Lone Pupil Refused Bus Pass Amid School Transport Debacle
Thursday, September 5, 1000
An 11-year boy's first day at secondary school was marred when he was the only pupil from Tattingstone to be refused a bus pass after Suffolk County Council would not recognise a long-standing footpath.
James Moore, (pictured right) has started school at Holbrook Academy along with all his friends he went to Tattingstone primary school with, but SCC insist his nearest school is East Bergholt, therefore not allowed a bus pass to Holbrook.
His mother Amanda Moore appealed the decision pointing out the eight-metre path, marked as a Suffolk County Council bridleway, goes straight to the school gates making it nearer to their Tattingstone home than East Bergholt. In a letter to Mrs Moore, SCC transport managers accepted the path does exist but as it belongs to Anglian Water, is not a public rights of way, therefore can not be included in their measurements.
Mrs Moore has been left frustrated and angry by SCC, and her son bewildered and upset seeing children from across his street being allowed on the school bus, while he is not allowed to board. James is the only child in Tattingstone who hasn't been issued with a bus pass. James has attended Tattingstone Primary School for the past seven years along with his school comrades; all of which have been issued with Holbrook Academy bus passes, except him.
Mrs Moore said: "It is all very pathetic, when buses to both Holbrook Academy and East Bergholt park next to each other at the same place opposite my house.They will allow my son on the East Bergholt bus, but not the Holbrook Academy bus. Holbrook Academy is our catchment school...where all his friends are going, other children in the same village and where his brother went.
"We are talking about an 8 metre path. As a result, I'm now contributing to vehicle congestion and pollution around Holbrook Academy school twice a day; plus having to have a conversation with my work about potentially having to reduce my working hours and take a salary cut."
"James is the only child in Tattingstone who hasn't been issued with a bus pass. James has attended Tattingstone Primary School for the last seven years along with his school comrades; all of which have been issued with Holbrook Academy bus passes, except him.
SCC confirmed it had investigated Mrs Moore's complaint and remeasured the route, not including the path it has signposted, and found East Bergholt High School was 3.61 miles for her home, and Holbrook High School - 3.88 miles
The council has offered to look into the possibility of James being allowed spare seat place but the family will not know the outcome of that until October.
Jane Gould, Orwell ward Babergh district councillor, and county councillor David Wood have been trying to help Mrs Moore and other affected by school transport problems.
"The problem is the policy, other than the officers implementing it," said Cllr Gould. "There needs to be a better system to ensure this sort of thing, which unfortunately is all too common, does not keep happening."
James plights comes amid a shambolic return to school for thousands of schoolchildren cross the county. Parents, pupils and teachers, including those at Holbrook Academy, reported incidents, where some buses were oversubscribed, drivers refused to take over-crowded busses away from the school, teachers had to take students home in the school's mini-bus and thousands of passes were not issued.
A Suffolk County Council statement read: "As of Tuesday 3 September, 152 spare seat applications that were received on time are still awaiting an outcome. This is because the council is unable to process these applications until applications from entitled students have been processed, GCSE results also have a significant baring on the allocation of spare seats.
There are 530 outstanding late applications for school travel, 185 of these were received between 27 August – 31 August coming in three months after the deadline of 31 May. Out of the 530 outstanding late applications 168 have requested a spare seat.
The total number of applications received by the county council this year is 10,288 (including the latest applications received last week).
Gordon Jones Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: “I understand this is a frustrating time for families who are waiting to hear the outcome of their spare seat application. Can I please reiterate that every child whose application was received on time and who is entitled to SCC funded school travel has received confirmation of their application outcome.
“We do have a backlog of late applications which the team is currently working through and I would like to thank them all for their hard work and dedication. We have not reduced the capacity of available seats for this September so we hope that the spare seat applications can be met.
“I would like to ask parents to help us to make progress by not reapplying if you have already applied for school travel. I would also like to remind everyone that it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their child gets to school, if parents haven’t received the outcome of their application by the first day of term, they must make their own travel arrangements.”
“This is the first year of this new process. Lessons are being learnt all the time and we will be making adjustments and improvements to the process in preparation for future years.”
Yesterday the council issued 2,500 bus passes to pupils, taking the number of passes issued to a total of almost 8,000. As letters of confirmation continue to go out to parents to inform them of their eligibility, it is imperative that a suitable photo of their child is loaded onto the system before any pass can be issued. There are a high number of cases where a funded seat has been confirmed but no photo is currently on the system. No bus pass can be issued until this is in place. To add a photo, parents need to visit www.suffolkonboard.com/photo and follow the instructions on screen.
Anger As Car Smashed Into Pole And House
Tuesday, August 13, 12.15
Speeding drivers have been slammed after a woman and her two dogs were left homeless when her home was left structurally unsound by an alleged dangerous driver.
Residents were left shocked and angry after a BMW driver hit a telegraph pole, before skidding into a van parked in a driveway and damaging part of a house on the A137 last night.
Neighbours who heard an extremely loud noise told Peninsula News this was an accident waiting to happen, despite repeated warnings about speedster failing to slow down on the section of the road. Ironically, one victim of the crash is a member of the village's Speed Watch Team and was due to be on patrol tonight.
