A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, December 12.
REPORTER SAM GOES THE EXTRA MILE
I am writing to thank Bury Free Press sports reporter Sam Murley for his actions while touring with the Bury Saints American football team in Rotterdam.
After Manny Durran injured his leg it became clear that he needed to go to hospital. In the UK, league rules state that we have to have an ambulance on site for all games, but this is not the case for Dutch league games, so he was going to be transported to A&E by car. The player was clearly in a lot of pain, visibly upset and I was concerned about him going into shock.
Sam approached me and volunteered to go to hospital with Manny. We didn’t have our full compliment of sideline personnel and it was reassuring (for me and the player) to know that there would be somebody who spoke the same language with him . . . and it’s an extremely good thing that he did! Initially the hospital refused to recognize Manny’s insurance so wouldn’t treat him (the player was a US serviceman, who is covered by their world wide medical cover). The poor lad was left sitting in a wheelchair, without medication, in absolute agony and confused. They wouldn’t even provide pain relief until they received 200 euros
Not only did Sam deal with the hospital on behalf of the player, who was in no fit state to do so himself, but he also went to an ATM and withdrew enough money from his own account to ensure the player was treated.
Eventually another American player contacted the insurance provider, and together with Sam, liaised on the phone between them and the hospital to ensure the player was treated properly. He stayed with Manny and returned to the hotel with him after his leg had been set. We reimbursed him the 200 euros.
Honestly, what a brilliant thing to do. Just awesome! It is genuinely hard for me to put into words just how much what Sam did means to me.
-- Chris Wallis, Bury Saints American Football Club
PLEASE STOP CULLING TREES
Why does the borough council want to erect two metal trees in Bury? Is this in response to the culling of ‘real’ trees which has taken place all over Bury? Please stop culling trees all over the place and wasting money as well as the environment. Only this morning I took a walk off Glastonbury Road and witnessed such devastation. What is it all about? For only last spring the trees in that part of Bury were a picture of perfect health with beautiful blossom. Pollarding is one thing but cutting trees to the ground is another. Forget about metal trees and take care of the ones we have left, please.
-- Carol Cryer, Bury St Edmunds
WHAT’S THE DELAY ON METAL TREES?
How many councils, councillors and meetings does it take to install two 3.6m stainless steel trees in Bury St Edmunds, costing £15,000? Answers on a postcard please.
We read that the project was rubber stamped by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Bury Area Working Party – the chairman being St Edmundsbury Mayor Cllr Robert Everitt.
The trees were due to be in place by June, but the delay has been put down to ‘complications’ with their proposed location.
So what was wrong with the rubber-stamp? Was there not enough ink in the ink-pad?
A Suffolk County Council (SCC) spokesman has said they are working with the designers and St Edmundsbury Borough Council (SEBC) and have instructed SCC contractors (who are to install the trees) to set up a meeting with both SCC and SEBC ‘to agree a way forward’.
How many more meetings, wasting more time and money, do these people need? Do they need to discuss purchasing a better rubber-stamp or ink-pad?
I am sure that if asked, the local taxpayers would gladly and readily give a suggestion where to plant one or two of the trees, and I am sure it would not make comfortable reading for one or two councillors.
Perhaps the money and time would have been better spent in repairing the sunken patch of road across the width of Looms Lane (outside Tattoo Art) in Bury, which nearly caused a serious accident when a motorcyclist hit it recently. He nearly came off his bike and collided with my father’s parked car.
Please check it out councillors and, for safety reasons, don’t discuss the matter too long before approving immediate action. Thanking you in anticipation.
-- Ian Smith, Bury St Edmunds
REPORT POTHOLES TO GET THEM FIXED
Many of the roads in Bury St Edmunds are in a sorry state. Potholes seem to infect them, increasing at a worrying rate to all road users. But I can’t help wondering how much we residents are to blame. Have the bad potholes been reported to Suffolk County Council Highways Department?
Earlier this year I reported holes in Hickling Drive and Home Farm Lane close to the Macebearer. Details were taken and a few days later I was told the holes had been inspected and were due to be repaired. Before the week was ended the holes had received a temporary repair.
In the past few weeks I have driven past the Hickling Drive hole which has lost its temporary repair and a couple of very bad holes which have appeared close to the Hardwick Middle School bus stop. I have been watching to see how long it would take for them to be reported and this morning, in desperation, I picked up the phone. The clerk in the Highways Department was very pleasant and, while we were talking, she was making out the reports for the holes to be inspected. I can’t help wondering why someone who lived closer than I hadn’t done the reporting.
Wouldn’t it be good for Bury if residents took the bother to phone Highways Department on 0345 6066067 and reported any problem holes in their area ? We are sometimes quick to blame councils for lack of action, but if no one tells them of a problem they cannot be expected to know it is there.
