Have Your Say On Coastal Path From Shotley to Felixstowe
Tuesday, January 14, 21.00
Residents and visitors of the Shotley peninsula have been invited to have their say on a proposed 27-mile coastal path between Shotley Gate and Felixstowe Ferry.
Natural England released details of the route (pictured right) which has been nearly five years in the making, and will be part of a wider Suffolk coastal path, with routes planned between Harwich to Shotley Gate, Felixstowe Ferry to Bawdsey, then from Bawdsey to Aldeburgh and Aldeburgh to Hopton on Sea, which will feed into a 2,700 England Coastal Path.
Land owners, residents, and visitors to the peninsula can have their say by going to Natural England's Shotley Gate to Felixstowe Ferry coastal route page here... A hard copy of the route and associated documents are also available at the Endeavour House reception in Ipswich.
Hannah Thacker, Natural England's area manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: "I am pleased to unveil the first England Coast Path plans in Suffolk. We have had discussions with landowners and key organisations along the proposed route, and their input has been essential and helped shape the proposals.
"Over the next eight weeks, we are inviting all organisations, farmers, local residents, visitors and businesses to have their say, and we look forward to hearing people's views."
Due to our part of the coast and river being subject to erosion the proposals incorporate a recommendation path would be able to "roll back" so it can maintain a continuous route for walkers.
Derek Davis, Babergh district councillor for Ganges ward, which covers the Shotley section of the route, welcomed the plans but is keen all aspects of the sensitive nature of disruption to birdlife, flora and fauna are recognised.
“We on the Shotley peninsula live in a beautiful part of Suffolk and it our responsibility to be the custodians for now and the future.
“We encourage people to use the walking trails and paths so they enjoy nature at first hand.
“This route takes many things into account but it is important nothing that could damage the delicate balance is missed, so it is vital people have their say – either to support the route, or point out potential issues.”
Shotley Skyline Primed For Dramatic New Look
Friday, November 6, 10.00
A major £520,000 project to transform the Shotley skyline is underway.
UK Power Networks, which owns the electricity network in the East of England, will remove 5.2km of 11,000-volt overhead power lines, as well as 60 poles supporting them, to improve views of the Suffolk landscape.
The work, concluding next year, will also ensure more reliable power supplies for around 70 Shotley residents to the north of the village, and remove the risk of birds flying into cables.
The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) scheme was funded by a special allowance from electricity industry regulator Ofgem, to improve the outstanding landscapes in AONBs and National Parks.
As part of the work, seven electricity substations which can be operated remotely without an engineer having to attend in person, will be installed along with 4km of underground cable.
UK Power Networks project manager Lee Bodfield said: “This part of Shotley is rightly popular with walkers and while the views are already impressive, we are keen to make them even better still through this project.
“Undergrounding power lines can make a dramatic difference to the look of the skyline. When people see them every day they perhaps blank them out, but we are removing them for real.
“We have now started some ducting work ahead of dismantling the lines next year and will continue to work with local landowners to deliver an outcome that will benefit the entire community and visitors alike.”
Simon Amstutz, manager at Suffolk Coast & Heath Area of Outstanding Beauty, said: “Sandwiched between two fabulous estuaries, the Shotley Peninsula is an area with outstanding scenery and superb views.
“I am delighted to hear the work to underground overhead electricity cables is underway. Removing over 5km of wires and so many poles, will really enhance the natural beauty of this special place.”
Pier Group Set To Lose Thousands On Burger Bar
*UPDATED Monday, December 9, 09.00
Shotley pier directors have lost even more money than expected after its burger van failed to sell on eBay.
A bid of £820 was the highest made on the online auction but failed to materialise and the van was put back onto the market.
Only two bids have been made this time, with £510 being the highest. That would represent a loss of more than £5,000 to pier group shareholders.
Wednesday, November 20, 20.00
Shareholders have expressed concerns after it became clear Shotley pier group is set to lose thousands of pounds on a burger bar.
Directors of the group, led by John Davitt and Sally Chicken, paid out in the region of £5,500 for the hot snacks van to successful previous owner Malcom Pridmore in the summer, but have now put it up for sale on eBay, with the latest bid at just £820, with less than 14 hours left to bid, representing a loss of nearly £4k.
It is understood the pier’s benefit society directors could not get insurance for the van to be transported due to the condition of the chassis, which they were told about when they bought it from the previous owner.
In the sale description on eBay the seller, using the name Galliform1, made it clear the van was not in a working condition and should only be bought for spare parts. Unless there is a huge bidding war between now and 09.30 Thursday morning, pier shareholders face loss equivalent to more than 400 individual shares.
One shareholder who, has asked not to be named due to fear of reprisals, saw the advert and contacted Peninsula News to express their surprise at seeing it on sale for such a low rice so shortly after.
"This is disgraceful," said the supporters of the pier renovation. "It just seem they have no regard for shareholders' money as this is not the first time moment appears to have been wasted.
"You look at unwanted planning applications, unnecessary and costly appeals, never mind the thousands spent on consultants and legal fees and you wonder just what they are up too.
"I, along with many others, bought shares to see the pier restored yet not an inch of the pier has been restored. Whoever made these decisions should be ashamed and resign."
The pier group's benefit society directors were given the opportunity to comment but have so far chosen not to explain their actions.
Legion Bearer's High Standards Recognised
Monday, November 11, 11.11
Shotley Royal British Legion standard bearer William Ives has been recognised for outstanding working the peninsula community and beyond.
Royal Navy Lt Commander Robert Becker presented Mr Ives, of Shotley Gate, with a Branch Certificate of Appreciation for all the extra work, beyond that expected of a Legion member, over the past few years. (pictured).
Some of the extras Mr Ives has been involved with includes:
- Helping with the CWGC Foundation Educational Online History Database in conjunction with the Oxford University, by assisting with data collection and memorabilia photographic upload and input. (The largest online history database in UK, known as "Lest We Forget")
- Assisting with the Poppy Appeal since he was 13. Assisting with the 2011 90 RBL Anniversary.
- Deputy and then Main Branch Standard Bearer. Assisted with the manufacture of the silent soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilian workers that were on display across the peninsular for the 1914 -1918 commemorations.
- Assisted with the civic commemoration of the 1914 -1918 commemorations in the area.
- Taken the lead as the Netherlands representative to commemorate the fallen Netherlands seamen in the naval cemetery Shotley, for the past 10 Years, as a Sea Cadet from TS Orwell, Ipswich, as a RBL youth member and as a member of the RBL.
- Assisted in prepping St. Mary's Church for the remembrance and all other service and ex-service civic events that have taken place there, for example VE/VJ 70 in 2014 and also assisting with the VE/VJ 75 commemoration planning for Shotley and Chelmondiston.
