News From The Villages

Son Of Ganges Instructor Standing To Be South Suffolk MP

Friday, October 18, 15.00

Ross Henley has been selected as the Liberal Democrats' Prospective Parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk, which includes the Shotley Peninsula, in the forthcoming general election. 

Mr Henley (pictured) grew up on the peninsula as his father worked at HMS Ganges, the Royal Navy training establishment, and lived in the area for 20 years. 

An experienced councillor, he has been a district councillor in Somerset for 26 years, three of which he was the council leader. He also served as a county councillor for 16 years and as deputy Leader for six years and believes his background gives him good understanding of the rural issues and concerns the towns and villages have in South Suffolk. 

Mr Henley has  particular interest in public health and having been diagnosed with autism plans  to use his platform as a parliamentary candidate to raise awareness of this condition, promote support for those with autism and show there should be no limit to their ambition. He is also a member of the Blackdown AONB, and proclaims on his Twitter account to be a Woodland Trust tree champion.

A Lib Deb spokesman said: "There is a lot of negativity towards politics nowadays, largely due to Brexit, which is a turn-off for many people. However, Ross wants to fight a very positive campaign focusing on local issues and to be a voice and champion for all the towns and villages which make up this beautiful constituency."

It is widely believed a vote of no confidence in prime minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Government will be made within weeks, once the no deal Brexit situation is resolved, one way or another, by October 31. 

Incumbent James Cartlidge will once again stand for the Conservatives, while Robert Lindsay has been named as the Green's prospective parliamentary candidate, in South Suffolk.

Free Swims Initiative Extended

Tuesday, October 16, 11.30

Babergh's successful free swim initiative has been extended to the October half-term and Christmas holidays.

Instigated by Ganges ward member and Cabinet member for communities, Derek Davis, more than 5,000 free swims were taken up by Under-17s at Hadleigh and Kingfisher Leisure centres in the summer holidays and that has led to scheme being repeated.  

  • The offer is valid from 19 to 27 October and then 20 December to 5 January inclusive.and the offer is open to anyone aged under 17 living living in Babergh although new users will need to apply for a Free Swimming Membership, those that registered in the summer will not have to reregister.
  • “It’s fantastic we’ve been able to extend this offer of free swimming in the district to help get our younger residents and their families active during the school holidays," said Cllr Davis.

    “We saw an amazing take up over the summer and I hope that we will see even more of our residents taking part over the coming months.”

  • Normal rules for parental supervision will apply; children under eight years and non-swimmers more than eight years must be accompanied in the water by a parent/guardian or adult over 18 years at all times, with a maximum of two children per adult., accompanying parents/adults pay the normal casual swimming prices.
  • Customers are advised to check the pool programmes on the website for the times of public sessions.

Check Abbeycroft Leisure's website here for further details

Dog Owners Warned of Deadly Disease

Wednesday, October 2, 09.00

Peninsula dog owners have been warned about the deadly disease Alabama Rot, which kills nine out of ten canines affected. 

Alabama rot, also known as CRGV (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy), has been found in a pet in the Suffolk/Essex order town of Manningtree this week, and Stutton dog owner Lee Marshall contacted Peninsula News to raise awareness of the dangers.

Ms Marshall said: "A fine of mine called me to let me know about this after a dog near her died of this horrible disease.

"I'm told it is quite rare but more and more dogs have been affected in the UK, and after the lungworm scare we had recently I felt it was best to warn other owners, although I'm not sure what we can do to protect our pets, apart from not walking them in certain areas and ensuring they are kept clean and well-groomed."

Experts from the Royal Veterinary College believe the cause of Alabama Rots tends to stem from those dogs that have been walked through wet and muddy woodland areas and diagnosing those affected in the early stages is very difficult. It is advised to either not walk dogs in muddy areas, or to wash them immediately after they get wet and muddy.

Dogs affected by Alabama Rots suffer damage to their blood vessels in the skin and kidneys. Affected dogs will often develop ulcers or sores on the bottom part of their legs and will go on to develop kidney failure, which is often fatal. At the moment the only way to confirm Alabama rot is by analysing tissue from the dog’s kidney after it has died.

What are the signs of Alabama rot?

  • Marks, sores or ulcers on the skin 
  • Skin ulcers usually appear on the legs or paws, but could appear anywhere on the body, including the head, tummy, around the mouth and nose, or on the tongue. These marks may appear as an area of redness or could look like a cut, bruise, sting or open sore. These signs could be caused by a large number of different things, but in a small number of cases this could be the first signs of Alabama rot. Always speak to your vet if your dog unexpectedly develops any of these signs.
  • Kidney failure
    • Being off their food.
    • A change in drinking.
    • Being sick.
    • Not weeing as much.
    • Being tired.
  • Signs of kidney failure usually appears around three days after the marks on the skin, but can appear more quickly, or may sometimes take up to ten days. Signs that there are problems with the kidneys include:

If you’re concerned that your dog might have Alabama Rot it’s very important that you speak to your vet as soon as possible.

Spotting that your dog has the first possible early signs of Alabama rot and seeking veterinary treatment immediately could help with their chances of survival:

  • Be familiar with signs to watch out for (see above).
  • Check your dog’s body once a day for anything that’s different (something that’s a good habit for many reasons, i.e. ticks, cancer etc.).
  • Contact your vet straight away if you have any concerns.

 For more details go to the Kennel Club information page. //www.rvc.ac.uk/act

Latest peninsula headlines:

Tuesday, September 23, 09.00

Although a small and simple service, Shotley's commemoration to honour all those that took part in Operation Market Garden 75 years ago was meaningful and poignant. 

Yards from the final resting place of Edward 'Johnny' Peters, Reverend Tim Crosbie and the Royal British Legion conducted a memorial service in the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, in the shadow of St Mary's Church.

Sergeant Peters, attached to the 1st Airborne, was among 35,000 troops taking part in a mission to take five strategic bridges in the Netherland to be able to drop supplies and equipment for the allies at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem, but were forced to retreat after German counter-attacks

 More than 1,500 allied soldiers were killed and nearly 6,500 captured. Total German casualties were put at 3,300, although some estimates have them as high as 8,000.

Johnny survived, also saw action in North Africa, and took part in the invasion at Scilly. He recounts how his brigade were billeted in a pig sty in a farm near Oxford and had to wait months for the operation to get underway after a number of others had been called off. 

Read Johnny's story in his own words on the Parachute Regiment's Para Data page here...

Charity Is The Winner In Record Breaking Great East Run

Monday, September 23, 09.00

A Shotley schoolgirl was among thousands of beneficiaries after the record breaking Great East Run raised an estimated £250,000 for charity. 

A team made up of family and friends, including dad Mark, school head teacher Richard Dedicoat, and Amanda and Matthew (pictured right) completed the half-marathon to raise more than £700 for Ipswich Diabetic Centre on Mia's behalf, as she is a Type One diabetic and relies on insulin injections.

 Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert was among the official starters for the race with a capacity 4,000 runners signing up for the 13.3 mile race on a hot sunny day.

Runners made their way around Ipswich before heading down Wherstead Road, along the Strand and up the scenic Freston Hill, cheered on by hundreds of well-wishers.

The runners were given a welcome soaking by an airport services  fire engine supplied by Belstead firm Falcon as they made their way along the river Orwell, and energy bars were handed out at a water station in the lay-by, which normally houses Tiffers. 

There was an array of brightly coloured outfits, Batman and Robin, and  guy wearing a forma white shirt and tie, complete with waistcoat plodded round in the sweltering heat. 

Hundreds gathered at the finishing line on in the shadow of main stand at Portman Road with Christopher Thompson, of the Aldershot Farnham and District Athletics Club,  winning in a time of 1:06:43, Andrew Rooke of Framlingham Flyers finished three minutes later at 1:09:39 and Danny Rock of Felixstowe Road Running Club was over the line at 1:10:22.

 The first woman finisher was Lauren Deadman of Havering Athletics Club with a time of 1:19:03, followed by Sophie Delderfield of the Vale of Aylesbury Athletics Club at 1:22:21 and Alice Heather-Hayes of the Hadleigh Hares Athletics Club was third with 1:27:40.

Now in its third year the event has refined its procedures to minimise disruption and the benefits it brings in terms of health and wellbeing, tackling obesity, mental health and the economic boost, have helped make it the most impressive and worthwhile run in East Anglia. 

Sunday Road Closures Warning For Great East Run

Saturday, September 21, 11.00

The main arterial road onto the Shotley peninsula will be closed from 9am, Sunday morning as thousands of charity runners take part in the Great East Run. 

The B1456 at the Strand up to the Holbrook turn off, Bourne Hill, and Wherstead Road will all be affected and drivers are advised to avoid trying to get on and off the peninsula between 9am and midday, or find other routes. Although some warning signs say the roads will be closed from 06.30, the routes will remain open until marshalls are in place from 09.15. 

The Great East Run has attracted nearly 4,000 runners this year, and Diabetes UK is the main charity partner. Coincidentally, a number of participants from the peninsula are fundraising for Diabetes suffers, including a group from Shotley Primary School (more details here).

Babergh district councillor Derek Davis will be among the guest starters outside Endeavour House in Ipswich, which also includes Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert.

"The Great East Run is an outstanding event, which not only raises hundreds of thousands of pounds, but showcases the beauty of the Shotley peninsula as the runners wind their way along the Strand and up Freston Hill, to a national audience," said Cllr Davis. "Experience has taught us there will be some inconvenience but hopefully the vast majority of people will plan their journeys accordingly and that can be kept to a minimum.

"I would encourage people to walk to cycle to advantage points along the route to encourage the runners, many doing this for the first time, and help support the multitude of good causes, including diabetes, which I suffer from."

Kate Thornton, Simplyhealth chief customer officer said: "Whether you're training for your first event, working towards a PB, walking or jogging, Simplyhealth will be supporting runners every step of the way, encouraging them to enjoy happier, healthier lives by being more active.

"This year, we're proud to have Diabetes UK as our official charity partner for the Series. Our partnership enables us to continue our great work in supporting people with their health; encouraging as many people as possible to become more active to reduce the risks of developing conditions such as diabetes. Good luck to everyone taking part. We look forward to seeing you at the finish line to celebrate your amazing achievements."

For the full route map and other event information click here...

Liars, Liars, Pants on Fire - Councillor Calls Out Dishonest Highways

Wednesday, September 11, 19.00

A district councillor has accused Highways England of dishonesty after falsely claiming last year the Orwell Bridge would not be closed this year, when it has now admitted the bridge will be shut for two weeks in October and/or November. 

Tipped of by a respected member of the public with inside information, Babergh Cllr Davis contacted Highways England in November last year asking if the Orwell Bridge would be closed, thus causing weeks of chaos and havoc to drivers in and around Ipswich and the Shotley peninsula.

He was assured no such closure was taking place and he contacted his constituent of the response while adding  Highways' assurances that some closures to one lane could occur due to regular maintenance.

However, the information provided by Kevin Barry, Asset Development Administrator, has proved to be untrue. and  Highways England have now admitted closures will occur on week nights and will last approximately two weeks while contractors from Graham Construction work to replace bridge joints and carry out carriageway repairs. 

No firm date has been finalised for the start of the works, although a spokesman for Highways England said they will begin in mid-October and be carried out from 8pm until 6am.

Cllr Davis said: "I'm incredibly annoyed by this clear deception. I was given the initial information in good faith, as yet another closure would be devastating for so many of us and it is only right we should all be warned as early as possible.

"I checked it out and was clearly lied to. I don't for one minute believe that this is a coincidence. People knew of this closure, and the potential huge disruption to business and the public, yet chose to hide the information.

"This is disgraceful, we already face massive disruption to Brexit at the Port Felixstowe, which could cost the region millions, and failure to provide information, when legally required to do, should means heads must roll, and not just junior officers.

"I have asked for an investigation and expect answers from the Department of Transport, Highways England and South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge."

Here is the email response to Cllr Davis' enquiry in November 2018:

Dear Mr Davis

Thank you for your enquiry of 21 November concerning planned closures of the Orwell Bridge in 2019. The information you have requested is information we make available to the public on a regular basis.

Your request has been handled under normal business practices and not in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act/Environmental Information Regulations.

Please also accept this as a response to your email sent to our customer contact centre on 15 November reference 18919578.

We currently have no planned works or closures for the bridge in 2019. We would expect there to be some lane closures when regular maintenance work is undertaken but no dates have been confirmed for this work.

If you feel the information supplied is not sufficient or has not been answered within the 15-day period, you may wish to complain. The complaints procedure is available via our website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati....

If you require a print copy, please phone the Information Line on 0300 123 5000; or e-mail [Highways England request email].

You should contact me if you wish to complain.

Kind regards

Kevin Barry, Asset Development Administrator (Essex & Suffolk)
Highways England | Woodlands | Manton Lane | Bedford | MK41 7LW
Tel: +44 (0) 300 4700998
Web: www.highwaysengland.co.uk
GTN: 0300 470 0998

Follow Highways England East on Twitter
Keep up to date with our roads projects at Highways England East Road Projects
Get live traffic information at http://www.trafficengland.com

Customer Contact Centre is available 24/7 on 0300 123 5000 or [Highways England request email]

Latest Peninsula News Headlines

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.

