READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, April 3
A selection of letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, April 3.
PROPOSAL FILLS ME WITH HORROR
I cannot believe our borough and county councils are even contemplating going ahead with the proposed waste recycling hub at Hollow Road Farm. I live on Barton Hill and like other residents, the thought of living within a few hundred metres of this plant with all its noise, smells and traffic chaos fills me with horror.
Surely somebody concerned with planning should realise this was a no-go operation purely from the logistics angle. Barton Hill is already a ‘rat-run’ road which has seen the volume of traffic massively increase over the last few years and will inevitably be used by at least half of Bury St Edmunds’ residents wishing to access the proposed facility. Goodness knows what effect this will have on an already traffic-saturated road.
The people of Fornham St Martin should be shown more consideration for their quality of life and these proposals should be centred around other sites such as Saxham and Risby, away from residential areas. To say that to build it at Risby would mean alterations to the A14 roundabout is frankly pathetic.
The economic ‘logic’ of spending millions of taxpayers’ pounds to produce some vague and unquantified savings is fundamentally flawed. Vehicle journeys are going to increase substantially if collection vehicles are going to come to Hollow Road Farm from Mildenhall and other areas.
That the councils involved have seen fit to hand over £25,000 of taxpayers’ money to the landowner before engaging in any sort of consultation beggars belief. Surely we’re entitled to some level of transparency and at least the appearance of democratic process?
Hollow Road Farm is a greenfield site. Would the council seriously contemplate allowing its use by any other applicant for a development producing equivalent levels of traffic, noise odour and 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation? This seems unlikely. There cannot be one rule for the council and another for anyone else.
-- G Taylor, Fornham St Martin
IT APPEARS DEAL IS ALREADY DONE
It seems that the members of Suffolk County Council, St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils have a different understanding of the term ‘consultation’ than the rest of us.
I am referring to the proposal to site a waste transfer station, household waste recycling centre and vehicle depot at Hollow Road Farm.
It appears to me that the deal is already done, a deposit has been made on the land, thousands of expensive information leaflets have been printed, architects and planners have been commissioned, all I expect at the expense of local Council Tax- payers.
This site will undoubtedly give rise to a huge increase of traffic, especially heavy lorries during the week and from those depositing their household rubbish at weekends. We only have small country roads. There will be noise, noxious smells and health hazards from increased vermin. We are advised that the planners will seek 24/7 access to the site, so no peace even at night.
My understanding of a consultation is to inform those to be affected or interested about general proposals and then to ask for feedback, before details are drawn up. We have had very little time to absorb this news; most of the people in my village were totally unaware . No information was delivered to us although, as we were told, we could have looked at the council website. Not something one does if you don’t know what to look for.
I am afraid this demonstrates to me that our elected members have little integrity or regard for democratic process, and that any plans developed now will undoubtedly grow over time, with the excuse that this is already an industrial site. I am reliably informed that everywhere else in the country these stations are always placed on industrial sites, away from residential area.
There will, of course, be accusations of nimbyism, but who would want one of these places so close to their homes?
I am not opposed to the idea in principle, a plan that saves money and causes fewer road journeys must be applauded, but please think again about the siting of this monstrosity.
-- Mitch Marshall, Great Barton
SITE IS TOO CLOSE TO HOMES
RE waste transfer station.
It must surely be obvious to even the meanest intelligence that the location of any massive factory site and vehicle maintenance facility must be (a) adjacent to a major road such as the A14 and (b) given the nature of the activity, as far as practicable from residential properties. Hollow Road fails signally on both these points.
Apart from any other consideration, the sheer number of HGV movements must rule out this location given the nature of the feeder roads. Furthermore, it is obvious that there will be a nuisance from seagulls, rats and probably pigeons. I shudder at the thought of the combined smell of the sugar beet factory and this new source of airborne pollution.
-- Eric Young, Bury St Edmunds
FARMLAND SHOULD BE PROTECTED
It is economically and environmentally indefensible for St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council to even consider sacrificing to industrial use, 16 acres of intensively farmed prime arable land (this year planted to potatoes) at Hollow Road Farm, for a new amalgamated services site when a far better, cheaper and environmentally acceptable brownfield site exists on Rougham Hill.
Every acre of farmland lost, especially of this quality, results in more food imports, food miles and environmental damage.
How hypocritical of the National Farmers’ Union to use the slogan ‘Great British food gets my vote’ for its election campaign, yet not objecting to the loss of this productive farmland.
Most agree for the council to move services from Western Way, Olding Road and Hollow Road (Mildenhall) to one site makes sound economic and environmental sense.
There are too many facts in favour of Rougham Hill to list here but the main ones are fewer waste lorry miles and less congestion.
The 63 houses on Barton Hill, Russell Barn, Ord, Gilstrap, Manor and Kytson Roads exists now – they are not maybes in the future. Residents will suffer a double whammy – vastly more traffic on Barton Hill and being close to an industrial site working 24 hours a day
-- Simon Harding, Bury St Edmunds
DAVE NEEDS TO GET OUT MORE
In his Personal View (Bury Free Press, March 27), Dave Gooderham said that he didn’t know what I stood for. He needs to get out a bit more. He could have come to our UKIP public meeting at The Athenaeum on March 4. It was well-advertised in this and other newspapers, it was covered by one of your reporters, and it was very well attended. There was standing room only at the back, but we could have squeezed him in somehow. He could also have looked at my previous election addresses for 2001, 2005 and 2010 in this constituency. We still want to leave the EU and save £50 million a day, control our borders, and govern ourselves. What has changed is that we no longer have to campaign against the Tories’ plan to replace the pound with a new and exciting currency, the euro. This currency has indeed proved to be exciting, but not in a nice way. UKIP has been right all along.
