Cllr Karen Soons 07864 601 887
August 2020 Parish Newsletter
Businesses should be aware that some people will be exempt from wearing face
coverings, including children under the age of 11 and people with certain conditions.
People may also have a hidden disability which makes it difficult for them to wear
Businesses are asked to not make assumptions if someone is not wearing a face
covering, as that person may feel quite vulnerable and uncomfortable. Their hidden
disability may even include issues with communication. Business should check if the
person is wearing a Hidden Disability Sunflower.
David Collinson, the lead for the Safer Places group, said:
“The safety of our communities is the most important thing as our high streets and
“Ultimately, businesses are responsible to ensure the safety of their staff and
customers but, through the Safer Places group, we’re doing everything we can to
support them and help reduce the risk of infection.
“But people have a role too and it is vital they follow the face covering guidance. By
sticking with the guidance and helping each other to keep safe you will stop the
spread of Covid-19 and help local businesses stay open, serving their communities.”
For up-to-date guidance on exemptions to wearing a face covering where they are
mandated, see the government’s website.
Suffolk CoronaWatch launches
Suffolk’s Public Health Knowledge and Intelligence Team have produced a suite of
resources called CoronaWatch.
The online ‘Coronawatch’ dashboard, which launched in the week of 11 July, gathers
all publicly available data on COVID-19 in Suffolk into one place. This data is in the
public domain and free to access and use.
You can visit the CoronaWatch dashboard at
You will be able to access national and local data, including confirmed cases of
coronavirus (COVID-19), deaths from coronavirus, care home outbreaks, and
Google social mobility data. You can also access a series of briefings which have
been produced on related topics, all from publicly available sources.
Council proposes unprecedented environmental plans in
response to climate emergency
In response to its declaration of a climate emergency, Suffolk County Council aims to
lead the way with an unparalleled range of activities and policy changes to support
its ambition of being a ‘net zero’ authority by 2030.
At its meeting on 14 July 2020, the council’s Cabinet reviewed and agreed an
extensive programme of recommendations to achieve this ambition.
The plans include dozens of changes and new ways of working, from making its pool
car fleet all-electric, to making it mandatory for all future committee decisions to
consider the net zero ambition.
Being ‘net zero’ means that the council will remove its carbon emissions where it
can; if it is unable to do so, it will compensate for those emissions. The council will
adopt a more detailed method to measure its carbon emissions output, so that it can
more accurately track its progress on an annual basis.
Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment & Public Protection
at Suffolk County Council, said:
“Suffolk County Council has been involved with successful climate change projects
for many years, including the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership. We have put
millions of pounds into energy efficiency projects for both businesses and homes and
continue to do so.
“Suffolk has been moving in the right direction, having seen carbon emission
reductions of 41% since 1990. But now is the time to move up through the gears and
do even better.
“The impact of climate change is an issue which involves everyone and affects
everyone. With the approval of these plans, the council will lead by example. We will
inspire other businesses to see what can be achieved, to show that change can, and
In March 2019, Suffolk County Council was the first authority in the county to declare
a climate emergency.
One of the council’s priorities after this declaration was to set up a policy
development panel (PDP). The panel met regularly, discussing the changes and
challenges the council faces in reducing its carbon emissions. The panel included
councillors from outside the Conservative group and invited experts to share their
experiences and insights. It is this panel that has compiled the recommendations.
Amongst the recommendations, Suffolk County Council will continue its work with all
other local authorities and agencies, under the umbrella of the Suffolk Climate
Change Partnership, which was formed in 2007. With all local authorities having now
declared a climate emergency, they will use their combined powers, duties, influence
and leadership, continuing their work together to achieve the net zero ambition for
emissions from all of Suffolk.
Full details of the recommendations can be found in the Climate Emergency Policy
Development Panel report.
Next steps to improve the region’s rail service
A rail scheme to improve passenger rail service frequency between Ipswich/Norwich
and Cambridge, and to provide a new direct rail service to Oxford, has moved a step
closer with the commissioning of work to develop a business case for the Eastern
Section of the East West Rail Main Line.
Consultants Steer have been appointed by the East West Rail Consortium, which
has membership from local authorities across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire,
Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to
develop a business case for enhancing rail connectivity.
The business case will be used to demonstrate to the Department for Transport the
economic benefit of improving the frequency of passenger rail services between
Ipswich/Norwich and Cambridge (known as the Eastern Section of the East West
Rail Main Line) and of providing a new direct passenger rail link from Suffolk/Norfolk
If the business case is successful, the funding will be used to develop the next stage
of the project, which is to assess the rail infrastructure requirements and develop a
preferred rail infrastructure option.
The East West Main Line will run from Oxford to Ipswich/Norwich via Cambridge and
comprises three sections – Eastern Section (the existing line between
Ipswich/Norwich and Cambridge), Central Section (a new rail route between
Cambridge and Bedfordshire) and Western Section (a new rail route between Oxford
and Bedfordshire). Both the Central Section and Western Section have received
funding commitments from Government to construct new rail links. Although a new
rail link is not needed on the Eastern Section, it is anticipated that rail infrastructure
is required to improve the frequency of passenger rail services to Cambridge and
onwards to Oxford.
Councillor Alexander Nicoll, Chair of East West Rail Eastern Section Group
and Suffolk County Councillor and Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport,
“Building a new railway connection would transform connectivity and journey times
across our region and with the rest of the country.
“This would bring huge benefits to passengers and businesses, driving economic
growth and creating opportunities for housing and new jobs.
“It will also go a long way to get people out of their cars, providing a greener more
sustainable transport system.”
The development of the business case for the Eastern Section is anticipated to take
six months, after which it will be submitted to the Department for Transport for
consideration to fund the next stage of the rail investment process.
Staying safe in the water this summer
With the weather getting warmer, many of us may be looking to enjoy the sunshine
by bringing out inflatable paddling pools. However, there are risks for young children
when they are around water at home.
The Child Accident and Prevention Trust (CAPT) and The Royal Society for the
Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) state that drownings can be silent and can occur in
as little as three centimetres of water.
They have issued guidance to parents for keeping young children safe around water
in the home or garden.
While small children are playing in inflatable or home pools, parents should always
provide supervision, and young children should not be trusted to supervise younger
children as they may be too young to recognise danger.
It is also recommended that paddling pools are emptied when not in use and ponds
are enclosed by fences or covered by grilles while children are young. Parents
should remain alert to ponds and pools when visiting other people’s homes.
Cllr James Reeder, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, said:
"Young children can be fascinated by water, and swimming is great for a child's
health and fitness. It is however important to stay vigilant, and always supervise
young children when they are in or near water.
“I urge parents to follow these simple steps so that children can enjoy the summer
Suffolk Trading Standards has also provided the following advice to consumers of
paddling pools and buoyancy equipment:
• It is very important to make sure you read all the warnings on paddling pools and
inflatables to ensure they are suitable for your child.
• Water toys such as inflatables must state: ‘Warning: only to be used in water in
which the child is within its depth and under supervision’.
• Armbands and buoyant swim jackets are helpful to give children confidence while
learning to swim. However, you should ensure your child is wearing the correct
size to provide the necessary level of buoyancy.
• Rubber rings and inflatables are only suitable for children that already have some
swimming ability. Be wary of allowing very young children to use these toys, and
ensure you provide constant supervision.
Good news for Sudbury as the sale of Chilton Woods
moves towards completion
The long-awaited sale of the Chilton Woods development site on the edge of
Sudbury has reached its final phase.
