For information on local support during the Cost-of-Living Crisis, visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/CostOfLiving
Latest SCC COVID information is available here: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/
Elected Mayor For Suffolk Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement announced a devolution deal which will bring an elected Mayor to lead Suffolk.
However there are potential issues with the new mayoral role. As a Mayor can be elected from outside the majority party and has the power to select a Cabinet which is also outside of the majority – this could create a gridlocked political system, although it also has the potential for creating a more open and representative system than we currently have in Suffolk.
Deben Designated Bathing Status Applied for At the beginning of November, Ruth Leach and I sent off the applications for designated bathing water status for the River Deben at Woodbridge and Waldringfield.
This followed months of planning and 60 days of concentrated effort by the Save The Deben campaign group to lobby support, consult with the public, local businesses and to count the bathers down in the river.
The numbers of recreational river users were robust, and a total of 1158 people participated in the consultation.
The national excuse given for not testing river water quality is that waterways are not designated bathing areas. Yet currently there are only 2 inland “designated bathing water areas” in the whole of Britain – and one of these in the Thames) is in danger is in danger of having its status withdrawn .
The applications, one for Waldringfield and one for Woodbridge, will be considered by Defra and Save the Deben expects to hear from them early next year.
If successful the Environment Agency will be directed to test the water quality at the swim points and the results will be shared publicly, ensuring that the river water would in future have to be tested regularly and stringently.
Avian influenza ban DEFRA has announced that with effect from Monday, 7th November there will be a housing order in England; this means anyone keeping domestic poultry in England will need to ensure they are fully protected from wild birds from this date. Remember your birds can still have access outside to the fresh air, but will need either netting or clear plastic sheeting to protect them from wild bird droppings. Full details from DEFRA below
Food parcels and warm rooms: my Locality Budget With all the problems that the cost of living emergency and horrifying rise in heating costs will cause the most vulnerable over the next few months, I have decided to divide the remainder of my 2022-23 Locality Budget between two grants, one for food parcels and food banks, and the other for warm rooms.
Cost of Living Budget Survey – SCC needs your Input Suffolk is running a survey amongst local residents, asking for their thoughts on the upcoming 2023/24 budget. A summary of responses will be considered when deciding how to spend our money. With inflationary pressures, our Group expects government to seek spending cuts – meaning public services could be cut and council. Reserves may have to be used.
A link to the online survey is here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/7BQY0J/
Please share your thoughts on how the Council should spend their money, as well as highlight vulnerabilities you see in your communities that need further addressing.
SCC’s Launch of ‘Winter Matters’ Campaign SCC have launched their Winter Matters campaign, which aims to help ease the pressures of winter for Suffolk residents. This is a signposting campaign that centres around five key themes: Finances, Safety, Environment, Health and Wellbeing, and Highways.
For more information and advice on how SCC can support you during winter, visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/wintermatters
SCC’s Cost of Living leaflet has been updated to shows all the help Suffolk offers with finances and household expenses, as well as how to stay warm this winter: https://suffolk.pagetiger.com/cost-of-living-support/scc1
No AntiGrowth Coalition At the last County Council, the Opposition GLI group submitted a motion calling for Suffolk County Council to reject the idea of an “Anti-Growth Coalition”. The term, coined by former PM Liz Truss, suggests anyone who criticised the government’s economic policy was part of a coordinated group dedicated against growing our economy.
The Suffolk Opposition wanted Suffolk County Council to distance itself from this term and acknowledge the importance of different opinions – including the view that the term “growth” should consider social responsibilities, community voices, sound financial policy, and environmental limits – which the opposition did not believe the government considered within the term .
The administration voted against our motion. However the opposition still feels it is important that our local authorities reject untruthful and divisive claims (although now made by a past Prime Minister.)
October Cabinet: SEND, Sizewell and Green Travel The Cabinet met for the first time since the summer political recess. The Cabinet agreed to spend £2m on new care provision for Children and Young People in Felixstowe. In addition, SEND services received £10m to provide more specialist units in Suffolk. My Group is hugely supportive, as we want to remove the pattern of families travelling cross-county for support.
The Suffolk Local Access Forum submitted their annual report, which included their concerns about Sizewell C and its effect on green networks and Rights of Way. As you know, I and my group have strongly campaigned in support of the Forum’s position, and we will continue to voice concerns over the damning effects of nuclear power on our coastal landscape and biodiversity.
In addition, the Cabinet endorsed Transport East’s new 2050 strategy, which focusses more on green travel and linking rural communities to local economies. My Group recognises the importance of connecting isolated residents for both profession and pleasure, and we will ensure SCC adopts all priorities into its own policy.