Woodbridge – County news Jan 2021

Local Coronavirus Update   The rate of COVID infection increased in Suffolk over the Christmas break, leading to a new national lockdown on the 6th of January. As of the 24th January there have been a total of 24,503 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Suffolk, which is a third more than there were on 6th January.

However, on 6th January, COVID infections were 517 per 100,000 while now they are 334, which is below the national average..

Since the pandemic started, there have been 879 Suffolk deaths where there was COVID-19 on the death certificate, and 1054 deaths within 28 days of a COVID test in Suffolk.

In Woodbridge 41 People tested positive for COVID-19 in the week up to 19 January equivalent to 498.3 per hundred thousand resident population: this was down on the week before, but still is a high number (well above the UK average of 406 per hundred thousand). However the population numbers of a place like Woodbridge are so small that looking at infection in terms of numbers per 100,000 can be misleading.Over the same seven day period, East Suffolk reported 727 new infections, down by 332 from week before. This means that the rate of infection in East Suffolk as a district is 348 per 100,000 residents. As the figures are updated daily, it is worth checking them out on https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ where you can get figures by postcode.

t is clear we need to continue sending out the same hands, face, space message and ensure people realise it really applies to them personally.

Vaccination Strategy At a briefing on Suffolk’s Vaccination Strategy last week we were told that Suffolk had speeded up vaccinating after a relatively slow start: and had quadrupled COVID-19 vaccinations over the last week. The Pfizer vaccine had been used since early December, and the Oxford AstraZeneca from January.

This is the largest vaccination effort in history and is being rolled out as a partnership between councils, NHS organisations, voluntary and community organisations overseen by the CCG. Patients who have a mobile phone will receive a text and those who do not are being posted first-class letters.

However there is ongoing debate about the government’s decision to delay the second dose until 12 weeks after the first dose There is ongoing debate about the UK government’s decision to delay the second dose of vaccine until 12 weeks after the first dose, instead of following the recommended dosing interval of 21 days.

In our area delivery is by the Suffolk GP Federation, which is running the COVID-19 vaccination programme for 28 of the county’s 62 GP practices (This must not be confused with your actual GP surgery). Priority is as the national priority list:

1. Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers
2. 80-year-olds and over and frontline health and social care workers
3. 75-year-olds and over
4. 70-year-olds and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
5. 65-year-olds and over
6. 16- to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions
7. 60-year-olds and over
8. 55-year-olds and over
9. 50-year-olds and over

Critical deadlines: all Suffolk care home residents should have received their first vaccination by Sunday 24th January. We were assured that the first 4 cohorts should have received their first vaccination by 15th February.

The key message is: Don’t not contact your GP: you will be contacted, by text or by letter. The Federation is aware of anomalies – they were made aware of many in the briefing I attended – and is doing its best to fix them as soon as possible.

As a separate issue, I am contacting the CCG to see where exactly the Cinderellas of social care: the unpaid family carers sit within this.

As many clinically extremely vulnerable people live at home, supported solely by a family member, it would seem appropriate that they are always vaccinated in the same cohort and at the same time as the person they care for,
More information from https://sneevaccine.org.uk/

New Head of Adult and Community Services: Georgia Chimbani
Georgia was a social worker for 25 years, working in London boroughs, unitary authorities, and county councils. She has also worked in hospitals and with voluntary organisations. Her most recent role was director for local delivery in the south of Essex. Equality and diversity are very important values to her, and she believes in promoting individuality and self-determination. She wants to help service users become independent and live a good life, whatever that might mean to them.

Georgia will be devoting the first few weeks of her time to listening and learning, understanding the way things are done in Suffolk.

I have raised concerns that certain specifically older people are having to choose between being either unsupported or directed toward support they do not want, through a corporate mantra of ‘choice,” pointing out that often they are in situations not in any way of their own choosing. She has promised to look at individual cases I have three on hand, but if anyone has any egregious examples please contact and I can put them all in together.

