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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Compassion, 15 years supporting the victims of domestic abuse in Babergh

The Cake!
There was a star studded turn out for Compassion's 15th Birthday Party in the Hills Room at Gainsborough's House yesterday morning.   The event coincided with White Ribbon Day, 25th November, the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

If you want to help  victims of abuse in our area there is no better way than to get in touch with Compassion to find out about how you can help.

You can learn more ON THE WEBSITE HERE.

Sue Ayres, Mayor of Sudbury with Sally Watson, SCC Localities Officer
Chairman and Founder of Compassion, Cathy Press, with James Cartlidge M.P. and Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner.

Margaret Maybury, Babergh Councillor with Specisl Responsibility for Communities, with Nick Antill.

Concert by St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir

Thanks to our Little Waldingfield Senior Correspondent, Andy Sheppard, for sending photos of last week's very successful concert in aid of St Lawrence's Church.  The St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir sang an eclectic selection of songs from round the world to high acclaim from the large audience.  One of the choir's members, John Sparkes, who lives in the village, sponsored the event, and at the same time fulfilled a long term ambition to stage a concert in Little Waldingfield.

It is clear that the evening was hugely enjoyable.  Moreover a much needed £1500 was raised for the church fabric fund.

The outstanding beauty and grace of St Lawrence's can be seen from the photo below, taken from the altar steps.

The reality in Cuba

Perpetual revolution, a freshly painted slogan on a factory in Cuba visted in 2015
My morning composure was spoilt this morning as I was obliged to listen to Ken Livingstone and some other old Trotkyist sympathiser heaping praise on Fidel Castro who died yesterday.

Castro was the worst sort of communist dictator who held his country back for 60 years.

We visited Cuba in 2015 and even as tourists it was impossible not to notice how poor and repressed the people of Cuba continue to be.

'Red Corner' in Cuban tobacco factory 2015.  The Party Member (seated) promotes propoganda and keeps an eye on the workers.
 I am not surpised that Cuban emigres in Miami were celebrating last night.  It's just a pity that the exploding cigar failed to ignite many years ago.

Urban decay in Havana 2015
Industrial decay. abandoned factory, inland 2015.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Devolution latest

Unsurprisingly, the withdrawal of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk council from the devolution process resulted in the Government scrapping the deal.  In Norfolk all further meetings to discuss the matter were cancelled.  In Suffolk however it was decided, following some encouragement from the Government, that we should attempt to conclude a deal for Suffolk alone (which might include some willing partners from Norfolk and/or Essex.)

Accordingly the meeting scheduled for yesterday to approve the Norfolk/Suffolk deal went ahead.  We were asked to debate the following ‘amendment’ to the motion:

That Council agrees:
1.          To reiterate the commitment, given at its June meeting, to Devolution as a means for delivering accelerated growth in the local and national economy and helping local people and places fulfil their potential;
2.          To authorise the Leader and Chief Executive to:
a)      seek an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss the Government’s intentions around devolution;
b)      work with Government and local partners to agree an alternative devolution deal as soon as possible
3.          That further reports are presented to the Authority, as appropriate, as the Devolution process progresses.

        During the course of yesterday it was not possible to obtain any clear impression of what a revised devolution arrangement for Suffolk alone would look like.  However,  I feel sure that any revised scheme would be similar in structure to what was previously proposed and would result in an unnecessary and expensive extra layer of government.  Nonetheless,  there seemed no harm in seeing what is actually on offer.  I might be proved wrong after all.  Having voted against the motion last time, on this occasion therefore I decided to abstain.

        The motion was carried by 57 votes, with 7 councillors abstaining.

        As the County Council faces many pressing problems at present, including sorting out the dismal highways situation and finding savings to fill a large budget gap, I am unable to escape the impression that devolution continues to be a major distraction and that we are guilty of fiddling while Rome burns.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

See the plans for expansion at Gainsborough's House on Saturday.

‘Reviving an Artist’s Birthplace:
A National Centre for Gainsborough - HLF Award

What happens next? If you were unable to make our first Open Day Gainsborough’s House invites you to a second Open Morning to find out more

Gainsborough’s House, birthplace and home of the renowned artist Thomas Gainsborough, has received Heritage Lottery Fund support of £4.73 million, including a development grant of £280,700, towards a £7.5 million project to transform the House into a national centre and one of the region’s leading heritage museum and galleries.

