News From Freston

Tiffers Gains National Accolade

Tuesday, August 13, 1700

Homeless bus Tiffers has been handed a £500 cash boost after coming runners' up in a national competition. 

More than 800 people voted for Tiffers, the Homeless Bus Shelter, in a competition run by Hotels That Help, with Hoping, a helping other people in need group based in York, scooping the £1,000 first prize by a close margin, while Friends of Essex and London were awarded the Founders' Choice in third place.

Gareth Brenland, a director of community interest company Tiffers, said: "It was such a privilege to be shortlisted in the first place and to come second among so many worthy and sadly needed organisations is amazing. Thank "you to everyone that vote for The Bus Shelter Ipswich and congratulations to Hoping York Street Kitchen."

Hotels That Help are committed to ending homelessness, by acting as the ‘middle-man’ for big travel and accommodation providers. Millions of people already use, SkyScanner, ViaTor, LonelyPlanet, G-Adventures and World Nomads. Now, by coming through, you are offered the same products/services, at the same prices, with the same customer support teams.

You even check out and complete your booking on the same website you are already familiar with ( etc). The only difference? Instead of all of the profit from your booking going to these established booking providers, profit will be used to combat homelessness instead - at no added cost to you, guaranteed

Hotels That help website...

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Homeless Project Answer False Accusations

Sunday, March 17, 0900

Volunteer directors of homeless bus Tiffers have moved to dispel myths regarding their operation. 

Gareth Brenland, a director of The Bus Shelter Ipswich community interest company, spoke before the Woolverstone parish council to answer a series of questions from councillors and members of the public.

Mr Brenland,   responded to the accusation Tiffers had been misleading people by claiming to be a charity something he strenuously denied.

"We are a registered Community interest company (CIC) and have been since the second of March, 2017," said Mr Brenland. "Being a not for profit organisation run by volunteers and donations we are often called a charity. But I can assure you that as soon as we hear this we will correct the person/organisation/business with the correct facts. Even though the 'about' information on our Facebook page states that we are a CIC we can not control the way people brand us."

Tiffers volunteers denied it parked at the lay-by in Freston because they did not get on with homeless organisations in Ipswich. 

Mr Brenland explained: "We are parked out of town by our own choice. From the very start we never intended on being in town. The reason for this is due to the residents changing their lives. If we was in town it would be all to tempting to nip off and continue with their old ways. We would also be hounded by drunken party goers, active users and ran the risk of being a target to dealers."

Mr Brenland also denied the Bus Shelter project refused to work with the other organisations.

He said: "We have never refused to work with any organisations. We are still working towards being recognised by some as we don't tick their boxes

"We do things a little different, we offer a friendly family atmosphere which is full of banter and laughter which is seen by some as a lack of professional boundaries. We do have professional boundaries and act upon them when necessary. We will always signpost anyone we are helping to the mainstream organisations and we often get information regarding new residents from these organisations.

"Even though we are not associated with these organisations we do have a good relationship with most of them, including social care, probation, Suffolk police, the soup kitchen, Turning Point and the Chapman centre."

 Questions were also asked about the legality of the bus staying in the lay-by but Babergh district councillor Derek Davis confirmed checks had been made and the project had passed all the necessary criteria.

Mr Brenland added: "All our volunteers have had working with vulnerable adults safeguard training including myself and Jay, all volunteers are DBS checked, all our vehicles are MOTed, taxed and insured.

"We have never had to call the police to bus because there's been trouble and only had to call for an ambulance once. We keep the lay-by clean and tidy as well as the surrounding area.

"We do not allow active users whether it be drink or drugs on the bus, every residents is either on a program or has no addictions. This is monitored with random in house drug tests and breathalyser. Our waste water is controlled by being kept in a storage tank which is emptied once a week by Binder and a transfer note issued after each collection."

It was revealed the project was actively searching for a new, more permanent home and were working with Suffolk County Council to chive this.

Mr Brenland made an open invitation for councillors and members of the public to visit the bus and see for themselves. 

He added: "I would like to thank every single one of you that has supported us since we've been here.

"Anyone that would like to know more or has heard a rumour then please, let's not play Chinese whispers but come down and get the correct information straight from the horse's mouth. Anyone is welcome to come have a cuppa and a chat."

