Customer Service Access Now Available Locally

Monday, August 20, 19.00

Villagers across the peninsula and beyond can now access a Babergh customer service point locally. 

Babergh’s first Pop-Up Access Point saw Babergh staff join Suffolk Libraries at Shotley Village Hall, offers all peninsula residents the opportunity to meet Customer Service staff face to face without visiting the council’s access point in Sudbury Town Hall.

As part of a pilot scheme Babergh staff will be in Shotley Village Hall on Monday afternoons, from 1pm to 4.30pm, until the end of September, with the exception of the August Bank Holiday on 27 August.

The Pop-Up runs alongside the Suffolk Libraries Local weekly session in Shotley, giving residents the opportunity to access both district council and library services in the same place. Anyone dropping by will be greeted by Babergh and Mid Suffolk staff, offering access to services for both councils, with access to online services also offered at the Pop-Up.

Cllr Derek Davis, Babergh cabinet member for Organisational Delivery, said: “Improving customer service access is a top priority for us and I’m delighted this Pop-Up Customer Access Point has come to fruition. We recognise how not everyone is fully comfortable with accessing our services online and appreciate dealing with a human being and this new way to access council services will give those residents a chance to do just that.

“Offering residents the opportunity to access our services in this way will give us a clearer picture of what our residents need and, if successful, will be rolled out in other areas of the district. Babergh is building on an excellent working relationship with Suffolk Libraries and their team are already providing a very popular and useful service, and this will complement the existing facility.”

Adults can bring their children along to take up the reading challenge, join in singing, or take part in a colouring competition, while their Babergh issues are being dealt with by customer service staff.

New Outdoor Gym Installed

Tuesday, August 7, 11.00

Outdoor gym equipment has been installed at Chelmondistion playing fields in Woodlands. 

Five stations, which can work the arms, chest, legs and abs, are free to use for anyone looking to improve their fitness in the fresh air.

The new facility is a culmination of months of hard work by the Playing Fields Committee, chaired by Sam Nunn, (pictured with John Hawkins).

The committee sought views from villagers about how to improve facilities for users of the open space, and the outdoor gym equipment topped the list.

More could follow, along with a zip wire and further down the line replacement play equipment.

Mr Nunn praised the amount of support given to the Playing Field Committee by the community, Chelmo parish council, along with Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis and Suffolk County Councillor David Wood.

 “This outdoor gym equipment, which we believe is the first of its kind on the peninsula, scored highly in what people wanted,” said Mr Nunn. “We hope people will enjoy using this new facility and we strive to continue to bring even more new facilities to what is already a good mix of activities on offer.”

Somerset-based Viridor Credits Environmental Company, which funds community projects via the Landfill Communities Fund, also helped with a large chuck of the initial £7,500 equipment and installation cost.   

“We worked closely with a number of organisations, and Viridor Credits Environment Company were brilliant," said Mr Nunn. "They really came up trumps with advice and funding.

“We want to thank everyone involved in this project, from people who filled in questionnaires to fellow committee members and councillors."

Gareth Williams, Operations Manager at Viridor Credits, said: "On meeting Sam Nunn I was impressed with his vision for Chelmondiston's playing field as an inclusive area for all interests and abilities.

“The steering group had no hesitation in supporting this project." 

Parish councilor John Hawkins, who also serves on the playing field committee, said: “We are delighted to be able this outdoor gym, which will give even more people a reason to come out and enjoy what we have here.

“These are public facilities so we hope lots of people come and make the most of what we have provided.”

Two tennis courts, an outdoor table tennis facility (including bats and balls) are provided, along with a full-size football pitch.

Cllr Davis added: "Babergh’s community team works closely to help parishes like Chelmondiston and it helps when you have people like Sam and John driving project forward like this.”   

* Viridor Credits Environmental Company seeks applications from not-for-profit groups and organisationsand community groups. Applications can be made for projects that fall into one of three categories (below), provided that the project is located within 10 miles of an active Viridor landfill site or Energy Recovery Facility (ERF). They are:

  • Provision or improvement of a public amenity;
  • The conservation or promotion of biological diversity through:
    • the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat, or
    • the maintenance or recovery of a species or its habitat on land or water
  • Restoration or renovation of buildings of historical or architectural importance or those used for religious worship.

Viridor Credits is looking for further projects to fund located within 10 miles of active Viridor-managed landfill sites or ERFs. Applicants can visit www.viridor-credits.co.uk, call 01823 476476, or email enquiries@viridor-credits.co.uk.

District Ward To Be Reshaped And Called Orwell

Tuesday, August 7, 08.00

Chelmondiston and Pin Mill are to come under a newly formed Orwell ward in the Boundary Commission review of Babergh district wards.

