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Blame for cuts has to be shared

It was a shame that Richard Soer decided to make a party political point over the opening of the Bury Food Bank. It was entirely right that David Ruffley as our local MP should be there supporting the work of those providing for the increasing numbers who find it difficult to feed their families.The need for such foodbanks is of course a political issue but all of the three political parties bear some of the blame for the economic conditions that have made them necessary. One of the reasons is undoubtedly the cuts that the coalition government have made to the benefits of those who are unemployed or on low incomes. Another cause is the deregulation of financial institutions and the tax loopholes that have been exploited by multi-national companies which were introduced under the previous Labour and Conservative governments. To make matters worse, some of these companies pay the minimum wage, which is not a living wage, and expect the tax-payer to make up the difference through welfare payments. This may all be legal, but it is hardly moral.

David Ruffley has rightly shown his concern for those who cannot feed themselves, no matter how hard they work, now I hope he will take action in government to close the loopholes which allow such massive tax avoidance, and raise the minimum wage.

It is scandalous that 13 million people in this country live in poverty, while companies like Starbucks legally dodge their duties to the society in which they operate.

Richard Stainer

Bradfield St George

Your correspondent who referred to the need for a food bank in Bury St Edmunds must have a short memory if he doesn’t remember it was the last Labour government who bankrupted this country. They were bringing in benefits making it financially better to stay at home rather than work. Spending money like there was no tomorrow.

This Government wouldn’t be cutting staff numbers in the police and NHS workers if it had the money to pay them. Something, however, unpopular has to be done to get this country’s debt under control.

Geoff Nice



Henry’s grave is well cared for

I refer to the article ‘Graves of military heroes’ (Bury Free Press, November 9) that mentions the gravestone of Henry Addison VC, whose grave is in the churchyard of St Peter & St Paul Church Bardwell, and wish to correct misconceptions that the article may convey.

In view of the significance of the gravestone in the history of the village and especially of the memory of the hero that Henry Addison was and still is today, it receives regular care and maintenance. Only as recently as 2006 the VC & GC Association, the parish church and the parish council shared the cost for its major renovation that restored the gravestone almost to its original state.

Although some old graves may be at risk of falling into disrepair and even being destroyed, there is not any risk that this applies to the one in Bardwell. The article presented was not in any way sympathetic to what has been happening locally. It gave the wrong impression of the situation even including a photograph that did not show the actual gravestone concerned.

It would have been helpful if contact had been made with the regional representative of the War Memorial Trust, who is a resident in Bardwell and very much aware of the detailed position.

The article was clearly wishing to raise the profile of the legal risk for some gravestones and that is commendable but that is not how it has come across, with a significant number of Bardwell residents less than pleased with its tone. The impression given is much more that the grave is not cared for and at serious risk of being lost. That is far from the truth. A ‘faculty’ provides legal protection and would be required before anything could be done to any part of the churchyard or its contents. This is provided for under the provisions of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991 that requires all works, alterations and additions to parish churches, their churchyards and contents to have faculty approval.

Many visitors from around the world speak highly of the church and its churchyard. It is maintained by the Friends of Bardwell Church and at present major renovation of one of the boundary fences is almost complete. It is therefore fair to say that Bardwell is very aware of its heritage and proud of all the good works that are done.

Peter Sanderson

Chairman, Bardwell Parish Council

road safety

Cyclists can 
use the road

In reply to Ashley Ruffles (Letters, November 9), it is easy to see why the conclusion could be reached that ‘cyclists should keep off the road’ and indeed there are parts of the letter that I do agree with. If cyclists are to use their bikes at night, regardless of if they are on the road or a cycle path, then of course they should have lights on. I would also agree that if there is a cycle path then it makes sense to use it.

However, it is not mandatory to use a cycle path and is it always safer to do so? No, not always. For example heading down Mount Road towards Eastgate Street is all downhill and it would be easy do to 30mph. If it is in the morning, for example, with loads of children walking to school, remember half this path is for pedestrians, is it safe to go at that speed on the path? I would say not, better to go on the road.

I know there is always the argument about stupid cyclists who do stupid things and go through red lights etc.

The point is that if a cyclist riding correctly wants to use the road, he or she should be allowed to do so, the only thing that makes it unsafe is car drivers who like to think they own the roads and don’t look properly.

Ashley Page

Bury St Edmunds

In answer to two of your correspondents who wrote letters about speeding and cycling, I would like to point out the work done by the county council’s Road Safety Team.

They spend a lot of time in schools and working with drivers in their efforts to reduce casualties. They organise Bikeability training across the county in order to get more people cycling, more often, and more safely.

They are keen to promote the benefits of cycling and are about to launch a campaign aimed at both drivers and cyclists in a bid to take each other into consideration when on the roads. There is far from nothing being done about education and cycling by the County Council.

David Daw

Bury St Edmunds