MP backs bid to safeguard Bury's buildings

Friday, 1 August, 2008

MP David Ruffley has written to St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council after meeting members of the Bury Society who are concerned at changes to the town's historic buildings.
The society is worried about the decisions which have led to the selling of the Manor House Museum, the proposed sale of the town's register office and development of West Suffolk House, in Western Way, as the borough moves from its Angel Hill offices to shared facilities with the county.

There are also concerns at plans to develop the area around Shire Hall and Suffolk Record Office.

Mr Ruffley met society chairman Sarah Green and committee members on Friday and said afterwards: "The strong message was concern about the future of important council buildings after the new unitary councils are established in 2009."

Mr Ruffley has written to John Griffiths, chairman of the borough council, and Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, asking whether there is a moratorium on decisions about disposing of the buildings before 2009 and what plans they have to restrict their future use.

He said: "The heritage of Bury St Edmunds is very special and deserves to be preserved for future generations. The town cannot stand still, but we do need to ensure the buildings we cherish are not downgraded in the name of progress."

The society has requested the borough offices fronting Angel Hill should be listed, used to house the collections from the Manor House Museum, remain a starting point for civic parades and to re-accommodate the register office. The borough council opposed the scheme.