Posts Tagged 'Haughley'

Rail Crossing Closures Threat

Haughley Green level crossingOnce again, rail crossings in our area are threatened with closure.  Three immediately around Haughley and Wetherden are at risk – two on the Ipswich to Bury line  (on the Haughley Green to Haughley footpath and at Mutton Hall) and one on the Norwich line (at the Leggetts footpath just north of Haughley Green).  A public consultation will soon be open so please register your views.  From 14th June until 5th July you can go online at www.networkrail.co.uk/anglialevelcrossing or email anglialevelcrossings@networkrail.co.uk or phone 03457 11 41 41.  A consultation event is being held in Stowmarket at the Community Centre IP14 2BD on Tuesday 14th June from 3pm to 8pm.  The local press have been covering this (read here) and also a local pressure group (www.suffolkcrossings.co.uk ) but it is important that as many of you as possible have your say.

 

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2015 Elections – re-elected uncontested

Following the closure of nominations for the 2015 Mid Suffolk District Council elections, as no other candidate has stood against me I have been re-elected uncontested.  I am very appreciative of the support I have received from the communities of Haughley and Wetherden to date and hope to continue to serve residents well.  I will continue to raise any concerns and support local issues that residents have.

Potential closure of level crossings threatens local communities

Network Rail have released a consultation on their plans for 2019 to 2024 – the Anglia Route Study www.networkrail.co.uk/long-term-planning-process/anglia-area-route-study-draft-for-consultation.pdf The consultation ends on 3rd February 2015 and responses should be sent to AngliaRouteStudy@networkrail.co.uk

Prior to the timeframe this Study covers, a number of schemes are expected to be delivered including “safety improvements, particularly involving level crossings” (including closing 500 more level crossings across the country). Within the Study itself the key project affecting us is “Norwich in Ninety”. This project aims to cut journey times between Norwich and London to 90 minutes where they are currently between 104 and 115 minutes. The fear, locally, is that Network Rail will use this opportunity to save money by closing lots of level crossings whether road or footpath.

Closure of any crossings will have a devastating impact locally – villages cut off from each other (how to travel from Haughley to Old Newton for example); footpaths closed with access to the countryside completely limited; not to mention the damage to local businesses and general community cohesion.

Network Rail is not intending to confirm which crossings will be affected until after the consultation. If we don’t make our voices heard now – we may be too late. Please respond to the consultation and write to your MP.

For information on a local group set up to combat this, please see www.suffolkcrossings.co.uk

 

Why do people drop litter?

This month there were community litter picks in Haughley and Wetherden – volunteers targeted roads leading into the village centres to give them an annual tidy up. Thanks to everyone who came and helped but why do people drop litter? One young volunteer helped pick up rubbish from the edge of Haughley playing field and from that alone 2013-03-16 12.07.35403002405five bin-bags were collected including one just of plastic bottles and one just of glass. And this is on a site with two waste bins nearby. Still it all looks tidier – for a while.

Broadband – fibre optic cabling…

Many of you will have noticed various vans along the roads installing cabling.  The current installation is of fibre optic cable, running from Stowmarket, to Haughley and then via Haughley Green to Bacton.   For the next stage, this needs to be connected up to the cabinets for improvements in line speed.

 A planning application has been made to install a new cabinet just round the corner from the existing cabinet next to the bus shelter in Haughley (next to 2 Station Road).  This cabinet serves most of Haughley and Haughley Green.  I understand that that this cabinet will be fibre-enabled and, once in place and “live”, will greatly enhance broadband services in the area.

There is no date for this work (the application goes before Haughley Parish Council next week) and in a similar situation it was some months between installation of the cabinet and the fibre becoming operational – however a step in the right direction!

With regards to the Suffolk-wide Better Broadband project, I have raised our concerns that properties on the edge of Haughley and in Haughley Green may be at risk from not being part of the project nor benefit from the BT investment.  I’ve been told that these concerns have been “taken on board” and will be included in the contract discussions.  In the meantime I understand Suffolk County Council is still waiting on the EU decision as to how the public funds can be used.

What is important to you?

With the need for longer-term planning in order to minimise financial pressures, Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) is asking local communities (residents and businesses) what services the council should or should not be providing.  Information gathered will help to prioritise the council’s work in the future.

MSDC are asking questions such as “What’s good about living here?; What do you want to change?  What community facilities are being well used and also under-used?” and also “What should the Council be doing more – and less – of in the future?”

Discussions with many residents have highlighted the following issues.  Which of these do you feel need the most attention?

1. Having an efficient rural transport system

2. The need for safe foot/cycle-paths (and lower traffic speeds)

3. Access to high-speed broadband

4. Price of heating oil and also petrol

5. Employment opportunities for young people

6. Affordable housing for local families

7. Volunteers to run local clubs and services

And are there any specific issues businesses have that MSDC can help solve?

Please let me know your thoughts.

If you want to understand more of the detail, please get in touch.  You can also respond directly to MSDC via the council’s website www.midsuffolk.gov.uk.  (Look for “Community Engagement 2012”.)

May news

Planning: The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is now in place. This is 49 pages of planning policy to replace thousands of pages of national policies. One of the main principles is for a “local plan-led system” and at Mid Suffolk District Council there are the current Local Plans and Core Strategy documents which should be in line with the NPPF. Part of this, and in line with the Localism Act, is the creation of Neighbourhood Plans. This is for our local communities to decide whether to produce a Plan to suggest what development they might want in the area. It is a complex process and Mid Suffolk is currently working through ways to help.

While there is a reduction in paper the actual planning process is still in place and those involved will look at how the NPPF is interpreted in relation to day to day planning decisions.

Haughley Playing Field equipment: Mid Suffolk were pleased to be able to contribute a small grant towards the fundraising efforts for new play equipment on Haughley Playing Field. This has been a great effort in getting all the funding necessary and preparing the ground ready for the equipment to be installed in time for the Jubilee weekend.


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