One, who asked not to identified, said: "The driver was going so fast he lost control and ploughed through neighbour's fence and into a white van, which was shoved violently into the side of the house. People just don't realise the carnage they can cause by their thoughtless, selfish and quite frankly, dangerous behaviour."
Fire crews, paramedics and police from Ipswich and Felixstowe went to the scene and helped free the trapped teenaged driver who was taken to hospital for checks, in a serious but not life-threatening condition.
The occupant of the house were not injured, but a structural report will be needed to assess the damage to the wooden framedbuilding, which cannot yet be occupied..
Diversions were set up, and power was lost to the village of Bentley. Crews from UKPN were praised for their swift actions a they worked through the night to replace the damaged pole and power lines, which witnesses were seen to be sparking in the aftermath of the incident.
The accident happened at Tattingstone Heath, where the section of the A137 is in a 30mph zone, and locals have expressed concern about walking along that section of the road until safety is improved.
Collins Skip Firm Boss Apologises To Neighbours After Suspected Arson Attack
Wednesday, July 31, 17.00
A skip hire company boss has written to nearby villagers after a suspected arson attack on their site left neighbours affected by acrid smoke and smell five days after the fire.
Suffolk fire service attended the smouldering fire on Collins Skip Hire and Waste Management land at Folly Farm off the A137 between Ipswich and Brantham, in the small hours of Friday, July 26, but did not utilise any of its equipment, opting instead to allow the fire to burn itself out. The alarm was raised just after 11pm on the Thursday night after flames were seen by the firm's CCTV security cameras.
Nearby homes and businesses in Tattingtone, including a garden & aquatics centre, CAMRA pub of the year the Wheatsheaf, and parts of Alton water park, were badly affected by the resulting smoke, blown towards them overnight and in the days that followed, while residents complained about the smell and were forced to close windows, despite the high temperatures.
Billy Holland, managing director of the Ipswich branch of Collins, personally wrote to Tattingstone residents apologising for the inconvenience and explaining what had happened. He could not rule out arson and said in the letter: "...We are unsure of the cause but we have not ruled out malicious activity, lightning or extreme daytime temperatures endured that day..."
The firm plan to move the ash and review security arrangements and procedures to try and avoid any repeat of the issues.
Suffolk police are investigating the fire and a spokesman told Peninsula News: "Police were notified by the Fire Service shortly before 4am on Friday 26 July of a suspected arson at a waste management site in Tattingstone. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Incident and Crime Management Hub quoting CAD 49 of 26 July."
Email – ICMH@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
Crimestoppers – Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org. Phone – Call 101
Suffolk Pub Finds Clever Way To Counter Canaries' Cheeky Beer Jibe
Tuesday, May 20, 18.00
A popular ale with a cheeky Canaries connection is being sold in an award-winning Suffolk pub, using a cunning disguise to keep locals happy.
The Wheatsheaf in Tattingstone, famed for its continuously changing real ales, wanted to stock the Green Jack beer brewed by a Lowestoft brewer, who they use on a regular basis, but knew the Canary Premier name could be off putting to locals.
So they came up an ingenious way of rebranding the beer and not only called it Budgie Green Jack, but changed the beer pump sign.
Landlady Anna Durance, who runs Ipswich and East Suffolk's Camra's top-rated boozer with husband Kevin, said: "It's a good beer but we have to try and keep all our regulars happy, and they are in the main Ipswich supporters. If we do get a N**wch fan in, then we can change the sign around. The main thing is, as a community pub everyone can have fun, engage in a bit of bater and enjoy a great pint in good company."
The Wheatsheaf is renowned for its beers and ciders, using breweries from as close to Tattingstone as possible, including across the border in Essex and Norfolk.
Smiles All Round As Customers Cheque Out Wheatsheaf's Livability Charity Success
Monday, May 13, 18.00
The CAMARA award winning Wheatsheaf pub in Tattingstone was filled with sound of laughter and smiling faces after the culmination of the pub's year long fundraising events for Livability Icanho during 2018.
Members of the committee along with regulars to the popular pub, gathered for the official handover of the cheque for an amazing £10,427.84. Those attending were delighted to hear from the visibly emotional Icanho Head Physiotherapist, Sesa Ishaya, that the Dynamic Body Weight Support System is due to be installed at the Stowmarket site during the summer. The installation will make Suffolk the only place in the UK to have the equipment for use with patients with brain injury.
Rosemary Gravell from Livability Icanho said: “All of us at Livability Icanho have been overwhelmed by the fundraising efforts undertaken at the Wheatsheaf Pub, Tattingstone, over the past year, that have resulted in this incredible donation to our service. Icanho provides specialist rehabilitation to Suffolk residents who have had brain injuries, including stroke, and thanks to this generous cheque, we have reached our target to purchase some exciting new equipment.
"The Wheatsheaf is the local of our head Physiotherapist, Sesa Ishaya, who has led the fund-raising, and deserves special recognition for her dedication to improving the service we can offer. Thank-you Wheatsheaf!”
