Communities Thrive on Trees

oak-treeYou would think that this is a statement of the blindingly obvious. But when you see the lot clearing that takes place when developers prepare land for building – then you do wonder where their brains are.
Trees reduce stress by filtering unwanted noise and replacing it with bird song and rustling leaves. Domestic abuse, including child abuse, is lower in homes near trees.
So why clear the land of trees?
We can all see that it is easier to lay out plot lines and install drainage if the land is clear. Yet one of the key things that makes our urban environment attractive is trees. Whether they be oaks, ash, London planes or even the sycamore they soften the impact of urban living.
Trees remove harmful gases, such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and  ozone. In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina trees remove 17.5 million pounds  of air pollutants each year.
Trees capture sediment  and toxins that lower water quality, which reduces the  need for costly storm water control measures,
Urban trees reduce the “heat island effect,” cooling  our cities by as much as 9ºF. One tree can cool as much as five air conditioners running  20 hours a day.
There are some conscientious developers in North Hills, Raleigh. They can be identified by their instinctive retention of the arboreal character of their lots. Others exemplify the slash and burn mindset of the 18th and 19th centuries when North American pioneers such as Daniel Boone cleared land in the Appalachian Mountains.
In the industrialized regions of
Europe and North America, the practice was abandoned with the introduction of market agriculture and land ownership. Land tenure systems  help focus on long-term improvement and discouraged practices associated with slash-and-burn agriculture.
Community responsibility does not begin and end with voting every couple of years. If the price of liberty requires continual vigilance, so does ensuring our environment does not deteriorate beyond recall.

Budget Opportunity & Flytippers

seagullHappy New Year to all my readers.
The new year starts with me being like Private Frazer insofar as it seems that “we are all doomed”. I saw the news yesterday (Daily Mirror and Daily Mail) that councils will be using powers to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £400 and seize and destroy vehicles used by offenders as part of a “zero-tolerance” nationwide initiative on fly-tipping.
How long before a simple case of littering or perhaps a poorly closed dustbin will attract these new powers?
The cost of clearing up fly-tipping in England has reached almost £50m, with councils having to deal with almost 900,000 incidents a year Authorities indicate that, to date, only 40% have made use of powers given by the Government in May to issue on-the-spot fines.
So expect more fines and perhaps more draconian attitudes because fines can fill the holes in the budget. In 2007 Ipswich Borough Council fined a fourteen year old £50 for throwing a chip to a seagull. Despite the gull eating the evidence, the Council insisted upon its powers and even (I recall) pursued the child into his school in order to obtain his identity.

Peterborough Evictions

Foto: SMK Foto Statens Museum for Kunst Sølvgade 48-50 1307 København K  DANMARK e-mail: foto@smk.dk www.smk.dkOnce again local government proves that you do not need to be an imaginative writer to make up true but unbelievable stories.
Last month it was reported that Stef & Philips (a leading provider of social housing solutions in London and the Home Counties) had recently won a contract to provide  Peterborough Council with accommodation for people in need.
In order to create the space needed Stef & Philips are evicting 74 families so it can accommodate the homeless.
Six months down the road I can see a situation whereby a Council spokesperson will tell us that the strategy was successful but in the meantime the homeless numbers have increased and Stef & Philips’ contract will be renewed and extended because they have done such a good job!

Not only could you not make it up – but you don’t have to!

Meanwhile on Planet Babergh – Job Losses Loom

Park and RideThe EADT recently carried a report that Headlam Flooring planned to build a distribution centre on land adjacent to the Anglia Retail Park (on the A14 opposite Asda). Headlam are investing £15million and the new facility will include a 125,000 sq ft warehouse with loading and customer collection areas, offices and out-buildings.  The construction and fit-out period is expected to take around a year and the new facility should be up and running by 2018. The building be built on green space adjacent to the former Park and Ride site. The new facility will support the development of Headlam’s regional floorcovering business which includes the Hadleigh-based Faithfull’s Flooring. The existing  80 employees in Hadleigh will be relocated to the new premises. For  Headlam Flooring it all makes good sense – a purpose built facility with access to the A14. For Babergh it is a potential disaster. A significant business and 80 jobs move out of Hadleigh. Headlam had previously sought to build in Hadleigh on land alongside the Persimmon housing development off of Lady Lane. The problem with that proposal was that it was cheek by jowl with housing and the 24/7 operation was unsuitable for that location – on sloping ground with noise that could have been heard across half of Hadleigh. The question we must ask is how have Babergh allowed this development to slip through its fingers. There are plenty of former airfield sites ripe for development. There is even one in Raydon almost within sight of the A12. Ipswich has its own questions to ask. Why are there no existing sites (like the former Park and Rides) which might be suitable? Why isn’t Headlam taking space on the Ransome’s Europark? Once again, I fear Hadleigh is being let down by the people who should be serving it. If local government is not looking after the people it serves and those who pay their wages, who are they looking after?