-- R Hill, via email
PERNICKITY OVER CONSULTATION
Gayle Wade is being pernickety in seeking to draw a distinction between the ‘majority of residents’ and the ‘majority of residents who respond during a consultation process’ (Letters, December 5). As there is no evidence to suggest that people who don’t respond to consultation exercises hold different opinions from those who do, the two statements amount to the same thing. However, I wouldn’t describe anyone as apathetic – just not particularly interested either way as to the outcome. As one household in five doesn’t own a car and many more took the sensible precaution of buying or renting a property with sufficient off-road parking for whatever numbers of cars they own, it would be surprising if responses to a consultation about residential permit parking were particularly high. In 1992, we bought a property in the town centre and because I was married to a car owner at the time, ensured that there was a place to garage the vehicle on site. We paid for this within the purchase price and as it was a 25-year mortgage, I’m still paying. I, therefore, didn’t vote in the consultation about permit parking in the Brackland area where I live as it didn’t affect me personally or financially.
Gayle then asserts that the county council is proposing to close Abbeygate Street to traffic 24/7. No, we are not ‘proposing’ anything at present. The consultation process will invite views from interested parties – I attended the Churchgate Area Association AGM on 17 October 2014 where I urged members to participate in the consultation – and that invitation is open to anyone who may have an idea how to improve the present unsatisfactory arrangements. For example, Abbeygate Street is closed to traffic all weekend but opens up again at 7am on Monday mornings. Between 8am and 9am children of all ages can be seen walking up, down and across Abbeygate Street to school. At 10am, Abbeygate Street is closed for six hours only to re-open as some of the same children are making the return journey. This includes pupils at the three upper schools walking back to suburban areas like Moreton Hall via the Abbey Gardens (and maybe taking in the occasional visit to a sweet shop in passing). They tend to arrive in Abbeygate Street just as it re-opens to traffic.
Readers of the Bury Free Press will be notified when the consultation starts but it may be advisable to wait until after Christmas. From this, a number of options for change may emerge and hopefully a preferred option. This will then be subject to a traffic impact survey and further consultation. Only then, would any changes be ‘proposed’. We want to get it right this time.
-- David Nettleton, County councillor for Tower Division, Bury St Edmunds
TRAFFIC LIGHTS NOT NEEDED
Could someone please explain to me why the traffic lights at the junction of Northgate Street and Mustow Street are not switched off or covered up for the duration of the Christmas Fayre Road Closure. As I see it, if the lights were switched off/covered up then traffic would flow far more freely. With the closure in place, traffic coming down Northgate Street has no alternative but to turn left and traffic in Mustow Street must turn right. This in effect makes the junction a bend in the road – no need for traffic lights. What about pedestrians I hear you cry, use the pedestrian/zebra crossings in said streets say I. As I said, I can see no reason why the traffic lights need to remain on, causing traffic to stop when their is no need to.
-- Dave Harley, Stanton
TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THIS ROAD
I am writing to add my voice to John Hansford’s (Letters, December 5) regarding the problems caused by students parking in Westley Road. I live further up Westley Road and have students parking outside the front of my property each day making it very dangerous when going out in the car, as I have to reverse into the road, I also have the problem when expecting deliveries as I do a lot of my shopping on line.
I have contacted the council Highways Department to ask for single yellow lines outside my property, but was told that a survey was carried out two years ago and there are no plans to restrict parking in the area.
If there is a councillor reading this, could consideration be given to taking another look at the parking in Westley Road, to allow residents to leave their properties safely, and have the facility to allow for deliveries.
-- Trevor Brett, via email
SCHEME HAS MADE ROADS SAFER
Does Ryan Froch really think that one person complaining about parking has resulted in the permit scheme now in place in Cornfield Road and surrounding streets (Letters, December 5). In reality hundreds of complaints from dozens of residents over many years have now got long awaited results. Cornfield Road is now a pleasure to drive down and fire engines will never again be prevented from getting through, as happened last summer. This is why we now have double yellow lines everywhere.
Generally everyone in Cornfield Road and surrounding roads are very pleased with the end result – quiet, safe roads where we can all park our cars .
More should be heard of the positive praise for this scheme instead of whinging when the council do listen and act.
-- Name and address supplied
NOT ALL DISABILITIES ARE OBVIOUS
I have suffered many years of back problems including failed surgery, resulting in leg weakness and continual pain. I have to work hard to maintain my mobility. I do not appear disabled but I am – today as my hip was extremely painful I used a disabled toilet in a store. These have higher toilets,and grab rails, which are useful. However on exiting the toilet a lady just getting out of a wheelchair tackled me - ‘that is a disabled toilet’. I was so upset, that someone with a disablilty could be so judgemental. It is bad enough that able-bodied people discriminate. May I remind everyone that a disablilty might not be apparent – I would not have used a toilet for the disabled if I hadn’t needed to. Don’t forget that people might have catheters or colostomy bags to deal with, and would need the room available in the toilet for the disabled, it’s not just about being in a wheelchair.
-- Name and address supplied
SEASONAL CONCERT WAS MOST ENJOYABLE
Thank you Horringer Court Academy Trust. On Saturday, December 6, the Ickworth Church Charitable Trust enjoyed a seasonal concert of
music, readings and poetry. Through our local press, I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all teaching staff, parents, family and friends for attending, and making the concert such an enjoyable, memorable
occasion. Well done Horringer Court Academy Trust.
-- Ickworth Church Charitable Trust