-- John Howlett, UKIP PPC Bury St Edmunds
GREENS FIGHTING TO END STATUS QUO
I was sorry to read that Dave Gooderham is ‘largely clueless’ about what parliamentary candidates for Bury St Edmunds are standing for, with the exception of Mrs Churchill.
He could helpfully read previous letters and news items relating to Green Party candidate Helen Geake, who lives in the constituency and has been an active member of the local community for many years. There is further easily accessible information on Helen’s Wikipedia page and on Green Party websites, as well as Twitter, which he refers to.
Mr Gooderham appears impressed by Mrs Churchill’s recent move to Suffolk and website setting out her virtues. As we all know, as Tory candidate, she will be benefiting from the £29 million donations from big businesses who have vested interests in our government continuing to support the richest in society while cutting services for and incomes of the less well off.
The Green Party, by contrast, is largely funded by ordinary individuals who believe passionately in equality, democracy and a healthier and safer world for the next generation. Helen’s deposit was crowd-funded by local members and supporters, contributing what they can afford. The county’s Green Party does not have the funds to pay employees to design and promote its election campaign –leaflets are written, produced, printed, folded and delivered through voters’ doors by volunteers. So it is easy to understand why the party’s campaign may not be as slick or high profile, and the leaflets not as glossy.
Mr Gooderham’s opinions merely reinforce the ‘status quo’ of a political order so many of us are weary of. He may dismiss other political parties as ‘already giving up’ in a Tory ‘safe-seat’ constituency, but the Greens are giving local people the chance to vote for a party that genuinely values equality and has the most popular policies amongst the British public (Vote for Policies website) and that’s got to be worth fighting for.
-- Jen Overett, Great Finborough
PEOPLE ARE FED UP WITH STATISTICS
While I can agree with Jo Churchill (Letters, March 27) that the NHS faces very real demographic and medical science challenges, the premise of her argument that it is the Tories’ handling of the economy that will safeguard the service is complete nonsense.
Like many modern day politicians Jo Churchill reels off a list of facts and figures that are supposed to demonstrate her party’s commitment to the health service. People are sick and tired of listening to politicians argue over contradictory statistics in an attempt to convince the electorate that the NHS is safe in their hands because, unsurprisingly, they simply do not believe them. In the lead up to the 2010 General Election, David Cameron promised that there would no further top down reorganisations of the NHS and yet within months of gaining power introduced the biggest ever reorganisation of the service in the shape of the Health and Social care Act at a cost of £3 billion.!
I note that Jo Churchill makes no reference to food banks in her response, which is of little surprise, because if she did her claim that the Tories’ handling of the economy is key to safeguarding the NHS would fall apart completely. If the economy is so strong why did Trussell Trust food banks have to hand out almost a million food parcels over the last financial year? According to West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock this increased demand is a result of the publicity surrounding food banks, demonstrating once again how totally detached the Tories are from the real world and how they fail to recognise the impact of food poverty on our National Health Service.
In December 2013, the British Medical Journal described food poverty as having ‘all the signs of a public health emergency’, with GPs across the country reporting a rise in Victorian era diseases caused by malnutrition, such as rickets and gout as people on low incomes struggled to feed their families healthily.
This is the reality of the Tories’ long-term economic plan, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, the very reason why the Labour government of 1945 created a National Health Service and why the Tories voted against it!
-- Richard Soer, Great Barton
PLANTERS COULD SOLVE PROBLEM
I refer to Martin Webb’s letter (Bury Free Press, March 20) regarding trees in the arc. From time to time various events, exhibits etc, take place in Charter Square, so might it make more sense to continue the theme already well-established immediately outside The Apex, by adding up to half a dozen more of the very attractive planters which have brightened up this very grey area? Should the occasion arise, these planters are movable and could be repositioned to suit the occasion, which would be easier than having to plan around growing trees. Should there be any funds left over from the proposed £20,000 spend, please for everyone’s sake, could the edifice of the block of flats at the junction of King’s Road and Parkway be given a makeover before visitors start to arrive at our otherwise lovely town.
-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds
FAIRTRADE NOW GROWING IN TOWN
On behalf of the Bury Fairtrade Partnership I would like to thank members of the public for their support during Fairtrade Fortnight, both at the Fairtrade market stall and the coffee morning at the Just Traid café.
We have made an excellent start to our campaign to gain Fairtrade Town status for Bury St Edmunds and are confident that awareness of Fairtrade is growing in the town and an increasing number of shops and cafés are selling Fairtrade goods. The partnership would particularly like to thank Cllr Julia Wakelam for allocating £600 from her Community Fund to support the campaign.
-- Penny Bentley, Secretary, Bury St Edmunds Fairtrade Partnership
PASSENGER FERRY NO LONGER RUNS
I think that Mark Cordell may be disappointed if he is expecting Belgian and Dutch visitors to to arrive in the town via ‘the main ferry routes... into Felixstowe’ (Bury Free Press, March 27), unless they are delivered as freight. I suspect he is getting confused with the still-operating Hoek van Holland-Harwich route, as P&O withdrew their Felixstowe- Zeebrugge passenger service as long ago as 2002.
Howard Quayle, via email