Lt Cdr Becker also presented William with his Certificate and a Standard Bearers Badge and he received recognition for his Poppy Appeal assistance in the form of a second certificate.
The presentation took part as part of Shotley's Remembrance Service at St Mary's Church, conducted by Andrew Coulson to a packed out church, where a number of wreaths were laid.
Pupils Remembrance Respect
Friday, November 9, 12,30
Impeccably behaved pupils from Shotley primary school took part in a remembrance service at St Mary's Church this morning to mark our war dead and pray for peace.
Dozens of children walked from the school to the church and, along with many parents and other observers, heard pupils from years five and six recite a poem, performed a reading and song as part of the service led by Andrew Coulson.
The children were then led out by Shotley & Erwarton Royal British Legion Brian Ives and assembled at the Commonwealth War Graves for more prayers and to lay wreaths.
The Last Post was once again played superbly by a year six student and the congregation fell silent to show their respect.
St Mary's will host a Remembrance Service on Sunday, November 10, starting at 10.15am, and wreaths will be laid.
* Shotley Primary School is holding an Open Morning for all parents of prospective pupils for next year. Open to all, the hour long session will be held on Monday, November 1 and Tuesday, November 19.
Shotley Landscaper Scoops National Award
Thursday, October 17, 09.30
A blooming Shotley gardening firm has proven to be the cream of the crop by reaping a prestigious national landscaping award for design excellence.
Boast About the Garden was named the winner of the Domestic Garden Construction - Under 30k category in the 2019 British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) awards for their stunning garden design. (pictured) The winning entry by owner Robert Boast and his small team of three featured a new outside kitchen, dining and seating area.
The company was among those described by BALI competition organisers as being among the most talented in the world and Mr Boast was delighted his small team's efforts had been picked out from 145 entries submitted, including 34 international firms.
“This award is recognition for our dedication and hard work to complete what was one of the toughest and most complex projects we have ever built, with a really successful outcome for our clients," said Mr Boast who started the family-run company 18 years ago and now runs it from his Shotley home. "It is also recognition for many years of progression and a desire to improve and exceed expectations and is something for which we are really proud.“
BALI Chief Executive Wayne Grills said: "Looking at the results this year, it’s clear our members are some of the world’s most talented, highly skilled landscape professionals, with projects that continue to set the benchmark in quality standards. Using cutting-edge technology and incorporating state-of-the-art materials helps to define these schemes and sets them on pedestals that are in a league of their own."
Boast About The Garden will collect their award at a ceremony at the W Marriott Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London with headline sponsor and BALI Registered Affiliate Green-tech, hosted by lifestyle presenter Mark Durden-Smith in December.
Well-known landscaper Robert, who is also a lecturer on horticulture in Suffolk, is married to Shotley primary school teaching assistant Lorane and they have three children.
Neighbour From Hell Admits Harassing Cancer Sufferer
Monday, October 21, 09.30
A neighbour from hell faces eviction after admitting harassing a cancer suffering neighbour.
Mark Nafi, aged 52, initially denied a charge of harassment but changed his plea to guilty in court after a video showing him lifting a fencing panel to sneak into his neighbour’s garden at Chapel Fields, Shotley, before going on to steal plants, and smash items in the shed as part of a hate campaign against Graham Ward and his partner Jade.
Allegations of theft, criminal damage and harassment were rolled into one charge of harassment and Nafi was given a two-year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £445 compensation to the victims. Nafi was also handed a restraining order by Ipswich Magistrates last Thursday, preventing him from making any sort of contact with the couple, to keep out of their property, including the garden, banging on walls or ceiling or any sort of anti-social behaviour.
Magistrates heard how Nalfi (pictured right) had carried out a campaign of sustained nastiness and disruption to his neighbours’ lives, including damaging property, cutting washing lines, making lewd gestures to a female occupant, playing loud music and banging on walls late at night, and pouring milk (stolen from the doorstep) through their letter box.
Mr Ward had survived a life-threatening liver operation to help cure his cancer and was going through a long period of rehabilitation and recovery when the offences against him and his girlfriend took place.
It is understood Nafi started his campaign after Mr Ward had remonstrated with him for entering his garden without permission and frightening his girlfriend. Other neighbours have also complained of Nafi's behaviour towards them, including alleged damage to vehicles, anti-social behaviour and threats, which were reported to police. Nafi has denied all accusations.
Convicted burglar Nafi was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence last month but as these latest offences took place before being convicted of stealing paintings from an 89-year-old neighbour, the prison sentence will not be activated.
However, Nafi does face possible eviction from his Chapel Fields flat by the housing association for breaches of his lease.
Special Tree Present For Every New Born
Thursday, October 3, 16.00
Peninsula parents are to be offered a free tree for every one of their new born children.
The free tree initiative is part of Babergh’s range of pledges to protect biodiversity and natural habitats within the district.
These also include initiatives to develop plans to introduce wild flower verges to encourage bees and insects; create and develop a Wildlife Network Map to identify potential wildlife corridors and encourage eco-tourism.
Derek Davis, Ganges ward councillor and cabinet member with the portfolio for Communities, welcomed the initiatives and added: “This will fit in perfectly with the incredible work volunteers have done for a few years now in Shotley & Erwarton.
“Ganges wood is living proof of how, metaphorically speaking, an oak grows from an acorn.
“When I moved here nearly 20 years ago my back garden backed onto Ganges Wood, which at that time had been planted with scores of saplings. Now look at it – a fully grown woodland enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Golden Wood, owned by the Viking Forest project, in trust in perpetuity for the community, is the same, and also benefits hundreds now, and for the future of our children and our children's children.
“The aim here is for our Trees for Life initiative to allow people to dedicate a tree to their new-born, whether that is in their garden or a specific space elsewhere.”
The council will work with public sector partners and other parties as part of the environment and climate change taskforce, to fulfil the pledges and look at the ways biodiversity corridors can be enhanced in Babergh to protect wildlife. This works towards Suffolk’s ambition of being the greenest county.
The environment and climate change taskforce will look at how Babergh and Mid Suffolk will respond to the climate change challenge and fulfil their ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Contact Cllr Davis on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Burglar Spared Jail After Stealing From 89-year-old Neighbour
Friday, September 27, 11.00
Shotley resident Mark Nafi has been handed a12-month suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of stealing paintings from an 89-year-old neighbour.
Nafi (pictured right) aged 52, of Chapel Fields in Shotley, stole the paintings while his neighbour was in hospital and they were subsequently found in the thief's flat by police.
Judge Martyn Levett described at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, how the neighbour had felt a huge sense of betrayal by the neighbour, who he had befriended. The judge then sentenced Nafi to the year long prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to take part in a ten-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Nafi denied burglary but was found guilty by a jury earlier in September for the offence which occurred last February.
Shotley Village Hall Scoops Prestigious Community Award
Tuesday, September 24, 19.30
The incredible support by a raft of community groups, organisations and individuals has been recognised after Shotley Village Hall was named the best community building in Suffolk.
The village hall scooped the prestigious best community building prize at the joint Community Action Suffolk, and the Suffolk Association of Local Council awards.
Village Hall management Committee chairman Ian Peters, Melanie Connell and Jim Catling (pictured right) received the trophy, and a £100 cheque at the presentation evening held at the Museum of East Anglia Life in Stowmarket, this evening.
Mr Peters said: "Shotley Village Hall Management Committee are delighted to receive this award. As a group of volunteers we try to engage with all members of our community and beyond.
"Our aim is to provide a welcoming village hall where costs are kept to a minimum. To this end we have examined our costs and, recognising that all village groups have their own monetary challenges, have been able to keep our charges at a minimum.
"This award recognises the effort put in by our members and we are very proud to receive."
Various fund raisers by the committee, including the successful auction, flower shows and joint events with other groups, including the WI, St Mary's Church, Premier Store and Post Office and Shotley Rose, have helped keep costs down.
A £10,000 grant initiated by Babergh District Council and other funding streams helped pay for the car park to be resurfaced, and that has helped those picking up and dropping off pupils at the nearby primary school and Kidzone, which was a factor in winning the award.
The village hall was nominated for the award by Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis, who is a regular user of the various events, meetings and shows held at the venue.
"Not only does the hall punch above its weight in terms of the facilities it has, but the many, many people who hire it, utilise every inch of the place make it an outstanding venue," said Cllr Davis. "Whether it is the Soup-a-Lunch, various pantos and shows put on by the drama group, or even the more boring meetings, this is an amazing community hub.
"Well done to all involved in running the hall, from the management committee, the cleaners and the users, this is a well deserved accolade and once again shows what a wonderful place Shotley is to live life, get involved and just have fun."
The criteria for the award was for the building to provide recognition of the positive contribution made to a community by its Village Hall or Community Building that is:
- At the heart of its community
- Providing a vital service accessible to all members of the community
- Having a positive impact on the lives of the people living in that community
The award follows a string of accolades and recognition for Shotley and its residents since 2015, when it was named both Suffolk and Babergh Village of the Year, it also scooped Suffolk's Most Active Village (jointly with Stradbroke) and there have been a raft of Suffolk and Babergh Stars winners, including Norman and Eileen Bugg, Manish Patel, Shotley Good Neighbours and Shotley Open Spaces.
Blue Lights Emergency After Man Tries to Swim to Harwich Fully Clothed
Sunday, August 11, 16.00
Concerned bystanders called the emergency services after a man got in difficulties while trying to swim fully clothed from a beach in Shotley to Harwich.
A man, believed to be in his 30s, wearing a black hoodie, jeans, and trainers, was spotted struggling in deep watermore than 100 metres off the beach opposite the Bristol Arms and Shane Rolin, landlord of the pub and a Coastguard volunteer, raised the alarm.
The man, known locally to have mental health issues, eventually managed to get himself back ashore as the tide was going out, at the same time as the RNLI inshore lifeboat from Harwich arrived at the scene.
Mr Rolin, who was on the foreshore ready with equipment to effect a rescue if needed, coordinated with the emergency services but did not need to act. He continued to play an important part even after the man relieved his long black leather overcoat from the beach, A local councillor dealt with the person who was clearly agitated, amid concerns for his welfare and managed to calm him down and provide assurance. The pair returned to a bench outside the Bristol Arms until police and an ambulance arrived and the cold and wet man was assessed.
Customers supplied the gentleman with cigarettes and Holbrook Coastguard volunteers provided blankets to keep him warm while the councillor and police stayed with him until family members arrived to look after the vulnerable person.
Picture: Man manages to get ashore with RNLI in attendance.
Beatrice's Beautiful Locks Getting Chop for Charity
Thursday, July 11, 11.00
A Shotley schoolgirl is sacrificing her waist-long locks for the Little Princess Trust.
Beatrice Picknell will send her hair to the charity so it can be used to make wigs for children who have suffered hair loss due to illness.
Seven-year-old Bea made the decision after seeing an advert for Cancer Research and talking it through with her mum Katie, and they have also set up a Just Giving page, to try and raise £200 for the Trust. Shotley Primary School is backing her cause and will be holding a non-uniform day to help raise cash.
Bea, a dancer with the Superstarz troupe, is big fan of Little Mix, Taylor Swift and the Spice Girls, will have her hair cut on Thursday, July 18 at Hers & Sirs in Chelmondiston.
Beatrice will be in very capable hands at Lisa Marie, from Hers & Sirs who is not only a very good hair stylist but an experienced charity hair cropper, that has been supportive of many good causes.
To donate please got to Bea's Just Giving page here...
Outstanding Kidzone Hailed By Inspectors
Monday, July 7, 16.00
Shotley Kidzone's management team has been praised as 'exceptional, extremely dedicated, efficient and well organised by Ofsted inspectors after being rated outstanding in every aspect of the day care centre.
The quality and standards of Kidzone's early years provision scored top marks in:
- providing effective leadership and management
- the quality of teaching, learning and assessment
- personal development, behaviour and welfare,
- outcomes for children
In one part of an extensive report, the exceptionally high standards set by manager Therasa Butcher for the care and practice relating to her staff were quoted as the reason for high staff retention, and the high quality of teaching and learning.
The report highlighted how inspectors were impressed by the staff's attention to detail, ability to communicate with parents and children and how the setting was more akin to a community than a nursery.
Trips to Spring Lodge care home for singing and interaction with its residents, experiencing lambing in the spring and eating strawberries from nearby allotments, were noted by the Inspector who remarked on the children's care and respect for insects as part of their outdoor natural experiences.
Due to the time management and staff spend with parents it was noted how well children fitted into the nursery, and then moved on into reception calls at the primary school.
The outdoor play areas were described as fantastically well equipped, and children were confident, resourceful and collabrative when using them.
This is the second time in eight years Kidzone has been rated Outstanding, although in 2015 it was rated as Good, so Therasa was delighted to regain its top status.
She added: "This is down to the award work and dedication of so many people here. I have a wonderful team, lovely children and supportive parents and that helps make it a joy to come to work.
"We are delighted to be rated Outstanding once again, we are determined to get even better and have exciting plans for the future."
Parents were emailed the good news this afternoon and dozens took to social media to express their delight and congratulate the Kidzone management and staff.
