READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, December 9

Butts Meadow off Cullum Road ANL-161122-154116009
Butts Meadow off Cullum Road ANL-161122-154116009
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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, December 9.

THE BUTTS AREA IS A HAVEN FOR WILDLIFE

I am writing on behalf of the Bury Water Meadows Group (BWMG) in relation to the recent article (Bury Free Press, November 25) on part of the Butts being put up for sale for development – although offered as agricultural land, the asking price is many times its agricultural value given the land is not even able to be grazed for sheep, like most of the Butts.

The BWMG has 170 members in the town who have joined to help maintain and preserve our rivers and water meadows in the best possible state.

The group now does regular litter picks both on the banks and in the river, and has recently received a grant for wildflower planting.

With support from St Edmundsbury Council , seven volunteers have been trained up for working in the the river, for future river restoration work.

We believe that all residents of Bury will want to see our remaining water meadows retained as they are and not concreted over for housing or other development.

The remaining water meadows (once much larger) provide an essential flood plain, helping to prevent the sort of flooding seen in Bury within many of our lifetimes.

The meadows are also a haven for wildlife – kingfishers, little egrets, herons, owls and even, in the recent past, rare water voles.

Walking paths on the river and meadows meadows offer an easy access to green space, not only for residents in the middle of town, but for anyone coming into Bury town centre for shopping or recreation.

Developers, do please focus on the areas that the town has made available for you to build as laid out in our fully approved Local Plan: Vision 2013. There is land designated in the plan for over 5,000 homes giving a 
£1 billion-plus opportunity for you to invest. Do please leave our remaining historic green spaces as they are!

-- Andrew Hinchley, Chairman, Bury Water Meadows Group

MAGICAL LIGHTING DISPLAYS

Having today (Tuesday) paid only my only second visit to Bury since having recently undergone replacement knee surgury, I feel compelled to write and congratulate everyone who contributed to the quite magical lighting displays throughout the town, with perhaps, emphasis on the area around Charter Square which includes a magnificent Christmas tree, unusual roof lighting by Debenhams and a carousel to boot.

It was a pleasure to just wander around the town enjoying the atmosphere created by so many people’s hard work.

In conclusion, may I thank the kind person who handed my walking stick in to customer services at ASDA.

-- Brian Davies, St Olaves Road, Bury St Edmunds

NEW CHARGES ARE AN IMPOSITION

I have just read about the proposed car parking charges increases at West Suffolk Hospital and that disabled people will have to pay from January 2017 (Bury Free Press, December 2).

What an imposition. Do they think that people go to the hospital for fun, if so they ought to be admitted to the psychiatric ward?

Another thing I am sure that the people responsible for running car parks are not aware of is the length of time the sick and dying spend in the hospital and the fact that many of the patients live in the rural part of the catchment of the hospital, thus needing a car to attend.

Public transport is not an option and taxis would send people bankrupt.

It’s about time your newspaper really put pressure on these sharks. They do not seem to listen to anyone, they are only interested in making money.

The only thing that has happened in the past is a few articles and letters of complaint. People do not seem matter anymore, things just fall on deaf ears.

-- R Burns, via email

SURPRISED AND DISGUSTED

Having just heard the news that disabled people will have to pay car park charges at the West Suffolk Hospital in the New Year and that no other local hospital is doing this, I am surprised and disgusted.

We don’t ask to be in this situation and are very grateful for a blue badge, but from £4.80 to £8 is a bit much. Why don’t they sell off the expensive paintings and turn the heating down, that would save some money?

-- Carol Johansen, Mildenhall

ADD YOUR NAME TO OUR CAMPAIGN

Every year, thousands of people in the UK write letters in solidarity with those suffering human rights abuses around the world, as part of Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign.

As a result, people have been freed after being unfairly imprisoned, threats and harassment against human rights activists have reduced, and lives changed for the better overall. In 2015, thousands of people across the globe wrote messages of support for Albert Woodfox – the longest-serving isolated prisoner in the USA. Albert had spent 43 years in solitary confinement. In February this year, Albert was finally freed.

We’re delighted to host another Write for Rights event again this year and invite everyone in the Bury St Edmunds area to take a few minutes respite from Christmas shopping to come along.

There will be an exhibition all week at the Central Library, with pre-prepared cards and letters for people who prefer not to write their own letter.

Tomorrow (Saturday) – Human Rights Day – members of the local group will be in attendance from 10am-3pm. Come and talk to us about our work while you add your name!

Our letters can help to make a big difference to people’s lives. From Máxima Acuña, a farmer in Peru, who is standing up to intimidation and threats of forced eviction, to Fomosoh Ivo Feh, a young man in Cameroon facing 20 years in prison for forwarding a sarcastic text message, people around the world urgently need the support of others around the world.

Come and get involved. By adding your signature to a letter, you can change a life. You can also visit www.amnesty.org.uk/write

-- Avril Dawson, chair, Amnesty International, Bury St Edmunds

GENEROSITY OF FAYRE-GOERS

We would like to say a very big thank you to all who donated to us at the Christmas Fayre on the Saturday.

The support was amazing and it was lovely to have so many people taking an

interest in our deaf members signing carols and songs. The atmosphere was wonderful.

We raised an a grand total £822.80p.

Thank you to Sharon Fairweather, who organised us and allowed us to take part, and also the lady at the hog roast stall who helped us out when our electrics failed.

--Bury St Edmunds District Deaf and Hard of Hearing Association

THANK YOU FROM SAMARITANS

As head of Outreach for Bury and West Suffolk Samaritans it was my job to co ordinate our volunteers to help with the bucket collectionon the Friday at the Christmas Fayre .

Over and above their normal duties, Samaritans, friends and family donned tabards and were out in the town, collecting buckets in hand, from 9am to 6pm .

The time was very well spent – we were able to bank £1,800 collected on the day. This is a huge boost to our branch and will go a long way helping us to continue offering our much-needed service. Samaritans, as I’m sure you know, is totally self funding.

A huge ‘thank you’ to anyone who gave a donation, no matter how large or small.

Also if possible to include our poster – left. Christmas is such a difficult time for so many.

-- Vivian Bewley, Bury St Edmunds & West Suffolk Samaritans