Contact: Bus Shelter, Ipswich

Call For Action At Junction After Car Overturns

Tuesday, February 5, 0700

A councillor has renewed calls for action to make Freston crossroads saferafter yet another accident at the junction. 

A silver-coloured hatchback left the B1456 and overturned just yards from a bus top this afternoon. The occupants were shaken but escaped without serious injury.

Numerous accidents have occurred at the junction over the past 10 years, including one fatal, when two people died when a Peugeot left the road and crashed into a hedge in February, 2010.

A 90-year-old man suffered serious injuries when his car left the road in November 2008, in July last year an elderly man had to be cut free from his car after a collision with a mini-bus.

The nearby bus shelter was destroyed in a separate incident involving a car in November 2009 and had to be replaced with a more modern shelter.

Drivers losing control at the unique shaped junction is relatively common-place and calls for Suffolk Highways safety chiefs to take action have been made for several years.

Babergh district councillor Derek Davis will renew calls for action.

“We should nothave to wait for someone else to die at Freston junction for action to be taken,” said Cllr Davis. “Reports have been compiled, lots of talking ahs gone on but everyone that goes past, or uses that junction knows it is in need of a serious updating and Suffolk Highways should prevaricate no longer.

“We know money is tight, but we should not wait for funding from the HMS Ganges development, or other infrastructure payments from building, to get started on making Freston junction safer.”

A number of solution to improve the junction have been put forward in the past, including a roundabout, traffic lights and widening the road making an extra lane.

Currently the speed limit around the bend at the junction is the 60mph, although a proposal to reduce that to 40mph has been agreed in principle.

Have your say…

Cash Boost For Freston From Builder's Levy

Monday, January 14, 19.00

Freston parish is set for a cash boost of more than £2,000 when work on the Granary extension begins.

The money comes from Freston’s share of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and can be used by the parish council for projects within the village.

All local groups can make an application to the parish council for grants towards their initiative.

Babergh District Council adopted the CIL policy in 2016 and are the first authority in the country to produce an easy to use link, using software by Exacom.

The district council have already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after officers collected more than £2m from a potential £9.4m.

CIL is a set payment made by developers to support the infrastructure for communities and is split into three pots.

One is 15% of the total due paid to parishes, unless they have a Neighbourhood Development plan, when 20% is then payable to the village.  

Another pot, called a 123 list, which is the percentage paid to the district and open for anyone eligible to apply for. This includes parish councils, community groups, the NHS, and the county council for education and infrastructure, including highways.

Derek Davis, Berners District Councillor, said: “Parishes on the peninsula are beginning to see the upside of development with this levy being paid directly to benefit villages.

“This money is for us as residents to make the most off for community projects to make our lives better today, and in the future.

“The wider pot can also be applied for and again it is something I would encourage parish councils and community groups to do.

“Please feel free to get in touch with me or the CIL team at Babergh if you would like to know how this CIL can help you.” 

Cllr Davis is the cabinet member responsible for the Exacom project which is the first in the country of its type.

“The pilot has already attracted interest from a number of local authorities, and indeed, the Home Office,” said Cllr Davis. “It is an easy to use tool for all parish councils, and community group leaders, to see exactly what is available for a wide variety of infrastructure projects within communities.”

Babergh has already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after collecting more than £2m from a potential £9.4m. 

To check how much is CIL is due in your peninsula village go to the Babergh Development Link here…

Peninsula headlines

Plans For Two More New Family Homes Submitted

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Plans have been submitted to build two new large family homes in Freston. 

The pair of detached houses, will be built between the village hall and the Old Rectory in the village.

Outline permission is being sought by a Mr L Woods, via an agent, to erect the one and half storey homes, with each expected to be for four or five bedrooms.

A new access, and separate garages are also shown in the design statement, on the vacant plot of land, which used be owned by the Old Rectory.

The application follows a bid to redevelop the Old Forge buildings opposite the Freston Boot (see article below for more details)

Check Babergh planning application DC/18/05682 here…

Eyesore Set To Be Converted Into New Homes

Tuesday, December 11, 10.00

A blot on the peninsula landscape is set to be transformed, if planning permission is granted. 

An application to turn the old forge site at Freston, which is currently derelict, into two new homes has been submitted to Babergh planning.

The owner, Robert Driver from Shotley, is looking to convert the old forge, wheelwright’s workshop and the Grade II former blacksmiths’ cottage, into one three-bedroom house and a four-bedroom home.

Parking for six cars, and a garage are included in the plans.

Given its location, it is within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and proximity to the historic Freston Tower, St Peter’s Church and Freston Boot, the site is of significant interest.

Babergh’s Heritage have worked closely with Mr Driver about the state of the building, opposite the recently refurbished Freston Boot pub.

Ideally, the 17th century buildings would be used as a forge to train apprentices and that was explored but proved unworkable.

District councilor Derek Davis supports the application in principle and believes the conversion will enhance the area.

“This is something, along with the Freston Boot, we have been working on with the various owners for some time now,” said Cllr Davis. “I’m delighted this eyesore will be converted into something which will help further tidy up the area, and bring needed housing to a desirable are.”  

Planning permission to convert into two dwelling was approved in 2007, but has now lapsed.

The planning application DC/18/05354 is currently in the consultation period and comments can be made online.Babergh planning applications.

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Everyone's A Winner In Great East Success

Sunday, September 16, 17.00

With faces etched in agony, determination, ecstasy or relief, thousands of gutsy runners completed the half-marathon Great East Run in sunny conditions. 

Thousands lined the streets to offer support as the runners started in Russell Road, Ipswich, before finishing at Portman Raod after taking in parts of the town, and the gateway to the Shotley peninsula.

With a gentle breeze coming down the Strand, runners were able to enjoy the beautiful views in sunny conditions along the river Orwell, past Monkey Lodge, with Freston Tower looming in the distance as athletes made their way up and down Freston Hill, twice going past the Boot pub.

 A marshall blowing a shrill whistle and beating a drum was stationed half way up the hill and banged her encouragement for more than three hours.

One lady was handing out sweets to grateful runners, while volunteers kept them hydrated with packets of gel and water at stations along the route, including one next to Tiffers, the Homeless Project.

'Well done Kevin', 'come on Outreach', 'keep going Katie', 'way to go Kesgrave'... the shouts of encouragement from spectators, marshalls, volunteers and fellow runners, helped create a wonderful atmosphere throughout the route.

A Minion, a giant boob, men in Tutus, a 71-year-old lady and a 79-year-old man in a wheelchair all took part, with runners raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

 The second Great East run was started by elite athlete Lily Partridge and former Ipswich and England midfielder Kieron Dyer and won in time of 66.02mins by Henry Pearce (pictured left) with the final runners getting back in four and a half hours.

Council crews were out immediately after the race clearing up all the discarded rubbish nd ensuring the roads and verges were clear.

Were you captured by our camera going along the Strand, or up Freston Hill, check out our picture special here...

Great East Boost For Runners

Friday, September 14, 13.00

Nearly 3,500 Great East runners will have their spirits lifted by gorgeous views down the river Orwell as they pound their way along the gateway to the Shotley peninsula on Sunday. 

The feel-good factor is bound to help the athletes, with a vast majority raising £1,000s for charity as they go past the halfway mark.

While there will be disruption to some locals as the Strand and the road through Freston Hill, diversions will be in place.

The Freston Boot pub will remain open but the Suffolk Food Hall will not open, with the road closed between 9am and 1pm.

Other pubs will be open on the peninsula, with the Shotley Rose, Shipwreck, Bristol Arms and Bakers Arms all open for lunches as usual.

Lessons from last year’s Great East run have been learned and there are toilet facilities at Bourne Bridge, and a water station at the top of Freston Hill.

Litter collectors will clear up the area quickly after the race and stewards have received training.

 The conditions will be excellent for runners, with temperatures predicted to be around 17c, with a gentle breeze cooling athletes winding their way along the banks of the Orwell and up Freston hill.

The race started from outside the Babergh offices at Endeavour House in Russell Road, Ipswich and the half-marathon finishes on the all-weather pitch at Portman Road.

Residents looking to get off the peninsula along the B1456 during the diversion, will need to turn left at the Freston crossroads and go through Holbrook.

For more details of times, route and map click here...

* Send us your article, feature or idea for a news story here...

District Ward To Be Reshaped And Called Orwell

Tuesday, August 7, 08.00

Freston is to come under a newly formed Orwell ward in the Boundary Commission review of Babergh wards, and looked after by just one district councillor.

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

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 a 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

Archived Freston articles here...

Council Praised After Roadworks Postponed

Tuesday, June 12, 10.00

Potentially disruptive roadworks along the Strand have been postponed to avoid clashing with Suffolk Day and other planned events in the area.

