Take Care on the Road

Men at WorkTravelers who use the Station Road/Pond Hall Road/Duke Street route from Hadleigh to Hintlesham (& beyond) will be aware that at the junction of Pond Hall Road and Clay Lane there is a set of temporary traffic lights with no apparent connected road work visible.
Despite appearances this small, tricky and windy stretch of road has not been forgotten. Part of the road slipped/was washed out in the late summer.
It does not look much from the road but there is a considerable drop to the adjacent land and ditch which runs under the road via a culvert.
Corrective road repair is tentatively scheduled for the end of this month. A permanent repair is required to ensure that the road failure does not happen again. This will not be a shoddy temporary fix – instead it requires detailed design, thorough calculation and full adherence to the standard health and safety aspects of construction to ensure that the workforce is safe at all times.
Let’s hope that nothing untoward gets in the way of a speedy resolution of the problems.

Hadleigh Year of the Sheep

Sheep Gambolling 2015Readers of my blog, will be aware that as a County Councillor I have a Locality Budget of ₤12,000 a year to disburse as I see fit on worthy projects and activities in my area. So far just under ₤36,000 has been disbursed ranging from helping Scouts and Guides to attend their world jamboree in Japan to funding Hadleigh’s Loyalty Cards. So my interest was tweaked when I was asked to see what I could do for Hadleigh’s Year of the Sheep (since Hadleigh was a wool/woolen town). I was happy to allocate ₤1,500 to assist in the costs involved in establishing, promoting and underwriting the activities of the Year of the Sheep, which aimed to put Hadleigh on the map as a busy, historic and vibrant wool town. The programme of activities and events aimed to~
attract visitors
promote business
engage the community.
This was a community engagement opportunity to get Hadleigh people to celebrate the town and its heritage, enable local charities and town groups to raise funds/awareness for their work and help businesses develop and attract different customers. The year concluded at the end of September and by all accounts was judged as a very successful community event.
There are a number of legacies from the year, but one I particularly like is the provision of new equipment for one of the public playgrounds in Hadleigh. (My budget also funded some the new equipment). But I just love the sheep which will serve as reminder for a good number of years that Hadleigh was and can be leader in economic adjustment and development.

Hadleigh Library Unfettered

SteacieLibrary7A good example of unleashed creativity is the Suffolk Library Service and Hadleigh Library in particular. Ever since the library service was hived off and mutualised they have got used to the idea that they can influence their own future and turn their operation from a cash starved Cinderella service into a highly valued and widely used community asset. Now being able to focus on their customers and stakeholders, the Hadleigh Library has consulted the community on their needs and wants. The outcome is friendlier hours and a broader spectrum of activities.
The staff and Friends of Hadleigh Library are to be congratulated on their initiative and it’s great to see a community service being proactive in identifying needs and responding to those needs. Here I must declare my interests. From 2007 to 2015 I held my monthly constituent surgeries in the Library. I have also allocated funds from my County Councillor’s Locality Budget to fund contributions to:

  • upgrading the Seminar Room,
  • sponsoring book tokens for the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge and
  • helping to purchase a sofa – thus enhancing a less formal area for parent/child interaction.

It’s incredibly satisfying to see what happens when people are free from the “dead hand of government” and more power to their elbow!

 

Cock Up, Conspiracy or just Business as Usual?

EaCoxs Park 120915 rlier this month the enquiry into the status of Cox’s Park in Hadleigh was adjourned on its first day after additional evidence was submitted by Babergh District Council. Babergh wishes to build housing on the parkland and since 2013 residents have been trying to have the park designated as a town green.
The inspector quite rightly adjourned the enquiry for four weeks to allow the residents to inspect the 60 pages of new evidence presented by Babergh and this evening (Thursday 25th) there is a meeting of Hadleigh Town Council to review the situation. The meeting is open to the public.
This is all very well, but what were Babergh thinking of dumping over 60 pages of evidence on the enquiry on its first day. Did they think they could disrupt the decision process by denying the residents the chance to review the evidence? Did they think that such a manoeuvre would work in their favour?
No explanation has been made as to why this stratagem was adopted by Babergh. The quotation from Babergh’s Strategic Director (People) merely refers to their awareness “of the strength of local feeling for East House and the surrounding land.” This of course begs the question why did they use this tactic. Was it deliberate? Was it happenstance? Or is it an example of what they usually do –  blunder onwards? Is this Tesco all over again – blindly going forward when the evidence indicates that the well being of the town and the wishes of the people demand otherwise?

Hadleigh Town Council

My very Whiting Rgood friend Richard Whiting has been elected Mayor of Hadleigh for the next year. He is a very experienced Councillor and will bring an appropriate level of gravitas to the job. One of his tasks will be to represent the town at social functions. Judging by the experience of his predecessors he will be invited to over fifty such occasions and will thus become an expert on canapés and outside caterers!
Richard ran on a Lib-Dem ticket and I suspect that he will be the last Lib-Dem Mayor for a considerable time.
Hadleigh Town Council meets monthly and one of my functions is to give a report on my activities and matters affecting the town. As I am no longer a District Councillor I expect my reports to be shorter than heretofore and my report for May is attached. Please see HTC Report 150517

Small Success – Threadneedle Street

I’m grateful to be able to report a small success and an election issue resolved.
Since early 2012 I have been working on upgrading a footpath in Threadneedle Street at the back of the Eight Bells public house. The footpath got missed in the planning process for the houses at the back of the pub. For the last few days the street has been closed off and this morning when I called, the path had been cleaned up and was ready for a proper coating of asphalt or whatever passes as a suitable covering.
What is important is that children and adults on their way to school will have a cleaner and safer path. The job is well under way and it shows what local politicians can do!

Threadneedle Street May 2013
Threadneedle Street May 2013
Threadneedle Street December 2014
Threadneedle Street December 2014

Brett River Children’s Centre

Brett River Children's CentreEarlier this month my neighbour Jane Basham catalogued the activities and services available at the Children’s Centre. The list is very impressive as follows:
Access To Suffolk Library Services;
Autism Suffolk Parent Group;
Birth And Beyond;
Breast Feeding Workshops;
Career Advice And Support Service;
Child Health Clinic And Sensory Babies;
Child Health Clinic;
From Floor To Four;
Inbetweenies;
Infant Massage;
Made Of Money;
Making & Creating;
Marking;
Mini Maulers;
Parentcraft;
Place To Raise Child Protection Concerns
Rise & Shine;
Sing & Sign;
Snap Drop In Service (Housing Related Support);
Swap Shop (For Clothes);
Targeted Family Support Practitioners,;
Targeted Financial Support;
Time For Me;
Time With My Dad;
Walkers & Talkers;
Weaning Group;
And then she tells us that “it all FREE”.
Except that it isn’t. It doesn’t fall like rain from the skies. It must be paid for and if we wish to continue the services then the taxpayer has to put their hands in their pockets. The County’s consultation is about reviewing the way we provide services to the people who need them in the most effective manner possible. It is also about ensuring that residents get the best value possible.
The more responses the County receives to its consultation, the better informed they will be.