Suffolk Coastal Councillors Report for September 2016

Report from Cllrs TJ Haworth-Culf & M Jones.

The summer break was once again been a busy period for the Council, with some important projects in the pipeline which are to be discussed at Cabinet.

Cabinet – Tuesday 6 September

New conservation area: A paper was discussed at Cabinet to look at the proposals which set out that part of Bromeswell is designated as a conservation area.

Part of Bromeswell has been identified by officers as worthy of designation as a conservation area by virtue of its special architectural and historic interest.

The consultation in August 2015, asked people to have their say on the appraisals to help conserve six areas within Suffolk Coastal which included Pettistree, Saxmundham, Shottisham, Tuddenham, Ufford and Wickham Market.

Designation of this area will help protect and enhance an attractive example of the historic core of a dispersed heathland village of traditional character.

Health and wellbeing funding: New funding to support the new ‘Community Call to Action’ has been made available to Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils by Public Health and Protection at Suffolk County Council.

The total funding available through this commissioning round will be £125,000 across Suffolk Coastal and Waveney districts.

A new Health and Wellbeing Community Call to Action Programme will be set-up to commission community groups and voluntary sector organisations to deliver new activity around health and wellbeing. Groups will be invited to bid against a budget of £62,500 for Suffolk Coastal.

The funding will support innovative, pilot projects that enable voluntary sector organisations and/or community groups to try something new to improve the health and wellbeing of their local population.

Leiston Place based Project: You may have read this in the EADT. A detailed paper was set out the proposals for the development of a partnership structure to support Leiston in developing and delivering its locally identified priorities.

These priorities were identified as part of the 2015 Our Place review and focus on town centre regeneration, health & wellbeing and young adults.

The ‘place based’ approach has shown to be effective, in different forms, in Lowestoft, Saxmundham, Wickham Market and Felixstowe.

Following the Cabinet decision, the initial task of the partnership will be to develop a new governance structure for the new partnership and agree collectively what this should be called.

Food and Safety Service Plan: The Council has produced a Food and Safety Service Plan as prescribed by the Food Standards Agency to look at the Council’s performance and identify any areas for improvement.

The plan details successes by the Council’s Food Safety team in the last five years, for example how in the five years that the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been operating in Suffolk Coastal, we have seen an increase of 79% in the number of premises achieving the highest rating of 5, very good. It also demonstrates the success of the campaign Eat Out Eat Well which encourages businesses to offer foods in low fat, salt and sugar and have healthier food more widely available.

East Suffolk Performance Report: Both Councils have undertaken a quarterly performance report from 1 April to 30 June this year which provides an overview of the Council’s progress of our East Suffolk Business Plan.

Overall we are pleased to see that both Councils are continuing to make significant and positive progress in delivering our objectives. Key achievements include; increasing the number of businesses we support through Economic Services (34), beating our target for the number of major (70%) and minor planning applications (66.39%) and seeing a reduction in the amount of time it takes our Customer Services to process payments (down from 12 days to 7.7) and amount of complaints we receive (24).

The report contains information provided by all individual services and key strategic partner organisations for example Places for People who have seen an increase in the number of people participating in sport (174,561 for target of 168,393) and Suffolk Coastal Norse who have noticed an increased in the amount of waste we send to be reused, recycled or composted (61.53% for target of 60.63).

Local plan: Public hearing sessions are currently taking place regarding Suffolk Coastal’s local plan.

Pulic hearing sessions were staged by the Planning Inspectorate to discuss the two submitted site allocations documents for independent examination:

• Site Allocations and Area Specific Policies Development Plan Document

• Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan Development Plan Document

The Planning Inspectorate appointed Elizabeth Hill BSc (HONS) BPHIL MRTPI to conduct the Examination to determine whether the two documents are sound. If found sound the documents will guide the future development and growth across the district up to 2027.

Further information about the Examination process, will be added to the Council’s website as the process continues – www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/planning/local-plans/suffolk-coastal-district-local-plan/area-action-plan-for-the-felixstowe-peninsula/joint-examination/

Accommodation project: Work is on schedule for staff to move into new Suffolk Coastal Offices at East Suffolk House in Melton, this autumn.

