Fears for future of Bury's services

CONSERVATIONISTS have voiced their fears for the future of a raft of amenities in a historic market town in the wake of council cuts.

Will Clarke

CONSERVATIONISTS have voiced their fears for the future of a raft of amenities in a historic market town in the wake of council cuts.

Bury St Edmunds Society members said that while the market town's population and commercial heart was growing it was facing reduced council services.

Concerns have been fuelled by the proposed closure of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's headquarters on Angel Hill and Suffolk County Council's offices at Shire Hall. The town's register and records offices are also under threat, the society says.


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Sarah Green, Bury Society chairman said: “Plans for more homes in Bury are at odds with the proposed decline in its heritage provision and services like the register office, which has yet to be found a new home.

“We are losing so many facilities and these are just some of the issues we are going to be addressing at our next meeting.”

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Members will put forward their views at an open meeting on July 31, at the Cathedral Lecture Room, Bury, at 7.30pm.

They will be addressed by St Edmundsbury's Ian Poole, planning policy and specialist services manager, and Patsy Dell, the borough's head of planning and engineering services.

Susan Sollohub, of the Bury Society, said that the greatest recent loss was the closure of the former Manor House Museum, which housed the town's exceptional clock, watch and fine arts collections.

Sara Mildmay-White, deputy leader of the borough, said: “We recognise that local government is going through a period of change and we have to embrace different ways of working, often in partnership with other organisations. Our move to West Suffolk House, where the borough council and county council will work alongside one another, is an example of this.

“We don't know what will be the next use for the borough offices but we too await that outcome with interest. We will look to manage that outcome through our development control process.”

A county council spokeswoman said efforts were ongoing to find an alternative site for the register office.

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