New Local Needs Homes Get Green Light
Thursday, February 21, 18.30
Eight new social homes will be built in Shotley after planners gave the go ahead.
Five two bedroom houses will replace two dilapidated buildings at Queensland, while three more two beds will go up in place of one old bungalow further along the street.
All three of the new homes at the site of the former number 16 house (pictured right) have been allocated as ‘Local needs’ which means priority will be given to those with strong Shotley & Erwarton connections, cascading out to Harkstead and Chelmondiston then to the wider peninsula.
The other five have been designated as ‘Babergh wide needs’ which would allow residents from across the district to apply.
Both developments were passed unanimously by the 13 Babergh members of the planning committee, which heard the application at Endeavour House on Wednesday.
One neighbour aired her concerns at the proximity of the new builds to her home in Queensland but said she supported the scheme in principle.
The plans were supported by Shotley Parish council and district councillor Derek Davis who successfully argued the case for Shotley & Erwaton residents getting priority for allocation.
“I’m delighted these new two-bedroom homes have been given the go ahead.” said Cllr Davis. “They will help our housing need in Shotley & Erwarton, and then wider.
“A lot of work was done by Babergh’s housing team to get this scheme together, with the support of Shotley parish council and Erwarton’s parish meeting.”
Concerns were raised by Suffolk Highways regarding access at number 16 but developers were able to show it would be safe.
One suggestion made at the hearing by Cllr Davis, after speaking to some of the neighbours beforehand, is to apply to Highways to make Queensland a one-way street, following full consultation.
It is expected the eight new homes scheme will be completed before the end of this year.
Anyone interested in applying for the two-bedroom home sin Queensland will need to be registered on Gateway to Homechoice. Gateway Website
Or contact Cllr Davis - firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Staying Alive Crew Need People To Respond
Saturday, February 16, 10.30
A vital life-saving service is down to just two volunteers and is looking for more people to step forward.
Community first responders are volunteers trained to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.
Their role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.
“We really need new people now as we are down to just me and Dave (Mills),” said first responder Wendy Corness. “We did have as many as 15 at one point with some using it as a stepping stone for other things, such as becoming a paramedics. That means they can't volunteer with us because they are doing it as a full time job, which is brilliant, but leaves us a bit short.”
The CFR scheme covers Shotley and Shotley Gate. It is a group of volunteers who meet, usually on a monthly basis, to sort out a rota, support each other and to keep skills up-to-date.
Mostly, response is to 999 calls for breathing and heart problems. The group has a full kit which includes a defibrillator and oxygen. Full training and skill assessment is provided by the Ambulance Service to new volunteers.
While the group aspires to providing 24/7 cover, the rota depends entirely on volunteers providing what cover they can around their usual commitments.
If you interested in supporting our community to provide emergency medical response assistance until the emergency services arrive then this is the group for you.
* Member sf the first responders are holding a commercial first aid training course on Tuesday, March 12, at the Shipwreck, Shotley Marina. £25 per place with 25% donated to the group. (see poster for more info)
For information on first responders, or to book on the first aid course: Contact Dave Mills, Co-ordinator - 07941 228029 or Wendy Corness - 07979 382500
Shoreline Saviours Suffer Setback
Sunday, February 3, 13.00
A community group formed to protect the Shotley cliffs and shoreline has been frustrated in its attempts to move forward.
The Shotley Peninsula Shoreline Community Interest Company (SPSCIC) was turned down by the parish council for a £10,000 grant and given just £2,000 instead.
Although grateful for the money given, the SPSCIC is concerned any perceived lack of full support from the parish council will have an adverse effect on other potential grant funders in supporting their project.
An initial survey, estimated to cost £11,040, is needed to assess exactly what work is needed to protect the shoreline.
SPSCIC applied for the £10k in December but councillors argued against giving it the full amount and instead agreed to award just £2,000.
It was revealed in a meeting the parish council set aside £10,000 towards this work five years ago and it remains in their general reserve fund.
Directors of the group appealed for more help at January’s parish council meeting, and while councillors agreed to support the project, a majority would not back their words with financial action.
A spokesman for the community group told SPNF: “SPSCIC is appreciative of the parish council for their grant of £2,000 and their commitment to help raise additional funds for the survey.
“It is disappointed that the amount is not higher but understands the PC has limited funds.
“The group remains committed to securing a lasting solution to the problem of erosion along our valued shoreline.
That decision has led to the SPSCIC director responsible for funding, Ray Millan, to resign in frustration and the future of the project is in jeopardy.
A spokesman added: “The company can confirm that Ray Millan has resigned from the board for personal reasons and it thanks him for his hard work over the past seven months.”
Concerned residents formed the group after the parish council told a public meeting last March it was not prepared to take on the responsibility to protect the cliffs and shoreline, which it bought in 2012, after phases one and two were completed.
Grants were given and a number of statutory bodies, including Babergh District Council, the AONB, Suffolk County Council and the Environment Agency supported the long-term project.
Volunteers completed Phases One and Two, but when the Footpath Group folded the council did not continue the work and Shotley PC subsequently confirmed it would not lead the project to prevent further erosion.