Members of the team from Livability Icanho surprised the Charity Committee with a paper mâché cast of a chest, complete with fairy lights and a vase of flowers inside, to be auctioned off. The proceeds from the unusual gift will be added to the funds raised for the nominated charity for 2019 - The Blossom Appeal.
The Charity Committee, along with the pub landlords, Anna Durance and Kev Jackson, have lots more exciting fundraising events planned for 2019. The next is the Blossom Bike Ride on Monday 27 May. The `pink bike ride` will see riders donning pink items of clothing of their own choice, cycling to various pubs around the area.
Anyone wanting to join in can find more details on the Wheatsheaf Events Facebook page including news about The Beetroot, Beer and Blues Festival 21-23 June.
By Aravanta Collins
Wheatsheaf events link:
Wheatsheaf pub: Anna Durance – 01473 805470
Picture: From Left to right holding cheque – Sesa Ishaya (head Physiotherapist), Julie O’Brien, Anna Durance (Owner of Wheatsheaf). Rosmary Gravell (Service Manager at Icanho), and patrons of the Wheatsheaf
Wheatsheaf Scoops Pub of the Year Title - Again
Sunday, March 17, 17.00
The Tattingstone Wheatsheaf has been named Camra pub of the year for the second year running.
Owned and run as an independent pub free of ties by Kevin and Anna Durance, the Wheatsheaf held off stiff competition to scoop the Ipswich and East Suffolk area’s accolade and go into the final againstthe, Stanford Arms, Lowestoft and the Rose & Crown, Bury St. Edmunds for the best in Suffolk award.
Last year the Wheatsheaf finished runners up and Anna and Kev (pictured right) are looking to go one better for the 2019 award.
The Wheatsheaf has gained a reputation for the quality and selection of its real ales, ciders and gins, along with excellent home-cooked food, comfortable surroundings and atmosphere, and it fund-raising success.
However, landlady Anna was quick to highlight the main ingredient in the pub’s success.
She said: “We couldn't have done it without our wonderful customers... our friends.”
Situated just off the A137, with the crossroads leading to Tattingstone village and Bentley on the other side, the Wheatsheaf is popular with walkers, cyclists and locals, as well as real ale buffs.
Current ales on offer include: an Oscar Wilde Mild, Yardsook Swanney and a pale hoppy beer called White Rat, along with a Snails Bank Orchard Dry cider.
There is a definite card game theme to the next crop of ales with Bouilotte, Devilish Orange/Amarillo, Snip Snap Snoruma all from Blackjack brewery, along with Bishop Nick’s Dark Mild, East Street and Ridley’s Rite.
Last year the Wheatsheaf raised more than £10,000 for charity and already this year's chosen charity is the Blossom Appeal is benefitting from the efforts of many.
Headteacher's Appeal To Find Missing Husband
Thursday, January 24, 11.00
A Tattingstone headteacher has appealed for help to find her husband who went missing nearly six weeks ago.
Beverley Derrett, who is the head at Tattingstone Primary School, posted video on social media showing her four children, aged between nine and 18 making an appeal for Andrew (also known as Andy) Derrett to get in touch.
Mrs Derrett said she had no idea where her husband could be or what might have triggered his disappearance.
She told the media: “It has come as a complete surprise. He hasn’t taken anything with him.”
The Freightliner employee, who has worked as a train driver for more than 30 years, was reported missing on Tuesday, December 11 at 11.55am.
Mr Derrett (pictured right) was reported as missing to police on Tuesday, December 11.
The 51-year-old was last seen at his work address in Wembley, London earlier the same day and has not been seen since.
He is described as white, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, of heavy build, with shoulder length dark hair and facial stubble. Andrew has tattoos on both arms including the name ‘Beverley’, a dagger and a love heart. He was last seen wearing black jeans, a short, dark coloured coat and possibly black boots.
Enquiries are on-going to locate Andrew and anyone who has seen him, knows of his whereabouts or has seen a male matching the description given should contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101.
Tattingstone Speedsters Figures Revealed
Sunday, August 26, 09.00
Nearly 100 drivers have been caught speeding through Tattingstone since July 1.
More than 200 people have been caught breaking the speed limit on the peninsula in the past six weeks, according to figures released by Suffolk's Safety Camera Team.
254 drivers were captured on film driving at excessive speed in just four of the peninsula's villages, since July 1 2018.
Tattingstone was the next highest behind Brantham with 89 offenders, with one driver caught doing 52mph in the 30mph limit.
Late last month a drink driver, thought to be driving too fast, demolished a bus shelter in the village.
Speeding motorists were snapped by enforcement cameras on the B1456 at Woolverstone, the A137 between Brantham and Tattingstone, and the B1080 at Sutton.
Brantham tops the peninsula table, and also the in the Hadleigh and west Ipswich safer neighbourhood team's area, with 136 offenders.
These figures do not include those compiled by community speed watch volunteers, operating in a number of villages or mobile police cars.
The Safety Camera Team operates a number of mobile enforcement vehicles, which are deployed across Suffolk.
