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Name change is a slippery slope

So Greene King is proposing to change the name of the Black Boy pub because of supposed “racist connotations”.

What, precisely, is making them so jittery? The precise origin of the name is unclear. There are at least three hypotheses, as mentioned by Val Herbert in the Free Press, dated January 21.

This panic, surely, lacks the basis of the furore that surrounded the Colston and Rhodes statues, which had direct links to slavery.

Write to us on the hot topics of the week (44246966)
Write to us on the hot topics of the week (44246966)

Perhaps landlords and pub chains will start to be anxious about other pub names, for different reasons.

The Cock and Bell is a clear reference to the vile pastime of cock fighting. The Fox and Hounds is an anathema to all anti-wild sports activists.

What about The Crown? Beware a backlash from ardent republicans. And then there’s the Bear and Ragged Staff, which refers to the unspeakable practise of bear baiting.

Where might this all lead to?

Michael Copp

Hunts Hill

Glemsford

I fail to see reasons for pointless move

I am apoplectic having listened to an interview with Lee Parker on Radio Suffolk, regarding the relocation of Sudbury’s access point.

He refused to answer the question on why the access point in the town hall has to be relocated.

He said the decision is not financially motivated, and claimed it is what the people want (what people? Those at Babergh District Council?)

Considering more than 1,000 people have signed a petition objecting to the proposal, that cannot be the real reason.

Have our problems got to fit in with the allocated two days that it will be open? We already have to fit in with a bank that closes at 2pm.

Why is a whole generation of people who do not have, or do not want, a computer being disregarded? Are we viewed as being of no account?

There is no logic to this move. It is already ideally situated at the town hall – and it’s open every day.

Babergh District Council should explain the reasoning for the move. And will those councillors who voted in favour of this rearrangement come forward so that we may know who to vote for, or not, at election time.

Jill Fisher

The Close

Sudbury

Steps will dissuade people from coming

Sadly, in my point of view, we have lost the friendly, warm market town that we all knew and enjoyed. This cannot all be blamed on Covid – it started well before that.

We have lost so many precious things in Sudbury. Walnuttree Hospital and Belle Vue are just two such examples, and there is the threat of losing our bus station.

One of the worst things now is the loss of car parking on Market Hill, so just popping in for a prescription, or to do a little shopping, is rarely possible.

To make it worse, we are now being threatened with car parking costs and only half-an-hour free. How is it possible to get into town, perhaps wait in a long queue for a bank and return in that time?

Some of us also walk our dogs on Friars Meadow, so we will be restricted in that time.

Parking on Market Hill was talked about way before the virus, so closing it has nothing to do with social distancing.

We also now have the problem of losing our wonderful team at the town hall, who help with our problems by a face-to-face appointment, since Babergh decided to relocate to Ipswich.

I gather it will be at the library but only two days a week. It has also been busy whenever I have been, so how will this be handled?

It seems that shoppers and visitors are being dissuaded from supporting our market town any more. It is so sad to see.

Mary Roberts

Newton Croft

Sudbury

Spare us the spin – it just doesn’t stack up

Politicians have never been shy of spinning a bad story to make it sound good. Now it seems John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council, has got in on the act.

His column in last week’s Free Press reported on the council’s efforts to provide more low-cost housing, and how it is helping to support people through the pandemic – both worthy schemes.

I must, however, take umbrage with Cllr Ward’s mention of Cifco’s latest acquisition and the claim that, without its £4.5 million in income, “we would be in a far worse position than we are now”.

Cifco may well have generated £4.5 million since its inception in 2017, but Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils have, in their infinite wisdom, diverted close to £80 million to help fund its many purchases.

Basic mathematics reveal that we are not better off, but worse off – namely to the tune of £75 million.

I would encourage Cllr Ward to leave the spin to those in Whitehall – they are, at least, more experienced in its execution.

Mr J Smith

Sudbury

Raising tax doesn’t address real issue

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, writing in last week’s Free Press, asked for the views of the public on a proposed £15 per year increase in the policing precept of our council tax.

Citing demands on the much-overstretched Suffolk constabulary, the current crisis and longer-term impacts of Covid, Mr Passmore made a statement of the bleedingly obvious – that policing in our county needs greater resources.

He also cited that we have the fourth worst funded police force per capita in the country, and talked of his disappointment that the Government has chosen not to look at a fairer funding formula for Suffolk.

But here’s the rub, by placing ever greater burden on the precept (which was increased also last year), an assumption becomes built into government policy and Home Office allocations that funding of the police be calculated on the basis that the PCC will increase the precept.

The underlying problem of a poor funding settlement for Suffolk’s constabulary goes unaddressed.

In his eight years as PCC, he has failed to change this situation, despite being elected from the Conservative Party.

We also have five Conservative MPs representing the county. What are they doing to improve central funding for our police?

I can fully understand the PCC wanting to use his powers to increase local funding, but, in doing so, is he not being the Home Office’s ‘useful idiot’?

Perhaps it’s time we stopped electing Conservatives to these positions, and returned a PCC who can provide a more independent voice for the policing needs of Suffolk’s communities.

James Sandbach

Liberal Democrat candidate for Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

PM is doing his best – give him a break

Too often in the national press, we read that Boris Johnson, his ministers and their advisers should have done this or not done that.

For the past year, we have been in uncharted waters, with no road map to follow. In those circumstances, we humans will never get everything right. We can all be right with hindsight.

Let’s hear more about the things they got right and less fault finding. Over optimistic? Yes, at times, but making them seem like the devil can only hurt them and their families – something which could stay with them for the rest of their lives.

I am sure they all did their best with the knowledge available to them at the time.

On a happier note, my wife and I both had our Covid-19 vaccine on January 26. I know that some in Suffolk are running late, but Hardwick House in Great Cornard seem to be doing a first-class job.

We had a phone call on January 21, which was followed up with two text reminders.

We arrived at 10am for our 10.10am appointment and were on our way home at 10.20am. The staff were fantastic – friendly, good humoured and very professional. Well done everyone.

David Riddlestone

Chaucer Road

Sudbury

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