The not for profit SPSCIC was officially registered in October 2018 and states its aims are to:
- Maintain public access to the Shotley Peninsula shoreline from adjoining land and water;
- Repair, maintain and improve cliff and sea defences for which no statutory body has taken responsibility;
- Monitor, conserve and protect the natural environment of the shoreline with the support of marine and community organisations.
The group defines the shoreline as all land from the tidal low water mark up to and including the first registered public footpath inland.
Villagers Vote In Favour Of Being As One
Monday, January 28
Shotley should be regarded as one big village, according to its parishioners.
Nearly 2,000 people engaged with our story regarding a row over Shotley being seen as two distinct areas by some parish councillors, with 130 actively taking part in a Facebook vote.
Readers overwhelmingly voted in favour of Shotley being one village, with 97 (75%) voting in favour with 33 regarding the village as split between a 'wet end' and 'dry; main village.
The disagreement started a parish council meeting when a coupe of councillors refused a grant to fund a bench near a bus stopon Bristol Hill, saying too much was being sent on the 'wet end.
The row provoked a strong reaction with a number of comments made including:
Anita Lord: "What bloody nonsense. It's one village, always has been, Get grip you silly people."
Tony Lawford-Randall: "It is one village and I agree with Anita Lord. I sometimes think some of the parish council members forget it is the parishioners who provide the finances for the council to function."
Harley Brundle: "There are two halves of Shotley )Shotley and Shotley Gate) but one village.
District councillor Derek Davis: "It matters not which particular area you live in, we are one inclusive village with many groups and activities open to all. We won both Babergh and Suffolk Village of the Year by being as one."
Row Over Splitting Village Into Two
Saturday, January 19, 1800
A request to provide funding for a bench sparked a row between parish councillors over treating Shotley as two separate villages.
Some argued too much was being spent on the area they described as the “Wet End’ of the village, meaning Shotley Gate, in particular the area near to the foreshore.
A request by a member of the public to provide a grant to place a bench at a bus stop on Bristol Hill was previously refused by the council.
During a fresh discussion on the funding at the latest parish council meeting last Thursday Cllr Gary Richens, who is also the chairman of Shotley Open Spaces, offered £127 made by the Walkers Are Welcome initiative towards paying for the bench.
Councillors Nicola Green (pictured right) and Maureen Williams spoke against making up the shortfall, estimated between £250 and £350, and during the discussion claimed too many grants were being provided for the ‘Wet End’ of the village.
This was disputed by other councillors, with former PC chairman Richard Wrinch (pictured left) pointing out Shotley was one village.
Cllr Richens also said it should be irrelevant which part of the village applied for grants, with all groups allowed invited to make bids when they needed financial support.
Many groups and organisations which use the village hall have successfully been funded, while money has also been found for the open spaces area in Kingsland, including to replace signs, while money to pay for a bollard to control access to allotments in Shotley was recently approved.
Cllr Nicola Green has always maintained her concerns about visitors to Shotley being catered for and said: “It is a nonsense that just because we have Walkers Are Welcome we have to provide a bench.”
Cllr Wrinch proposed the decision to support part-funding the bench, which could also be used by residents waiting for a bus, should be deferred until a windfall of more than £1,000 from Babergh’s Community Infrastructure Levy due at the end of March was paid into the PC’s account.
The parish council also agree to increase their portion of council tax by 5.2%, which equates to a rise of £4.07 for Band D.
Parish council accounts made public In June 2018, showed it had £86.930 in its current, deposit and tracker bank accounts. The balance sheet also showed the council had £42k in general reserves and another £25k earmarked reserves.
Cash Boost For Shotley From Builders' Levy
Tuesday, January 15, 11.00
Shotley parish has been handed an initial cash boost of £1,125 after work on extension in Blake Avenue was started.
A potential £15k is also on the cards when developments at Wades Lane, Visdelou Terrace and Childers Close, get underway.
The money comes from Shotley’s share of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and can be used by the parish council for projects within the village.
All local groups can make an application to the parish council for grants towards their initiative. Applications for larger grants towards to costs of bigger infrastructure projects can be made to Babergh.
The levy cash can not be used just to balance the parish council's books and must be repaid to Babergh if not spent within five years.
Babergh District Council adopted the CIL policy in 2016 and are the first authority in the country to produce an easy to use link, using software by Exacom.
The district council have already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after officers collected more than £2m from a potential £9.4m.
CIL is a set payment made by developers to support the infrastructure for communities and is split into three pots.
One is 15% of the total due paid to parishes from the neighbourhood pot, unless they have a Neighbourhood Development Plan when 20% is then payable to the village.
Another pot, called the 123 list, which is the percentage paid to the district and open for anyone eligible to apply for. This includes parish councils, community groups, the NHS, and the county council for education and infrastructure, including highways.
The third is the amount paid to Babergh to administer the scheme.
Derek Davis, Berners District Councillor, said: “Parishes on the peninsula are beginning to see the upside of development with this levy being paid directly for the benefit of neighbourhoods.
“This money is for us as residents to make the most off for community projects to make our lives better today, and in the future.
“The wider pot can also be applied for and again it is something I would encourage parish councils and community groups to do.
“Please feel free to get in touch with me or the CIL team at Babergh if you would like to know how this CIL can help you.”
Cllr Davis is the cabinet member responsible for the Exacom project which is the first in the country of its type.