http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/have_your_say_on_plans_to_build_a_distribution_centre_for_headlam_flooring_company_in_land_next_to_anglia_retail_park_1_4607239
http://www.headlam.com/investor-relations/investor-information/investment-proposition

					

Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics

GymnasticsToday amidst all the doom and gloom about the Brexit aftermath I received the following e-mail from Kelly Mires, Head Coach at Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics:

Dear Mr Riley
I’m writing  to say thank you so very much for the news I received today that you have awarded Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics a grant of £1000.
This is a huge amount of money for the club and it means we can now look to purchase the safety mats we have been fundraising hard to buy .
Thank you once again from myself and all 285 Children in Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics.
Kelly Mires
Head Coach
The locality monies will help fund the purchase of a tumble run and two safety landing mats.
The Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics are holding a club competition on Saturday 23rd July at the Hadleigh Leisure Centre. This is their biggest annual fundraiser and they will be serving refreshments and holding a raffle. All the coaches volunteer their time so that every penny raised goes into the fundraising pot to buy equipment. So if you have a free moment on the 23rd, please drop in on the Leisure Centre and support the Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics.
The monies came from my County Councillor’s Locality Budget. As readers of this blog may know the Locality Budget amounts to £12,000 a year and is distributed in Hadleigh to promote ways in which Suffolk County Council can make life better for its residents. I like to direct the monies to game changers. So in the past I have given support to (among others)  Hadleigh Diamond Lites (Drum Majorettes), an ecotherapy allotment project for Suffolk Mind and Surviving Winter in Hadleigh whose funding was to cover the initial expenses in establishing the charity and to provide such ongoing support as necessary.

Freely to breathe again!

Jenny Antill (a fellow blogger) posted this on Friday morning.
View from the window 160624View from the window. 24th June 2016 6.15 a.m.

Oh what joy, in the open air
Freely to breathe again!
Up here alone is life!
The dungeon is a grave.
FIRST PRISONER
We shall with all our faith
Trust in the help of God!
Hope whispers softly in my ears!
We shall be free, we shall find peace.
ALL THE OTHERS
Oh Heaven! Salvation! Happiness!
Oh Freedom! Will you be given us?

CHOR DER GEFANGENEN (Prisoners Chorus, Fidelio)

Brexit in Ipswich

bojesen_brexitThe E.A.D.T., last week featured visits to Ipswich by the great, the good and the not so good, when Boris Johnson and Michael Gove visited on Tuesday to promote their Brexit campaign and Hilary Benn came on Wednesday as a Bremainder. Wednesday’s photo showed at least one of my Labour Councillor friends in a supporting role. This is interesting because Hilary Benn is a champagne Corbynista, educated at Holland Park School also known as the Socialist Eton. Benn is a member of the Stansgate Clan and an adept of telling lesser mortals what’s good for them. Whilst the Corbyn line is to remain in Europe, there are a number of Labour M.P. dissenters including Dennis Skinner, the M.P. for Bolsover, and Frank Field, M.P. for Birkenhead.
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were greeted by Bremainders in the form of students demonstrating against the visit and thus exercising their rights to free speech whilst denying their responsibility to allow others to campaign for their views.
Mixed into this motley crowd was the university Provost and Chief Executive Richard Lister who joined the anti Brexit demonstrators. He is quoted as saying that academics were concerned about breaking ties with European colleges and universities. Yet, these ties are political not cultural. Academics will be able to participate in joint research (if their skills are up to it). Who is Richard Lister who thinks he is still an adolescent student at heart and who thinks that he does not have enough influence as a member of the Ipswich Vision Group, Chair of the Greater Ipswich Partnership and a member of the New Anglia LEP Skills Board that he has to behave like a hooligan?
Brazenly, like Basildon Man, he parades his self interest. He is short on specifics but the University depends on Government grants and subsidies (i.e. tax payers’ monies). He knows on which side his bread is buttered. But do we need him to take time off from provosting about in order to behave like a student?
He reports to the Board of UCS. It is time they asked him what’s going on!
For more information please see:

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/boris_johnson_and_michael_gove_mobbed_in_ipswich_as_they_bring_brexit_campaign_to_suffolk_1_4566446 http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/hilary_benn_brings_remain_message_to_ipswich_1_4568799 http://www.eadt.co.uk/ea-life/do_politicians_visits_make_any_difference_to_the_way_we_vote_asks_paul_geater_1_4570745