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!)

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with you terry it should be left where it is but just use the money to upgrade it with better facilities. thats all it needs and then that will also be good news for the old age pensioners as well as they wont need to walk to far either

Anonymous said...

Cheese and Rice, What is the point of moving the Bus Station.
Its been in the same place for years, well since i was born here yes in Thetford.
I have seen many things change in this quiet little Historic Town.....
Then The Town Council went EU Crazy!
We have to do this, we have to do that..Helping all the EU influx coming to our Town, Leaving the Town folk to defend for themselves with their business going down the pan..with Higher Rent charges and no HELP to keep them afloat.
Now wanting us the Tax payer to keep giving and not getting what we want,WELL I SAY NO....
They Mayor of Thetford ..is treated like they have power to make changes but i think NOT..would you let your Town Be Ruined by IDIOTS if you was...NO..
Bring Back Power to the Common man- woman.Listen to what the towns Folk want..I can tell you one a NICE OPEN MARKET like Bury st Edmunds have on a Weds n Saturday..

I VOTE NO MOVE FOR THE BUS STATION,
TO THE PEOPLE WHOM THINK WE WANT IT MOVED ---- I SAY " UP YOURS "

Anonymous said...

What a pointless rant by 'Anonymous!' Although 'its been in the same place for years' is a VERY convincing argument not to move the bus station! And they say we are opposed to change! LMAO!

Funny how messages have to be approved by the blog author on this one-sided and frankly ill-informed page.

TJUK2011 said...

Quite happy to publish all comments. I have received 3 so far, which have all been published. Terry

Anonymous said...

I thought you were in support of such developments before the elections? What has changed?

Anonymous said...

Did you not read the intro to this blog?! 'Random views' which are obviously very changeable!! Jumping on the band wagon springs to mind...

J Stead (aged 27 1/2!!!) said...

Will be interesting to see what happens now that the debate seems pretty balanced for and against. I think the vocal opposition to the move of the bus station has upset the usually silent residents, and people are finally speaking out for what they want rather than passively watching what unfolds, which has to be a good thing?

Adam said...

I'm confused at what you think is so great about Mildenhall bus station?
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=mildenhall&hl=en&ll=52.342841,0.512297&spn=0,0.006748&sll=52.349602,0.494213&sspn=0,0&z=18&layer=c&cbll=52.342838,0.512341&panoid=9l-KBXptevw-0uBGMDW-Wg&cbp=12,337.9,,0,20.47

I was born in Thetford and have lived here my whole life.

I can't see any benefit in keeping the bus station where it is at the expense of some decent retail.

The only decent argument against the move is not allowing tourist buses. I assume they can use the lorry park instead of people trading cars.

TJUK2011 said...

Hopefully I will be able to answer all of the various questions/points;

Anonymous 27.07.11 22.08 - there has been no vote taken until recently at Thetford Town Council regarding the siting of the bus station until very recently. I have always supported the bus station staying where it is. However, I have also said that should the bus station move location, we should make sure that whatever takes its place at the St Nicholas Street site should be as good as can be possible - I have encouraged the Town Council to express an interest in taking on responsibility for the Cosy Carpets building once it has been developed with a view to providing the services that are required. I have also stated that if the Forum were to be built on the current bus station site than I would support the incorporation of a new public hall - replacing the Carnegie Room - although this is now not an option. Neither of those views conflict with my over-riding opinion that I would support the bus station staying where it is.

Anonymous 29.07.11 16.29 - A very cynical statement. I am rather consistent with my views, thanks. Perhaps rather than being so quick to judge, you should acknowledge that 1. I am the only councillor with a blog, and happy to publish my opinions for all to see and 2. I make full use of Facebook to share my views

S Stead - 29.07.11 16.35pm I have no issue with people that support the bus station moving coming forward, we live in a democracy and a free country for all to express their views, however, what I do take issue with is Breckland Council saying that "a vocal minority do not support the moving of the bus station" when their own polls and consultations tell us otherwise, and certainly my inbox/voicemail/post box suggests to me that overwhelmingly the residents I represent want the bus station to stay where it is, however, now we have the poll occuring - we will find out either way.

