Concessionary Fares issue to be looked at again
The County Council Cabinet has been forced to look again at their decision to provide only the statutory minimum free travel (0930-2300 weekdays, all day weekends and bank holidays), after the Liberal Democrat Group called the decision into the Scrutiny Committee at the end of September.
The original decision had failed to take account of a number of important principles. Not only was there a lack of consultation, but the Conservative administration had also failed to take into account the negative impact their decision had had on many peoples’ lives, including those with disabilities.
A number of public speakers were also present at the meeting highlighting the lack of consultation before the decision was made. The Committee voted by seven votes to three to send this decision back to the Cabinet to be considered again.
The Lib Dem group originally raised this issue back in July 2011, asking for Cabinet to reconsider its decision and provide 24/7 travel for those eligible due to disability, and to allow over 60s pass holders to travel from 0900.
If you would like more information about the Call-in, please click here
Proposed wind turbines in Belstead/Wherstead
I attended a packed public meeting on this issue on September 30th at Pinewood Community Hall. The meeting had been organised by SIT (Stop Ipswich Turbines) and heard from two residents of Kessingland who had initially not opposed the erection of two wind turbines adjacent to their village. Now they are plagued by noise and flicker and said it is causing them aggravation and depression. They said they wished they had opposed it at the time.
No-one from Partnership for Renewables was present at the meeting. The site for the two proposed wind turbines belongs to Ipswich Borough Council, who have the power to stop the process now. SIT have started a petition which is available for signing at Pinewood Community Hall. More details of the campaign at www.stopipswichturbines.com
The Kessingland campaign to turn off the turbines also has a website: www.turnthemoff.co.uk
The Evening Star and East Anglian Daily Times ran a recent poll asking whether these turbines should be built. I haven’t seen the results yet. The site is visible from the densely populated areas of Pinewood and Belstead Hills as well as Belstead and Wherstead villages.
September County Council Meeting
The County Council meeting in September had quite a light agenda, but proved relatively eventful. A motion had been put forward, encouraging local communities to adopt 20mph speed limits in towns and villages. However, an amendment proposed by the Conservatives was such a radical change to the original text that the opposition parties, apart from the proposer and seconder of the original motion, walked out of the Council chamber. The amendment effectively proposed that only the Cabinet member for Transport would have any say on whether 20mph limits would be adopted.
In September Cabinet voted to take the Better Broadband bid for Suffolk to the next stage, increasing the level of money invested by Suffolk County Council by £1.38m.
At the previous meeting the Cabinet also confirmed the Council’s commitment to sign up to the Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant on the 11th of October.
Grand Driver Scheme
Suffolk County Council, in partnership with Suffolk Roadsafe, has launched the Grand Driver scheme which aims to provide support to the increasing numbers of elderly drivers on the road. While there is evidence to suggest that the likelihood of crashes increases with age, older adults are generally renowned as being safety conscious and law abiding drivers.
The scheme has been set up to help assist the continuation of safe driving, as the proportion of older drivers increases.
The scheme is made up of 3 main elements and takes place on a demand led basis (with some element having a fee):
- Insight and awareness of attitudes to driving and self-regulatory behaviour – via completion of the specially developed Older Driver Risk Index (psychometric questionnaire)
- An opportunity to update and refresh knowledge and discuss driving matters at workshops arranged throughout Suffolk
- A driving assessment and feedback in your own vehicle focusing on safe driving and coping strategies
For more information, please contact Michelle Haward:
Tel: 01473 265256
Scampaign – Lottery Scams
The latest update from the Trading Standards Scheme is a warning about lottery scams, which often claim you have won a significant amount of money on an overseas or online lottery and ask for you personal information including your bank account details. Please find below the information released by Trading Standards in order to help protect yourself.
Protecting yourself against lottery fraud:
- Never respond to any communication – if you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.
- Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you – there are no official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings
- Never, ever disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance
- If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07
- Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a fraud
- Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work
What to do if you are a victim of lottery fraud:
- Report to Action Fraud specialists by calling 0300 123 2040
- If you have responded to the email/letter/call, break off all contact with the fraudsters at once
- If you have given over your bank account details, alert your bank immediately
- Be aware that you’re now likely to be a target for other frauds. Fraudsters often share details about people they have successfully targeted or approached, using different identities to commit further frauds