On 23 July, it was reported that Suffolk County Council is exchanging contracts with
housing developer Taylor Wimpey, selling the land as a single lot. The sale had been
planned to be exchanged and completed in March, but was delayed due to the
Lying within the parishes of Chilton, Acton, Sudbury and Long Melford, Chilton
Woods has been allocated for development in Babergh District Council’s Core
Strategy and was granted outline planning permission by Babergh District Council in
2018. The development will see 1,150 new homes built, a quarter of which will be
"affordable” – for rent or shared ownership. A new primary school with pre-school
facilities built will be built on the site, as well as a village centre with new local retail
units, a pub and village hall. 50% of the site is allocated as green space.
Councillor Nick Gowrley, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Housing,
Economic Development and Enterprise said:
"It is fantastic that by achieving this sale SCC have been able to support the housing
and employment aspirations for the Sudbury area, as laid out in Babergh District
Council's local plan.
"We have also made sure to consider future community needs, including open green
spaces, a community woodland, and children’s play areas, providing real social
value to the development. All this has been achieved while getting a good financial
return for the land itself. This is fully in line with SCC’s new land management and
The completion of the sale is expected in the next six months. The county council
secured outline planning consent for the whole of the Chilton Woods development
before bringing this site to the market last year. The next stage after completion will
involve Taylor Wimpey, as the new owner and developer, bringing forward their final
plans for the site to Babergh District Council for approval.
Councillor Gowrley continued:
“I also want to thank Taylor Wimpey for their hugely professional approach to this
sale, especially over the last few months, which have been challenging for everyone.
I am confident that with Taylor Wimpey this professional approach will continue.”
David Pelle, Land and Planning Director for Taylor Wimpey East London, said:
“This is a significant site for both Taylor Wimpey and the parishes of Chilton, Acton,
Sudbury and Long Melford that brings a range of benefits to the local area. We are
now looking forward to engaging with residents, community stakeholders and
councils as we finalise our plans before commencing construction.”
The Hold moves a step closer to completion
Monday 20 July marked the practical completion of The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront
and the 'handover’ of the site to Suffolk County Council.
When finished, The Hold will be the new home for Suffolk Archives’ Ipswich branch,
safely housing the bulk of Suffolk’s nationally and internationally significant archives.
Although the majority of the construction is now complete, work will continue on site
for the next few months with contractors and staff focused on building fit out,
installation of furniture and IT equipment, and staff training, to ensure the site is
With the steady relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions, it is likely that The
Hold will now have a phased and gradual opening. With health and safety plans
under development, it is hoped that the building could be ready to welcome
members of the public to the opening of its first exhibition towards the end of this
With more than 900 years of the county's rich and diverse history to discover, when it
opens this exciting new building will allow people of all ages and backgrounds to
step inside and discover more about where they live and their own heritage.
The Hold will be open to everyone, offering not only archive specific services in the
searchroom, library, and education room, but also state-of-the-art public facilities and
teaching spaces for staff and students from the University of Suffolk. An exhibition
gallery, café, shop, and garden will complete the visitor experience.
Councillor Paul West, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heritage said:
“It is fantastic to know that the majority of the construction work is now complete on
site and that the building can be officially handed over to us so that it can be fitted
out over the next few months. We are looking forward to sharing our archives service
more widely. This fantastic purpose-built facility will make such a difference, enabling
us to welcome so many more and different audiences than before. I know that much
is already happening through the associated National Lottery Heritage Fund Activity
Plan and I look forward to seeing this county-wide engagement continue to grow
across all three of our branches, and elsewhere in Suffolk”
The Hold is a partnership project between Suffolk County Council and the University
of Suffolk. It has received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, other
national organisations, and local Suffolk heritage groups.
Anne Jenkins, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery
Heritage Fund, said:
“The Hold is a fantastic heritage project for the East of England and it’s wonderful to
see that the work to ready the building for its opening is making great progress. We
are excited to see the next milestones for the project ahead of opening and how
people from all across Suffolk, and further afield, can discover the captivating history
of the area.”
Funding secured for summer holiday activity and food
On 10 July, it was reported that £963,000 of funding has been secured from the
Department of Education to deliver a holiday activity and food programme for
children in Suffolk.
The programme which is named ‘Summer in a Box’ will support the most
disadvantaged families, children in care and young carers over the six-week summer
holiday. This will include the distribution of 1,600 activity packs to children and young
The packs, which have been developed in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust
and a range of local voluntary, community and social enterprise groups, provide lots
of practical activities for children and young people to interact with. These range from
music to museums, physical activity, art, reading, mental health and wellbeing, and
cooking. There is also the opportunity to engage with video tutorials and specialist
Suffolk County Council has been working with the Suffolk Community Foundation to
ensure that families most in need have access to food and information on cooking
and nutrition. 6000 food packs, which equates to 12,000 meals, will be sent to these
families. This is in addition to free school meal vouchers.
Children who receive Free School Meals will also be able to access a range of free
outdoor holiday clubs. At holiday clubs, children can take part in different sports and
a range of creative activities, as well as receiving a free lunch. The clubs have been
arranged in partnership with West Suffolk Council, East Suffolk Council and Babergh
and Mid Suffolk District Councils.
Children with complex SEND issues and who are in receipt of free school meals will
be able to access specialist school holiday provision. There is also a 1:1 activity
programme supporting children and young people living in complex family situations,
which will not only support the young person but also work with the family to help
make positive changes and choices towards a trajectory of better outcomes for the
young people involved.
Outreach youth work will also take place in multiple locations and provide young
people with the opportunity for assistance and guidance or just someone to have a
Councillor Paul West, Cabinet Member for Ipswich, Communities and Waste
“I am delighted that we have once again been successful in our bid for funding for
our holiday activity programme for children and young people in Suffolk. The
summer can often be a challenging time for families as they try to keep children
occupied, happy and healthy. This will be especially true this year due to the Covid-
19 pandemic. Many children have missed out on time in school and have been
impacted by lockdown, so it is important that we can provide stimulating activities for
them over the summer holidays.”
"The Covid-19 pandemic has meant we have had to adapt and modify the
programme to ensure we are in line with government guidance. This is why we have
developed activity packs, so children and young people can have access to activities
at home. For those children who are able to attend outdoor summer clubs we will
have the appropriate measures in place to keep them safe.”
Vans, trailers and trade waste now accepted at nine of
Suffolk’s recycling centres
As of 1 July 2020, people with vans, trailers and trade waste can now book to visit
nine of Suffolk's 11 recycling centres.
All visitors will need to pre-book an appointment online, where they will be asked
what type of vehicle they will use and whether they are bringing household or
business waste. To prevent queuing on neighbouring roads, people without a
booking will not be able to enter the site. Social distancing measures also operate on
JUNE 2020 PARISH NEWSLETTER
June 2020 Parish Newsletter
Cllr Karen Soons
07864 601 887
The Home but Not Alone helpline has now received nearly 9,000 calls, which include
calls for support with food, calls for support with collecting medication, and calls
relating to loneliness or isolation.
More booking slots released following successful re-opening of Suffolk’s recycling centres
On Thursday 14 May, all of Suffolk’s 11 recycling centre sites re-opened on an
appointment only basis. Since then, 95% of all slots have been booked. This
amounts to 28,500 appointments. The booking system has proved an efficient and
effective way of allowing people to easily dispose of their rubbish and helping
manage demand on the service. The system has received widespread public
support. It has helped reduce traffic disruption on roads around the sites and
supported social distancing on site for staff and members of the public.
The initial road closures that were put in place at Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds,
and Foxhall Road, Foxhall, were lifted after five days. Sir Alf Ramsey Way, Ipswich,
remains closed for the time being, with the closure reviewed regularly.