An Ethical Life Cleans Up In Shotley
Saturday, July 7, 16.00
A mobile retail outlet promoting zero waste and committed to encourage less single use plastic was so successful on its debut in Shotley the owners have vowed to make it a fortnightly service.
An Ethical Life sold out of many items including some fruit, vegetables, bamboo toothbrushes in a 90 minute stint in the Bristol Arms car park and vowed to bring even more stock on its next visit on Thursday July 19.
Shotley residents flocked to the van with their own containers as cereals, beans, pulses seeds, nuts and fresh fruit and veg, were weighed out individually to suit the individual's needs.
Rachel Parker and her husband, (pictured right in the middle) barely had time to enjoy thelovely views down the Stour as they served a constant stream of customers, who also sought advice and tips on the various products, in particular shampoos, soaps, cleaning stuff along with pastas and nuts.
"It was brilliant first time in Shotley," said Rachel. "People were really engaged and asked lots of interesting questions as they bought things. "Everywhere is different but in Shotley people were especially interested in our soaps and shampoos, which was interesting.
"It has given us an idea of what the people of Shotley are looking for and we cannot wait to come back and bring lots more stock to meet the need.
"It is also beautiful spot for us to work at, and enjoy some refreshments afterwards on a gorgeous day."
An Ethical Life is aimed reducing your plastic use, save consumers money by buy excellent quality produce and have a positive impact on the environment by measuring out, like the old-fashioned weight and save, and also offering more climate friendly alternatives.
University Apologises For Flawed Report Confusion But Shotley Remains In Top Ten
Thursday, July 4, 16.15
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have apologised for placing Shotley Gate third in a list of the unhealthiest place to live in the UK but insisted parts of the village still performed poorly.
Thousands of people, both local to the Shotley peninsula, and many further away that know the area, were outraged and baffled by the survey and challenged the findings.
A spokesperson for University of Liverpool told Peninsula News: “A study was issued by the University of Liverpool which identified the healthiest and unhealthiest places to live in Great Britain according to certain lifestyle and environmental measures.
"When reviewing information which was issued on request to journalists, it was discovered that the top ten unhealthiest list issued was provided in an incorrect order (back to front) so Shotley instead of being number three in the list should have been number eight. We are sorry for any confusion this has caused and happy to clarify.”
Councillors from Babergh, Suffolk and parish, along with the South Suffolk MP, all complained and pointed out Shotley Gate has no fast food outlets, although there is an Indian restaurant/chip shop opposite a GP surgery less than 2km away, there are no gambling establishments at all. It is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Site of Special Scientific Interest and a RAMSAR area. It has a multitude of open spaces, woods, walking trails and fields teeming with wildlife and birds.
The university spokesperson added: “Researchers analysed 16 available data sources which relate to lifestyle and the environment including air pollution statistics, the number of fast food outlets, pubs, off licences and book makers (which are all considered unhealthy amenities) and proximity to healthy amenities such as health services including GPs, parks and recreational spaces.
"One neighbourhood in Shotley was identified as performing particularly poorly hence its inclusion in the top ten. It is worth noting that not all of Shotley is covered here and much like many areas/regions, there are both high and low performing parts.
“The study is not a reflection of the health of citizens of the area but provides an insight into the concentration of what are considered healthy and unhealthy indicators in this area.
"This approach is just one way of measuring the circumstances about an area and there is a debate about how best to measure the quality of an area. There are many aspects about Shotley which cannot be measured, and certain aspects about the healthy nature of the location that are probably impossible to measure.
“At a national level the statistics reveal important insights about the concentration of certain amenities and services in both urban and rural areas.”
Cllr Derek Davis said: "Subsequent to the report Babergh has not identified any areas of concern in terms of air quality. My feeling is there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the data was collated and presented and I have asked the University of Liverpool researchers to reconsider their findings."
A Suffolk CC spokesman said: "The Council’s Public Health team looked closely at the original research and followed up concerns with the University of Liverpool directly. Following clarification from the University, it appears that the data within the index was incorrect, leading to the Shotley Gate area of Suffolk being given a poorer ranking than it ever should have received. The council also referred other queries regarding the data that the University is now working on to resolve.
"Currently, the published information doesn’t provide a robust framework for indicating unhealthy and healthy areas."
Shotley Gate's Unhealthy Report Dismissed as Laughable and Flawed
Monday, July 1, 1500
A report placing Shotley Gate in the UK's the third most unhealthiest place to live has been branded laughable and flawed.
Using data collated by Consumer Data Research Centre and Public Health England, the University of Liverpool claimed Shotley Gate was in the bottom ten along with six London neighbourhoods, including Soho, rated the worst in the country.
Derek Davis, a Shotley Gate resident of 18 years, Babergh district councillor and cabinet member for communities, dismissed the verdict on Shotley Gate as nonsensical, and invited its author Dr Mark Green to visit the area and see for himself.
“To suggest Shotley Gate is among the 10 most unhealthy place to live is the UK is laughable," said Cllr Davis.
“Shotley Gate, with all its green spaces, walking trails, marina, two rivers and outstanding community activities, is part of the reigning Babergh and Suffolk Village of the Year.
“We were named Suffolk’s Most Active Village two years ago along with Stradbroke due to our healthy approach.
“This village is a haven for walkers, cyclists, sailors and runners, never mind a huge amount of dog walkers.
“We are part of a village that was the first area in Suffolk to be given the national Walkers Are Welcome accreditation.
We don’t have a fast food outlet in Shotley Gate we don’t have any gambling facilities, we are blessed with wonderful fresh air due to our proliferation of woods, copses, flora and fauna and this is home to many species of birds and wildlife, so to state we are unhealthy shows the data has to be seriously flawed.
“We have an excellent GP surgery, primary school and the outstanding Kidzone, a wrap-around children’s nursery and day care centre, within 2km of Shotley Gate.
“I would invite Dr Green, or anyone from the University of Liverpool or the data providers, to visit Shotley Gate and see for themselves how nonsensical their findings are regarding our beautiful village.”
The findings were today reported at the International Medical Geography Symposium in Queensland, New Zealand.
According to the UCL website, researchers used the latest updated version of their data resource tool, which contains a range of lifestyle and environmental measures to identify neighbourhoods that are healthy and those that are unhealthy.
The type of information which the data tool analysed included levels of air pollution, access to various amenities such as fast food outlets or pubs, and proximity to health services including GPs, and parks/recreational spaces.
The study found that Soho had the greatest access to unhealthy opportunities such as takeaways, pubs and off licenses, combined with high levels of air pollution and low levels of parks and green spaces.
By contrast, the healthiest place to live was ‘Great Torrington’ in North Devon. The small market town has low levels of pollution, good access to parks and green space, few retail outlets that may encourage poor health-related behaviours, and good access to health services.
