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The government's record comes under fire from readers this week.

HOLD DEVELOPERS TO THE PROMISES THEY MAKE

With regard to the article ‘Residents feel let down and conned over leisure plans’ (Bury Free Press, October 1), it is high time that developers were brought to book.

Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor

All too regularly, it would appear, that developers get plans passed for estates featuring shops, open spaces and other community facilities which later ‘have’ to be removed or have their purpose changed because of ‘lack of interest’ from possible buyers,

If developers put in ‘sweeteners’ to get their projects through then they should, by law, be forced to honour that commitment, even if it means that they have to make a substantial loss on that part of the project.

Many cash-strapped councils have not got the financial clout to contest the developers’ alterations resulting in no community facilities, an increase in house building and extra profits for the developers.

It is high time that the government gave, by law, the strength of decision-making to the local councils which would result in any alterations to plans being the decision of the elected bodies and not those of profit making organisations.

Ian R Toulson, Walsham-le-Willows

MONEY COULD BE BETTER SPENT

Regarding that grotto at the arc (Bury Free Press, October 1), what a disgusting waste of hard-earned money.

Surely there are better ways of using the money and the arc to support those families who will need our help at that time of year, those folk who won’t be able to spend £10 a head to take their children to the grotto. For those who can, wouldn’t it be better to give that money to charities that will benefit more folk who need our support. More usefully, couldn’t the arc be opened to take donations for children, families, the elderly and the homeless among us. Even open part of it to provide shelter under the auspices of named local charities for those who would otherwise be sleeping rough to have somewhere safe to stay.

My children and grandchildren are grown up now but I’d gladly donate their £10 a head if I knew it would be used for the right causes. As like as not, I’ll donate that anyway but it’ll be to named agencies that’ll use it sensibly rather than acting as wastefully as Bury St Edmunds Town Council has voted to do.

Maggie Barber, via email

WE DO NOT DESERVE THIS OMNISHAMBLES

I am amazed why people in this country continue to give Boris Johnson and his cronies the benefit of the doubt given the charge sheet that is growing by the day, if not the hour:

1. Brexit – that’s worked out well hasn’t it? Fuel shortages, shelves half empty, phantom trade deals, plunging exports to EU, looming labour shortages in nearly all sectors.

2. Foreign affairs – abject failure in Afghanistan leaving many thousands of trusted local staff behind.

3. Covid – we still have the highest case and death rates in Europe, shocking debacle at the beginning, exams fiasco Cummins, Hancock etc.

4. Continuous dog whistles – if in doubt don’t forget to blame a minority

Things to look forwards to in coming months include:

1. 10m+ NHS waiting lists.

2. Care homes closing through staff shortages.

3. COP26 failing to deliver anything meaningful.

4. No turkeys at Christmas.

Surely we deserve at least some basic competence not this classic omnishambles?

Jerome Walls, via email

CUTS WILL LEAD TO A DEBT CRISIS

This week the government ends much of the financial support provided to help people through the Covid-19 pandemic including a cut Universal Credit by £20 a week.

These cuts risk a long-Covid debt crisis as 11 million people have built up £25 billion in arrears and debt since March 2020.

In Bury St Edmunds, 7,323 people who recieve Universal Credit will be affected by this cut. This includes 3,355 people who are also currently in work.

Problem debt disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our society, and is higher amongst low-income households, women, lone parents, communities of colour, disabled people and renters.

A ‘long-Covid debt hangover’ threatens to weigh down our community for years, worsening inequalities and making a genuine economic recovery impossible.

As well as stopping the £20 cut to Universal Credit, the Government seriously needs to tackle problem debt in the UK – this means introducing grants and making it easier for those in problem debt to write it down in a fair and manageable way.

Mike Hope, via email

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

This year hundreds of Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Mornings were held across the East of England to raise money and help us support people affected by cancer, and I would like to offer a huge and heartfelt thanks to every single one of your readers who held or attended an event – your energy and generosity never cease to amaze us.

Rest assured, Macmillan is doing whatever it takes to support people with cancer. We’re at the end of the phone. We’re online. Macmillan volunteers are supporting people through treatment. And our Macmillan health professionals are working tirelessly across the UK.

But we can’t do it on our own. We rely almost entirely on public donations to make a difference, which is why your support has never been so vital, and please believe us when we say every cake, every brew, every penny raised will now go on to help us to support those affected by cancer.

There are at least 270,000 people living with cancer in the East of England alone, and across the country thousands of lives are turned upside down every year. In thousands of different ways.

These numbers matter. But so too do the people behind them. Whether it’s investing in specialist cancer nurses, support workers and welfare benefits advisers, or supporting local communities in the region, we can only offer the support that people with cancer need thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of our supporters.

We keep pushing every day to do whatever it takes to ensure people with cancer get the support they need to live fully, whether that’s with physical concerns, how they feel, money worries, or something different altogether. Because it’s personal for us, too.

If you’d like to support Macmillan and do something amazing today, you can visit macmillan.org.uk/getinvolved.

And please remember, if you need information, support or a chat with Macmillan you can call us free on 0808 808 0000 (seven days a week, 8am-8pm).

Thank you all so very much.

Emma Tingley, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in the East of England

SCOOTER RIDERS SEEM TO BE INVISIBLE

There seems to be an increasing number of riders of electric scooters hurtling on the roads and footpaths at speeds approaching 25mph or more.

Most must be protected by their cloaks of invincibility so there is no need to wear any safety gear against falling off or crashing into motor vehicles, obviously this safety protection is a key feature of the cloaks.

Let us hope this protection has a third party mode for pedestrians, buggies and cyclists.

Another key feature of the cloaks must be the ‘invisible to police’ mode as I haven’t seen any reports of prosecutions of these illegal acts in the local press.

Name and address supplied

STREET COLLECTION RAISED £1,000

The Bridge for Heroes would like to thank everyone who donated to the charity on September 11 in Bury St Edmunds.

The total raised was a wonderful £1,003.28. There were no expenses for the day. This money will go towards the provision of holistic support to serving members and Veterans of all our Armed Forces and their families delivered by The Bridge for Heroes from our Centre in King’s Lynn

Gordon Halewood, Vice-chairman of trustees, The Bridge for Heroes

CLIMATE CHANGE IS HITTING ANIMALS, TOO

Climate change is headline news and is high on the political agenda, as the UK prepares to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November. But the devastating impact of environmental disasters on animals is almost completely overlooked.

Climate change has hit the world’s poorest communities hardest of all and has left millions of working animals at severe threat from drought, flooding, cyclones, wildfires and other serious issues, such as plastic pollution. The spiralling crisis is sadly leading to the spread of disease, injury and loss of life on a massive scale.

In these poverty-stricken regions, working animals – ranging from donkeys and horses to camels, elephants and oxen – have a vital role, making it possible for families to earn a small income and put food on the table. But climate change is threatening the survival of these animals and the communities they support.

SPANA is carrying out projects to provide water, food, lifesaving veterinary care and vaccinations to working animals in desperate need. We’re also calling for urgent international action to assist these animals and the vulnerable people that depend on them.

Please visit www.spana.org/worldanimalday and help us to prevent suffering and protect working animals facing the brunt of environmental catastrophe.

Linda Edwards , Chief Executive, SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad)

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