From 28 May, in line with the phased approach, and because of the success of the
booking system, car derived vans can access the sites via online booking. Charges
for DIY waste from households, like soil, rubble or hardcore, will also be accepted,
but trade waste still cannot be taken to the sites. Contactless card payments will be
taken at a kiosk on site, in line with social distancing measures. Bags of compost will
also be available to buy on site.
Paul West, Cabinet member for Waste at Suffolk County Council, said:
“The success of the re-opening of the recycling centres has been largely down to the
cooperation and willingness of people to comply with the temporary guidelines and
support social distancing on site.
“Thank you for playing your part in helping us with the smooth transition of getting
Suffolk’s recyclable waste moving again. The positive comments and feedback from
our residents have been overwhelming and very much appreciated by site staff.”
Temporary rules still apply, which include:
• No access to sites without pre-booking
• Cars, car derived vans, and pedestrians only – no larger vans, trailers or
• One adult to unload, unless two adults are needed for heavy items
• No staff assistance to unload vehicles
• No trade waste
• No textiles or re-use items accepted.
To make a booking, please visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/recyclingcentres. If you do
not have access to the internet, call 0345 606 6067. To prevent dangerous queueing, residents without a booking will not be able to enter the site. Residents
must not arrive on site more than five minutes before their allocated time.
Any waste you have which is contaminated, or suspected to have been
contaminated, with COVID 19 must be double-bagged and kept at home for 72 hours
before it is brought to site.
Suffolk County Council continues to review the temporary rules and will continue to
remove restrictions to the service when it is safe to do so.
People who are, or have anyone in their household, suffering from Covid-19
symptoms, or who have been diagnosed as having the virus, must not visit recycling
centres. Please follow the government’s guidance on self-isolating and shielding.
Suffolk creates safer spaces as communities begin to re-
open during Covid-19 response To ensure appropriate safety measures can be put in place for communities across
Suffolk, the county council is working closely with its local authority partners, town
councils and the business community to develop guidance and advice on how social
distancing measures can be maintained as shops and businesses begin to re-open
and current lockdown restrictions are relaxed over time.
This will include empowering local councils and the business community to make
small-scale temporary changes to enable social distancing, without the need to seek
consent from Suffolk County Council.
Where there is a requirement or desire for larger, more detailed changes to be made
in the community, these will need to be discussed with county council officers to
understand how this can be achieved.
Any of the temporary changes made during this time will be kept under review and
Suffolk County Council will continue to work with its partners to adapt to government
guidance and review what support is needed to help the local economy.
The council has received a number of enquiries and requests to date, asking for a
range of measures related to creating safe spaces in local communities. These
requests are being grouped into the following categories, to help the Council
understand the highest priorities and what work is required in different areas of the
• Small-scale changes – changes that communities can make themselves,
without contacting Suffolk County Council. These will be local safety measures
on pavements that outline queuing areas, social distancing reminders, or simple
painted markings on pavement surfaces for pedestrians.
• Medium-scale changes – changes that will require communities to contact
Suffolk County Council for support. This will be anything that needs to happen off
the pavement, or anything that Suffolk Highways will be required to deliver, such
as temporary signs, barriers and cones. This may also include simple traffic
regulation notices or orders, and licenses for seating, planters and other semi-
• Large-scale changes – changes that will require communities to contact Suffolk
County Council for support. This will include any road closures or extensive
changes to how traffic is managed and semi-permanent works, such as painting
lines on roads, pothole patching, or works such as installing dropped kerbs.
If the activity that the community wants to carry out requires working on, or in, the
road, then the county council will need to be contacted. If communities are unsure
where their proposed changes fit, they are encouraged to contact the county council
Local councils and businesses should consider the following when carrying out
small-scale changes in their communities:
• Ensure communities work safely at all times when installing local measures;
ensure activities are carried out on the pavement, not in the road; and aim to
carry out works during quieter periods of the day.
• Consider the needs of people with disabilities, such as wheelchair users or those
with impaired visibility, and those with prams, double buggies or trollies to ensure
they have sufficient space on the pavement to pass safely.
• Consider the type of paint being used (i.e. it should be non-toxic) or consider
using small thermoplastic markings of appropriate symbols that can be easily
• Laminated signs should be fixed to street furniture (such as lighting columns),
with cable ties only to avoid damage. Consideration also needs to be given to
having these signs at a safe height and ensuring they are visible.
• Digging into the pavement or road is not permitted, nor is fixing anything to the
floor, due to the possibility of there being underground cables and pipes.
• Town councils should monitor and review signs and the condition of paint
markings to ensure these are clear and safe.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for
Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“We have received several requests from local town councils and business groups to
make changes to the public highway as their usually-busy high streets and town
centres begin to re-open following government lockdown.
“We are working closely with them all to implement these measures safely. As this
work continues, we will produce further guidance and advice to support local
communities who are keen to undertake some of this work themselves, but in the
meantime I am pleased to begin to outline how we are planning to undertake this
work and empower our communities where they are able and willing to do so.
“We have already supported Southwold Town Council to implement changes based
on the above parameters.
“I am really pleased Suffolk County Council is taking a pragmatic approach in putting
forward this guidance, and I thank officers for all their hard work in making this
Local areas should follow government guidelines on safer public spaces.
Read more about safer spaces on the highway.
People in Suffolk to benefit from a virtual care response
Suffolk County Council, in partnership with RETHINK Partners and Alcove, has
launched a new and innovative response to the COVID-19 crisis, by providing virtual
care and support to vulnerable or shielded people.
The service is provided through the rapid rollout of the Alcove Video Carephone, a
simple communication device that allows people with little or no technological ability
to have two-way video contact with care workers, family members and other
approved service providers. This will help with tasks that do not require face-to-face
visits and, therefore, limit people’s exposure to infection. For example, carers can
check visually if medications are being taken, set prompts and reminders, or carry
out welfare and wellbeing checks.
Users are being supported to set up the Alcove Video Carephones remotely and
their friends and family members can also be added during set-up. The council is
working closely with care providers and partners to identify the most appropriate
people, to receive the device.
Councillor Beccy Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member
for Adult Care, said:
"We are rolling out 1,000 of the Video Carephones to those people in our
communities who would benefit most from this kind of support. The service will
supplement regular care visits and allow residents to receive care virtually for
identified tasks. Those people who need face-to-face care will, of course, still receive
that level of care.
“There is also the added benefit that friends and family can check-in on their loved
ones at any time. This initiative is a prime example of how technology can enhance
the care and support provided by carers, helping to keep people connected whilst
also providing that extra support.”
Read about Suffolk Virtual Care Response Service here.
Domestic abuse helpline extended to offer round the clock
support in Suffolk
On 22 May, Suffolk County Council, working with Anglia Care Trust, extended its
Domestic Abuse Helpline to offer 24-hour support. The council is urging anyone
experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse to make contact, when safe to do so.
With lockdown measures still in place, it is important that those who may find
themselves at risk of abuse at home, can access the right support at whatever time
they need it. The existing Domestic Abuse Outreach Service has therefore extended
its 0800 977 5690 freephone number to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a
week. Anyone with concerns, including professionals who are supporting clients and
friends and families who are concerned for loved ones, can access this local support.
The government advice encouraging people to stay at home as much as possible
can create additional challenges to those at risk of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse
remains a priority for partners across Suffolk during this period.
Paul West, Cabinet Member for Communities at Suffolk County Council, said:
“More than ever, it is really important that we look out for each other and if you have
concerns about a neighbour, friend or family member please encourage them to
reach out for support when it is safe for them to do so.
“This 24-hour free phoneline is a vital lifeline in helping those in need.”
The service also includes a live web chat from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, which
can be accessed at angliacaretrust.org.uk.
If people are in immediate danger, they should call the police on 999. If someone is
unable to speak or make a sound, but needs immediate help, they should call 999
and stay on the line, and then press 55 when prompted. The call will be transferred
to the police, who will know it is an emergency call.
For those looking for help online, ‘quick exit’ buttons and other mechanisms can be
used to increase online privacy. Information is available from techsafety.org
The charity Respect offers support for people exhibiting abusive behaviour or who
are worried about their own behaviour on 0808 8024040 or
Stick With It Suffolk – continue slowing the spread of
Suffolk residents are being asked to continue their great efforts, which are
successfully reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The Stick With It Suffolk campaign, launched on 18 May, highlights the things we
must all continue doing to keep each other safe and to defeat the virus.
• Keep staying at home
• Keep working from home if you can
• Keep two metres apart if you go out
• Keep exercising safely
• Keep washing your hands with soap and water
• Keep self-isolating if you, or anyone in your household, has symptoms
• Keep travelling by car, bike or walking
• Keep staying safe at work
• Keep shielding yourself if you’re vulnerable
• Keep supporting local businesses
• Keep looking out for each other.
Stick With It Suffolk is being rolled out across the county by the Suffolk Resilience
Forum, which includes Suffolk’s NHS, Emergency and Public Services. These local
authorities and organisations are working together around the clock to keep Suffolk
as safe as possible.
This is how Suffolk will successfully respond to the government’s Stay Alert, Control
The Virus, Save Lives message.
People are asked to share their stories and how they are managing to stick with it,
using the hashtag #StickWithItSuffolk on social media.
Stuart Keeble, Suffolk Director of Public Health, said:
“On behalf of all the members of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, I’d like to say thank
you to the people of Suffolk for the sacrifices they are making by following these
“But now, more than ever, it is important that we stick with it - the number of cases
can very easily increase if we take our eye off the ball. This would be a backward
step, with strict lockdown measures coming back into force.
“With young children of my own, I understand how difficult it is when they can’t see
their family and friends, they would love to see their grandparents but I know this
increases the risk to my family and Suffolk residents. We are making progress, and
we will continue to do so if we Stick With It Suffolk.”
Don’t suffer alone – help is available to support your
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, help is available –
that’s the message from the Suffolk Resilience Forum.
National and local evidence shows a drop in the number of people accessing mental
health services during the coronavirus outbreak. It is important that Suffolk people
know that help is available all day, every day.
The FirstResponse service, launched by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust,
is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides immediate advice,
support and signposting for people with mental health difficulties. If you are
experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about
your mental health you can call the helpline on 0808 196 3494.
More support is available at any time of day or night from Samaritans, who offer
confidential and non-judgmental emotional support whenever you need someone to
talk to. Call 116 123.
For young people, Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional wellbeing
support service commissioned by NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West
Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, and Public Heath Suffolk. It launched across
the county in October 2019 to provide support to young people aged 11 to 18 years.
Since going live, the service has been accessed over 3,100 times, with 97% of the
youngsters who used it saying they would recommend it to a friend. As a result of its
popularity, and the Coronavirus outbreak, the Kooth service has been extended to
support more young people - up to the age of 25.
Kooth offers young people bookable virtual chat sessions with experienced
counsellors, live moderated forums to share their experiences, self-help materials,
journals and goal trackers to reflect their thoughts and feelings.
Young people can access the service by going to: kooth.com, and registering. For
details of other emotional wellbeing support services available to young people in
Suffolk visit: www.thesource.me.uk/wellbeing
Suffolk GPs and A&E services also remain open, and there are different options
available for speaking to a GP including telephone, text, video call or email.
If you need urgent help, feel desperate or unsafe, you should talk to someone
nearby immediately if possible, call 999, or visit your nearest A&E department.
The advice remains that you should not travel to A&E or your doctor’s surgery if you
are experiencing any typical symptoms of coronavirus, such as a high temperature
or a new continuous cough.
Update on Covid-19 in Suffolk’s care homes
Opinion piece by Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, Cabinet Member for
Adult Care. Published 12 May 2020.
There has been a lot of news reported lately about how the Coronavirus pandemic is
playing out in care homes and other residential care settings. Many people are
concerned about their family members and friends who live in care homes,
especially as they are unable to visit. I want to address some of people’s concerns
One of the most concerning elements of Coronavirus in care homes is the number of
deaths that are happening as a result of the virus. Some statistics released by the
Office of National Statistics have led to comparisons on the number of deaths
between different areas of the country. The difference in the number of people dying
of Covid-19 in care homes could be for a number of reasons, including difference in
population size, the number of care homes per area, or more people remaining in
their usual place of residence rather than moving into hospital for end of life care.
Suffolk has a high number of ‘nursing’ beds in care homes. This means people can
remain in their care home setting for a longer period and get treatment as they
become more ill, rather than being transferred to hospital. Also, here in Suffolk, we
instigated a local testing regime early on for care homes. With more tests being
carried out, we have more results, so we are able to confirm whether Coronavirus
contributed to the cause of death.
The number of people who have died in care homes in Suffolk is, thankfully, small.
However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that people have died because of
Coronavirus. It is a tragedy that families are losing their much beloved relatives and
friends to this virus and my deepest sympathies and condolences are with those who
are grieving during this most difficult time.
What I want to stress is that the reason people are sadly dying in care homes due to
Coronavirus isn’t down to care homes in Suffolk not doing enough. Care providers in
Suffolk are doing everything they can to look after their residents and those receiving
support in their own homes.
While we no longer have any council-owned care homes in Suffolk, they are all
privately owned and run, the county council still considers looking after the most
vulnerable to be its top priority. This means that we have focused on supporting the
county’s care providers in whatever way we can, to help them face the challenges
that Coronavirus presents.
We are in daily contact with providers to support them and respond to their needs
and concerns. We have provided a package of financial support that includes a
minimum payment guarantee, as well as advance payments to enable providers to
stay operational even when faced with staff absence.
We have supported health partners to deploy dedicated infection prevention and
control support to providers through a dedicated support line for infection advice,
personal protective equipment (PPE) questions, and for requesting testing for
residents with symptoms.
Ahead of a national testing site being available we started testing residents in care
homes. Since testing began in mid-April, over 600 people have been tested, and
Meanwhile care homes and providers are doing an incredible job to protect their
residents and staff and control the spread of infection where it arises.
They are following the latest guidance issued by Public Health England and
Government for the correct use of PPE such as face masks, visors, goggles, gloves,
They are practicing social distancing wherever possible and where it is not, due to
the task being carried out, PPE is in use and, of course, hygiene practices are being
followed throughout our care homes.
The problems that the care sector faces when trying to get enough PPE have been
well documented. While care providers are responsible for sourcing their own supply
of equipment, the Suffolk Resilience Forum has set up a PPE centre that is providing
the local care market with emergency supplies. So far, we have supplied 219
organisations with PPE and every care provider who has asked for support has
The county council is standing shoulder to shoulder with our care providers as we
face this crisis and I want to take one final moment to praise their monumental efforts
and their continued dedication and professionalism. The kindness and warmth that
they show our most vulnerable each and every day, despite the pressures they face
is deeply moving. Please continue to join me at 8pm on Thursday evenings, and
applaud our amazing care workers. They are incredible people who are doing their
best for the sake of others; they deserve to feel your thanks and appreciation.
