READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, November 7

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, November 7.

MAGNA CARTA EVENT ENJOYED WIDE COVERAGE

I was delighted to see such kind words about the Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta 800 Committee’s Light and Sound Trail ‘Our Liberty’ (Letters, October 31).

However I was saddened that one correspondent had missed the considerable coverage in the local papers and on BBC Radio Suffolk promoting the event.

To reply to the question ‘where was the advertising?’ I’d like to take this opportunity to thank again publicly one of the sponsors, Whatley Lane Estate Agents, who not only took out full page advertisements in the Bury Free Press in the weeks leading up to this but also paid for and distributed 18,500 flyers to homes in the Bury St Edmunds’ area. As well as this, they kindly sponsored banners that were put up in front of the Abbey Gardens, near the Abbey Gate, in the three weeks leading up to the opening night.

All the schools who took part in activities connected to the Magna Carta events were also contacted about ‘Our Liberty’; we also gave talks to groups when invited to do so and, of course, we worked very hard online with promotion through the Apex and West Suffolk Diary websites as well as our own website and social media channels.

We are very pleased that so many people did manage to take advantage of this free event.

-- Margaret Charlesworth, Chairman, Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta 800 Committee

LITTLE FOR TODDLERS TO PLAY ON

My two-year-old granddaughter visited and was eager to go into the new revamped play area behind Glastonbury Court. How disappointed she was. £40,000 spent, yet only some enclosed type of swings were all she could play on. She wandered about saying ‘slide’ but I had to tell her the slide had gone. What is the point of spending a ridiculous amount of money on equipment for the older children only? The pre-school toddlers like to visit the play area weekdays, during the day when it is quieter, but must be disappointed there is little to play on.

-- Name and address supplied

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

On behalf of Bury St Edmunds Round Table can I please thank the town for their amazing support of our Charity Fireworks Spectacular display in the Abbey Gardens on Saturday night.

Record crowds combined with generous donations has combined to make this year’s display a huge success. The proceeds from our display will go towards local good causes and charities in our community.

The work now begins on organising the 2015 display and we hope to see you all again next year.

-- Robin Cutler, Fireworks officer, Bury St Edmunds Round Table

VIEWS ARE MORE IMPORTANT

This week the Conservatives were selecting their candidate for the General Election. Unlike Barry Denny and Graham Turner (Bury Free Press, October 31), I am much more concerned with what the chosen candidate’s views are on Europe, human rights, social and environmental issues than whether or not they are local.After all, David Ruffley was a solicitor from Bolton before he was elected.

-- David Dawson, Bury St Edmunds

CENTRALISM IS BEING QUESTIONED

Has the local Tory Establishment learned nothing from the events of the last few years?

Politicians are despised and the pervasive effects of centralism are questioned by nearly all.

Now we are told that our next Conservative candidate will be another Central Office approved candidate with no link to, or knowledge, of Bury St Edmunds.

Was it really beyond the skill of local officers to find someone living locally who is knowledgeable and competent to represent us?

-- Doug Harris, Bury St Edmunds

CANDIDATES KNOW NOTHING OF THIS AREA

With regard to the selection of a Conservative candidate, the selected four nominees all live a minimum of 76 miles from Bury, and while we know they get free first class rail travel for themselves and their families, they still know nothing of the town and area. I find it incredible that with a population of over 40,000 people living in the catchment area, the selection committee could not find a suitable candidate. Indeed, they have even chosen a person who wanted to serve as a Liberal but didn’t get selected in the last election.

-- R Holton, Bury St Edmunds

OUR DOORS ARE OPEN EVERY DAY

I sympathise with Graeme Clark of Hopton who wrote to say that he had travelled in to Bury by bus specifically to visit three places, one of which was the Citizens Advice Bureau, and found them all closed (Letters, October 31).

However, I would like to confirm that we are open every day (and were open on Wednesday of this week), from 9.30am to 12.30pm for anyone to drop in for information and advice without an appointment. We provide appointments and telephone advice from 2pm to 4pm every day, and our building is open between 9.30am and 4pm. If anyone comes in between those hours with an emergency, or has travelled some way just to see us, we do not turn them away, regardless of our drop in times.

If Mr Clark would like to ring 01284 753675 before 4pm on a weekday afternoon, we will be happy to discuss the matter with him, and he may find that he does not need to make a trip to see us!

-- Jane Ballard, Suffolk West Citizens Advice Bureau

SHOPPING HANDED IN AT TESCO

To whom it may concern: If you were the person who left a bag of shopping on a trolley in Tesco’s car park on Thursday, October 30, don’t despair ’cos if you think it’s lost, think again, as it was handed in at customer services, and they will have put back on to shelves any perishable goods, and kept non-perishable items along with your bill (over £82 ) at the desk.

So call in and collect your shopping.

-- Name and address supplied

PAYING MILLIONS TO FILL THE GAP

The news that NHS spending on agency nurses has spiralled to more than £5.5 billion over the past four years and is continuing to rise highlights the woeful recruitment crisis in our health service.

The NHS has become far too reliant on agencies to provide nursing staff – sometimes at a cost of up to £1,800 per day per nurse – and this is as a result of the number of nurse training places in England having been cut since 2010.

According to the latest figures, there were 7,000 fewer qualified nurses in August 2013 compared with May 2010, excluding health visitors, school nurses and midwives.

NHS trusts across East Anglia are desperately trying to recruit permanent nursing staff but cannot fill those vacancies. At the same time, the Government decided the 1% pay rise recommended for nursing staff by the independent Pay Review Body should not be awarded.

Over the past three years nursing staff in the NHS have had a cost of living pay freeze. That pay freeze means nurses have, in real terms, taken a pay cut as the cost of living has gone up.

At the same time as existing NHS nursing staff are being denied a 1% pay rise, the NHS is paying millions to private agencies to fill the gap. Sadly, it seems that valuing the nurses who already work in the NHS is not that important to the Government.

-- Anne Wells, RCN Council member for the Easter Region