Proactive speed enforcement only takes place in Suffolk at locations where there is an on-going risk of collisions, where a number of fatal or serious injury road traffic collisions have occurred or where there have been substantiated complaints from local people.
Locations where proactive speed enforcement takes place are reviewed regularly by senior officers.
Excess speed for the conditions, or the limit, is one of the main reasons for accidental deaths and injuries on our roads. Speed limits are there to protect road users warning them of the dangers of the road and if caught speeding you could instantly face a minimum of a £100 penalty and three points on your licence or attend court.
Suffolk has four operational fixed camera sites, including the Orwell Bridge where more than 500 drivers were caught exceeding the 60mph average speed limit in both directions in June 2018 alone.
Woman Arrested After Crashing Through Bus Shelter
Monday, July 30, 16.30
One woman was arrested and another taken to hospital after a car failed to stop at a junction in Tattingstone and careered through a bus shelter.
A black Mercedes virtually destroyed the wooden shelter next to the White Horse pub in Tattingstone, a little after midnight on Monday morning.
Both occupants of the vehicle escaped without serious injury and initial fears on someone being trapped were unfounded.
A police spokesman today confirmed that the driver was arrested at the scene after allegedly failing a breath test, while the passenger suffered minor injuries and needed medical treatment.
Tatingstone Parish clerk Jane Connell-Smith confirmed the council's insurance company has already been informed and quotes are being sought to replace the badly damaged shelter.
Alastair McCraw Babergh District councilor for Alton Ward added: “Whatever the circumstances, and they seem ludicrous, there will be strenuous efforts to restore the Bus Shelter as soon as possible.”
AONB Vote To Stick With Wood For Chair
Friday, July 6, 07.00
County councillor David Wood has been reelected as chairman of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Cllr Wood, who is also Tattingstone parish council chairman, has vowed to continue leading the move to extend the AONB boundary across most of the Shotley peninsula and across the river Stour into Essex.
The Peninsula ward member for Suffolk County Council is also determined to carry on the work undertaken by his former vice chair Sue Allen, who recently passed away, to increase signage promoting the AONB from Southwold to Shotley.
“I have been working on extending the AONB for nearly 20 years now, so I’m determined to see it go through,” said Cllr Wood, (pictured right launching the Explorer Guide).
“Our national conference for the AONB is due to be held in Essex next year, so it would be the perfect time and place to celebrate if we are successful.”
A proposal has been put to Government to extend the AONB boundary following an extensive review with 126 responses during the consultation period, with the vast majority supporting the plans.
“Sue was passionate about promoting the AONB, in particular with better signage of our main roads, so it is only right we as a body work continue to achieve that.”
Cllr Wood was nominated by Babergh district councilor for the Holbrook ward David Rose, and seconded by fellow peninsula district councilor Derek Davis, who are both on the Joint Advisory Committee of the AONB for Suffolk Coast and Heaths.
Meanwhile, Alton ward district councilor Alastair McCraw has joined the JAC for the Dedham Vale section of the AONB.
* Each year the Stour & Orwell Estuaries Management Group holds a public forum, which is a popular event supported by the AONB. It is the Group's main opportunity to communicate its work to the public and to hear directly from local communities. Is well-attended by the Parish Councils around the estuaries and from further afield too. Lively discussions on key issues of the day are guaranteed.
This year’s Stour & Orwell Forum 2018 will be held on the morning of Tuesday 17th July, at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, Marine Rd, Woolverstone, IP9 1AT.
24-hour Petanque-a-thon Challenge for Livability
Thursday, June 7, 11.00
Two petanque players are hoping to boule locals over as they take on a marathon 24-hour challenge.
Airavata Carroll (pictured right practising) and pal Sesa are taking on all-comers at the Wheatsheaf in Tattingstone in their petanque-a-thon as they look to raise funds to buy vital equipment for the Livability Icanho charity.
Challengers can buy a half-hour game for £5, and can play more than one slot.
The rivalry between Brit Airavata and American Sesa is fierce and both national anthems will be played at 17.45 on Friday (June 8) before they start pitching their boules.
The competitors will also be treated to live music from the Quay Street Whalers, inside the pub, and when they finish at 11pm the petanque keeps on going through the night.
Early morning music will keep the crowd entertained, with a bacon and egg sandwich breakfast starting at 9am in the garden.
Colleen Williams performs live in the garden from 14.00, followed by Richard Hinchcliffe, Brooke Telling, Oliver Fox & William, with the music winding up in time for Sesa and Airavata’s pentanque-a-thon finale. (pictured left)
The fun will continue into the evening with more live music and a hog roast, with the Duke Silver Experience headlining.
Campers and caravaners are welcome to pitch up in the field alongside the Wheatsheaf pub.
* Every year the Wheatsheaf’s Charity Committee nominate a charity and for 2018 it is Icanho, the Suffolk Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Stowmarket.
They aim to raise £25,000 to purchase a new piece of equipment called the 'Bioness Vector System' designed to aid mobility and deliver even better rehabilitation.
Four New Homes Approved At Heath
Thursday, May 31, 10.00
Permission has been granted to build four new homes at Tattingstone Heath.
Approval was given by Babergh's planners after ward councillor Alastair McCraw called the application to committee for consideration after concerns were raised locally about the exit on to the road, design and overdevelopment.
However, the committee unanimously decided the two- detached and two semi-detached homes should get the go-ahead after hearing from the applicants agent, Roger Balmer.
Meanwhile, an application to build 30 houses in Holbrook was withdrawn.
Tattngstone PC, was among the villages objecting to the proposal.
Further afield, an outline application for 100 new homes in Capel St Mary from Persimmon Homes was granted permission.
Babergh's planning committee were told Suffolk County Council Highways raised no objections to the application at Little Tufts, despite neighbours pointing out existing traffic issues, limited access and safety concerns.
District councillors Sue Carpendale and Fenella Swan joined Capel St Mary Parish Council and objectors in speaking out against the development, citing a number of reasons.
These including the access issue, infrastructure problems, more suitable sites coming forward and recent applications, which had already been passed. Building on high grade agricultural land, concerns over health care facilities being at full capacity and impact on residential amenities, were all put forward.
The committee were reminded Babergh does not have an adequate five-year land supply and that was a material consideration, along with the national policy of a a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
A vote of 8-6 in favour left a lady sobbing in anguish at the conclusion of the debate and she had to be comforted by friends and ward councillors.
Approval is subject to securing an S106 planning obligation securing 35% affordable homes, management and maintenance of public open spaces, and a contribution to the Stour and Orwell Recreational Amenities (RAMS).
Members of the public and the Press were excluded before the hearing took place, while members were given legal advice.
The planning committee had previously refused an application at the same site for 150 homes, and that is currently being appealed.
Meanwhile, an application to convert a barn to a wedding and events venue in Glemsford was refused, on grounds of noise pollution leading to a loss of amenity.
Plea For New Parish Councillor
Tattingstone parish council is looking to fill a vacancy in time for their next meeting on Monday, May 14.
Clerk Jane Connell-Smith has issued the plea for people to come forward and be co-opted onto the parish council. Interested parties should send her a little bit of background information and a brief summary of the skills and experience they could bring to help the village.
For more information contact the Parish Clerk.
Clerk to the Parish Council
31 Church Road
Homeless Project Is Donated Second Bus
Thursday, April 26. 07.00.
Tiffers the homeless project has been given a second bus to convert.
The double-decker arrived from Southend yesterday and will be renovated on land behind the CAMRA Pub of the YearWheatsheaf in Tattingstone.
Project leader Gareth Brenland will use lessons learned on the first Tiffers bus, which is currently located in Freston, to convert the bus into living accommodation for rough sleepers.
Guests from the first project will lend a hand, and learn new skills on creating a new temporary base for those in need.
Mr Brenland said: "The first project was a steep learning curve and we have learned valuable lessons. People questioned the need for a homeless bus, but we have seen there is a need.
"We are grateful to Kev and Anna for allowing us to park the bus behind the Wheatsheaf so we can work on her."
It is hoped that Tiffers Two will be utilised by Babergh District Council, although talks are in avery early stage.
The original Tiffers Ipswich project has already helped house guests, find employment, and help people with addiction problems, and PTSD, and give them security and a safe foundation to help rebuild their lives.
A Tiffers shop in Ipswich town centre helps with fund-raising and in providing clean, warn clothing for rough sleepers.
Pub To Change Hands
Tuesday, April 10, 07.00
Richard and Jackie are to leave the White Horse at the end of June.
Illness has forced the couple to call time on running the 200-year-old Tattingstone pub, which will be taken over by another couple on July 1.
After being closed for some time, the White Horse reopened under Richard Hynard and Jackie Dennis' direction and they made major improvements and changes, including opening up a dedicated drinking bar, and rejigging the restaurant area. They also made improvements to the living area upstairs.
The pub has been well-supported locally, with Sunday roasts proving exceptionally popular, with many fully booked notices going up.
Illness to the owners, and staff meant the White Horse was closed for much of January and landlord Richard Hynard has taken the decision to step down.
He said: "You are aware that we had to close the pub for periods earlier in the year as a result I'm acting on advice from the doctors and reducing the hours I work and acting in the best interest of the pub at the same time.
"I can confirm it is the intention for the pub to remain open and trading as normal with no disruption to trade and the handover occurring behind the scenes."
The White Horse recently backed Shotley peninsula news and Features.com's Paper Not Plastic campaign, with Jackie and barmaid Wish, (pictured left) promoting the scheme.
The peninsula is blessed with many pubs, with the Wheatsheaf at Tattingstone winning Ipswich and East Suffolk CAMRA Pub of the Year.
The Swan at Holbrook, being renovated and will soon reopen under the Calvors brand.
Meanwhile, The Freston Boot plans to reopen in May, after undergoing a major refit.
CAMRA Presentation To Pub Of The Year
Friday, March 30. 06.00
Customers at a packed out Wheatsheaf cheered as CAMRA presented owners Anna Durance and Kevin Jackson with two awards last night.