All bar one of the other top ten healthy places to live where located in Scotland. These included Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire, Fauldhouse in West Lothian, Foxbar in Renfreshire and Marnoch in North Lanakrshire.
At a national level, the study found that six neighbourhoods in the unhealthy top ten were located within Inner London. Also in the top ten were Shotley Gate near Ipswich and areas North of Immingham in Humberside.
Liverpool Senior Lecturer in Health Geography, Dr Mark Green, who undertook the study, said: “Our research, in conjunction with the Consumer Data Research Centre and Public Health England, has allowed us to pull together freely available information from sources such as GP surgeries, Health Centres, fast food outlets, air pollution statistics published by the Environment Agency. Our updated data release makes it now the most comprehensive free source of data on healthy environments available.
“The statistics reveal important insights about the concentration of certain amenities that may be damaging or promote health. For example, on average, individuals in Great Britain are just as close to a pub or bar, as they are to their nearest GP (1.1 km).”
“We also found that 42% of people are within 1 km (or a few minutes’ drive time) of their nearest gambling outlet. These statistics reveal troubling issues with the neighbourhoods we live in and how they may be damaging to our health.”
Professor Alex Singleton, Deputy Director of the Consumer Data Research Centre, said: “Our study found that access was not evenly spread across Great Britain – rural areas have poorer access to many health services, and those services which are seen as damaging to health are often concentrated in poorer areas.
For example, 62% of people who live in the 10% most deprived areas are within 1 km of a fast food outlet compared to 24% in the 10% least deprived areas.”
The data resource is available online (http://maps.cdrc.ac.uk) and free for anyone – from policy makers to members of the public - to explore how near or far away they are to services, and how this varies across their local (and national) regions. Users can log on and can either click on the map or search with a postcode.
Dr Mark Green added: “We anticipate that this resource will be an important tool for citizens and policy makers alike interested in how their neighbourhoods may be associated to their health.”
The data resource is part of the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) which aims to unlock valuable insight from the vast amounts of data collected by business, local and national government organisations.
Dedication As Submariners Memorial Reaches 100 Years
Friday, June 28, 1700
An extra special dedication service has been held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Submariners Great War Memorial at the Naval Reservation in St Mary's Church, Shotley.
Members of the Submariners Association, Royal British Legion, Royal Naval Association, and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Robert Rous, along with regular, reserve and retired submariners and service personnel, buglers along with 11 standard bearers, attended a service conducted by Rev Tim Crosbie, the local Submariners' Padre, assisted by Andrew Coulson.
Organised by Richard Channon (Captain RN Rtd), Chris Chambers (RN Rtd) of the Submariners Assn and Brian Ives, Chairman of Shotley & Erwarton RBL, the event was followed by cream tea provided by members of St Mary's Church Heritage Group.
Designed by artist Frederick Brook Hitch and architect Ryan Tenison, cousin of Lt Julian Tenison who was buried at the reservation along with his ill-fated crew, the Shotley memorial was dedicated to the 8th and 9th Submarine Flotilla's based at Shotley, in the Harwich Haven, and was the inspiration for the national monument on the Thames Embankment, London.
The Shotley Standard was carried by Shotley's Will Ives, the buglers came from the Brigades Band and there was a special
appearance by the Light Infantry Buglers Association.
Two Flee Blaze After Lightening Hits House
Wednesday, June 19, 0630
A father and daughter escaped a blaze unhurt after lightening struck the roof of their bungalow.
The duo fled the house in Queensland, Shotley, as the fire spread before being extinguished by firefighters from Ipswich and Holbrook.
The family have been offered support from Babergh District Council and other agencies this morning.
Crews from five fire engines tackled the blaze during the lightning storm which hit last night, with an estimated 12,000 bolts above East Anglia alone.
Tardy Pier Group Fail In Appeal Costs Bid
Monday, June 17, 16.00
Shotley Pier Group have failed in their bid to recover costs from Babergh after they did not get the paperwork done in time.
The Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society, known as the pier group, instructed their planning consultant Philip Cobbold to recover costs, including his fee understood to be between £2,000 and £2,500, but the deadline to apply was missed by two weeks and so was not even considered, according to a letter written on behalf of the Secretary of State.
Benefit Society directors were told by the inspector an application for costs had to be made by May 14, but the form was not submitted until May 28.
In any event, the appeal against Babergh's decision to refuse planning permission for two large buildings by the pier was dismissed, so it is unlikely they would have succeeded anyway.
Babergh District Council did not apply for costs as a matter of policy when dealing with minor appeals using written submissions.
Fire Crews Free Trapped Driver After Three Car Collision
Friday, June 14, 23.00
One person was released with after being trapped in a car following three car crash near the Corner Garage Shotley.
A woman was taken to hospital with broken nose, fractured ribs, broken ankle and a pelvic injury after being freed by fire personnel.
Fire crews from Holbrook and two engines from Ipswich, attended the incident just after 5pm Friday afternoon, involving a Mini Cooper, Fiat Doblo and a Ford C-Max.
Traffic was diverted down Church Walk and Old Hall Lane but the road was re-opened around 7pm.
Generous Shop Owner Donates Thousands To Two Groups
Thursday, June 13, 12.00
Two community groups have expressed their gratitude to Shotley benefactor Manish Patel after he donated £2,000 to their organisations.
Shotley Post Office and Stores owner Mr Patel gifted Shotley Village Hall Management Committee and Shotley Shoreline Protection Community Interest Company £1,000 each after a fund-raising dinner had to be cancelled.
Village Hall committee member Norman Bugg said: “Manish has been a wonderful supporter of the village hall for many years, and indeed the whole community. We are extremely grateful to him for his generous donation, which will go a long way in us keeping the booking fees to a sensible level and help towards buying vital equipment for the hall.”
Shoreline Protection group chairman Casper De Boer said: “This a marvellous gesture from Manish and shows the support we have from him and other members of the community. We were a bit disheartened when the Indian dinner evening was unavoidably called off, but this more than makes up for it. We are extremely thankful to the Patel family.”
Mr Patel, who was named Babergh’s Community Businessman of the Year at their awards in October, is a regular contributor to good causes and supports various community groups and Shotley primary school.
“We love where we live, enjoy being an integral part of this community and the support the shop and post office gets,” said Mr Patel. “We feel it is important to give a little back in terms of helping various groups and organisations as a way of thanking them for what they do for all of us.”
The £1,000 is the third piece of good news for the Shoreline Protection group after Shotley Open Spaces offered to match fundraising up to a further £1,000 for the group, and UK Power networks offered them use of a vital survey.
UKPN commissioned the report as part of the drilling work carried out by their contractors Kier to lay cables from Whinney Queach next to the Lloyd Road play area at Shotley Gate, across to Harwich & Dovercourt.
