Suffolk’s School Transport Consultation This finished at the end of February. I hope that Woodbridge Town council put in a response, as I aAsuggested in my report last month, bearing in mind the impact these proposals will have on everybody in the town.
I obviously responded with my own concerns, and held an awareness-raising stall in the Woodbridge Thoroughfare the Saturday before the consultation finished. This resulted in 25-30 new submissions. Additionally, Suffolk County’s LibDem Green & Independent Group put in a group response, which I attach (below).
Concerns raised over accountability and transparency of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Board The Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Board (SPSLB) is made up of council leaders and chief executives from across Suffolk, as well as the PCC, chief fire officer and representatives from Suffolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups. Some of these are elected and some, as you can see, are not. The SPSLB controls a large pot of money, made up of £7.447m from the Suffolk business rates pool and £3.23m of central government funding received as part of the Transformation Challenge Award. Continue reading March: what has been happening in Suffolk→
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).
Home to school transport Central government have made changes to the age of statutory education. It is now compulsory to stay in education or training until you are 17 – and shortly it will be 18. These are impacting on poorer students who have to travel to college, as Suffolk’s free home to school transport policy (as indeedthe national home to school transport policy) only covers students up to 16 years old. Over 16s can avail themselves of a discretionary – paid – option but it costs £540 a year. Currently the SCC Administration are taking the line that the Endeavour card (offering 1/3 off available journeys by some operators) will cover the problem, and that there are Bursaries to help the needy. I do not think this is an adequate response and I will be taking this up as a matter of urgency.
Historic milestone lost – and found The Thoroughfare Milestone outside John Ives was reported to me as missing by an anxious local historian and nobody seemed to know where it had gone. We were for a short time worried that it might be a case of vandalism or theft. Luckily some nifty detective work by Woodbridge Town Council’s very own Kay Yule and myself has traced it to the depot in Melton and we expect it to be returned shortly.
Planning Application next to Dukes Park I have had a lot of emails of concern from residents about the planning application to build housing on the field next to Dukes Park.As this is also the site through which the EA One underground high tension cabling is due to be routedI contacted the EA ONE link officer at Suffolk County Council for definitive information on the separation necessary between housing development and underground high tension cables. You can find his brief resume of the status quo and implications on my blog : http://carolinepage.blog.suffolk.libdems.org/2014/07/26/dukes-park-and-east-anglia-one/
Travellers Sites Suffolk County Council has abandoned a public consultation on where to create three official Gypsy and Traveller stopping sites. The consultation identified seven potential sites – with the aim of selecting three in the areas where unauthorised encampments usually occur. However, following a number of landowners coming forward with other potential sites and early feedback from councillors and residents, Suffolk’s council and policing leaders decided to halt and reconsider. The sites were:
Layby off A143 opposite Shepherds Lane, Wortham
Land between Candlet Road and Treetops, Felixstowe
Layby on Felixstowe Road, Levington, south of junction with Bridge Road
Former Little Chef site, Kentford, between Bury Road and A14
Former Chippings Dump, Upthorpe Road, Stanton
Former Little Chef site, off A14 by the Orwell Bridge
A140 junction with Castleton Way, Yaxley.
Restoration of Woodbridge – Ipswich Sunday Service Just to reiterate that from the 20th July a Sunday/Bank Holiday bus service has resumed allowing car-free travel between Woodbridge and Ipswich. Suffolk County Council is sponsoring 3 return services a day between Woodbridge and Ipswich. As you know I have ben fighting for this since the last was so disgracefully discontinued at two weeks notice to us, the passengers, back in 2011.
The Sunday 65b will allow car free journeys to visit hospital and help young people get out on their own. It will be a boon for all people who can’t- or can’t afford to – drive. And its obviously a big boost for tourism. It is only guaranteed until the end of 2014 – after that, it depends on numbers – so it’s a case of use it or lose it!
For once, the weather was kind – and ferocious winds and driving rain cleared up in time for full enjoyment to be gained from the weekend’s free skating rink in the Brook Street carpark, Woodbridge.
Let’s hope that the weather will continue as good tomorrow for the second day.
This last year has been hard for a lot of people – and most of all for families – and the expense of taking your children on a day out can be prohibitive. This event – brainchild of Town Councillor Caroline Blois, and funded by me from my Locality Budget – was intended to give some affordable fun to the young people of Woodbridge and their parents, while also bringing increased footfall into Woodbridge town centre in the dark days of winter.
Today certainly seemed to do this.
To top it all, the refreshments on offer were provided by Woodbridge’s very own Cake Shop Bakery, who only yesterday were crowned Britain’s Best Bakery.
If you ever get an invitation to see a Firebreak passing-out parade, don’t miss out.
I went to the passing-out parade at the Woodbridge firestation last Friday with no idea of what I was to expect – and was astonished by a virtuoso display of efficiency, competence and teamwork displayed by young recruits, all with a mere five days’ training under their belts!
They assembled, and swarmed up ladders, roped and rescued a survivor from a tall building, assembled various hoses, built a dam and put out an (imaginary) fire with real water in the most expert way – each needing to help and rely on the others in their team to ensure the operation ran effectively.
Firebreakis a youth engagement project run by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service at fire stations across the county. Targeted particularly at young people in danger of disengagement, it is an amazing five day programme combining drill-ground and scenario-based training, with theory/discussion workshops. The activities are wide-ranging: hose drills, health and safety training, first aid training, wearing breathing apparatus, search and rescue training, using ladders and training in road traffic collisions. These are learned in a context that relies on punctuality, good behaviour, cleanliness of kit, teamwork, helping colleagues, good discipline and responsibility. The ultimate aim of the programme is to improve self-esteem, self discipline and responsibility.
At the passing-out parade the recruits receive certificates, demonstrate drills, and – possibly most importantly – each is publicly singled out by someone who has trained them, and the entire audience is told of their particular personal skills and abilities.
Firebreak is a superb programme. I really can’t commend it highly enough!