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-busand 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.

More Peninsula News headlines...

McDonalds Proposed At Peninsula Gateway

Saturday, July 6, 17.00

A McDonald's drive-through restaurant could be built at the gateway to the Shotley peninsula if plans are approved by Babergh councillors. 

The fast food outlet is part of an application made by Euro Garages Ltd to create a service stop, including a petrol station, shop and fast food outlet at the top of Bourne Hill near the ski slope, at junction 56 off the A14.

the applicants claim 60 jobs would be created at the service station.

Opponents to the scheme argue there is no need for the development as there are fuel stations nearby with one less than 1km, on Wherstead Road at the bottom of Bourne Hill, 500kn on the west bund carriage of the A14 and at junction 55, the Copeck roundabout, which also has a Burger King. 

 A McDonald's spokesman said: "Wherstead is one of a number of areas being considered as we look for opportunities to develop new restaurants, however, we are not in a position to share details of exact locations until we are committed."

Euro Garages Ltd plan to make major improvements to the road network.including an upgrade the slip-road roundabouts onto the A14, to improve traffic flow.

"We've been working closely with the council, consulted with residents and subsequently submitted proposals for modern roadside services," said a Euro garages Ltd spokesman. "This will allow our customers to rest, relax and refuel before continuing their onward journey.

"Our plans also include significant improvements to junction 56, which would improve the traffic flow both in and out of Ipswich.

"Should planning permission be granted, we will also create 60 new jobs in a range of full and part-time roles, with a focus on creating jobs for local people.

"The area around the site has been, and continues to be, a focus for strategic development and growth. Our proposals will complement and support this investment, strengthening the local economy."

Comments on the application can be made on the Babergh planning applications website using reference: DC/19/02798 until Wednesday, July 17.

Pic above  is an architect's impression of the development near the A14 roundabout at the top of Bourne Hill, Wherstead. Image by: CAMPBELL DRIVER PARTNERSHIP ARCHITECTS/EURO GARAGES LIMITED

Peninsula News headlines...

On The Cards Woman Killed In Traffic Collision Next To Ski Slope

Wednesday, June, 3, 12.00

A woman has died after a two car collision on the Bourne Hill section of Wherstead Road this morning.

The woman was driving a Nissan Qashqai when it was reported to have crashed head on with a Ford Fusion coming down the hill towards the roundabout towards Shotley.

The woman driver of the Qashqai was treated by paramedics but sadly died at the scene. Next of kin have been informed.

The male driver of the Ford Fusion sustained serious injuries and has been taken to by land ambulance to hospital.

A police statement confirmed the road remains closed in both directions at this time to allow an investigation into the circumstances of the collision to get underway. It is expected that the road will be closed for several hours and police are asking motorists to find an alternative route.

Witnesses to the collision are asked to visit the police website . Alternatively, call the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.

Anybody who may have relevant dash-cam or mobile phone footage are asked to visit the dash cam section.

See more peninsula headlines.

Consultation Due To Start On Vital Local Plan

Thursday, June 20, 13.00

Babergh councillors are to be asked next week to approve a draft joint Local Plan document for public consultation.

The draft joint Local Plan proposes a set of planning policies that will be used to inform decisions on planning applications and appeals.  It will be considered, for consultation, by councillors of both Babergh and Mid Suffolk at two Full Council meetings next week.  If approved then residents, local businesses and stakeholders will be asked for their views between July and September 2019.

The Councils began gathering a range of evidence to inform the preparation of a new joint Local Plan during 2016. This has included studies on retail, economic land needs, housing land availability and housing market assessments.

An early draft plan identifying broad issues and options was produced and consultation undertaken during Autumn 2017. Following submission of more than 14,000 comments from over 1,300 people and input from both statutory consultees and a cross-party working group of councillors, this preferred options plan has now been developed.

Babergh District Council will meet first at 5.30pm on Tuesday 25 June,  and the meeting will be live on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSWf_0D13zmegAf5Qv_aZSg

 The key points of the document include:

  • A housing requirement of 17,568 new homes between 2018 and 2036, including 7,560 new homes in Babergh. This breaks down of a requirement for 420 dwellings per year in Babergh. These figures are in accordance with Government guidance based on published evidence.
  • Prioritising new retail and town centre uses in the strategically important retail centres of Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket
  • A drive for 35% of homes in relevant applications for 10 or more dwellings to be affordable
  • A development approach that takes into account the long-term implications of climate change, including flood risk, water supply and biodiversity.

Cllr Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “Development is something that comes up time and again when talking with our residents. We must have a strategic approach to how we’re going to provide the housing and the jobs needed in Babergh, and the Joint Local Plan provides just that. Now we’re ready to put it to the public, and next week I’ll be asking my fellow Councillors to approve this plan for consultation – it’s about nothing less than the future of Babergh, and I’m looking forward to having the real conversations about what it means for us.” 

The full documents being put to Babergh Members are available online at https://baberghmidsuffolk.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=153&MId=2556

See all the latest Peninsula News headline here...

New Look District Wards For Peninsula Explained

Wednesday, April 3, 17.00

Voters will be electing a lesser number of councillors for Babergh District Council on Thursday May 2 as it drops from 43 to 32 members in the new look wad structure.

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, with Independent incumbent Derek Davis at least one candidate, along with a couple of ticket candidates from the Conservative and Green Parties.

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 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. Well known local volunteer and B&B owner Jane Gould us standing for the Green party, with Conservative Nick Ridley, who lives outside the ward, at least one of her opponents.

Brantham will become a one-member ward as expected growth will also boost the electorate there, serving councillor Alastair McCraw is sanding and will face opposition from at least one ticket candidate who lives outside the ward.

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 on May 2. 

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.

What It Means To Be Truly Independent

Saturday, March 30, 0900

Being an Independent councillor is about putting people before politics.

It seems simple enough but we have seen how the electorate are understandably unhappy with the shambolic way mainstream political parties have been handling important issues.

As local elections loom, it is obvious voters, those that will bother to turn out, are looking for a better way and we as Independents believe we offer just that. 

Currently at Babergh the Independent Group, comprising of eight members, provides the largest opposition to the ruling Conservative administration.

Although on the surface it would appear to be an oxymoron that Independent councillors would need to form a group, it is more to do with pragmatism and the democratic process.

The Independents needed to be part of a recognised group so they could serve on the various committees, particularly important when having a part to play on Planning, Audit, Licensing and Scrutiny.

Independents have proven their worth by actively immersing themselves in wider district issues. 

Derek Davis (Berners ward) is the portfolio holder for Organisational Delivery on the Cabinet, a model adopted midway through the Administrative term, Alastair McCraw (Alton ward) is the chair of Overview and Scrutiny, while Clive Arthey, David Rose and Stephen Plumb are on the vitally important planning committee.

Cllr Davis (right) debunks the myth minority groups do not have a voice in the Council.

“Anyone who knows me will be under no illusion of my ability to ensure my voice is heard loud and clear,” said Cllr Davis. “That means I play a full part in the decision making but as a non-Conservative I can make my point without any fear of political group pressure.

“While I do seek wider views from fellow councillors, I’m very much there to represent the best interests of our residents.

“It is the same with ward matters. As an Independent I act in the best interests of the people of the ward. I’m there to represent the villagers of Shotley, Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston.

“I’m not a delegate, I’m a representative and I don't answer to any political master, therefore all my actions and decisions on made on the basis that I live in the ward. I understand the issues, I listen to all points of views and act accordingly.”


 Cllr McCraw (left) added: “Independents come from their communities to serve the communities. Unattached to wider party political views and approaches, we are able to deal with issues on their own merits and serve the communities freely.

“In local government you’re electing individuals, councillors who will do the work, not parties who must serve several masters.”

It is said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the emergence at national level of an Independent group comprising of disaffected MPs unhappy with their parties has struck a chord with the many who are fed up with the shambolic way the mainstream politics has been conducted for some time.

However, Cllrs John Nunn and Richard Kemp from Long Melford insist they should not be confused with the national group and like 1,700 Independent councillors across England and Wales are not affiliated in any way with them.

“We have been working hard for residents for many years, listening to you; acting on your concerns and improving our community,” said Cllrs Nunn and Kemp in a joint statement.

“Independents remain free of party politics to focus on the best for residents, not on any national party wrangling.

“We put the issue, resident, community first, without the interference of party politics. Be assured we are working for you and or local community.” 

Cllr Rose, a former Ipswich Town Club Secretary, has represented Holbrook ward for 16 years and remains convinced being Independent is vital at district level.

“I feel that the most benefit comes to be able to consider and vote on items without the pressure of party politics,” said Cllr Rose who is retiring and will not be standing at the next election. “To be able to consider the effects of the people you represent are vitally important and as an Independent you have that freedom to act accordingly.

Cllr Arthey, Independent Group leader, has been a district councillor for 28 years, key member of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, since its inception in 1999. He spent 10 years chairing Babergh’s Development (planning committee and is a respected member of Babergh’s leader’s group.

Clive’s contribution to his ward was underlined when he was nominated by his constituents and subsequently shortlisted for the national councillor awards. A rare event as, even though it is open to anyone to make nominations, often it is only political administrations that make those nominations.

It is understood more than one current Conservative, and perhaps some from other mainstream groups, will stand as Independents so they can represent their villagers in the best possible way, without the shackles of party political pressures.

Babergh Named the UK's Second Happiest Place to Live 

Thursday, March 28, 1800

Babergh is the second happiest place to live in the UK, according to a Royal Mail survey. 

The district, which includes of the Shotley peninsula, was pipped only by Winchester in Hampshire in the

Royal Mail’s Happiness Index. Factors including  personal wellbeing, life expectancy, earnings and access to services, make up the measures

Babergh with its large open spaces, and large swathe of the AONB, also scored the highest ranking for low carbon emissions, despite some issues in Sudbury.

District councillor Derek Davis, who lives in Shotley, was not surprised at the findings.

“We live in a beautiful area with the many tangible benefits that brings in terms of enjoying the scenery,” said Cllr Davis. “Added to the obvious outstanding walks, sailing, cycling and other healthy activities the survey has highlighted the less obvious advantages of living in Babergh.

“That is not to say everything is perfect, we still have much to do, in terms of rural transport, economic growth and balancing progress with protecting and preserving what we have.”

Arthur Charvonia, chief executive of Babergh added: “It’s wonderful news that Babergh has been voted the second happiest place in the UK and I’m proud of the part that Babergh District Council plays in making this area such a special place to live and work,” he said. “It’s testament to our people, our communities and our businesses who have such a strong sense of pride in the area, and who work tirelessly and collaboratively to make Babergh such a happy place.”

Shotley is the reigning Suffolk and Babergh Village of the year, with Brantham is currently Suffolk’s Most Active Village after succeeding Shotley. 

Picture credit: Johnathan Prosser Photography

March into Spring Campaign Backing Local Business

Friday, March 1 0600

We have launched a campaign urging villagers to further use local businesses on the Shotley peninsula and would love your support. 

Our March into Spring initiative is designed to promote all the great businesses we have on the peninsula, and you can help by marching into your local shop/pub/aquatics-centre/takeaway/hairdresser/restaurant/ferry/caterer, this Spring. Or even march into a new job by contacting your local CV specialist, find a local tradesman.

You can also back our campaign by downloading the poster here and displaying it in your window.

Backing local businesses not only means we keep important facilities but it creates jobs and ensures our villages are sustainable.

Using local businesses also means cutting back on road journeys, pollution and keeps the peninsula pound buoyant by encouraging visitors to use local traders too. 

Publisher and Babergh councillor Derek Davis got the scheme underway and said: “Like many great initiatives the idea came during a conversation down a local pub.

“I know many people do already use our wonderful local businesses but there are still many would go into Ipswich or elsewhere for services we have here on the peninsula.

“This is about getting the word out there about what we have here and encourage people to stay local whenever possible.”

Babergh District Council is also looking to support local traders by offering a further discount to business rate payers, with an initiative adopted by Cabinet last month.

If you are a business or trader that would like to promote your business on our March into Spring page please contact advertising@shotleypeninsualnewsand features.com  

Business Boss' Call For Tourism Action Support

Friday, December 7, 15.00

A leading businessman has called on company bosses on the peninsula to get behind its tourism action group. 

Oliver Paul, Suffolk Food Hall owner, has spearheaded Shotley Peninsula Tourism Action Group for the past three years and is looking to become even more inclusive and increase its impact locally.

The TAG was originally formed as part of an initiative by Babergh District council, looking to utilise the region’s Destination Management Organisation intended to increase tourism to East Anglia.

Mr Paul, along with district councillor Derek Davis, and Alton Water’s Head ranger John Taylor, using the inaugural Shotley Peninsula brochure, presented a case for the triangle inside the rivers Orwell and Stour and the A137, to become a stand-alone, informal entity.

 The aims remain to increase visitors to the peninsula (especially those within a one hour drive) encourage them to spend longer here and so increasing the peninsula pound income.  

