Readers’ letters - May 10

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, May 10.

No candidates bothered to call

We joined the vast majority of the local electorate in not voting in the Suffolk Council elections because, with one exception, we were totally ignored by all the candidates. We live off the main road in the small village of Sapiston so maybe it was too much to expect a visit, but surely a leaflet, or even a cheap letter, telling us something about the candidates and their policies, wasn’t too much to ask for?

The exception, to their credit, was UKIP, who left a leaflet on our gate.

We are not sympathetic, but if that is a measure of the effort they put in nationally it may explain their evident success.

We might have voted Conservative because Joanna Spicer, as the sitting councillor, has done quite a bit for us locally. However, we didn’t hear a dickey bird from her.

We might have considered each of the other three, Lib, Lab and Greens, but frankly we neither knew who they were or what they stood for.

If the candidates can’t be bothered, can they really blame the electorate for being so apathetic?

--Terry and Mary Taylor, Sapiston

Question: When will you know when an election is around the corner?

Answer: When the council starts to freshen the yellow lines and white markings on the road.

Has the council got its priorities right? Should it not concentrate on spending our money wisely by filling in the dangerous potholes first and repairing the roads properly, instead of tarting up the road markings with fresh paint?

It begs the question how many claims has the council received from motorists who have sustained damage to their vehicles because of pot-holes and uneven surfaces? This matter is even more galling when you learn that the council has millions of pounds stashed away in its coffers.

Let us hope that the newly elected county councillors will be equally concerned and push to get things moving and sorted out once and for all. Our roads are an utter disgrace and third-rate. A couple of roads on the local estate have been in need of repair for three years now.

-- Ian Smith, Bury St Edmunds

Mixed views on pop-up shop

Your article ‘Storm brewing over pop up food outlet’ (Bury Free Press, May 3) has encouraged me to try Dolly Green’s Pop Up Catering and boycott Scandinavian Coffee House and Street Level Cafe.

By such churlish criticism they have shot themselves in the foot. They should welcome competition which should highlight their own quality.

-- E Raymond, via email

How far are we prepared to allow our planners to go in allowing the cheapest possible commercialisation of our beautiful and historic town?

We should all sympathise with and demand action for Richard Bird, owner of the Street Level Cafe in condemning the unfair competition from the temporary ‘pop-up’ business set up immediately opposite his restaurant; here we have unlicensed premises selling from a tacky shop front and monopolising valuable pavement space poaching business from a long-established restaurant and its respected owner who has offered good meals at reasonable prices and the best ice cream in the town for many, many years.

At the same time there is a planning application for a fish and chip shop with takeaway facilities on Angel Hill. Surely the planners can’t allow so inappropriate an activity in one of the most beautiful squares in the country?

Finally, squalid banners seem to be appearing on every roundabout in the town. I’m told these do not need planning permission but the approval of the county Highways Department, who appear to be incommunicable.

Let’s hope our new councillors are prepared to take the necessary action to ensure that our impressive heritage, so carefully cherished, is sustained into the future.

-- Susan Tamlyn, Bury St Edmunds

I tried to help the police

Sometimes the police can frustrate you, but, with reported crime supposedly going down, you would hope any assistance would be appreciated. Of course, ‘reported’ is the vital term here, as people are reluctant to report crime as they think little will be done, especially as the Bury station is not manned at night.

Early in the morning over the weekend of April 27, I was awoken by a strange noise and looked out of my window to see two men trundling along Philip Road, Bury, with a wheelie bin. The following day there was a report from a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator that a gas cylinder had been stolen from a garden in Rosemary Road and removed by concealing it in a wheelie bin. The note said that if we had seen anything suspicious to call 101.

This I did and was put through to the Suffolk Constabulary at Martlesham Police station. The lady there had no idea where Philip Road or Rosemary Road in Bury were and when I stated that the two men pulling the bin turned right into Tollgate Lane, I may as well have said they got into a Tardis and went to Mars.

The lady was so rude and complained of so many calls – there were lots of towns in Suffolk and lots of Rosemary Roads, had I got a crime number, I can’t find it anywhere etc, that eventually I put the phone down in frustration. I did ring back a while later and a much more helpful lady took details and said someone would call

me back. That never happened. So much for co-operation.

I had been out on that Saturday morning, prior to the calls, and had returned via the A143 along Horringer Road. I had spotted a speed detector vehicle (yes, on a Saturday morning) in the layby just Bury side of the Glastonbury Road turn, but had turned into Glastonbury Road so took no real notice of it, as I was not travelling fast.

Imagine my dismay when, a week later, I received a £60 fine, from the Suffolk Constabulary, for travelling at

35mph in the 30mph limit. I didn’t even pass the detector vehicle and certainly didn’t take the corner at 35mph.

I can understand checks being made on school days near schools or at some potentially dangerous location, but this was neither.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is can anyone tell me why we should go out of our way to help the police, when the service is appalling and rude? They will never find the gentlemen with the gas cylinder and wheelie bin but hey, who cares, they can collect £60 fines all day long from the good old motorist. Much easier.

-- Name and address supplied

Still plenty of long-stay places

Anyone reading the report of the chamber of commerce annual meeting (Bury Free Press, May 3) could be forgiven for thinking that the borough council had abolished four hours or more car parking in Bury. In fact, there are 2,751 spaces in the town centre where parking for four hours or more is available. They are:-

Cattle Market/arc: 862 spaces 4 hours for £4.

Manor House: 40 spaces 4 - 10 hours for £4.

Parkway multi-deck: 600 spaces 4-10 hours for £2.20.

Parkway Surface: 265 spaces 4 hours for £2.20.

Ram Meadow: 800 spaces 4-10 hours for £2.20.

St Andrew’s long-stay: 184 spaces 4-10 hours for £3.

The best buys for up to 10 hours are the Parkway multi-deck or Ram Meadow at £2.20, and for a four hour stay, the Parkway Surface car park tariff is also £2.20.

In addition, season ticket prices are down to £7.50 a week. This is designed to help shop and office employees in the town centre, many of who work for businesses who are members of the chamber of commerce. Overall, tariffs are mainly unchanged, or in the case of season tickets, they are reduced.

-- David Nettleton, Chairman, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, St Edmundsbury Borough Council