A few days ago this jolly snowman appeared in a prominent position in Newmans Green.
I have a suspicion with regard to who created him, and I hope that they don't mind that I have borrowed his image for the blog.
Babergh’s Councillors voted on Monday to erect a flagpole at the Council’s offices in Corks Lane, Hadleigh.
The pole will be of high quality and situated in a prominent position, clearly visible from the road. It will fly the Union Flag and the Cross of St George on appropriate days.
The flagpole initiative was the work of Conservative councillor, Peter Holbrook. The move was almost unanimously supported by Members who will club together to defray the expense. No funds will come from the public purse. It was noted that both Hadleigh Town Council and Sudbury Town Council have their own flagpoles and it seems a strange anomaly that Babergh does not.
Mr Holbrook made the point that by flying the flags the Council will show pride in both England and the United Kingdom. It will strike a note of optimism in these difficult times. He did make a small error in his speech when he referred to the Union Flag as the Union Jack. As Councillor John Hinton pointed out, a Union Jack would only be appropriate if Babergh’s offices were to sail off down the river and out to sea, since, strictly speaking, the Union Jack is only flown by naval vessels!
At the end of last week I went to the quarterly meeting of the Trustees of Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury.
Next year will be the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the gallery, and there are plans for some exciting exhibitions to mark the occasion. The details are embargoed at present, but suffice it to say that the exhibition in the summer will have a royal connection, and there will also be the chance to buy some of the very best examples of work from the increasingly well-known Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop.
The present show at the House has just ten days to run. It features the German born, East Anglian painter, draughtsman and printmaker, Harry Becker. As the Director of Gainsborough’s House writes in the latest Gainsborough Gazette, Becker’s ‘subject matter was rooted in country life.’ , and this can be seen from the example of his work shown here. The exhibition has attracted some very favourable reviews, most recently from the Spectator magazine, in which art critic Andrew Lambirth wrote about his exceptional talent and his ‘fresh and feisty’ style.
If you do decide to go to the exhibition don’t forget that the museum shop has some lovely Christmas cards for sale at present. All profits from shop sales go towards the work of the House.
'Working the Land Part II: Harry Becker' runs until 18th December at Gainsborough's House in Sudbury.
As the wind blows in from the Urals, and there is suspicion of hanky panky with regard to the decided venue for the next World Cup, life is a bit hard at present for those of us who take a sympathetic interest in things Russian!
It is hard to find any positive news at all about Russia in the papers just now, and I was therefore gratified to read about Vladimir Putin’s concern to save the Siberian Tiger. He is not generally particularly interested in environmental matters, having in the past called environmental activists ‘no better than terrorists’.
I do hope that this concern for an endangered species is genuine, and not just a photo opportunity designed to show off his macho fearlessness in the face of a big cat!
As the big freeze tightens its grip there is an animated discussion continuing on a number of websites about the vexed question of gritting.
On Look East this lunchtime an ‘old aged pensioner’ (who looked nothing of the sort)complained that people in her road had been unable to drive to the supermarket due to the fact that there is a slight incline at the junction with the main road which has become so slippery and icy that forward propulsion by motor cars has become impossible.
The solution is of course to site a pile of grit close to said incline and recruit volunteers (yes, volunteers) to spread the grit over the ice.
Babergh this evening has been quick to point out that ‘Babergh are not a salting and snow clearing authority’. As a councillor, and looking out of the window, I have to say that my first response to this is ‘thank goodness for that! However, moving swiftly on...
The responsibility for gritting the roads lies with Suffolk County Council, who are of course the Highways Authority (wrongly in my view, but that is another question). Suffolk County Council will provide roadside grit heaps and bins on request from parish councils so that people can treat local trouble spots which would otherwise go untreated. It may be too late to meet problems created by the current situation, and most of Waldingfield and Acton, it has to be said, is pretty flat, but if you spot a trouble spot near you do get in touch with me, or with the parish council, before the next spell of arctic weather. We may be able to arrange for some grit to be provided!
The Coalition Government has been waging war on councils who have produced their own newspapers at the expense of the taxpayer. According to the Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, these often amount to little more than ‘town hall Pravdas’ which ‘end up in the bin’ and at the same time undermine local newspapers which are currently struggling to survive.
There are of course extreme examples of this, although research shows them to be relatively rare. Apparently though one London Borough produces a free weekly rag with television listings and restaurant reviews while the commercial local newspaper is experiencing dramatically falling sales.
This seems all rather distant from our own ‘Babergh Matters!’ which until now has been distributed several times a year to all homes around the District. I have always rather liked it, and feel that it covers Council activities, which are often ignored elsewhere, without bias or political spin. However, unprompted by Government opprobrium, it has been decided that, for financial reasons, the latest edition will only be a web-based affair accessible from the Babergh Website.
The budget for Babergh Matters! will now be diverted to special communications to residents about proposed increased co-operation with Mid Suffolk District Council.
I do hope that this will not be a permanent state of affairs, although I am told that at present there are no plans to produce another edition of the magazine in its paper form. Communication over the web is alright as far as it goes, but it remains the case that around 30 percent of households still have no access to the internet. It seems wrong that a lot of people will find it hard to find out, in a user friendly way, how we at Babergh are spending their money.
The latest edition of Babergh Matters! Can be reached by clicking on: http://www.babergh.gov.uk/Babergh/Home/Community+-+people+-+living/Babergh+Matters/Babergh+Matters+Winter+2010.htm