READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, March 27

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A selection of readers’ letters from the BUry Free press of Friday, March 27.

GROUPS HELP TO FIND SOLUTIONS

The article about the appalling state of Holderness Road (Bury Free Press, March 20) serves to highlight the work carried out on behalf of the community by local community groups.

The Eastgate Ward Community Association has a dedicated, voluntary committee who do so much good for local residents, perhaps best reflected in the high turnout at their public meetings. They not only identify and highlight issues, such as the Holderness Road problem, but are also instrumental in coming up with solutions. They liaise with local residents and businesses and with their local councillors who would do well to heed their detailed local knowledge. Established over many years, their list of achievements is very impressive but the challenges keep coming.

The EWCA is just one of the many voluntary groups that keep the town ticking over and we should all be very grateful for their work. The best way to show that gratitude would be to join them as they can always do with, and deserve, a little extra help.

-- Trevor Beckwith, County Cllr, Eastgate and Moreton Hall

BENCHES HAVE BEEN TAKEN AWAY

I expect most readers will agree that Bury is a lovely town in which to live, where people generally are extremely helpful and friendly.

The only thing I tend to miss now I suffer from arthritis, which causes me back pain, is a bench somewhere on every street where old folks like myself could sit and rest out legs and feet for a minute or so before carrying on with our journey.

Sad to say, the bench which used to sit under the railway bridge near the main Tesco store has been taken away and the handy old bench which once stood on one side of the Southgate roundabout is also no longer there. Yet another has disappeared – perhaps due to budget cuts – which was situated close by the little alleyway which offers access to the Waitrose store from King’s Road.

Perhaps I shouldn’t complain, but I’ve always loved walking, which is good for the ‘soul’ as well as one’s health, and the other day when I visited Felixstowe – admittedly a seaside town – I was ‘happy as Larry’ to be able to sit down and rest my legs all the way down the high street and along the sea front.

-- Neville Lewis, Bury St Edmunds

PROTECT NHS WITH A STRONG ECONOMY

In response to Mr Soer (Letters, March 20), I would like to clarify my position on the NHS. It is my belief that we all share similar priorities in our lives – health, education, housing and jobs not to mention security both national and local – it is our way of paying, or not paying for them that differs.

The Conservative party has committed to protect the NHS. It has invested £12.6 billion in it over the past five years and has pledged to another £2 billion per annum going forward. There are over 9,000 more doctors employed than there were in 2010.

Interestingly, if I could I would direct him to a recent report by the Health Select Committee but I can’t. Labour members blocked it. So why you may ask – because the factual numerical evidence showed the following:

- Private provider involvement has slowed since 2005

- No extra charges or top-ups have taken place in the NHS since 2010 – and none are forecast.

- Administration costs have fallen significantly since 2010

- There is NO evidence that TTIP (Transatlantic Trade Partnership) threatens the NHS

I am a huge supporter of the NHS. The frontline staff do an amazing often unsung job – I know not remotely but from friends who work for the NHS – as a cancer survivor I am a grateful recipient of their care.

The NHS has to be valued and protected. But we also have to be aware with greater demand, an ageing population and advancement in technology and drugs there are choices and challenges to be made. That is why the only way to protect our NHS and the broader needs of those who need on going care in our communities is to have a strong economy to ensure we can care for our sick and vulnerable.

-- Jo Churchill, Conservative PPC, Bury St Edmunds Constituency

BATTLE STARTED 15 YEARS AGO

I read with interest the article regarding flooding in Gardiner Close (Bury Free Press, March 13). It was enlightening to note from the article that two councillors who have had little involvement with the area have chosen to make comments. What a shame they were not available to assist the residents in their fight to get flood defence work carried out in the past. I can confidently advise your readers that every effort was made by the residents to get preventative work carried out almost 15 years ago and that they formed a residents’ group with the sole aim of achieving this. They are a proactive group of responsible residents who will be offended to read the comments made by Suffolk County Council’s flood and water manager about their reluctance admit to their homes being flooded. I think that Cllr Hopfensperger should contact the group to show them the photos of flooding inside one of these homes; to my knowledge, the flooding affected garages alone – but surely this should not impede the preventative work being funded – after all it has now been acknowledged that there is a potential problem.

