Lib Dem County Councillor for Woodbridge, Suffolk; Elected 2008, 2009,2013; LD spokesman, Transport; Vice-Chair Education Transport Appeals; Speed Limit Panel member ; Campaigns for Rural Transport, Buses, Rail, Cycling, Young People, Libraries, Disability, Epilepsy & Carers
Did you have carol singers at your door in Woodbridge this CHristmas? If so, you may have been ‘lucky’ enough to be serenaded by the friends and supporters of Jetty Lane – the first of its many fund-raising activities.
Do please give generously.
Jetty Lane is Woodbridge’s proposed wonderful new youth , arts and community centre – just before Christmas we got the go-ahead for a 125 year lease from Suffolk County Council to rebuild on the site of the old Woodbridge Youth Club.
This club housed popular youth charity ‘Just42’ (currently camping out in containers on the site) as well as a range of other groups. The old building was pulled down, but the demand remained, and is growing. We all know Woodbridge is a property hotspot. None of the groups that were made homeless have been able to find permanent new homes anywhere in Woodbridge. The site is ideal – because it is very central and allows users to get there by bus, bicycle, on foot, even by skateboard, as well as being close to good car-parking.
The building is beautiful and flexible, with a wonderful design by local architects, and will also house 1st Woodbridge Scouts; small studios for young artists; hireable space for groups and some hotdesking.
So if you hear us a knocking in 2018, open the door and get your piggy bank out. You will be bringing comfort and joy to Woodbridge’s young people – and their children, and grandchildren.
Other ways you can help the work
• Make a donation (Cheques payable to Jetty Lane cic)
• Hold a fundraising event
• Volunteer with us
• Spread the good news!
Jetty Lane is a CiC. Directors: Caroline Page, Cordelia Richman, Caroline Rutherford (Just 42), Adam Thorpe (1st Woodbridge Scouts), Alice-Andrea Ewing (representing local artists).
Update: Success! The panel expressed themselves very satisfied with the design and plans, which were described as ‘inspiring and ambitious.’ We were very flatteringly told we had made their day. We had expected to have to wait 2 weeks for a decision but they promised us the 125 year lease at a peppercorn rent (subject to terms & conditions) on the spot! What a wonderful Christmas present to the young people and community of Woodbridge!
An exciting day, as the recently formed Jetty Lane CiC takes its business plan for a new youth centre to a panel ofSuffolk County Council Corporate Property today.
It will be accompanied by this letter:
Dear Panel members
Re: Jetty Lane
Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to present our design and business plan for Jetty Lane today.
As you will see, this is a project that is designed to address sustainably the currently unmet needs of many disparate groups in Woodbridge (and its environs), with particular emphasis on young people and the arts.
In order for Jetty Lane first to fund-raise and then to function most effectively, it will require the certainty of a long lease. We are therefore here today to ask you to give the CiC a lease of 125 years on the site at IP12 4BA.
We are also asking for the lease to be at a peppercorn rent: two youth charities will be permanently housed at the centre, while many of the other users are charities or community groups. The CiC itself is a not-for-profit organisation which is working purely for the benefit of the community
As LibDem Green and Independent Spokesperson for Women, I was proud to second the important cross-party motion at Suffolk County Council last week which asked government to support fair transitional pension arrangements for 1950’s born women (the so-called #WASPI* women) See speech on YouTube here:
Women born in the 50s have lived throughout a period when the Equality Act didn’t result in equality of pay, opportunity, or expectation. They have been expected to make career breaks, and work part-time to bring up children and care for dependent relatives with all the subsequent difficulties of returning to equivalent work.
In 2017 a woman’s retirement income is on average 45% less than a man’s.
For years successive governments failed to warn women so they could better plan for their futures. But in the circumstances many women would have needed to have made a lifetime of different choices to make adequate preparation for this pension change.
The perfect storm is that WASPI women are now also 3 times more likely than their younger peers to be divorced and suffer financial pressure.
The motion, proposed by Labour stated: “This Council believes the Government should make fair and transitional state pension arrangements for the 34,000 Suffolk women born in the 1950’s, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with lack of appropriate notification. This Council requests the Interim Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions calling on the government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women.” It was passed unanimously by Suffolk County Council with no abstentions.
*WASPI = Women Against State Pension Inequality
My speech: I’m proud to support the efforts of the WASPI campaign, and applaud them on their resilience and determination to make their case heard. As a State Pension Age affected woman myself born in the 1950s, as LibDem Green and Independent Spokesperson for Women, and as a full-time carer, I’m all too aware of the problems.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Retirement age changes take place in the name of equality – and everyone should want that!
