bringing the community together
Following complaints from residents about nuisances caused by lorries accessing the Buffer Depot, the Parish Council spoke directly to the company which manages the Depot. They were genuinely concerned about what they had been told as they did not want to upset the local community, and consequently they would be writing to suppliers and transport companies which use the Depot to highlight the concerns that had been raised and asking them to be more considerate. This is encouraging, but clearly the situation will need to be monitored.
BOUNDARY REVIEW OF CONSTITUENCY; I have passed to clerk for the second consultation which ends 27th march. This is where they are proposing putting us into south Suffolk. I have asked the district council to debate this but the rules state that councils will not get involved!!
Police are reminding residents to be cautious when dealing with cold callers after an incident in Cockfield near Bury St Edmunds.
SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL BUDGET; this was agreed on 17th Feb. there was an amendment to put back the cut to the library service, to children’s centres, highways maintenance, concessionary fare support and, hedge and verge cutting and post 16 travel which I was happy to support. After a long and bad tempered debate this was defeated and the original budget agreed by a majority. This includes the 3% rise for social care.
Residents of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils will have improved community based locations for customer access points as both authorities continue to deliver their programme of better services for residents.
LIBRARY FUNDING; the council is proposing a further cut of £200.000 to financial support for libraries. I am sorry to hear this as community groups have done excellent work in trying to keep our libraries open. I am worried that this could impact on the mobile library service. At a meeting with Richard Fawcett and Alison Wheeler head of Suffolk Libraries she said the cut would mean a reduction in the book stock and staff but was hoping to do all she can to keep the mobile service.
Budget proposals for the 2017/18 financial year will be considered when Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet meets on Tuesday 24 January. The Cabinet will discuss plans to freeze Council Tax for the seventh successive year, honouring the commitment made before the last County Council election in 2013.
Police are renewing appeals to trace the small number of people seen on CCTV on the morning of Corrie McKeague’s disappearance who have not yet been identified.
HIGHWAYS; the cabinet and leader of the council have agreed to extend the highways contract with Keir for an extra 5 years. At the meeting Cllr Finch cabinet member for highways was questioned in depth on this and what the advantages were.
I have included the final recommendation;
(a) that the Director of Resource Management, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Heritage, shall (on an annual basis) thereby determine any time deductions that should be made from the overall contract period (and notify Kier accordingly) until such time as two years remain of the contract, at which point it shall naturally expire.