Suffolk Land Grab

Trinity College, Cambridge is a great educational establishment, it is also a very successful land developer.

In Suffolk, on the Colneis Peninsular in 1933 it bought nearly 4,000 acres of agricultural land, paying about £14 an acre. Land described by William Cobbett in 1820 as the finest land he’d found in the whole country. That land is now worth a fortune, particularly when used for housing development.

Every ten years Trinity College submits a planning application. This time it wants to build 2,000 new homes. These will be on a crowded peninsular which has only one road (A14) to serve the local people (about 35,000, and Felixstowe Port, which handles about 3.5 million containers a year, most transported by road – along the A14!

A local group met last night to put pressure on the local Council, Suffolk Coastal District to reject this proposal. They have a consultation document you can complete.Join https://www.kirtonlandgrab.com/ to help fight this proposal.

1953 Flood in Felixstowe

Gloria lost her grandparents during the 1953 floods in Felixsstowe. They lived in a bungalow in St Edmunds Road on the corner of Langer Road. This building was below sea level. This elderly couple held on to the picture rail in their bedrooms, whilst standing on a bed, until the sea took their lives.

Gloria recalls this event with graphic clarity, even though she was 9 years when this happened 65 years ago.

Daily Express newspaper?

A look at the Daily Express website (https://www.express.co.uk/) and all looks well. There’s a good range of reports, covering a number of topics. Look closely and you begin to see selectivity at work: yesterday 30th May 2018 the lead article was about cold-callers. It announced that the government were going to look at this menace, but no legislation was immediately planned. The front page picture showed a family of 20 children, with another on the way. Prodigious effort or not helping the over-population problem? The paper makes no comment.

Are these news? In both cases they are about to happen. News? I’m not sure. The rest of the paper is a mixture of tittle-tattle, mostly about celebrities, and sport. British people love sport, and they will pay for the privilege of seeing stars perform: very few are British, it’s rare for a footballer to have been born in this country, let alone in the town or city he is alleged to represent. Isn’t that something of a Pound Drain? They take our money back to their own countries. In Rwanda they are suggesting that Arsenal should carry their logo and are willing to pay for that dubious privilege, so something will come back, perhaps.

Should the ‘red top’ newspapers (and the Daily Mail) be allowed to use the name newspaper? It’s questionable.

I went to the Suffolk Show yesterday https://suffolkshow.co.uk/. It’s always a nostalgic visit. The machines get bigger, especially the crop sprayers which have killed too many insects. I never have to clean my car windscreen these days. It’s dreadful destruction, and farmers now make money from oil seed rape, the bright yellow splahed all over our rolling Suffolk countryside.

Thunderstorms promised today, although they tend to miss our peninsular.

Council Elections: so they say

APE moneyI feel as if I am being conned. Our politicians seem to be interested in squirrelling away as much money as they can, for themselves, and telling the country they have no money.

It’s not difficult to see how a back-bencher can get through £150,000 a year on expenses. They claim for everything; housing, staff, transport, junkets and clothing – even duck huts, if they have enough cheek.

As citizens we get austerity. For many folk their wages are frozen. Yet inflation keeps rising. As a retired old git I now pay over 20% of my pension in Council Tax. With my grumpy hat firmly placed on my diminishing head of hair I ask, ‘what do I get for that?’ Not a lot is the answer. They empty the rubbish bins once a fortnight and are planning to charge me an extra £42 a year to remove garden waste.

The biggest increase in expenditure in the past year has been imposed by the pig farmer who (allegedly) manages the police service. As a result our police station has been closed and stands empty (we could do with a leisure centre for meetings etc, and the old cells could be useful if any Councillors called in for a cup of tea). We never see a police officer in the town. Our ToyTown cops have all been sacked. What are they spending the money on? Think about that: they never walk alone these days; they drive big cars, at least two at a time. Add together their unit costs: pay, uniform, office space, training, and supervising officers, and those two cops must cost us the better part of £200,000 a year.

Elections for some next week. Can’t be my lot, it must be a rollover. Whoever is in power, the only advice I can give, is to vote for someone else.

I enjoyed the early summer. April showers here today. Rejoice; Prince Philip is still with us. There’s a new baby to care for, and a marriage to enjoy. I’ve already received an invitation.

 

Friend or Foe?: the performance

It was a windy night, the summer had been taken over by autumn when we all arrived at Landguard Fort for a performance by the Woven Theatre Company of Philip Thicknesse: Friend or Foe?

