Urgent Severe Weather Advice 2/3 January

Orwell Bridge to close at 9pm tonight
Highways England is advising road users that the Orwell Bridge will be closed from 9pm tonight (Tuesday 2 January) for safety reasons, due to high winds (Storm Eleanor)It is likely to remain closed through tomorrow’s (Wednesday 3 January) peak morning travel time.   Once the Orwell Bridge is closed, the planned diversion route is via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich.

‎Drivers planning to travel are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route. You can get the latest forecast from BBC weather, the Met Office, and local radio.  ‎Highways England live traffic information: www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information
Twitter: @HighwaysEAST

‎Drivers making journeys across the region should be wary of sudden gusts of wind, and be sure to give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. 

Extreme weather can also damage overhead power lines resulting in  loss of electricity supply.  UK Power networks say they have additional staff in their contact centre to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather, and  called-up additional engineers to carry out repairs to overhead lines and poles as soon as the wind reduces to a speed at which it is safe to work.

Regular updates: www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and  Twitter@UKPowerNetworks .

In a power cut:

  • Call 105 to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network, or 0800 3163 105 (from a corded phone or mobile phone if you have no power)
  • Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk for the latest updates
  • Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map
  • Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report a power cuts or to receive updates

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut? @UKPowerNetworks provides free services to vulnerable customers. Visit ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority for more information #stormEleanor

Preparing for a power cut:

In advance

  • Add 105 to the contacts on your mobile phone
  • Keep our Freephone 0800 3163 105 number handy
  • See www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercuts for useful videos and advice during a power cut.
  • Locate a torch, check it’s working and make sure you have spare batteries. Take care if using candles.
  • Charge up your mobile phone, and a rechargeable mobile ‘powerbank’ if you have one
  • Use a phone with a cord if you have one, cordless phones don’t work in a power cut
  • Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
  • Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
  • Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
  • Dress in warm clothes
  • Look out for vulnerable neighbours


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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).

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Success for Woodbridge’s proposed Jetty Lane Youth and Art centre

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

Thank you

Caroline Page

Chair, Jetty Lane CiC



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#WASPI success at Suffolk County Council

Caroline Page seconding the #WASPI motion, asking for fair transitional state pension arrangements for 50’s born women

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

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Caroline Page, County Councillor for Woodbridge