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March Report from Cllr Penny Otton

30 March 2016

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FIRE SERVICE; as a result of the proposed reduction in fire engines in Bury Ipswich and Lowestoft we put a motion to council to have these put on hold. This was debated for over 2 hours ; when put to the vote it was lost by 35 to 36

COMMUNITY BUS SERVICE; as a result of a petition to the council to reverse the 50% cut to the community transport this too was debated but again lost by 31 to 36

HGVs; at that meeting I got a question to the cabinet member asking him whether Suffolk will be doing a review of HGV routes. As we know this is causing some real concern.

SCHOOLS ADMISSIONS; the applications for school admission for coming year is now closed.. Across the county 97.7% received an offer on 1 of 3 of their preferred schools.

The council agreed at cabinet to not give preference to school staff ( this is all staff not just teachers)

FOSTER CARERS; there is to be another campaign to get more foster carers in Suffolk.

NEW CHARGES AT RE-CYCLING CENTRES; there will now be charges for some building materials which is causing some concerns that it will contribute to more fly tipping.

PAVEMENT BOTTOM OF RISING SUN HILL; as this is now very rough I have asked highways to do a repair

DEVOLUTION PROPOSALS; following the chancellors annoucment this is going full steam! However there is already a vote against by Cambrisge county council. I have grave concern at the idea of a directly elected Mayor who will have so much power with little democratic accountability. All council have to vote on the plan by June followed by some sort of consultation then back to the councils around September with elections for the Mayor in May 2017

LOCALITY FUND; I have agreed to support a project by the Theatre Royal which will be at the primary school

MID SUFFOLK; it was agreed to increase council tax by 1.9%, I put an amendment to use £80,000 of the £6.3 million transformation fund to compensate for the £100,000 reduction by SCC in community transport and to use the government transition grant of £39,000 to reverse the proposal to increase the charges for brown bins and bulky waste collection which I think is a retrograde step, especially as some councils are continuing to provide a free brown bin service.

GLIDING CLUB; at the meeting on 1st March it was agreed to allow the fire work filming on condidition that the organisation delivers info leaflets to all near residents. So far there have been no complaints. There has been a couple of incidents where they have lost the tow rope but has not caused a problem, however we have asked that this must be sorted as could result in a accident. They are planning an open day on 18th June.

COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE; I was so pleased to be able to be at the 20th anniversary of the opening; a credit to all concerned