More of your letters of November 2, 2018
PLANNING FIGHT: BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE IS UNDER SIEGE
I read your article by Jason Noble about the 240 houses which have been approved for Elmswell. I was particularly surprised by the sentence suggesting that this development is something “the community finds acceptable”.
I’m an Elmswell resident and I know for a fact that the huge majority of Elmswellians are furious that yet another housing development has been given permission.
I think there is a much bigger and more interesting story going on in Elmswell than you perhaps realise. We’re fighting off developments quite literally left, right and centre. It’s like being under seige.
Over the summer, the particular field in question in this development became a sea of red poppies and dozens, probably hundreds of residents popped up to capture a picture of their families in this beautiful, iconic scene.
A page spread of all those photos would make a very emotive image, of an Elmswell which is about to be buried under Tarmac and bricks. The photo that I took [above] shows how beautiful it was.
VISION FOR FUTURE: NO COHERENT TRANSPORT POLICY
While Councillor John Griffiths might see the proposed development on Western Way as a vision of the future, (Bury Free Press, October 26) his vision is clearly quite limited because one thing stands out.
The image of a sleek black car driving past the proposed development highlights the real flaw in this proposal and emphasises that the focus of this plan is to try to reduce costs for the public sector, not to do anything to benefit the town.
Bearing in mind the tiny number of charging points for electric cars in the town at present, and the significant levels of pollution in the town centre created by unnecessary vehicle journeys, one might have hoped that this “vision of the future” would have included a vital and coherent transport policy, potentially keeping internal combustion engined vehicles out of the town centre and investing in alternative transport solutions, such as autonomous pods which are being tested in Milton Keynes, among other places.
Unfortunately, it is clear that far from being “nationally groundbreaking” this vision is actually parochially blinkered.
VISION FOR FUTURE: DO WE NEED THIS DEVELOPMENT?
Am I reading this right? Why do we need to spend millions on a new development? We have a sports centre. We’re supposed to be saving money, not spending more, Maybe it’s time we cut back on a council layer: we do not need three tiers of local government.
Maybe the council should concentrate on bringing business into the town and filling the empty shops, maybe relocating shops from Risbygate Street or St John’s Street into the town centre to fill the many vacant shops.
Large stores are closing because they pay too much in rent and the future in shopping is online. Building for the future will not save the town’s shops from going into decline and closing. It’s time these boffins did a reality check and started saving money, not spending our money on projects.
Name & address supplied
ROAD CLOSURE: TRAFFIC FORCED THROUGH ESTATE
I am struggling to understand the wisdom of closing Tut Hill between Fornham All Saints and Westley roundabout, and forcing through traffic via Marham Park. It now requires three roundabouts to be negotiated and one pedestrian crossing instead of a direct road between the two locations.
In this modern day we normally see campaigns for bypasses, but in this case the bypass around Marham Park is being closed, forcing all of the traffic via the estate. Given that the Marham estate is destined to have at least 900 homes, which will no doubt result in a minimum of 900 cars and probably in excess of 1,500; to close a natural bypass must be seen as extremely short sighted.
I can understand that the residents of Tut Hill will be jumping for joy at the closure, until of course they want to get to the A14 at Westley, in which case they will have to go via the Marham estate. In any case, had the old Tut Hill road remained open, the traffic flow would have been less by virtue of the fact that HGV’s and other traffic going from the A14 to Mildenhall Road and Northern Way would not be going down the old road but the new one.
As I see it everyone is losing out, through traffic is forced to go via the estate and estate traffic will have to contend with the thro’ traffic.
TRAFFIC WOES: NO SUCH THING AS FREE PARKING
Bob Jones (Readers’ Views, October 26) bemoans the lack of joined-up thinking from our politicians, whilst displaying that same lack himself. Like many of your correspondents he is appalled that West Suffolk Hospital charges for car parking. There is no such thing as free parking, someone has to buy the land, pay to build the car park, maintain and manage it. Why shouldn’t that be the users, rather than taking money from patient care? If there is a surplus to support more patient care, then so much the better.
An advantage of charging for parking is that it will make people think about how they are going access the hospital and every person who chooses to walk, cycle, use public transport or share a lift is one less motor vehicle on the road. As a result there is less of the congestion he is also concerned about, these things are connected. No doubt many of your readers will think building more roads is the solution. The Chancellor clearly thinks so, announcing yet more road building in this week’s budget. However, we have been adding more and more roads in the UK since the 1950s and all we have for our trouble is more congestion and delay. Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.” It is time we stopped the insanity and had a rethink about how we all travel, that would definitely get my vote.
Bury St Edmunds
COUNCIL CUTS: PHONEY PUBLIC CONSULTATION
If, as Theresa May claims, austerity is over, why is the Conservative-led Suffolk County Council asking residents to give their views on which essential services to cut next year? This phoney exercise in public consultation informs us that it has already been decided that there will be a £25 million cut in provision and we are simply asked to say where the axe should fall. We are all aware of the parlous state of many of our public services.
Our hospitals are blocked because of lack of social care provision, our roads are in an appalling condition and we have seen homelessness and poverty rise to levels that we have not seen for many years. If this were not bad enough, this misleading survey implies that important services like public health only focus on – less popular – areas like alcohol and drug abuse while completely failing to mention all of the positive work done to reduce obesity, heart failure, strokes and many other conditions.
Instead of trying to hoodwink the public, isn’t it time that the Government and the county council set out clear plans for how they will re-build our public services after a decade of austerity that has left many of the services we rely on withering on the vine?
Bury St Edmunds
ROUGH SLEEPERS: SAD THAT DOORWAY WAS BLOCKED OFF
When I do go into Bury, I mostly park in the top car park, walk through the arc on to Boots, then through past the now-empty Laura Ashley building.
I am aware that an old lady has made a little space for herself so that she can have a good place to sleep.
I was saddened the other day when I walked past the spot and noticed that workmen have put a metal barrier in front of the doors to prevent her from sleeping there, as far as I am aware that door is not being used and was saddened that the person who made that decision to have that work done gets into a warm bed each night, I think that people in a better place in life should have more empathy for those that are less well off.
A council spokesman commented:
“We have been and are continuing to try to engage with people who are rough sleeping rough across West Suffolk. Support and accommodation is available. In terms of Market Cross, we own the building, we have a new tenant and we are carrying out work in preparation for this which requires a fence to protect public safety.”
AMNESTY: FLAG DAY THANKS
Many thanks to all who contributed to the street collection on October 13 for Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust. Total raised was £259.30 which, without any deduction for expenses, will be used for Amnesty UK’s educational, research and public awareness-raising work.
Bury St Edmunds Group
Amnesty International UK
BREXIT: VIEW FROM THE PEOPLE’S MARCH
After over two years of wondering where the wonderful Britain I knew and loved had gone, I discovered that it’s still alive and well. The march my family and I joined in London was a sign that the voice of the people can still be heard, however, there seem to be very few ears in the Government listening.
Surely with such chaos reigning in the Brexit arena the most logical and democratic answer to the problem is to go back to the people with honesty this time, no more lies. We should be worried about the haste which the hard-nosed brexiters are trying to impose on the talks because if we are faced with a hard Brexit the only ones to benefit will be those same people. The Farages and Rees-Moggs are counting on leaving as businesses in 2019 will be faced with the Anti Tax Avoidance Directive, an EU law designed to thwart businesses avoiding tax dues. This law will counteract loopholes where national laws have failed to address them. Companies will pay fair tax and not be put out of business. There are so many other reasons to be involved in Europe that leaving a beneficial union just makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Unfortunately there is no one party capable of leading us out of this mess so why don’t they put their heads together as would happen in any other desperate situation and work it out!