Adam 30.07.11 12.58pm - What's so great about Mildenhall? Well, you don't get wet while waiting for a bus, and it doesn't smell of wee - not on the occassions that I have stopped there anyway. Look at the proposals for Minstergate / St Nicholas Street - 5 canopies for people to wait under out in the open, some distance away there may / or may not (I'm still not sure) be a taxi rank, and you may / or may not (again, I;m not sure) be able to use it if you are going on a coach tour (e.g. Simmons, Chenery travel etc.), or if you are a school bus user, or National Express user - other lay-bys (yes laybys, eg. the one along the London Road, near the cemetery entrance) would be used. Yes, we definitely need new retail - plenty of empty shops in the high street and other areas with regeneration potential - and of course, if you look at the proposals for keeping the bus station where it is - new retail is incorporated including a hotel, newsagents - and I can see a new cinema location in the top right corner, i.e. where it was originally proposed and consulted on.

I hope all those responses help.

For more info, go to; www.thetfordvotesno.com

pathfinder said...

As a Town and District Councillor, i listen to the electorate,and support the Bus Station staying where it is the only thing the bus drivers would like is to have the exit improved with the widening of the gate and taking the telegraph out and moving it. Most of the drivers state that it will be a nightmare if relocated to ministergate!!

J Stead said...

I have not heard the National Express and school buses cannot use the station - my understanding is that they will. I believe it is true that tour buses won't be able to use it and other areas will be made for meeting points for these.

J Stead said...

Hi, this is a message for pathfinder. I am genuinely interested in your comment, as I have not heard of much research into the views of the bus drivers on the matter. Can you please elaborate as to how many drivers you have spoken to and why most feel the move would be 'a nightmare'? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think we should all be asking ourselves why there is this almost obsessive urgency in moving the bus station. We have been lured with the 'promise' of new developments (heard it all before!), and all of a sudden it has been conveniently forgotten that The Anchor was to become part of the Thetford Academy, hardly earmarked for retail use. Who is benefiting from this expensive maneouvre? Let's not be fooled, rarely does anything (outside of housing) develop in this town - just try and recall something and when it was. People will make their choice on the 9th, but we shouldn't be lulled into a Fool's Paradise. VOTE NO!

kitti-kitts said...

Breckland Council have the power as a local authority to force the owners of historic buildings to protect them

They have the power to issue directives. They cannot force the owner if the owner doesn't have the money. For evidence of this, have a look at the work recently completed in Ixworth High Street by St Eds since the owners of a listed cottage couldn't repair the listed building.

I would think as a councillor you would realise the realistic limit of an authority's power.

Anonymous said...

Can you clarify something for me please. Surely the school buses will be allowed to use the new bus station - children as young as 5 travel to the catholic school in Bury St. Edmunds and parents need to have somewere safe to park when dropping and collecting them. Do you know if this relocation goes ahead where they will be expected to wait - a layby is totally not acceptable. I don't think enough emphasis has been put on this. I intend to vote No on 9th August, but did not realise about the school and tourist buses until the flyer came through my letterbox recently.

TJUK2011 said...

Local Planning Authorities (i.e. Breckland Council) are encouraged to be proactive in such matters.

See the link below for the Governments Best Practice guidelines...

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/319798.pdf

Perhaps this email from Stuart Wilson, to Kevin Ward (Growth Point/ MTF Managaer is also of use?

From: ghsstuartw@hotmail.com
To: kevin.ward@breckland.gov.uk
Subject: LPA Powers
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 12:28:58 +0000


Dear Mr. Ward,

Further to our brief chat last Tuesday, I thought that you might be interested to refer to Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 which provides LPAs with the power, in certain circumstances, to take steps requiring land to be cleaned up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area. The LPA should be aware that Section 215 action can be taken against land and buildings - in Section 336 of the Act the definition of 'land' includes a building.

The Best Pratice Guidance of the Act is very informative.

Having taken note of this Act would you mind explaining why BDC hasn't used this legislation for the Cosy Carpet building and site and also explain why tax payers money is being spent on repairs?

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Wilson

TJUK2011 said...

Taken from an email from Kevin Ward:

"The new facility can accommodate the largest buses and coaches permitted to use roads under EU legislation. As previously stated, to avoid impacting on the scheduled bus and coach services tourist coaches will not be allowed to use the site. Where tour operators drop off and collect their customers in Thetford will depend in large part of what they or their customers wish to visit in the town currently there are a number of on street bus facilities that could be used. We are not yet at the point where we formally designate 'lay-over' facilities outside of the town centre. The proposals do not seek to discourage tourists or diminish their importance"