-- Name and address supplied

‘AVOIDERS’ DIP INTO ALL OUR POCKETS

It is a very sad state of affairs when you, I and millions of other average hard working people – the very same people that the Prime Minister keeps referring to as the people he is keen to help – are being robbed in broad daylight on a daily basis.

George Osborne has at long last admitted that the there is a problem with those who have the knowledge (but not a shred of common decency) who are going to great lengths to use every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes that they owe. They are in effect dipping all of our pockets.

Will Osborne actually do anything? Not if his record to date is anything to go by.

This problem requires the maximum number of people who can to let those in power and indeed those who are standing for a position on May 7 to be made aware that enough is enough.

-- John Phillips, Long Melford

AN INSPIRING PERFORMANCE

Earlier this month I was fortunate to have one of the few remaining seats for the All -Through Trust production of Once Upon A Time, at The Apex. The first half of the concert showcased a series of original compositions produced as a result of 200 pupils working together for a day in mixed-age groups, to compose pieces based around Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

After the interval, the orchestra and choirs performed Paul Patterson’s acclaimed Little Red Riding Hood.

I found the whole performance very inspiring and certainly demonstrated what the ‘All -Through Trust’ education system is offering our children in Bury. The production allowed children of all ages across the trust to interact, create and perform.

The fact that the children can perform on a stage in such a crowded venue and to be completely undaunted by the experience stands testament to the quality of teaching they are receiving.

This will pay dividends for their future confidence.

At County Upper, I note there was a Science Festival last week, just another example of one of the brilliant opportunities available for students; it is not just about academic results but fortunately these are excellent as well.

-- Jon Salmon, Bury St Edmunds

PROCEDURE SHOULD BE MORE OPEN

Worringly, the validity of any complaint against a council official or councillor is decided by the council internally, in secret, after consultation with the appellant, colleagues and others.

Alarmingly, the complainant has no right to appeal against any decision, resulting in the fear of a council cover-up.

Surely in the 21st century we deserve a much more open and transparent procedure to help to create more trust of and respect for our local authority, council and councillors?

-- Simon Harding, Bury St Edmunds

PUT LITTER ON THE CURRICULUM

Like many others, I have written about the litter-strewn streets, paths and verges in our town.

Who should we blame?

In the first place we tend to think of youthful litter louts, but they are not driving lorries and do not own the houses on many roads and estates which have gardens like waste dumps which are an offence to caring neighbours.

If one walks in the town, one is confronted by people eating on the move with faces contorted like that of our would-be future PM with the effort required to stuff in sandwiches,burgers and even whole meals on plastic trays with the help of plastic cutlery. After the food there are the inevitable plastic containers of coffee. Everywhere people of all ages are seen carrying cans of beer, water or sugary drinks. How many of these items are taken home or find their way into refuse bins such as there are?

Why is a typical German town of a similar size so different?As far as one can gather, as soon as they enter the education system children are taught that litter is not tolerated and the message is reinforced with praise or reprimand if required until the lesson is well learned. The key point is that young citizens become proud of the place where they live. Anti-litter should be on every curriculum.

-- B Perrett, Bury St Edmunds

SERVICE FAILED TO DELIVER

How many of us did not have the pleasure of opening our Mother’s Day cards on the correct day?

Surely I cannot be the only mother left sad and dismayed at the total failure of Royal Mail to deliver on time?

Although my daughter and son separately posted Mother’s Day cards in Cambridge last week, by late Tuesday neither had arrived. I tried the telephone lines quoted for the inappropriately named ‘Customer Service’ on 10 occasions on Monday and Tuesday but found the service abysmal. After being redirected to numerous numbers – none of

which answered – at last a real voice told me: “Ordinary First Class Post is untrackable and you can only wait.”

If that is all the information they can share for me to tell my daughter and son, what hope remains? Change the nomenclature to Mothering Wednesday, should I be so lucky.

-- M M Grant, Bury St Edmunds

A SIGN OF SUCCESS FOR VILLAGERS

At last, after many decades, thanks to Suffolk County Council and those who persisted in bringing this to their attention, not least my wife, Marion, we now have a road name plate at each end of our Lane. Water Lane may well be known to most locals but until now, those visiting Little Whelnetham were totally unaware of the name of this much used road.

-- Anthony Rice, Little Whelnetham