Readers’ letters – March 15

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A selection of readers’ views from the Bury Free Press of Friday, March 15.

Residents of new flats will own cars

I have long suspected that we are locally governed by a bunch of madmen but now I know for sure that I was right – 29 new flats and not a single parking space? What world are they living in? Do they honestly believe that none of the residents of these new flats, however convenient to the town centre and the bus station they may be, will not want to own cars and will never have visitors? For goodness sake, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, if you seriously believe in such extreme green credentials, then you should have insisted on covenants prohibiting the ownership of cars by the new tenants. Then you would understand how flawed your thinking is!

-- John Parsons, Bradfield St Clare

While I applaud Havebury for submitting plans to develop 29 homes on the RisbygateStreet, School Yard site, I find it presumptuous that the planners, architects and Havebury, think no-one will need access to a car or parking. The people living in Nelson Road must be very worried about future problems.

For a start, the 17 one bedroom flats, may well encourage older people to downsize, even though moving is costly and very stressfull, having to divest a lifetime’s goods and chattels. Some may still drive and own cars; there is no mention of provision for mobility scooter storage or charging points. To have just 21 cycle spaces seems totally unrealistic.

The 12 two-bedroom flats, will obviously go to working adults and young families, the chances of all occupants having no car is very slim. To hope all the adults will have jobs within walking distances, of their new homes equally improbable.

A project with perhaps as many as 72 occupants with no parking provision smacks of future problems. Risbygate Street has problems already with vehicles blocking the road, that’s very narrow in places.

Homes are needed, but they cannot be embargoed to non-car owning families, or could they?

-- Tom Murray, Howard Estate, Bury St Edmunds

Start the free parking session at noon

With reference to the free parking on one afternoon each week, would it be asking too much for the starting time to be taken back to noon as this seems to be the logical time to implement any afternoon event/activity, or in this case concession, which would – I’m sure – result in a far greater response from people wanting to spend an afternoon in Bury. This extra free time would particularly encourage out of town shoppers, many of whom wouldn’t want to make such a late start.

So please really make this a true ‘afternoon’ concession, and please everyone concerned.

-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds

Penny rate could pay for projects

I was pleased to read Julia Wakelam’s refreshing and thoughtful letter about the need for Council Tax to rise (Bury Free Press, March 8).

I am sure she is right about the threat to essential core services without such an increase. However, this gives little prospect of funding new services which are not already funded. I would like to see a revival of the Penny Rate principle ie that the product of a penny rate (suitably uprated for inflation) would create a fund for a specific amenity or service widely appreciated by the Council Tax-payers.

The council, or possibly an independent trust, could issue a challenge to local people for innovative projects and there could be public participation in the choice of the winning ideas.

The Government agencyNesta has been helping local authorities to run these challenges across the country and there is evidence that this has stimulated local community and social enterprise.

-- David Dawson, Hospital Road, Bury St Edmunds

Stop moaning and enjoy The Apex

K Widdick asserts that the cost per square foot for the use of the parks is less than the Apex (Letters, March 8).

First of all, let me say that I love both the Abbey Gardens and the Apex and would be very sad to lose either but let’s look at the facts.

I have been to five concerts at the Apex recently, three of which have been sold out and two nearly so. The upstairs bar is also filled every month for the Strictly Saturdays dance.

It offers a showcase for budding young talent such as the Voice Squad, also a sell out, the West Suffolk Schools Rock and Pop awards, among others, and a venue for large meetings and social events such as school proms etc. None of which could be held in the parks.

I have met people in the Apex from Ipswich, Newmarket and Cambridge who all commented on what a wonderful venue it was and how lucky we were to have it.

The Abbey Gardens are fantastic for the flowers and wildlife but how many people have you seen sitting in there this winter?

To sum up, having both of these wonderful venues makes Bury St Edmunds possibly the best place in the country to live so let’s stop moaning and get out there and enjoy it.

-- Jean d’Arc, Bury St Edmunds

Please desist from ‘grazing’

The letter from Jill Mortiboys on modern manners (Bury Free Press, February 16), rightly deplores littering, but fails to mention one of the worst forms of bad manners – which I believe is the primary cause of littering – the vile practice of grazing, ie walking around eating.

A writer in the national press has described this habit as ‘more evil than smoking’, and, in an article last year, pointed out that the British are now regarded throughout Europe as the coarsest race on the Continent, partly, no doubt, owing to this filthy habit.

It has also been suggested it could cause indigestion, since the body is designed to imbibe food while at rest, not in motion.

Some people even carry their foul manners into shops and other buildings. In my own area, some shop managers have reacted by fixing ‘No Eating and Drinking’ notices at the entrances.

Far more of them need to be doing this and, of course, be prepared to enforce the rule.

If people will not voluntarily desist from this disgusting conduct (which can be seen partly as a loss of self-control), some form of compulsion may become necessary.

-- C M Rogers, Ipswich

Road names campaign is farcical

I was left stunned after reading your ‘Combating Inequality’ article (Bury Free Press, March 1).

All Ms Rehahn is doing is perpetuating and promoting an old-fashioned, outdated feminist ideology with sweeping, simplistic, patronising statements.

Ms Rehahn is quoted as saying ‘it stops girls aspiring to positions because they think they’re men’s roles’ and, later in the article, ‘if you see streets named after famous men, you think only men are famous’. Really?How much more could she insult the intelligence of those she is purporting to be ‘fighting’ for?

The whole road name campaign is farcical and inconsequential. Firstly, is it not just doing what they are accusing others of doing historically – namely discriminating by sex? Campaign to have roads named fairly and appropriately by all means, but not just on the proviso that they must be named after women – where’s the equality in that?

Secondly, there are so many more important issues that The Fawcett Society should be concentrating on isues like unemployment, education, homelessness – areas in which all our young people need support and guidance? I know there is still a long way to go in a lot of areas but women have more power now than they have ever had. However, this power is not just a woman’s right; it is a responsibility to use it progressively, wisely and fairly.

-- D M Diaper, Bury St Edmunds