We have now taken possession of the building and have started the installation process to ensure the office is fitted out to our requirements.

The plan is for staff to move into the new offices over three consecutive weekends and to be fully moved in by mid November.

We are also in the process of decommissioning Melton Hill which will involve offering office furniture to local community groups, charities and Town and Parish Councils. Please look out for further details as we will be contacting groups shortly.

Devolution: The consultation period on devolution has now ended. Local people, businesses and organisations were asked for their views on the Scheme of Governance which proposed that two deals (Norfolk/Suffolk and Cambridgeshire/Peterborough) are made.

Responses from this will now be sent to the Secretary of State who looks at these, alongside the Governance Review and the draft Scheme of Governance. They will then decide whether a Mayoral Combined Authority for Norfolk and Suffolk should be set up. For more information, visit:

www.eastangliadevo.co.uk/consultation

Businesses in east Suffolk rewarded for good hygiene: 22 businesses in Suffolk Coastal were given a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 in July – the highest level possible following inspections in July by the Councils’ Food and Safety Team.

During an inspection, each food business is checked for the following:

• how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored •the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities

• how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

At the end of the inspection, our food safety officers give the business a rating between 0-5. The top rating of ‘5’ means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. Any business should be able to reach this top rating.

Switching to Direct Debit: We’re encouraging more of our residents to pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit through a national campaign by BACs, giving everyone who signs up before 30 September a chance of winning £5,000.

Currently, Over 71% of Suffolk Coastal residents currently pay by Direct Debit, a total of 42289 out of our 59671 Council Tax payers but we hope the competition will help us to increase this number.

Customers who already pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit will automatically be entered into the prize draw. People can sign up easily, by calling Customer Services on: 01394 444339.

Enabling Communities: Increase to Enabling Communities Budgets.

Every Councillor now has £6,000 to spend on supporting community projects, local organisations and initiatives in 2016/17. We had some fantastic stories last year and I hope we can build on our achievements this year.

Reminder – if you have not returned your annual voter registration form – The deadline was 29.08.16

All 61,000 properties in Suffolk Coastal have received a ‘Household Enquiry Form’ which residents are required by law to confirm or update the details of anyone at the address who is eligible to vote in the UK.

This information is used to compile the Register of Electors and enables those residents to vote in future elections.

Forms are pre-printed with the names of all occupants currently registered to vote in each household and a response is required; either to update the details if there are any changes or to confirm that the information is still the same.

Residents who voted in the recent elections will still need to respond to their Household Enquiry Form. The deadline for responses was the 29 August 2016. After this deadline reminder forms have to be issued at extra cost.

Stephen Baker, Suffolk Coastal’s Electoral Registration Officer, said: “Please don’t ignore the letters we’ve sent out.. You can do so quickly online at: www.elecreg.co.uk/suffolkcoastal or by phoning or texting.

Canvassing all properties in Suffolk Coastal is a legal requirement, and although costly, it does enable us to ensure that residents can vote in future elections. We want to encourage our residents to return their forms back to us as quickly as possible to reduce the number of reminder letters we need to issue. By doing so you’re helping us save money and helping to look after the environment too!

Once residents receive their form, responses can be made using one of the automated methods, by phone or using the dedicated website. Wherever possible, residents are urged to respond using one of these systems to avoid the costs of unnecessary reminder letters.

If there are no changes to be made, there are 3 different ways to confirm your details: – Go to: www.elecreg.co.uk/suffolkcoastal

– Call free-phone 0808 284 1563

– Text 07537 410063

– Sign and return the form using the enclosed envelope

To change the details on your form: – Go to www.elecreg.co.uk/suffolkcoastal

– Amend, sign and return the form using the enclosed envelope

Once responses have been received by all properties, an up-to-date Register of Electors can be published.

Further details about the Register of Electors and annual voter registration can be found at: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Don’t be a victim of fraud Residents are being urged to think carefully before giving out card details either in person or over the telephone to anyone claiming to be a Council representative.

A number of concerned residents have reported receiving a scam telephone call from someone claiming to be from Waveney District Council regarding car accidents and offering compensation.

If you think you have been targeted by a scam, or know someone who has, then call Action Fraud on0300 123 2040 or report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.

Another reminder as this has been highlighted again. Residents are being warned by Suffolk Trading Standards to be aware of door-to-door fish sellers who are currently calling on households in the county, most recently in the IP2 area.

The trading standards team are asking people to watch out for unfamiliar traders trying to make a quick profit.  Although there are some legitimate doorstep fish sellers trading in the county, residents are advised to be cautious if approached by any unfamiliar traders.

Some door-to-door sellers often target elderly or more vulnerable residents, convincing them to part with large sums of money for fish that is unlabelled or mislabelled, out of date or very close to being out of date or that has been previously frozen.

Householders are also led to believe they are only buying a few pieces of fish but are then presented with much larger quantities and pressured into taking them, often handing over more than £100.

Consumers need to be aware of the following:

Species of fish – can you be sure its genuine cod? Is it genuine salmon?

Don’t feel pressured into paying for products you aren’t sure you want.

Are the seller’s scales calibrated – are you really getting the amount of fish you are paying for?

If you have any doubts at all, don’t buy from them. Instead buy from your local shop or supermarket or known mobile fish sellers who regularly visit your area.

For further help or advice telephone Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506

There has been another case this week where someone from saying that they were from BT convinced a local person to give them access to their PC and bank account details. Thankfully the bank picked it up straight away but they were very convincing. Never give out your details over the phone or at the door. It’s always best to check & report any calls etc please. My husband (TJ’s) also had his card cloned recently so please take extra care and check through the proper channels.

You may also have seen the local news on the 29th September where courier fraud is on the rise. Someone pretending to be from the fraud squad nearly got an elderly lady to part with a large amount of cash saying that it was counterfeit money in her account and needed investigating.

New YouTube animation shares Councils’ vision for the future

Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils have published a short animated YouTube film to explain and showcase the important work and improvements we plan to deliver in the coming years.

The film summarises and promotes the vision and ambitions set out in our recently published joint East Suffolk Business Plan.

The leaders of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils, Ray Herring and Colin Law, said:

“We have a proud tradition of working together, and this short animation encapsulates our joint plans to improve the quality of life for everyone living in, working in and visiting east Suffolk.

We were among the first Councils to appoint a shared Chief Executive and we now boast an integrated, shared workforce – helping us to save over £16 million since 2010. However, in an increasingly challenging financial environment we must continue to innovate and seek ways to ensure our communities are best served and protected.

Our Business Plan encapsulates how we will achieve this and sets out our main priorities which focus on enabling our communities to become more resilient, promoting economic growth so that our communities enjoy more stability and developing our own financial self-sufficiency.”

ESP Forum

The Chairman of the ESP is delighted to invite you to the fourth East Suffolk Partnership Annual Forum at Trinity Park Conference Centre, Bucklesham on Friday 11 November 2016 from 9.00am – 2.00pm.

 

The forum is free of charge and due to the popularity of the event advance booking is essential, so please click the link here to do so http://www.eelga.gov.uk/events/esp_forum_2016/

 

This year’s forum gives us the opportunity to shape our shared long-term ambitions for East Suffolk and identify how we can work together to take advantage of the emerging opportunities and challenges of our rapidly changing world.

 

A full programme with workshop and seminar detail will be available in September and once you have booked your place you will be given the opportunity to choose your preferred sessions before the event.

 

You can also book a stall at the market place if you would like to bring along a display to promote your organisation.

(TJ is on the board of the ESP and its worthwhile attending if you are able to.)

ESP launches second round of funding for youth activities programme

East Suffolk Youth Priority Action Group (ESYPAG) has now launched the second round of funding for their youth holiday activities programme.

The aim of the programme is to improve the variety of opportunities available to young people aged between school years 7 – 13 (ages 11-18 years) in east Suffolk, with the ESP providing £50,000 in funding to support the initiative over the next two years.

