A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, July 15.
PHARMACY COULD BE UNDER THREAT
As many readers may know, I have been fighting to get a surgery on the Howard Estate for the past 30 years in order that our residents can have easy access to a doctor when needed.
Patients often have difficulty getting to and from their surgery, for instance, anyone who needs to attend the surgery on Moreton Hall has first to catch a bus to town, then they have a 20 -minute wait for a second bus to take them to Moreton Hall. These are mainly elderly folk or young mums with babies, and this is the last thing they need when feeling unwell.
I have known people to be put off seeing the doctor because they just can’t face the travelling. However things improved dramatically when I was given a number by a consultant from West Suffolk Hospital to request the possibility of a pharmacy coming to our estate. Within no time at all Day Lewis Pharmacy was up and running in the Howard Shopping Precinct. What a friendly and dedicated bunch they are. Not only do they collect and dispense prescriptions, but they also give valuable medical advice, thereby saving that unpleasant journey and freeing up the doctors’ surgery.
Everything was going great until I heard that the Government was planning cuts to the pharmacy budget in October this year by six per cent, which means that 3,000 pharmacies would have to close, the majority of which will be in rural areas where it will have a far more devastating effect on the elderly and infirm.
Day Lewis got people to sign a petition and I immediately wrote to Jo Churchill at the House of Commons to make her aware of our concerns. She replied that the Government was providing funding for the provision of pharmacies within doctors’ surgeries. I let her know that this is not what our community needs. I am still waiting to hear from her.
It will have a devastating effect on the residents of the Howard and Mildenhall Estates should we lose our pharmacy, and it might even end up putting lives at risk.
We have fought hard over many years to bring the health service to our community which, incidentally, is in line with Government thinking, but these cutbacks might just ruin everything.
-- Ernie Broom, Chairman, Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (Heart)
BLAME THE NON-VOTERS
Dan Wood, in his column (Youth View, July 8) stated that “one third of people do not think Brexit will actually happen. Perhaps this is because of the petition for a second referendum, which has over 4.5 million signatures’.
I agree with Dan Wood’s comment about “sour grapes”. I have a question: how many of these signatures are genuine? How many are generated by “bots” using UK postcode lists, have IP addresses outside the UK, or are duplicates made with throwaway email addresses?
At the end of the day, so what if this petition gets the full 16,141,241 or more?
We have already voted and have a result on this referendum.
For those continuing to whine and blame all the ills on the Brexiters, perhaps you should blame the 232 voters who left the ballots blank. Blame the 9,084 voters who put a cross in both boxes. Blame the 836 voters who added their names to their ballot papers. Blame the 15,207 who voided the ballot paper for other reasons. Blame the 12,947,555 or the 28 per cent of eligible voters who did not turn up.
If the above people had either voted or not spoiled the ballot papers you may have won Mr, Mrs, Ms and Miss “Remainer”.
-- Ian Smith, Bury St Edmunds
IT IS NOT RACIST TO BE CONCERNED
I hope that you will afford me the opportunity of commenting on some issues connected with the recent EU referendum campaign and its aftermath.
In his letter to your paper (Readers’ Views, July 8), Cllr Terence Carter wrote to express his anger that Tim Passmore used his position as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Suffolk to express his personal preference that Britain should leave the EU. I wonder if Cllr Carter felt similar anger towards the galaxy of celebrities and worthies – from David Beckham to the Archbishop of Canterbury; from Sir Bob Geldof to the Governor of the Bank of England; from Eddie Izzard to Sir Richard Branson, who appeared in newspaper articles and on television to express their personal preference for Britain to remain in the EU – or if his anger is reserved solely for those who were advocating Brexit.
Turning to the article by your correspondent Nicola Miller (‘Speak out against these acts of hatred’, Bury Free Press, July 8), I found it highly offensive that she sought to paint Brexit supporters as closet racists simply because she hadn’t heard condemnation from the Leave camp concerning the recent reported increase in incidents of racial abuse.