The Shoreline group need a survey done to see exactly what work was still needed to be done to further protect the cliff area at Shotley, in what was formerly known as phase three of the project.
It was estimated the survey needed by the CIC would cost in the region of £11,000 but the UKPN report, estimated to cost £25k, could be tweaked to serve the group’s needs.
UKPN spokesman Liam O'Sullivansaid: “I can confirm we can offer that report at no cost as a consideration for giving something back.
“It can be used in its current form or we can tweak that report for external consumption. We commissioned the report for the works to repair damage so it covers a larger section than you may require. It covers primarily the whole wall.
“As a gesture of goodwill we will allow you to use that report as you require for the purposes of renewal work. We are happy to assist as a benefit of kind, £25,000 + £11,000, but there would not be a capital contribution as such.”
Mr De Boer said: " The SPSCIC is looking forward to the release of the UK Power's survey and will study its contents with great interest."
Mr De Boer has been leading the group in a number of fundraising activities over the past month, including a exhibition at the picnic area opposite the Bristol Arms and hosting a display stand at the Shotley Point Yacht Club Open Day, at Shotley Marina.
Picture caption from left to right: Norman Bugg, Manish Patel, Casper De Boer
Shotley Pier Group's Appeal Dismissed
Tuesday, June 11, 17.00
Shotley Pier Group has lost its appeal against a decision to refuse permission to build at Bristol Pier, Shotley Gate.
An independent planning inspector has ruled Babrgh's planning committee was right to refuse an application by Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society Ltd, more commonly known as the pier group.
Mr Robert Fallon, the Inspector, pointed out in his report that he concurred with the decision by the planning committee that the harm of building workshops, an arts venue, visitor centre, workshops and cafe on the character and appearance of the area looking down the River Stour, outweighed the benefits put forward by the appellant.
Mr Fallon, who made a site visit in mid May, said the pier is of: "'Significant local historical value with its isolated position, lack of buildings and attractive timber piles, beams and deck construction making a significant contribution towards the character and appearance of the area".
Mr Fallon also expressed concerns that the proposed development would be constructed without the pier being restored, and there was no evidence the buildings were needed and the income would not cover the costs of the restoration, given how much the two buildings would cost, or if the income derived from the development would be re-invested or anything to prevent the new buildings being sold separately from the rest of the pier before its restoration had been paid and completed.
The Inspector also rejected the benefit society directors assertion the pier would fit in with the new developments nearby and pointed out the homes being built on land near Admiralty Pier was previously built on house a large boatyard.
More than 40 objections from members of Shotley community were made at the time, the parish council wrote against the plans and district councillor Derek Davis brought the application to the full planning committee, after an initial Babergh officer report recommended approval.
An online petition with more than 320 signatures urged the benefit society directors not to pursue the appeal and instead devote all their time, money and energy into just restoring the pier to its original Victorian condition, to be used by the public to stroll down, enjoy the views and perhaps fish off the end, with a couple of small kiosks added to earn a small return to support the pier maintenance, along with other grants and funding.
Cllr Davis said: "This decision is no surprise and I feel the Inspector has made some very clear and concise points, showing he agrees with a lot of the points and arguments made by many Shotley residents.
"It is shame that so much time, energy and money has been wasted by the directors in pursuing an unwanted application in the first place, then continuing with the appeal, which hundreds of people did not want them to do.
"A great deal of goodwill and enthusiasm has been lost by these directors and I hope they consider their own positions. Whoever runs the benefit society should start listening to the wider community and not just a small group that are clearly out of touch with the vast majority who continue to want to see the pier restored. They just don't want an unnecessary, unneeded and very costly arts venue, visitor centre, cafe and workshops.
"No doubt if any fresh application is made then it will be looked upon by me and the planning committee as a new plan and dealt with on its own merits, and residents will have their say too."
The pier group/benefit society has been invited to comment but so far failed to respond.
James Nunn On The 'Roads' To Success
Thursday, June 6, 17.00
Popular peninsula singer/songwriter James Nunn is tuning up to realise two burning ambitions.
James, better known to many as Jimmy, who spends his day on building sites, and nights playing, singing or making music when not looking after his young son, releases his first single tomorrow (Friday), the day before performing live at the Shotley Rose.
The single release comes days after learning he will be performing live at the Ipswich Music Day, something James has been yearning to do for years.
Produced by Blackthorn Studio in Ipswich, the song is a mellow number and will strike a chord with all those who have had to work away from home and have been through challenging relationships.
“I just want people to enjoy it and hopefully relate to the song in some way,” said James. “Hopefully it will be the sort of song they want on their playlist, that helps me too because that is the way it gets more exposure on things like Spotify.”
James has already tasted chart success when his EP ‘Think It Through’ went to number six and helped raise money for Chron’s and Colitis UK, at the record’s launch party at the Cult Café.
Reaction to some of the tracks caught James a little by surprise, in a pleasant way, when music lovers at gigs started requesting he played them.
“Music can be a tough business and quite often you wonder why you bother,” said James. “It could be you have been at work all week, driven hours to get home and you are playing to five drunks and a dog.
“Then you will be somewhere playing a few covers and someone will ask you to play one of my own songs. I remember when a guy came up to me and asked me to play ‘Think It Through’, I thought ‘wow, he knows it, he likes it, he wants me to sing it for him live.
“The other thing I love is when people at gigs start singing my lyrics back at me. I have one song in particular, which is like a chant. That’s when it is all worthwhile – there is no better feeling.”
James will get the chance to perform to one of his biggest crowds yet when he plays the Ipswich Music Day on July 9 when he is on the Grapevine Stage at 12.30, where Ed Sheeran performed ten years ago.
James is chuffed to be performing, and being asked after a frustratingly long wait and admits it will be an ambition fulfilled. “I have wanted to do it for years,” he said.
“It is the one everyone involved in music in Suffolk relates to and wants be involved in.
“It was annoying when you are told it is for upcoming artists and they are not supposed to do it two years in a row, but then some were playing every year.
“It seems to be better run than it was, and I’m really looking forward to playing.”
James’ reputation is clearly growing, as shown when Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason (pictured left) invited him to play at a fundraising event at his house in Clapham.
“It was definitely the most random gig I have played, especially when you get Damon Hill making coffee for you,” laughed James. “I was picked up in a Mercedes with blacked out windows and took to Nick Mason’s house and played an unplugged, acoustic set – just me and my guitar.
“Nick was really laid back but a great host. she showed me around his private car collection, which included a rare vintage Ferrari, estimated to be worth about £32million.”
James has also supported Inspiral Carpets' Ton Hingley and has also had auditions for the Voice and X-Factor, but was left disappointed and a little scarred by the experience, especially the lack of genuine opportunity.
He said: “I got backed twice, on one occasion they didn’t even let me get my guitar out. It's at times like that you want to pack it all in, but then you get the sort of gigs I have had over the past couple of months and I love it.”
Despite rubbing shoulders with such rock luminaires, James remains grounded and has not forgotten his roots. He will perform his new single ‘Roads’ along with other of his own songs mixed in in with some popular covers at the Rose but laments the lack of a thriving music scene locally.
He said: “I’m a local lad love doing local gigs – including private parties. Generally though, the Ipswich music scene is very quiet these day.
“Pubs used to be packed but not now, unlike Essex where I played quite a lot recently and it was rammed in the pub – you don’t seem to get that in Suffolk.”
One solution could be a music festival on the peninsula, showcasing a number of local music talent such as James, Dan Evans, Sammy Johnson, Amber Durrant and other local bands, perhaps held on the field behind the Rose, or Chelmondiston playing fields.
James said: “Initial talks have been held and I would love to see more live music like that locally.
“Kids want to see bands and experience a festival. if you can do it on your doorstep. I would be well up for that.”
Latest Community Award Winners Unveiled
Friday, May 30, 13.00
Four community stalwarts have been recognised for their contribution in making Shotley such a wonderful place to live.
Serial volunteer Thelma Westlake, Rose pub landlady Sarah Pallant and life-saving First Responders Wendy Corness and Davie Mills were presented with their awards by parish councillor Robbie Green at the Shotley Annual Meeting, held at the village hall.
Popular church organist Thelma has helped with many groups, including Soup-a-Lunch and St Mary's Church,over the years, gives lifts to neighbours and her cheery demeanour makes many people's day.
As well as being an all-rounder in the Rose pub, pulling a mean pint, cooking in the kitchen or managing a top team, Sarah has helped raise thousands of pounds supporting a number of charities and good causes, including the Blossom Appeal, Kidzone, First Responders and Somersham ward. Each year at Easter Sarah and her mum donate the chocolate eggs for the much-loved Easter Egg Hunt, and
As Shotley's Community First Responders Wendy and Dave are often first at the scene for medical emergencies in the village giving expert support until the paramedics or ambulance crews arrive. The duo also hold first aid courses at the Shipwreck, and are looking to raise funds for another defibrillator to be housed near the Bristol Arms in Shotley Gate. During her that you speech for the award Wendy acknowledged the support and donations Sarah at the Rose had made towards First Responders but also pleaded for more volunteers to help her and Dave with this vital service. Contact: Wendy - 07979 382500, Dave - 07941 228029.
The annual parish meeting is an opportunity for groups and organisations in Shotley to give more information about what they do. Norman Bugg gave updates on the Whist Drive, the Over 60's, St Mary's Church renovation fundraising, and Shotley Rose Bowls Club (Monday team doing very well, Wednesday's looking to improve). Norman also thanked Premier Store and Post Office owner Manish Patel for the kind donation of £1,000 to the Village Hall Management Committee.
Jeff Howell, from the Shotley Shoreline Protection CIC, expressed his gratitude for the £1,000 Manish has also donated to their group and gave an update on their progress in raising enough for a survey, with UKPN also poised to help them.
Babergh district councillor and cabinet member Derek Davis read his annual report in person, while former parish chairman Barrie Powell also read his annual report, and Suffolk County Councillor David Wood sent in his annual report.
Bank Holiday Fun For All
Sunday, May 26, 10.00
Hundreds of locals and visitors took advantage of the decent weather to enjoy events around the peninsula.
Shotley Point Yacht Club attracted sailors and wannabe yachties of all ages and abilities with its various stalls, including displays from the club, Coastguard, Shotley Shoreline Protection group and the RNLI, at the Shipwreck in Shotley marina.
There is even a play area with games, small paddling pool and activities for the young ones, while parents peruse the stalls or have a swift half.
Tea on the Quay, next to Bristol Arms is open for teas, coffees and cake, while the pub has great fresh food on offer. Landlord Shane Rolin started his day with the Coastguard, where he is a volunteer, and spent the afternoon cooking for Alex and Gabriel's wedding party.
Shotley Open Spaces' fourth walk in the Suffolk Walking festival starts tomorrow (Monday) at 10.00 from the Shipwreck at Shotley Marina.
This is their longest circular walk of 7.5 miles around the farm and rivers. The walk comes back via the Bristol Hill picnic area around 1.30pm where the Shotley Peninsula Shoreline CIC (hosted by their Chairman Casper de Boer) will offering complimentary tea and coffee for the walkers. The group's penultimate festival walk cost £2.00 per head to enjoy the Shotley landscape.
Shotley Rose has roast lamb and dessert for £10.95 today (Sunday) and a Suffolk car meeting on Bank Holiday Monday from 10.00.
Meanwhile, this will be the last weekend Malcy will be running the burger van opposite the Bristol Arms, as the pier group have bought him out and volunteers will run it from next weekend.
A sponsored cycle ride starts from the Tattingstone Wheatsheaf as part of the pub's Blossom Appeal charity year.
Good Response To Projects
Monday, May 20, 21.00
Two projects highlighting the past and the future drew good crowds over the weekend in Shotley.
Three members of the Shotley & Erwarton Royal British leg branch were on hand to receive a wide range of memorabilia from the Great War up to Korean War as part of a living history project with Oxford University and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The quality of photographs, documents and information was of the highest quality and all stored and scanned to be used keep history aline for the future.
Shotley Legion chairman Brian Ives said: "We had some lovely people coming in and sharing their stories, all of which will be added to the Oxford University database.
"More than 20 differing stories, mainly involving people closely connected to villagers on the peninsula, and of course HMS Ganges, came in making the day really worthwhile.
"We are extremely grateful for the effort people made to share this information for generations to come."
Mr Ives, son Will and Shaun Sams, (pictured above) were also on hand to supply teas and coffees and update walkers, who met at the village hall ahead of their 5.5mile stroll along the rivers Orwell and Stour, led by Shotley Open Space members, as part of the Suffolk Walking Festival.
Meanwhile, nearly 50 people were given information by volunteers from the Shotley Shoreline Protection group, that held an information event at the picnic area, opposite the Bristol Arms, on Sunday.
Tea and cake proved popular as locals and visitors were told of the groups plans to protect the cliffs along the Shotley foreshore being eroded by the River Stour.
"We are working towards the protection of the Shotley Cliffs from further erosion," explained chairman Casper De Boer, "Statutory bodies either are not allowed, or are unwilling, to lead at this protection project. So as to engage the public we offered free coffee, tea and cakes as well as treats for the dogs.