Other news Discover Suffolk’s history with new Suffolk Heritage
On 20 May, Suffolk County Council’s Archaeological Service announced the launch
of its new Suffolk Heritage Explorer website at heritage.suffolk.gov.uk. This offers
users a completely free resource of interesting, up-to-date information on the
archaeology and history of Suffolk.
The new website includes an upgraded searchable interactive map and a database
of known archaeological sites, which can be used to discover more about Suffolk’s
history from the comfort of your home.
Alongside free downloadable publications and resources, there is updated guidance
and best practice advice on finds recording and access to the county’s
The website features key archaeological sites and projects, such as Suffolk’s World
War II heritage. You can find out more about the internationally significant Anglo-
Saxon site at Rendlesham, its 12 years of ongoing archaeological research and
results, with podcasts and archaeological reports.
A dedicated section on Ipswich also summarises the town’s development through
the ages, featuring the recently completed ‘Urban Archaeological Database’ with
useful archive and planning guidance. There are also lots downloadable activities for
families and children.
Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for
Environment and Public Protection, said:
“The new Suffolk Heritage Explorer website is exciting and will inspire a love of
history in the next generation. It will allow the public far and wide to access and
celebrate Suffolk’s unique heritage online.”
The new website will be regularly updated with new content, blog posts and
information. Discover the new Suffolk Heritage Explorer
Delicious Drawings competition: Children to explore the
value of food through new competition by #FoodSavvy
On 20 May, the pioneering food saving campaign #FoodSavvy launched a month-
long Delicious Drawings competition in collaboration with the East of England Co-op.
The competition will inspire primary school children in Suffolk to get creative about
saving and valuing food. Children are invited to draw a picture which shows how you
can stop tasty food from ending up in the bin.
#FoodSavvy is a partnership between the Suffolk Waste Partnership, Norfolk County
Council and environmental charity Hubbub.
On average, households across East Anglia waste £810 worth of food every year.
However, since the coronavirus restrictions, the country's relationship with food has
been changing. Nearly 60% of people say they are valuing food more now. Cooking
from scratch, and families eating together more, are just some of the positive shifts in
food related behaviours, according to new research commissioned by Hubbub.
The Delicious Drawings competition will provide a great focus for families to talk
about the value of food and why eating every bite is important, and it gives children
an opportunity to be creative and inspire others to reduce their food waste.
There are some great prizes to be won, from children’s cooking kits to East of
England Co-op vouchers, and the chance for the drawing to be put up in a local Co-
op store. If you know a mini artist, chef, or storyteller you can find more information
The competition is open to all primary aged children across Suffolk and young artists
can enter their masterpieces until Friday 20 June. Winners will be announced by 20
The Food Savvy website is packed with recipes and ideas to cut down food waste
and make your food go further, from planning your shopping to storing food correctly,
plus lots of savvy living tips to help with lockdown life.
Highways completes 1,000 extra road improvements
On 13 May, it was reported that Suffolk Highways has increased its number of
repairs and road improvements since the Coronavirus lockdown began.
6,334 potholes and other highway faults were repaired in the county during March
and April, compared with 5,345 in the same period last year, meaning a 18.5%
increase in repairs.
Through Suffolk Highways’ careful planning of resource prior to and during the
lockdown, teams working out on the network have been supported to continue
working effectively, whilst keeping themselves and members of the travelling public
On top of these reactive repairs which are picked up through reports from residents
and Suffolk Highways’ routine inspections, the service has continued with its larger
improvement schemes, completing works on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds and
continuing with the construction of a new footpath on Heath Lane in Ipswich.
Suffolk Highways has also continued with its cyclical drainage, grass cutting and
weed control programmes, ensuring those travelling for essential purposes can do
so safely. Furthermore, the resurfacing and surface dressing programmes have
begun – laying new surfaces on roads to help stop potholes from forming in future.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for
Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“Despite the obvious challenges all public services are experiencing at the moment, I
am really pleased to see that not only are our highways colleagues continuing
business as usual, but they are using the quieter roads to get more done!
“Our teams have had to work in different ways, to ensure they can continue keeping
the roads safe and open for use, whilst keeping themselves and those they come
into contact with safe and healthy.
“Despite these extra precautions, Suffolk Highways colleagues have increased
productivity, repaired more issues and continued with their planned programmes of
work. These successes are evidence of the hard work and dedication shown by our
key worker operatives - thank you all for what you continue to do to keep our county
Suffolk Archives commemorate VE Day 75 with new online
VE (Victory in Europe) Day - Friday 8 May 1945 - was the day the Second World
War came to an end across Europe.
In 1945, up and down the country, people came together to celebrate this moment
with street parties, parades, and dancing across towns and villages, and a national
holiday was declared.
Until earlier this year, Suffolk Archives had intended to recreate this atmosphere at a
special event on Ipswich Waterfront. Unfortunately, due to the on-going situation with
the Coronavirus pandemic they, like so many others, had to cancel these plans.
Instead, Suffolk Archives are proud to host a special online exhibition, in place of the
activities which would have been taking
The new online display brings together the many ways in which VE Day was
celebrated across the county in 1945. You can explore photographs, extracts from
newspaper articles, and oral history recordings, all brought to life through an
interactive map. There is even an introductory guide to researching your own family’s
history during the Second World War, and an appeal for people to share their own
family or local stories from 1945. Suffolk Archives are always looking to build a better
understanding of local history through personal stories, memories, and documents.
Women’s Tour postponed to June 2021
On 4 May, it was announced that the seventh edition of the UCI Women’s WorldTour
event will now take place in June 2021.
Commenting on the decision, Hugh Roberts from SweetSpot Group, organisers
of the Women’s Tour said:
“With the extra time now available we look forward to making next year’s Women’s
Tour even bigger and better than before and a fantastic celebration of cycling and
“We are now working with partners on our plans for the Women’s Tour to be live
streamed for the first time in 2021 and are also exploring opportunities to bring the
race closer to our fans than ever before in these challenging times, such as the
opportunity to race and ride past stages on their home trainer.”
As planned for June this year, the 2021 Women’s Tour will begin in Bicester,
Oxfordshire and finish with a sixth and final stage in Suffolk, between Haverhill and
Organisers have applied to the UCI for dates from Monday 7 to Saturday 12 June
2021 with final confirmation of the dates and the 2021 UCI Women’s WorldTour
calendar due in the coming months.
Councillor James Reeder, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public
Health and Prevention, said:
“I am really pleased that we now have a provisional date to work towards for next
year and I’m sure, like many other public events around the country that have had to
step back this year, the 2021 Women’s Tour will be an event to remember. We
certainly look forward to seeing the world class racers visit us in Suffolk once again
and show off our great county to a world-wide audience.”
Suffolk County Council begins street light sensor
Suffolk County Council has begun to install 100 sensors on its smart street lighting
infrastructure for a variety of purposes, as part of the Smart Places Live Labs
The council is working with wireless smart city applications specialist Telensa on the
deployment under a two-year project funded by the Department for Transport (DfT),
and is planning to monitor traffic, road temperature, air quality, wind and waste.
The sensors will provide data to a team at the University of Suffolk who will evaluate
the benefits and help the council to decide which types to introduce on a larger
“We’re committed to delivering a better road network and we know that the right
smart technologies will play a crucial role,” said Richard Webster, street lighting
manager at Suffolk. “We’re delighted to be working with long term partner Telensa as
we create a sustainable smart places strategy that can adapt to the county’s evolving
urban and rural needs.”
