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Bury Free Press readers' letters to the editor

Town centre issues – speeding and roadworks – lead off this week's letters bag.


In February 2021, Suffolk County Council announced: “Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary and the Police & Crime Commissioner have worked together with local people for many years to tackle concerns about speeding. We have developed an approach which offers both enforcement and education to suit the needs and concerns of local communities.”

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

This will come as a surprise to people in the centre of Bury St Edmunds where there is a 20mph zone. Despite repeated requests from residents that the issue of continual speeding be addressed before there is an accident, the council has rejected these requests and refused to make the speed limit much clearer to motorists with better signage.

Another option would be to introduce traffic calming measures into the streets in town (not simply speed bumps) – and again the council refuses to consider this. The notice from the county council does not even consider this option although there is a wealth of material about how this can be done and the clear safety benefits that result. If other councils can do it, why is Suffolk not willing to consider it?

A survey was taken a few years ago in the town centre which showed vehicles travelling through the 20mph zone at speeds up to (and sometimes over) 40mph. Despite this, the policy seems to be to save money by doing nothing.

I recently witnessed one elderly resident, clearly exasperated with yet one more vehicle speeding (well over 20mph) who so enraged the driver that he stopped violently, and physically assaulted the resident before driving off at speed.

So, to all the councillors who have the responsibility for the safety and well-being of those who vote for them and other users of the town centre: what will it take before you do something?

Antony Hurden, Bury St Edmunds


The work being done in Bury St Edmunds by City Fibre is a shambles. For example, Eastgate Street has had work sites for many weeks, and, on enquiry, they are likely to continue for four weeks, and the rest of the town is to have them probably until Christmas 2022.

A road in the town centre is closed, and wherever one goes there are the green barriers, sometimes closing roads, sometimes impeding traffic. What is not seen is concentrated and ongoing work. Often, nobody is working or, as in Eastgate Street, two people, when a large amount of the street workings are deserted. Co-ordination in the work seems pathetic.

The small road in which I live, a cul-de-sac, was visited twice today with cars finding it difficult to pass. When I asked some workers what was happening, I was met with a combative truculence and was told that I didn’t understand. We have also lost some bin collections because of a lack of access.

It seems that there is no control over what this firm does and no adequate explanation. Why do we all have to suffer for what may, or may not, be a benefit? Some answers and a timetable scale would be welcome and should have been given before now.

Michael M Edge, Bury St Edmunds


One hundred and fifty years years ago, WS Gilbert wrote a very perceptive line to be sung by a Member of Parliament in HMS Pinafore. It goes: “I always voted at my party’s call, and I never thought of thinking for myself at all.”

For this government it seeks the past as a safe refuge. Let us hope electors deny that to them. There were a few brave government MPs who did think for themselves but over 250 did as they were told one day and went into reverse, as they were told to, the next.

Roger Spiller, Ixworth


On Sunday, November 14, at 2.30pm, Bury St Edmunds Quakers will gather in quiet remembrance at the Angel Hill war memorial.

We will lay a wreath of white poppies to remember with silence, poetry and readings, the military and civilians of all nations whose lives have been taken by armed conflict, and to renew our commitment to the work of peace and peacemaking.

All are welcome to join us.

Bury Quaker Meeting, St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds


I’m asking everyone to contact their MPs following my recent involvement with the NHS.

Firstly, this is not me having a go at anyone, it is a plea for assistance to be given to the NHS by the government immediately.

On October 31 I had the need to be admitted to hospital by ambulance, but that is where the need for assistance started. I was called by the ambulance service to say that there was currently a 16-hour wait for an ambulance due to a number of issues and that we would have to make our own way to hospital. Due to the fact I had chronic diarrhoea and vomiting, it was advised to phone the hospital prior to going so they could put me on an isolation ward to prevent me contaminating anyone else.

So we phoned West Suffolk first, only to be told that they were on black alert and couldn’t cope with the volume of people they already had, so Addenbrooke’s it was going to be.

On arrival at Addenbrooke’s, you could see a massive volume of ambulances outside of A and E. As soon as I arrived at A and E I was seen by a nurse who booked me in and took my blood pressure and everything else.

I then took a seat and was told it was going to be around seven hours to see a doctor.

I had some bloods taken and was sat in a corner out of the way and near the toilet. The nurses kept checking on me regularly and were brilliant, they gave me painkillers and anti-sickness meds. As time went on there were more and more people being admitted and all the nurses and doctors were rushed off their feet, the time scale went up from seven hours to 12 hours. They still kept checking on me and were doing everything they could. They were having to treat people in ambulances this even included stitching people up.

Not once during my time in A and E did I see one nurse or doctor take a break, they worked until they were ready to drop. While I was being taken for a CAT scan, I asked why it was so bad and the reasons were quite obvious – firstly, they had wards shut due to Covid.

Secondly, it’s down to Brexit and the number of non-British staff having to go back home, leaving a massive gap in the qualified staff. Those who voted to leave must have seen that it would have caused this issue but did not think it would have that bad an effect on the NHS and no one could have seen Covid coming ,so it has created a perfect storm which is now raining havoc on the NHS.

Finally, I was moved to a ward and treated and all of the staff were brilliant, but why are the people in charge not doing anything about this?

So I’m asking everyone to contact their MP and ask for the armed forces to be called in to assist with the hospitals and for the opening up of the Nightingale hospitals before the winter arrives and we are in a total crisis.

We need to act now before it’s to late and people die due to the lack of facilities and trained people.

Thank you for reading and thank you to all those who work in the NHS

John Sutherland, Isleham


While in A&E at West Suffolk Hospital on Friday, November 5, a young lad who’d been bitten by his dog regularly chatted with patients before suddenly popping out during the two-hour waiting time and returned with a bag full of McDonald’s cheeseburgers, handing them out to everyone in A&E.

He worked at a warehouse and told me he had an early morning shift at at Moreton Hall, making this financial gesture even more special in keeping spirits high.

With much negativity aimed at the younger generation during the pandemic, I felt this young lad deserved some credit for his kind act.

Finally, a big thank you to the NHS workforce who continue to be superb in safe during these troubled times.

Tony Turner, via email


Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’s hypocrisy is staggering for what she fails to mention in her ‘Journalism Matters’ article (Bury Free Press, November 5): Julian Assange, a journalist, not a computer hacker or peddlar of fake news, but an exposer of criminality at the highest level of governmental war crimes for which he has been hounded, besmirched and now incarcerated in one of Britain’s most atrocious jails. With the might of two regimes against him intent on silencing the truth, the injustice continues as witness to her and her ilk’s duplicity of purpose in issuing such blatant propaganda.

Malcolm Searle, Bury St Edmunds


I raise the following question: “Do we need county councils and district ones?” Could they not be amalgamated, thereby using their finances and resources more efficiently. Perhaps this would give Council Tax-payers an easier, better value for money and better service.

Rosemary Edwards, via email


It was great to see Waitrose announce it was no longer selling 10p plastic carrier bags but so disappointing to see the store is still selling 50p ones. Just because a bag is more expensive does not mean it will cause any less pollution.

The recent COP26 conference warned us all the clock is ticking as far as efforts to save our planet are concerned. Many of the things we need to do are hard, and some even beyond our control, but surely we are all intelligent enough to take a bag with us when we go shopping so we don’t add to the mountain of plastic already polluting our environment.

Elizabeth Peabody, via email