What’s been happening – Woodbridge, Suffolk: Sept 2022

For information on local support during the Cost-of-Living Crisis, visit: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/community-and-safety/communities/healthier/cost-of-living-support/

Latest SCC COVID information is available here: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/
For information on supporting Ukrainian refugees in Suffolk, email: refugeesupport@suffolk.gov.uk or ukrainesupport@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk

This report contains material that was intended to update councillors and the public at the beginning of September. The necessary delay caused by the recent period of mourning makes some information rather belated, for which I apologize.

County Mourning for the Death of HM Elizabeth II; Proclamation of the Accession of HM Charles II.  The news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death meant that all Councils undertook an official period of mourning, meaning many meetings were cancelled.

The Accession of Charles III was first proclaimed in Whitehall, then cascaded down to the capitals of the other UK countries, then to the county towns and then to market towns.

Déclaration of the Accession in Ipswich

I attended the Proclamation of the Accession in Ipswich, and then the separate one that was cascaded down to Woodbridge along with another 22 market towns

Update on Ukrainian Refugees in Suffolk
Suffolk County Council has provided an update of the number of Ukrainian refugees are currently in Suffolk and awaiting to be granted status to our county.

Declaration of the Rights of the Deben
This very successful event, attended by hundreds, was staged at midday on 24 September during the Woodbridge Ambient Music Festival weekend and surrounded by an Environmental Market. Rowers, paddleboarders, swimmers, together with the Sae Wylfing, took the Declaration by water in a relay from the sea at Felixstowe to be received at last by the Mayor from a dripping wet Sea Scout. I read the Preamble from Sae Wulfing and eminent rights barrister Paul Powlesland read the Rights themselves and then talked about how they could be made reality.

Ruth Leach talks about the benefits to Deben water purity of applying for designated bathing status

Ruth Leach enthused us about how defining a portion of the Deben as a designated bathing area would create a legal requirement  for regular water testing . This event, together with Cllr O’Nolan’s longstanding Citizen Scientist watersampling project shows that Woodbridge is serious about cleaning up our river.

Solar Together Suffolk In September, Solar Together – a project endorsed by SCC for residents and small/medium businesses to group-buy solar panels and battery storage was asking for registration (which closed on 26th September).
For more information, please visit: https://solartogether.co.uk/suffolk/home

EV Charging – Expression of Interests! SCC have been successful in a bid for funding towards new.
EV charging infrastructure. The £2.75m funding will focus on community-owned carparks, where charging can be accessed 24/7.
Anyone wishing to express interest and make the Council aware should contact Peter Frost, Environment Strategy Officer – peter.frost2@suffolk.gov.uk

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Activity over this summer As days get chilly it is important to recognise the stellar work of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service during the past summer heatwave when there was such an increased demand on their services.
Crews were called to more than 1,300 incidents since the beginning of July, making it one of the busiest years on record for the service.
I am sure all councillors will wish to extend thanks to all involved.

Please Note: Petition for in-house Suffolk Highways maintenance contract still needs signatures!  The Opposition Group’s petition continues, demanding that SCC produces an in-house bid for the new Suffolk Highways contract. The contract, which will have been held by Kier for 10 years, is up for renewal next year.
Since Kier’s arrival, Suffolk has seen astronomical prices for the maintenance of Suffolk’s highways. Some of these prices include £5,000 for a pair of dropped kerbs, £7,500 to cut down a single tree, and £10,000 to design (not build) four humps in a road.
The Suffolk GLI Opposition believes an in-house bid from SCC to take back control of Suffolk Highways needs to be on the table – not dismissed out of hand . This bid would provide an essential benchmark for any competitive bid coming from external companies, making sure Suffolk taxpayers’ money is not exploited.
We need 3,675 signatures to bring this to debate at the Council. Please sign here (ensure you make you name public, or it won’t count!): https://www.petitions.net/for_suffolk_county_council_to_develop_an_in-house_bid_for_suffolk_highways_maintenance

County Councillor: Personal  Having spent the last couple of  months having exhaustive medical investigations, I have been diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and have now embarked on a course of chemo-radiotherapy which will hopefully see it off, or keep it under control .

In the meantime I will not be attending most – if not all – Council meetings (with the possible exception of essential outdoor events) until I am well enough and it is considered safe enough for me to do so.

I will however endeavour to provide my monthly report, and work on essential schemes in which I am very invested (I snuck in the Declaration of the Rights of the Deben by a hairsbreadth before my treatment started).

I will not be monitoring my County (or Town) email or phone calls which have an automatic bounce back message to this effect. However our Group Researcher is triaging my County inbox for emergencies.

I do apologise and I hope normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

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