“The pilot has already attracted interest from a number of local authorities, and indeed, the Home Office,” said Cllr Davis. “It is an easy to use tool for all parish councils, and community group leaders, to see exactly what is available for a wide variety of infrastructure projects within communities.”
Babergh has already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after collecting more than £2m from a potential £9.4m.
To check how much is CIL is due in your peninsula village go to the Babergh Development Link here…
Anger Over Pier Plan Voting
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Pier group directors have been accused of trying to deceive shareholders by asking them to tacitly vote for a plan that was not presented at the AGM, under the guise of choosing a roof design.
A newsletter sent by the benefit society directors asked for pier group shareholders to vote for a new roof design, but failed to show the plan which had been voted on at the AGM.
Instead, a third plan was shown, which looks very similar to the original application, which was refused permission by Babergh district councillors and widely condemned by investors and the wider community.
Dozens supported, while only one person voted against, the popular Plan B (shown above) put forward by Barrie Powell and John Bowen at the November meeting, with no mention of Plan C, based on the original, (shown below) used in the newsletter sent out in December.
There is concern shareholders voting for any of the roof designs, will be giving tacit support for Plan C, with the poplar Pan B being sidelined.
It is understood there is some disquiet even among directors at the way Plan C has been put forward, with concerns over the design, especially as the third option is not symmetrical, looks unbalanced, is still too large and out of scale.
There is also concern over the over-sized ramp access to the pier.
So much so it is understood Mr Powell considered resigning from the board, has continued to register his objection and a number of shareholders have subsequently aired their concerns that Plan B was being ignored.
The design supported by shareholders at the AGM had plenty of room inside for seating and a visitor centre, and offered shelter, while the second building, which was the same size, offered space for a workshop and storage.
The curved barrel roof profile of Plan B has been chosen over a pitched ‘Beach Hut’ or ridge type for six reasons:
- Least visual intrusion
- Reflecting barge hatch covers of the Victorian period
- Better gale resistance
- A more industrial look to reflect the heritage
- A hint towards the roofs of railway waggons of the period
- Single curved sheet material used for the roof cladding is cheaper and easier to use as it does not require the more expensive pitched and ridged construction.
One shareholder, who asked not to be named for fear of repercussions by the board, said: “The newsletter is very misleading. We feel shareholders should be shown Plan B and be allowed to vote on that in the newsletter, rather than just being given Plan C, which we fear is too similar to the original application and could well be refused.”
Founder member and Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis said: “I was very surprised when I saw the newslettter and there was no mention of Plan B and that was not shown as an option.
“A number of people have contacted me about this and I can understand why they feel some of the directors are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
“It really looked at the AGM that progress had been made and there was general consensus on the design put forward by Mr Powell and Mr Bowen.
“By trying to pull a stunt like this the Benefit Society risks alienating its support and that will further damage the chances of future funding.
“I would suggest they really need to start listening and not acting unilaterally, more often than not going against the wishes of shareholders who made it clear at the AGM what they preferred.”
Plan B, which shareholders voted for but not included in the newsletter is shown above.
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Anglo-Saxon Display Hailed A Hit
Friday, december 14, 13.00
An Anglo-Saxon exhibition by Shotley primary school pupils has been hailed a success.
Year three children showed off their skill at writing in Anglo-Saxon runes, put on a Beowulf puppet show, displayed pots, beaded-necklaces, and their class work at their well-attended Village Hall event.
Parents, villagers, fellow students and councillors were impressed by the amount of skill and hard work the seven and eight-year-old children clearly put in to the project led by their teacher and school deputy head Lynette Allison (pictured with head teacher Richard Dedicoat, ASSET chief executive Clare Flintoff and some year three children).
The idea of the approach is for pupils to have an authentic outcome, in this case exhibiting their work to parents, family and the community at the village hall.
New head teacher Richard Dedicoat has been delighted at the children’s work, and the support shown to the school.
“This was an opportunity for the children to show off their learning and improve their ability to talk to a variety of audiences,” said Mr Dedicoat.
“It shows their journey in learning about Anglo-Saxons, linked to the local area, a topic they have been totally immersed in for the past 15 weeks of term.
“Mrs Allison has led the children through that and has enabled them to celebrate their learning with their parents. It is a bit different from the usual parents evening, which doesn’t always give them an opportunity to share as much.
“The children are enjoying it. They have dressed up smart for the occasion. It is a good way of learning and memorising and that is what we want to give
“At primary education this is what we need to give the children of Shotley: Memorising things, learning basic skills to take through to later life, and memorable moments.
“The community have been very aware of the exhibition, they have us set it up and the big thing is it being talked about.
“That is what I feel from this community. They want support the school, they will do anything they can to help the school.”
The hour-long exhibition was a result of a term’s work as part of the cross-curricular project put in place by Asset Education, which officially took over the school in September.
Parish councillor Gary Richens, who was among those on the council that last night voted to donate £100 towards the £650 the school needs to buy HI-Vis vests.
They are needed for the children when they are out of the school, for example outdoor classroom sessions, or waking to the church for services. It is understood local businesses could make up some of the shortfall.
“This was a really special exhibition,” said Mr Richens. ”The amount of work, the enthusiasm, the smiles on their faces, was exceptional. I even had my name written in Anglo-Saxon.
