From Sue Carpendale and Kathy Pollard, Babergh District Councillors
In this edition:
- Relocation of post office services in Capel St Mary
- New recycling service coming to Suffolk
- Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
- Renewable energy workshop
- Changes to English Heritage
- Community heroes
- MyGo – youth employment centre
Relocation of post office services in Capel St Mary
We were recently alerted to a six-week consultation period on moving the Capel Post Office branch to the Co-operative Food Store in the shopping precinct. The consultation closes on 4th December, so we have made every effort to promote the news to residents. The move has the agreement of the Postmaster and is part of a programme to see 8000 branches modernised. Post Office services will be offered from two tills on the retail counter, with longer opening hours and most of the Post Office products will still be available. We are aware that business is increasingly challenging for sub-post offices, with many closures. This move should protect the service for local residents. You can pick up a leaflet at the Post Office with information, also, on how to comment.
There have been a number of concerns and useful points raised about the service being delivered in the new location and many points have already been submitted by us to the Post Office. Chief of these are issues of privacy, space, queues and security. We hope to be working through these once the consultation is concluded. Meetings have been arranged with the Senior Stakeholder manager for Post Office Ltd to clarify matters. The Co-op is a preferred supplier to the Post Office and has a lot of experience in running these services.
New recycling service coming to Suffolk
A new service, designed to make recycling even easier, went live from 3rd November with Suffolk residents being given the chance to recycle more items at home. We can now put food and drink cartons, aerosol cans, books and metal pots, pans and trays into the recycling bin. These new materials will be collected alongside the usual items; paper, card, cans, foil and plastic bottles, tubs and trays. We can also recycle textiles in the recycling bin as long as they are in the special bags provided by the council. People in Suffolk are amongst the top performers in the country with 53% of our waste already being recycled. The Suffolk Waste Partnership estimates that more than 18,000 tonnes of material that could be recycled from home gets thrown away costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds. When people put recyclable items in their black bin it costs approximately £80 more per tonne for the council to collect and dispose of it, totalling £1.4 million every year. Please make sure your recycle items are clean, dry and loose when placed in the recycling bins.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
Babergh has begun a second consultation stage for the charging schedule proposed for new build in the District. Comments from the first stage have been reviewed and noted. When finally agreed by Council, the schedule will still be subject to Examination. Our Strategic sites – large-scale developments in the Ipswich, Sudbury and Hadleigh areas – will still secure infrastructure through S106 agreements and therefore have a zero (£0) charge CIL rate, as will office and industrial development, but (with the exclusion of “assisted living” housing) new dwellings in this area will be charged £115 per square metre. Parishes without a Neighbourhood Plan will receive 15% of the CIL monies, capped at £100 per existing home; with a plan, they will receive 25% and no cap. Parishes have greater flexibility in how they can use this money as long as they can demonstrate that its use relieves the pressure of growth. Full details can be seen on Babergh’s website, Paper P67.
Recent workshop: “renewable energy” – defined as naturally replenished on a human time scale, is being promoted again by Government. This time the focus is on devices such as air source and ground source heat pumps. There are loans available which attach to the property rather than the individual, over a long time span, but their practicality and adoption is often a matter of circumstances, especially for existing properties. However, we were given some interesting figures, particularly about fuel poverty and rising energy costs. Over 19% of the population spend more than 10% of their income on heating – the UK tops the fuel poverty league. Approximately 80.6% of global energy consumption is still from fossil fuels, renewable 16.7% and nuclear 2.7%. According to Age UK, people in cold homes are three times more likely to die from heart attack or stroke than those in a warm home. As winter approaches we need to be alert to people who may be vulnerable as there is help and advice available. Suffolk Energy Action is a good source of information.
Changes to English Heritage
Government intends to form two separate organisations to manage the Nation’s heritage. From April 2015 Historic England will be responsible for the provision of advice to local authorities while English Heritage, which is now a widely recognised name, will become a charitable body responsible for looking after historic properties. The English Heritage Charity will be responsible, under an operating licence from Historic England, for the care of the National Heritage Collection. Whilst all of its properties will remain in public ownership, it will be able to make the most of commercial and philanthropic opportunities.
Community heroes – we are again invited to nominate for a Community Achievement Award, people who are active in Babergh, work in the local community on an unpaid or voluntary basis, and who the community feel should be recognised for their contribution.
MyGo – youth employment centre
This new centre opens in Princes Street, Ipswich in November, offering a complete jobs service to all-comers aged between 16 and 24 – whether employed or not, on benefits or not. It is part of the Greater Ipswich City Deal and the first of its type, being dedicated solely to young people. It’s modern, clean, light, comfortable, friendly and well equipped with IT and internet – you can even drop in for a chat and a coffee if you’re the right age! Every young person needs to know about this facility.