Bury Free Press readers' letters
Concerns over Covid-19 again dominate the postbag this week.
GOVERNMENT DID NOTHING TO PROTECT NHS
I am sick to the teeth of the Prime Minister and government ministers and my local MP, telling me to do this and do that in order to protect the NHS when that is the last thing they have done or are still doing. Do as I say and not do as I do springs to mind and if only they were doing as much as the majority of the public are doing to protect the NHS, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are currently in.
They have conveniently forgotten we had 10 years of austerity, which protected the NHS from wage increases, training and employing more nurses and doctors and sustaining the nurse’s training grant. And then of course they were protecting those on the front line of the treatment of patients by stockpiling 500 million items of PPE equipment that was out of date and unusable
Not to forget too, they protected the NHS by allowing no checks at the airports for all those passengers that were arriving in this country from Wuhan, and China in general, on a daily basis.
And now, knowing about the new strain of the virus in South Africa two to three weeks ago, they are, belatedly and only because of a media outcry, beginning to put restrictions on passengers travelling from there.
Remember too, we had ‘eat out to help out’ which was specifically designed to protect the NHS by Christmas break until the scientists had had enough and Boris, through gritted teeth, allowed us all one day only to do the same.
And they have the audacity to tell me to protect the NHS.
It just beggars belief.
Peter Critchley, Pakenham
DELAYS TO OUR POST ARE WORRYING
I have a concern relating to how the NHS will notify people for their Covid-19 vaccination.
If this is being done by letter then there are serious problems. Here in Ixworth I have not had any mail for two weeks. I subscribe to a weekly magazine which should be delivered every Wednesday. Nothing. I have contacted the publisher who confirms the magazines have been posted .
I have also been informed of post delivery problems in Elmswell and Great Barton.
A worrying problem.
Michael Breffit, Ixworth
IDLING ENGINES ARE VERY HARMFUL
I would like to support Susan Daniels letter (Bury Free Press, January 8), regarding Mulleys buses standing waiting for passengers, leaving engines running for over 10 minutes, in St Andrew’s Street North, opposite Tesco Express.
I, too, have seen this the previous week, with single deckers running engines for at least 15 minutes as I walked around the arc.
This practice is extremely harmful to pedestrians walking close by, inevitably inhaling the toxic diesel fumes, which are extremely harmful to health, and potentially fatal to those with health affected conditions.
I have asked the Air Quality Group on West Suffolk Council to make Mulleys, and any other bus companies, aware that this practice causing quite unnecessary air pollution, is extremely harmful to health, widely publicised in local and national press, against council policy, and should be stopped immediately.
Also, to suggest a sign be erected to highlight this policy, and requesting engines are turned off when waiting.
Similarly for taxis.
David Yates, Fornham St Martin
NO REQUIREMENT TO WEAR MASKS OUTSIDE
Letter writer Sue Daniels (Bury Free Press, January 8) suggested that 18 to 23-year-olds need to be advised that they should be wearing face masks ‘outside as well as in shops’.
This is not government advice.
The writer says that she is not ‘savvy on social media’ but if she is able to go online she could check the gov.uk website where there is a detailed list of settings where a mask should be worn.
Gayle Wade, Bury St Edmunds
ILLUSORY CLAIMS OF BREXIT TRIUMPH
I cannot let Steve Britt’s opinion article of servile praise for Boris Johnson’s ‘historic achievement’ with the Brexit deal (Bury Free Press, January 8) go without comment.
He declares that it represents ‘as good an outcome as we could have hoped for’, whereas the great question which will not be answered until years after Boris Johnston has moved on is whether we possess enforceable economic and political claims in consequence of our forfeiture of influence in Europe.
Most economists believe Britain will become progressively relatively poorer. Tensions will be reignited each time an EU summit makes new decisions on trade, environmental and health standards. Exporters and importers will face a blizzard of new paperwork and red-tape costs.
As for control of our borders, we can indeed exclude Polish plumbers and Romanian car washers but our new found liberty does nothing to resolve the more serious problems posed by non EU immigration, formerly relied upon by the health sector and beyond.
We are where we are and I hope to play my part alongside Brexiteers in making the most of this ‘historic achievement’, but to do so in the belief hailed by Mr Britt that we have just secured a ‘major triumph’ would be wrong and as illusory as the Brexiteers’ excessive claims of riches awaiting us at the time of the Referendum.
Keith Turner, Horringer
DESERVED PRAISE FOR PRIME MINISTER
How refreshing to read the article from Steve Britt.
At last some deserved praise for Boris Johnson and the deal he has concluded with the EU.
There have been many letters in recent months carping about the ‘no deal’ scenario and bemoaning the situation we would end up with. Boris held his nerve and got us an excellent deal as Steve described.
It was obvious from the outset the EU would make leaving the EU as difficult as possible but we can now move forward with enthusiasm and do something we do very well –respect our neighbours but plough our own furrow
Willoughby Goddard, Hepworth
SUPPORTING RAF VETERANS
Earlier this month the Prime Minister announced a third national lockdown. Although necessary, these measures mean many of our veterans will be facing the next several weeks – or months – completely alone.
And while the vaccine rollout out across the country provides some hope, social isolation and loneliness poses a real threat to our elderly this winter, among them many former RAF personnel and their partners supported by the Fund.
To help combat this, last year the RAF Benevolent Fund introduced a weekly Check and Chat service to support members of the RAF Family experiencing loneliness. I speak to one such gentleman every Tuesday. He lives alone and spent much of 2020 totally isolated, and for him, this service truly is a lifeline. We chat about what he’s been up to, what he’s cooking for tea, to his time in the RAF and often I’m the only person he will speak to for days.
The fund also facilitates weekly Telephone Friendship Groups, provides access to a Listening and Counselling Service, relationship counselling support, and an online wellbeing portal to help support emotional wellbeing amongst the veteran community.
Throughout the pandemic, many of us have learnt more about our neighbours and local community. That’s why we are calling on the people of the East of England to consider whether they know any RAF veterans, or their spouses or widows, who may be experiencing loneliness. To refer someone to the RAF Benevolent Fund, please visit rafbf.org or call 0300 102 1919.
Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Chief executive, RAF Benevolent Fund
CHANGE WAS OUT OF COUNCIL’S HANDS
In response to last week’s letter about the changes to the Robert Boby Way car park, I would just like to briefly explain what has happened.
The car park is privately owned. Up until Christmas, the council managed the car park on a lease arrangement. The owner, who is the landlord of the retail units, decided to end that lease arrangement and take back control. The change that has taken place there was not a council decision and the council will not be responsible for any ticketing or enforcement that takes place there going forward.
Cllr Peter Stevens, Cabinet Member for Operations, West Suffolk Council
THANK YOU FOR SUCH GREAT CARE
I broke my wrist on Wednesday, December 30, and spent a couple of hours in A&E at the West Suffolk Hospital the next day.
I returned on January 8 for another x-ray and a full plaster fitting. I just want to express my admiration and heartfelt thanks to everyone who looked after me so kindly and with as much care as it is possible to receive. God bless you all.
Barbara Hall, Hockwold
WHERE ARE ALL THESE CARS GOING?
As we are in lockdown why are there so many cars travelling in Bury St Edmunds?
During the first lockdown there went any.
They all can’t doing shopping.
John Brown, Bury St Edmunds