Babergh Press Releases
Councils support 2030 carbon neutral ambitions
Councillors at Babergh District Council have voted on motions to support Suffolk’s county-wide aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
At Full Council meeting on Tuesday 23, Babergh pledged to set up a taskforce, in partnership with other public sector partners, taking a step forward in becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
The taskforce, due to be set up in September this year, will work with partners across the county and region to examine ways in which the two councils will respond to the climate change challenge and fulfil its ambition to become carbon neutral.
Babergh joins other local authorities across the country in recognising there is a climate emergency, building on their work as part of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership.
Cllr Elisabeth Malvisi, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“We acknowledge the role we play in protecting our environment from the effects of climate change. The approval of this motion takes a positive step forward in helping to make Suffolk the greenest county.
“The taskforce, along with key public sector partners, will look at ways we can respond to the climate change challenge, and what we need to do to achieve the ambition of making Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030.”
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have this week approved CIFCO’s future plans, looking to increase the £1.4m annual income it already generates for the districts’ through property investment – the equivalent of increasing council tax by more than 12%.
CIFCO Capital Ltd, which is wholly owned by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, was established in 2017 to generate income through property investment which is then ploughed back into council services within the districts to offset reductions in funding from central government.
At Babergh and Mid Suffolk full council meetings on Tuesday and Thursday respectively, councillors agreed CIFCO’s business plan for 2019/20, which will now form the basis of its trading over the next 12 months – including the investment of a further £50m agreed by both councils back in February.
Cllr David Busby, cabinet member for assets and investments for Babergh District Council said: “CIFCO’s business plan has won cross-party support in Babergh, with our quality investments returning a generous rental income that we can plough back into the district. In the longer term we also expect these investments to show capital growth, meaning a win/win for the council and our services for residents.”
The plan, also endorsed by the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier in July, describes a “strong first full year of trading” but CIFCO chairman Chris Haworth admits that the board has had to contend with a changing market.
“This year has presented a number of challenges, in particular the disruption in the retail sector and the growth in the warehouse sector, driven by the expansion of on-line shopping. This has meant that the board has had to consider acquisitions very carefully to reflect this changing market,” he said.
Each potential acquisition is carefully considered by an expert team of advisors and where target acquisitions are deemed too risky or not cost effective they are not pursued. While 12 properties were acquired, dozens more were ruled out.
The current portfolio of 12 properties is spread throughout the east of England and balanced across commercial sectors to minimise exposure to any one sector or location. The changing market is now expected to be reflected by a shift away from retail property and towards office and industrial sectors instead.
Search is on for Sudbury Silk School Costumes
The Sudbury Silk Stories project is searching for details of a silk-clad gymnastics display at a Great Cornard Middle School summer fete over 40 years ago.
The Sudbury Silk Stories project, which s recording stories of current and former employees of Sudbury’s silk industry, has issued a specific plea: can anyone provide photos or information on a Great Cornard Middle School summer fete in the 1970s that saw a pupil’s mother provide costumes made of silk from the Stephen Walters mill?
The story, which was told to Project Co-Ordinator Carole Creasey as she interviewed those connected to the silk industry, stated that an employee of Stephen Walters and Sons provided offcuts of silk for the costumes for the gymnastics display at the Summer School Fete. Pupils were laid on the floor, drawn around and the resulting shapes then sewn together to make the costumes. Sudbury Silk Stories would like to talk to anyone who might have photographs or taken part in the gymnastics display and remembers the costumes being made.
Sudbury Silk Stories wants to include the story of the silk Summer Fete costumes on the projects new website alongside the interviews with silk industry staff. The project will also create a short film that will play at the Sudbury Silk Festival on 7th September. To find out more and to follow Sudbury Silk Stories online visit their website.
This website is being built to bring together the behind the scenes stories and anecdotes from the people who have helped to create the acclaimed silk industry of Sudbury.
Cllr Derek Davis, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This story sums up what the Silk Stories project is about: all the ways the silk industry has flowed from the mills into the history, fabric and day to day life of the surrounding area. It shows just how the industry has shaped our community in unexpected and wonderful ways, and we’d love to hear more about it.”
Sudbury Silk Stories, funded by Babergh District Council and £36,400 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, is looking for the stories of current and former employees of Sudbury’s silk industry. It will explore the social history and changes that have taken place in the local industry, which continues to produce some of Europe’s finest silk. The project will record and share the experiences of silk mill staff, to create both a short film and an archive of interviews for the local community and for visitors to learn from.
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