READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, May 1

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, May 1.

OLENTY OF SPACE AT EXISTING SITE

The largest single category by volume of waste over 12 months leaving the present waste transfer/recycling station is non-recyclable black bin waste, so the site is already a waste transfer station with planning permission to expand.

Over all its years of operation the station has never had a material issue with noise, smell, vermin, disease, fire or ground water pollution – an exemplary record. There is no reason for this to change if it were expanded.

Some 200 yards away at the top of Rougham Hill, is a brown-field site – the old A45 plus, between the old A45 and the A14, an area of scrub land – both areas unused for over 25 years with little if any public amenity value and which would provide more than enough acres to accommodate all the other services planned for the hub. Go and look for yourself.

The hub could be delivered at a fraction of the cost of Hollow Road Farm, saving millions, with no loss of productive arable farmland (so satisfying Government and NFU policy guidelines) avoiding the expensive upgrading, particularly of Fornham Road, and with the benefit of fewer HGV miles and lower running costs.

The A14 Junction 44 (Sainsbury’s), just 250 yards of dual carriageway from the old A45, will benefit from even lower traffic volumes when the eastern relief road opens and is less congested now than Junction 43 (Tesco’s). Traffic in Rushbrooke Lane would stay the same; the public usage of an expanded station is not expected to rise; the estimated extra 66 HGVs visiting the site with timed arrivals and departures to avoid peak times would be easily accommodated on the short 250-yard journey to Junction 44, passing no homes on the way.

Rougham Hill meets or betters, with far lower costs and environmental damage, all SEBC/SCC claimed benefits for Hollow Road Farm. If this is not correct, perhaps council will tell us why.

-- Simon Harding, Bury St Edmunds

CANDIDATES’ NHS RESPONSES

West Suffolk Trades Union Council (WSTUC), speaking for many local trade union members, has received replies to pointed questions first sent out by us in writing in mid-March to all local parliamentary candidates (Bury Free Press, March 20), and repeated in a letter in the Bury Free Press on April 10.

One of these ‘putting-on-the- spot’ questions invited a declaration of unreserved commitment to a NHS free of new charges to patients, further privatisation and without cuts in provision. The replies received were in summary as follows:

West Suffolk

Conservative (Matthew Hancock) – no response so far.

Green (Niall Pettit) – supports unreserved commitment to the NHS as invited by us, plus support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill.

Labour (Michael Jefferys) – supports keeping the NHS ‘safe’, and reversing the privatisation process.

Lib Dem (Elfreda Tealby-Watson) – supports ‘free’ care ‘at the point of delivery’. Does not oppose privatisation to date or address future privatisation. No unqualified commitment to oppose cuts in provision.

UKIP (Julian Flood) – relies on national UKIP policy documents.

Bury St. Edmunds

Conservative (Jo Churchill) – supports publicly funded NHS – but ‘We can only deliver a strong NHS through a strong economy’, agreeing with privatisation to date, with no comment on further privatisation, possible new charges or cuts in provision.

Green (Helen Geake) – unreserved support for the NHS as invited by us.

Labour (Bill Edwards) – unreserved support for the NHS as invited by us.

Lib Dem (David Chappell) – commitment to a health service ‘free to all’, but not against privatisation (supporting flexibility in which health care is delivered).

UKIP (John Howlett) – no response so far.

This exercise has been directed at obtaining the positions of individual candidates, not at interpreting party manifestos, and has not taken into account sums some parties have pledged to bolster NHS finances as outside the declaration sought by us.

WSTUC strongly encourages all registered to vote, and all to learn as much as possible about the positions of all parties and of individual candidates.

-- John Ellison, Secretary, West Suffolk Trades Council

THE RICH ARE GETTING RICHER

Jo Churchill is absolutely right in urging people to use their vote on May 7 (Letters, April 24) when the country votes in arguably the most important General Election in a generation. I am delighted to hear that there was barely an angry word uttered at the Fawcett Society ‘voting matters’ event held in the arc on April 18, but believe me, across this constituency there is genuine anger at the way the Tories have governed this country for the past five years.

Anger at the way the Tories’ austerity programme has ensured that the average working family finds themselves no better off than they were in 2008, while the rich and wealthy have not only emerged entirely unscathed, but holding a larger than ever slice of the cake. The last 12 months saw the biggest bounce for the UK’s super rich in six years, with the richest 1,000 families having more money than the poorest 40 per cent of British households combined. Those families saw their wealth increase by £28 billion in the last year alone, the equivalent of £77 million a day, while thousands of working people, including many across this constituency, rely on food banks to feed their families.

The last five years under the Tories have seen this country once again become more unequal, with various studies showing that in such a society the less well off are more likely to have poorer education, suffer more with mental health issues, trust people less, be the victim of violent crime and even die earlier.

I urge people to use their vote next Thursday to rid of us a government whose main constituency is the rich and powerful, and elect a Labour Government that will govern for the common good.

-- Richard Soer, Great Barton

STILL WAITING TWO YEARS ON

I refer to the letter from T H Scoulding (Bury Free Press, April 24) regarding the eyesore at the top end of Parkway. Way back in early 2013, two letters from readers appeared in the Bury Free Press (accompanied by a photograph), both complaining about the state of this ‘award-winning’ (?) block of flats, in the hope that whoever is responsible for the upkeep of this building would do something to smarten the place up. Fast forward two years, and although the roundabouts at each end of Parkway, and the central reservation in Parkway itself have all been very well looked after – being a credit to the council – the eyesore referred to has become even more run down, and is letting our– generally speaking – otherwise lovely town down.

T H Scoulding asks for immediate action, and who could disagree?

-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds

IT MAKES SENSE TO CARRY OUT REPAIRS

Mark Oliver stated that he had recent dealings Suffolk County Council and apparently ‘poor road quality is acceptable as long as not dangerous’ (Letters, April 17). If this is the case then one can understand why the roads are in, and remain in, the condition that they are.

I wonder if the roads would get reclassified if a motorcyclist hit a pothole and came off his/her bike causing damage and personal injury to themselves or others, resulting in them putting in a claim against the council (ie us taxpayers)? Or when a car journey results in wheel damage or a tyre blow-out with similar consequences.

Surely, it makes economic sense to keep on top of the situation and to use top-grade materials to repair our roads.

Travelling around the constituency no-one can fail to see that there are serious problems with our roads. This equates to no pride.

Come on councillors, this is not acceptable. Open up the coffers and instil a bit of pride and common sense.

-- Ian Smith, Bury St Edmunds

WERE YOU ONE OF THE ’59-ERS?

Last year during the Magna Carta commemorations several people told me that they’d been in the 1959 Pageant; it was obvious that it held a big place in their memories and, indeed, in the collective memory of the whole town of Bury St Edmunds. This gave me the idea of holding a reunion of ’59-ers, which has been mentioned in the press previously.

I would love to hear from anyone who would be able to come along on May 16 to Moyse’s Hall at 4pm for a cup of tea and cake and talk to others.

Also present will be a team of pageant researchers from King’s College, London, who are keen to listen to what people have to say because Bury has become a town known for its pageants during the 20th century. If you have any photos, etc. please do bring them with you.

-- Margaret Charlesworth, Chairman, Magna Carta 800 Committee