READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, September 20

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, September 20.

CAN WE HAVE A TIMETABLE FOR MUCK-SPREADING?

Wouldn’t it be nice if our local farmers were obliged to publish – in advance – their plans for muck-spreading on our local fields? We could then plan our holidays accordingly, and move away during this nauseating, nay gut-wrenching, period, which lasts for weeks on end and ruins any possibility of outside enjoyment of any kind.

We could return when they eventually ‘plough-in’? It seems to get worse every year, and whilst I’m sure it’s good for the crop, it’s an issue that grates.

-- Bob Bolton, Honington

A WORRYING MISTAKE

I would just like to offer a timely warning to any of your readers who use Southern Electric.

I pay my gas bills by direct debit which are adjusted when the meter is read every three months or so. Three days ago I received a letter from Southern Electric recommending that I increase my monthly instalments almost eight-fold. The letter finished by saying solicitously that I did not have to do anything and the new direct debit would be introduced automatically starting next month.

After the usual telephone marathon it turned out to be a gross miscalculation. But it is particularly worrying that not only can they make a mistake of that magnitude but also they can remove such inflated sums from my account without my permission or any feedback from me. I am a senior citizen with a pathological impatience with bills and bank statements and may not have given the letter a second glance.

And, just a thought, have other elderly people among your readers received similar letters?

-- John Growse, via email

BEAT OFFICERS A WELCOME SIGHT

It seems a shame that editor Barry Peters was ‘taken aback’ by the sight of a police constable on foot (Bury Free Press, September 13), but I was pleased to read that subsequently he felt ‘somewhat safer thanks to his presence’. I think the majority of people ( apart from villains ) welcome the sight of a police presence other than those cruising around in cars, which don’t afford the same sense of security and well-being.

I was shocked to read in a national newspaper that the Chief Constable of Merseyside was quoted as saying – when answering questions about cost cutting, and the absence of bobbies on the beat – ‘I don’t

see firefighters, paramedics or nurses walking the streets in case someone becomes ill’.

I would have thought someone in his position would have shared the same views as most of us, that constables on foot patrol were there to discourage and prevent crime, rather than apprehend criminals after the event.

-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds

I’VE NOT SEEN ANY COMMUNITY SPIRIT

I could not agree more with Ben Lord’s letter ‘Store Plan Should Be Withdrawn’ (Bury Free Press, September 13).

The East of England Co-op appears to have applied a similar attitude to their declarations in respect of proposed siting of a supermarket at the busy junction of Out Risbygate and Albert Street, in Bury St Edmunds.

Information supplied by the Co-Op seems to be incomplete, ill-informed and has shown little regard to the neighbourhood in which it purports to be ‘working with the community’.

St Edmundsbury’s planning division has not been blameless, in my view. Looking at planning information history, it seems that a change to the front of the premises (previously Cecil & Larter car sales) was approved as long as a year ago with no consultation with neighbours. The planning department has not kept us fully informed of progress. The most recent failure being that of the planning website, leaving no opportunity for the public to voice thoughts or challenge the proposal.

Unfortunately, my overriding question would be ‘why would I want the East of England Co-Op as my near neighbour?’. They have done nothing to promote community spirit so far and all I can see is late night alcohol sales, early morning lorry delivery disturbance and increased traffic chaos on Out Risbygate and the surrounding area.

The greatest irony for me is that Out Risbygate is deemed ‘a conservation area’. I am not allowed to alter anything about the front of my house, yet, a few yards on it seems that a supermarket may be appropriate.

-- Mary Hart, Bury St Edmunds

CAN YOU VOLUNTEER FOR THIS SCHEME?

During May’s elections, we were both struck how many lonely and isolated elderly people there are living in our town and pledged to try to build on the support available for those who need it.

We were therefore delighted to hear that The Voluntary Network, in association with Age UK Suffolk, was intending to extend its reach and set up a befriending scheme in Bury St Edmunds. The scheme matches volunteers with those who would like to see a friendly face and offers invaluable support for the most vulnerable amongst us.

There is a waiting list of people who would like a visit but in order for the scheme to work, they need volunteers to sign up as visitors. The minimum time commitment is one hour a week and you are personally matched to clients who are suitable.

We were so impressed with how the scheme works and the case studies that we saw that we have both signed up as volunteers and would like to encourage your readers to do likewise – by giving just a small amount of your time you can make a real difference to someone who needs it.

Contact terri@thevoluntarynetwork.org for further information.

-- Cllr Mark Ereira and Cllr Sarah Stamp, Suffolk county councillors

LOSS WOULD BE ‘DEATH KNELL’

RE Abbeygate Picturehouse.

Can’t we have something that is not related to cheapness, booze, drugs, rowdiness, coarseness, gambling, advertising, buying and selling, getting and spending , money-money-money, and celebrating celebrities who are choking us with their shallowness and sniggering behaviour ?

Can we not keep this last vestige of something that is thoughtful, intellectual, artistic, stimulating, quiet and modest? If the town loses its art film lovers it will be a death knell for all that is good about the town.

-- M J Wilson, Bury St Edmunds

KIND GESTURE IN MODEL SHOP

I would like to say a big thank you to a kind man who was in Model Junction (on Saturday, August 24) who bought me a model to make because I didn’t have enough money to buy it for myself. It was very generous of the man.

-- Rhys, aged 10

WORTH £300K?

RE Gareth Bale’s wages (Bury Free Press, September 6).

When you consider the furore which ensued when the outgoing chief executive of Suffolk County Council (Andrea Hill) was paid£218,000, a salary which exceeded that of the Prime Minister, it beggars belief that anyone, irrespective of occupation, could be worth £300,00 per week.

-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds