A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, March 14.
SAVE OUR SUFFOLK CONTROL ROOM
Save our Suffolk Police Control Room. Please visit www.change.org and sign the petition, already in excess of 2,500, to oppose the recommendation that it should be relocated to Norfolk. This will be a decision based on cost and not the safety of those who may need to use it. I am just one of hundreds of police employees who know through experience that this transition will lose the key ingredient necessary to provide this essential service. Your efficient and learned controller will know where you are and who you are talking about and they will manage that call accordingly. Local knowledge is paramount. When this is eroded, costs increase and public faith decreases. When you need an emergency service, just remember that they need the very best direction to you.
-- Claire Porter, via email
20 MINUTES IS NOT ENOUGH TIME
I am writing in response to Jan Bloomfield (Letters, March 7). In her letter regarding short-stay free parking bays at West Suffolk Hospital, she states that there are 14, red-hatched, 20-minute free parking bays located around the site, including two bays specifically located at the rear of the hospital, near the pathology department for patients attending blood tests.
Now, with the best will in the world, it is near impossible to park your car, walk to the usually very busy pathology department, take a ticket, sit and wait your turn, have your blood test, leave the department and walk back to your car all in the space of 20 minutes. This is, of course, if the two bays aren’t already taken when you get there. So, can Ms Bloomfield please clarify what is best for the visitor?
Should they take a chance on receiving a hefty penalty charge for overstaying their 20 minutes through no fault of their own if they are held up in the department, or should they be forced to pay the rip-off parking charge of £3.30 for a short stay? It is ridiculous.
Why can’t there be a small nominal charge, of say 50p-£1, for short stays of up to one hour in the main car park.
-- K A Buckfield, Brandon
ALTER SWITCH-ON HOURS FOR STREET LIGHTS
The street lights being turned off at midnight in Bury, I know, is an ongoing letdown from our council, but could the times they come on not be altered in the summer months to allow them to come on earlier than in the winter? I noticed the other morning they came on at 5.30am then, at just gone 6am, they were off. Surely that’s a complete waste of time and money? Could they not come on earlier than 5am, or perhaps stay off and come on earlier in the winter when it’s dark until a lot later?
I do feel it’s very unfair on the people who leave early for work who all pay the same Council Tax as everyone else having to work in the pitch black all morning when, with some minor alterations, this could stop or at the very least be vastly reduced.
-- Ashley Ruffles, via email
GRANDPARENTS SHOULD HAVE A SAY
There was a very thought-provoking programme on television highlighting the plight of ‘estranged grandparents’. This is a very real situation and I believe that it is occurring more and more often. Indeed, my husband and I are falling into the same category following the break-up of our son’s relationship with his ex-partner. It is a very painful experience when you lose total knowledge or control over whether you will ever see your grandchild again or not, or whether they will even remember their other set of grandparents. Perhaps, when things are going well, we are oblivious to the reality of how fragile a relationship is and how quickly all can go so wrong. The sad thing is that the child (or children) in question has no control, or even knowledge, of what is going on with the adults around them. They don’t realise their future is being decided by one of their parents, and they have no idea how traumatised the grandparents become, knowing they may never be involved in their grandaughter or grandson’s life ever again. Surely, both sets of grandparents should be allowed to provide love, care, indulgence and nurturing, especially during the early developmental years? It’s all desperately sad.
-- Name and address supplied
THANKS TO A KIND DOG WALKER
I was walking my three dogs along the River Linnet, near to Flemyng Road and as I approached the white bridge that goes over the river, a man said to me not to cross as some kid had just smashed a glass bottle, and mentioned that he had just came across it with his dog. But at this time he did not have his dog with him, but a bucket and broom. He must have gone to the effort of going home to get these items to clear the road and pavement. Not many people would of done this and I did thank him. There are a lot of dog walkers around in this area and I feel the gent deserves a mention and a big thank you. Perhaps this will highlight to the local schools to remind pupils to be more considerate on their way home.
-- Name supplied
CLOSURE OF GROUP IS A SHAME
I write this letter with some sadness as I witness the closure of a group named Suffolk Circle. It is through members of the group and the kindness of staff that I have been able to attend events in Bury St Edmunds with people of similar age to myself. I made new friends, was given lifts to venues and it opened up a more social world for me in my later years. All services where I live are limited. My hope is that someone may read this letter, feel touched, and perhaps aid Suffolk Circle in their funding and again see it up and running.
-- Jacqueline Street
IT’LL ALL END IN TIERS
I guess that everyone has their favourite oxymorons. Mine include fun run, the old classic, military intelligence and, following on the adversarial theme, civil war. But, I have been hearing a lot recently about a new oxymoron – Bury Schools’ Partnership.
A clearer example of a modern oxymoron would be hard to find. The notion that Bury schools are operating in partnership is one of the most conspicuous contradictions I’ve heard in a long time. We hear that both Tollgate Primary and Howard Middle school are refusing to continue in the ‘partnership.’ Suffolk County Council is responding by trying its best to force Tollgate into an arranged marriage by replacing its governing body. And is Howard Primary going to stand by and watch its immediate neighbours join the County Upper Academy chain while sending its students across town to King Edwards or a new school on Moreton Hall? I think not! Partnership? And the reason for the Bury schools becoming so fractious? Well that can be laid firmly at the door of the local authority with its political need to complete SOR riding roughshod over community and educational need.
Bury could be left with three middle schools closing and three remaining open. Half the young people will attend three-tier schools whilst half will enter the new two-tier scheme. Even here there is a further oxymoron as the catholic two-tier scheme will involve three sites! And then there’s the arrival of a University Technical College which will take students at 13. Students joining from the King Edwards and St Benedict’s two-tier system will be electing to revert to a third institution (possibly a fourth for the Catholics!). It all ends in tiers, and lots of them!
However, I’m a realist and am painfully aware that this might all sound a bit too much like an impossible solution for a county council which prefers openly deceptive language to plain speaking. It’s with a heavy heart that I conclude that this seriously comical state of affairs is going to continue to damage children’s life chances until the politicians accept they must take the politics out of education.
-- J H Lee, Bury St Edmunds
COST OF APEX SHOULD FALL ON THOSE WHO USE IT
I am disgusted that St Edmundsbury Borough Council intends to subsidise The Apex venue to the value of £775,000. I agree with David Nettleton that this burden should not fall upon us local ratepayers, but upon The Apex and those who choose to frequent it as a business.
The sum of money suggested represents the gross years Council Tax bills of about 1,000 working class households. I am a single home owner who makes a living in a manufacturing business which produces a profit. If the council had to make a profit on its own merits, as my firm does, then it would have gone under long ago. It survives by demanding money from home dwellers and businesses. It is bad enough having to prop up the council, which takes a 15th of my wages off me each year, apprently just to empty my wheely bins. Why should I pay to keep The Apex open too?
-- Adrian Bird, Bury St Edmunds