READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, September 30

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, Septmber 30.

NOWTON PARK DOG BINS ARE OVERFLOWING

As a responsible dog owner both Perci and I are disgusted of the state of the poo bins at Nowton Park.

Dogs and dog owners often come in for criticism for not clearing up after their dogs, however, following my visit to Nowton Park I can understand why.

Not only is their a lack of bins, so owners have to carry poo a fair distance, when you get there you are greeted with dirty, smelly and overflowing bins (see pictures, right) – not nice for anyone and it does not encourage you to pick up.

This must be a week’s worth of poop and we just added to the pile.

Come on Nowton Park, you can do better than this.

We’ve just come back from Austria and Switzerland where not only are their clean poop bins every few hundred yard,s but doggy bags as well !

Perci and I are not impressed.

-- Bex Randall and Perci, via email

A GREAT START FOR NEW SCHOOL

I wish to take the opportunity of publicly thanking all involved in opening the new Sybil Andrews Academy this term.

The process of opening Bury St Edmund’s newest school has not been a quick and easy process. This has been many months in the making with a particularly huge effort in the last few weeks. Andy Prestoe and his team have all worked tirelessly over the summer months to ensure the school was ready to open. What they have delivered, on a temporary site, is nothing short of outstanding.

I had the privilege of walking around the school in the first week of term and was very impressed. The pupils are engaged and enthusiastic, the teachers are nurturing and committed to excellence. The reason I personally became involved with the school was the belief and enthusiasm the Samuel Ward Academy Trust have in their ethos and values and this has clearly been embraced by the pupils from the offset.

Excitingly, the school’s permanent site is nearing completion on Moreton Hall and when the school occupies the building in the coming months it will have state of the art premises to continue to deliver a first class education. Whilst the school is most definitely in its infancy you would be forgiven for not realising this by taking a walk around.

The school is preparing to show prospective new pupils for next year’s intake around the new premises next week. If your son or daughter is preparing to move into secondary school and you are considering where to send them, I am certain Andy Prestoe and his team would welcome the chance to explain the ethos and values that convinced me to be involved and I would suggest contacting him.

-- Paul Rayner, Chair of Governors, Sybil Andrews Academy

TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE

I read with interest Tim Passmore’s article (‘Sport is key in our fight on crime’, Bury Free Press, September 23) and fully concur with the sentiments expressed in it.

As town and borough councillor for St Olaves Ward, the issues of substance abuse, littering and anti-social behaviour are regularly raised at the meetings of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants and Mildenhall Road Estate Residents Association respectively.

With the reduction in policing in the areas due to austerity, the residents have rightly expressed their concerns to the respective committees and their elected representatives.

But how do we address the root cause of the issue, rather than trying to police the problems once they have happened?

That has to be the starting point.

One answer has to be sport. Getting youngsters involved at an early age, is key to this, and I can speak from personal experience.

From an early age my dad and my late mum, Vera, started me on a swimming journey at the old outdoor Bury St Edmunds Corporation Baths where the Cattle Market Car Park now stands.

This incredible journey led me from coming last in the boys’ seven-and-under one width freestyle at age four, through Town and County titles and culminating in swimming the English Channel and representing GB at open water swimming.

What is remarkable about this, is that neither of my parents were able to swim properly or had any interest in it!

When I asked my mother in 2010 why she had joined me in the Bury St Edmunds Swimming Club at age four, she replied: “To keep you off the streets and give you something to do.”

Wow! What amazing foresight.

Giving kids an interest, the facilities in which to achieve their goals and recognition for their achievements in their chosen sports, can only be beneficial to not only them but, in the long term, our communities also, in so many ways.

In St Olaves Ward, we are now working with the aim of helping the youth of the area to believe that they can achieve anything that they want to, but this takes leadership from everyone to achieve this.

We now have two superb footballing facilities in Oakes Road and The Tollgate Recreation Ground which can help inspire them to play football as well as helping tackle the obesity problem which is rife in the UK.

We are working on building a new community centre with youth facilities and are currently looking at setting up youth football in the ward and, indeed, on all estates in the town.

The current Newbury Community Centre also has an excellently run youth club setup and run by the local church.

There are clubs and facilities out there if you look and, as it says on the front of the West Suffolk College building, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

My challenge to you would be “Go on – take that first step. You never know where it may lead!”

-- Paul Hopfensperger, Independent St Edmundsbury Borough & Bury St Edmunds Town Councillor for St Olaves Ward

NO NEED FOR MORE YELLOW LINE FEVER

I agree with Trevor Brett that a solution to outsider all day parking in Westley Road must be found, but not to the annoyance of residents in nearby streets (Letters, September 23).

West Area Highways suffer from ‘yellow line fever’ in that they see lining as a solution to every problem, including in Westley Road. All that will happen is that within days of yellow lines being scored on Westley Road between 14-64, parked cars will move further up the same road or into adjoining streets. What do we do then?

Early next week I intend delivering a leaflet to over 300 homes in the area, including the 250 who would be adversely affected by these proposals, but were not asked for their opinion by county highways.

The displaced cars will go somewhere and I doubt that it will be to one of the car parks within walking distance of West Suffolk College. The college car park charges £2 a day. We therefore need a flexible solution which can be applied to any street if the majority of residents agree. This will put residents in charge of their own area, rather than rely on the local highways section, which has failed the people of Bury for far too long.

I ask Mr Brett to be patient for a little while longer, as he has been since the problem first became acute in November 2014. My role is to represent everyone in the Tower Division and I would be negligent in my duties if I was to agree to the current badly thought out desktop plan of West Area Highways at West Suffolk House.

-- David Nettleton, County Councillor for Tower Division, Bury St Edmunds