“The TAG is a wonderful opportunity to promote the mutual interests of tourism providers and community groups, in a unique and beautiful area,” said Mr Paul. “By collaborative working, all businesses can benefit in terms of getting their message across, advertising events and attracting an even wider audience.”

Quarterly meetings are held at various locations within the peninsula, with the Freston Boot, hosting the latest with representatives from Jimmy’s Farm, Peninsula Sports Centre, Shotley Open Spaces, Peninsula News and Features, Suffolk Food Hall, Neptune Sailing, the AONB, Ganges Museum and the pier’s Benefit Society.

Cllr Davis said: “The TAG offers a balance between economic growth in terms of attracting tourism and ensuring the locals benefit from great facilities.

“That includes excellent pubs, restaurants, shops and all-year round activities for Shotley peninsula residents.

“It also means well-maintained trails and paths on the door step for visiting walkers and locals alike.

“It is important this is business led, supported by Babergh, the AONB and other official bodies, in order to help sustainable growth but also protect our outstanding landscape and rivers.”

To get involved or for further information please email: oliver@suffolkfoodhall.co.uk.

*Latest peninsula headlines 

Water Mains Disruption In The Pipeline

Wednesday, November 14, 11.00

Homeowners throughout the peninsula have warned they could face disruption to their water supply in January. 

Anglia Water are carrying out routine flushing of the water mains between January 7 and January 24. 

The works will start in the Holbrook area and move throughout the penisnual to Shotley, with all posts in-between affected. There is also a possibility of traffic delays where road closures are required to carry out there work.

A full list and timetable below.

The company has warned users may suffer discoloured water following the flushing but say it is not a problem and customers should  just let their water run clear.

To minimise any inconvenience, AW also recommend the following do’s and don’ts:-

  • Fill your kettle, or a suitable container, with drinking water before work starts.
  • Don’t use washing machines and dishwashers, or leave taps open.
  • Don’t use mains fed instantaneous water heaters/showers if the water supply is interrupted (central heating will be fine).
  • If you have a water softener, you should isolate it using the bypass pipe work until the work is completed
  • Don’t fill or change the water in fishponds or tanks for 48 hours.

Location of work:

Monday 7th January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

HOLBROOK

Abbott Way, Berners Field, Church Hill, Denmark Gardens, Harkstead Road, Holm Oak, Ipswich Road, Little Orchard, New Lane, Pettwood Gardens, Primrose Hill, Rodwell Close, Royal Hospital School, Wagstaff Close, Woodlands Road.

LOWER HOLBROOK

Alton Green, Harkstead Road.

HARKSTEAD

Brick Kiln Road, Church Lane, Church Lane Corner, Grove Lane, Hall Lane, Holbrook Road, Needle Corner, Shore Lane, The Street. FRESTON
Church Road, Freston Hill, Freston Park, Holbrook Road, The Street. ERWARTON

Ness Road, Queens Road, Shop Corner, Shotley Road, The Street, Warren Bottom, Warren Lane.
WHERSTEAD
Peppers Lane, Redgate Lane, The Strand.

Tuesday 8th January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

HOLBROOK

Caxton Close, Clench Road, Clifton Wood, Firebronds Road, Five Acres, Gifford Close, Ha’Penny Drive, Ha’Penny Field, Heathfield Road, Hyams Lane, Jervis Close, Mill Rise, Reade Road, Samford Close, Shepherds Lane, Tattingstone Road, The Street, Woodlands Lane. TATTINGSTONE

Cox Hall Road.

Wednesday 9th January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

HOLBROOK

Clifton Wood, Firebronds Road, Fishponds Lane, Five Acres, Gifford Close, Ha’Penny Drive, Ha’Penny Field, Heathfield Road, Hyams Lane, Reade Road, Shepherds Lane, The Street.
HARKSTEAD

Ipswich Road, Lower Road, Nether Hall Lane, River View Road, Walnut Tree Lane.

Thursday 10th January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

SHOTLEY GATE

Baker Road, Blake Avenue, Bristol Hill, Bristol Hill Park, Broadwater Gardens, Caledonia Road, Childers Close, East View Terrace, Estuary Crescent, Estuary Road, Ganges Road, Gate Farm Road, Great Harlings, Hervey Close, Hervey Terrace, King Edward VII Drive, Kirkton Close, Kitchener Way, Link Road, Lloyd Road, Lower Harlings, Main Road, Old School House, School Road, Stourside, Visdelou Terrace.

SHOTLEY

Chapel Fields, Gayford Terrace, Queen Victoria Drive, Rose Farm Caravan Site, Rose Farm Lane, The Street.
ERWARTON
Shotley Street.

Monday 14th January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

SHOTLEY GATE

Baker Road, Blake Avenue, Bristol Hill, Bristol Hill Park, Broadwater Gardens, Caledonia Road, Childers Close, East View Terrace, Estuary Crescent, Estuary Road, Ganges Road, Gate Farm Road, Great Harlings, Hervey Close, Hervey Terrace, King Edward VII Drive, Kirkton Close, Kitchener Way, Link Road, Lloyd Road, Lower Harlings, Main Road, Old School House, School Road, Stourside, Tudor Close, Visdelou Terrace. SHOTLEY

Queen Victoria Drive, Rose Farm Caravan Site, Rose Farm Lane, The Street.

Tuesday 15th January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

SHOTLEY

Below Church, Church Walk, Garden Close, Kingsland, Old Hall Road, Orwell View Road, Queensland, Rose Court.

Wednesday 16th January 2019 Night work 10pm to 6am

SHOTLEY

Boot Drift, Main Road.

CHELMONDISTON

Bylam Lane, Grove Lane, Main Road, Shotley Road.

WOOLVERSTONE

Cat House Lane, Main Road, Woolverstone Hall.

Thursday 17th January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

SHOTLEY

Boot Drift, Main Road.

CHELMONDISTON

Bylam Lane, Grove Lane, Main Road, Shotley Road.

WOOLVERSTONE

Cat House Lane, Main Road, Woolverstone Hall.

Monday 21st January 2019
Night work
10pm to 6am

SHOTLEY

Boot Drift, Main Road.

CHELMONDISTON

Bylam Lane, Grove Lane, Main Road, Shotley Road.

WOOLVERSTONE

Cat House Lane, Main Road, Woolverstone Hall.

Tuesday 22nd January 2019
Night work
8pm to 6am

CHELMONDISTON

Chesapeake Close, Church Road, Collimer Close, Hill Farm Lane, Hollow Lane, Lings Lane, Meadow Close, Mill Lane, Orwell Rise, Pin Mill Road, Rectory Field, Richardsons Lane, St.Andrews Drive, Wendy Close, Woodlands.

PINMILL

Pin Mill Road, The Barges.

WOOLVERSTONE

Harkstead Lane, Manning Lane, Nursery Lane.

Thursday 24th January 2019
Day work
9am to 12pm

SHOTLEY

Ayers Creek, Wades Lane.

CHELMONDISTON

Wades Lane.

*Add your Christmas goodies, stocking fillers, events or gift idea to our Online Christmas Market here...

More Wherstead Road Chaos As Abnormal Load Causes Delays

Updated: Saturday, November 3, 07.00

Motorists looking to get on and off the Shotley peninsula  can expect delays once again this weekend as a second electrical transformer is transported from Ipswich Docks, to Bramford.

The approach roads to Wherstead Road, including the Strand and Bourne Hill, will officially be closed from now until 4pm today, and then against between 4am and 4pm tomorrow.

Suffolk Highways will today prepare the area for the move, in particular a special construction over Bourne Bridge and up the hill to carry the 146kg transformer.

Tomorrow, Sunday, Officers will escort the abnormal load from 7.30am from the West Bank Terminal at Ipswich Docks to Bullen Lane in Bramford.

Suffolk Police have advised motorists that the load will turn left from the docks out on to the A137, Wherstead Road- before crossing the Ostrich Creak Bridge and turning right, following the A137.

The police will then continue to escort the abnormal load onto the A14 heading west with temporary traffic controls on the eastbound carriageway.

At junction 55 the load will then follow the A1214 north bound before turning left on to the A1071.

The transformer will then turn right onto the B1113 north before taking a left to reach Bullen Lane,Bramford.

Sunday, October 28, 07.00

Traffic chaos continued on and around Wherstead Road today as three 268 tonne transformers are being moved from Ipswich docks to Bramford. 

Motorists trying to get on and off the peninsula were left frustrated as delays at Bourne Hill, Bourne Bridge, Wherstead Road, the Strand and the A137 were far worse than anticipated.

Preparations for the transformers’ move along Wherstead Road took longer than planned, meaning the road was closed all day.

Traffic signals, street lighting columns, road signs and traffic islands were removed from the area, while  temporary bridge was laid over Bourne Bridge capable of taking the load.

The transformers are part of the new East Anglia ONE off shore power station and are set to continue this morning when the heavy load is expected to start its journey at 07.45.

With a top speed of just nine mph, it will be a slow journey for the abnormal road, with delays expected in the area for most of the day.

All this will be repeated next weekend when anther load will be moved.

Many frustrated motorists took to social media to vent their anger, including residents along Wherstead Road who had been sent  letter saying the road would only be closed 7am and 8.30am yesterday, and between 7am - 10am today.

A diversion route has been set up along A137 Hawes Strett, Vernon Street, Star lane, Grimwade Street, Duke Street, Holywells Road, Landseer Road, Nacton Road, A1189, A14 junctions 56/57, and vice versa.

* Traders can get to their customers easier with our Online Christmas Market

Peninsula Hit As Bin Collections Delayed

Wednesday, October 3, 14.00

Bin collections in a number of peninsula villages have been disrupted due to sickness. 

Babergh District Council today apologised for the disruption but assured residents the crews would catch up.

The problem started yesterday with a number of refuse collectors calling in sick and although crews managed to keep to many scheduled stops they inevitably fell behind on others.

Those affected today include: 

  • Wherstead
  • Freston
  • Woolverstone
  • Chelmondiston
  • Hintlesham
  • Chattisham
  • Copdock
  • Holbrook
  • Tattingstone

A Babergh spokesperson said: "We apologise for any inconvenience these delays may cause, and thank you for your patience as our crews catch up with the backlog. Please leave your waste at the usual collection point."

Garden and trade waste collection could also be affected, but again the council hopes to catch up by the end of the week.

Check Babergh website for latest updates...

Ganges Plans Going Ahead - Despite Rumours

Monday, August 10, 18.30

Concerns the building of 285 homes, a care home and other properties, on the former HMS Ganges site is not happening have proved to be unfounded. 

District councilor Derek Davis confirmed the development is going ahead as planned, despite rumours to the contrary.

A letter sent out by Babergh notifying people an application made by the developers was invalid, and had never been valid, inevitably sparked the belief the plans had been scrapped.

However, the letter was part of a technical process and refers to other applications made by the site owners Haylink, and not the one which received permission in 2015, which was upheld by the High Court. 

Cllr Davis, Babergh ward councillor for Shotley Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston, and a cabinet member, explained: “Notification was sent out saying the application to build 285 homes, retail units, community buildings, a care home and a small hostel, was invalid and that, understandably, sent the hares running.

“The truth is the application referred to was an erroneous piece of paperwork that was superseded but never properly dealt with.

“While looking at a recent application by Haylink to discharge certain conditions, an efficient planning officer spotted the discrepancy, among other things, and carried out a thorough housekeeping exercise on the whole application.

“I have been assured everything is fully in order and the applicant is looking to start actually building houses as soon as possible.

“There are a couple more things to be overcome, which is normal on a development of this scale, but the first phase, which includes adding a spine road, will soon be started.”

 The developers have completed much of the heritage work required and will soon be advertising for labourers to help complete the site clearance.

Permission has been given for Haylink to remove the mast so it can restored fully to its 143ft high glory, complete with rigging, while other ceremonial and important heritage aspects are being protected.

Almost £6million of staged payments will be made as part of an S106 agreement, which will be paid over nine phases until completion.

Some buildings will be handed over for community use, and public open spaces are part of the plans.

If you have a news or sports story Contact us here: 

Letters Sent Ahead Of Great East Run

Wednesday, August 29, 19.00

Letters have been sent to hundreds of Peninsula residents and businesses that could be affected by this year’s Great East Run. 

Information about the September 16 race, which is a 3,500 runners sell out, has been delivered to all those in Freston and Wherstead as part of a 10,000 letter mail drop.

The move follows lessons learned from last year’s event when 3,000 runners ran the course, which includes Wherstead Road, Bourne hill, The Strand, up Freston Hill and going through the small village.

Road closures for the 13.1mile event are to take place in phases, closing from either 6am, 7.30am or 9am ahead of the 10am race start, and re-open in phases from 11.15am, 1pm, 1.35pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Water stations will be dotted along the route, which will be well-marshalled, from the start at Russell Road, and finishes at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road training pitch.

 A spokeswoman from the Great East Run said: “Four weeks prior to the event, 10,000 residents and businesses along the route were contacted with detailed road closure and re-opening information, and a map of the course. 

“Preparations for the big day are well underway and we’re delighted to be welcoming an additional 500 runners to the start line in 2018. 

“Around 3,500 people are expected to participate in the Simplyhealth Great East Run this year and we’ll continue to work with our local partners to ensure the event can grow and attract more runners from both around the region and throughout the UK in the years to come.” 

Ipswich Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee will discuss the matter on Thursday this week, following a report earlier in the summer which said that “vastly improved” forewarning of closures was needed.

A borough council spokesman added: “We are pleased that the event organisers and the county council have worked hard to address the concerns raised last year and we are pleased with the progress made. 

“We hope this great event will be much smoother for residents affected.”

To see the full route plan and road closures, visit the Great East Run website here.

Treasured View Saved As Pier Plan Refused

Wednesday, August 22, 17.30

Plans to build a café, offices, workshop and a visitors’ centre at a cost of £1.8million, have been refused by Babergh’s planning committee. 

Councillors voted 7-6 against allowing permission for the development, which was widely opposed by the community.

Objectors argued that a treasured view down the Stour would be obliterated, therefore leading to a detrimental visual impact for the public, and planning members agreed.

Shotley resident and Commodore of the Sailing Club Tom Clayton, Bristol Arms landlord, shareholder and original member of the group to get the project off the ground Shane Rolin, along with Richard Lindgard, A Shotley Marina director who has invested heavily in the area, shared their three-minute slot.

They showed the widespread unity and opposition there is against this particular project, although all spoke in favour of the pier being restored to the Victorian style pier it once was.

The trio pointed out the parking issues, especially as the pier group do not own much of the parking spaces along King Edward's Drive opposite the sailing club and along from Admiralty Pier.

They also pointed out the loss of the view, and how the new development, going as high as between one and half to two storey’s high, and stretching nearly 100ft along the pier.

It was pointed out the maintenance of the pier, without the 15ft high unwanted development could be funded from a couple of mush smaller stalls being allowed, as previously built, grants and the support of the community volunteers.

No one spoke in support of the plans, while director of the pier project’s Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society director Peter Stabbings, spoke on behalf of the applicant.

He revealed to the committee it was estimated the cost of the development would be £1.8m, while just the cost of restoring the pier as it was, would be between £300k and £900,00 and they planned to spend £40,000 on a survey, despite a survey already being carried out in 2016.

Despite the clear message sent by shareholders and the community, pier group vice-chair Sally Chicken told the EADT they are considering an appeal, therefore spending even more money raised by shareholders and grant funders, on an appeal.

Pier Development Goes To Planners Amid Huge Objections

Thursday, August 16, 07.00

Controversial plans to build two large buildings on Shotley's Victorian pier will be heard by Babergh's planning committee next week. 

It is not a given that this will be approved at the meeting, which will he held at Endeavour House in Ipswich on Wednesday, August 22, starting at 9.30am, as it goes against national and local policies.

There is also significant opposition within Shotley community, and further afield, including those who bought shares in the pier project, against the plans for buildings 15ft high and up to 98ft long, opposite the Tea On the Quay, the Bristol Arms and close to Shotley Sailing Club

The problems it will cause with parking, the detriment to the local economy, the loss of beautiful views impacting on the area, the damage to the ecology, including wintering birds in a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Ramsar, and as part of the new AONB extension, are all factors the planning committee will have to weigh up.

Only one person wrote to support the application while 38 write in formally to object. Their comments include:

  • Whilst I support the renovation of the Pier to the 'Victorian pier status'. I do not agree with the huge buildings proposed for the 1st part of the pier.

  • We were told that the Pier was to be restored to its original glory as a Victorian Pier not create a commercial enterprise using charitable funds for monetary gains.


  • I object to the planning due to poor access, poor parking, and the hideous eyesore this would be to the area.

  • The view of the river will be severely restricted specially for the Sailing club, down the river for people eating/drinking at the Bristol arms and Tea shop.

  • The restaurant is just not needed as there is not enough custom for the other 4 eateries specially over the winter months, what are they trying to do, put people who have been there for many years out of business!!

  • Parking, there is not enough parking in the summer and on any nice sunny day now, so with this proposal where will the visitors park. 
  • I believe the scale and size of the development proposed will destroy the unique beauty of Shotley Gate
  • The impact of the proposed development on local traffic and parking has not been considered or addressed
  •  The scale of the proposed development is out of all proportion with the existing surroundings and structure
  • I believe the scale and size of the development proposed will destroy the unique beauty of Shotley Gate
  • I feel this development will ruin the natural beauty of this area which I believe is covered by SSSI! There is nothing about it that enhance this area. Visitors and locals come to take in the views, walks and picnics which this will block. There is not enough parking on busy days already and if this goes ahead would make it dangerous for pedestrians dog walkers and families also people will park in side roads making it more difficult for those that live here.
  • This would impact on the safety of sailors especially the growing section of junior sailors as the Sailing Club must be able to view the members on the river but this development would block the required view from the safety officer and race officials.
  • This would have a detrimental effect on local business which already cater for visitors and locals , the Shipwreck, Bristol Arms, a long standing mobile café and Ice cream sellers. These local businesses depend on their customers for their livelihoods.


Derek Davis is founding member of the pier project and a shareholder, freelance journalist who helps market and promote Shotley peninsula and some of the businesses in the area, and is the Babergh district councillor for Berners ward, which covers Shotley Gate.

He said: “I’m all for the pier opposite the Bristol Arms to be restored as a Victorian pier with 123 years of history, in a beautiful part of Suffolk with outstanding views down the River Stour and across to Essex.

“However, the pier needs to be protected against this sort of over development.

“Many people are understandably angry and upset by this application, including shareholders.

“We bought into a project where the pier would be restored, not built on with 15ft high, 98ft long buildings ruining the views.

“There is no need for workshops, offices an 84-seater café and all the rest.

“We already have many of these facilities, and the Ganges development has already been passed includes building for community and volunteer use, and a café as part of the mast restoration viability.

“Then there are the parking issues, which this over development would exacerbate and residents living nearby will be detrimentally affected.

“I’m also concerned at the negative effect this will have on the local economy. It can’t be right that public money can be used to provide an unfair competition, and take the all important summer business away from the tea room, pubs and restaurant, which could lead to one or more facing financial ruin.”

Sally Chicken, vice-chairman of the group, told the EADT: “There has been a few local objections which has been a bit distressing.

“We are trying to do the right thing by the community.

“We are very hopeful we will get it [approval] and in our view it will increase tourism here.

“The objectors think it will take away business but we know more people are coming across from Harwich and elsewhere, so we think it will put Shotley on the map.”

Derek Davis is founding member of the pier project and a shareholder, freelance journalist who helps market and promote Shotley peninsula and some of the businesses in the area, and is the Babergh district councillor for Berners ward, which covers Shotley Gate.

He said: “I’m all for the pier opposite the Bristol Arms to be restored as a Victorian pier with 123 years of history, in a beautiful part of Suffolk with outstanding views down the River Stour and across to Essex.

“However, the pier needs to be protected against this sort of over development.

“Many people are understandably angry and upset by this application, including shareholders.

“We bought into a project where the pier would be restored, not built on with 15ft high, 98ft long buildings ruining the views.

“There is no need for workshops, offices an 84-seater café and all the rest.

“We already have many of these facilities, and the Ganges development has already been passed includes building for community and volunteer use, and a café as part of the mast restoration viability.

“Then there are the parking issues, which this over development would exacerbate and residents living nearby will be detrimentally affected.

“I’m also concerned at the negative effect this will have on the local economy. It can’t be right that public money can be used to provide an unfair competition, and take the all important summer business away from the tea room, pubs and restaurant, which could lead to one or more facing financial ruin.”

This link shows the comments with an overwhelming majority objecting It is in the design statement to have a cafe, along with workshops, offices visitor centre etc.  Pretty much all the things already agreed as part of the Ganges development.

The vast majority of the community appear to be for the pier being restored, but not for the development, as their comments indicate.

This link will also get you to all the relevant documents https://planning.baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=P6CXRJSHIQU00 

Customer Service Point Opened For Peninsula Residents

Tuesday, August 14, 17.00

A new customer access point has opened in Shotley offering support to all Babergh residents. 

Although Babergh moved its headquarters from Hadleigh to Ipswich last year, there is no direct customer service access at Endeavour House, so this facility is aimed at making it easier for residents to get personal service, or be shown how to use their online services. 

The new scheme with Babergh working closely with Suffolk Library Service provides a face to face interaction option locally as currently peninsula residents have to travel to Stowmarket or Sudbury if they want to deal in person with Babergh officers.

Five officers and district councillor Derek Davis (pictured with library staff) were on hand and residents were able to discuss issues including housing, planning, tree preservation orders, refuse bin collection, enforcement and accessing payment systems.

The pilot scheme, working in partnership with Suffolk Libraries, will run on Monday afternoons for the next seven weeks (apart from Bank Holiday Monday, August 27) at Shotley Village Hall from 1pm – 4.30pm.

There are already plans for Babergh to work with Suffolk Libraries and open a customer access point in Hadleigh, scheduled for October, and if the Shotley model is successful other villages in the district could be included.
Derek Davis, Babergh district councillor for Shotley, Erwarton, Woolverstone, Chelmondiston and Freston, is also the Cabinet member responsible for Organisational Delivery, which includes customer service, is delighted that the council officers’ hard work and budding relationaship with Suffolk Library Service has paid off.

Cllr Davis added: “Improving customer service access has been a top priority ever since we left our headquarters in Hadleigh and I’m delighted this has come to fruition.

“We recognise how not everyone is fully comfortable with access our services online and appreciate dealing with a human being and this will do just that.

“Given how popular the Monday library at Shotley village hall has been, it makes sense to house a Babergh
 officer at the same time and hopefully people from all across the peninsula will find this easier than going to Sudbury or Stowmarket.

“This 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 developing a very good working relationship with Suffolk Libraries and Tim and his team are already providing a very popular and useful service, and this will complement the existing facility.”

Contact Babergh District Council on: 03001234000 (from 8.45am) to be connected to any council service.

When calling the above number, please select:

  • Option 2 for council tax, housing benefits or housing rents
  • Option 3 for housing or housing repairs
  • Option 4 for bins, household waste and recycling
  • Option 5 for building control or planning
  • Option 6 for licensing
  • Option 7 for environmental health or general enquiries

For emergency repairs to council properties or to report dangerous structures: 0808 168 7794

For business rates: 01473 433851

To make a payment: 0845 372 4112

For a text mobile service for hard of hearing customers: 07827 842833

Suffolk Libraries contact details

  • Telephone: 01473 351 249 (please don’t text this number)
  • Email: help@suffolklibraries.co.uk

District Councillor derek.davis@babergh.gov.uk

Strand Road Closure Continues

Tuesday, August 14, 19.00

Repairs to pot holes song the Strand has meant has caused closures along the the Strand.

The section of the B1456 underneath the Orwell Bridge will be closed between 7pm and 6am, tonight and tomorrow with diversions going through Holbrook.

Work being carried out by Anglian Water, which caused closures at Primrose Hill, have been completed and the road is now passable.

The essential work at the Strand being carried out by Suffolk County Highways had already been put back after it was initially planned for during the day in June, which coincided with Suffolk Day.

AONB Vow To Fight Any Nuclear Waste Plans For Peninsula

Wednesday, August 1, 11.00

AONB chairman David Wood has vowed to be the the vanguard of any fight to prevent the Government carrying out plans to bury nuclear waste under national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Shotley peninsula. 

Nuclear waste could be stored in vaults deep underneath the peninsula, and other beauty spots, after MPs approved a new plan for the UK’s most toxic radioactive materials.

Other ideas previously put forward to get rid of waste has been to bury it deep under the sea or blasting it into outer space.

After efforts to find a home for the UK’s nuclear waste stalled, the government launched a new strategy that has since undergone scrutiny by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.

 After hearing evidence from key stakeholders, the committee released a report in which they refused to rule out protected areas as potential dumping sites.

Cllr Wood, who lives on the peninsula, is the chair of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths partnership and Joint Advisory Committee, working with Dedham Vale.

After helping the area's extension of the AONB get to Parliament, with approval hoped for by early next year, Cllr Wood is determined to protect our unique landscape.

"Rest assured we would fight any plans to dump waste within the AONB, although I believe there is storage at Sizewell Nuclear Power Station," said Cllr Wood 

"I am sure the partnership would be up in arms if any plans were to come forward anywhere within the AONB including the Peninsula and we would certainly be at the forefront of objecting to any such plans.

"I think the government are in for quite a shock if they try this on. The passion with which people hold for National Parks and protected landscapes (AONB's) is very strong. 

"They will find themselves up against quite a considerable force/lobby including several influential members of their own party and some very powerful people."

Alastair McCraw, Babergh district councillor was incensed at the Government's plans and added: `"How on Earth (a limited resource in itself) do you reconcile expanding National Parks and AONB’s with failing to protect them?


"This government has reduced funding, relaxed planning laws and restrictions, and permitted (even encouraged) fracking in these extraordinary places. Now they refuse to rule out the burial of nuclear waste in the same areas.

"A 200m minimum depth is no distance at all, yet considered possible. If you only give the status, but no actual protection why is the Secretary of State so openly talking about expansion of National Parks when It’s becoming relatively meaningless.
"Governments last a few years. Half-life radioactive decay can last thousands."

Read AONB Feature here...

Severe Weather Forces Ferry Cancellations

Saturday, July 28, 11.00

Stormy weather has forced the cancellation of the Shotley to Harwich and Felixstowe foot ferry forall trips today, tomorrow and Monday. (July 28, 29 and 30). 

It is anticipated the Harwich Sea Festival and Lifeboat Day will still take place on Sunday, July 29, between 11am and 5pm, but passengers will not be able to use the ferry.

Among the highlights will be a duck race, a firefighting tug display and best dressed boat competition and there will be dozens of different stalls on Harwich Quay, along with an array of musical entertainment from a selection of live bands throughout the day.

Nautical attractions will be provided by the RNLI which will include a variety of sailing boats on Harwich Quayside.

The Shipwreck Bar and Restaurant will be open, as will the Bristol Arms along the river front on the Shotley side.

The peninsula and the towns across the rivers Orwell and Stour were hit by thunder and lightning on Friday night with the storm starting around 8pm, which also meant the hoped for glimpse of the lunar eclipse was dashed.

After weeks of blazing sunshine the rain was a welcome relief for farers and gardeners but put paid to a number of local events.

Suffolk Dog Day and the Blue Cross Open Day, at Wherstead were cancelled due to concerns over the heat and the effect it could have on the animals.

Police Appeal For Help To Find Missing Shotley Man

UPDATE: Saturday, July 21

Peter has been found safe and well back in Shotley. The family have thanked everyone, especially the police in looking for Peter.

Thursday, July 19, 06.00

Police are appealing for help in finding 82-year-old Peter Sutcliffe who has gone missing. 

A search has been launched to find Mr Sutcliffe who  was last seen at 09.50 on the morning of Wednesday, July 18, travelling on a bus heading towards Ipswich.

Mr Sutcliffe is described as male, white, 5ft 7ins and of a medium build.

He was last seen wearing a dark coloured baseball cap and a cream T-shirt with ‘Old Guys Rule’ written on the front. He was also wearing jeans and a pair of white shoes.

Peter’s family and police officers are concerned for his welfare and are asking anyone who has seen him to get in touch.

If you know where he is or have any information that could assist officers in their search contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting CAD 81 of July 18.

Fire Crews Stretched As Blaze Destroys Acres of Crops

Monday, July 16, 21.00

Suffolk fire crews were stretched to breaking point today with two fires on the Shotley peninsula at the same time as eight other incidents in the county. 

Pumps from Sudbury and Ixworth, were diverted to support a crew from Ipswich East to deal with a house fire at Erwarton, while a total of nearly 30 emergency vehicles were fighting a blaze in a crop field, which threatened house-boats at Pin Mill.

Almost 15 acres of farmland is estimated to have been destroyed by the blaze, made worse by winds sweeping across the recently harvested crop.

Smoke could be seen in many parts of the peninsula and across the river Orwell at Levington and Felixstowe, as hay went up in flames in a field between Chelmondiston and Shotley.

 Emergency vehicles were mobilised from all parts of Suffolk and Essex, including the Holbrook on-call firefighters and crews from Manningtree, Nayland, Hadleigh, Orford, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Needham Market, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Framlingham, Southwold, Colchester and Halstead, to fight the fire near Hill Farm.

These included extra water tenders and specialist fire officers, while HM Coastguard were called in on stand-by to evacuate the owners of the house-boats at Pin Mill.

Danny Mills, 38, from Chelmondiston said: "It started about 2pm and I could see it from the main road driving to Shotley.

"When I came back about an hour later it was still going strong and fire engines were streaming up the road.

"The important thing is no one was hurt. I feel for the farmer losing his crops but I'm glad everyone is OK."

Meanwhile, the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Services were called to shouts in Redgrave, Ipswich and Sudbury at the same time.

The combination of events highlighted the need for more on-call firefighters throughout the county, including Holbrook, which has been involved in five incidents within three days.

Fire Commander interview...

Call for part-time fire crews...

Football's Coming Home

Wednesday, July 11, 06.00

The flags are out, the 'Three Lions' song is being sung everywhere as homes and businesses across the peninsula are backing England's bid to win the World Cup. 

England take on Croatia tonight, at 7pm, in the Luznhiki Stadium, Moscow, (where Ipswich once beat Torpedo Moscow in the UEFA Cup), and patriotic football fans have been showing their support by displaying the St George's cross. Click to see our picture special.

Homes from Holbrook, Woolverstone, Brantham, and Shotley are proudly flying the flag, with some very creative displays.

 Many people will watch the game at home or head for their local to watch the quarter-final today, hoping Gareth Southgate's Three Lions can make it through to the final against France on Sunday, in the same stadium.

Some pubs on the peninsula will be showing the game live, with the Bristol Arms being at 6pm., while The Shipwreck is open all day.

Customers can get a free drink at The White Horse in Tattingstone if England win, while Camra pub of the year the Wheatsheaf has the game on as does the Bakers Arms in Harkstead, The Cattawade Crown, and it will be on in the background at the Bull In Brantham.

The Shotley Rose has proved a popular venue with gallon dispensers filled with lager selling at eight pints  for the price of seven. Landlady Sarah is planning to auction off the much sought after dispensers with monies raised going to Shotley Kidzone.

There are many omens in England's favour. Including the fact Pep Guardiola managed Barcelona when they won La Liga and Spain won the World Cup.

The coach led Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga title when Germany won the World Cup four years ago, and of course his current club Manchester City won this season's Premier League.

World Cup flags...

Takeaway Not Closing - Just Having Day Off

Thursday, July 5, 13.00

The owners of the Lasan takeaway in Shotley have reassured customers they are not closing down. 

Mohammed Ali and Bodrul Islam do plan to have Tuesdays off as from July 17 but apart from that it will be business as usual.

Concerned customers of the popular combined fish and chip and Indian food takeaway were worried the shop was closing but joint owner Mohammed Ali has assured everyone their favourite dishes will continue to be served up.

"We mentioned on social media were going to close on Tuesday but that somehow got turned into we were closing", said Mr Ali. "I can assure everyone we are not closing down. We are simply looking to have day off.

"Ideally we could do with having another chef then we can stay open but as it is at the moment both Bodrul and I have to be in every evening.

"Our families need us too, so we have taken the decision to give ourselves Tuesday evenings off.

"A couple of customers have come in and said how sorry they were to hear we were closing, their concern is really touching but they need not worry."

The duo took over at the former chippy almost five years ago and built up a fabulous reputation for their food and service, with many regular customers  from across the peninsula enjoying the mix of quality Indian dishes and traditional fish and chip suppers.

Mr Ali added: "We enjoy being in Shotley, we have wonderful customers, of course like most places we would like to be busier sometimes, but on the whole we like like to provide a good, consistent service to our customers, many are now our friends too."

The Lasan is very much part of the peninsula community and supports many local causes.

Call in your order (not on Tuesdays though)

Armistice Silhouette Grant Bid Extended

Wednesday, June 27, 14.00

Groups looking to mark the 1918 Armistice centenary have been given extra time to bid for 'There But Not There' silhouettes. 

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is making awards to community groups and not for profit organisations. Groups can access up to 10 evocative silhouettes to provide a focus for community events that bring Armed Forces Communities and civilian communities together. 

Interest has been widespread and now the programme to support communities to come together to remember the Armistice and think about Armed Forces Communities has extended its deadline to July 16 2018.


While November may seem like a long way off, many community groups, schools, village halls and places of worship are thinking about the Armistice; and how, as part of this; they can work to build good links with the Armed Forces today.

Grants manager Rachel Dawkins said: "Applicants have been talking to us; telling about the great events they are planning. We know that some groups are planning projects involving a number of local organisations, and worried about not having their event fully planned

 "Apply to us and give us an idea of what you want to do. Tell us what you are planning.  The application form is really straightforward.

"We are extending the programme because applicants have told us that they would like more time to think about their events. It is however fine to apply even if your event is not fully planned.

We need to run the application process now to ensure that silhouettes to award holders are delivered in good time for events in October and November this year.

Applicants need to apply by July 16; and if they need to, they can spend time after that developing their event more fully. If an organisation receives an award; that may help to drive interest and engagement with local events.

For more details and an application form click here...

Quiz, Father's Day And The World Cup

Friday, June 15, 16.00

Give your dad a special day while you can, surprise yourself and friends with your breadth of general knowledge, and enjoy watching England kick of their World Cup campaign with mates and a tailor-made gallon beer dispenser. 

The weather is predicted to be hot on Sunday for Father's Day and many of our much-vaunted pubs are taking bookings.

Either pop over on the ferry, or wander down to the Shipwreck Bar and Restaurant but be warned, you will need to book ahead for inside, or take your chance dining al fresco. (See advert on page)

It is the same story at the Bristol Arms on Sunday, with only  a few tables left, so call Shane on 787200 to book. The pub will also have the football on, with the England game on from 6pm.

 It promises to be yet another busy weekend at the Rose Inn, Shotley too. Saturday night is a charity quiz for Tiffers, the Bus Shelter project for the homeless. (see poster). Sunday is Father's Day, and again you will need to book as Jamie's lunches are legendary. Call 787237.

Sarah has secured some excellent eight-pint towers from Carlsberg, with a gallon of lager selling for the price of seven pints. There will also be food orders taken before the game kicks off. Click on Rose advert (right)

The Bakers Arms at Harkstead has an excellent garden as an overspill if the restaurant gets fully booked. So don't miss out call Michael on 326904.

The Cookhouse restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall, is offering a special menu with two courses at £20 and three for £25.

Work up an appetite for your Fathers' Day lunch with a walk, cycle or sail at Alton Water. Nearby pubs include the Wheatsheaf and White Horse at Tattingstone, the Kings Head and Gardeners Arms in Stutton or Swan and Compasses in Holbrook.

Slightly different, is the Table Top sale at grantham Village Hall on Saturday. (See community posters)

Contact: editorial@shotleypeninsulanewsandfeatures.com to let us know what you are putting on.

Amazing Collection Of Training Slides Revealed

Scores of training stills and films discovered by HMS Ganges Museum archivists have been brought back to life. 

After laying unused for more than 40 years flickering film showing life at Ganges in the 1940s and 1950s were digitised by peninsula video specialists Memory Magic, from Brantham.

Rare footage of Royal Navy recruitment films was transferred from cine tapes to a DVD and a memory stick, making it universally accessible now.

HMS Ganges Museum will show the newly converted videos as part of their display and volunteers can use the stills to demonstrate what trainees were taught at the famed Royal Navy training establishment at Shotley Gate.

A grant of almost £500 was made available from the Stour and Orwell Society as part of their Lottery Funding, made possible by Babergh’s Communities team for a large screen and video equipment designed to show historic films showing life on the peninsula over the years.

SOS secretary Rodney Chadburn said: “The Stour and Orwell Society is committed to preserving heritage assets on the peninsula, both historic and landscape, so we are delighted to give further support through our HLF project grant.”

 Although Ganges’ reputation for toughening up recruits so they went from boys to men, by doubling up and down Faith, Hope and Charity, drilled for hours on the parade ground, and scrambled up and down the 143ft mast, it also ensured the mind was expanded so sailors were reasonably worldly-wise ready to join the fleet.

The training stills, which were used in slideshows for the trainees, some as young as 15, educated the youngsters on a wide range of matters.

Pictures explaining the issues at Aden and the Suez Canal, also show life in the middle east and the role the Royal Navy played.

Background information and photographs of the then British colonies of Singapore and Hong Kong prepared the young sailors for their likely future visits to the Far East.

The young Matelots were also taught the importance of vocabulary, local government from 1946, and the British constitution.

Basic geography, the climate, science in everyday life and the seasons were also covered during their time at Ganges.

There are also training sessions put together by the British Army on atomic energy and intelligent listening, first produced in 1945 and 1946.

All sailors were required to learn basic seamanship and there are training stills of anchor work, boats and boat work, marks of rank, and using a one inch map.

Things have moved on since the Navy needed to be vigilant of mine-watching afloat, but the importance of tradition and the honourable history of the senior service is highlighted in a lesson on famous ships, including the Revenge.

A HMS Ganges Museum spokesman said: “These are a wonderful reminder to all former Ganges boys of the training we went through.

“The Navy used to love a good film show as a way of educating young trainees.

“Finding these, and having them converted so everyone can now enjoy what we shown and learnt, is fascinating and enlightening.

“We want to thank the Stour and Orwell Society for funding this, Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis for helping in pulling it all together and local firm Memory Magic for their expertise in converting these wonderful old images.”

It is envisaged the stills and films will be displayed at public events on the peninsula, using film equipment provided by the Stour and Orwell Society, which si available for loan to community groups.

See picture special...

Visit HMS Ganges Museum website here…

Plenty To Do On The Peninsula This Weekend

Friday, June 8, 13.00

A jazz picnic, village, fete, farm open day and petanque-a-thon are among the events going on across the peninsula this weekend. 

With sunny weather predicted, hundreds of people are expected to visit the area and families can enjoy everything the area offers.

Woolverstone school is hosting a jazz picnic (see poster)  

The Wheatsheaf pub at Tattingstone is home to a charity 24-hour petanque marathon. Live music, barbecues and a hog roast will help entertain the crowds at the pub as the games are played by two hardy contestants taking on all-comers, setting tonight at 6pm and carrying on all day Saturday.

Pond Hall farm, Warren Lane Erwarton, is open from 1pm as part of a nationwide campaign by Linking Environment And Farming, allowing people to learn more about environmental stewardship as well as a variety of arable crops.

A new book celebrating Holbrook between the war years 1914-1918 will be on sale, at Holbrook's fete on Saturday, with the traditional stalls and activities available.

Alton Water Park is open to visitors with its miles of trails, cycle hire is available and a new tea room offering a range of refreshments.

The bakers Arms at Harkstead is a short walk from the lovely beach there, while at the top end of the peninsula the Bristol Arms, Shipwreck bar and Shotley Rose are gearing up to welcome day-trippers, locals and visiting sailors.

Send us your event here:

Repairs Ongoing As Water Problems Hit The Peninsula 

UPDATED:Wednesday, June 6, 07.30

Anglian Water engineers are hoping to complete repairs to a burst water main in Holbrook by 1pm today.

While many areas on the peninsula are getting good water service, the mains problem in Church Hall Road, requires more detailed repairs.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Our engineers will then be working to install a new value onto the existing water pipe this evening, which will restore supplies to all customers,” a spokesman added yesterday.

“Church Hill Road will need to remain closed, while we make the necessary repairs to the burst pipe and repair the road surface. Our teams will be working through the night to get this done as quickly as possible, but we estimate the full repair will take a few days to complete.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes and would like to thank customers for the patience while we make these vital repairs.”

Tuesday, June 5, 15.00

Anglian Water was today flooded with complaints after numerous problems swamped the Shotley peninsula.  

Officials from the water company estimated the problems would be resolved by 9pm, although hoped it could be sooner.

A burst water main in Holbrook was blamed for number of issues as far afield as, Capel, Chelmondiston and Shotley from about 9am.

Numerous householders complained as three leaks were reported to Anglian Water in Holbrook, dirty running water was reported in Shotley Gate, with other leaks also affecting homes.

Low water pressure and dirty water coming out of taps hit hundreds of homes on the peninsula. 

And Anglian Water statement said: "We’re sorry some customers in the Shotley, Holbrook and Tattingstone area may have low water pressure or no water at all today. This has been caused by a burst water main. 
"When the water supply comes back some customers may notice their water is a cloudy or discoloured. This is caused by millions of tiny air bubbles in the pipe and is completely harmless.

"If you leave the water to clear in a glass or run your tap for a bit it will soon disappear."

UPDATE: Most areas on the peninsula had a good water supply from approximately 16.30 onwards as the water main was repaired.

Tuck Into Your Local Fish & Chips On National Day

Friday, June 1, 09.00

Locally caught fish is on offer peninsula wide today as part National Fish and Chip day. 

Pubs and takeaways are hoping for an even bigger demand for the nation's favourite Friday food as the food industry promotes fish and chips.

Cod is very much coming into season and stocks off the East Anglian coast are understood to be number this year.

Michael Eavis, landlord of The Bakers Arms at Harkstead, always gets his fish from a Lowestoft supplier, while Shane Rolin at the Bristol Arms, Shotley gets his from even closer to home with Deben river-based Simpers bringing in their catch from coastal waters just off Suffolk and Essex.

 While his wet fish also comes from local suppliers, Shotley Rose chef Jamie Barwick has been known to nip across on the ferry to buy the freshest of lobsters and crabs, and are usually cooked and sold the same day.

Iconic fresh cod or haddock and chips are popular at the Lasan takeaway that also like to keep it local, and serve theirs along with a range of curry dishes.

Not only can you enjoy the traditional fish fayre at The Shipwreck, but you can look out over the harbour and see the occasional fishermen in action.

In Holbrook, you can get your fish and chips takeaway and then eat them with a drink in The Swan, Alec and his staff will even provide cutlery.

Many people don't need a national day to mark eating Britain's most famous food, but it is great excuse to tuck in to some succulent fish and properly fried golden chips from your local chippy or pub on the peninsula. 

The tradition of eating fish on Friday goes back centuries after Christians were told not to eat meat on Friday's as that was the day Jesus died. This is still continued to this day, especially among Catholics, and fish remains popular, especially cod.

Arguably The Prettiest Bus Stop In Suffolk

Waiting for a bus can be a pretty depressing time even in the best of weather, but it helps when you can gaze upon a wonderful blaze of colours. 

This bus stop could well be the prettiest bus stop in Suffolk with its blue ceanothus and the various shades of yellow broom and green bushes. 

Added to that, are the flying visitors with bees and butterflies giving a real life motion show.

Users of the 97, 98 and 202, can enjoy this glorious array on the Main Road, Shotley, just around the corners from Great Harlings and Gate Farm Road.

Passengers on the route to Ipswich via Chelmondiston, Harkstead and Holbrook will find an amazing array of colour just by gazing out of the windows with fields of crops flowering, along with wild flowers on verges and hedgerows.

Move a little off the main road and the woodlands and meadows are ablaze with bluebells, wild garlic and many hues of green and gold.

See our palette of beautiful flowers here.

Do you know a prettier bus stop, or just want to share your colourful floral pictures - email editorial@shotleypenisnulanewsandfeatures.com

SOS Suspend Relations With Parish Council As Frustration Grows

Tuesday, May 15, 18.00

Shotley Open Spaces have suspended working in Heritage Wood, including Shotley cliffs, after feeling increasingly frustrated by the parish council’s lack of cooperation. 

SOS will continue to work on other areas in the village to ensure paths are kept cleared, especially for those people using buggies or wheelchairs.

The community group, took the decision at their latest committee meeting, which are open to the public, after four key problems with Shotley Parish Council were identified.

Despite repeated requests by SOS chairman, and now parish councillor Gary Richens, over the past three months for information from the council, the parish clerk has failed to respond.

 Dina Bedwell (left), who is also clerk to Debenham and Brundish parish councils, claimed at the last month’s parish council meeting she had been too busy.

 Problems with the council include a failure by the council to revise the Service Level Agreement needed to carry out work in the area along with the Community Rehabilitation team, which would include repairs to the concrete footpath support wall, despite assurances by the chairman Barrie Powell modifications had been made.

Despite having three named liaising members, Mr Powell (right), Richard Wrinch and Maureen Williams, no parish councilors have attended the last two SOS meetings, or sent apologies, leaving the group unclear about the value placed by the council on the group’s community work.

Shotley PC is refusing to carry on as lead in terms of protecting the Shotley cliffs saying they will not be responsible for phase three, which they already hold the licence, and are claiming legal problems about aspects of phases one and two, although refuse to produce any evidence of what police involvement is currently being undertaken. 

Members of SOS are horrified of the extensive cutting back of woodland and undergrowth, vital to birds and wildlife, at the Heritage Park and want to distance themselves from the needless destruction.

The PC claim the fire service told them they had to provide a firebreak, yet were unable to produce any evidence the fire service requested this.

 Indeed Henry Landis, Suffolk Fire Service Inspecting Officer for protection (fire safety), told Peninsula News: “There is nothing laid down anywhere about the proximity of woodland to dwellings from the point of view of fire safety. 

“There may be a responsibility of the owners of woodlands to maintain the woods so that trees are not dangerous and won’t cause damage to adjacent property. 

"We did have an enquiry (from Shotley Parish Council) about creating a fire break a few weeks ago, but the same information was provided to them, that there is no legislation that we are aware of that would require fire breaks to be created.”

 Cllr Powell apologised for the amount of woodland and undergrowth cut back, yet went out again on his own to mow over the same area, last week.   

Mr Richens added: “We have had enough of the way the parish council has treated us. Certain people on there are being obstructive and creating unnecessary problems, while seemingly pursuing their own agenda.

“SOS will continue to work for the benefit of the wider community and we appreciate the support we have had by the vast majority of Shotley residents, and visitors to the village.”

The parish council were asked on Monday to comment, but have so far failed to respond.

There has been increasing friction between the SOS group and the parish council and its clerk Mrs Bedwell, ever since the community volunteer organisation was started, in 2016.

A dispute over Mrs Bedwell’s refusal to pay Geraint Pugh expenses for money he spent on getting Christmas trees and the associated lights and that led to Mr Pugh resigning.

Cllr Richens resigned in support of Mr Pugh and other resignations resulted in the Open Spaces and Amenities Committee folded. 

Mr Pugh was eventually paid the money owed and exonerated of any wrongdoing or blame.

A number of incidents involving the clerk and members of serving councilors has deepened the rift with the SOS volunteers.

Last year the parish council threatened legal action against the group when Clllr Powell made comments at their committee meeting, which was open to the public, regarding Mrs Bedwell’s conduct and action he claimed at been taken against her.

The comments were recorded contemporaneously and minuted, all members accepted and signed the minutes, therefore the comments by Cllr Powell were covered by qualified privilege.

However, an extraordinary council meeting was called and held in the Shipwreck bar, where councilors agreed to spend up to £700 on pursuing the possibility of taking legal action against SOS for publishing Cllr Powell’s alleged defamatory comments about the clerk.

No such threats were ever followed up and the council issued a statement denying Mrs Bedwell had ever been subjected to disciplinary action at that time.

Recently a row erupted at a parish council meeting when Cllr Richens asked why he had not received information he had requested, and Mrs Bedwell claimed she did not have time to send the information.

Meanwhile, a community group in Hadleigh have requested the existing town council resigns over issues regarding matters, including the Neighbourhood Development Plan, or hold a referendum as part of a motion of no confidence.

Fortnight Of Annual Parish Meetings Starts

Monday, May 14, 07.00

A number of peninsula villages are holding their annual meetings over the next couple off weeks.

Unlike Parish Council AGMs where council business is discussed, parish meetings are an opportunity for local groups and organisations to recruit new volunteers, give reports of their activities over the past year and generally promote their good work.

The meeting can also offer an opportunity for villagers to make comment and air views on issues which concern them.

The relevant County and District councillors also provide their annual reports.

Harkstead's meeting starts at 8pm, Monday May 14, following the Village Hall Committee AGM, where a variety of items will be discussed. These include reports from the highly respected Good Neighbour Scheme, the Boothby Trust and the Jack Cartwright Trust. All are welcome. See Agenda.

Wherstead's annual general parish meetings at the Village Hall, The Street, starts at 7pm where a variety of reports, including one from Tattingstone Primary School's head of governors , will be made

Chelmondiston, will hold their annual parish meeting at the village hall,on Tuesday May 22, 7pm (not May 30 as originally planned). Groups and organisations are encouraged to bring along as much publicity material a possible, which will be displayed at the back of the hall.

Reports from the Carpey Bowls club, primary school, Chelpin Players, Good Neighbours Group and the WI, are scheduled to be heard. Parishioners are invited to speak or ask questions. See agenda here.

The parish council is looking for people to help look after the two defibrillators at Pin Mill and Chelmondiston and can contact the clerk Jill Davis on 780159, for information on training and cover dates.

Woolverstone will hold their annual parish meeting on Thursday, May 24 starting at 8pm following the council's monthly meeting at Berners Hall, starting at 7.30pm.

Tattingstone and Shotley will also hold their parish meetings that evening.

Plenty To Do On This Beautiful May Bank Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 4, 10.00

The weather promises to be good and there are loads of events and attractions to visit on the peninsula this May Bank holiday weekend.

Hundreds of runners will take part on the Alton Water Run on Sunday, May 6, with 10km, 5km and 2km in support of local schools.

Stutton, Tattingstone and Holbrook primary schools, along with Holbrook Academy will benefit from donations raised.

The first race starts at 9.45am, and the whole final runners are expected back by 1pm, although activities will continue into the afternoon.

With a newly renovated cafe under new management, an in-house cycle hire centre and superbly crafted play area, Alton Water is proving popular with families who enjoy walking, cycling or just plain relaxing near water and woodland.

For those that enjoy communal barbecues then all are welcome to the Bristol Arms on Monday, May 7, at 2pm, where children and dogs are welcome with their owners.

 With the beach opposite, seats outside the pub and great walks nearby, the Bristol Arms offers something for everyone.

If you like live music then Coast are playing at the Shotley Rose on Saturday, from 8.30pm, and there will be 12oz rib-eye, fish lasagne, and Tex Mex burger. on the specials menu.

A Band called Malice are playing at Brantham Village Hall on Saturday, also starting at 8.30pm.

The Shipwreck Loft is an ideal B&B to stay over for the weekend and use as a base for bird-watchers, walkers, cyclists, sailors and visitors. The Shipwreck bar and restaurant offers a wide range of food and drinks with excellent views across the entrance to the rivers Stour and Orwell and across to Harwich and Felixstowe.

HMS Ganges Museum, based next to the Shipwreck, will be open 11am-5pm. 

Sew and So are holding their monthly craft event at Harkstead Village Hall from 9am. See poster.

For those who like to escape to someone a bit more secluded then Harkstead beach is ideal, with the Bakers Arms the ideal stopping off point.

Car-booters will be delighted to letdown to Stutton Community hall on Monday, May 7 where the car boot starts at 9am until 12noon. See poster.

Quizzers can test their knowledge at Shotley Village Hall on Saturday, May 5 from 7pm.

For those looking for something a bit different, then the Death Cafe at St Michael's Church Woolverstone offers coffee, cake and stimulating conversation from 11, Sunday, May 6.

If you know of  community event happening this weekend please Contact Us and send us details.

Orwell Bridge Reopens

Monday, April 30, 07.30

Traffic is getting back to normal after the Orwell Bridge re-opened following an overnight closure.

Motorists coming off the peninsula this morning were delayed along Wherstead Road before the bridge opened in both directions at just before 07.00 this morning.

High winds had forced the closure just after midnight on Monday morning.

Retro Cars At The Rose, Wedding Show At Copdock Hall

Sunday, April 29, 07.00

East Coast Retro Cars are on show at the Shotley Rose field today. 

Dozens of eye-catching classic models will be on display from 11am as enthusiasts gather to show off their highly-polished cars.

Souped up Escorts mingle with Hillman Imps and MGs as cars from the 50s, 60, 70s and 80s casts the mind down Memory Lane.

The Rose pub will be open for refreshments and lunches.

Meanwhile, for those with marriage in mind Copdock Hall is hosting a wedding event starting at 11am.

The first 20 would-be brides get  glass of bubbly on arrival, the grooms arriving after 1pm get a bottle of beer. There is free parking and with 30 top wedding companies on display at this much-desired Tudor Barn venue, is a must visit wedding fair. 

More here...

Council Decline To Support Pier Plans

Friday, April 20, 07.00

Shotley parish councillors last night declined to support an application to build a workshop, offices, and a café area capable of seating 84 visitors on Shotley pier. 

Plans to build two buildings either side, but attached the pier have been submitted to Babergh District Council and despite an assertion to the contrary by Sally Chicken, the application will be given permission as shown, or refused. 

The application by the Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society Is a full application, therefore there can be no further changes to the plans once the decision ha been made, unless a new application is made.

Mrs Chicken, who is vice-chair of the society, was allowed by Parish Council chairman Barrie Powell, who is a board member of the applicant, argued that 30 public meetings had been held to gauge opinion on what the pier should be used for, although the public did not see the designs before the planning application was made.

Parish councilors at the village hall last night expressed concern at the size and scale of the development, aired worries about car parking on Bristol Hill and other surrounding roads if the 84 seats were utilised, for whatever reason.

Mrs Chicken, of Main Road, Chelmondiston, compared Shotley’s 122-year-old pier with Harwich’s Victorian pier, which has always been heavily commercialised.

She also pointed out that the longest part of the two 15ft high buildings, which will house the café and small kitchen was only 98ft, with the extra area of seating another 38ft, making the proposed development area nearly 138ft in total.

Cllr Powell admitted villagers had told him they thought the development looked too modern, and was not suitable for a Victorian pier, and car parking would be an issue.

Cllrs Gary Richens and Robbie Green declared a non-pecuniary interest as they had bought shares, but never expected to make a profit.

Along with Cllrs Richard Wrinch and Jim Catlin they all echoed those concerns and wanted to reserve judgement until the final design of the pier was clearer and car parking problems were addressed.

Suffolk County Council Highways have no plans to alter the current car parking arrangements, and the plans submitted for the buildings are the ones that will be considered by Babergh. As Babergh gave the original pier group a £20,000 to get the project off the ground, and due to other planning reasons, it is likely the application will be called to the planning committee rather than being decided under officer delegation.

Concerns were also raised about the pier’s activities affecting employment in the area as jobs could be lost. Mrs Chicken said that was not the intention, but later added they did not know what would happen in the future.

Mrs Chicken was asked if nearby businesses had been consulted and she confirmed they had not been: "There is no need," she added.

People can comment on the size, scale, design and the car parking issues on the Babergh planning site or by emailing the case officer lynda.bacon@baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk or via the ward member derek.davis@babergh.gov.uk, quoting reference: DC/17/05073

Meanwhile, parish councillors also refused to support an application for discharge of conditions by developers of the HMS Ganges site.

They were particularly concerned by a request to allow building to commence with guaranteeing access to the Faith, Hope and Charity steps, which run down next to Shotley Lodge, and not provide acoustic fencing.

Cllr Wrinch said the applicants should stick to the agreement made when permission for 285 homes, a small hotel, a care home and retail units, was granted.

The councillors have agreed to back an application to form an equestrian field, with associated winter shelter at Frogs Alley, for three horses. 

Couple Take To Funding Page To Pay For Wedding

Tuesday, April 17, 07.30

A former Shotley parish councillor and his fiancée are using a crowd funding site to raise money for their upcoming wedding. 

Tony Ingram and Lucy McGough published their plea to raise £1,000 on a Go Fund Me page five weeks ago, and have raised more than £700 so far.

Mr Ingram, who used to live in Lower Harlings, and Miss McGough, who currently lives in Nantwich, Cheshire, are planning to wed in July, at Ipswich Registry Office, with a reception booked at the Shotley Rose.

The couple want the money to pay for a honeymoon holiday cottage, train tickets to Suffolk and the wedding fees.

They have asked for cash to be donated on the page, rather than people giving wedding presents.

“We're not having a big extravaganza. There will be no champagne or honeymoon in the Seychelles,” said Miss McGough, “We're only setting up a Go Fund Me in the first place because we're genuinely skint. Like, really skint.


“Anything you can give, even £1 (if that's all you can afford), will be received with overwhelming gratitude. After all, it'd be £1 we wouldn't otherwise have had.”

Pleading on crowd funding sites to pay for weddings is not new, however experts in the field argue it is wrong on so many levels.

Blogging wedding site The Knot, warns your event should rank with asking to fund a child with a life-threatening disease or a plea by a non-profit making organisation. They also warn many family and friends will be offended, especially as some of the donations go to the site’s costs.

Donate to Tony and Lucy’s wedding here…

Three Peninsula Athletes Win Commonwealth Games Medals

Sunday, April 15, 13.00

Three peninsula athletes have won medals in the Commonwealth Games, on the Gold Coast in Australia. 

Hannah and harry Martin both won bronze in hockey yesterday, while Ethan Waddleton today scooped a bronze in the Rugby Sevens.

The trio were all brought up in Holbrook, and still have family living in the village.

21-year-old Waddleton, helped England beat South Africa 21-14 in the bronze medal match on the Gold Coast, after losing out to New Zealand in the semis..

Former St Joseph’s student Waddleton plays as a forward for the Red Roses. He is also a Suffolk cricketer, while his dad Ian played rugby for Ipswich, and his mum Karla is a national hockey player for Ipswich.  

 Midfielder Hannah Martin, made her England debut at the Games, coming off the bench against South Africa, scored in a 5-1 win over Wales and in the 3-1 victory against Malaysia to reach the semi-finals.

England beat India 6-0 to take the bronze, after losing their semi-final to New Zealand after a penalty shoot out..

The 23-year-old plays for Surbiton Hockey club, and to win bronze in her first multi-games competition was quite an achievement for Hannah, who said: “It’s absolutely fantastic here, the village is amazing and the volunteers and fans are all fantastic so it’s such a special event to be at.”

Hannah’s brother Harry is an established GB international who played in the London Olympics in 2012 and Rio in 2016. 

Harry, who plays for Hampstead & Westminster, scored in the 7-0 opening game against Malaysia. The 26-year-old helped England secure bronze on the Gold Coast when they beat India in the bronze medal match after they went out of the semi-finals against host nation Australia.

This was Harry’s third Commonwealth Games after playing in Deli and Glasgow. 

Merger Put On Pause

Friday, April 6, 07.00

Plans to merge Babergh and Mis Suffolk councils have been put on hold after a Unitary option was proposed.

Babergh, along with their Mid-Suffolk counterparts, have called a halt to pressing on with a merger after Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble ignored their plea to not go ahead with commissioning think tank to explore the benefits of forming a Unitary council, which would include all the district councils, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk CC. 

The county council's determination to thoroughly explore the unitary option has left Babergh with no choice but to hold back publishing its business case or hold a referendum until after the unitary consultation has been completed.

A draft of the business case was due to be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny committee next Monday, which would have put Babergh on track to merge by May 2020.

Councillor John Ward, Leader of Babergh District Council said: "This (merging) is a big decision and not one that I was prepared to rush or take without first testing public opinion and then obtaining public support through a local poll. 

"In all the circumstances, however, having just moved into our new single Headquarters, with an electoral boundary review already underway, with Suffolk County Council’s change of position and with our own elections just 12 months away, now is not the right time to be actively pursuing a merger with Mid Suffolk District Council.”

Alastair McCraw, (Ind) district councillor for Alton ward, (Brantham, Sutton and Tattingstone), was a key opposition member which secured a promise of a referendum for Babergh residents to have their say on the merger, which was being pushed through by the cabinet.

Cllr McCraw (pictured), who is also vice chair of the scrutiny committee,  welcomed the decision not to press ahead with the merger and said: "This has to be seen as a massive U Turn, reversing the administrations plans over the last six months.

"Any decisions will still need a democratic and positive vote from the electorate though."

Derek Davis, (Ind) district councillor for Berners ward (Shotley, Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston) added: "Unitary was not an option open to us when the administration voted to go for a merger with Mid-Suffolk, despite many other councillors from all parties wanting further discussion.

"It is good to see this is now on the table and as it will take time to go through this option thoroughly it makes sense to put the merger on hold, and if necessary scrap the move.

"It is just a shame so much time and energy has been wasted on trying to put a merger through, which to my mind has had a detrimental affect on services for Babergh residents."

Celebrate Easter with Ducks, Chocolate, Church, Museum, And Treasure Trails 

Thursday, March 29, 10.00

Make the most of the intermittent sunny weather at the various outdoor events around the peninsula this Easter weekend, or enjoy being indoors with things aimed at all the family.

As well as the traditional church services, there is a myriad of fun for all the family events over the next four days.

From the HMS Ganges Museum opening on Good Friday from 11am, to a choice of Easter Egg hunts and treasure trails for children, and healthy walking, quizzes, hog roasts and music, with the annual Pin Mill Duck Race on Monday, there is something for all the family.

Alton Water Park is running an Easter egg trail from Good Friday through to Easter Monday.

Competitors can pick up a form from the newly-opened café and then set off around the park answering clues on your walk, with the whole thing taking about an hour. Take your completed sheet back to the café to collect your chocolate egg. See poster...

The Bristol Arms will be hosting a first birthday celebration marking the anniversary of Shotley becoming the first area in Suffolk to gain Walkers Are Welcome accreditation on Easter Monday.

A circular walk starts from the Shotley Gate pub at 2pm followed by a Treasure trail for children at 3.30pm, a family quiz at 4.30pm and a Hog Roast at 6pm.

All are welcome, including dogs with well-behaved owners. See poster...

 In what has become one of the most popular Easter Egg hunt on the peninsula, 100 children will be running around the Shotley Rose field from 11am on Good Friday, with all the money raised going to a blood cancer charity and Tiffers, the Homeless Bus Project.

The Rose will also hold its fortnightly Over 60s dinner this Friday lunch from 12 noon to 1.30pm.
As it's good Friday Sarah and Jamie will be serving fresh cod, haddock skate and rock eel to eat in or take-away.  

On Easter Sunday they will be serving a shoulder of pork with roast pots and veg plus hot cross bun bread and butter pudding for only £10.00 per person (pre booking advisable).

Blue Cross Suffolk is holding an Easter Egg hunt on Sunday April 1, with face painting for children, while there is also tea and cake for adults.

Dogs on a lead are welcome to the event, which starts at 11am on Sunday, April 1 at the rehoming centre, at the top of Bourne Hill, Wherstead. See poster…

The White Horse, Tattingstone, is hosting an Easter Bonnet competition on Easter Sunday starting at 3pm, followed by an Easter Egg Hunt for the under 12s, with a BBQ in the evening. See poster…

Competitive spirit invariably comes to the fore, while everyone has a laugh, during the annual Pin Mill Duck Race, now in its 13th year. 

Sign up for your ducks from 10.45am in The Pin Mill Studio. Grand Final expected about 12noon. There will be as many qualifying heats as possible until a series of quarter and semi finals brings us to the Grand Final.

This year organisers are raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity, in memory of Brett Williams, co-founder of the Pin Mill Studio who died from a brain tumour 10 years ago, aged just 39, and for the village playgroup, Chelmondiston Playgroup who will be helping on the day.

Parking is very limited at Pin Mill and there will be lots of children running around, so visitors are asked to park at the village car park next to the Red Lion and walk down.

Ganges volunteers John Arbon and Phil Coe are doubling up this weekend and will be on duty for Friday’s season opener, and then again two days later on Easter Sunday.

Veteran Peter Talman and Barry Bonnamy will be on hand on Saturday, while Roger and Carole Cushing will be there on Easter Monday along with Dave and Anne Andrews.

To find out more click on HMS Ganges Museum website.

Council Criticised Over Lack Of Caravan Action

Babergh council has been criticised after forcing a community group to take down a welcome sign, while itself failing to remove an unsightly abandoned caravan.

Shotley Open Spaces have moved the Welcome To Shotley sign from the village entrance following an anonymous complaint. 

The voluntary group complied after parish clerk Dina Bedwell wrote to the group reminding them the sign and to be removed. This was followed by a letter from Babergh's enforcement team giving SOS seven days to take it down.

The group have been given permission by the Village Hall Committee to site the welcome sign on their car park on a temporary basis and the banner was switched from the verge by the Corner garage, whose owners had no problem with it.

Meanwhile, plans are being made for a new, smaller, Walkers Are Welcome sign to be placed on the white picket fence at the village entrance. Shotley was the first place in Suffolk to gain the national Walkers Are Welcome accreditation.

SOS secretary Geraint Pugh said: "I hope the one person who made the complaint, anonymously, is happy now. 

"The overwhelming number of people in the village are very appreciative of the work SOS does in clearing patch and cutting back brambles, and their support keeps us motivated."

 While Babergh have cracked down on the community group, anger is growing over the time it is taking to remove the two caravans which are a blight on the gateway to the Shotley peninsula, which is being held up as a tourist attraction.

Mr Pugh added: "It does seem strange that Babergh have followed up this complaint yet do nothing about such a serious issue as the caravans at Freston."

Hundreds of comments and complaints have been registered on social media and to the district council.

Enforcement actions been carried out by Babergh but contractors have refused to take away the caravans due to environmental health reasons. One caravan is to be destroyed, but the other is legally owned by a person who is currently in prison. There are plans to stow that caravan once a suitable site is secured. 

Call For Animal Lovers To Record The Mammals In Your Garden 

Saturday, March 24, 09.00

Peninsula animal lovers are being asked to take part in a survey to see how wildlife in our area is changing. 

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is calling for volunteers to participate in its annual national Living with Mammals survey.

The trust (PTES) would like people to survey a garden or local green space once a week in the coming months and record the wild animals they see.

PTES said. “This could be a rural or urban garden, an allotment, a park, or a green space near to work, as long as the site is within 200 metres of a building. Once a suitable space has been identified, PTES is asking volunteers to visit the site for a short time each week and record any sightings of mammals or the signs they leave behind, such as droppings or tracks."

PTES surveys officer David Wembridge added: “Understanding how wildlife in our towns and cities is changing is essential in supporting our wild neighbours such as foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs. 

“We’ve always shared our green spaces with wildlife, so by counting the number of mammals each spring, we can tell where conservation efforts are needed most. By identifying population trends, finding pockets where certain species are thriving or under pressure, we can ultimately encourage biodiversity around us.”

Many of Britain’s mammals, including Muntjac like this one (pictured, in a Shotley garden) deer, hedgehogs, foxes, grey squirrels and bats, were typically found in household gardens, recreational areas, cemeteries and brownfield sites, PTES said. Other green spaces close to buildings may also provide them with a home.

However, there were some mammals that only lived in certain parts of the country - hazel dormice, for example, were rare but occasional visitors to gardens and were mostly found in southern counties of England and in Wales, although parts of north Essex and south Suffolk, including the Shotley peninsula, have populations of the species. 

The survey starts on Monday and runs until June 24. To take part, volunteers can register online at www.ptes.org/lwm. The survey can also be completed via a printed pack via LwM@ptes.org 

Peninsula News Backing Suffolk Day

As part of our positive approach to promoting this wonderful place we live, Shotley Peninsula News and Features will be supporting Suffolk day on Thursday, June 21. 

If you, your community group, parish council or business are ding anything special on Suffolk Day then please let us know and we will help promote your event.

This is our opportunity to showcase this wonderful part of the county as Suffolk celebrates its stunning scenery, wonderful history, colourful culture, fabulous food, awesome attractions and most importantly brilliant people.

So send us your news or event to editorial@shotleypeninsulanewsandfeatures.com

Babergh Playing Bin Collection Catch Up

Tuesday, March 6, 06.30

Extra bin crews have been deployed to catch up on refuse collection throughout the peninsula.

The snow and ice severely disrupted services from Tuesday last week, but all crews are out working normally this week, along with additional crews.

Babergh suspended Garden Waste collections for this week and diverted these teams to help the catch up – the district.council will offer free garden sacks for anyone that needs them and collections will start again as normal from next Monday.

The disruptions mean bin collections will probably not be on the normal day this week, so residents are advised to leave the bins out so they can be collected as  soon as possible.

The tip at Chelmondiston will be open Wednesday morning and Saturday as usual

Bus Discount Card Set to Return after Passenger Anger

Monday, March5, 2.30pm

Ipswich Buses are set to bring back their 28-day passes after complaints by passengers using peninsula public transport. 

Passengers expressed their anger at having to pay more than £90 a month to travel, compared to £65 previously after the 28-day passes were dropped.

Ipswich Buses are now looking at not only bringing back the money-saving pass, but also a six-monthly and annual pass, which can be used by rural users, county-wide.

An Ipswich Buses spokeswoman told SPNF: “We are currently reviewing and discussing how we can create a 28 day, six month and annual for the whole of the county services not just Shotley users. We hope that this will be brought out soon.

“In the mean-time we still offer the Ipswich to Shotley 10 journeys is still available from the driver, which is £22.00.”

Regular bus user Amy West, who was angry at the loss of the old pass, cautiously welcomed the new development.

“I would like to know why they removed the previous one without introducing a new one in the first place,” said Ms West. “I would like to know what the price of a new one will be, and if it will be valid for a full month and not just 28 days.

“Unfortunately, Ipswich Buses saying they are looking into this does not fill me with much confidence.”

Some of the morning bus services on and off the peninsula today were delayed after an accident on the Orwell Bridge created hold ups.

Delays As Tractor Breaks Down And Mist Shrouds Area

Monday, March 5, 09.30

Commuters were held up coming and going from the peninsula after a tractor and trailer broke down on the Orwell Bridge this morning.

There were long delays on the A14 and motorists trying to join at the Wherstead junction from the A137, and coming off at the B1456, Wherstead Road roundabout.

Further afield, the A120 at Wix was closed by police due to pot holes causing punctures, while an accident blocked the A12, close to the M25 in Essex, causing major delays.

Mist shrouded the peninsula as the weather warmed up. See an hour by hour weather report here...

Caution Urged As Thaw Begins

Sunday, March 4, 07.30

Motorists are being warned to take care as flooding is expected in parts of the peninsula as the big thaw begins.

Today's temperatures will hit 7c today with melting snow flowing onto roads and low-lying meadows.

The high tide will come in at 1.42pm, so extra care will be needed at the Strand.

All main routes are clear and the buses will run, while trains are still disrupted. Further afield, repair work is being carried out this weekon the A14, A12 and A120, so diversions will be in place at certain junctions, especially over night.

Train services running to and from Norwich may be cancelled or suspended, with disruption expected until the end of the day.

The Ipswich-Lowestoft, Norwich-Lowestoft and Norwich-Great Yarmouth lines remain closed, with no replacement bus services in place.

The operator has aimed to run a normal service on most routes today, subject to planned engineering works, with a full normal timetable due to resume from Monday.

Full forecast and time tides here...

Snow Angels Hailed

Saturday, March 3, 07.30

The hideous bad weather has brought the good out of so many people with a number of snow angels being praised for showing amazing community spirit.

A huge number of people and groups deserve bouquets for going above and beyond to keep things running. 

Kevin Pitcher's vital intervention to help new-born Elsie Rae to get home safely when her parents Kirby Pridmore and Ollie Bertram was a highlight (see here) but there have ben many more unsung heroes.

Helen Hibberd wanted to praise the Pendles, who twice, came to her rescue, (read her story here) while Steko Nixon was hand to help out as snow drifts made the road by the old Shotley Boot extremely difficult.

Mark Ratcliffe has been out gritting as part of Suffolk Highways road crew for more hours than can be counted,a she has kept the B1456, among many other, well gritted.

Virtually all the farmers on the peninsula were out in their tractors helped to clear roads as well as caring for their livestock, and it is lambing season.

Persistent posties all across the peninsula have got somehow got through, better late than never, along with the milkmen, all getting to difficult locations too.

Shop owners Manish Patel at Shotley Stores, and James and Carly Welham of Hollinsgworth's at Chelmondiston, not only stayed open but also made free deliveries to the more elderly and vulnerable customers to save them venturing out on icy paths, while Stutton Community Shop also provided fresh victuals.

Surgery staff at Holbrook and Shotley surgeries got to work to provide cover whenever possible, even when their website warned they would be closed. Holbrook surgery is open this morning as usual.

If you would you like to nominate a snow angel contact us here at editorial@shotleypeninsulanewsandfeatures.com

Enjoy The Snow But Stay Out of Fields

Saturday, March 3, 07.00

Sheep farmers have pleaded with people to to sledge in their fields.

Young and old will be out enjoying the heavy snowfall with parents taking their children out sledging, many for the first time. 

But thrill-seekers are asked not to enter fields, especially where sheep are grazing as it is lambing season and sledgers can stress the animals and cause fatalities among lambs. 

An emergency hotline has been set up by EDF as the possibility of power its follow in the wake of the severe weather. 

An EDF spokesman said: "Your electricity network distributor looks after your electricity supply. If there’s an electrical emergency or power outage at your home, you’ll need to ring your operator.

"Simply call 105 from your mobile or landline and the telephone service will automatically direct you to the network distributor's emergency number for your area. Calls to this service are free of charge. More from EDF."

Although, temperatures have risen above freezing, and are forecast to rise to 7c over the weekend, with rain rather than snow, see weather hour by hour here,  there have been power outages on the peninsula, while broadband has dropped off intermittently.

A fire overnight at Foxash closed the A137 for a while, it has re-opned but there may be delays. The majority of roads are passable, a few side roads may still have issues but all main routes are clear.

Many litter picks planned for today have been cancelled. Check before you leave.

Ipswich Town's home game with Hull city has been called off  and there are no non-league games being played this weekend. 

Buses are running as normal, trains are on the weekend schedule.

Severe Weather Continues To Cause Disruption

Friday, March 2, 06.30

Roads are much better on the Shotley peninsula this morning, although caution is urged. Meanwhile,many schools and business are staying shut.

There is still significant wind blowing through, which is causing drifts in parts so caution is urged, while ice is an issue.

Gritters have been out again, and farmers helped to clear drifts and free trapped motorists.

The 97 and 92 buses will run, but delays are expected, the 98 bus will not run.

The A12 and A14 are running fairly well, there are problems further afield with the A140 impassable in places.

More than 700 trains have been cancelled with a disrupted service on the main line between London and Norwich. Branch lines remain closed.

Shotley surgery is open until 12.30pm, while Holbrook surgery will be open for emergency appointments and will be run by a skeleton staff.

The Corner Garage, Shotley is closed for safety reasons.

Gavin the milkman, the Royal Mail postmen, and a raft of other delivery drivers

The Big Auction at Shotley Village Hall has been cancelled, and provisionally rearranged for March 17.

Ipswich Town's game  against Hull City at Portman Road tomorrow is in doubt. A safety inspection all be held later today.

Let us know if you are open, or closededitorial@shotleypeninsulanewsandfeatures

Schools Closed

Shotley primary

Chelmondiston primary

East Bergholt High

Suffolk One

Brooklands (Brantham)

Stutton primary

Holbrook primary

Suffolk One

Schools open

Stutton primary

Tattingstone primary (opens at 10am)

Ipswich Academy

Defiant Businesses Stay Open

A number of places on the peninsula are staying open in defiance of the Beast From The East and in line of promoting the positive whenever possible we are going to highlight them.

The lads from the Lasan are open from 7pm, for top fish and chips and also quality Indian food, but will close  bit earlier to escape the heavy flurries.

Laws Cottage is open from 5pm selling, probably the best Chinese food around.

Most of the pubs will defy the weather and be open, certainly the Shotley Rose, Shipwreck and Bristol Arms are open this evening.

Hollingsworth in Chelmondiston and Shotley Premier Stores are open.

Let us know if you are open. editorial@shotleypeninsulanewsandfeatures

Buses suspended, schools shut, shop open and delivering

There will be no Ipswich Buses running on the Shotley peninsula today as the 98 and 97 services were suspended due to cold weather.

A number of schools and playgroups were forced to stay closed including, Holbrook Academy, Ipswich Academy, East Bergholt High School.

Holbrook, Shotley, Chelmondiston, Brooklands (Brantham) and Tattingstone primary school, closed for the day, while Shotley Kidzone and Holbrook playgroup did not open.

Stutton primary school did open.

Some Greater Anglia trains ran from Manningtree and Ipswich, but on a limited timetable on the mainline between London and Norwich, while branch lines are completely closed.

Temperatures plummeted to minus six degrees Celsius, and while travel by road was slow, the roads were well gritted and the B1456, A137 and B1080, were passable with care. The A12 and A14 were also affected but progress could be made in both directions, despite some minor accidents.

Click on the sub headings for your village

© Copyright Shotley Peninsula News and Features

Place your business card on the special services and trades people page for less than £2 a week - click here