“The school and the pupils deserve lot of credit.”
Mr Dedicoat has been impressed with the pupils and the support the school has received.
He said: ““It has been great, we have seen some great progress this term.
“That includes the community coming together with us, the teachers working hard and wanting to improve and to make this a really great school.
“The children’s learning behaviours are really positive, they want to learn and are thirsty for knowledge. They are attending and are getting to school on time and want to learn.
“They are going home and learning more and getting their parents involved. It has been a good two-way conversation. We had a very positive parents’ forum last week with really good feedback.
“We are keen to keep the communication open, not just within the school but in the local villages as well.”
The school was hit by a poor Ofsted report at the beginning of the year and that led to it becoming an Academy.
Shotley primary did not fare well in the SATS results published this week, although the new administration was keen to point out those tests were taken last May and good progress has subsequently been made.
Clare Flintoff, ASSET chief executive, is keen to focus on the progress.
“We don't rely on those statistics,” said Mrs Flintoff. “They have just been published but they are really old now.
“Although we always analyse data, we look at trends and what we need to improve but it is actually in the classroom, where the head and the deputy can see the progress children are making and it is that progress which matters.
“It is also the progress the children are making across the curriculum; are the children enjoying all the curriculum?
“SATS results reflect at where children have got to in their reading, writing and maths, whereas we are looking at their progress across the whole curriculum.”
ASSET also took over at Stutton and the trust has already helped to grow numbers.
Mrs Flintoff said: “We have no regrets at all about taking these schools on.
“Shotley is fantastic place. We have been made extremely welcome by the parents and the community
“We have been pleasantly surprised by that and because the community is behind the school we know we will make much faster progress. There are great things to come for Shotley primary school.”
And there was also a positive report on Stutton primary school's progress.
Mrs Flintoff said: “Numbers are doing well at Stutton, better than we expected at this stage. Higher than we put in our business plan to enable the school to be viable moving forward.
“So we are ahead of schedule there, so we are doing really well.”
Babergh district councillor Derek Davis said: “I was very impressed with the whole way the exhibition was put on and the inclusivity of parents and community. The children’s engagement was tangible and their enjoyment in being involved really shone through.
“This demonstrates why there is so much confidence that Shotley primary school, with the support of us all, will continue to progress in a positive manner.”
Pupils To Hold Anglo-Saxon Exhibition
An Anglo-Saxon exhibition reflecting the area’s historical link with the period will be held by Shotley primary schoolchildren.
Year Three pupils will put on the display at Shotley Village Hall as part of their ‘authentic outcome’ work, which is a project based way of learning, introduced to the school by new ASSET Academy deputy head teacher Lynette Allison.
The youngsters have been learning about the Anglo-Saxon period, and its relationship to Shotley, including the battle of Bloody Point.
A puppet show performance of a Beowulf re-telling, clay-pots and other talks will make up the exhibition between 9.30 and 10.30 on Friday, December 14.
All are welcome and entry is free.
Social Housing Boost For Shotley
Monday, November 19. 13.00
Eight new social homes have been put forward by Babergh council working with a housing association.
Two set of plans have been submitted to demolish three houses in Queensland, Shotley to be replaced by eight two-bedroom homes for an affordable rent.
An application has been put forward to build five homes on a large plot of land, which used to house numbers one and three, and another three would be built where number 16 currently sits.
The two bungalows nearest the doctors surgery, with be related by two semi-detached bungalows, and terrace of three bungalows - all two-bedroom. There will be 12 car parking spaces for residents and visitors.
Number 16 will be demolished to make way for three bungalows, with parking spaces for six vehicles.
The application has been made by Babergh District Council, that will work in partnership with Haste Housing Association, but the proposals will have to be heard by a planning committee, that will make the decide to approve or refuse.
District councillor Derek Davis supports the application but wants a condition imposed which would mean residents with strong Shotley or Erwarton connections get priority when applying to live in the properties.
"It is important that those with a housing need from within our community have first choice on these new homes," said Cllr Davis. "They may not always be top of the Gateway Home Choice list in terms of points but more often than not, we have a need, and responsibility, to house young and old in the village, for a variety of good reasons."
The plans also have the backing of the parish council, that supports Cllr Davis' bid to ensure Shotley & Erwarton residents get priority.
New Plans For Pier Revealed
Saturday, November 17, 10.00
New plans to develop on Bristol Pier in Shotley have been given a warm reception by shareholders.
An initial presentation of the new look smaller buildings was given by Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society director Barrie Powell, who is against the original application, followed by a more in depth explanation by John Bowen who designed the new plans.
The move comes after widespread objections to the application for two 15ft high buildings tagged onto the pier, of varying lengths, with plans showing a cafe, 84 seats, offices workshop and visitor centre.
Nearly 300 people, including many shareholders, signed a petition by #protectourpier (POP) group made up of concerned pier supporters, asking for the Benefit Society directors to drop their appeal, and find a compromise with a much smaller plan.
The new design still includes a workshop and a visitor centre, but the two building will be the same length, have a more Victorian look and be symmetrical in size.
Mr Bowen, a retired maritime consultant from Chelmondiston, explained the development was designed to reflect the maritime heritage of the area and the history of the pier.