Landguard is a perfect location. Thicknesse was Lieutenant-Governor at the fort from 1753 until 1766, a controversial character brought to life by this play set in the central courtyard at Landguard.

His third wife, Anna, well portrayed by Clare Hawes, added her lovely voice to the show, as did Eloise Kay, who was a puppeteer, the Clerk of the Court, the Innkeeper’s wife and a Barge Woman. Her cheekily expressive face was a delight, and her voice was clear and bright as she sang, especially when playing the scenes in France.

Steve Gallant was impressive as the sergeant who opened the play, and the goaler, and even featured after death as Thicknesse carried his skull everywhere. Richard Blaine, as Philip Thicknesse, held the play together well, with his strutting figure using the space at Landguard. It’s a perfect stage although the audience would have welcomed a warmer summer evening.

Adrian Cave has a strong voice, showing no emotion as he told of the Sergeant’s execution, which was a true story. The Sergeant’s Portuguese wife was accused of stealing a handkerchief, and ran  away. The Sergeant went to find her, only to be accused of desertion and shot when he returned.

The principal parts were supported by dancers from the On y Va, a French/Breton dance club from Saxmundham who meet at the Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew. Lord Orwell, cast as the villain, played by Jamie Symons, was also the defence lawyer at Thicknesses’ trial. Pauline Dent came across well as the Judge, seated up high on the walkway looking down into the well of the court, much like the the number one court at the Old Bailey. She was also responsible for costumes.

A fine play written by Peppy Barlow and Sally Wilden, directed by Anna Birch, I can see this staged during any summer weekend, with the public playing their part as the public.

 

Car Travel to London

I drove from my home town to Enflield, in North London, yesterday. It was an unpleasant journey. Huge lorries roaring along, often sitting inches away from the rear of my small Smart car. All very uncomfortable. Everyone wants to g faster, all are desperate to get wherever they are going. Are we making cars that accelerate too fast and not adding the cheap safety devices: cameras, mini-computers, automatic braking, that will save lives?

We are not improving the quality of our lives.

It is also apparent that we are saving money. As a result everything looks tatty. White lines are worn, the road surface is patched, looking like an old jumper on a tramp. We have quality and pride from our lives.

Failure to understand the value of quality in our lives will be our downfall.

Walk proud. Be English.

Colchester & Ipswich NHS trusts merger

The two NHS Board of Governors controlling Colchester Hospital University Trust and Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust decided at a joint Board Meeting held in Langham Community Centre on 24 August to work on amalgamation of the two trusts.

Choosing Langham was a good choice, it’s hard to find. Despite that a good number of people turned up. I had been led to believe that it was to be a consultation. That was not the case. However the Chairman did allow a reasonable time for people to ask questions – very few of which were answered, at least not to my satisfaction.

The proposal is to merge both hospitals. It will save money the CEO suggests, but admits they will only save by becoming more efficient, yet provides no evidence to support the idea that amalgamation will help. He also says they will spend £70 million. This is another dream. They have asked the NHS for that money, without having any guarantee that their dreams will be realised.

As for the rest of the arguments for the merger, they amounted to very little. People were living longer – so costing more. We should all die? Big organisations attract better people – so why were we persuaded that local control of trusts was a good idea?

I am not convinced they know what they are doing. I’m further convinced that Nick Hulme is not the person to manage two trusts. He has a bad track record, all within the NHS. He is no more than than a reliable sop whom NHS managers can rely upon.

These are multi-million pound organisations yet they are being managed in a very amateurish way.

Creative Arts Centre

Founders Creative Arts TrustI’m excited. Three, if not five, lovely ladies from our peninsular have just launched the Creative Arts Trust. It will be based at the redundant St Mary’s Church at Trimley, Suffolk – that;s one of the two churches that stand side by side opposite the Welcome Hall in Trimley.

This area has long needed a community arts centre. There have been plans, always thwarted, but these wonderful people have pushed on to make a project that I know will be worthwhile.

Trimley Council own a field close by, that is used for allotrments. Perhaps part will be released for parking as this centre becomes well-known and popular.

Go there this weekend, there’s a bevy of events, and I’m sure the new founders will welcome your ideas and support.

Three hearty cheers!

A Good Weekend

It was a good weekend. I was quiet, saw the Carnival, heard the fireworks,   watched TV in the evening when I should have been mixing in with the local festivities. Never mind – the BBC had two programmes supporting anarchy. Very well done.

Fun ahead next week at the Peace News Summer Camp at Diss, Suffolk. See you there. Good food, interesting discussions, be part of a growing movement.