This round of funding will be used to organise projects taking place during February half term, Easter holidays and May half term in next year and can be applied by youth organisations across east Suffolk.

The project builds on the work of the ESYPAG who has been working since 2015 to support and develop youth participation in Suffolk Coastal and Waveney.

Activity providers across Suffolk Coastal and Waveney are being asked to involve and provide not just sport, but also activities promoting the arts, science as well as activities to improve skills, as well as activities aimed at young disabled people.

The new project is being led by young people, with support from the District and County Councils. Final decisions on successful applications will be made by a panel of young people who will also benefit from the project management skills they learn from the project.

Ray Wang, ESYPAG and ESP Board Member, said:

“We’ve had a great response from activity providers across Suffolk Coastal and Waveney so far, and we’re now hoping to encourage more to come forward.

This important project is helping to make a difference to the lives of young people throughout east Suffolk, to provide them with activities that will not only help them develop key skills, but also help improve their overall mental health and well-being.”

Applications need to be completed by Friday 21st October at 5pm.

You can also request an application form by writing to:

Stuart Halsey
Active Communities Officer
Waveney District Council
Riverside
4 Canning Road
Lowestoft,
Suffolk
NR33 0EQ

For further information about the project, call: 01502 523354.

Leisure Centres set for transformation

Suffolk Coastal has announced ambitious plans to invest in its leisure centres.

The work is part of the council’s commitment to improve its leisure centre offer and to encourage more people to become more active.

One of Suffolk Coastal’s 10 priorities in its Business Plan focuses on the need to provide high-quality, modern leisure centres that the whole community can enjoy, with state-of-the-art equipment, that come at no additional cost to the tax payer.

The work builds on the progress made by the Leisure Strategy formed in 2014, which sets out how improvements to the leisure provision will be made across the district, over the next 10 years.

A five year programme is now being launched, with Deben Leisure Centre as the first to be upgraded, followed by Leiston and then Felixstowe.

While the timetable of works is still being finalised, it is expected that refurbishments will start at Deben Leisure Centre in 2017, with the other centres following in subsequent years.

Suffolk Coastal is working closely with its operational leisure partners, Places for People Leisure, to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum and existing users receive regular communications and updates.

Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf, Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities and Leisure, said: “We’re delighted that we now have plans in place to ensure we have high quality leisure centres across the district that will become places communities can be proud of.

“When our leisure centres were first built, they gave our communities a great sense of pride, such as Deben Pool which couldn’t have been built without the support and hard work of local groups and residents. However, our leisure centres are now aging and need updating to today’s and future standards so that they have the best facilities and become the destinations of choice for our residents.

“We want to increase the number of people using our leisure facilities and boost overall numbers of people taking part in health and well-being activities as part of our commitment to getting more people fit and active.

“Residents and visitors to Suffolk Coastal will have the opportunity to experience dramatically improved facilities with new equipment in a modern setting. We hope the investment and transformation it will bring will make our leisure centres places our communities are truly proud of.”

Proposals for Deben Leisure Centre are being developed to take account of the current and future market and with the benefit of customer feedback.  They will include an additional floor added to the front of the building, with purpose built family changing areas and separate changing facilities for use by schools.

Two studios are also being provided, one to incorporate a spin room and the other for fitness classes, which will also be available for community hire. The new gym has been designed to be more spacious, featuring modern equipment and the pool area will feature a new health suite with a steam room, sauna and ice room.

More information is available and the plans can also be viewed in the foyer of Deben Leisure Centre.

Don’t be left in the dark

There’s a new number to call if you have a power cut.

When the power goes out, it can leave people feeling unsure about what to do. Research by Energy Networks Association found that 72% of people don’t know who to contact during a power cut, with many wrongly thinking they should call the electricity supplier they pay their bill to.

105 aims to solve this problem, providing you with an easy-to-remember number that will put you through to your local electricity network operator – the company that manages the cables, wires and substations that bring electricity into local homes and businesses.

105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales, and you can call the number from most landlines and mobile phones. It doesn’t matter who you choose to buy your electricity from – anyone can call 105.

