Around mid 2001 National and Local Government and the Countryside Agency encouraged local councils to engage in open dialogue with their communities with the aim of producing long term, locally agreed plans for the future of their communities.
When the first Plan was undertaken it was the accepted practice for the Town or Parish Council to lead the way and a number of working parties were formed to prepare the various parts of the plan with the help of Councillors and Staff. A copy of the resultant Town Plan, produced in 1993, can be obtained from the Town Council Offices.
In 2008 it was decided to update the plan. The preferred guidance now is that the plan should be formed “bottom up” and so the Town Council have not been involved with the process or documentation at all.
Town Plan Update
The Town Plan Steering Group, a group independent of the Town Council, published the “Town Plan” which is available via the Town Council Offices.
The Town Councillors were given copies and were able to debate the plan in the presence of members of the Steering Group and the public at a Town Council Meeting. The Council would like to thank the Steering Group (under the Chairmanship of David Walker) for the work put in collating and presenting the resident’s views, the residents who took part in the “road shows” and filling in the questionnaire and the school children for their valuable contribution.
Council have considered all the tasks identified for them in the plan and are pleased to report below, under the various categories, those which are already being achieved and where progress is being made elsewhere.
Under Community Engagement and Development residents have suggested a couple of items:
- Kesgrave needs more litter bins, particularly at bus stops. Experience has shown that more litter tends to be deposited while passengers wait for their bus and bins have been provided at these hotspots. The situation is constantly monitored and more bins will be provided where a need is identified. A survey of the litter and fido bins has recently been drawn up by the Council staff and a map showing locations is displayed in the new notice board at Rupert Fison Centre, near Tesco. It may surprise many of you how many there are and how evenly they are distributed around the Town.
- Tree preservation and planting programme should be adopted in Kesgrave. Tree preservation is an issue the Town Council along with Suffolk Coastal District Council take very seriously with several preservation orders having been implemented to preserve our existing trees around the Town. We are also fortunate in having our own recently re-formed Conservation Group, including our Kesgrave Tree Warden, working on a programme of conservation projects around the Town.
You may have noticed recent clearance work being carried out at Pergola Piece (Public Open Space) as part of the ongoing work. If you are interested in joining the group, please contact the staff at the Council Office. New members will be welcomed to assist with this valuable voluntary work.
Under Community Safety three items have been raised.
- Street lighting, which is inadequate in parts of Kesgrave. The difference in the quality can readily be seen in Dobbs Lane by comparing the standard of the new lighting around the recently improved crossing at Grange Lane with the rest of Dobbs Lane. Council have been aware for some considerable time that the “older” parts of the Town have only “footway” lighting and need upgrading. We have been working in conjunction with Suffolk County Council and the energy companies over the years but have to wait for the “under-grounding” of cables, as this will be the most appropriate time to install additional lighting columns. However this work is not cheap and with recent past and present financial constraints this work is currently on hold.
- More fido bins of the tamper proof (non-retrievable) type to be installed. As with Litter bins, when the need and location for more fido bins is identified, new ones can be installed. Three bins have recently been put in place, one funded by Suffolk County Council’s locality budget.
- The untidy site adjacent to the Library, which the resident would like tidied. This land is owned by the developer Bovis Homes and has been waiting for development since the early nineties for District Centre use. The Council have regularly been in contact with Bovis for the area to be maintained, with varying success.
Under Climate Change two issues have been identified:
- Allotments should be provided for Kesgrave residents. The comparatively recently formed Kesgrave Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association has asked for this provision in Kesgrave. Unfortunately, land availability for this and other purposes is scarce at present.
- The pond at Long Strops should be re-established. This is a current long-term project being performed in conjunction with “Greenways”. It was started last September with the clearance and dredging of unwanted reeds when the pond was dry. This work had to be stopped when the presence of a protected lizard was detected, work is scheduled to restart soon.
Under Access to Services five issues were identified
- Kesgrave Town Council need to keep the residents informed of services and facilities. It is pleasing for the Council to note from the survey that 56% of respondents believe we already do this. We communicate information by using the seven notice boards around the Town, through articles in the Kesgrave News magazine, by the Town Guide delivered to every home biannually, a comprehensive website at www.kesgravetowncouncil.org.uk which has links to other sites and organisations, and personal contact with our staff at the Council Office three sessions a week or by telephone during office hours. The monthly Council meetings also have built into the agenda an adjournment item at which time residents may address the Council.
- Public Information Boards should be accessible and up to date. The newly erected notice board at Rupert Fison Centre near Tesco, being the seventh in the Town, is considered a valuable addition, central and readily available to most residents. This also incorporates sections for community use. All notice boards are updated on a weekly basis, usually on a Monday afternoon.
- More cycle racks adjacent to shops and the library are required. Five new cycle racks have recently been installed at the Rupert Fison Centre which can be used when visiting all the services and facilities in the immediate area. Money has also been allocated for stands near the Library, but this is owned by Suffolk County Council. We are currently waiting for them to decide on the type of stand required and the actual location.
- A new cemetery is required in Kesgrave. Burial space has indeed run out in Kesgrave and a search for suitable new land has been ongoing for some considerable time. We are hopeful that a satisfactory solution will be found in the not too distant future. In the meantime we have recently installed a new scattering of ashes area within the Lawn Cemetery which will fulfil the Town’s need for this form of interment for many years.
- There is strong support for a post box within the Tesco store at Kesgrave. When the store was opened in 1994 a request was made for a posting box within the store but at that time Royal Mail would not consider it, as there was a box close by at Fentons Way. Now that housing development is nearing completion Royal Mail are reconsidering the locations and although their policy remains not to locate one within the store, one within the Tesco site is being considered by them and Tesco.
Last update on Monday 06 Aug 2012 by Alan Comber.