Sue Carpendale and Kathy Pollard, Babergh District Councillors
In this edition:
- Helping people who are less well off
- Application to build 24-houses on land behind London Road, Capel St. Mary (B/14/00100/OUT)
- A12 Safety
- Capel Community Trust meeting
- Changes to the way you register to vote
- Campaign to reduce food waste
Helping people who are less well off
A recent survey of council tenants in Babergh revealed that hundreds felt they need advice and information about:
- dealing with household expenses,
- help with ensuring they receive the right amount of benefit, and
- help in moving, swapping or downsizing their homes.
Many people on low incomes – including pensioners – are enticed into taking out expensive loans for essential items like cookers and washing machines. Less than one if five of those surveyed had heard of the Suffolk Credit Union, which offers low interest loans. They may also be paying well over the odds for their energy via prepayment meters. Welfare reforms have also had an impact and for some managing their everyday living expenses is not an easy task.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk are sharing the costs of employing two people on fixed term contracts to help tackle some of these issues with people on low incomes. There will be pilot schemes in the Shotley Peninsula and Sudbury and Cornard. The scheme will then be available across the two Districts.
Application to build 24-houses on land behind London Road, Capel St. Mary (B/14/00100/OUT)
We have received a number of enquiries about the progress of this planning application, but as we write it has still not been scheduled into the planning committee cycle. We have asked for a site inspection so that planning committee members can see the site for themselves before a decision is made.
Capel St. Mary Parish Council discussed this back in March and recommended refusal.
We are aware of a number of concerns about the plans including density, access, ecology and other environmental issues.
The plans are outline (ie in principle) only at this stage. The site is on land to the West of Pine Dell and Ashcroft, London Road. It is an area of open ground behind the houses on London Road and is bounded by hedges and a few mature trees on two sides. A public footpath runs along the perimeter on the third side between London Road and Butchers Lane. The application can be viewed on the Babergh website here
High numbers of accidents on the A12 between Copdock Mill roundabout and the Essex border continue to cause disruption, delay and human misery for any who use this road on a regular basis. We have organised a meeting with the Highways Agency on July 30th at which we can discuss some of the causes of these accidents and possible remedies. Parish council and District and County representatives have been invited.
Capel Community Trust meeting
We attended the open meeting held by the Community Trust on June 30th in the Vine Lounge. There was a good attendance from village clubs and organizations as well as individuals. Trust members clearly have a mammoth task in managing the Village Hall complex and Playing Field.
The most pressing challenge is the replacement of the village hall roof at an estimated cost of £100k. We were impressed by the openness of Trust members to new ideas. They want to tap into the many and varied talents – and goodwill – of village residents. I’m sure we all want to see fit for purpose facilities in our village and if you can offer help in any way they would be pleased to hear from you. They are setting up a number of sub-groups: fundraising, property, finance and special purposes, events, community and village liaison and business strategy development. Details of meetings appear in Capel Capers and there is an open forum for members of the public.
HGVs in Holton St. Mary
We have been dealing with complaints from Holton residents about HGVs travelling through the village to Notley Enterprise Park at some speed early in the morning. This is being investigated by Babergh’s enforcement officers and some improvements have been noticed but we will continue to keep up the pressure.
Changes to the way you register to vote
At present there is one registration form which has to be filled in for each eligible adult in a household. New applications will include the need to provide a National Insurance number. You may not need to take any action if you are already registered to vote at your current address, although Babergh may write to you to ask you for additional information. More details are available here
Campaign to reduce food waste
The Suffolk Waste partnership has recently launched this campaign. On average every household throws away 20% of the food we buy at a cost of £700 per year. More details: http://www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk