News From Holbrook

Breakfast Club Row

Wednesday, October 30, 15.00

A row has erupted in Holbrook after a primary school announced it was opening a breakfast club and after school provision, on the same site where Holbrook Pre-school Play Group and the Cabin has operated for more than five years. 

Holbrook Primary School, on the Street in the village, has informed the pre-school of their plans, which are expected to start shortly after the children return from half-term.

However, the pre-school management has sent a letter to parents asking them not to support the primary school’s initiative by writing to the executive head teacher, Steve Cloke, saying they do not require such extra facilities.

Nicky Lowe, business manager at the pre-school, warned the rival clubs would threaten the future of the pre-school playgroup.

The letter states: “… without the children coming to the Breakfast Club and After School Cabin Club it is very possible that the Pre-School itself would not be viable and would have to close.

“This would be detrimental effect on the community and our children we are sure you would agree.”

Holbrook Primary school has been approached for a comment but has yet to respond.

Pub Sale Falls Through

Friday, October 25, 18.00

Plans to buy the Holbrook Swan have fallen through after owners Calvors decided not to sell. 

A Shotley Peninsula-based holding company had agreed a deal to buy the pub, understood to be in the region of £250,000 after being put up for sale at £265,000, and continue to sell Calvors beer for a year, before the brewery pulled out days before competition was due to take place.

Alec Williamson. Calvors director, (pictured) told Peninsula News: "The deal is not going ahead now and we will continue to run The Swan ourselves."

Calvors bought the Swan for nearly £200,000 from Punch in February, 2018 and have successfully refurbished and breathed life back into the local, making it popular with locals and visitors alike.

Concerned villagers listed the Swan as an Asset of Community Value, but that was allowed to lapse when the deal was initially agreed, and with Coddenham-based Calvors retaining ownership, there are no plans to seek a new ACV.

Calvors also own the Rampant Horse in Needham Market, which is on the market for offers in the region of £475k and the brewery has alsomoved into canning its lagers.

Moves by community to buy Queen's Head after change of use application made...

Both of Holbrook’s Pubs Set To Change Hands

Wednesday, October 23, 17.00

Holbrook pubs The Swan and the Compasses will be operating under new owners within weeks. 

The Swan at Holbrook has been sold by Coddenham brewery Calvors to a holding company, understood to have connections with the Freston Boot, for approximately £250,000, almost a year after buying the property for £184k

Due to assurances given to Holbrook Parish Councils, an Asset of Community Value notice will not be followed up and the private sale was allowed to proceed.

It is understood the new owners will continue selling Calvors beer for one year, have no immediate plans to change the management and no jobs are under threat.

Swan manageress Kirsty McLaughlin has initiated a number of events, which have proved popular and well attended, and has recently announced its Christmas menu.

 Meanwhile, pub owners Punch have confirmed changes are afoot at Holbrook’s other pub after rumours new tenants were taking over at the Ipswich Road hostelry.

It is understood personal circumstances have prompted the current tenant to find new people to rent and run the 295-year-old Compasses pub.

Andre Quilbell, Punch development manager, announced in a report regarding another pub: “The Compasses in Holbrook is due to change hands on assignment soon and a new food business will be set up.”

Elsewhere on the peninsula:

  • Mike Keen resigned as a director at the Freston Boot on August 5, transferring his shares to Andrew Whittle and Daniel Saulter who have been directors since July 2019 and March 2018 respectively.
  • The Riverside restaurant in Woolverstone has closed for the foreseeable future.
  • A planning application for a change of use has been lodged for the Queen’s Head at Erwarton, although it is possible a fresh Asset of Community Value application for the property could be made.

For more peninsula headlines click here...

Lone Pupil Refused Bus Pass Amid School Transport Debacle

Thursday, September 5, 1000

An 11-year boy's first day at secondary school was marred when he was the only pupil from Tattingstone to be refused a bus pass after Suffolk County Council would not recognise a long-standing footpath.

James Moore, (pictured right) has started school at Holbrook Academy along with all his friends he went to Tattingstone primary school with, but SCC insist his nearest school is East Bergholt, therefore not allowed a bus pass to Holbrook.

His mother Amanda Moore appealed the decision pointing out the eight-metre path, marked as a Suffolk County Council bridleway, goes straight to the school gates making it nearer to their Tattingstone home than East Bergholt. In a letter to Mrs Moore, SCC transport managers accepted the path does exist but as it belongs to Anglian Water, is not a public rights of way, therefore can not be included in their measurements.

Mrs Moore has been left frustrated and angry by SCC, and her son bewildered and upset seeing children from across his street being allowed on the school bus, while he is not allowed to board. James is the only child in Tattingstone who hasn't been issued with a bus pass. James has attended Tattingstone Primary School for the past seven years along with his school comrades; all of which have been issued with Holbrook Academy bus passes, except him. 

Mrs Moore said: "It is all very pathetic, when buses to both Holbrook Academy and East Bergholt park next to each other at the same place opposite my house.They will allow my son on the East Bergholt bus, but not the Holbrook Academy bus. Holbrook Academy is our catchment school...where all his friends are going, other children in the same village and where his brother went. 

"We are talking about an 8 metre path. As a result, I'm now contributing to vehicle congestion and pollution around Holbrook Academy school twice a day; plus having to have a conversation with my work about potentially having to reduce my working hours and take a salary cut." 

"James is the only child in Tattingstone who hasn't been issued with a bus pass. James has attended Tattingstone Primary School for the last seven years along with his school comrades; all of which have been issued with Holbrook Academy bus passes, except him.

SCC confirmed it had investigated Mrs Moore's complaint and remeasured the route, not including the path it has signposted, and found  East Bergholt High School was 3.61 miles for her home, and Holbrook High School - 3.88 miles.

Jane Gould, Orwell ward Babergh district councillor, and county councillor David Wood have been trying to help Mrs Moore and other affected by school transport problems.

"The problem is the policy, other than the officers implementing it," said Cllr Gould. "There needs to be a better system to ensure this sort of thing, which unfortunately is all too common, does not keep happening." 

The council has offered to look into the possibility of James being allowed spare seat place but the family will not know the outcome of that until October. 

James plights comes amid a shambolic return to school for thousands of schoolchildren cross the county. Parents, pupils and teachers, including those at Holbrook Academy, reported incidents, where some buses were oversubscribed, drivers refused to take over-crowded busses away from the school, teachers had to take students home in the school's mini-bus and thousands of passes were not issued.

 A Suffolk County Council statement read: "As of Tuesday 3 September, 152 spare seat applications that were received on time are still awaiting an outcome. This is because the council is unable to process these applications until applications from entitled students have been processed, GCSE results also have a significant baring on the allocation of spare seats. 

There are 530 outstanding late applications for school travel, 185 of these were received between 27 August – 31 August coming in three months after the deadline of 31 May. Out of the 530 outstanding late applications 168 have requested a spare seat. 

The total number of applications received by the county council this year is 10,288 (including the latest applications received last week). 

Gordon Jones Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: “I understand this is a frustrating time for families who are waiting to hear the outcome of their spare seat application. Can I please reiterate that every child whose application was received on time and who is entitled to SCC funded school travel has received confirmation of their application outcome. 

“We do have a backlog of late applications which the team is currently working through and I would like to thank them all for their hard work and dedication. We have not reduced the capacity of available seats for this September so we hope that the spare seat applications can be met.

“I would like to ask parents to help us to make progress by not reapplying if you have already applied for school travel.  I would also like to remind everyone that it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their child gets to school, if parents haven’t received the outcome of their application by the first day of term, they must make their own travel arrangements.” 

“This is the first year of this new process. Lessons are being learnt all the time and we will be making adjustments and improvements to the process in preparation for future years.”

Yesterday the council issued 2,500 bus passes to pupils, taking the number of passes issued to a total of almost 8,000. As letters of confirmation continue to go out to parents to inform them of their eligibility, it is imperative that a suitable photo of their child is loaded onto the system before any pass can be issued. There are a high number of cases where a funded seat has been confirmed but no photo is currently on the system. No bus pass can be issued until this is in place. To add a photo, parents need to visit www.suffolkonboard.com/photo  and follow the instructions on screen.

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