A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, November 27
PAIR DESERVE A MENTION
RE the house fire in Baldwin Avenue, Bury St Edmunds (Bury Free Press, November 20), I would appreciate a special mention for Jason Southern and Leighton Place – they were the two gentlemen who entered the buildings without regard to their own safety to help my neighbours.
Jason was having a cigarette in my garden when he heard a scream, which we believe now were the poor guinea pigs.
Jason ran through the kitchen alerting us all of a house fire, so we all rushed out and alerted our neighbours, us women alerting other neighbours and looking after children, while the men ran into the house, checking every room, and bringing everyone to safety.
I would really appreciate a mention please of their bravery because if they had not gone in, things could have been very different. A fireman commented that if it had not been for Jason’s quick thinking, it could have been a lot different.
-- Michelle Dawson, Bury St Edmunds
RELIEF ROAD UNFIT FOR PURPOSE
Reading last week’s Bury Free Press, I found the plans for Bury’s Eastern Relief Road quite ‘interesting’. I could not help noticing a significant number of superfluous roundabouts en route to the Rookery Interchange, with placeholders for junctions running in all directions. Relief roads should be smooth, free-flowing and direct.
It appears that the road is lacking all of these attributes and is therefore unfit for purpose and the continuous congestion of the Sainsbury’s roundabout will continue.
Forgive my cynicism but this ‘relief’ road appears solely as a means of accessing another 1,000 houses to be developed on the edge of St James’ Park. Just keep on packing them in, why don’t you, St Edmundsbury?
-- Barry Clark, Bury St Edmunds
David Cull (Readers’ Views, November 20) wondered “how many readers are aware that the Government is trying to pass laws which threaten some of our basic civil rights?” He was referring to the Trade Union Bill that has had its third and final reading in the Commons and is currently being considered by the Lords.
David spelled out the issues at stake very well.
This subject was comprehensively discussed at the branch meeting of the North-West Suffolk Labour Party on November 12. A press release was sent to the Bury Free Press on the meeting in which this discussion was highlighted.
The Bury Free Press decided not to print the press release, nor any part of it, nor to even mention the meeting or its agenda in its pages.
Opposite David’s letter, however, they did give a whole new regular column to Conservative MP for the area, Matthew Hancock who, of course, wholeheartedly supports this Bill.
So, in answer to David’s question, it is very unlikely that many readers of the Bury Free Press will be aware of this threat to our civil rights.
Such obvious political bias, giving a regular column to a Conservative politician and denying the main opposition to the draconian policies that he supports a voice, does not serve the interests of readers, thousands of whom are trade union members and socialists.
I, and many people like me, expect better and more balanced political coverage from their local newspaper.
It seems that not only does the Government ‘want to gag opposition’as David rightly says, but also the local media seem to be complicit in this process.
-- Dr Jack Fawbert, Press Officer, North-West Suffolk Constituency Labour Party
Editor’s note: The Bury Free Press does not use everything that is sent to us. We treat each input seriously as to its news or information value to our wide readership. We do not have any political bias or affiliation. The reason Mr Hancock has a regular column is because he is the MP for the area; this would apply whichever party he represented, or even if he was an independent candidate. The popular letters page is open to all.
WEST SUFFOLK’S SUCCESS
I write following Jo Churchill MP’s very personal column (Bury Free Press, November 13), in which she bravely spoke about her own battle with cancer and desire to eradicate the disease.
Unfortunately, almost all of us will know someone affected by cancer. But the good news is that more people than ever before are now surviving the illness – and key to that is early diagnosis.
In west Suffolk, we have a fantastic track record of detecting cancer at an early stage and ultimately giving patients a much better chance of making a good recovery.
Latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, released last month, show that the area is the best in England for early diagnosis, with 60.6 per cent of cases picked up at stage one and two compared with the national average of 45.7 per cent. The area covered by NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group also has the highest one year survival rate in the eastern region.
These great results are due to close partnership working across our health system. Our vigilant GPs are referring to West Suffolk Hospital promptly, with suspected cancer patients then offered fast appointments and appropriate tests so that cancers are diagnosed as quickly as possible and treatment can begin.
We are proud of this record and, although there will always be room for improvement, will continue to work closely together to make sure the public are aware of the symptoms and that they receive the right care if they do need help from the NHS.
-- Roger Quince, Chairman, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
CONCERNS OVER DRUG SAFETY
Permit me to be controversial. Having been struck twice, our MP described herself as a survivor of cancer (I have a Hunger to Eradicate Cancer, Westminster Life, Bury Free Press, November 13). I am pleased that Jo Churchill is a survivor but was saddened to read of her ‘passion’ for Life Sciences and research.