Nearly 50 shareholders attended the AGM with concerns raised about rum sales, poor communication, failure to respond to emails and future funding.
The board were also asked by shareholders, including Mr Bowen, to drop their appeal against Babergh District Council Planning Committee's a decision to refuse an application and instead focus on putting in this fresh application.
Mr Bowen told the meeting: "Carrying on with the appeal is a lose, lose situation. You will have egg on your faces if you lose, and even if you win, you will not carry the support of shareholders and other stakeholders."
Members of the board have already held initial discussions with Babergh planners to discuss the new application, but have not yet formally lodged the plans for consideration.
Planning rules mean there would not be change by Babergh for making the fresh application, while carrying on with the appeal would have a cost implication to the council tax payer.
Babergh councillor Derek Davis from Shotley, said he was supportive of the new plans, and while he would have preferred something even smaller, he felt this was a good compromise.
Benefit Society chairman John Davitt asked for a show of hands towards the end of the meeting asking who supported the new plans, and there was universal approval.
Only one person supported the original application, Cllr Peter Patrick from Polstead, who also said all those that signed the the #protectourpier petition, should be ignored.
A balance sheet showing the Benefit Society's profit and loss was discussed and the bottom line net assets were listed as £1,680.
All the current directors were reelected without opposition, with one new directer Mike Chambers, joining the board. Mr Chambers is a consultant to the payments industry.
Knock Back for Caravan Park
Tuesday, November 13, 18.00
Plans to create a 40 caravan mobile home site have suffered a set back after a certificate for lawful development was refused.
Babergh District Council ruled an application by an agent on behalf of owner Dan Brownhill, for a Lawful Development Certificate for Proposed Use or Development for the siting of 13 twin unit caravans for permanent residential occupation at Shotley Caravan Park Gate Farm Road Shotley, should not be granted.
The site already has permission to house three residential mobile homes and ten seasonal mobile caravans. which should not be used for all year round use.
The refusal was based on legal advice which stated: "...The stationing of caravans for residential use would result in material change in the definable character of the use of the land.
"This is due to the impact of permanent residential occupation of the site and its surroundings and the resulting likelihood to develop the plots to facilitate day-day living."
One neighbouring resident who asked not to be named said: "This is brilliant news. Hopefully it will be the end of it but we have deep concerns about what has been going on ever since it was sold at auction, and then re-sold.
"The disruption with construction vehicles constantly going through a narrow cut-de-sac has been dreadful, never mind other activities which have caused many of us great concern."
District councillor Derek Davis, ward member for Berners, which includes Shotley, said: "The site was never meant to be used as a permanent residential site, in fact, there has been opposite for years for it to be used as a holiday area.
"The decision to judge the application as not lawful and refuse the Certificate for Development is right and proper for many reasons.
"The adverse impact on nearby residents is not acceptable and the site itself is in a prominent part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which should be preserved.
"As the ward member I have made no secret that I'm against further development of this site, in any form, and fully supportive of the community which is against it."
Applicant Mr Brownhill is understood to be an accountant of Countrywide Park Homes, which recently marketed Shotley Country Park as a residential park home, but the web page has now been removed.
In April the company announced: "This addition to the Countrywide Park Homes family further reinforces our commitment to developing luxury parks in some of the most picturesque and scenic locations across the country.
"As with all our parks, the business will make the necessary investment to ensure Shotley becomes the first choice for people who are looking to enjoy a premium park home living experience."
According to Companies House, Shotley Country Park Ltd was formed in March, 2019, and was previously known as Symondstone Farms Ltd.
The company is based in Nottingham with Anthony Barney and Dannielle Barney named as its two directors.
The 8.5 acre site was sold at auction for approximately £270,000 at auction in 2015, and then sold again for an unknown amount earlier this year.
Other applications for lawful certificates have also been made by previous owners, with the latest for 18 caravans refused last May.
It is possible for the owners to still apply for planning permission, or make another application for a Certificate for Lawful use or development, but this decision would count against them.
The agent which made the application on behalf of the owner, was invited to comment but has so far declined to do so.
Emotional Night For Suffolk Stars
Friday, November 9, 08.00
There was not a dry eye at Trinity Park as four of the peninsula's finest were honoured at the Stars of Suffolk last night.
Six-year-old Preston Parker, Jane Gould, Alan Nunn and Shotley Open Spaces were all runners up as all the finalists were presented with prizes.
Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne presented Preston with a Blues kit, with Parker 7 on the back of the shirt, and tickets for all the family to go and watch Paul Lambert's side play against Wigan, along with his trophy.
Preston was nominated as Young Person of The Year for voluntarily litter picking down at Shotley Gate, and leading the parish's Beach Clean.
He was pipped by Daniel Jillings, who is profoundly deaf, and has successfully battled to introduce a British Sign Language GCSE.
Jane, Alan and SOS, were all given a bottle of Prosecco, to go with their especially inscribed individual trophies.
Jane was shortlisted in the Community Champion category after being nominated by Cllr Derek Davis, who collected Jane's award on her behalf as she was singing in her community choir and did not want to let anyone down.
Jane was shortlisted for being a compassionate and indispensable member of the Shotley Peninsula community.
