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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Major police operation round Sudbury

On the look out.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a widespread police operation in the Sudbury area.

Members of the Safer Neighbourhood Team, together with other officers plus partners from HMRC and Babergh District Council, among others, all congregated at an early hour at Sudbury police station and then fanned out across the Sudbury area to combat a wide range of crimes and misdemeanours.

Targets included people in possession of drugs or offensive weapons, money launderers, and young people skiving off school.  Checks were made on over fifty firearms licence holders and one licenced premises was caught selling alcohol to an under-age person.

I was thrilled to be offered the chance to spend a few hours in a police car (well, I do have a weakness for fast cars!).  I found myself initially in an unmarked car that identifies the number plates of cars that may not have insurance, may be stolen or have other issues.  This was quite exciting, but unfortunately it seemed that the miscreants guilty of such offences were largely still abed during the morning rush.  What was more gripping was flagging down likely looking diesel driven cars (blue light flashing and siren wailing!),and then accompanying them to a checking station run by HMRC  up at B and Q’s car park.  Here they were checked to make sure that the contents of their petrol tank did not contain red diesel.   I understand that at least one person was caught resulting in an instant fine.

The officers who were kind enough to put up with me during the morning told me that a good deal of their time at present is spent looking out for the perpetrators of rural burglaries and thefts.  Several vehicles were stopped and checked yesterday in areas where burglaries have been perpetrated, which should serve as something of a warning.

Dipping for red diesel
I understand that on the whole the operation was a great success with a number of tangible outcomes.  In addition the message that was sent to the community that the police, along with other partners, continue to combat crime and anti-social behaviour in the area despite the effect that cuts from central government are potentially having on morale and operational effectiveness.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

An award for George

I was very pleased to read that Great Waldingfield's champion of wildlife, George Millins, has received a community achievement award from Babergh.

George's complete commitment to the cause of biodiversity is well known to all of us who are concerned about these things.  His work with amphibians around the area has been unstinting.  He is probably best known for his frog rescue scheme on Folly Road in the spring, but he works hard to make sure that as many creatures as possible are preserved when inevitable development takes place.  The recent Sainsbury site is a case in point.

George's occasional contributions to this site are very popular, and the advice that he has given to me and my husband about wildlife initiatives at home have been invaluable.  George has the vision to know that man's destruction of habitat ultimately destroys the subtle balance of the environment to the ultimate detriment of us all.

Getting an community achievement award of this type is by no means easy.  The Council simply  organises the administration of the award, and sets the broad rules etc.  It does not dictate who gets one.  Clear evidence of selfless community work, plus the endorsement of a good number of people from the community, are necessary and there are always far more people nominated than awards given.

I will end this post with George's latest words on the current situation.  It starts with a comment about our wood pile, built close to our pond with his encouragement.  He really is an inspiration!

'Well done with the log pile, if you have lizards in the immediate area they will find their way to it and you should see them basking on sunny mornings from late Feb. onwards if the log pile has a sunny aspect. Log and brash piles in a semi shaded or shaded location do provide essential terrestrial habitat for amphibians and a broad based brash pile will help our declining hedgehogs - if any remain in your area.

   The serious decline of bees and butterflies is currently of concern, as well as habitat fragmentation and loss they now have to cope with more frequent and adverse weather. After an early drought, last Spring was mostly dull and wet, this had a damaging effect on some species especially the now misnamed Common Blue. This butterfly over winters as a caterpillar and was due to emerge as an adult butterfly during that dull wet period but as a cold blooded invertebrate it had few opportunities to be active and provide the second generation. Already scarce numbers of this species have plummeted and it now needs help, so if you have an area of grassland that is not regularly mown you could help save this butterfly locally. If you and Nick would like to help I do have the wild flower seeds which provide the all important food and nectar plants - I do provide these F.O.C.'

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Safer Neighbourhood update, plus facts about lorries on country lanes.

A way to avoid this!