Smart Places Live Labs is being run by the Association of Directors of Environment,
Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) to examine the potential and challenges
in using digital technology across the local highway network. It is backed by £22.9
2019/20 PARISH NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
Here is a selection of news items from Suffolk County Council that featured over the
last 12 months. For further details on any of these stories, and more, visit
New street lighting proposed to reduce the county’s
Suffolk County Council is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by investing £9.8m in
street lighting, after Cabinet approved an LED street lighting replacement project on
25 February 2020.
Following a review of its street lighting policy in 2010, and with energy prices set to
increase at between 8% and 12% a year, the Council has decided the high energy
consumption of its existing lanterns could create further pressure on its resources in
the near future.
The Council owns and maintains over 60,000 street lights. Back in 2010, the Council
took numerous steps to help reduce both the energy costs and carbon footprint of its
lighting stock. This included the introduction of part-night lighting arrangements and
conversion to LED for those lighting units that were consuming the highest level of
The proposal to convert the remaining street lighting stock to LED will help to reduce
both Suffolk’s energy consumption and carbon footprint, whilst providing crisper
illumination of the streets for residents. The project will also ensure that Suffolk
remains resilient to any future energy price increases. The project will be completed
in the autumn of 2022.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural
“We recognise the importance of our environment in Suffolk and the impacts of
climate change. Where possible, we want to ensure that we protect and enhance the
natural environment, decrease carbon emissions and reduce the use of scarce
resources, for the well-being of future generations and the natural world. Initiatives
such as this are important in helping us to achieve that aim.
“We will be replacing almost 43,000 lights with new energy saving LED lanterns. This
will save approximately 60% of our current energy bill which can invested elsewhere.
We will be able to reduce our carbon usage by around 80%, benefitting residents
County Council approves budget to spend more on
services for vulnerable residents
On 13 February 2020, Suffolk County Council approved its annual budget. The
Council will increase its spending power again this coming financial year, particularly
in Children’s and Adults services, where demand continues to rise year on year.
In 2020/2021, the Council’s budget will rise to £556million which represents an
increase of £37m (7.1%) from 2019/20. Children’s and Adults Services represent
around 70% of the Council’s overall spend.
This year’s budget is based on a 12-month financial settlement from government,
rather than the three or four-year agreement which is usually offered.
As well as addressing the need to maintain funding for key services, the Council will
invest an additional £3.5m into two one-year programmes, the Suffolk 2020 fund
(£3m) and a highways investment fund (£500k).
The Suffolk 2020 fund will be used for projects that can deliver a real difference for
local communities. The intention is to adopt good ideas covering more than one area
of Suffolk, rather than having a number of small-scale projects. To qualify for the
fund, projects must link to one of the following themes: carbon reduction; carbon
offset, road safety, natural environment; built environment; innovation; and use of
Each project must offer a clear return on investment through positive economic,
social, or environmental impact. County Councillors can put ideas forward on behalf
of their community and must seek the sponsorship of a Cabinet Member for
consideration. Further details of the fund will be made available in due course.
The £500k highways investment fund will focus on improving the safety of pupils and
parents travelling to and from school, by refreshing lines and cleaning and repairing
signs in and around school zones.
The funding is allocated for use within the 2020/21 financial year and looks set to
benefit areas around many Suffolk schools, complementing the road marking
renewal programme that is taking place as part of the move of civil parking powers.
Suffolk Highways officers are developing a plan of how these extra works will be
identified and delivered. Further information will be announced in due course.
Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources,
Councillor Gordon Jones said:
“The setting of a balanced budget is never easy. Especially given the continuing
financial challenges we have seen during the last few years in a number of our
“It is right that we continue to focus our budget and resources where they will have
the biggest impact. I am pleased to say this year our calls have been answered, at
least in part. The provisional local government settlement for this year enables the
Council to set a budget for 2020/2021 that will see no change to current service
levels over and above those planned through our ongoing transformation
“Unfortunately, however, as we are only getting a 12-month settlement, we lack the
longer-term certainty needed to deal with the large departmental budgets that we
manage including Children’s and Adults Services. We are therefore taking the
measured decision to raise council tax by 1.98 per cent and implement a 2 per cent
rise in the Adult Social Care Precept, which is ring-fenced for use within our highest
New permit scheme aims to address roadwork disruption
On 28 January, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet gave the go-ahead for a new
permit scheme that they hope will reduce delays on Suffolk’s roads caused by
The introduction of a roadworks permit scheme for the county’s roads will give
Suffolk County Council’s Network Assurance Team enhanced powers to place
conditions on work carried out by utility companies and other organisations, including
At present, public utilities simply need to inform Suffolk County Council of the dates
when they are planning to do their works. Under a permit scheme, they would have
to ask for permission and the council can either approve, refuse or amend their
request as they see fit.
Applicants would also have to pay a fee when applying for a permit to do roadworks.
The cost will vary depending on the duration of the proposed work, the strategic
importance of the affected road, and the time of day the work is due to take place. If
roadworks occur outside of the peak congestion periods, the fee could be reduced.
The permit scheme is used successfully elsewhere in the country and there is
typically a reduction in congestion on the network.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for
Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“A permit scheme will provide more power to control proposed roadworks. It places
responsibility on the applicant to better plan their work. I hope a permit scheme could
reduce the impact of that work on the road network and our residents.
“A permit scheme should result in less disruption and less time that vehicles spend in
traffic/delays. Consequently, there should also be a reduction in fuel consumption
and greenhouse gas emissions.
“According to the Department for Transport, other counties that have run a permit
scheme have seen a reduction in disruption and so we will endeavour to ensure
those who live, work and visit our county also benefit.”
There will be a cost to the local authority to administer the permit scheme because
they will need to recruit additional staff and amend existing software to cater for
permits. However, the costs associated with the additional work involved will be
recovered through the fee income associated with the scheme, making it cost
The permit scheme will be in place from 1 April 2020.
New recycling centre opens in Bury St Edmunds
The £3.9million flagship site in Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds, opened on 16
January and replaces the now closed recycling centre at Rougham Hill.
The new recycling centre is part of the West Suffolk Operational Hub, a £23million
project by West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council to manage waste by
relocating a number of facilities to a single site.
The centre is the first open air site in Suffolk where all containers can be accessed
by the public from ground level, removing the need for steps. Visitors can recycle the
same wide range of materials as they did at the Rougham Hill recycling centre.
There is also an onsite Reuse shop selling items either reclaimed from the skips or
donated directly by the public, with proceeds going to the Benjamin Foundation.
Paul West, Cabinet Member for Waste at Suffolk County Council, said:
“This new flagship site will be a significant asset to people in west Suffolk.
“It is purpose-built to enable the growing communities of west Suffolk to recycle and
reuse their rubbish safely and efficiently. And, as all the containers are now on one
level, there are no steps to contend with. It is also a safer site with lorries emptying
containers in a totally separate area.”
Date agreed for plans to tackle Suffolk’s parking problems
In January 2020, it was announced that councils in Suffolk will take on responsibility
for local parking management from 6 April 2020.
Traditionally, roadside parking offences were a matter for the Police. However,
parking has become a lower priority for them, so Suffolk County Council is
transferring this responsibility to local district and borough councils under a process
known as civil parking enforcement, or CPE.
This means each council will be responsible for issuing parking fines, warnings and
notices in their area, although a deal has been struck by Babergh and Mid Suffolk
councils to have their parking enforced by Ipswich and West Suffolk officers.
A consistent approach is being planned across the whole county, meaning fines will
be the same, regardless of which authority manages parking in that area.
Councils already manage public car parks in many towns and villages, so the
changes make sense. Suffolk Constabulary is supportive of the move because the
transfer of responsibilities will enable them to spend additional time on keeping
communities safe and arresting and bringing offenders to justice.