She has raised thousands for St Michael’s Church in Woolverstone with her innovative ideas. The Monthly Market has become a must visit, with a fabulous friendly atmosphere.
Jane also introduced the Death café, an incredible initiative allowing people to talk openly about a very difficult subject. Jane has organised art exhibitions, including a unique sculpture display.
Number one spot went to Sue Willgoss, who has fought to bring about change for those with special education needs, disability and mental health difficulties.
SOS and Alan Nunn were in the Keeping Suffolk Special category and came behind David Goodlad, who is ‘community personified’ in the village of Rattlesden.
SOS was chosen for its volunteers' working tirelessly to keep a numbers of walking trails, tracks and pathways used by young mums with buggies, disabled vehicles and others, clear by cutting back brambles and other overgrowth. SOS also established the first accredited Walkers Are Welcome area in Suffolk, and have helped other groups to do so in their village. They raise funds through an annual calendar highlighting other community ventures.
Alan has been running the Chelmondiston Recycling Centre for a number of years, totally free of charge. He dedicates all his Saturday, Bank Holiday Mondays and Wednesday mornings in an effort to keep the facility open, since its closure by the local authority. Alan sorts through all the waste, recycles as much of it as possible and keeps costs very low.
The Overall Stars of Suffolk winners, organised by Parker Communications, in conjunction with the EADT, were the staff at Barking Pre-School who saved the life of three-year-old Annabel Brightwell, who collapsed suddenly while dancing after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Pre-school team members Shelley Symonds, Ness Hall, Zoe Corbett, Lucy Glendinning and Elsah Thorpe showed no hesitation, performing CPR on the youngster for 20 minutes until paramedics arrived. Annabel was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and placed in an induced coma, spending six days in intensive care.
She was later diagnosed with a rare genetic heart condition, which had been unknown to her parents.She is now on medication, but aside from that is living the life of a normal three-year-old. Annabel’s mum Rebecca said the pre-school’s quick actions undoubtedly saved Annabel’s life. Shelley, in particular, was praised for her rapid response.
Annabel went on stage in a tear-jerking moment to personally thank her heroines, on what was her fourth birthday.
Pickle Night At the Rose
Monday, November 5, 18.00
Fittingly for a pub steeped in naval history, the Shotley Rose is holding another of its popular ‘Pickle Nights’.
Organised by Shaun Sams, a serving Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer, the evening celebrates the journey from the Battle of Trafalgar to Falmouth of HMS Pickle and then the arrival in London of Lieutenant John Lapenotiere to announce news of the victory over the French and Spanish fleet but also the loss of Admiral Lord Nelson.
HMS Pickle was one of the quickest ships in the Navy and chosen to carry the message from Admiral Sir Cuthbert Collingwood’s immortal despatch to their Lordships of the Admiralty, which started with the words that ‘the ever to be lamented death of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, who, in the late conflict with the enemy, fell in the hour of victory, leaves to me the duty of informing my Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty of a victory … I have only to lament in common with the British Navy, and the British Nation, in the fall of the Commander in Chief, the loss of a Hero, whose name will be immortal, and his memory ever dear to his country’.
The Pickle’s skipper Lieutenant Lapenotiere, the great-grandson of a Huguenot immigrant, had raced under sail over 1,000 miles of ocean and ridden hard in a post-chaise for nearly 300 miles across a wintery landscape to arrive in a foggy London at one o’clock on the morning of November 6. Bursting into the Admiralty Board room, Lapenotiere found William Marsden, the Secretary of the Admiralty, holding a candle aloft and about to retire to bed. Lapenotiere, who had had nearly two weeks to think about what he would say as he handed over Collingwood’s despatch, paraphrased his admiral’s words, crying out: ‘Sir, we have won a great victory, but we have lost Lord Nelson!’
While the Royal Navy celebrates Trafalgar Day on October 21, ‘Pickle Night’ is also a traditional lower decks celebration where the three course meal is served in one bowl, to be used throughout, with bread to mop clean the bowl ahead of dessert.
Refreshments are imbibe as various crew, or in the Rose’s case volunteers, read out passages relating to HMS Pickle’s journey and the relevance of the historic occasion made clear.
There will also be singing from a Sea Shanty crew, and old sailors dressed in appropriate costume.
Booking is essential, and a few tickets at £15 each, are available. Call Sarah on 787237 now to avoid disappointment.
Stars Of Suffolk Champions Shortlisted
Sunday, November 4, 07.00
Community volunteers from Shotley, Chelmondiston and Woolverstone have been shortlisted for the Stars of Suffolk awards.
Shotley Open Spaces (SOS), Preston Parker, Alan Nunn and Jane Gould, are among the finalists for the community awards, which will be held at Trinity Park on Thursday, November 8, hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy.
Jane Gould (pictured right with fellow volunteer Beryl Walker) has been hailed as a tireless volunteer, spearheading the good work done at Woolverstone church with markets, exhibitions and other community events, including the Death Cafe initiative.
Volunteers from SOS spend hours cutting, streaming and clearing overgrown areas around the village ensuring people with buggies, young children and the less abled can navigate paths and tracks without being attacked by brambles and overgrowth.
The group is also responsible for health walks, formed Suffolk's first Walkers Are Welcome accredited group and have helped the local tourism economy grew, while looking out for locals too.