The Tattingstone ale house had already been named Rural Pub of the Year, before scooping the Ipswich and East Suffolk award as the area's overall Pub of the Year, beating the Fat Cat in Ipswich and Stowmarket's Royal William.
Kevin and Anna have completely transformed the Wheatsheaf since taking over six years ago, and made it the hub of the community, with its selection of real ales, ciders, lagers and wines, as well as tea/coffee and soft drinks, and good old fashioned home-cooked food.
The thing that stood out most for the judges was the pub's atmosphere, cosy decor, engagement with customers and the genuine family friendly feel.
Ipswich and East Suffolk chairman Gordon Taylor presented the awards and said: “We are fortunate in Suffolk to have so many wonderful pubs, with a large per cent free of tie from the big pub operators.
“The Wheatsheaf is an excellent example of what a pub in the hands of the right people can do.
“When Anna and Kevin took this over, it was a mess, a really decrepit pub, which would take a lot of work.
“What they have done has been amazing, and they have had a child as well.
“While the range and quality of the beer is important and they certainly do a good pint here, this award is about more than just good real ale.
“The Wheatsheaf has a fabulous atmosphere, it is a welcoming pub, day and night, making sure it has everything to make it a real family pub.
“Kevin and Anna have built up a fabulous community pub, with good old fashioned hard work, caring for their customers, and getting so many of the little things right.
“Our members and the committee have been here a few times now and they fully deserve the award as, not just Rural pub of the Year, but also our branch's’ pub of the year for Ipswich and East Suffolk.”
Anna thanked the CAMRA committee and added: "This is for you, the customers. You are the ones who have made us what we are and I want to thank all of you for supporting us here at the Wheatsheaf."
The Wheatsheaf now goes forward to the Suffolk Pub off the Year stage, where it takes on the Oakes Barn, Bury St Edmund, and the Hopton Vine and Shadingfield Fox.
The good news goes on for the Wheatsheaf, after planning permission was granted for an extension at the back of the pub.
New Play Area At Alton Water Open To All
June 1 06.00
A new £30,000 play area has been unveiled at Alton Water Park.
Swings, see-saw, climbing frame, monkey-hanging ropes, balancing beams, and sand pit, are all part of the impressive looking play equipment.
The play equipment is within a short distance from the newly reopened tea room, which is also under new management, and can be easily overseen from the garden.
Placed on the bank near the main entrance of the reservoir, the play area is open for all families to enjoy as part of a revamp of the Alton Water Park.
Built in time for, hopefully, the better weather, and a new season of events at Alton Water the play area came about after consultation with nearby parish councils and visitors to the park
As well as the refurbished tea room, the cycle hire facility is also under new management with the park taking it in house.
Alton Water Park is now also taking bookings for its camp site, which is nearing completion, and is due to open in June, and will run through until October.
There are 88 pitches at the new camping and caravan site will, which will have electric hook ups and a newly built shower and toilet block on site. Book here.
Wheatsheaf Moves To A New Level
Wednesday, March 21, 07.00
The Wheatsheaf at Tattingstone moved up a whole new level by after being named Pub of the Year for Ipswich and East Suffolk.
Suffolk CAMRA had already made the Wheatsheaf, ran by Anna Durance and Kev Jackson Rural pub of the Year but after beating the Fat cat in Ipsikwch and the Royal William at Stowmarket the popular peninsula pub scooped the higher accolade.
The Wheatsheaf has now moved forward to the final shortlist for Suffolk pub of the year, where they are up against the winners of the East Suffolk, Mid Anglia and West Suffolk Borders.
"We are really pleased the pub has been recognised in this way by CAMRA, members," said Mr Jackson. "It has as much to do with our customers as anything else. They appreciate the good beers we put on, and they help create the wonderful atmosphere which makes visiting the pub such a good experience."
A freehouse, the Wheatsheaf is renowned for its ever-changing supply of various craft ales from dark stouts to fruity and flavoursome ales, but with a variety of other beers, lagers, ciders and wine to cater for all.
Regular community event evenings, and special screenings of rugby all mean busy nights, while there are comfortable sofas and seating for the quieter evenings or lunches, where food, tea and coffee is also available.
The Wheatsheaf has also supported our Paper Not Plastic campaign and has paper straws ready for use.
Alton Water Tea Room Reopens
There is nothing better after a good walk, cycle or even jog around the miles of Alton Water pathways, than a nice cup of tea/coffee and slice of cake.
Now, after an extensive refurbishment, the Alton Water tea room has opened offering visitors to the park an opportunity to sit and get refreshed with friends, including the four-legged variety.
New management led byNatalie and her team, (pictured here in the middle with Lauren, left and Carly, right) are ready to welcome locals and tourists alike, even in the spring snow or showers.
Quality barista machines serve up a good range of coffees, while tea comes in mugs or pots, as desired.
Hot food is available, along with rolls and sandwiches, while the dogs are allowed free biscuits.
The tea room renovations are part of extensive work going on to enhance the visitor experience to Alton Water.