The section along the B1456 along the front of Suffolk Food Hall near the Orwell Bridge was due to be closed for repairs from June 18 until June 22 between 09.30 and 16.30.

Residents and businesses along the stretch of road were originally told the work would be carried out overnight and were surprised to be given just five days' notice of daytime closures.

However, after representation made by local businesses and residents Suffolk County Council have changed the scheduled work and the council’s co-operation has been praised.

Oliver Paul, owner of Suffolk Food Hall, said: “I’m heartened that Suffolk County Council Highways have listened to businesses and resident regarding the disruption this would cause.

“We understand that these works have to be carried out but five days’ notice was not really long enough for us to plan for this.

“We have a number of events planned, including celebrating Suffolk Day so this would have been something of an own goal for the county.

“Credit has to go to the deputy leader Mary Evans and our local county councillors David Wood and Christopher Hudson, who understood our concerns and got involved to make these changes happen.”

The closures would have also affected the re-opening of the Boot at Freston, which has been extensively renovated and is due to open next week.

Suffolk Day At Food Hall

Delight As Second Caravan Is Removed From Freston Lay-by

Wednesday, May 16, 08.00

The entrance to the Shotley peninsula is looking a whole lot better now the second vandalised caravan has been removed. 

Babergh’s Environmental Health team organised removal of the unsightly, and potentially unhealthy caravan, after contacting its owner, who is in prison.

A previous caravan was removed six weeks ago after an enforcement notice was issued.

Both caravans had caused outrage after one was dumped in the lay-by next to Monkey Lodge, and the second was left unattended, with both being damaged and soiled inside.

 The area will be cleared once again of all litter and detritus by Babergh waste team.

District councilor Derek Davis said: “It is a wonderful result and lovely to see the area cleared and our gateway to this beautiful peninsula is no longer marred by these caravans.

“It has taken ages as officers have had to follow due process but everyone worked hard to get this result and we got there in the end.

“Now both locals and visitors can enjoy the area.”

Homeless Bus Returns After New Site Falls Through

Sunday, April 15, 11.30

The hunt is still on for a new site for Tiffers’ the Homeless after a bid to relocate over the weekend fell through. 

Gareth and Sarah Jane Brenland who run the the project, thought they had found an ideal spot tucked away at the top of Bourne Hill, Wherstead.

But the land, which it was believed to belong to Suffolk County Council Highways, turned out to be privately owned and they requested the bus leave.

Mr Brenland said: “The owners asked us to be gone by 5pm, which we did.

“We do not want to cause anyone any trouble and it was a genuine mistake, thinking it was part of the highway.

“Our search for a suitable site continues, and if anyone knows of somewhere please let us know.”

The double-decker, which has been converted to temporarily house rough sleepers, has returned to the lay-by at Freston, which Mr Brenland ageed was not ideal.

 He said: “It is a bit sad that we have had to return here, although I have to say the vast majority of the community have been very supportive.

“That said, we know we have outstayed our welcome somewhat. I promise we will carry on looking for a new site and continue to care for the area we are in.”

Guests of the homeless bus, under Mr Brenland’s supervision, recently completed a litter pick along the B1456 and around Freston crossroads, as part of a wider initiative.

Tiffers, which was named after one of their daughters (pictured in the middle, left)  is currently home to five guests, with another referral joining them in May.

Since the project started last autumn, one guest has been successfully re-homed to an Essex address. Three others have found part-time work, with another one now a keyholder and assistant manager in the charity shop run by the community interest company,

Another double-decker, which he plans to renovate, in a different area off the peninsula, with guests helping out in order to learn new skills as part of their rehabilitation.

“Our shop already helps a number of people from different areas,” said Mr Brenland. “This new bus could also be used for emergency provision for people in other areas, once converted.”

Homeless buses are springing up around the country, since the first one was converted on the Isle Of Wight. In Milton Keynes the homeless project there was once used as the touring bus for pop stars, including  Robbie Williams and Elton John.

Back to headlines...

One Caravan Gone - One More To Go

Friday, April 13, 14.00

As promised by Babergh one caravan has been removed from a Freston lay-by. 

Contractors Whip Street Motors removed the first of the two vandalised vehicles and that will be scrapped.

The other, is still technically in the ownership of a person whois currently serving a prison sentence, but has insisted it it still his home and intends to live in it again one he is released.