Both were nominated by district councillor Derek Davis who said: "Far too often the excellent work these wonderful people do is overlooked, or not recognised.
"More often than not they are happy to get on with it without a fuss, but I believe it doesn't hurt that all our volunteers and community champions should be recognised.
"The fact that so many people from the peninsula reached the finals highlights what a wonderful area we live and reflects on our fabulous community spirit."
Preston Parker was nominated as Young Person of the Year after taking it upon himself to complete litter picks on Shotley foreshore.
Alan Nunn is being recognised for his unstinting work helping at the recycling tip and Chelmondiston, and was also nominated by the parish council.
The Suffolk awards follow on from the Stars of Babergh last month when Shotley postmaster Manish Patel, and village stalwart Norman Bugg were winners of their respective community categories, Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbours and Hollingsworths were runners up.
Full report from Stars of Suffolk here on Friday...
Pop Group's Pier Petition Passes 250 Mark
Monday, October 29, 07.00
A pop group's petition calling on directors of a Benefit Society to drop their appeal to build a commercial development straddling Bristol pier in Shotley has attracted more than 250 signatories.
Created by Protect Our Pier (POP) group the petition on Changes.Org has called on the directors of Shotley Community Heritage Benefit Society Ltd to drop their appeal against Babergh District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a large-scale commercial development to build café, seating for 84 people, a workshop, offices and a visitor centre, on Shotley’s Victorian pier, and instead put in a new, smaller planning application designed to protect the future of our pier and focus on just restoring the pier, with small kiosks on the end to generate funds for the renovated pier’s maintenance and secure future.
Babergh district councillor Derek Davis is backing the petition and supported an offer by objectors to meet with the directors and find a compromise. It is understood an alternative proposal has been put to the Benefit Society but they are still pressing ahead with the appeal.
"It was hoped the directors would listen and understand the resistance to their scheme, which many people clearly regard as being far too large and out of keeping with our Victorian pier," said Cllr Davis. "Even if the Benefit Society wins its appeal, it will not change the fact that so many people, including shareholders reman against the commercial over-development.
"It will be a community project without the support of large section of the community.
"Many people want to see the pier restored, but not in the way these directors are trying to force through."
The group of objectors, which includes many shareholders, claim the original intention of restoring the pier was so that generations to come could gently stroll down the pier enjoy the unspoilt view down the river Stour, with benches and Victorian style lighting, with angling off the far end.
Restoring the pier with a couple of kiosks, would require far less funding than the £3million estimated for the large scale commercial development, which would obliterate a treasured view inside therecenly proposed AONB extension. The cafe etc would be in direct competition to local businesses, and also create car parking issues, and the harm would substantially outweigh whatever benefit claimed.
Peninsula Remembers 100 Years On
Every Remembrance Day is poignant but this year the Royal British Legion will commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One with a series of special events.
Many parishes on the peninsula will mark the 1918 Armistice on both the 11th hour of the 11th day in November, and also at cemeteries across the county on November 8 with a unique commemoration organised by Suffolk Remembers 100.
Every one of the churchyards, including the Commonwealth War Graves at Shotley, with a grave from someone from the 1914-1918 Great War will be visited and marked at 11am on Thurday, November 8.
Children from schools at Woolverstone, Holbrook, Stutton, Shotley and Chelmondiston will show respect as commemoration markers are placed on the graves, which are part of 1,332 graves in 248 Suffolk cemeteries.
There will be a special service at Holbrook on Friday, November 9 at All Saints' church when the Holbrook Society will be holding an evening of Remembrance from 7pm.
Vivo choir and pupils from Holbrook Academy will be there as the society looks at what the war meant for Holbrook using records researched by the society, including Samantha Lanier, (pictured right) while refreshments with a WW1 theme, will be available.
Then on Sunday, November 11, a special concert will be held at Shotley Village Hall in the afternoon, organised by Shotley and Chelmondiston British Legion chairman Brian Ives along with the two parish councils.
Featuring the Suffolk Concert Band and the Brigade's Drums and Bugles starting at 2pm. This will be followed by a Sunset Ceremony.
Poppies created by volunteers will also be displayed from November 5 for at least two weeks within Quay Place. The display will form the back drop of a variety of events. A display of information unearthed on the stories of the 22 men and a service of dedication from the Bishop in the evening. Thursday, November 8 there is a music and poetry evening featuring Royal Hospital School.
Kidzone Shelter Built After SOS Call
Saturday, October 27, 13.00
Youngsters at Shotley Kidzone have a new sheltered area to escape wet weather after members of Shotley Open Spaces (SOS) built a Pagoda-type hut.
SOS answered a call for help after the materials were sourced by Kidzone supporter Peter Sago but his work commitments as a paramedic meant a work force was needed to complete the project.
Gary Richens, Geraint Pugh and Casper De Boer, hammered out a good result, without doing too much damage to themselves or the Pagoda.
Mr Pugh, SOS' honourable secretary, said: "Kidzone really needed this doing and we heard they needed some help and we were happy to oblige.
"It will give somewhere for the children to go when it's wet and it could also be useful for fundraising parties or staff BBQs.
"Many thanks to Pete Sago for doing the ground work and sourcing the raw materials."