How many more decades of research (involving useless, unreliable and dangerous animal experiments) do we need for the so-called ‘cure’ for all cancers? I agree ‘that sometimes we have to think outside the box’.
For me this means education and the media broadcasting the truth about illnesses, medicines and ‘cures’ (search cam paignfortruthinmedicine and safermedicines.org).
The Off-Patent Drugs Bill that Jo supports may include controversial drugs, classified safe for human use.
Today, western healthcare and its drugs are the third cause of death in most industrialised nations. Health industry journals and statistics corroborate these conclusions.
How many are aware that ‘side-effects’ of medicines kill 10,000 people in the UK each year?
Many of today’s mainstream health writers and editors are in possession of well-researched and life-saving information on many health issues and are being blocked from publishing it.
What are some media owners afraid of?
-- Ian Smith, Bury St Edmunds
GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SIGN UP
Climate Change is the biggest threat we face today. The vast majority of scientists agree that carbon emissions from fossil fuels are ratcheting up global temperatures resulting in rising sea levels and ever greater areas of land becoming desert. We may think that this does not affect us here in beautiful (and wet) Suffolk, indeed we would quite like to live in a warmer climate, but the reality is less benign.
We fear terrorism but shrinking land areas threaten our food and water security. We fear being overwhelmed by refugees from war; their numbers will be dwarfed by those fleeing uninhabitable lands as sea and temperature rise. We already live with increasing air pollution damaging our health, and increasing pressure on the NHS.
Changing weather patterns result in earlier spring flowers but also more flooding. We know all this but it seems our politicians do not. Instead of promoting renewable energies, our government is engaged in a ‘dash for gas’ and an unholy alliance with China to build nuclear power stations which will not produce electricity for a decade and then at artificially high prices.
By failing to promote a decent, affordable public transport system, more and more cars are encouraged on to our roads. Pretending there is not a real problem, or claiming we cannot afford to address it, will not make it go away and we ordinary people, and our children, will pay the price. Governments such as those in Germany, still the economic powerhouse of Europe, and Denmark, among others, have shown that change can happen – so why not here?
And many of us do care as the full houses for the showing of the documentary, This Changes Everything, in Drinkston and Bury this and last week demonstrated. What came out loud and clear from both the film and the discussion after was that a lead from government is required, but that they will not take the right steps unless we, the people, make them do this.
Next week, our Government has an opportunity to do the right thing and help halt the slide to irreversible global warming by signing up to – and pressuring others to do likewise – strict controls on global carbon emissions at the Paris Climate Change talks. Please let them know you are worried about climate change and that you expect them to do the right thing by contacting your MP, sharing it on social media and marching with others in London on Saturday. The truth is we cannot afford not to do something about climate change.
-- Julia Wakelam, Green Party Borough Councillor, Risbygate Ward
HUNTING ACT MUST REMAIN IN FORCE
RE Tim Bonner’s letter Bury Free Press, November 6). Hunting is a cruel and outdated tradition which has nothing to do with animal management
A claim by the hunting fraternity that fox hunting is humane is as scientifically illiterate as it is unsafe as a premise.
November marked the start of the new hunting season for packs of hounds across Britain, and the Countryside Alliance is working hard to persuade the rest of us that wildlife and landowners would benefit from their services if we allow them to hunt foxes and other animals with packs of dogs.
To claim that hunters are providing a valuable service for farmers is nonsense. It has been shown time and again that foxes are not a real threat to livestock. In fact, studies show they are of benefit to farmers because they eat rabbits, rats and other pests which damage crops and spread diseases. A recent estimation by the Mammal Research Unit at Bristol University has shown that one fox can save a crop farmer £900 a year. Even the government departmentDEFRA (Department of Environment and Rural Affairs) says foxes are no more than grade 2 pests, and less than two per cent of lamb deaths can be attributed to fox predation. Some 98 per cent of lambs that die, die from poor farming practices, not predators. It is arguable that lambs found with evidence of having been eaten by a fox may have been already dead from other causes, and were in fact scavenged.
Even free range poultry losses to foxes are low. Two Scottish studies showed that less than two per cent of free range poultry losses were due to foxes.
Hunting is not, and never was, about control. The Hunting Act is a fine piece of legislation and it must remain in its entirety until we can elect a humane government who will tighten up the loopholes.
-- Patricia Betty, via email