A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, October 7.
TRUSTS CAN DELAY IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTRACT
Despite months of negotiations and industrial action, the first group of junior doctors – trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology – will this week move on to the new junior doctor contract.
This is a watershed moment in the NHS, as doctors are forced to work under a contract they have rejected. And it couldn’t come at a worse time, as a recent BMA study found that almost half of doctors are looking to move overseas as their morale is at an all-time low.
As the government ploughs ahead, ignoring the outstanding areas of concern with the contract, many trusts feel that have little choice but to rush the implementation of the new terms and conditions.
But trusts do have a choice. The new contract will require major changes to be in place before the new contract can come into effect, which is why the BMA is calling on trusts to delay implementing the new contract and take the necessary time to get it right.
This contract needs to be right, not rushed. It will affect a generation of doctors and have a huge impact on the quality of training and, with it, patient care.
-- Dr Mark Porter, BMA Council chair
NEW MULTI-STOREY CAR PARKS ARE THE ANSWER
The Bury Free Press correspondence on yellow lines for Westley Road to address the West Suffolk College parking issues has rumbled on for weeks now with no sign of abatement from any of the parties, so as someone who will be affected by this, I would like to enter the debate. I will start with a very matter of fact statement: Yellow lines will not solve the problem, they will simply move it.
Having stood for election on Hardwick Division three times since 2003, the problem of the hospital parking has on each occasion, been the number one election issue.
Successive borough and county councillors for the area have shouted from the rooftops that the panacea of all parking issues has been found to solve the ongoing problems. Their solution, of course, is more yellow lines as far as the eye can see in the streets surrounding the hospital. Has this cured the problem?
Not in the slightest, it has simply moved the problem further away from the hospital, leaving a few people happy, but many more not so happy.
So after years of successive councillors complaining to West Area Highways about the hospital parking problems, we move forward some 13 years to parking problems caused by another of our major town establishments, West Suffolk College. As county councillor for Tower Division until 2009, I had complaints from the residents of Grove Road/Grove Park area of town, about the parking issues in their streets. A residents’ parking scheme was introduced after my time as county councillor. This, of course, then moved the problem to Westley Road outside people’s homes, and on dangerous bends causing chaos for all road users and residents. So using the years of cumulative wisdom of the hospital issues, West Area Highways come up with the barnstorming solution of, wait for it – yellow lines from 14-64 Westley Road! Yes, they propose to move the problem again, which of course will make a few people happy, and others not so, including me.
I speak in jest, of course, because you’ve got to laugh really haven’t you or you will cry. There are solutions for both issues, albeit expensive ones. The hospital issue can be resolved in one of two ways. Either to build a multi-storey car park on the existing site, or move the hospital. As crazy as this may sound, plans are afoot to move the hospital long term to Westley roundabout, a fit-for-purpose site for 21st century Bury.
The college car parking issue can be addressed by building a multi-storey car park in Olding Road, which will then be used by the staff and visitors of West Suffolk House and the staff, students and visitors of West Suffolk College. Again, this is not a far fetched proposal as plans are afoot for this to happen.
So rather than just tinkering with both of these very real and ongoing problems, I would urge all stakeholders to be bold in their thinking and in their actions and get both of these proposed schemes to the front of the queue as a matter of urgency. Failure to do so will turn the streets of Bury into one large car park with a trail of un-enforceable yellow lines.
-- Cllr Paul Hopfensperger, Independent St Edmundsbury Borough & Bury Town Councillor for St Olaves Ward
AN INVITATION TO COUNCIL LEADER
Cllr Colin Noble, Leader of Suffolk County Council (Letters September 23), champions the importance of being financially hard-headed when it comes to spending council tax payers’ cash.
What seems so hypocritical is that Cllr Noble supports his council squandering millions of our cash on a waste hub for West Suffolk at Hollow Road Farm, when everyone knows Rougham Hill satisfies all the required criteria at a fraction of the capital, running and environmental costs. If this is false, then please tell us which criteria are not satisfied.
Cllr Noble used to live at Great Barton. He knows the location of the Hollow Road Farm site and has acknowledged that vast sums will be needed to upgrade the roads servicing the site and to build a hub from scratch. No road upgrading is required at Rougham Hill. Bizarrely average hourly traffic flow rates would actually fall.
Freedom of Information replies showing planned HGV routes confirm waste miles would be over 10 per cent less at Rougham Hill. Not a lot you may say – but when compounded over a minimum of 30 years, hopefully more, they become a major sum that cannot be avoided. Waste miles are the major variable annual running cost.
It is clear that this project has become vanity driven with capital, running and environmental cost taking very much a back seat.
Our offer of a one-hour trip round the sites for Cllr Noble (transport provided) is still available. There is nothing like a site visit to concentrate the mind and prove the facts that are there for everyone to see. All Cllr Noble has to do is pick up the phone – he is welcome to bring anyone he pleases. A small ask when hundreds of thousands of pounds have already been and still are being frittered away.
-- Simon Harding, Bury St Edmunds
TOWN ALREADY HAS A WINNING RECIPE
Referring to Barry Peter’s article with a view to the future development of Bury St Edmunds (Bury Free Press, September 30), I think the town as it stands is a happy mixture of ancient and modern, combining up-to-the-minute multiples, plenty of individual retail shops, a plethora of eating establishments and quite a varied selection of places of entertainment.
We are blessed with the only Regency theatre left in the country and, on the other hand, a very innovative award-winning new theatre (The Apex) which is now – possibly due to the excellant acoustics – enticing top class musicians.
Bury is steeped in history, has award-winning Abbey Gardens, a magnificent cathedral, a hospital listed as in the top five in the whole country and – at last – a budget hotel. I have to ask myself why would we want to change the recipe that caters for all tastes? The town, having suffered ‘open heart surgery’ once, could not sustain another.
-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds