Blue Cross campaigners' plea to chief

PROTESTORS gave Blue Cross boss Kim Hamilton a clear and heartfelt message - “Please don't close our Felixstowe centre”.In a two-hour face-to-face meeting, six devoted volunteers who give up their free time to look after needy animals at the centre in Walton High Street, told the charity's chief executive of people's anger at the closure proposals and appealed for her to consider alternative options.

FELIXSTOWE: Protesters gave Blue Cross boss Kim Hamilton a clear and heartfelt message - “Please don't close our Felixstowe centre”.

In a two-hour face-to-face meeting, six devoted volunteers who give up their free time to look after needy animals at the centre in Walton High Street, told the charity's chief executive of people's anger at the closure proposals and appealed for her to consider alternative options.

Thousands of people have joined the Evening Star Save the Blue Cross campaign and already signed petition forms and coupons, with many also displaying posters in their businesses, homes and cars, and hundreds adding their voice in letters and on-line on the website www.eveningstar.co.uk

Tom Crowley, one of the volunteer representatives at the meeting, said: “Just because some research suggests there are possibly more animals in another part of the country which could be helped is not a good enough reason for the charity turning its back on all the animals it helps here.

“You cannot just move into another part of the country - they will need to find a site, funding, get planning permission, build it, and then in a place no-one knows you it takes two or three years to build it up.

“Meanwhile, the centre here would be closed, all the goodwill would be gone, and the animals would have no help.

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“We really want them to consider alternative proposals which will allow the Felixstowe site to be kept open or another site found in Suffolk.”

Ms Hamilton said it had been “a positive and really constructive” meeting in which a number of issues had been debated.

The charity was prepared to listen to and consider alternative proposals, sites and locations, and these ideas could influence its final decisions, due to be made next month.

“This is a genuine consultation - we are going out and genuinely listening to people and reading their letters and taking into account what they are saying,” she said.

“Our aim is the same as everyone who is involved and that is to help more animals, to help as many as we possibly can. We need to look at what would happen if the centre was to close and what it would mean for the animals here in Suffolk and what are the alternatives.”

Send us your messages of support for the Save the Blue Cross campaign - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Sign the Evening Star Save Our Blue Cross petition today - you can sign it at vets and shops across the area, on-line or download further copies from our website www.eveningstar.co.uk and get friends, family and neighbours to pledge their support.

You can also leave your comments on-line about the closure proposal.

Display a poster in your window - collect one from the Evening Star's Ipswich and Felixstowe offices.

Write to Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton at Blue Cross head office, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF.