A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, December 5.
FIREWORKS WERE TRAUMATIC
At around 8pm on Thursday I was walking with my partner and her guide dog along Guildhall Street when all of a sudden we seemed to be in the middle of a war zone.
Fireworks sounding like bombs were coming from the direction of the Abbey Gardens and continued for about 20 minutes. I’m not a killjoy but might there be a reader who can explain what pleasure, excitement is gained from such an event. My partner has just returned from four weeks’ training with a new dog and both she and the dog were very traumatised by the experience putting their safety at risk. Surely there must be a law restricting the level of sound at these events and I should like to know whether this event conformed to the council rules.
-- Richard Cox, Bury St Edmunds
A REAL SENSE OF DEJA VU
With regard to the Christmas Fair, I feel I to need to comment on how disappointed I was. Unlike most negative comments to do with the fair I do not have an issue with the parking, congestion or the huge numbers of visitors. It’s only a few days and considering the numbers the disruption seems to be worth it as it no doubt brings in a lot of extra income.
My issue is with the fair itself. I did not go last year but the rest of my family did, but I am sure I did not miss anything. As far as I can tell it’s the same stalls selling the same stuff in exactly the same locations as in previous years. The rides are in the same spot. Everything seemed pretty much as it was in previous years, nothing new with the exception of the prices. I know you could argue ‘Why change a winning formula?’, but surely this is simply an easy option.
There could be any number of new stalls with new and interesting things for sale but it seems stale as nothing has changed.
Does somebody run around the fair with a clipboard saying ‘Same time same place next year?’, ‘Tick’, job done.
Sorry it seems a little negative but it did seem like déjà vu, Suffolk’s answer to groundhog day!
-- Ashley Page, via email
EVENT COULD BE HELD OUT OF TOWN
What a relief – we have our town back after the Christmas Fayre! Does this fayre really help the local traders/shops? I’m not convinced. We heard in the Bury Free Press a couple of weeks ago about a taxi driver having a bad time. Local disabled people can’t get their cars anywhere near the town centre to go to shops/churches, patients are unable to get to their doctors/dentists or arrive late disrupting waiting lists. The A14 was at a standstill going west between Sainsbury’s roundabout and Tesco’s roundabout. Compiegne Way was gridlocked in both directions. Parking on yellow lines in narrow streets so vehicles are unable to get through! How about having the fayre out of town so that residents’ lives are not disrupted for five days? Attracting people to see our lovely town is one thing, this is something else.
-- Jenny Troll, Great Barton
VISITORS WERE PLANNING TO RETURN
During the Christmas Fayre several volunteers manned the Tourist Information Point on the Angel Hill (next to the Cathedral Shop). We had hundreds of people pop in, telling us how much they had enjoyed their time in Bury and, more importantly, requesting more information about our town so they ‘could return at a later date as they wanted to see Bury again at a more leisurely pace’. Mostly they had travelled here by coach, some journeys being four hours’ long, but they were so happy to have been to see our lovely town. One lady, so excited about her experience, even took photos of the shelves and stands which display literature, and of us, the volunteers!
-- Margaret Charlesworth, Bury St Edmunds
WAKE-UP CALL FOR THE APATHETIC
I have to correct David Nettleton’s assertion that ‘car parking zones are only introduced in areas where the majority of residents want it’ (Letters, November 28). I live within a permit zone and I know, because I checked with St Edmundsbury, that only a small minority of residents responded to the questionnaire asking if they were in favour of residents’ permits. A majority of those who responded favoured the scheme – that is not the same as a majority of residents. In most cases, the decision is a victory for apathy – conceded by those people who didn’t bother to open the envelope or, if they read the questionnaire, didn’t bother to return it. The vocal minority get their way if the rest of us keep silent.
This controversy over Grove Road is a wake-up call for anyone who does not want to see Abbeygate Street closed to traffic on a permanent basis. This has been proposed, and it could happen, with the authorities saying again: “Too late – we can’t reverse the decision now. It’s too expensive.”
-- Gayle Wade, via email
YELLOW LINES HAVE ADDED TO PROBLEMS
I’m also a resident on Cornfield road and I figured I might stick my 50pence-worth in. The fact that these double yellow lines were put down has nothing to do with legal orders.