Moving the responsibility from the police to local councils requires that statutory
notice is given in Parliament. The parliamentary order was laid on 9 January 2020.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for
Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“Civil parking enforcement powers will soon sit with our district and borough councils
across Suffolk. It is essential in enabling our communities to have closer
management of their local parking challenges.
“A lot of residents come to us with concerns that people parking in their towns and
villages are becoming more inconsiderate, and something needs to be done about it.
We agree, and as a result are committed to seeing these parking issues managed
locally to ensure fair and safe parking for all.
“I very much welcome the cross-council collaborative working in order to deliver
better parking for residents and those visiting Suffolk. Our colleagues will continue
working together to ensure CPE is successfully launched and I look forward to
seeing the benefits locally that these changes will bring.”
Suffolk celebrates CQC success
In January 2020, Care Quality Commission statistics showed that Suffolk is now top
of the table for comparator local authority areas.
In Suffolk, 89.04% of Adult Social Care locations are rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’
by the Care Quality Commission, the standards agency for adult care.
When it comes to the national rankings, Suffolk is performing equally well. Ranked
as third nationally for ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ rated care locations, Suffolk shines out
as a great area for adult social care.
This is particularly impressive when it is considered that Suffolk has over 100 more
adult social care locations than any of the other areas listed in the top ten.
Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said:
“This is an incredible achievement and something that is worth celebrating. This to
me, illustrates that Suffolk is a great place for Adult Social Care, with a wealth of
care providers who do fantastic work.
“There are of course, still areas where we can improve and I know work is continuing
to raise standards where it is required, but I am confident that we are working hard to
address any concerns.
“These results make me incredibly proud and grateful to our care providers for the
fantastic way that we are caring for local people.”
More information regarding the CQC ratings of local authority areas or individual
care locations can be found on the Care Quality Commission website.
Council pushes forward with commitment to creating more
places for specialist education in Suffolk
Suffolk County Council, like many other local authorities, faces an increasingly large
demand for education places for children and young people with special education
needs and disabilities (SEND).
In September 2019, a cross-party Policy Development Panel (PDP) was established
to review the county’s local offer and identify suitable specialist education places.
The work of the PDP involved a comprehensive analysis. They visited a variety of
SEND settings in and around the county, considering the views of service users and
their families, partners, and educations providers on the best way to grow Suffolk’s
specialist education offer both in the short and long term to meet future demand.
A green light to move forward with the work of the PDP was given at the Cabinet’s
Committee meeting in January 2019. Further work was then done by the Council’s
Capital Strategy Group to provide an overview of the required level of investment for
In April 2019, Cabinet approved a financial investment of up to £45.6 million to
support the development of a number of local specialist provisions for children and
young people with SEND. The investment, which covers new special schools and
specialist units attached to existing mainstream schools, will create over 800 new
specialist education places in the county.
Providing more specialist education placements locally will mean that the county’s
children and young people with additional needs will not have to spend unnecessary
time away from their family and home travelling to a specialist provision outside of
Suffolk. They will also have the opportunity to strengthen their roots within their local
community, so they are able to build strong local networks as they move into
In December 2019, Suffolk County Council were in a position to announce more
details of the development of new SEND units attached to mainstream schools in the
county. Following a thorough evaluation process, a number of suitable schools have
been identified to develop:
Two Generic Key Stage 1 Units at Pipers Vale Primary Academy and Burton
End Primary Academy.
Three Communication and Interaction Key Stage 2 Units at Murrayfield
Primary Academy, Houldsworth Valley Primary Academy, and Causton Junior
One Cognition and Learning Key Stage 2 Unit at Clements Primary Academy.
Three Communication and Interaction Key Stage 3/4 Units at Copleston High
School, Ixworth School, and Newmarket Academy.
One Cognition and Learning Key Stage 3/4 Unit at Castle Manor Primary
In total, this means an additional 168 new specialist placements will be available for
children and their families in Suffolk from September 2020, on top of existing
specialist provision. A further commissioning round will begin in Spring 2020 and will
consider further expressions of interest from mainstream schools who hope to open
units in September 2021.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service rated “Good” in
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has undergone its most comprehensive,
independent inspection in many years and has been rated as “Good” for its
effectiveness, efficiency and how well it leads and manages its staff.
The findings come from a report published on 17 December 2019 by Her Majesty’s
Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspectors
reviewed every aspect of the service, from how we respond to 999 emergencies, to
looking at policies, and interviewing a wide range of firefighters and staff.
The report praises many aspects of the service, particularly how well it collaborates
with other emergency services and agencies, how it responds to fires and other
emergencies, how it ensures fairness and promotes diversity, and the financially
sound way the service is run.
Mark Hardingham, Chief Fire Officer, said:
“The ‘Good’ rating we have been given is pleasing and positive for our first
inspection. This is down to the hard work and dedication of all our staff and I’m
extremely proud to be their, and Suffolk’s, Chief Fire Officer.
“The inspection has reported a balance between what we do well and what we need
to do better, much of which is already in hand and some of which will be new work.
“I’m especially pleased that the work we have all been doing on leadership, culture,
values, equality and inclusion has been recognised.
“We will never stop working to ensure we provide a good and professional fire and
rescue service to Suffolk’s communities whenever they need us.”
Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public
Protection at Suffolk County Council, said:
“Our fire service is held in high regard across the county and country, and I
understand the importance of continued investment. In recent years we have done
this with new uniforms, fire engines, support vehicles and equipment.
“As part of this ongoing investment, we are proposing to increase the service’s
budget by £500,000 plus inflation next year. This increase of close to £1m will help
contribute to delivering on the improvements identified in the report, alongside our
existing plans for investment.”
HMICFRS has now completed its first inspection of all 45 fire and rescue services
across the country. The inspections will continue to happen regularly, and it is
proposed that Suffolk will be inspected again in 2021.
The Hold topping out ceremony
On 25 September, contractors R G Carter, along with senior officers from Suffolk
County Council, the University of Suffolk, Ipswich Vision and the National Lottery
Heritage Fund, celebrated the official ‘Topping Out’ of the new ‘The Hold’ building.
Located on the campus of the University of Suffolk, within Ipswich’s unique and
regenerating Waterfront, the building will house the majority of Suffolk’s nationally
and internationally significant archives.
More than just a new building, ‘The Hold’ project will also be the engine for a
transformed, audience-focused Archives service reaching out to diverse
communities in Ipswich, the county and the nation, through its activity and digital
programmes, engaging people in new and exciting ways.
Paul West, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heritage, said:
“We’re delighted to have reached this exciting milestone in the project’s
“The Hold will not only transform our ability to care for and showcase our county’s
records and collections, but it will also engage audiences right across the county,
bringing local and nationally significant exhibitions to all Suffolk Archives branches,
state of the art research facilities and more access than ever before to digital
The Hold is set to open its doors in spring 2020.
Eleventh shared Police and Fire station officially opened
In August 2019, the new shared Police/Fire station formally opened in Beccles. This
is the eleventh shared community Fire and Police facility in Suffolk with stations
already operating in Leiston, Newmarket, Saxmundham, Felixstowe, Woodbridge,
Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham, Framlingham and Clare. There are also plans for
further joint stations in Stowmarket and Ipswich.
Financial support for the project was secured from the Home Office as part of central
government’s drive for closer emergency services collaboration.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“The opening of this eleventh joint Police/Fire Station in Suffolk is very good news for
“There are considerable financial benefits as well as significant operational
improvements that this collaboration between our two organisations delivers for
people and businesses across the county.
