked pelvis. Saw the vet who operated on her this morning and he is pleased with her progress – she will be fine. She is eating well and enjoying lots of attention.
I did not get the name of the two lads who took us to the vets in Bury but I am so grateful to them. They were concerned and kind, I would like them to know she is on the mend and to thank them.
-- Robin Smith, via email
DISABLED PEOPLE SHOULD USE VOTE
The General Election on May 7 is a key opportunity for disabled people to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
The next government will be making decisions about everything from whether we get more disabled-friendly homes built to essential support with cooking, washing and getting out and about.
To use your vote you need to make sure you are on the electoral register – you can check this by contacting your local council. There are lots of ways to vote – you can vote at your local polling station, by post, or you can nominate someone to cast your vote for you. The deadline to register to vote is April 20.
Your local council should make sure that disabled people are able to use their vote in person on polling day. There are many ways that they can do this, for example by making sure polling stations are accessible to wheelchair users, providing forms in large-print or taking time to explain the process so that someone can cast their vote.
For more information about voting, visit leonardcheshire.org/voting and ensure you have a say on the important issues that affect your daily life.
-- Emma Lindsay, Campaigns manager, Leonard Cheshire Disability
LOWER TAX RATES HELP ECONOMY
So, J K Apps thinks the ‘Conservative party is the political wing of the tax avoiders and hedge funds collective’ (Letters, April 10). Does he really know what draconian measures this Conservative led coalition government has brought in to counter tax avoidance? Does he understand the shabby and failed attempt by the previous Labour administration to collect more tax by raising tax rates? And does he appreciate the fine distinction between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion? It is well proven that lowering tax rates discourages tax avoidance because the cost and now much higher risk of engaging with such schemes is too high compared to the tax to be avoided.
If we want a fair society, government should turn its attention on those who either illegally evade paying tax by cavalier arrangements to ‘hide’ income, or fraudulently attempt to take money out by way of benefits to which they aren’t entitled. And if we don’t want avoidance behaviours to continue, government should change the law to stop them.
The UK economy has been pulling ahead of other major western economies in large measure because of the increased amount of inward investment from foreign businesses and that has been a direct result of lower tax rates here compared to other countries. The government’s lowering of business tax rates has reversed the outflow from Britain of company head offices, added to overall employment and output, and in consequence increased the absolute amount of tax collected in income tax, national insurance and VAT. That is the way to build a country that achieves prosperity for all and can afford to support those in its society who need its help.
Far from ‘Pumping money into Tory coffers’ the business leaders who signed letters giving their backing for the Conservative Party do so because many of them are only now seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel which was built by the incompetence of three Labour terms of office.
-- Keith Senior, Director, Jacobs Allen