Saturday, 14 March 2009

Bury St Edmunds snippets

I was in town this morning (along with some fellow councillors) and took the following photos between 11 and 11.30 a.m. The first good indication of activity was a busy St John's Street, where I was buying an old-fashioned fishing net from the toy shop at the top. Trade in there was surprisingly brisk, though in fairness the owner said it had been since Woollies had closed.

(As I write Mrs F is using it to chase a pheasant from the garden, which was not why it was bought - rather for cleaning floating debris from the garden pond.)

Next we visited the market, which seemed as busy as ever. Mrs F bought a pepper - ever the big spender:

After walking through the busy new centre I checked on car-parking spaces. I hope the picture below shows that the top floor of Parkway was virtually empty. (Will that lead someone to comment that Bury had therefore not attracted enough people? You can never win this circular argument.)

Finally, I would like to pass on the following innocently meant (but to some irreverent) observation by a senior SEBC officer on the pedestrian traffic not choosing to use Central Walk, but rather the roads either side, such as Brentgovel Street below:

Might not the shops in these two 'side links' be benefiting from the extra footfall?

You can never win.


Mark G. Hardy said...


Must have just missed you on my walk from the Waitrose car park via Debenhams to the Mill House fabric emporium and back via the market and Boots.

What struck me was how many people were saying how awful Debenhams was (too small and nothing we can't buy elsewhere) - but the jazz band weren't bad.

From a personal viewpoint, the walk through the ARC is totally depressing (beach hut architecture was someone else's thought) and it is just a "national chain" mall without the roof. Surely nobody is going to view it as a "must see destination".

The link to the Market was worse than the French scrumaging in the 6 nations today - a most off putting experience.

I fear you and your fellow councillors have "done for" BStE what 700 years of history failed to do. Destroyed its "special" appeal.

And whilst I'm writing I can't yet see any link that gives details of the St Mary's Square planter deal.......wonder why?

Paul F said...

Funny how none of these disappointed people seem to be heard by anyone else, including the usually pessimistic press.

Apart from my own post on the planter, to which you responded, what are you expecting Mark?

Bury Boy said...

Its strange but to date I have not spoken to a single LOCAL person who has a positive thing to say about the Cattle Market Development, thats not to say all are negitive, but everybody seems top find an area where the development is lacking, most seem to blame the council, or at least feel let down by the "council" in some form or other..
Please lets call it as it is the "cattle market", and forget the commercialisation, we owe these developers nothing, they made a good deal, paid the fees , made the statements, and out smarted the public servants, ran rings around some of our elected fellows, and are making a good profit from this deal, Please lets not give them any more rate payers money.

It would be helpful if some support was given to the other parts of the town, the market, market traders, car parking, traffic flow ( both car and person), rather than trying to increase the charges to pay for the earlier mentioned development. How about some local policies, No parking fees on sundays. No increases to Market traders rates and rents, with a promise to reduce costs 3% year on year for the next 3 years. This can be funded by those out of town retailiers who chose to locate at the cattle market. If they want a fancy "out of town experience" then let them pay for it, and use the income to aid 700 years worth of history, If they dont want the "out of town experience" there are plenty of units available.

Paul F said...

Oh dear BB, you seem as anti as ever. Remember that it is the developer that has invested £80+ millions to create the shops, not the council tax payer. I don't think there will be much short-term profit either. They must be in it for the long haul.

I should have thought even you would be heartened by the 'old' town's shops doing so well out of all the new visitors.

Mark G. Hardy said...


I fear that - as has always been the case - politicians only hear what they want to hear and then put spin on their comments without ever addressing the question - just like PMQ's.

Details of the "deal" - who is paying what to whom and when; and how much the "public" or non StEdsBC are being asked to put up.

Not too much to ask surely?

Paul F said...

I don't think what you describe is the preserve of politicians, as my exchanges with you and others on this site constantly remind me.

I have no idea of the answer to your specific question. No doubt the parties involved are talking about it, and I wish them well.

Picklesmum said...

Have been trying to read Richard Rout's blog but it is now only open to invited people only! How do you get to be a chosen one? Surely the point of a blog is that people can READ it?

Mark G. Hardy said...


Not in the Tory Party (my mate Michael Spencer is the Treasurer so I should know)

Mark G. Hardy said...

Oh Mr.Farmer - the web we weave inorde to .......

On Feb 20th your posted that the planter was to be repaired at a cost of 40k+. Pray inform us who you - at that time - believed was going to pay the repairs ..........nb. the Audit Commission have an interest in your reply.

Richard Rout said...

Hi Picklesmum, sorry about the blog – it’s not going to be locked for long, I’m having a new website built (with an integrated blog) and things are being moved across and redesigned. I’m not a fan of the blogger setup and wanted something all in one location. Hopefully it will be up and running in a week or so – I’ll try to convince Paul to give it a push when it goes live.

Paul F said...

MH - Obviously various people/bodies. Your name-dropping and mention of the AC does not impress.

Mark G. Hardy said...


You say the works are to commence in May. My point is that you (aka StEdsBC) must have ordered the works and be taking financial responsibility - per the statutory responsibility imposed on "you" by the "Conservation Area" delagation. Ipso Facto nobody else should be paying towards StEdsBC neglect bills for the last 35 years of use.

So, is the "partnership" taking "ownership" AFTER the repairs have been paid for by StEdsBC? Or are you trying to stitch up the voluntary sector into paying for the Councils gross neglect?

Simple question - and you must have known the answer when you made you bragging post in Feb. Please may we now have the answer - as it doesn't seem to figure in any council or committee papers?

Paul F said...

MH - my post was taken from the joint press release which can be found at:

I have no further information.