However, Babergh's environmental health team have carried out an assessment and will be contacting the owner once more with their views after seeing the state it is now in.

That could lead the that caravan being removed under an enforcement order, but due process has to be carried out first.

District councillor Derek Davis said: "I was delighted to see Caravan A hard been removed when I drove past earlier today. We are working on the second and soon this beautiful gateway to the peninsula will be cleared off this blight, and all the litter will also be cleaned up."  

Dumped Caravan To Be Moved This Week

Tuesday, April 10, 08.00

One of the abandoned caravan at a lay-by in Freston will be taken and destroyed this week. 

Babergh environmental health officers will also inspect the other to assess its state, and whether that can legally be removed.

An enforcement notice was issued on the first caravan in January, and the issue was passed to public realm department, but due to the state of the vehicle, it had to be handed to the environmental health team, who have instructed contractors to remove it this week.

Legal issues over the ownership of the second caravan, with the owners serving a prison sentence, has meant that one can not be moved.

However, as it has been so badly vandalised, it could be that the council can take action.

District councillor Derek Davis said: "After a frustratingly long wait, and an amazing amount of emails, it appears we may have got somewhere on the caravan situation at the Monkey Lodge lay-by, Freston.

"This has taken far longer than I would have liked but we are making progress.

"The area along from the Strand and up Freston Hill, including the historic Mnkey Lodge is the gateway to the Shotley peninsula.

"We have many beautiful attractions for visitors and locals alike, so this ugly eyesore needs to go.

"I'm delighted our teams are working to achieve this."

The homeless bus, Tiffers, parked further along the B1456, is parked legally and now enforcement action can be taken.

Freston Boot Opening Week Set

Friday, March 23, 07.00

A 300-year-old peninsula pub is weeks away from opening its doors once more.

The Freston Boot is on track to re-open in mid-May, according to the pub’s manager Mike Keane. 

Speaking ahead of a Freston parish council meeting at the village hall, Mr Keane explained how the Boot’s renovations were going well..

""We are aiming to be open by the second week in May," said Mr Keane. "We have built a new kitchen at the back of the pub which has been totally renovated throughout.

"The kitchen garden has been planted,and we hope to get some crops this year, but more next year. The fencing is up for the paddock."

The Freston Boot is free of tie, with the building owned by Robert Paul, who issued a use it or lose it warning.

Mr Paul, from Wherstead, said: "This will not be a case of third time lucky. We lost the pub once and managed to get it back. This is the second time the Boot has been saved but if people don't use it and it fails then it will not come back a third time."

There are plenty of reasons to use the Boot, which will serve classic pub grub, on smaller plates encouraging customers to try a range of the menu.

Real ale, ciders and lagers will be on tap, with kegs and casks, and there will be stools at the bar.

In addition to the refurbishment inside, the Boot is building a 15-seater cinema in an outbuilding, with screenings planned for two nights a week.

Theatre seats from Lowestoft, Southwold and Felixstowe will add an authentic feel.

Almost a million bees will provide the honey for mead and honey beer brewed on site.

Freston Fury Over Great East Run

Thursday, march 22. 06.30

Frustrated Freston parishioners last night vented their fury at plans for the Great East Run to run through their village once again. 

Colin Grogan, sport, health and inclusion manager at Suffolk County Council, patiently listened to a long list of complaints from the 25 villagers at the meeting at Freston village hall, ahead of the bi-monthly parish council meeting, and promised to take the concerns back to the Great East Run organisors.

Mr Grogan heard how rubbish was strewn along the route along the Strand, up Freston Hill and then down the Street and past the church.

He also heard how runners urinated in a field in the village, plastic water bottles were hurled into hedges and an aggressive ‘bouncer’ prevented people walking along roads closed to traffic.

 Business owners complained about how they had lost trade last year and did not want a repeat this year, when the run returns in September, with more than 3,000 runners already signed up.

Robert Paul, who breeds cattle at the family-owned Suffolk Food Hall, which is owned by Oliver Paul, was angry at being forced to close for much of the day after notices were put up saying the roads would be closed from 6am

"You are shutting businesses down and that is not acceptable “ said Mr Paul, “It is not just an inconvenience it is a trading loss.

"We are expected to pay our business rates for a whole day when we can not open.

"The organisers also told people that Suffolk Food Hall was fully supportive - that was a complete lie." 