A few brave souls turned out on a very cold Tuesday evening to attend the West Babergh Safer Neighbourhood Priority Setting Meeting in Bildeston last week.

The meeting agreed that priorities for the Team for the next two months will be combatting anti-social behaviour issues in Long Melford,  and also mounting additional patrols to pre-empt further break-ins in the Hitcham and Bildeston area. Additional police presence in Cockfield , requested at the last meeting after the oil tank theft at the school, appears to have been successful since no further problems have been experienced.

Advice was given, and help offered, by the Bildeston Speedwatch Team to other parishes wishing to reduce speeding through their communities.

A Hitcham resident raised a question with regard to Designated Lorry Routes.  Was it true, he asked, that it was possible to report heavy lorries that do not keep to these permitted routes through Suffolk?

I have to say that I had no idea, but at the meeting I said that I would guess, that there was probably no legal sanction available to Trading Standards to prevent such activity by lorry drivers. Sergeant Horton from the police agreed.

On Friday I was able to get hold of a contact at Suffolk County Council to find out the facts about this.  

Responsibility in this area actually lies with the Environmental and Transport Department, rather than Trading Standards who oversee Lorry Watch schemes.

It turns out that the County Council has no legal powers to prosecute lorry-drivers who stray off their designated routes.  However there is actually still good reason to submit a form to report heavy vehicles that use unsuitable country lanes, since a letter from the County Council to the driver's boss is often enough to put an end to the problem, at least for a while.

It is important if you do make a report however to note not just the registration number of the vehicle, but also the name of the haulier.  Since no legal sanctions are available the County Council do not have the right to ask the DVLA for the identity of the owner of the vehicle.  If however you manage to make a note of both these pieces of evidence a letter can be written to the haulier requesting that lorries stick to designated routes unless they have legitimate business in the area.

A map showing designated lorry routes through Suffolk can be found here and the form that you can use to report this and other heavy lorry related problems is here.

Safer Neighbourhood Team Meetings are held bi-monthly in West Babergh. These are meetings organised by the police at which members of the public can express concerns to the police and other partners about community safety issues in their communities.  The next meeting will be held in Glemsford on 19th March at 6 p.m.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Waste news, Thursday

Babergh Waste Services – Thursday 24 January 2013

All domestic and trade collection vehicles are attempting to clear the back log of recycling collections.  The message to residents is to please put their bins out on the normal day of collection and if not cleared please leave the bin out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Craft event in Little Waldingfield

Report from Andy Sheppard of Little Waldingfield History Society,

'On what may be the coldest night of the year (minus 11 C in Sudbury, estimated minus 13 C in Little Waldingfield), our members did us proud by turning up in force for our member only craft event, some 29 in all, making the evening a great success.
Four crafts were on display (Lace making, Felt making, Walking Stick making and Fly fish lure tying), along with an artefacts table showcasing a selection of WW1 and WW2 medals and their descriptions, other wartime and later memorabilia, a 1965 Little Waldingfield WI scrapbook and last years village scrapbook, which was a particular favourite with visitors.

With first guests arriving ahead of the 7.30 start and the last leaving around 9.30, it was apparent a good time was had by all, and a testament to the efforts put in by our LWHS member craft experts, who generously gave up their time and expertise to great effect.

The writer was hugely impressed by:
§  The complexity of the threads used to construct finely detailed lace,
§  The skills demonstrated in creating wonderfully patterned felt from scraps of brightly coloured merino wool,
§  The sheer myriad of lures which needed better eyes than mine to fully appreciate, and
§  The artistry of the astonishing range of walking sticks all fashioned from small branches and pieces of various horn most carefully bent and fashioned into the desired shape, which clearly takes huge effort, skill and patience. 

The History Society is most grateful to our member experts and we hope to do something similar next year.
 We now very much look forward to welcoming guests new and old to the LW Parish Room on Wednesday 13th February for our next talk on Suffolk Poachers and Smugglers, by local expert William Tyler, for what is sure to be another entertaining and informative evening.

Thanks to Andy Sheppard for this report.