John Goodwin September column

Local Matters Felixstowe

Her Majesty The Queen

I make no apologies for being a Royalist and on September the 9th our Queen becomes the world’s longest serving monarch beating her Grandmother, Queen Victoria’s reign. In all the years that the Queen has been on the throne she has never been known to put a foot wrong, public life should be all about service and the Queen has certainly fulfilled her promise to serve. God bless her and long may she continue to reign.

Devolution of Services

Local Authorities and all statutory bodies (police, NHS, councils etc) are facing cuts in their budgets from central government. Suffolk missed a trick when the unitary (one council for the whole of Suffolk) bid failed. I have no illusions that I might have stayed as a councillor in a unitary authority as I am sure I would have been passed over in favour of others. However I truly believe that it would have been best for Suffolk Residents. The new panacea for the world of councils now goes under the title of Devolution. The basic idea is that responsibilities and budgets will be passed down from government to county, district and parish level. Suffolk are in a very good position to make a bid, there is however a possible snag, for Devolution to stand the best chance of success it will need buy in from all the district and borough councils. The thinking is that one of the district councils will not wish to cooperate which will jeopardise the whole scheme, should this happen then more taxpayers money will have been wanted.

Waste Collection

Several years ago Suffolk County Council (who dispose of our waste) gave the District and Borough Councils, (who collect our waste) extra money to help them encourage residents to recycle more. That extra money is now being withdrawn and the D and Bs are all crying foul, labour party members are of course organising a petition. Fear of repetition and tedium suggests that I do not again spell out to them why budget cuts need to be made. In Suffolk we have a Suffolk Waste Partnership who have just sent out a press release stating that we can now leave the tops on wine bottles for recycling, big deal! The blindingly obvious way to save money in waste collection is to have a Suffolk Waste Authority to collect our waste and thus have one set of bins, one set of back office functions instead of the current seven. One set of recycling instead of several, Suffolk Coastal allow food waste to go in the brown bins which put the costs of our recycling far in excess of other authorities. What hope of joined up thinking and money saving for Suffolk Residents is there.


Suffolk County Council woes

Should any reader think that we have got everything right at Suffolk County Council please let me say we have not. Our Highways contract is far from perfect, the contractor seems willing and very able to carry out large scale contracts, simple things like everyday maintenance are embarrassingly far behind. Grass cutting of verges is weeks late and the job done is far from satisfactory, weed killing in residential areas is so far behind, the weeds are either dying of old age or residents are doing the job themselves. The exit onto the High Road of footpath Number One at Trimley St Martin is a danger to life and limb but cannot be cut back until September in case of nesting birds! Like an idiot I thought the job was booked to be done on the 1st September, not a bit of it, we are now hoping? to book the job in and get it done by Christmas, such things would be hard to make up.

labour Leadership Woes

Having seen the demise of Dead Ed (Ed Milliband) following the election defeat in May I and fellow Conservatives are gleefully watching as the labour leadership try to distance themselves from front runner Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Corbyn is described as a “hard left” candidate and is said to want to see the Royal Family abolished, the rail industry nationalised and other loony left policies. Following the rise of the Scottish Nationalists and the possible election of Mr Corbyn as party leader it is hard to see how the party will dig itself of the current mess. All parties in administration need a realistic opposition to hold them to account, I am not quite sure where such opposition will come from now that we have seen the demise of the Liberal Democrats and the very real possibility that the labour party may prove to be unelectable if Mr Corbyn does become leader

Felixstowe Listening Service

The FLS held a very successful afternoon tea party on Saturday 22nd August in Picketts Road Felixstowe. The weather was hot the venue perfect as it was a large shady garden and the people came. We all enjoyed scones and cakes galore, that great English tradition, Afternoon Cream Tea, and all the work carried out by wonderful volunteers. The big issue of the day was however the launch of the FLS book entitled, “When it’s Scone it’s Scone”, I hesitate to think how many books have been written about the humble scone but none will have been so enthusiastically researched as this one. Tricia Binge and Margaret Bale have toured and scoured Suffolk’s tea shops in search of the perfect scone. The result is a lovely little book full of scone knowledge, history and recommendations and all lovingly illustrated by Freya Binge, Tricia’s granddaughter. Copies are available and all proceeds will go to the Felixstowe Listening Service



Community Cafes

We now have three community cafes in our area, The Cory Tyler Café in Langley Avenue  are well known for the Full English breakfasts they serve at a very reasonable £ 2.50 plus various other meals. Then there is Lisa of Roseberry Cottage Enterprises who has recently opened a Community Café at the Victoria Hall Pavilion at Trimley St Mary on a Wednesday and Thursday. To know Lisa is to know how good her cooking is plus she is doing all sorts of other good stuff. Finally there is the Salvation Army who also run Community Coffee mornings and lunches. The Salvation Army are the countries 2nd biggest social care provider and run senior care homes, homes for people with addiction problems and always support the emergency services when they have an incident. This month see the Salvation Army volunteers out collecting money door to door to help pay for the social care work they do. Most people are gracious and generous sadly some are not!

Regards to all    John Goodwin               07734 806040