Mr Grogan accepted there were many concerns and he could not affect what had happened in the past, but would take the lessons learned back to the race organisors.He said: "You can't run an event like this without some inconvenience.

"All I can do is look forward and see what we can do. I will take all these points back and we will look at them."

Other villagers complained of being 'trapped in the village' for up to six hours and asked for the route to be changed but were told that was not feasible as t had already been marked out for this year, although a tweak would be considered for subsequent races.

Mr Grogan pointed out the benefits of the race to Suffolk in general, and the peninsula in terms of attracting visitors and raising tourism awareness.

Last year's half marathon race raised £1million for charities, with many local good causes benefitting, while more than 10 charities have already agreed to be a part of the event this year, including Cancer Research UK, the Stroke Association, East Anglia Children's Hospices and Unique.

Event organisers and their partners Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich JAFFA Running Club, took the already established Ipswich Half Marathon event to the next level with a closed road course, taking in some of the region's most iconic sights.

Participants of the event head out from Russell Road, passing the prestigious Willis building in Ipswich city centre before heading towards the town's vibrant waterfront, which was one of the most popular spots for spectator support last year.

The route then goes past Felaw Maltings on the way out and back along Wherstead Road, where participants will pass twice under the Orwell Bridge.

On returning to Ipswich town centre, runners pass over the Wet Dock lock gates and continue along the waterfront for a second time before crossing the finish line in Ipswich Town FC's complex.

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great East Run can be found at:

Financial Help During Cold Weather Snap

Monday, February 26, 12.15

Scores of families on the Shotley peninsula will be given an extra £25 a week after the Government triggered their Cold Weather  Payment for this area.

The payments, for people on certain benefits come into effect when average temperatures drop, or are forecast to drop, to zero degrees Celsius or below.

With the so-called Beast from the East moving in, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge today confirmed those payments will be paid, starting from February 23, initially for one week.

People in postcode area IP9 and CO11 are among those that will be paid, with payments made automatically with 14 days.

With Universal Credit being rolled out in this area shortly, others who will get the winter weather payment are those who are on pension credit, income support, income-based job-seekers allowance, and employment and support allowance

The winter weather allowance is different, and separate, to winter fuel allowance.

'Shame On You', Freston Tosser 

By Joe Harvey Monday, February 12, 06.00.

A person from Freston was caught red-handed tossing litter into the lay-by currently used by Tiffers the homeless bus, last night.

The driver threw a copy of Saturday's EADT feature supplement into the hedge but was spotted and followed into Freston

The vehicle, described as a dark-coloured Dhaitsu was seen outside a house in the Street Freston but the occupant was not approached for safety reasons.

Sarah-Jane Brenland posted on social media: "We would just like to say to the resident in Freston who just came past Tiffers bus and threw Saturday's newspaper out of the window, and in to the layby, shame on You!!!!

"Not only was you seen but Gareth was still in the car, so he followed you back.

"We keep this layby as clean as we can, and for the record we don't get newspapers, so any that are found from here on in we will know it is a deliberate attempt to make the area we are residing in a mess." (sic)

Freston parish council chair and clerk Elizabeth Aldous, who is a neighbour of the alleged offender and has made a number of complaints about the homeless bus, was contacted but declined to comment.

Keep Britain Tidy recently promoted a new "Don't Be A Tosser' campaign first introduced by BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy, to try and prevent litter throwing throughout Suffolk.

Boundary Review Results Delayed

Monday, February 12 - 06.00

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has delayed the publication of its final recommendations for the Babergh review.

The commission is currently examining the electorate data and forecasts, which underpin all the recommendations and is expected to be able to make a further announcement about the completion of both reviews following its next meeting on 20 February.

The Shotley peninsula currently has three wards, Alton, which covers Tattingstone, Stutton and Brantham with Independent Alastair McCraw and Harriet Steer, a Conservative, the district councillors. David Rose, an Independent, is councillor for Holbrook, Lower Holbrook and Harkstead, while another Independent councillor, Derek Davis covers Shotley, Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston, along with Peter Patrick, a Conservative that lives in Polstead.

The new ward boundaries under review would see Shotley, Erwarton and Harkstead become a single member ward, while Bentley would join with Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston but stay a two-member ward, while Holbrook would go in with the current Alton ward.