"Bank holidays being Bank holidays it was overcast and fresh. Despite that we did count some 96 plus people passing along the bottom footpath. More than half engaged with us and filled in our our survey of public opinion regarding our cliffs."
Further planned outings are on May 25 and 26 at the Shipwreck as part of the Shotley point yacht club open week end (10.00 till 5.00) and another meet and greet at the picnic area on Monday, May 27.
Legion's Call To Keep War Stories Alive
Saturday, May 11, 09.00
A call has been made for people to share their families' war stories and memorabilia as part of a living history national database.
Shotley's Royal British Legion branch has combined with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Oxford University to bring together anyone with photographs, documents or stories from the the Great War up to the Korean War as part of a project to save this part of history for future generations.
An open recording event will be held at Shotley Village Hall on Saturday, May 18 between 10am and 3pm where volunteers will be on hand to scan, record or download a wide variety of documents from people living on the peninsula going back generations.
This event itself is history in a way because it records the people’s history of the war periods not just names and dates. It is a living document, which takes family stories from differing perspectives of brother to sister, cousin to uncle/aunt and further afield and as a living document is added to over time increasing the information available to our children and grandchildren who will never know those involved, this will help them for their future.
The project requests no non-deactivated munitions or weapons are brought to the village hall but welcomes phots of the items.
Members of the Royal British Legion will also be on hand to give information about their modern day role.
Tea and coffee will be provided the Shotley & Erwarton WI.
For more details contact Brian Ives, CWGC Foundation Champion and Shotley RBL Chairman: 787168.
Rude Patients To Be Banned
Thursday, May 9, 12.00
Rude or aggressive patients will be banned from Holbrook and Shotley surgeries after an increase in unacceptable behaviour towards staff.
The warning was issued after staff suffered verbal attacks by impatient people and the surgeries' bosses have been compelled to act.
Practice manager Julia Smith said in a monthly newsletter: "I am sorry to say that we have had a number of episodes recently where patients have been rude and verbally aggressive towards our staff.
"This will not be tolerated and any patient who displays this type of behaviour will be sent a warning letter. If the behaviour continues, they will be removed from our patient list and have to register elsewhere.
"We appreciate that when patients are ill they may act differently to usual but rudeness and abuse will not be tolerated under any circumstances."
Egghead Beaters in Quiz Action
Monday, May 6, 07.00
Triumphant televisionquizzers from Shotley are taking part in a pub quiz tonight.
At least five of the six members of Shotley Opens Spacers, who beat the Eggheads and became the first team in nearly 2,000 episodes to get every single one of their questions right, will be taking part in the Bristol Arms quiz and hog roast evening, starting at 6pm tonight.
The popular quiz is one of number of Bank Holiday events taking place today, with a special Holbrook Trail starting at 10am this morning and running through until 4pm. Participants are advised to start at the Chapel in the Street, where they pick up a map of the tables selling a wide range of goodies for charity. yourself a bargain. Tea and cake available and there is a woo- fired pizza at Ipswich Road Hither House.
Access Point And Library's Partnership Extended
Monday, April 29, 11.00
Babergh have confirmed their Customer Service Access Point will continue to work with the popular pop up Suffolk library service at Shotley Village Hall.
The library, which operates each Monday (except Bank Holidays) recently celebrated its second anniversary with more than 4,000 attendees over that two year period.
Babergh customer services has shared the library space for almost one year and confirmed a new deal had been struck to carry on with the facility for the foreseeable future.
Residents are able to get face to face advice from specialist customer service staff, who can help then scan and upload documents, navigate the website and help fill in forms.
The access point visits on the first Monday of each month, except Bank Holidays when it is the following Monday and is open between 1.30pm – 4.pm.
Meanwhile, Suffolk Libraries’ weekly service continues to go from strength to strength as it attracts visitors of all ages to its varies activities and events.
Tots enjoy a singalong with Tom, there is a book club and an ability to use a tablet provided. Other events include a visit from Sutton Hoo Vikings, an assistance dog, unusual instruments and relaxation exercises. There are regular Homework and Lego clubs and online library help too.
Matthew Shenton, Suffolk Libraries Local Coordinator, said: “Suffolk Libraries would like to thank the community for making the weekly library such a success.
“We are so grateful to everyone for welcoming us and for attending our activities. Special thanks must go to our wonderful volunteers Rosie and Gloria who go above and beyond each week to support Tom the librarian.
“We have lots coming up over the next 12 months including the Summer Reading Challenge and a special art project in the autumn.”
District councillor Derek Davis, who brought the customer service access point to Shotley as part of his role on the Cabinet, said: “Babergh is delighted to continue this unique relationship with Suffolk Libraries, which has started to be replicated elsewhere.
“The customer access point provides a necessary service to our residents, and is an example where quality is as important, if not more, than quantity, in terms of allowing people that may have otherwise struggled, to gain access to our services.
“It is also wonderful to see people of all ages engage with Tom, Rosie and Gloria who make libraries fun, and provide an incredibly vital facility in keeping reading books alive.”
Picture caption: Babergh Customer Service team with library staff and also Bookstart Bear with young readers and parents at the recent second anniversary birthday party.
Commemoration Organiser Praised By High Sheriff
Friday, March 22, 0800
The man behind the silhouettes marking the World War One centenary celebrations has been honoured by the High Sheriff of Suffolk.
Brian Ives, chairman of the Shotley, Erwarton and Chelmondiston Royal British Legion branch, also organised the Remembrance Day concert on the afternoon of November 11, and once again key in the services on the Sunday, and the special schools event the previous Thursday when every WW1 grave had a special marker placed on it.
Brian was presented his certificate of recognition from the High Sheriff by district councillor Derek Davis and Shotley Parish Council chairman Barrie Powell ahead of the monthly parish council meeting last night.
Mr Powell said: 'I cannot think of anyone in Shotley more worthy of getting this award."
Cllr Davis added: "The work Brian and his committee did was incredible. They made the centenary memorable and he personally went above and beyond with all the silhouettes he made and placed around the villages.
"This recognition is very well deserved, and it epitomises the great work he and the British Legion does."
Brian, a former RAF Regimentt Gunner from 2623 SQN Royal AuxAf Regiment, dedicated the award to former RBL chairman Eddie Bembridge, who recently passed away, and praised the support he had from both Shotley and Chelmondiston parish councils, Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer Shaun Sams and Cllr Davis.
He added: "This award is not the end of what I do but is an ongoing part of the continuing service to the armed forces, the commemoration of their sacrifice and the support for those still in need of help.
"As a former RAF Regiment Gunner it means a lot to preserve our local, county and national military and civil history. No service person wants to go to war or fight, but when we join up we give this country a blank cheque saying; 'We will do this on your behalf'."
Presentation photo credit Shaun Sams.