We will be holding a second Open Morning at Gainsborough’s Chambers on Weavers Lane, on Saturday 26th November from 10am-1pm where there will be an opportunity to look at the current plans, discuss what happens next and answer your questions.

All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you during the day

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Great Exhibition and Angel Roofs, News from LWHS

Dickinson's impression of the Great Exhibition of 1851
I am indebted as ever to Andy Sheppard for an excellent review of the last talk at Little Waldingfield Historial Society which was about the Great Exhibition.  This is a fascinating topic and I was sorry not to be able to attend. 

 The review can be read on the tab above.

 I shall be pulling out the stops to get along to the Society's December offering.  I have been fascinated by the wonderful phenomenon that is an Angel Roof ever since I was bussed up from London to March in my early 20's on a course that attempted to teach me how to become a 'driver guide' during my university holiday.  I had a few clients, but got hopelessly lost once in west London looking for Syon Park and rather lost confidence.    The roof of March church is truly wonderful, but only one of  several that can be enjoyed in the region.

On next month's talk Andy writes:
At our next talk, Michael Rimmer will introduce us to the Angel Roofs of East Anglia and reveal the history and development of these fascinating works of art. As he notes in his book of the same name (highly recommended by the way) “Nowhere outside England can be found such a series of magnificent timber roofs as those of which Westminster Hall and the angel roofs of East Anglia are examples".

Between 1395 and about 1530, several hundred were built in England; more than 140 survive to this day, almost exclusively in churches, predominantly in East Anglia and particularly in Suffolk and Norfolk. More than 90% of England’s figurative medieval art was obliterated during the Reformation and it is incredibly fortuitous that angel roofs were simply too high to reach.

Michael’s outstanding photographs will unveil to us all the astonishing detail and remarkable visual quality of these fantastic ecclesiastical objects, which date from Tudor times and before. This talk will make a great introduction to the festive season, and we very much look forward to welcoming guests new and old to the Parish Room on Wednesday 7th December for what is going to be a most wonderful introduction to this fascinating piece of our shared heritage.

The Angel Roof at March in Cambridgeshire

Friday, November 18, 2016

Another chance to critique Suffolk Local Policing Review,

Following on from yesterday's post, in which I commented on just one service that is no longer available from Suffolk Constabulary,  I have received this morning an e mail asking for feed back on the operation of the Suffolk Local Policing Review which has been operational since April this year.  The implementation of this Revew, which was aimed both at saving money and also at reconfiguring the police service better to meet changed conditions, has caused controversy as some activities, previously carried out by the police, have been discontinued or curtailed.

If you are unhappy about changes in policing in our area this is another opportunity to have your say, although the letter from the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable makes it clear that if you have already commented on particular aspects of the plan this will be taken into account, so no need to write again!

The letter points out that 'Steps have already been taken to improve some of the issues raised since April, for example, we have introduced the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) newsletters; Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators have a Single Point of Contact within their local SNT; we are investing in our non-emergency 101 system to improve the service and have introduced a new interactive website.' 

Full details of the Suffolk Local Policing Review can be downloaded  HERE.

It seems that comments should be submitted, preferably by 23rd December, by e mail to tim.passmore@suffolk.pnn.police.uk or to gareth.wilson@suffolk.pnn.police.uk. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Train your own traffic managers

If you run an event that needs traffic management you can avoid the expense of paying a traffic management company by sending local volunteers on a training course.

In the past the police used to take responsibility for managing traffic at events such as street fairs, sporting events etc. , but it seems that is another service that is no longer on offer.  Now the police will only turn up if an event is of 'national importance or are a potential risk to public safety'.

The course is run by a private training company (details below) and is aimed at event organisers or individuals that have responsibility for traffic management or organised events working in conjunction with the Highways Authority or others.  It is aimed at event stewards whose duties might include guiding vehicles, maintaining emergency routes, erecting signs and notices and dealing with pedestrian control.  It is not aimed at traffic marshals, who are appointed and accredited by the Police to deal with more complex traffic management at major events.

The course is classroom based, and participants have to pass a test at the end.  This does not seem too tough however since the pass rate is 70 percent.

Further details are available from  Palmer Training of Bramford, Ipswich. Telephone 01473 834969. e mail: info@palmertrainingacademy.co.uk