You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put you, or someone else, in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, call the emergency services too.

To find out more, visit powercut105.com.

What should I do during a power cut?

  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.
  • Leave a light on so you know when the power cut has been resolved.
  • Check to see if your neighbours are okay.
  • Wrap up warm.
  • Contact your electricity network operator to report the power cut, either by calling 105 or via their other channels. Visit powercut105.com for details of your local network operator.

How can I prepare for a power cut?

  • Keep a torch handy – it’s much safer than using candles.
  • Get a battery-powered or wind-up radio (useful for keeping up to date with relevant local news).
  • Keep warm – keep a blanket and warm clothing handy, and fill a vacuum flask or hot water bottle.
  • Stock your cupboard with food and drink that doesn’t require electricity to prepare it.
  • Keep your mobile phone and laptop fully charged.
  • Check your network operator’s website or social media channels for updates.

Can I use my phone during a power cut?

Cordless phones probably won’t work during a power cut. They take their power from the mains and most don’t have battery back-up. Traditional corded phones will work – you might want to keep one handy so you can plug it in and make phone calls if you have a power cut. In most cases, mobile phones will work if they are charged.

I’m on the Priority Services Register. Should I now call 105?

The Priority Services Register is for people who might need extra support during a power cut; for example, people who need electricity for vital medical equipment. If you are on the Register and you have a power cut, you should continue to call the phone number that you have been given.

Community groups clean up for East Suffolk

The ‘Love East Suffolk’ litter pick scheme designed to encourage more community groups to get involved in taking care for their environment by collecting litter has been hailed a success by Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils.

When the incentive based scheme was launched in spring this year, 1,058 volunteers from 62 groups in Suffolk Coastal and 264 volunteers from 16 groups from Waveney took part between 1 March and 31 May, helping to clean up more than 5.46 tonnes of waste!

Each community group that took part were rewarded with £20 and were then entered into a draw with the chance of winning £200 for the benefit of their community.

Nine winners were picked from each neighbourhood area for Suffolk Coastal and Waveney:

Waveney:

  • Southwold Town Council
  • Beccles Bombles
  • Promoting Pakefield Group
  • Blundeston & Flixton WI

Suffolk Coastal:

  • Kirton & Falkenham WI
  • Blaxham Commons & Open Space Charitable Trust
  • Darsham Parish Council
  • Rushmere Commoners
  • Thorpeness Annual Beach Clean

The rewards have been funded through the District Councils’ partner organisation Norse.

To announce the winners, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for Green Environment, Cllr Carol Poulter joined Daniel Wareing, Waste Management Officer from Suffolk Coastal Norse on a litter pick.

Carol said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to all different groups who’ve taken part. We’re really pleased that so many people from schools, charities and voluntary groups have taken the time to look after their environment.

“The scheme proves that our community groups are doing a fantastic job at helping to keep our environment litter free. I hope this will encourage others to do their bit.”

Cllr Stephen Ardley, Cabinet Member for Operational Partnerships at Waveney District Council, said: “The success of this scheme demonstrates that our communities have a great sense of pride in where they live.

“Although the incentive part has now ended, we continue to provide support to anyone who wants to do a litter pick in east Suffolk.”

If you would like to take part in a litter pick, please complete a registration form and Suffolk Coastal and Waveney Norse can provide you with free disposable gloves and sacks as well as arrange to collect and dispose of the rubbish collected.

Women on Wheels Rides come to Rendlesham!

Cycle Suffolk presents Women on Wheels (or WoW for short), an opportunity for all women and girls to get on their bikes to take on a challenge and have some fun!

This October, Women on Wheels comes to Rendlesham, taking place at Army Rock Barracks, Sutton on Sunday 30 October with two rides taking place using the airfield and Rendlesham Forest to raise funds for the Suffolk Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Women on Wheels events are mass participation female only rides, raising money for local charities, that put a strong focus on the fun, friendly and inclusive aspects of cycling. They are very much aimed at non-cyclists and existing cyclists alike, with routes of an achievable distance, and are open to all ages.

