A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, August 29.
SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS WENT THROUGH MIDDLE SCHOOL
Once again the students of our Bury schools are to be congratulated on their excellent performance in their recent A-level examinations. It is worth noting that all these pupils will have passed through the middle school system, the system that, in their wisdom, the ‘powers that be’ are trying to do away with.
The middle schools have always provided an excellent education where each teacher knows virtually every pupil because the total numbers at the school are low and yet where the children can also receive specialist teaching in areas such as science labs, cookery rooms and gymnasium. The pastoral system, which plays a very important part in the day to day running of any school, is so much more effective where communication is easier with smaller numbers.
What is the advantage of adding extra classrooms to primary schools and taking away their playing areas while at the same time putting Years 7 and 8 on to a former middle school site as has happened in Mildenhall, so in effect maintaining the three-tier system that some are so keen to get rid of?
-- D A Searle, via email
SERVICE CUT WITH NO CONSULTATION
The passengers on the Tuddenham, Risby, Bury bus route are very disappointed that the few buses they have, run by Mulley’s, have been withdrawn at very short notice and with no consultation with passengers. The only options now are school buses, schooldays only.
Many people rely on the buses for shopping (Risby has no shop) medical appointments etc.
Other villages, Fornham, Hengrave etc, have hourly services – there doesn’t seem to have been much thought given to joining up some of these routes to include Risby.
Mulley’s say that the route is uneconomical with people using bus passes, but many passengers would be happy to pay some extra on top of their passes. Perhaps the borough or county councils can help resolve this matter.
-- Patricia House, via email
ROUGHAM HILL IS STILL BEST SITE
Has Cllr Peter Stevens not heard (Letters, August 8) that we already have an efficient well-run household recycling and waste transfer station at Rougham Hill?
Next door is the council-owned lorry park, easily expanded to accommodate all council cleaning services and providing overnight parking for those lorries now forced to park and clog roads – especially on Moreton Hall. All expensive to install services, including the popular café, are already there.
The band of four (Mr Corrie, Mr Williams, Cllrs Stamp and Beckwith) lost their judicial review because their case was shallow, riddled with scaremongering, vested interests and nimbyism. It would be reassuring if, rather than going to ground, they confirmed they will meet all the council’s costs incurred in fighting their blind crusade. Why should we?
Rougham Hill is by far the best option at a fraction of the cost and with the same impact on Vision 2031 as other sites. It is closer to the Great Blakenham incinerator and less of a burden on tax-payers than building a new site at Hollow Road Farm, Compiegne Way, from scratch, which would force even more traffic to use Junction 43 (Tesco), already our busiest A14 junction. Rougham Hill has better access to the A14, even before the Eastern Relief Road is built – which will reduce traffic using Junction 44 (Rougham Road/Sainsbury’s).
Rougham Hill would result in fewer waste miles, lorries, road wear and tear, and diesel usage (the most polluting of all vehicle fuels), therefore causing much less damage to our environment than a Hollow Road site.
Cllr Stevens, your council has just announced the need for another £1.5 million of cuts. Yet you want to fritter away £100,000 of our cash on what is clearly an unnecessary feasibility study. Could you please tell us factually why, when Rougham Hill ticks all the boxes?
-- S C Harding, Bury St Edmunds
DON’T USE DEAN AS A SCAPEGOAT
I am writing in response to letters in the Bury Free Press criticising the Dean. Whilst some condemn the Dean for speaking out, I admire the quality of her mind and spirit that she acted in accordance with her beliefs. Simon Harding suggests the church are past masters at burying embarrassing issues and indeed, in the past, some have not spoken out about violent acts, including child abuse, when they should have done. I believe Frances Ward was principled and courageous when she decided to write to the MP. Arthur Gilbert continues to represent the views that domestic violence is ‘a private affair’. It is not. In my view the Dean has done what a Christian leader should do and spoken out with awareness that many partisan Conservatives will act with anger towards her for they still seem to think violence is a private matter.
Many leading Conservatives in this area, including Jenny Anthill (county councillor) Tim Passmore (Suffolk police commissioner) and Simon Potts (former constituency chairman) have all publicly spoken out that Ruffley’s position is untenable so please stop using the Dean as a scapegoat.
-- G Ereira-Guyer, via email
FAWCETT GROUP’S VIEW
I am sure that we have had enough column inches on the Ruffley story, but we were so appalled by the outpouring of letters in the Bury Free Press attacking the Dean and supporting Ruffley.
Our position from the start has been that David Ruffley was involved in an incident of domestic violence and, as a public official, he must be held accountable for his actions. The fact that he has not been judged or condemned by his party locally or nationally means that we remain dissatisfied with the situation. His statement about standing down was merely about the effect of the so-called media-intrusion on him, not what he actually did. The act itself and its meaning in this specific case, but also in wider society, has not been addressed. We have written to the Prime Minister David Cameron to outline our concerns and are awaiting his response.
Many people seem to have forgotten the seriousness of the incident itself. They have also forgotten that there were many people speaking officially about the incident, all of whom had public roles or represented institutions with public roles, including Bury Fawcett group. The Dean should not be isolated. We are very concerned that we live at a time and in a place where those who condemn domestic violence are somehow in the wrong, and those who commit domestic violence are not collectively judged.
-- Eleanor Rehahn, Bury Fawcett group
I’M PROUD OF COUNCIL’S RECORD
I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded, by David Nettleton, of my time as a Labour Cllr in St Edmundsbury 11 years ago (Letters, August 22). I was particularly proud to be associated with a council that had the forethought to invest in the development of a number of key initiatives, which continue to provide benefit to the community. These include:
-- Redevelopment of Angel Hill
-- The construction of the athletics track
-- Sports opportunities –including half price admission for young people during school holidays
-- Construction of the arc shopping centre
-- Construction of the Apex
-- The development of the multiplex cinema
-- Development of cycle paths . . . to name but a few!
While all such projects come with a cost, in most cases the benefits by far outweigh the original investment. The role of councils is to plan and invest wisely to support and enhance the lives of citizens of all ages. In my view the Apex, in particular, is such an investment. It brings huge enjoyment and makes the arts accessible to many people.
David, there is far more to being a councillor than grass verges (as important as these are) and moaning about the Apex!
-- Richard O’Driscoll, Bury St Edmunds
EMBRACE THE APEX
Isn’t it about time we drew a line under the Apex v who’s the mug debate? Can’t we all embrace the venue as a wonderful performance space providing a genuine feel good factor for who patronise it? In spite of us all paying our taxes the town continues to buzz with all restaurants thriving. For David Nettleton to suggest that in his opinion the cathedral is the best venue in town shows what a time warp he is living in. Who in their right mind would choose to leave their warm home in the winter to hear a concert in the cathedral snuggled up in their hat coat and scarf?
-- Richard Cox, Bury St Edmunds
THANK YOU TO BUS COMPANY
I write to express Headway Suffolk’s thanks to First Stop Travel for supplying two of their wheelchair-accessible vehicles for a trip to Felixstowe for our clients on August 19.
A great number of our clients, who have an acquired brain injury or neurological condition, have difficulties getting to such places and the kindness of First Stop Travel enabled them a rare treat to enjoy the simple pleasures of the seaside on welcoming sunny day.
-- David Crane, Office manager (Bury Neuro Hub), Headway