Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Bury Free Press readers' views

The pandemic, a controversial leaflet and your generosity are among this week's topics.


This country has now had over 70,000 Covid virus-related deaths. The health service is under great strain, and this new Covid strain is rapidly rising, especially in the East of England.

Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor

I find the imminent re-opening of schools and colleges extremely foolhardy. This government seems to have little concern about the well-being of all staff members who are employed in any form of educational work-place.These work places have large teams of support staff such as learning support, catering, caretaking, technical, administration as well as outside contractors and bus and taxi drivers, who are all at risk, not just the teaching staff. Without these large cohorts of support staff, schools, colleges and universities could not operate.

Educational campuses are large sites, where many people gather and move about mainly in enclosed areas.Even the best Covid-related health and safety measures and procedures unfortunately won’t prevent some infections occuring. All this government keeps telling us is that it is imperitive for the well-being of young students to keep schools and colleges open. However, the staff well-being during this current health emergency is rarely addressed. My own parents had six years of a very disrupted education during the Second World War, but both eventually had long and fullfilling professional careers.

I can’t help feeling that this blundering government is only thinking about the economy and is using the educational services and staff as surrogate ‘minders’ of our young people to keep parents at work to help shore ‘up’ this country’s weak and faltering economic situation.

Sadly, and inevitably, there will be educational ‘casualties’ amongs students, missing out or not being able to attain their own learning expectations, but this happens in normal times, as well as during national or international emergencies.

The Government had a real opportunity to close all schools and colleges earlier in the weeks preceding the Christmas break, which may have assisted in slowing down the spread of the new and more virulent strain of the Covid virus.

Unfortunately, it has been too slow and dithering, yet again in taking and using this chance for direct and urgent action.

The re-opening of all places of education should now be delayed to protect all the staff and students as well as the wider community to help prevent this new Covid virus from gaining an even stronger and potentially devastating claim on all of our lives and families.

Simon Whitnall, Bury St Edmunds


Having received a ‘Patriotic Alternative’ flier through the letterbox, the attraction of the headline ‘The Government is Lying to you’ had a ring of truth to it but after reading the leaflet and looking at the website of the organisation, all that can be gleaned is that someone is peddling the tired old rhetoric of looking for scapegoats for the ills of society without considering their own responsibilities for themselves or to others.

Hopefully, nobody is taken in by this nonsense and ditches both the leaflets and the ideas in the junk bin where they belong.

Malcolm Searle, Bury St Edmunds


We, the Bury St Edmunds Town Councillors were appalled to learn that racist propaganda has been distributed through residents’ letter boxes on Sunday, December 20, 2020.

Apart from any considerations about the ‘season of goodwill’, the town councillors believe that equality and justice are – and must be – the mainstays of British society and there is no place for racism and fearmongering about the dangers of ‘otherness’ in our town.

Those who seek to incite people to view others with suspicion, fear or hatred have learnt nothing either from history or the current pandemic which has seen the collaboration of neighbours, strangers, families and society as a whole on an unprecedented scale.

Bury St Edmund’s Town Councillors want to make it clear that racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic propaganda will not be tolerated in our town at any level and will do everything they can to root out and condemn such actions.

Cllr Nicola Iannelli-Popham; Cllr Diane Hind; Cllr Cliff Waterman; Cllr Jo Rayner; Cllr Ann Williamson; Cllr Darren Turner; Cllr Robert Everitt; Cllr Katie Parker; Cllr Cyrille Bouché; Cllr Patrick Chung; Cllr Richard Rout; Mayor Cllr Peter Thompson; Cllr Donna Higgins ; Cllr John Augustine; Cllr Kevin Hind; Cllr Tony Whittingham


Gordon Halewood would like to thank everyone who donated to the Bridge for Heroes Military Charity on December 16 in Bury St Edmunds.

The total raised was a wonderful £1,223.50. 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


Listening to a recent radio interview with Terry Waite certainly opened my eyes to the privation and torture on an unimaginable scale suffered by the man whose sole object of visiting Lebanon in the first place was to secure the release of imprisoned journalist John McCarthy.

We (myself included) are full of what we can’t do, where we can’t go, and who we can’t see for but a few days, perhaps even months. Yet this man suffered an interminable five long years, isolated, shackled, in total darkness and almost starved to death all of this time under the constant threat of execution.

Where did this incredible man get such strength to exit such an ordeal keeping his sanity and seemingly without any bitterness? God knows!

Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds


The future of Sunnica solar farm is going to be used as a political tool for control. Away from the dogged and admired efforts of the village communities opposing this monstrous development there is a political agenda being played out.

Detach yourself for one moment from the campaign Say No To Sunnica and consider this situation.

Solar will be a contributor to the government’s proposed going green target.

The government needs a majority control of its councils to implement its policies. We have county elections in May.

A Conservative Sir Lancelot will appear wanting the villagers’ votes offering his full support.

A delay of any decision from the Secretary of State until after the May elections would unfold. Village votes secured, crusade complete and off rides Sir Lancelot. June comes and the solar farm is given the go ahead.

The fact that so many of these solar farm developments have already been given government approval suggests the current mindset of the Secretary of State.

As a district councillor I see the political wheels in action on many subjects working in this manner. This is why I stood as an independent because it should always be about the people not about a party politics or policy.

Please don’t think for one minute that the fight does not have my full and active support because it does. There is every reason to keep increasing the pressure and fighting to protect your village life. Just be aware that this Sunnica Solar project will also be used for individual political gain.

Cllr Andy Neal, Mildenhall


I was interested to read your article about the lack of NHS dental care in Bury St Edmunds (Bury Free Press, December 25).

I moved to Bury two years ago from London, and had assumed that there would be an equivalent NHS dental service here. How wrong could I be? People I asked about this appeared to be resigned to the fact that their dental treatment would need to be private as there was nobody offering NHS services in Bury, and certainly new residents had no chance of getting on an NHS list.

However, private is not an option for many, and nor is travelling across the county and beyond for NHS services, especially if, like me, you do not have a car.

It doesn’t make much sense to wait until dental problems escalate to an emergency before anything can be done, when a regular check-up could identify most issues before that.

I’ve been a bit surprised to find that your newspaper has not been campaigning about this, as it should be especially newsworthy given that the Secretary of State for Health is the MP for West Suffolk and our MP Jo Churchill is a minister in the same department. Both regularly proclaim their support and admiration for the NHS, but this does not seem to extend to dental care.

Perhaps some pressure from the local press could have some influence.

Cathy Bennett, via email

Read more: News from around Suffolk

Read more: Opinion

Read more: News from Bury St Edmunds