There has never been a problem of that sort on our road, the entire reason the council have come out and stuck double yellows down almost every road connected to Cornfield Road is due to a total of one person complaining that she could not get out of her driveway.
They’ve made complaint after complaint until the council have given in, putting double yellow lines down roads that are used every day for parents taking their kids to the primary school. These yellow lines have visibly made more problems than they’ve solved.
-- Ryan Froch, via email
STUDENTS ARE NOW PARKING HERE
Having read last week of the problems being suffered by residents in Grove Road following the introduction of permit parking and yellow lines, I would like to add my comments over the horrendous situation regarding student parking.
It is now impossible to park outside your own house in Westley Road due to the ever-increasing number of students who choose to park every day and disrupt home owners from unloading shopping or taking delivery of larger items. Only today the cones I placed to take a delivery have been moved on to the footpath to facilitate another student to park, which has resulted in an additional payment for delivery on another day.
-- John Hansford, via email
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
On behalf of C Group The Royal British Legion may I thank all those people who attended the Festival of Remembrance on Friday,November 7.
Thanks must go to The RAF Honington Volunteer Band, The Honigton Wives Choir, the Army and Air Force Cadets who all contributed to make the evening a success.
A special thanks to Edward Crichton from Lacy Scott & Knight who auctioned off the pictures.
We hope to contribute £2,500 to the Poppy Appeal.
-- Catherine Buchanan, Bury St Edmunds
LOCAL MEN WHO DIED IN GREAT WAR
Readers of my letter published on November 14, in which I sought information on First World War casualties John Edward Garwood and William Garwood, may have thought I had omitted some interesting facts. I did omit some other local men who died during the Great War for whom I have only sparse knowledge. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of brothers Arnold and Robert Victor Garwood, from Brockley, and Arthur Henry Garwood, from Boxted. I am also interested in any men with the surname Garwood who served in World War One.
-- Colin Garwood, Bury St Edmunds
SO, WHICH TAXES SHOULD GO UP?
You are running a campaign for an urgent review of business rates, presumably because you wish to reduce the financial burden on local firms. You must therefore say which taxes you believe should be increased to replace the lost income. Council tax? Income tax? VAT? Corporation tax? Stamp duty?
Public services are already stretched as a result of cuts in public spending; any tax reduction must at least be offset by a matching tax increase, and it’s hard to find people who want to pay more!
-- John Wilkin, Bury St Edmunds
MEMORIES OF R BOBY
I have been reading the book Secret Bury St Edmunds by Martyn Taylor and on Page 33 he mentions R Boby. I was an employee at Boby’s from 1939 to 45 during the wartime years and I wondered if any of your readers have happy memories of that period? I certainly have. By the way, I was a choirboy at the cathedral when Mr White was provost.
-- Donald G Petch, Colchester
REORGANISATION COST US £3 BILLION
Further to your article about David Ruffley’s links to two private health care companies (Bury Free Press, November 28), it is worth noting that he is not the only local MP so implicated. Tim Yeo and Brooks Newman have also such links.
These MPs belong to the Conservative party, which promised no top-down re-organisation of the health service at the last election . . . and then promptly went ahead and did just that. This reorganisation cost you and me something in the region of £3 billion, which could have been spent on patient care. The result was the Health and Social Care Act and the financial crisis that the NHS is in today. Senior Conservatives are now saying that it was a big mistake, but it is too late. The damage has been done.
Of course, our honourable MPs may well have felt that the interests of the private companies and the interests of their constituents were the same.
So far, private companies have won a total of 131 contracts worth a combined total of £2.6 billion. This means that even more of our money is being spent on shareholder dividends or in tax credits to support people on the low wages that these companies pay. Perhaps our MPs believed that these private companies would improve our health service? However, as Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA, has said: “ Enforcing competition has not only fragmented services and compromised the delivery of high quality care, but it is also diverting vital funding away from frontline services to costly, complicated tendering processes...”
We did not vote for a privatised health service, but we seem to be getting one thanks to the MPs who have vested interests in promoting the health care firms they have connections with. One can only assume that if we vote for a Conservative government in 2015 the privatisation process will continue.
-- Richard Stainer, Bradfield St George