Quote of the week

Life isn't about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself'

George Bernard Shaw
If you cannot mould yourself entirely as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking?
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/wish.html

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lorry Watch Scheme given green light

Valley Road.

Volunteers are needed to support a Lorry Watch scheme. Can you help?

As many of you know, Valley Road, which runs between Chilton Corner and the A134 is subject to a weight restriction. Unfortunately this is regularly flouted.  This is the source of irritation to many residents in Great Waldingfield, Chilton and Newton who have to suffer heavy lorries, ignoring the law, rumbling through the community to take the short cut.

Well help is now at hand.  Thanks to quite a long period of lobbying, both at the Safer Neighbourhood Team meetings and elsewhere, Trading Standards have agreed to help us to set up a Lorry Watch Scheme for Valley Road.

This means that lorries will be monitored as they drive along the road and the numbers of overweight vehicles will be noted and forwarded to the authorities.  The initial response from Trading Standards is a letter advising the owner of the vehicle that his lorry has been spotted.  If the lorry is reported again he receives a formal warning and on a third offence he will receive a summons.   

These schemes are very effective.  It is very unusual for a driver who receives an initial notice to be caught again, and a prosecution is rare.  Lorry drivers’ livelihoods are at stake here and normally just being spotted shakes them up sufficiently to ensure that they don’t risk being caught twice.

Given the whereabouts of the road we hope that this can be a joint venture between residents in Great Waldingfield, Chilton and Newton.  We already have some people who have agreed to help, but we could do with a few more. Training is simple and only takes an hour or so and we hope to organise a session towards the end of October.   

 If you think you can spare an hour or so every so often to participate then please get in touch with me by e mail (antillj@btinternet.com) or phone 01787 378310, or alternatively with Peter Clifford, Chairman of Chilton Parish Council on 01787 371798.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pond update

I was pleased to see the article about George Millins, who lives in Great Waldingfield,  in the Suffolk Free Press on Thursday.  George has done a lot to encourage me and many other people to think harder about finding ways to conserve the wildlife that we enjoy so much in Suffolk.  As regular readers will know he has contributed informative and interesting articles to this website from time to time for which I am always very grateful.

It was in part inspired by George that Nick and I decided some time ago now to create a pond in our garden, and I have also written about progress here from time to time.  The pond is now well established, as can be seen above, although it gets a bit like vegetable soup from time to time!

One disappointment has been that the enthusiasm of ducks for the pond, particularly in the spring, has meant that frogs have not established themselves.  I understand that this is because the ducks eat the spawn.  Rendle the Lurcher takes some interest in the ducks and sometimes chases them off, but they know that he is not very serious about the task and don’t fly very far before returning.  We do however have a fine variety of bug life and have seen newts from time to time.   Many other birds, besides the ducks, find the pond an excellent place for their morning bath.

In today’s East Anglian Daily Times there is an article about the intention to promote areas of wildflowers in public places in Sudbury.  I hope that this will please George since he has long campaigned for public areas to be allowed to be a little less tidy for the sake of our fellow creatures. I have to say that I agree with this view, and Babergh officers are also keen on the idea,  but such initiatives do not always please residents.  I doubt if I will ever be asked to judge a Best Kept Village Competition.

Behind the pond in the picture above you may be able to see the area of our garden that we encourage to grow wild.  At the suggestion of Dr Taylor from Branchlines, we only cut this once a year, doing half in July and the other half in the autumn.  This has the effect of encouraging the growth of different types of plants in each section.

In addition to listening to people like George and Dr Taylor, there is lots of information on the internet about how you can make your garden more wildlife friendly.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Supporting our local servicemen.

At today’s council meeting Babergh councillors voted to enter into a Community Covenant with the Armed forces.

This Covenant is intended to complement at a local level the Armed Forces Covenant that has been signed by the Government on behalf of the nation as a whole.  There are already over 150 of these local agreements in place across the United Kingdom.  More information is available on the Ministry of Defence website.here

The Covenant has a number of aims, one of which is to support the armed forces in the local area, and, of course, Babergh has its fair share of these.   Their other aims are

  •  To nurture public understanding and awareness of issues affecting the armed services.·          
  • To recognise and remember the sacrifices faced by the armed services community.·        
  •  To encourage activities which integrate local armed service personnel and their families into the local community, and also which enable representatives of the services to support the local community through projects and community support activities

There is already one example of the final aim above being achieved in South Suffolk.  The Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams, with Community Safety Officers, have on a number of occasions worked with service personnel in Colchester and also in Wattisham to give young people the opportunity to have a day out with the forces, trying assault courses and the like.

A task force is likely to be set up at the council in order to develop an action plan, so that concrete results from the Covenant benefit both our local servicemen and the community as a whole.  The exercise is not intended to be a substitute for welfare initiatives that should be the remit of the Ministry of Defence, although the council is likely to work alongside local service charities, as they would with other partners in voluntary sector, to fulfil the Covenant’s aims.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gainsborough's House: end of Summer Sale!

The shop and coffee shop
In The Shop at Gainsborough’s House
Friday 28th September to Friday 5th October

We have fantastic reductions on books, cards and toys.  Our bargain offers include:

Vintage Style Jubilee Trays  £5.00 rrp £7.99
Bodleian Address Book £4.15 rrp £9.95
David Gentleman’s London £16.25 rrp £25.00
Aftermath by Ronald Blythe £12.35 rrp £18.99
Coulter Cards 50p rrp £1.90

You don't need a ticket to the museum to visit the shop in Weavers Lane, or have a cup of coffee, so come along and take advantage of these special prices!

We also have a wide range of Christmas Cards from the Fitzwilliam Museum and lots of new items in stock which would make attractive and interesting Christmas presents.

These include a new range of Katie Walker’s felt necklaces, bangles and corsages in beautiful autumn colours, stocking fillers such as Goldfish Squirters, and the recently published Conversations with Cavendish Morton.

We look forward to seeing you at Gainsborough’s House soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Coffee morning next Friday

There is to be a coffee morning at Acton School this Friday, 28th September, in aid of Macmillan Nurses.

The event runs from 9.30 to 11.30 a.m.

I understand that there will be some very good home made things to eat and am sorry that I can't be there because of a Council meeting.

Please go along, and take your friends!

 October 2nd.

Happy to report that this event made at least £270.  Thanks to all who ate and made cakes.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Protecting our local assets

The Community Right to Bid, created by the Localism Act, came into force yesterday. This means that communities can 'stop-the clock' on the sale of valuable local assets and amenities like post offices, village shops or community pubs, giving them time to put in a takeover bid of their own and protect it for the wider community's benefit.

The new right gives voluntary and community organisations and parish councils the opportunity to nominate an asset to be included on a list of 'assets of community value', delaying the sale of a successfully listed asset for six-months, giving communities the time to prepare a bid and get a business plan together. Previously the community had no opportunity or time to gather resources to bid to buy or take them over.

One example of what can be done has been seen in Norden, where local people formed a trust to buy and refurbish a historic old library building and reopen it as a community centre.  Elsewhere in Cranleigh the local community is planning to use the new Right to Bid to turn their old village hospital into a support centre for the elderly in the area.

A few months ago I took myself on a course on this topic at the Local Government Association and so if anyone in the Ward is interested in taking a step of this sort at any time I am well equipped to offer help!  

Pieces of land as well as buildings can be registered, and I can think of one or two places in Waldingfield that could well be included on our own list of ‘ assets of community value’.  I hope that Babergh, who have to maintain the list,  have got themselves organised to receive nominations.

I intend writing to find out today.

Local shops could be taken into community ownership