A wild landscape: trees, reeds, reflected in a running streamLDGI Biodiversity strategy adopted
You will be very pleased to know that at Suffolk County Council unanimously passed a motion that will see Suffolk County Council developing a biodiversity strategy and embracing biodiverse land management practices. The motion was proposed by the LDGI Group and supported by all other groups. I was asked to second it but unfortunately was still convalescent. The motion will ensure:

• Delivery of a biodiversity strategy that will set out how we could increase Suffolk’s biodiversity, halt the loss of habitats and species, and reintroduce declining species in suitable locations.
• Assessment of how the council can lead organisations across the county in efforts to improve biodiversity.
• Adoption of biodiverse land management options on council land.
• A letter to the Secretary of State asking what further support can be made available to local authorities to enhance bio diversity within their areas.

The SCC Budget 2021-22 & Medium Term Financial Plan
SCC is currently preparing its budget for 2021-22, and my group will be contesting some proposals. The long-term Budget Gap ( the difference between forecast resources and expenditure) is looking gloomy, with a predicted constant overspend leading to a predicted cumulative budget gap of just under £160m by 2024-25.

Consultation on the Suffolk Climate Change Action Place  SCC is currently running a consultation on its proposed Streets Guide, which will assist with the design of new residential developments showing how best to create sustainable transport layouts that promote walking and cycling.

A new Street Guide has been commissioned to update guidance for residential streets. Comments on the draft guide are welcomed and there is a survey to complete. The consultation closes at 5pm on 10th February 2021.
Link: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/planning-waste-and-environment/planning-and-development-advice/suffolk-design-streets-guide/

Locality Budget  I think I have now spent my full locality budget, having provided 9 laptops for lower-income students. I say ‘think’ because there is a small amount that might be returned. If so I plan to spend it on benches or noticeboards for the community.

Neil Montgomery 1931 -2021

Neil Montgomery as volunteer guide showing the remains of a hanged man preserved in the sand at Sutton HooWoodbridge residents will be very sorry to hear that Woodbridge ex-Mayor and long time LibDem Town Councillor, Neil Montgomery, died at home in Woodbridge last week aged 89.

Some of my own fondest memories of early campaigning was going out with Neil on “his patch” – just him, me, and his very cheerful boxer, Finsbury.

Neil was extremely community-minded right to the end of his life,and concerned about the needs of others.  His need to help ran through his many interests, from local rugby to sailing, to establishing local amenities, to the Woodbridge Society. An ardent internationalist, he was concerned to the last as to the local impact of leaving Europe.

Additionally, in his later years, he was also a volunteer guide at Sutton Hoo (see picture).

As well as being devoted to the the ancient heritage of Woodbridge, Neil kick-started some of the new.  Although many people do not know it, he was the originator of the plan for the popular Woodbridge skatepark – still much used today (lockdown permitting).

He will be greatly missed.

We extend all our sympathy to his wife, Jane

Woodbridge: Covid Vaccine Update

 Coronavirus vaccinations should be starting in  bulk in Woodbridge from this coming Monday, 11 January. They will be delivered 8am-8pm Mon – Sun over the next months, supplies permitting, to  residents in order of priority

It will be the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine

𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 call your surgery to ask when you are due: they 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 contact you.

The priority will be:

1 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑒 ℎ𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑜𝑙𝑑𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑑𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑟 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑟𝑠
2 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 80 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑡ℎ 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘𝑒𝑟𝑠
3 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 75 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟
4 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 70 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑐𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑣𝑢𝑙𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑠
5 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 65 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟
6 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑠 𝑎𝑔𝑒𝑑 16 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑡𝑜 64 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑙𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑡ℎ 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑘 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦
7 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 60 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟
8 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 55 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟
9 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 50 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟

 It will, apparently, save a lot of time if you have your NHS number with you when you attend. (Don’t ring your surgery to ask: it should be on any NHS letter or prescription you have)

Want to find out what is the up-to-date Covid situation in Woodbridge, (or any other parish)? Go to the  Government dashboard at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/?_ga=2.74176852.759950160.1610067471-1718285161.1597297882

and put your postcode in the relevant box!