I’m raising money for the NSE – Please sponsor me!

I’m raising money for the National Society for Epilepsy – a boringly-named charity that does an unbelievable amount of good!

Did you know that:
* One in 20 people will have a one-off epileptic seizure at some point in their life (although this does not necessarily mean that they have epilepsy).
* One in 50 people will have epilepsy at some time in their life (not everyone with epilepsy will have it for life).
* Around 75 people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day.
* There are around 456,000 people in the UK who have epilepsy. That’s about one in every 131 people. There are around 50 million people with epilepsy in the world.
* Only about 3-5% of people with epilepsy will be affected by flashing lights (called photosensitive epilepsy)
* You don’t know how many people with epilepsy you know: Over 70% of people with epilepsy are completely seizure-free via drugs.

For the last few weeks i have been cycling and taking the train to Bucks where my daughter is in hospital. In ten years the medical profession have yet to manage to stabilise her horrible epilepsy – but if anywhere can, it is this place!

On 5 September I – together with my cousin and my young son – am cycling the whole way from Woodbridge to Chalfont St Giles (106-120 miles depending on route) to raise money for the charity behind the healthcare. Please sponsor us: http://www.justgiving.com/Paul-and-Caroline-go-visiting

Woodbridge Town Council report July 2010

I must apologise for my delay in posting this – I got married the following week and clearly forgot to put it up online!

Closure of Embankment footpath

The Environment Agency has closed  the  footpath along the embankment from Woodbridge to Kyson point until October  (– I have asked them to ensure it is reopened briefly for the Regatta weekend) . There will be an alternative footpath route opened for the summer.When I asked the Environment Agency their spokesman explained:

” the Kyson embankment has been suffering from erosion by the tides (as all sea walls do). Recently the original revetment, which consisted of loose concrete and rubble blocks has given way, exposing the clay of the embankment and allowing the erosion process to speed up. To repair the embankment, we will be replacing the clay which has been eroded from the front of the bank and covering this clay with a new revetment, made of open stone asphalt. This material is extremely resilient, reducing our future maintenance costs, and helps to break the wave action, rather than reflect the wave energy, which helps to maintain the level of the salt marshes. The material will soon vegetate and in time become completely hidden from view. We will, in the time available, be addressing the worst areas of erosion this year and will then, subject to funding, return next year to continue the work.”

Locality Budget funding

At the Suffolk Coastal County Councillor Locality meeting county councillors  were given the notion that our budgets might be under threat – perhaps even for the current year. I currently have about five  to six  thousand left  to spend and would like it to go on things that will have some lasting concrete benefit to the town, just in case there is little forthcoming next year. I would also like to allocate this money fairly swiftly to prevent any possible chance of claw-back so welcome all ideas. Recent proposals have included a bench for Kingston Field,  and a litter bin to prevent litter problems at Mill View Close and assistance for the Art Club. Among my thoughts is whether a glassed in notice board advertising the courses and classes available at the Fred Reynolds centre would be useful for the community. I would be grateful for any ideas.

Roads etc

As you see patching work is being undertaken up and down the county at the moment – I was impressed with the speed and efficiency with the road surface was replaced on the Ipswich Road near Notcutts last night. Speaking as a cyclist, it was quite dangerous to go downhill there because the surface was so rough.

As you know there have long been concerns about speeding along Ipswich Road, particularly in relation to those walking and cycling to Kyson and Farlingaye schools. It is particularly crucial at the top of California where many students cross.  I had reserved £12,000 from Quality of Life money to build an island in the road which is being planned at the moment. Now the Highways department at Suffolk County Councilare working with FHS students to design of this island, so as to see the project through! This ought to mean it is designed to be fit for purpose. I enclose a copy of the design that has been agreed on. Proposals to calm Sandy Lane are currently with the director  in overall charge of roads in Suffolk.

After consultation twith the Mayor and the Town Clerk I have also written to her  wondering if she would be prepared to trial the recent proposal by ministers of a 20mph speed limit on urban roads in Woodbridge..

The reduction from 30mph would apply to all town centre and residential. It would be reinforced by signs rather than extra speed cameras and humps.

The new 20mph limit  can be introduced under existing laws and has been tested in Portsmouth, Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne and Hull. York, Norwich and eight London boroughs, including Islington, have announced plans to follow suit.


I reminded her that  Town and  District Councillors  (and me as County Councillor ) are all concerned about the need for calming on all fronts of the town. Within the last month I have been fielding complaints about the speed of traffic in the 30mph areas of Ipswich Road, Sandy Lane, Hasketon Road, Bredfield/Pyches Road and the Birkitt Road – that is, five of the six roads entering Woodbridge. Although the sixth (Melton Road) is on my colleague Cllr Michael Bond’s territory, I have had complaints about the need for calming recently from Melton residents whose children travel to Farlingaye.   My QoL money this year is destined for project to calm three of these problem places.  I think  it would be appropriate to offer the £7000 set to one side for Sandy Lane and the led sign in Ipswich Road towards 20mph signs  if she were to agree. All views welcome

I will let you know whether this will bear any fruit.

Olympians to train in Suffolk

Lowestoft has been selected by both Great Britain and Canada as the training base for their Gymnastic teams who will  be using  the Waveney Gymnastics Centre.  Suffolk has been actively seeking out teams to use the facilities in the county.  A total of ten sites were selected by the London 2012 committee to hold training facilities for the athletes, the bulk of which are in or near Ipswich    http://www.visit-suffolk.org.uk/suffolktrainingcamps/facilities.cfm . I don’t know if this will result in any improvement in transport provision locally but I hope it might.

Retaining the postie on a bike..

As we all know – most of our post in  Woodbridge is delivered by a dedicated band of bicyclists.  And very nice it is for us, too. I’ve just written to Ms Moya Green – new head of Royal Mail, begging her to  retain these postal deliveries – which had been threatened under her predecessor (need I  say that the dread excuse words ‘health and safety’ were mentioned..)

(You could do so too if you wanted by following this link)

Dear Ms Greene

Please preserve the postie on a bicycle!

Welcome to Royal Mail. I wish you the best of luck in your new role, and I urge you to begin your tenure at the head of Royal Mail by reversing your predecessor’s disastrous policies regarding bicycles.

I am the County Councillor for Woodbridge, in Suffolk and have made it my personal mission to cycle everywhere on council business, come rain, come shine, and come whatever I need to carry. (Much like a postie in fact.) This is no hardship for either of us. Cycling is a wonderfully cost-effective, healthy, fast and carbon-neutral way for post to be delivered and my district the bulk of our post is delivered this way. Taliking to my local postman the other day, he told me that the cycling had actually drawn him to the job.

Indeed, cycles have been used to deliver post in the UK for over a century. During this time, the postie on a bicycle has become a much treasured national institution, particularly as our compact, congested towns and cities do not always lend themselves readily to motor vehicle access.

Therefore, it is with great shock and sadness that I have read recent reports suggesting that under your predecessor, Royal Mail planned to phase out the vast majority of their delivery bikes within the next few years, replacing them with electric trolleys despatched from vans. This plan goes against government policies about the environment, transport and road safety. It also goes against Royal Mail’s own corporate social responsibility policies that call for increasing the health of the workforce and reducing transport-related carbon emissions. It does not reflect the wishes of the public or show respect for a national institution.

I am joining CTC – as the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation – in calling on you to reverse this ban. In the future, the positive effects of this form of post delivery will contribute to reducing congestion, air pollution, carbon emissions and inactivity related illness, while promoting safer roads through the Safety in Number effect, which has found that the more cyclists there are on the roads the safer it is for everyone.

I urge you to reverse your predecessor’s decision to scrap most post delivery by bicycle. Instead, please explore the options for using cargo bicycles and tricycles to carry more post in a more effective and more environmentally friendly way.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Caroline Page

County Councillor for Woodbridge