Report to Gipping Valley–November 2014

Broadband.

Just to be clear:  when a new fibre fed cabinet is installed in your area, the speed increase is not automatic.  You need to contact your Internet Service Provider to agree and pay for an upgraded service.

SCC Scrutiny

We scrutinised the performance of the Our Place Scheme on 30th October.  It has worked well in some areas but not in others and we felt it worthwhile to try to bring all to the standard of the best.

Our main recommendation was that:  “the arrangements for  selecting Our Place officers should be reviewed, with a view to matching individual skill sets and the time officers have available for Our Place work, with the needs of the councillor and community.”

Our next scrutiny will cover next year’s budget.  How do we meet rising demand from reducing funds but maintain essential services?

Blakenham Fields Development

The revised planning application for the next phases of the scheme is now in.  It is for a further 110 two-bedroom houses, 133 three bedroom houses and 29 four bedroom houses and a convenience store with two-bedroom flats above, at Hackneys Corner.”

The infrastructure is as I reported last month.

Kingfisher Drive

A drop in session was held on 24th October where residents discussed plans with officers, councillors, Havebury Housing, and the architects.  I hope the session on 26th November showed the Council’s response to residents’ concerns.  We asked for section drawings, 3D images, and clear explanations to allow the response to issues including overlooking, flooding and parking to be made clear.

Otley Buses

I have been in touch with Christina Sadler, Interim Principal at Otley and Easton, to resolve the issues around the Otley Bus Fleet on narrow rural roads in Barham.

I have provided background information and have had a constructive meeting with the vice principal.  Norwich County Council is currently re-tendering these services for the college and I expect an improvement.

Children’s’ Centres.

The Liberal Democrat group dislikes plans to close some Children’s Centres.

Centres were put in places where there was need and where accessibility would result in the best possible outcomes for children and parents.

Families using those proposed for closure may well be deterred from going to another more distant.  Other buildings used for “outreach” work may not have the facilities that young children need.

The County Council needs to save money but the impact of closure on lives and, later, on the educational achievement that is proving such a challenge for the county should not be ignored.

Northern Fringe

This month Cabinet did not support plans for the major development situated north of Valley Road and Colchester Road and between Henley Road in the west and Tuddenham Road in the east.  Unless transport issues are resolved we will all suffer.

It is interesting to see that among a number of the other issues the County has raised is the lack of the facilities that were promised at Blakenham Fields and proved so hard to deliver.

Youth Employment

MyGo, UK’s first-ever dedicated youth employment centre is now open in Ipswich for 16 to 24 year olds.  The project is funded by money unlocked through the Greater Ipswich City Deal, the government’s programme to put local authorities and businesses in control of economic opportunities and challenges.

The centre will help at least 3500 young people move into work by offering free training, as well as career and employment support

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