Bury Free Press readers' letters to the editor
Car parking, town centre businesses, the NHS and local government are among this week's topics.
CAR PARKING ISSUE HAS PUT ME OFF TOWN
It’s a nightmare trying to understand the new parking meters in Bury St Edmunds.
I tried to get a disabled ticket for five hours but couldn’t understand what to do. I then paid by phone but got home to find I had been charged another £9 as they said I hadn’t signed out.
If you are dyslexic, can’t read or understand the instructions for any reason, it’s totally off-putting. There is no cash option either.
I have shopped in Bury for years but will not be able to now. I will now go to Thetford where it’s free.
Christine Perry, via email
NEW BUSINESSES DESERVE SUPPORT
During the current uncertain economic climate it must take a very special entrepreneurial type of person who has the confidence and drive to open a new enterprise even in the normally busy town of Bury St Edmunds, and for those who have taken this step, I would like to offer my heartiest and sincere wishes for their success.
With Christmas and a New Year on the rapidly shortening horizon, these new businesses might get the ‘kick start’ that will begin to establish them into being part of the magic that is BSE.
Support our High Street and its newbies before it’s too late.
Name and address supplied
NO SURPRISE THAT NHS IS STRUGGLING
I am very surprised that any member of the public is surprised by the depressing news in the past week about the terrible state the NHS, care homes and hospitals are in.
Ambulance waiting times at a record high, backlog of people waiting for treatment getting longer and longer, care homes refusing patients because of staff shortages, hospital appointment cancellations at their highest ever etc, etc. The list goes on and on.
But it was all predictable. The public have to recognise that this is what you get if you vote Conservative. In doing so, you vote for lower taxes which means less money for public services. You also vote for pay freezes or pay increases less than inflation so you cannot be angry that the country finds itself in such a mess.
I feel sorry for those who didn’t vote Conservative as these people are the ones suffering as a direct result of the foolishness of others.
Make no mistake, the Government has a hidden agenda which is to force people into private care. Ministers and their friends can afford to take up this alternative because of all the obscenely paid extra jobs they take on as MPs. The idea that these same MPs will put ordinary people first, is, I am afraid, naïve to say the least.
And, furthermore, if people are silly enough to elect a known buffoon as leader then they shouldn’t be surprised when he acts like one.
The wealthy right-wing elite, of which the PM is one, believe they have a divine right to rule but all the evidence suggests they haven’t got a clue how to do so.
Peter Critchley, Pakenham
ANY CHANGES COULD END IN TIERS . . .
I read with interest Rosemary Edwards’ letter (Bury Free Press, November 12) regarding the structure of local government.
From late Victorian times until 1974 the structure of local government did not change. When re-organisation was on the horizon, the former Hartismere Rural District Council, based at Eye, ran a campaign, the logo of which was a man in a pinstripe suit and bowler hat, the accompanying slogan being: “Don’t vote for R E Mote.”
After initially going down the route of county-wide unitary authorities running all services, eventually a two-tier system was adopted across the UK, with county and district councils.
Over the years, successive governments have tinkered with the system, and some authorities, such as Babergh and Mid Suffolk, share staffing – on the face of it sensible, but it is a merger in all but name.
Councils are creatures of statute and have to do what is required of them by law . A single authority may not make things easier as all the same functions will need to be carried out. However, it is often the perception that it will be better.
‘The council’ is often used as a generic term covering any local government body
When interviewing on a survey in Stevenage some years ago, I asked a young mother set questions as to her views on the county, district and parish councils. She replied immediately: “It’s the ****** council I pay my ******* rent to.”
Difficulties at the moment always arise with finding out who is responsible – a friend was helping some elderly neighbours during the pandemic who had serious problems with their care packages; it was impossible to get any response from social services despite letters, emails and telephone calls. It was also impossible to contact the county council member with responsibility for social care as the emails were not answered. There was only an improvement in the situation when the MP for Ipswich, Tom Hunt, was involved (out of sheer exasperation and frustration).
Larger is not necessarily better; it may on the face of it be more appealing and satisfy the illusion that it will cost less in Council Tax, but given the current county council’s track record, politically on many issues I would not trust them to run a New Year’s celebration in a local hostelry.
In Suffolk at the moment there are East and West Suffolk Councils, and effectively a Mid/South Suffolk Council, with the overarching county council performing a more strategic role. Matters are best left alone to see how the new councils fare! Be careful indeed what you wish for – it could be much worse!
Graham Day, Stowmarket
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY
The Bridge for Heroes would like to thank everyone who donated to the charity on November 3 in Bury St Edmunds.
The total raised was a wonderful £591.10. 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