Shotley Kidzone looks too provide stimulating play experience for pre-school youngsters by getting them to explore , investigate and learn by a range of indoor and outdoor activities..
*Shotley Open Spaces are among a number of peninsula community volunteers that have been shortlisted for the Stars of Suffolk awards ceremony. More details to follow.
Post Office Hit By Burglars
Thursday, October 25, 08.00
Shotley Post Office was among four stores raided by burglars last night.
Cigarettes were among items stolen from the shop at Kingsland owned by Manish Patel.
Police were also called to shops in Reydon, Great Blakenham and Grundisburgh – all of which are believed to be linked – between midnight and 4.30am on Thursday morning.
Neighbours of the shop in Shotley raised the alarm after hearing banging just after 01.30 and frightened away the raiders. Nobody was injured in any of the raids and no arrests have yet been made.
Suffolk Constabulary are appealing to anyone who may have information to assist the investigation to contact them 101, quoting crime reference number 37/61630/18.
The raids come as the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) urged the Government to take action in the wake of a new report from the Home Affairs Committee, which showed crimes including robbery and theft have been increasing sharply.
The report, entitled ‘Policing for the Future’ reveals that recorded crimes have risen by 32% in the last three years, while the number of charges/summons has decreased by 26%.
Meanwhile, neighbourhood policing has been cut by over 20% since 2010.
Research conducted by ACS earlier this year shows that 82% of retailers are concerned about the consistency of the response from police, with 73% dissatisfied with the time taken for the police to respond to incidents.
Mr Patel was a winner in the Business in the Community category at the Stars of Babergh awards last week, after being nominated for the charitable work he and his staff are involved with.
The Patels organised an Indian meal night to raise funds towards the village hall car park, supply selection boxes for pupils at Shotley primary school, and organised home deliveries during the Beast from the East earlier this year.
Shotley Stars Scoop Community Awards
Friday, October 19, 07.00
Volunteers and community minded business people from the Shotley peninsula enjoyed success at the Stars of Babergh awards
night at St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh.
Manish Patel won the Business in the Community award for his family store’s involvement in so many local events.
Mr and Mrs Patel hosted an Indian themed evening with great food with all the money raised going towards the refurbishment of the car park
Every year they donate selection boxes to the pupils at Shotley school and are constant givers of raffle prizes.
Norman Bugg was named the district's Community Champion, after the work he does with a wide range of groups, including the Over-60s club, St Mary’s Church, the Village Hall Committee, a long term stalwart of Shotley who is known and admired by many.
Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbours' Scheme , that has been even more important to isolated people since the 98 bus service was drastically cut. They look after people and ensure they get to appointments at either surgery, and Ipswich hospital and were runners up after being shortlisted in the Community Spirit category,
(All the Shotley finalists are pictured above: From left to right - Back row - Steve Molyneux, Allana Baxter, Derek Davis, Norman Bugg, Manish Pate. Front row: Rosa McCulloch, Eileen Bugg. Picture by Lucy Taylor Photography)
Stutton Community Shop, nominated by Alastair McCraw were honoured with the Community Group of the Year award.
Carly and James Welham of Hollingsworth’s Store & Butchers in Chelmondiston were shortlisted finalist in the Business Growth section, after successfully re-oping the shop.
Derek Davis, Babergh District Councillor, who nominations included all three Shotley finalists was delighted at the success of all the peninsula groups and individuals.
Cllr Davis said: “It is a great night for the Shotley Peninsula at the Stars of Babergh District Council awards night at the beautiful Hadleigh church.
“It was humbling to hear the stories of so many wonderful people doing fabulous things for their community.
“Norman, Manish and the Good Neighbours epitomise everything that is good about living in this fantastic village.”
BBC Radio Suffolk’s Stephen Foster compered the evening, which flowed very smoothly.
List of Babergh winners and finalists:
Community Champion of the Year Award – Babergh
Winner: Norman Bugg, community volunteer
Finalist: Janet Dicks, Hollywood, Ansell Centre Hadleigh
Business in the Community Award - Babergh
Winner: Manish Patel, Shotley Stores
Winner: Mukunthan Thurairajah (Muku)
Community Spirit of the Year Award - Babergh
Winner: Joes Golf & Activity Park
Finalist: Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbour Scheme
Business Growth Award - Babergh
Winner: Suffolk Market Events
Finalist: Hollingsworths Store & Butchers, Chelmondiston
Finalist: Stour Sort & Sparkle
Community Group of the Year Award - Babergh
Winner: Stutton Community Shop CIC
Finalist: Ansell Memories Café
Best Community Achievement Award - Babergh
Winner: Team Together Tuesday
Finalist: Kernos Centre (KERNOS)
Community Project of the Year Award - Babergh
Winner: Lavenham Community Land Trust
Finalist: Diane Chase & Audrey Lorford, producers of ‘Hintlesham & Chattisham, the story of two Suffolk villages’
Sporting Achievement of the Year Award - Babergh
Winner: Sudbury Cricket Club
Finalist: Kelly Mires, Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics
Volunteer of the Year - Babergh
Winner: Will Hunt, Cornard Dynamos
Finalist: Jane Snowdon, community volunteer
Special Recognition - Babergh
Winner: Caroll Reeve, Lavenham community volunteer