Babergh District Councillor Sue Carpendale: January/February

It remains vital to continue to follow the Covid-19 restrictions laid down by government, particularly now the potential for vaccinations is tantalisingly close. Please ‘Stick with it, Suffolk’.

The rollout of vaccinations in our districts is extremely welcome with further primary care network (PCN) vaccination sites in Babergh recently announced.

During January and February, people will be offered vaccinations according to the current priority schedule. Cohorts of people will be contacted to receive their vaccination in due course.

To keep everyone as safe as possible, the council is only undertaking emergency repairs inside residents’ homes or business premises. Further detail about any necessary changes to services in response to lockdown is available on the district council website.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk will move to using hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a replacement for conventional diesel in their vehicle fleets. This is a cleaner, less polluting fuel and results in a significant CO2 emission reduction.

They will make a CIL fund bid to help pay for the supply and installation of a fuel tank at Chilton Depot, Sudbury. There has been a considerable rumpus over proposals to levy new short-term car parking charges in both Sudbury and Hadleigh. Babergh is facing significant holes in future budgets. Council-owned car parks cost around £440K a year to run and are subsidised by some £185K, paid for out of Council Tax. There are various arguments for introducing charges but there is also strong and legitimate opposition to the initial proposals, which could threaten the viability of the two town centres. It is hoped that some changes might be achieved before the budget is set in February.

Locality Grants
Babergh members now have grants of up to £2,000 per year to allocate to projects in their wards. With Covid-19 putting a stop to many activities, most councillors still have £2,000 sitting in the pot. I’m pleased to say that there are some requests in the pipeline for Capel’s funds.

Eligibility criteria and applications forms are available online. An application in one year does not preclude further applications in future years. Applications are not meant to be Covid-related as there are separate pots to assist with this. For more information email [email protected].

This article runs in the February issue of the Capel edition, which you can read in full by clicking on Magazines.

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