The village is currently looked after by two district councillors as part of Berners ward, which also includes Shotley, Erwarton, Woolverstone and Freston.

However, the new ward boundaries will reform after the Boundary Commission released its final recommendations, which will go before Parliament when MPS return from the summer recess in September..

Newly named Ganges, Stour and Orwell wards will replace the bulk of the current two-member Berners and one member Holbrook wards and overlap into Belstead and Tattingstone. 

The Local Government Boundary Commission For England (LGBCE) had originally looked at making much of the peninsula a three-member ward, but representations by Holbrook councillor David Rose, supported by Shotley councillor Derek Davis and a couple of parish councils, pointed out that would be unworkable and the panel agreed.

Ganges, named after the former Royal Navy Training Establishment, will comprise of Shotley and Erwarton and be looked after by just one district councillor.

Boundary commissioners took into account of development at the former Ganges site, comprising of 285 new homes, a small hotel, residential care home, a café, retail units and a number of community facilities, which would add to the electorate.

Stour ward, named after the mouth of the river, will also be a one member ward and will now take in Harkstead, Holbrook and Stutton, making it slightly larger than the current ward.

On the other side of the peninsula Orwell ward, will also be a one-member ward but will include Belstead, Wherstead and Tattingstone along with Freston, Woolverstone and Chelmondison.

Brantham will become a one-member ward as expected growth will also boost the electorate there.

The division of those four wards means the same geographical area will lose one district councillor.

In total Babergh district council will reduce the number of councillors from the current 43 to 32, serving 24 wards, with the changes coming into effect at the next district council election in May 2019. 

In its report the Boundary Commission explained how it changed its original recommendation of forming  three member ward to three single member wards after representations were made.

Cllr Davis said: "As a former HMS Ganges boy I'm delighted that the Shotley and Erwarton area will become known as the Ganges ward. I'm delighted the commission took notice of our suggestions and have adopted the three different wards, rather than one huge ward., which I believe would have been unwieldy.

“It is a difficult balancing act in getting the allowed variance in electorate numbers marrying up with geographical areas to comprise the number of wards needed.

“However, while the Orwell ward seems a little stretched with Belstead a bit out on a limb.

“It makes sense for one member to serve the area, rather than three trying to cover everything from Shotley to Belstead, especially if some councilors do not necessarily pull their weight locally.”

Cllr Alastair McCraw, current Alton ward member, added: “The best bit about the new ward structure is that the Peninsula will have four single member wards.

"Brantham & Ganges are two large population centres. There are some compromises in the centre, because equal representation is very important. I like the names of Orwell & Stour.

"The parish groupings follow the roads connecting them and should have similar concerns because of it. But every parish will have one councillor to deal with and to help them."

A little further afield, Capel St Mary, which is subject to some large scale development will also become a one-member ward, while Copdock and Washbrook, will stretch from Bentley to Hintelsham, but new-look Sproughton and Pinewood ward will become a two-member ward.

The LGBCE was tasked to reduce district council members but ensure they improved electoral equality by equalising the number of electors each ward councilor represents. They had to take into account community identity and provide effective and community local government.

Further information can be found on their website www.lgbce.org.uk

Hers & Sirs Relaunched

Sunday, August 5

Nothing makes you feel and look better than a lovey new hair do and a fresh looking Hers & Sirs is happy to oblige after officially relaunching under new management. 

The bubbly flowed as more than 30 regular clients and potential new customers took a look around the revamped hairdressers on Main Road in Chelmondiston. 

Lorraine Page and her daughter Georgina Chelsea Page have taken over at Hers and Sirsbut have retained many of the previous stylists, while adding to the staff.

Although there will be a fresh look, there will be consistency and continuity as new boss Lorraine has worked as a stylist at Hers and Sirs.

 Her daughter Georgina is now the manageress working three days a week while still pursuing her modelling career and being a mum.

Valued and popular stylist Liza Baldry is staying on, also working three days of the week. John and Jenny continue doing a couple of days, and a new stylist will join working on Friday and Saturday while new apprentice Kayleigh makes up the happy, friendly and welcoming salon.

Every body loved what we done," said Lorraine. "A big thank you to staff for supporting me and for my husband Gordon Page for all his hard work doing all the decorating, and more. 

"We had some lovely flowers and from customers and family so thanks to them as well and we look forward to seeing all our old and new customers in the new look salon." 

There has been a hairdressers at the car park next to the car park on Main Road, Chelmondiston, which also serves the post office, Red Lion and butchers shop Hollingsworth’s for more than 45 years, although the styles have changed.

The dedicated team of stylists are expert in ladies styling, but also keep men up to date with the latest fashion, or with traditional cuts, and have a good way with children as they cut their hair.

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