The vast majority of the ordinary, decent Bury folk who voted to leave the EU will, like me, abhor racism in all its forms, and to insinuate otherwise is an outrage. It needs to be repeated that it is not racist to be concerned about the strain that uncontrolled migration puts on our schools, housing and healthcare infrastructure.
This aside, my main concern has been with the progressive erosion of our national sovereignty, coupled with the wasteful, undemocratic and, sometimes, corrupt practices occurring within the EU. Any attempt by disgruntled Remain supporters to demonise those who voted Leave by branding them as racists is odious, and to suggest that those outside the “enlightened” band of middle-class metropolitan voters did not properly understand the issues (as some commentators have suggested), is patronising in the extreme. Many indigenous working-class voters know instinctively that the EU is not working for them.
Finally, I was saddened by the fact that Dr Frances Ward has, once again, used her position as Dean of St Edmundsbury, and the platform afforded to her by your newspaper (Cathedral View, July 8), to disseminate her political views. Back in 2014, many of your readers will have felt uncomfortable with the public call she made through your columns for the resignation of Bury’s sitting MP, David Ruffley, and I know a number of people who felt that the highly partisan and uncharitable line that she took at that time was unbefitting of a senior Anglican cleric. Now, in her latest political intervention, she talks about the “terrible nightmare” that is Brexit. I wonder if she has reflected on the ongoing nightmare of austerity inflicted by EU bankers on Greece, where youth unemployment is currently running at around 60 per cent; on the obscene protectionist tariffs imposed by the EU on African farmers attempting to sell their produce into Europe, so that hundreds of thousands of them feel compelled to abandon their countries and risk their lives in unseaworthy boats to reach the shores of Europe; on the fact that Germany, the political and economic powerhouse of the EU where not a single coffee bean is grown, makes more annual profit out of coffee than all the coffee-growing nations of the world put together. I would be interested to hear what Dr Ward thinks about these iniquities that lie at the heart of the EU and whether they reflect true Christian values.
-- Dr Andy Mason, Norton
HOUSE BUYERS ALSO GET A14 NOISE
I was intrigued reading Simon Harding’s letter (Bury Free Press, July 8) in which he applauds the Delaney family for “accepting” the Rougham Hill area for a permanent site despite the ongoing noise from the traffic on the A14, and how many of us wouldn’t.
At this point it might be worth mentioning that there are many areas in Bury where people are having to pay up to, and even more than, £200,000 to buy a house complete with associated traffic noise from the A14.
-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds
A SENSATIONAL PRODUCTION
On Friday evening we went to The Apex to see the County Upper School’s sensational musical, Oliver!
We were bowled over by the high quality production and the stunning performances. This was probably the best production we have seen in over 20 years of supporting the school’s events and all are to be congratulated on such a professional show. Paul Derrick was right in his review, it did “definitely leave the audience wanting more” and if you weren’t there you missed a treat.
-- Denise Webb, via email
IMMORAL TO SPEND BILLIONS ON TRIDENT
In February, as was reported in your newspaper, our Quaker Meeting held a silent vigil in Bury, in opposition to the renewal of the Trident nuclear submarine programme.
We are aware that this matter has recently been scheduled to be debated in the House of Commons on July 18 and have written to our local MP, Jo Churchill, expressing our grave concerns.
Our testimony to peace leads us to feel that it would be totally immoral to spend billions of pounds on what are, without question, weapons of mass destruction.
The Government proposes to spend an unbelievable amount of money, in a time of severe public spending cuts, on something that could never, morally, be used. It is estimated that the expense involved in the renewal of the Trident programme would pay for the running of all the UK’s Accident and Emergency departments for 40 years. With a full complement of warheads, one Trident submarine would have more than 250 times the firepower unleashed on Hiroshima.
We must look beyond our own insular sense of national security and make more effort to reach out, with faith, to other countries, in a spirit of friendship. Taking a stance of unilateral disarmament, rather than increasing our nuclear armaments, would, we feel, bring Britain true respect in the eyes of the world and be more likely to lead to world peace.
-- Bury St Edmunds Quaker Meeting, St John’s Street