A touring caravan site is due to be completed in time for the summer season, a new play area will open this week, while a new cycle-hire centre is now open for business.
Park Ranger John Taylor said: "There are lots of exciting things going on and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors to Alton Water this year."
Wheatsheaf Wins CAMRA Pub Of Year Award
Monday, March 5, 07.00
The Wheatsheaf in Tattingstone has been named Ipswich & East Suffolk' CamRa Rural Pub of the Year after judges found landlords Anna Durance and Kevin Jackson made visiting it a great experience.
But Miss Durance insisted it was more to do with the amazing Wheatsheaf customers which gives the pub its atmosphere, while enjoying a constantly changing range of real ales.
"We are so very lucky to have such lovely, lovely customers... friends," said mum of one Anna. "It's not the landlords who sing "farewell" to fellow customers.
"It's not us, it's our customers that raise several K a year for charity. It's our customers who smile and greet all who step over our thresh-hold... ok, that one's a team effort. I may be the one holding the Jaffa (Birthday) Cake for the birthdays, but I couldn't sing 'Happy Birthday' all by myself
"It's not us that drink all our beer to help keep it nice and fresh... oh... another team effort there."
Prominently placed on the crossroads on the A137 linking Bentleys and Tattingstone, the historic Wheatsheaf is known for its warm, welcome terrific ale, and impromptu musical outbursts, making it popular with real ale buffs and other regular diners and drinkers.
Despite the accolade, the duo vow to continue to look for improvements.
Anna added: "In my lack of vanity, I struggle to appreciate the significance of our award, however, I will never take for granted how lucky we are to have such awesome clientele.
"There is guilt, as I also know we need to do so much more; smoking shelter, heating in the gents toilets, "Wheatsheaf Song Book", nicer gardens, tidier bar... new bar, keeping our website up to date, new signage, a campsite would be nice, an area for the little ones, away from those who don't want to worry about tripping over a toy tractor."
Financial Help During Cold Weather Snap
Monday, February 26, 12.15
Scores of families on the Shotley peninsula will be given an extra £25 a week after the Government triggered their Cold Weather Payment for this area.
The payments, for people on certain benefits come into effect when average temperatures drop, or are forecast to drop, to zero degrees Celsius or below.
With the so-called Beast from the East moving in, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge today confirmed those payments will be paid, starting from February 23, initially for one week.
People in postcode area IP9 and CO11 are among those that will be paid, with payments made automatically with 14 days.
With Universal Credit being rolled out in this area shortly, others who will get the winter weather payment are those who are on pension credit, income support, income-based job-seekers allowance, and employment and support allowance
The winter weather allowance is different, and separate, to winter fuel allowance.
Poles Come Down For Ultrafast Broadband
Thursday, February 15. 06.30
Unsightly telegraph pole recently erected without warning in Tattingstone village hall car park, and others in at least one other surrounding street will be taken down after a successful ultra-fast broadband trial.
Openreach have promised to remove the poles in The Close, Tattingstone, which were erected as part of a small scale ultra-fast broadband trial involving around 160premises in the village.
Householders in the village will now be able to get broadband of up to speeds of up to 330 magabits per second (mbs), which is around seven times faster than the national average.
Those involved in the trial were given the service free of charge and will now be able to choose from any provider within the Openreach network.
If the cost and take up prove worthwhile Openreach will extend the service throughout the Shotley peninsula, wherever possible.
Nearly 160 premises were initially invited to take part in the trial but many residents were unhappy with the use of telegraph poles to carry the fibre optic cables and told BT Openreach they would prefer them to be buried underground, even though it would cost more.
An Openreach spokesperson, said: “We've visited the community to discuss the options and after a series of meetings they've settled on a Community Fibre Partnership scheme with Openreach that enables those roads affected to have the fibre buried underground.
“Openreach will take down the telephone poles including the one at the village hall. Residents in these roads are contributing the cost to connect their homes.
“Customers in the trial are benefitting from ultrafast speeds of up to 330 megabits per second. It's around seven times faster than the average broadband speed in the UK. We've got positive feedback from people on the trial.
“Everyone in the trial area has the chance to try Ultrafast Broadband completely free of charge for the trial period. After which if they want to keep their ultrafast broadband they can choose from a selection of companies that offer ultrafast broadband over the Openreach network.”
The trial, which began in mid-January, was conducted by Openreach to test a range of electronics, and ways to connect up homes with fibre to deliver ultrafast broadband speeds.
Alastair McCraw, Babergh Distrct Councillor for Tattingstone said: “I'm very pleased that this looks like it's being resolved. Fibre based broadband is hard to come by in rural areas.
“It's a shame that the telephone poles became an issue when they seemingly just appeared without warning or explanation.
“Some thanks are due to the residents who are contributing, at no small cost, to the underground supply. A wider, more economic, roll out would benefit a lot of our villages. I hope to see that happen.”
Boundary Review Results Delayed
Monday, February 12 - 06.00
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has delayed the publication of its final recommendations for the Babergh review.
