Your letters: Bury Free Press, December 21

Have your say


Reforms all about the ‘bottom line’

We are already seeing job losses, about 130, since Sirco took over the running of district nursing, physio therapy and other services. This will have an impact on times waiting for treatment. I do not want to see the NHS turned into the American model.

We have all seen the way in which private companies asset-strip in the rail service, water, power, and telecommunications.

When hospital cleaning services were put out to tender the results were a disaster. It has taken years to try to put that right.

This is all about the ‘bottom line’ not about the service provided.

Sandra Menzies-Kitchin


Privatisation not the way forward

I have been a nurse all my life and privatisation is not the way forward for the NHS.

While it may have its faults through continual changes brought about by different political parties in power, to make it private would destroy the way in which we have been trained/educated to look after patients.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups should listen – lots of us are committed to protecting the NHS from been privatised.

Kathleen Harrison



Parents are best placed to decide

Re: Free Schools on Ixworth site.

As if our children are not going to suffer enough 
with the closure of our middle schools, I am disappointed parents are not getting access to all the information with regard to both bids for a Free School on the Ixworth Middle School site.

As parents, I urge you all to visit both Free School websites and speak to the relevant representatives to make an informed decision as what is best for your children. Each child is unique with 
different needs and aspirations, as parents we are in the best position to make that decision for them.

Rachel Bolton

Badwell Ash


We must not turn our backs on EU

Europe is in turmoil. Yet in exactly a year and a half, it will be time for the next European Elections. Some say the best course for Britain is to turn our backs and pull out of the EU. In fact, we should be thinking now about how the 2014 election can start putting things right. Here in the East of England the Green Party came within one per cent of winning an MEP seat last time. So how would they change things?

The Green Party wants EU decision-making simplified – it can take years to get things done – and decentralised with more decisions made at local or regional level. The elected members of the European Parliament need to be put in charge of decision-making and the unelected Commissioners should be the servants of the MEPs, not the other way around. There should be tight controls on lobbying by powerful corporate interests trying to influence what happens. Then we might see a Europe standing up for the local economy and small businesses in the east of England, rather than lying down for big corporations and vested interests.

The environmental challenges we face – air pollution, dangerous climate change, disease pandemics – need to be tackled internationally. Europe is trying to do this, despite its dysfunctional structure. As good neighbours, we must work to make Europe better, not turn our backs on it.

From Suffolk’s two Green MEP candidates for the Eastern region – Mark Ereira-Guyer and Robert Lindsay

gay marriage

is not hatred

I was interested in reading the responses to your survey ‘Should the C of E be banned from conducting same-sex marriages’ (Bury Free Press December 14).

I am opposed to the Government redefining marriage. The word marriage means a husband and a wife. There will be huge consequences if the marriage status is changed. A leading human rights lawyer (Aidan O’Neill QC) has recently published a legal opinion which shows the drastic effect redefining marriage would have on civil liberties and freedom of conscience.

I have written to our local MP to urge him to oppose the redefinition of marriage. I pointed out that disagreement isn’t hatred and that opposition to same-sex marriage is not based on hostility to anyone.

I was pleased to receive a positive reply from our MP.

Ian Smith

Bury St Edmunds


Changes make 
no sense

Having read last week’s healthcare management feature, I would imagine very few people would challenge the very laudable ambition of Dr Ed Garratt and Dr Jon Ferdinand to deliver the highest quality health service in West Suffolk, as part of the package of health reforms being introduced by the Tory led coalition government.

Although I fundamentally disagree with the Governments healthcare reforms, I genuinely hope the good doctors are successful in achieving their ambitions.

However, without wishing to be a party pooper at this time of festive cheer, I would like to suggest that there are already many healthcare professionals that are not quite as enthusiastic as Dr Garratt and Dr Ferdinand, and are openly expressing concern about the changes.

At a time when the National Health Service has been charged with finding savings of £20 billion by 2015, it is interesting to note that figures released under the Freedom of Information act reveal that GPs will receive up to £115 an hour for commissioning healthcare services, on top of their existing salaries, which in some areas will mean an increase of a further £26,000 per annum.

Dr Garratt states that the West Suffolk board includes eight GPs who will be working one day a week for the commissioning group: how on earth can it make financial sense for the NHS to pay these eight GP’s to attend group meetings, whilst possibly having to pay a second locum doctor to cover their surgery appointments?

Before the 2010 General Election David Cameron quite rightly decried top down re-organisation of the NHS, however as soon as he achieved office he introduced these misplaced reforms. It really does just go to show you can never trust the Tories with the NHS!

Richard Soer

Great Barton