Babergh Press Releases

What's In A Name?

Babergh District councillors are being asked to consider renaming the council at a special meeting next month in order to eliminate confusion.

At a special meeting on Tuesday 22 October, councillors will debate whether to change the name of the district council from Babergh District Council to South Suffolk Council – making the council geographically consistent with neighbouring authorities in Suffolk.

Mergers have meant there are now an East Suffolk and West Suffolk councils, along with mid-Suffolk, so South Suffolk would be recognisable.

There is also an argument that having a more nationally recognisable name could increase inward investment.

The name Babergh comes from the Babergh Hundred, centred at Great Waldringfield, whereas the Shotley peninsula used to come under the Samford Hundreds.

Cllr John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council said: “Babergh has a proud history, but we know that people from further afield are often unaware of exactly where Babergh is and even struggle over its pronunciation.  By renaming to South Suffolk we can be clear about who we are, where we are and what we represent –  as well as clearly identifying the council, it will also align with the name of our parliamentary constituency, cutting down on any confusion.”

Babergh District Council has been in existence since 1974.  To change the name, under the Local Government Act 1972 the council must pass a resolution at a specially convened meeting, supported by a majority of at least two-thirds of those present.  Notice of the name change must then be sent to the Secretary of State, the Director General, the Ordnance Survey and the Registrar General.

By agreeing any change of name now, the council can ensure there is enough time for the new name to go through the legal process in time to appear on Council Tax bills for 2020/21.

If a change of name is agreed, implementation costs will be kept to an absolute minimum, tying in with work already taking place examining how existing logos for both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are used and involving councillors from all parties.

The meeting will be open to the public and live-streamed for anyone preferring to watch online, with council papers available in advance via our website. 

Councils support 2030 carbon neutral ambitions

Posted by on 26 July 2019 

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

Posted by on 23 July 2019 | Comments

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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