The commission is currently examining the electorate data and forecasts, which underpin all the recommendations and is expected to be able to make a further announcement about the completion of both reviews following its next meeting on 20 February.
The Shotley peninsula currently has three wards, Alton, which covers Tattingstone, Stutton and Brantham with Independent Alastair McCraw and Harriet Steer, a Conservative, the district councillors. David Rose, an Independent, is councillor for Holbrook, Lower Holbrook and Harkstead, while another Independent councillor, Derek Davis covers Shotley, Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston, along with Peter Patrick, a Conservative that lives in Polstead.
The new ward boundaries under review would see Shotley, Erwarton and Harkstead become a single member ward, while Bentley would join with Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston but stay a two-member ward, while Holbrook would go in with the current Alton ward.
It was expected that the Boundary Commission review would have been completed now, but issues with Mid--Suffolk figures have set things back. The current administration of both councils want to dissolved Babergh and Mid-Suffolk and became one Heart of Suffolk council, although Conservative leader John Ward had promised a referendum would be held in Babergh, after previous poll resulted in 61 per cent of resident that voted going against the proposal in 2011.
Single Room Call To Match Singletons
By Joe Harvey (Tuesday, February 6, 06.00 )
Householders on the Shotley Peninsula are being asked to use their spare bedroom to take in single lodgers.
Solo Housing have linked up with Babergh Distrct Council to try and help singeltons struggling to find suitable accommodation.
The scheme works by matching a suitable single person, referred by the district council or other agencies, with potential landlords on the penisula, that have been vetted by Solo Housing.
Solo Housing will ensure the landlords’ criteria and accommodation suit the scheme, and will also assess potential lodgers’ circumstances and needs.
It could be the landlords are looking for help with bills, or would like the security and company of another person in their home.
The single people tend to be those either homeless, or close to becoming homelss. They may be on low inclomes, or suffering a break up of a relationship.
Solo Housing chief executive Carolyn Howell said: ‘It’s a very simple and successful model, Solo provides practical help and advice to anyone who has a spare room in their house that they would like to rent out.
“At the same time, we will use our assessment criteria to match suitable people to available rooms, providing advice and support to single people who may like to take up a lodging offer.
“The service aims to provide a simple solution for those who would like to rent out a room, perhaps to help them pay their bills, or for companionship, and at the same time provides a housing solution for a single person who may not be able to access other suitable affordable accommodation on their own.”
One of the first landladies to sign up for the Solo Housing Lodging Scheme was a lady called Joan, who lives in the Babergh District.
She said: “As an elderly female, who lives independently, I didn’t want to be alone, especially at night, so taking in a lodger that met with my requirements was very helpful.
“Solo met with the prospective lodger to make sure they were suitable for my circumstances and helped me with the paperwork. It all seemed very thorough.
I really appreciate the company and social interaction and my current lodger helps with small jobs around the home.”
‘This is just such a good idea," said Alton ward district councillor Alastair McCraw, who represents Brantham, Stutton and Tattingstone. "Matching people who can help each other. There have always been informal arrangements of this type, but the Solo Housing Lodging Scheme should both provide safeguards and help prevent homelessness. Simples!’“
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ Homelessness Team took 227 homeless applications in 2016/17.
In addition to this, they prevented homelessness in more than 450 cases and are hoping this scheme will help to settle more people at risk of becoming homeless into permanent accommodation.
If you have a room available, or a single person looking for suitable lodgings, contact 0800 652 0155.
Pub Back With A Bang
The White Horse in Tattingstone reopened with a bang, well bangers and bacon actually.
Illness had forced the pub to close for nearly three weeks in January as owners Richard Hynard and Jackie Dennis succumbed as well as staff.
The decision was made to shut in order to recover and not spread the sickness bug around.
Nearly 30 customers were in on Saturday when the White Horse opened its doors on Saturday with 25 booked in for the all-day breakfast.
The White Horse roast dinners are becoming something of a legend locally and today (Sunday) saw the couple making sure there was plenty of roast lamb (pictured) to go round.
The Camra award-winningWheatsheaf on Ipswich Road, Tattingstone, is also open after Kevin and Anna Durance took a short break the week before last.
Peninsula Cricketer in World Cup
A young Peninsular cricketer has hit a half-century in the ICC Under 19s World Cup in New Zealand.
Don Mlambo was part of the Zimbabwe Under 19s 2018 World Cup cricket squad that reached the semi-finals of the Plate Competition in New Zealand.
Playing at number two, the right-handed batsman hit a steady 52 in 103 balls against eventual victors Sri Lanka, before being caught by Hasitha Boyagodo off Hareen Buddila’s bowling when sweeping to square leg.
The 18-year-old who plays for Shotley Peninsula Cricket Club based at Tattingstone, and has also played for Copdock, gained valuable international experience, although his playing time was limited to just a couple of matches.
Mlambo hit two runs in the final warm up game against hosts New Zealand in Christchurch, but had to settle for 12th man at best in the round robin matches.
Zimbabwe beat Namibia to reach the Plate semis and Harare-born, Suffolk student Mlambo is among the rising stars earmarked for future Test success with his country.
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