In 2015, three WoW events took place in Suffolk; Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Sudbury. The rides have become increasingly popular, some doubling their number of participants from previous years to around 200, and have proved to be an excellent community activity. Three rides have already taken place in 2016, in Bury St Edmunds, Southwold and Sudbury, attracting over 300 participants and raising significant funds for local charities.

Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf, Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities and Leisure at Suffolk Coastal, said: “The Women on Wheels Rides are a lot of fun and are aimed at women and girls who want to get back into cycling. We hope the event will help them rediscover their bikes and the benefits of the sport while also raising money to remember those who have us given so much.

“Since the Women’s Cycling tours came to us in 2014 and 2015, we’ve seen a real uptake in women wanting to get involved in cycling – this is the perfect event for anyone who hasn’t got on their bike since their school days as the rides will be in a relaxed and social environment.”

The 5km starts at 10:30am for £5 and the 15km ride starts at 11:30am for £15. Under 16’s are free if accompanied by an adult.

There is a small fee payable to Eventbrite for the service, 5km route £0.90 and the 15 mile route £1.52, all other monies will go to the Suffolk British Legion Poppy appeal.

WoW Suffolk Coastal is hoping to see many women register for the event and inspiring others to join in the fun on Facebook.

If you sign up by Sunday 23 October, you are guaranteed a goody bag and will be entered into the prize draw.

Further information:

Loan bikes will be available for the event on a first come first served basis.

The Royal British Legion provides help and welfare to the serving and ex-Service community and their families, is one of the UK’s largest membership organisations, is the nation’s custodian of Remembrance and runs the annual Poppy Appeal.

For more information and to donate, visit: www.britishlegion.org.uk or www.poppyshop.org.uk

Charity number: 219279

For more information, please contact:

Joseph Young of Cycle Suffolk

Email: joseph.young@suffolksport.com
Tel: 01394 444590.

Bikes for the 5km ride will need to be suitable for riding on a 5km surface and bikes for the 15km ride will need to be suitable for off-road riding with mountain bike tyres.

Join Suffolk Sport’s WoW community on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are interested in bringing WoW rides to a town near you, please contact Joseph Young.

Closure of Aldeburgh Tourist Information

Suffolk Coastal District Council has confirmed that it intends to close Aldeburgh Tourist Information Centre at the end of September.

Despite the growth in tourism locally, the number of people calling in at Aldeburgh TIC has dropped by more than half (from nearly 34,000 in 2009/10 to just over 15,000 in 2014/15). Similarly, the number of telephone enquiries has fallen from over 4,200 to just over 1,900 in the same period.

All tourism services throughout the District have now been reviewed. In other towns, such as Felixstowe and Woodbridge, the TIC service has been moved in with a wider customer service offering in the local library. However, this option is not suitable for Aldeburgh, as Suffolk Coastal does not have a Customer Services presence in the town.

At present, no plans have been finalised to replace the service, however, Suffolk Coastal are continuing to have discussions locally in the town about an alternative Visitor Information provision, taking into consideration the changing trends and patterns of behaviour amongst our visitors.

In recent years, we have seen a shift in behaviour away from people using traditional tourist information centres to get information toward online information searches and accommodation booking, as well as a far greater use of social media.

We have informed our staff of the situation and remain committed to providing a quality service which supports tourism in Aldeburgh and the surrounding area.

Our aim is to ensure visitors have access to information about Aldeburgh and the surrounding area in a convenient, accessible way, while also making sure we are providing best value to the tax payer.

SCBCA

Thank you to all that took the time to nominate or vote in the Suffolk Coastal Business and Community Awards. The evening was a great success and it was fantastic to bring people, businesses and groups in Suffolk Coastal together who work so hard to improve our communities. We love putting on these events every year as it allows us to say thank you to those unsung heroes of the community who are changing the lives of others. TJ had the honour of presenting the Enabling Communities award (a public vote) to Brook Farm Residents in Saxmundham.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any help or assistance.

TJ & Maureen.

Posted in Parish Council Highlights.