“I am already looking forward to the next wave of shared facilities being developed. I
am very proud that Suffolk continues to lead the way nationally in blue light
Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public
Protection, Councillor Richard Rout, said:
“Our partnerships provide our communities and staff with modern facilities and
maintains our presence in the community. We are able to deliver savings on the cost
of running multiple buildings and enables emergency services to work closely
together in supporting the community they serve.
“The sharing of facilities has also opened up further opportunities to collaborate in
areas of service delivery, improving efficiencies and engagement with members of
“We have seen great benefits in developing 'blue light' stations with our partners in
the police and the ambulance services in Suffolk. In addition to the 11 stations
shared with the Constabulary, we also share a further five with the ambulance
£750,000 improvement scheme at St Peter’s Wharf,
Ipswich, completes early
On 19 July 2019, it was announced that the scheme which began in early January
2019 is now complete. The scheme delivers an enhanced, more welcoming area for
residents and visitors enjoying the Ipswich Waterfront
The scheme also set out to accommodate the high number of pedestrians and
cyclists that use the area and to support local businesses by improving access for
large vehicles visiting the Port.
The scheme was funded via a bid to the Coastal Community Fund by Ipswich Vision
and was delivered by Suffolk Highways, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich
Borough Council (IBC). The works were completed under budget and two weeks
ahead of schedule. Additional maintenance was also completed during this time,
such as replacing all manhole covers and installing new bollards and railings.
The footways along St Peter’s Wharf were reconstructed and there is now a clear
carriageway, ensuring a defined area for vehicles and pedestrians. A seating area
has been introduced, along with bicycle railings and three new trees.
Suffolk businesses celebrated for reducing carbon
On 10 July 2019, an event was held at one of Suffolk’s most sustainable business
centres to celebrate the carbon reduction efforts of over 400 Suffolk and Norfolk
Since their launch in 2010, Suffolk Carbon Charter awards have been presented to
hundreds of businesses who show commitment to reducing their carbon emissions,
as part of Suffolk’s ambitions for Creating the Greenest County.
Many projects have been developed under the Creating the Greenest County banner
since 2007. The partnership continues to work with local communities and
businesses to help realise the environmental and economic benefits of reducing
energy consumption, adapting to climate change and enhancing the natural
Guests saw displays of a hydrogen vehicle, electric cars, electric motorbikes and
promotion of Plug In Suffolk, the UK’s first open fast charging network for electric
vehicles. Guests were also given a tour of the event venue, home to Woolley, a
property management company that thrives on creating sustainable developments
and holders of a Gold Suffolk Carbon Charter award themselves.
The event was sponsored by Business Energy Efficiency Anglia, which provides
energy efficiency grants to eligible businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk.
To find out more about how your business can benefit from the Suffolk Carbon
Charter, Business Energy Efficiency Anglia and other projects to support your
environmental ambitions, visit www.greensuffolk.org.
Suffolk pothole repair scheme to go countywide
In June 2019, it was announced that a trial scheme to tackle potholes swiftly has
been so successful it is being rolled out across Suffolk.
The Suffolk Highways scheme, which started in Ipswich in October 2018, changes
how potholes are categorised.
The new system allows engineers to repair potholes close to each other during the
same visit, tackling smaller potholes before they can expand.
Previously, they fixed larger holes first and smaller ones at a later date.
The new policy reduces the amount of time workers have to travel between jobs.
Mary Evans, Cabinet Member for Highways on Suffolk County Council, said the
previous system had been "incredibly complicated", leading to highways workers
complaining that they were "driving over potholes to get to potholes".
Councillor Evans said: "The rate you pay the gangs is the same whatever they do,
and the material they put in the pothole is the same, so the efficiency savings comes
from the travel time.
"I am really pleased - it's about looking at ways the system can be more efficient."
Suffolk County Council awarded £4.41m for smart street
The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport’s
(ADEPT) SMART Places Live Labs programme launched on 31 May 2019.
The £22.9million programme, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) will see
eight local authority led projects develop and test prototypes and applications across
SMART materials, communications, energy and mobility.
Projects range from harvesting renewable energy from roads and innovative data
analytics to using plastics in road surfacing treatment.
In total ADEPT received 28 bids from local authorities across the country. Suffolk
County Council was one of the eight successful projects and has been awarded
£4.41m for an innovative project to create a network of smart street lights across the
Hannah Bartram, Chief Operating Officer for ADEPT said: “Live Labs is a really
exciting programme for ADEPT. It gives local highways authorities and their partners
the opportunity to innovate, test and introduce new applications for emerging
SMART technologies across the local road network.
New Highways Self Help scheme empowers Suffolk people
to do more in their community
'Highways Community Self Help’, launched in May 2019, is designed to support and
empower town and parish councils in Suffolk to carry out minor maintenance tasks in
The much-anticipated scheme was developed in partnership with towns and
parishes across Suffolk after it was recognised that many of these councils were
willing to carry out additional works to maintain and improve the look of their
The types of works that town and parish councils are keen to undertake include:
Tree pruning/branch removal
Siding out of footways, or paths (widen to original/full width)
Grass verge cutting
Weed killing/weed removal.
Towns and parishes across Suffolk will be able to carry out these tasks and more
through one or more of the following four options:
Buying in services from contractors
Using their own trained employee(s)
Using volunteers to undertake work
Buying additional services from Suffolk Highways.
Councillor Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible
for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“Community Self Help is a further stepping-stone in our bid to work closely with
towns and villages throughout Suffolk to achieve even more for our highways across
“I am very pleased to be launching such a long-awaited scheme and am delighted to
see the interest we have had in it so far.
“This new scheme allows us to work with town and parish councils across the county
who have a great sense of community spirit and pride. The scheme will empower
them to undertake minor maintenance tasks on their public spaces about which they
care so deeply."
Towns and parishes that are interested in joining Community Self Help are
encouraged to visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/communityselfhelp for more details.
Ofsted confirms that Suffolk County Council’s Children’s
Services are ‘Outstanding’
On 21 May 2019, it was announced that Ofsted inspectors had awarded Children’s
Services at Suffolk County Council the top grade of ‘Outstanding' following their visit
in April 2019.
Only eight other Local Authorities, out of 152, had at that point been judged to be
Ofsted’s inspection report of children’s social care services said:
“Services for children are of an exceptionally high standard. They are child-focused
and make a positive difference to children’s lives”.
Inspectors were impressed with improvements made across the service since it was
rated ‘Good’ in 2015. The report states that, “stable and aspirational leadership and
strong political and financial support have created conditions that are conductive to
continuous improvement and the development of sustainable, high-quality services”.
Inspectors commended the staff, highlighting that “the work that staff are doing with
children and young people is impressive; the way that they are doing it is making a
real difference to their lives”. The report states that, "workers build positive and
purposeful working relationships with children and their families. They ensure
children are safeguarded, and that their wider needs are addressed. They
consistently act to ensure the best outcomes for children”.
Workforce management was also recognised by Ofsted as a strength. Our strong
workforce management was recognised again in December 2019, when Suffolk
County Council was awarded silver in the Social Worker Employer of the Year
category at the national Social Worker of the Year awards.
Gordon Jones, then Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and
Skills at Suffolk County Council said:
“An Outstanding Ofsted judgement for our Children’s Services is an amazing and
well-deserved achievement for Suffolk. “I would like to thank everyone who delivers
outstanding services to support young people in Suffolk, it is most rewarding to
receive such endorsement from Ofsted. Our staff are compassionate, professional
and sensitive to the needs of the residents they support.
“I do accept that we need to do more for Suffolk’s children with additional needs, and
we are taking swift and effective action to address both the current shortfall of SEND
services in our county, but also to build capacity with our partners for the future.