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March Report from Cllr Penny Otton

28 March 2018

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Obviously the big storey has been the BEAST FROM THE EAST!!. I,m sure there have been numerous problems with the snow and road closures. There will be a back log for any works that had been scheduled. I met with mark Stevens to get a face to face discussion on the highways contract and also the survey re; communities taking on highways small work. He said this will be looked at a feed back to me in July but I,m sure nothing will happen until the end of the year as they are worried about any litigation if there are accidents.

Concerns raised over accountability and transparency of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Board

The Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Board (SPSLB) is made up of council leaders and chief executives from across Suffolk, as well as the PCC, chief fire officer and representatives from Suffolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups. The SPSLB controls a large pot of money, made up of £7.447m from the Suffolk business rates pool and £3.23m of central government funding received as part of the Transformation Challenge Award.


Next phase of “Raising the Bar” strategy announced

The Cabinet has approved the Raising the Bar 2018-20 strategy. This is the third phase of the programme, which began in 2012 and is focused on improving educational standards throughout Suffolk. The new strategy will focus on three priorities:
1. Exceptional leadership and governance across the education sector
2. Excellence in teaching and learning, driven by system led improvement and innovation
3. The best opportunities for every child and young person

The strategy includes the not very ambitious goal to place the education system in Suffolk among the top 25% nationally. However as I said, if the transport proposal go through will this NOT lower the bar!!


this has now ended. I have sent the clerk my group, s official response.
MOTION TO HOLD A FULL COUNCIL MEETING TO DISCUSS THE PROPOSAL; This was debated last Thursday 22nd march but was voted down. 12 children from Thurston Community college put brilliant questions to the cabinet member. ( if you are interested you can watch the webcast debate where I was challenged by the council leader!!)

Suffolk to set up an outcomes-based contract to support adolescents on the edge of care

Suffolk’s Cabinet has agreed to set up a new outcomes-based contract, to provide intensive therapeutic support for adolescents at the edge of care via a private service provider.
The contract will be funded by a Social Impact Bond: this means that private investors will provide the start-up capital and running costs for the service, and will receive a return on investment if the service is successful at keeping children out of care
I am concerned about the use of a payment by results contract when vulnerable children are involved, given the risk of putting profit ahead of the wellbeing of these children.

New drone technology for managing blue light service incidents

On 15 February, it was announced that emergency services across Suffolk would have access to two Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircrafts. The technology, commonly referred to as drones, has been developed and funded by Suffolk Resilience Forum for use across the county.

As part of a multi-agency Air Support Unit, the drones will be used by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue and Norfolk & Suffolk 4x4 Response. The drones will provide a range of aerial surveillance options to support these emergency services and voluntary organisations.


I have agreed to help fund RATTUTUDE.


I,ve asked the chief fire officer if the manned fire stations in Bury and Ipswich could be used as emergency shelters when the temperature drops below zero. He has agreed to look into this. This is done in other counties.



New consultation on boundary review taking place.


A Public meeting will take place in Needham Market looking at the proposals for the former HQ in the town, this includes housing and a new retail store.

MSDC LOCALITY BUDGET; this will continue again for another year. All unspent from the past year has been given to CRUCIAL CREW the fire service work with children to show how to avoid fires etc.


the results indicate a small in favour, but as have been said the questions were “leading” so I,m not surprised.