It was expected that the Boundary Commission review would have been completed now, but issues with Mid--Suffolk figures have set things back. The current administration of both councils want to dissolved Babergh and Mid-Suffolk and became one Heart of Suffolk council, although Conservative leader John Ward had promised a referendum would be held in Babergh, after  previous poll resulted in 61 per cent of resident that voted going against the proposal in 2011.

Spare Room For Single Lodgers Call

By Joe Harvey (Tuesday, February 6, 06.00 )

Householders on the Shotley Peninsula are being asked to use their spare bedroom to take in single lodgers.

Solo Housing have linked up with Babergh Distrct Council to try and help singeltons struggling to find suitable accommodation.

The scheme works by matching a suitable single person, referred by the district council or other agencies, with potential landlords on the penisula, that have been vetted by Solo Housing.

Solo Housing will ensure the landlords’ criteria and accommodation suit the scheme, and will also assess potential lodgers’  circumstances and needs.

It could be the landlords are looking for help with bills, or would like the security and company of another person in their home.

The single people tend to be those either homeless, or close to becoming homelss. They may be on low inclomes, or suffering a break up of a relationship.

Solo Housing chief executive Carolyn Howell said: ‘It’s a very simple and successful model, Solo provides practical help and advice to anyone who has a spare room in their house that they would like to rent out.

“At the same time, we will use our assessment criteria to match suitable people to available rooms, providing advice and support to single people who may like to take up a lodging offer.

“The service aims to provide a simple solution for those who would like to rent out a room, perhaps to help them pay their bills, or for companionship, and at the same time provides a housing solution for a single person who may not be able to access other suitable affordable accommodation on their own.”

One of the first landladies to sign up for the Solo Housing Lodging Scheme was a lady called Joan, who lives in the Babergh District.

She said: “As an elderly female, who lives independently, I didn’t want to be alone, especially at night, so taking in a lodger that met with my requirements was very helpful. 

“Solo met with the prospective lodger to make sure they were suitable for my circumstances and helped me with the paperwork.  It all seemed very thorough.

“I really appreciate the company and social interaction and my current lodger helps with small jobs around the home.”

Derek Davis, Babergh District Councillor for Shotley, Chelmondiston, Erwarton, Woolverstone and Freston, said: "This is a sensible, proven scheme that can have very positive benefts for both parties.

“I know there are probably many people with rooms available. It may be they are being charged the empty bedroom tax or they would just like the company. Either way, once matched it is a win-win.”

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ Homelessness Team took 227 homeless applications in 2016/17. 

In addition to this, they prevented homelessness in more than 450 cases and are hoping this scheme will help to settle more people at risk of becoming homeless into permanent accommodation.

If you have a room available, or a single person looking for suitable lodgings, contact 0800 652 0155.

Fire Crews Called As Car Ends Up On Foreshore

Emergency fire crews helped free trapped motorists after a two car collision at the Strand this morning (Friday) 

One car left the road and ended up on the mud flats on the foreshore under the Orwell Bridge. 

 Police and paramedics also attended and two people were treated for minor injuries.

There were minor delays on the B1456 following the accident at around 7.30am.

This sis the second accident to happen on the bends on the Strand between Freston and Wherstead, with a car going over the embankment off the road heading towards Ipswich on Tuesday.

Pictures courtesy of SPNF reader Arthur Hogg.

Dumped Caravans To Be Towed

By Joe Harvey

Two abandoned caravans at the lay-by next to Monkey Lodge in Freston are set to be removed by the council.

Enforcements officers from Babergh District Council served notice on one caravan at the beginning of January warning the owner to remove the vehicle within seven days or it would be taken away by the council that would then pass on the cost. 

One caravan was previously being used by a person needing a place to sleep but a second caravan was left next to it, upsetting Freston residents and those regularly driving past.

"It is an ugly blight on what is a beautiful area," said one neighbour who asked not to be named. "I understand, and do sympathise, if someone has become homeless or has nowhere else to say. "There is a man sleeping in the car there, and we know he needs help, but it is clear the caravans have just been dumped.

The Council have taken ages to sort this out, but I'm glad they are now doing something about it."

Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis said: "This is the gateway to one of the most beautiful parts of Suffolk and action is needed.

"Our team are taking action but at the same time  not everything is always at is seems, so we all need to be a little bit patient.

"Things will get sorted and I'm confident the peninsula will soon one again be a place where tourists and locals will take pride and joy in being part of"


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