But the devil’s in the detail. Women born in the 50s have lived throughout a period when the Equality Act didn’t result in equality of pay, opportunity, or expectation. Women have been expected to make career breaks, and work part-time to bring up children and care for dependent relatives with all subsequent difficulties of returning to equivalent work.
And lack of occupational pension, and breaks in state pension contributions has inevitable consequences. No surprise that in 2017 a woman’s retirement income is on average 45% less than a man’s – the differential £1000 GREATER than it was a year before. Shocking.
For years successive governments failed to warn women so they could better plan for their futures.
But -lets be honest – many women would need to have made a lifetime of different choices to make adequate preparation for this
By the time women are my age, 50% are already unpaid family carers: odds men don’t achieve until they are 75. And with life expectancy rising, the numbers needing care have snowballed. You don’t start out in life expecting to be a family carer. It comes up behind you and blackjacks you and conflicts with your capacity to earn..
So, change in retirement age impacts particularly on a whole generation of women that state and family have relied on to give up careers and occupational pensions to care unpaid for others.
And you can see how families, women, everyone might decide it better for family finances that the woman gave up work to care because she’d get the earlier state pension.
The perfect storm is that WASPI women are now also more likely than their younger peers to be divorced and suffer financial pressure. One in 3 are divorced – three times as many as those born 25 years later.
Says a 62 year old constituent ,“Make preparations? Many of my lifechoices were out of my hands but I still have to face the consequences “. Her husband didn’t want her to work after they married, but then left her – with minimal support and young children. She’d lost her place in the job market she trained in and the only work she could do was cleaning. Ill paid, laborious – but she could fit it around childcare. She’s been a cleaner for 17 years now, and expected to retire 2 years ago.
But she now has another 4 years to go.
She says “I’m worn out. You can’t manage such physical work till you’re 66. I have no choice.”
There are many such women facing years without a fair level of support, purely because the government failed in its duty to keep them fully informed – and failed to consider the constraints which an entire generation’s practices imposed upon so-called “life choices”.
I call upon all councillors of all parties to stand behind these women and support this motion
The results of this initial consultation have now been collated and show that option 2b was the most popular (ie: No access at any time except permit holders and loading/unloading. This will include disabled drivers. This result has the backing of the Disability Action Suffolk Forum.)
The minimum lorry weight restriction will be removed. The new restrictions will be in force 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Parking will only be allowed in signed bays, which will be better marked. The signage both on the approach to the Thoroughfare, and in the road, will be much simpler and will show it as a pedestrian zone.
The next stage of the consultation will ensure that all those that may be affected by the proposed changes can have their say before we move to the final stage formal TRO consultation next year by Suffolk County Council.
Full results of the consultation can be viewed in the library until 15th December.
Currently the prohibition of motor vehicles is between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday. This can lead to confusion and difficulty in reading all provisions while approaching the Thoroughfare. The proposed prohibition of motor vehicles will be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This will affect all vehicles. Drivers who may have accessed the road before 10am or after 4pm to visit the local shops, newsagents, bank, pharmacy or similar will be unable to do. These drivers will need to park in the nearby car parks and walk a short distance.
Currently vehicles over 3.5T can load and unload at any time. Vehicles under 3.5T can only load and unload before 10am and after 4pm. The proposals will allow access for all vehicles to load at any time. This means people purchasing or delivering large items such as beds, whitegoods, carpets, boxes of books etc. can access the length of road to load or unload these items to their vehicle regardless of size (3.5T is the size of a medium delivery van such as a Transit or Sprinter, vehicles under 3.5T are typically domestic cars).
Currently permits can be issued for residents and traders to access off street parking, such as private driveways – this will remain. Additional permit holders can be nominated such as taxis and funeral vehicles. However these will need to be written in to the new Traffic Regulation Order.
Currently disabled badge holders are exempt from the prohibition of motor vehicles on Tuesday and Thursday between 1pm and 4pm. This provision will be removed. There is substantially more off-street car parking in the area since the restriction was introduced in 1995 and the intention is that blue badge holders can use the Oak Lane or Hamblin Road car parks. Suffolk Highways have in the past issued permits to disabled drivers to access the Thoroughfare at any time. However there has been no official provision for this since it was revoked in 1995. The issuing of these permits will cease. It is hoped that mitigation (eg perhaps issuing one or two permits to a local taxi firm) will do away with the necessity for any other access.
There are standard exemptions for building, demolition, road repair, utility repair, reading utility meters, emergency services, security vehicles. These exemptions will remain.