Sunday, 24 July 2011

Thetford Bus Station Poll; Vote No!

Dear Editor, On Tuesday 9th August, I will be voting NO to the moving of the Thetford Bus Station in the Parish Poll. Does that make me part of the “old, boring, Dads Army brigade”? I really don’t think so. And it is quite wrong to label those fighting against this proposal in such a way. Am I then not wanting to protect Thetford’s historical assets? Far from it. Of course, that would mean that I would be against investment in our town, against a cinema and other improvements? How utterly ridiculous! I want all these things! I will be voting No for two main reasons. Primarily because I would prefer to see the bus station kept where it is – the current site is much more accessible, it is much larger than the proposed site at St Nicholas Street and it has much greater potential to be turned into the sort of bus station that I would like to see in our town – something on a par with Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds. What is being proposed for St Nicholas Street is woefully inadequate. It seems as if we are going to get a nice new tarmac surface, with a few shelters for people to wait. What’s different to what we have now? Apart from it looking all nice and shiny and new. I am also very concerned about the safety of the new site and the amount of buses that will be charging down St Nicholas Street past Minstergate Street. The second reason for my decision to vote NO is because I am sick of organisations like Moving Thetford Forward and Breckland Council taking our town for granted. How dare they claim to be listening to the people of this town. Their consultation exercises have been ridiculous. If more people participate in this poll, than have participated in the MTF official consultations, then perhaps they might actually realise that people have not participated previously as they felt that Breckland and others had already made their minds up and the views of local people did not count. We’re told that this poll may result in investment in this town being lost and the Grade II Cosy Carpets building not getting the investment it needs. Well, as has been said before, Breckland Council have the power as a local authority to force the owners of historic buildings to protect them, but it chooses not to – perhaps this has something to do with its budget for heritage being absolutely Zero. Think no further than Abbey Barns, St Mary the Less and others. No support for them hey! As for investment, if Breckland did more to keep Thetford clean and tidy, develop a sense of community pride, invested in tourism and listened to the people of Thetford that would go a very long way towards making Thetford more prosperous, instead they charge ahead, sucking the lifeblood from our community and trampling anyone that gets in their way or who dares to propose an alternative. I urge every resident of Thetford, VOTE NO on Tuesday 9th August 2011! Terry Jermy Thetford Town and Breckland District Councillor, Saxon Ward Elm Road, Thetford (Aged 25!)