A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, October 11.
MARKET TRADERS HIT BY RENT INCREASES
As an occasional visitor to my home town (having been born and lived in Bury St Edmunds for many years – we now live in Yorkshire), I’ve noticed the demise of the market over the last three to five years. Speaking to some of the stallholders, they tell me it is the rent increases putting traders out of business.
If the council is increasing the rents, pricing stalls out of business, I would love to know if its present income is greater with fewer stalls? I was under the impression that the lower the price, the more you sell, the greater the profit.
-- Gordon Sitch, via email
TOLL ON THE A14 WILL HIT ALL OF US
“Yes” to improvements for the A14 at Huntingdon. “No” to the introduction of a toll.
Only a few voices have so far been heard in opposition of the A14 toll, but these voices need to grow if they are to have any impact.
The A14 toll will not just affect hauliers, it will affect people like you and I – commuters going to and from work, driving to the shops, travelling to the airport or hospital, visiting relatives or friends or just going out for the day.
Of course, businesses will be hit too. All consumer goods that are delivered by road, all components and raw materials, couriers, sales people, maintenance and service suppliers and taxis will face
increased costs that will ultimately be met by you and I, the consumer. This will undoubtedly add to inflation.
The private driver already pays a road fund licence and we face one of the highest fuel duties levied in Europe – so let the Government commit all these funds back to road improvements. There should be plenty of funds available to pay for these improvements.
So if you are against the A14 toll please just take a few seconds and go to the e-petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54801 and add your voice to the protest.
There will be no easy alternative route so most drivers will end up paying the toll – the only A-road toll in the country and one that unfairly impacts on the people and businesses of Suffolk and the East of England.
-- Colin Knight, Chairman, Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce and Industry
WHERE WILL EXTRA WATER COME FROM?
RE Vision 2031. Apart from the extra traffic, the employment situation, and yet more land being concreted over, is there any scheme to provide the extra demand upon the (already stretched) water supply ?
Long gone are the days when water was treated like dirt, and priced accordingly. Suffolk is one of the country’s driest counties and, what with the demands of agriculture, can this area sustain a further 6,000 houses’ water requirements ?
-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds
QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE-TIER LOBBY
Further to the letters from Natalie Sinnadurai, Dr Richard Fletcher, Cllr Ian Houlder and Paul Oldman (Bury Free Press, October 4).
Teachers and educationalists supporting the three-tier school system must try and gain more credibility if they want to be listened to. They need to answer hopefully through the BFP:
1. Are they or would they be happy with their children moving back and forth between two-tier and three-tier systems as parents change jobs and locations?
2. Only approximately 1 per cent of the 20,000 schools in England are middle schools. Why do the three-tier supporters believe they are right and everyone else in the country – 95+ per cent –are wrong?
3. Most believe when children move school their progress drops as they make new friends, get to know new teachers and ways of working. With the three-tier system this happens twice but only once with two-tier. Why do three-tier supporters think this drop in progress is acceptable?
These three simple questions need answering now by the above and other three-tier supporters, not with graphs, block charts and educational jargonese but in language all can understand. Why are a few determined to try to cling on to a very, very small island of three-tier education before it merges, as it surely will and probably should, into a very, very large ocean of two-tier education.
Is it surprising that many fear vested interests and politics are at work, hindering the achievement and progress of our children?
I have never worked in education but as a father and grandfather just take an interest in such an important issue.
-- S C Harding, Bury St Edmunds
A LESSON FOR THE COUNTY COUNCIL
I note today’s news that Cllr Lisa Chambers has announced that a £2.4 million Challenge Fund is to be spent on education in Suffolk following the No School an Island report from the RSA into the county council’s Raising The Bar initiative.
I’ve also just been told one school – Bury St Edmunds County Upper School – has today published its seventh successive ‘Outstanding’ report from Ofsted; and that’s in addition to the school’s examination results this summer where it topped the GCSE results in the west of the county and equalled the fee-paying Ipswich School to jointly top the whole of Suffolk.
Apparently this is done without extra resources with Ofsted saying lower ability children almost always exceed their potential with every one of them leaving school with five GCSEs including maths and English and high achievers from every socio-economic background get on particularly well with many gaining admission to Russell Group universities – surely a situation to celebrate.
The question for Cllr Chambers: If County Upper can do it with its model, why can’t others? It’s not just a question of money it’s more engagement, team-working, collaboration, respect, enjoyment in learning and sheer hard work on the part of all concerned.
Maybe Suffolk County Council could learn a lesson or two themselves?
-- Ian Simpson, Bury St Edmunds
WEAK BRIDGES NEED REPAIRING
We appear to be surrounded by weak bridges which nobody seems to be repairing yet at the same time we are sending millions abroad for so called aid which everyone knows never ends up in the right pockets. Any chance we will wake up one day?
-- Haydn Alexander, via email
BEN, THE BABY PERIOD IS OVER
Ben Keenan (Diary of a New Dad, Bury Free Press, September 17) seems to have a
fundamental misunderstanding of what is meant by discipline: it refers to teaching not forcing. Picture the scene: Ben takes his toddler around to someone’s house. His child goes upstairs and starts bouncing on the bed, then comes downstairs and proceeds to smash up their belongings (climb on the furniture, write on walls – take your pick). At what point in his life will he ‘find his own way’? If you do not teach your child what it is and isn’t acceptable behaviour from a young age, who do you expect to do it for you, and when? His teachers? The police?
It is never too early to start instilling values and laying the foundations of a moral code in a child, and it is much easier for them to learn these lessons at home. Please don’t pass the buck when it comes to parenting, Ben: the ‘baby’ period is over!
-- Lindsay Marsh, via email
THE DOVE IS FLYING HIGH
Can I use your columns congratulate, mine host and its countless customers of The Dove, in Hospital Road, not forgetting the rent collector Greene King, in having beaten thousands of entrants to claim a place in the finalists list of the 16 top pubs in the Good Beer Guide.
-- Barry Pamplin, Bury St Edmunds
THANK YOU FOR GREAT TREATMENT
We always hear when someone has reason to complain about the NHS, but we rarely hear about the good work they do.
When I recently fractured my calcanium (heel bone), the treatment I received from the A&E department at West Suffolk Hospital was excellent.
I was admitted and had surgery on my heel the following day. The surgeon and theatre team were excellent, as were the staff in recovery and the fracture outpatient staff, including the plaster technicians.
When these people provide such a good service, their efforts should be recognised, so a big thank you to all involved.
-- I Baker, Hopton