BRING BACK THE PARK KEEPER
As an Old Burian I love coming back to Bury and visiting the Abbey Gardens. However, my pleasure was ruined today by youths on bikes riding over the grass, congregating on the paths in gangs and generally being a nuisance. There were a lot of people using the park, including the elderly and parents with children. My impression was that bikes were not allow inside the park and certainly not to be ridden. An isolated one or two with bikes can be told to ‘get off’ but even I am not minded to go after the 20 or so in a gang today.
Once there was a park keeper – usually an ex-policeman – now its mayhem.
Please do something about it.
Mary Pilfold-Allan, via email
BREXIT: MANY ARE NOW RETHINKINg
Mr Shayer (Letters, September 7) complains about doom and gloom being expressed on the prospects for Brexit, and suggests that everything will be better when we leave the ‘tyranny of the EU’. He is, of course, entirely at liberty to hold his opinions, but some facts may be useful to set those opinions in perspective. Regarding our contribution of ‘vast sums’ to the EU budget that would be better spent at home, 2016 figures from the Office of National Statistics are that the net payment to the EU was £8.1 billion (i.e. after deducting payments back to the UK for items such as regional development, farm subsidies and research funding). It sounds like a lot of money but in fact is only 1% of the total government spend.
Of course, as with any club, payment of a membership fee provides benefits. Examples within the EU include police and security cooperation, customs-free supply chains that are crucial for just-in-time processes, the Erasmus Plus scheme that enables young people to spend time in another European country, easy access to seasonal labour for the food and farming industry – the list goes on and on.
Then there is a claim that the EU restricts our trade, which would presumably apply to other EU countries as well. In practice, about 54% of our exports go to EU countries, with most of the remainder going to the US and Asia. Thus nearly half our exports go to non-EU countries. Through our EU membership, we benefit from trade agreements with about 50 outside countries, with a further 11 countries currently in negotiation. All these agreements would need to be renegotiated if we leave the EU, a process that would take many years.
Bearing in mind that Jacob Rees-Mogg has stated that there will be no Brexit dividend for 50 years, and Liam Fox has admitted that leaving the EU would not guarantee a rosy future for the UK, it is not surprising that many people are rethinking their support for leaving. Whatever deal Parliament manages to put together, the matter of our future relationship with the EU should be put to a People’s Vote. Now we know so much more about the facts of leaving, that would be the democratic way forward.
Kay Thomson, Bury St Edmunds
BREXIT: SOME RULES FOR IMMIGRATION
I would be interested to learn the views of fellow Bury Free Press Readers on what policy we should have on immigration in post-Brexit Britain. We obviously want a policy which welcomes (with ease) those EU workers we need in the health service, caring professions, hospitality and agriculture, whilst ensuring that our local population have the work opportunities they wish for.
We certainly want to avoid the NHS having to pay £1,000 per work permit, as it does now, to pay for a non-EU citizen to come and care for us.
May I suggest that:
1 We require those wishing to come, but who cannot support themselves financially beyond three months and have not found employment to leave;
2 That there is a distinction made between those claiming benefits whilst seeking work for the first time and those with a track record of contributing to ‘unemployment’ benefits;
3 We have the right to deport EU citizens if they are convicted of serious criminal offences.
Incidentally, the present EU rules permit us to do all of these things.
Helen Korfanty, Bury St Edmunds
BREXIT IS NOT A DONE DEAL
As Bury St Edmunds community group lead for a People’s Vote I would like to set the record straight.
I am writing in response to Julie Pierce’s letter last week.
A People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal will not be a repeat of 2016’s referendum. That gave the Government a mandate to negotiate a deal to leave, but did so on a very clear platform – just think of that famous red bus promising us an extra £350 million a week for the NHS.
We now know that the gap between what was promised in that referendum campaign and the Brexit we are going to be offered is getting wider all the time. The Westminster Brexit elite have made a total mess of the process and it is only right that, we, the people, take back control of our country’s future.
Nobody was told in 2016 that Brexit would mean higher prices in the shops, the pound taking a hammering or that we would have to stockpile medicines for the NHS. Given all these new facts it is our democratic right to be able to decide what should happen.
Our local surveying in the St Edmundsbury community shows overwhelming support for a People’s Vote, with much concern about the single market and customs union, the threat to local business, the impact on the NHS and our local hospital, farming and jobs.
More local supporters for the People’s Vote are joining. Community members are volunteering in support of the campaign in a variety of ways and we welcome new members all the time. For more information see www.peoples-vote.uk @peoplesvote_uk @OpenBritainBSE
Brexit is a big deal, but it is not a done deal.
Christina Birt, Group Lead, Open Britian Bury St Edmunds, campaigning for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal
LIFEBOAT CREWS ARE REAL HEROES
Having been watching the documentaries on BBC2 about the situations faced, and dealt with, by the crews of different vessels used by the RNLI, you have to wonder why we use the word ‘hero’ to describe obscenely overpaid (often underachieving ) sports personalities. These crewmen are all volunteers who put their own lives at risk at any time of day or night, in order to
save the lives of others, without hesitation, or payment.
Not being government-funded, the RNLI relies on support from the public, and I for one, having watched those documentaries couldn’t walk past one of their collection boxes without putting a few coins in.
As it happens my partner and I were in Cromer for a few days last week, and am happy to say ‘I put my money where my mouth is’ at the Cromer lifeboat station situated at the end of the Cromer Pier.
Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds