Stowmarket Town Council

Litter picking projects
Stowmarket Town Council is launching a Keep Stowmarket Tidy campaign from March 22-28 to discourage litter dropping and encourage the correct disposal of litter. As part of this, the popular virtual Superhero themed litter pick will return on Saturday 27 March.

Stowmarket Town Council will be hosting a Community Litter Pick at the Recreation Ground on Saturday 30 October which will bring the community together for a common cause of cleaning up our local area.

Community Tree Planting and Community Trees Audit 2021
In 2018, the town council commissioned Hallwood Associates to undertake a canopy cover survey. The results showed that Stowmarket had a below average 14% canopy cover. The national average is 16% and the ideal is between 20 and 30%.

The town council has pledged to raise the canopy cover to an above average 22% and the first step is a commitment to plant 1,000 trees within the town. Since the survey, the town council has planted 60 trees in 2019 and 180 in 2020.

This doesn’t include separate planting projects that have taken place within the town.

Our aims this year are to:

  • Provide volunteers with I-Tree Training in May or June (dates TBC)
  • Undertake tree surveys from June to September (when it’s easier to identify trees)
  • Identify sites suitable for tree planting and liaise with respective local government agencies (Mid Suffolk District Council or Suffolk Count Council)
  • Plant 100+ trees within areas identified across the town
  • Engage the community in a tree planting day on Thursday 2 December

Biodiversity 2021

To coincide with the introduction of the town council’s biodiversity policy, we will launch our Bio 100 Project where we pledge to create 100 new wildlife habitats on town council land in 2021. A community action event to help install these habitats will take place on Saturday 18 September.

EVENTS

  • Monday 22-Sunday 28 March: Keep Stowmarket Tidy Week
  • Saturday 27 March: Virtual Superhero Litter Pick
  • Saturday 18 September: Community Biodiversity 100 Day
  • Saturday 30 October: Community Litter Pick at the Rec
  • Thursday 2 December: Community Tree Planting Day

tTo stay up to date with our environment action and all other town councilnews, visit our social media and website.

A WORD FROM YOUR MAYOR

Well, here we are in March, lockdown continues and it becomes more difficult to write a column each month. Indeed, since the beginning of the year, I have had no events to report except council meetings. Last month I mentioned a few planned events, including the Annual Civic Service, but that has been rescheduled until later in the year.

We have also had to defer the Food & Drink Festival and our Town Awards event until 2022. Stowfiesta has been rescheduled from June until the August Bank Holiday weekend but we are still planning for a Christmas Fayre and Christmas Lights Switch On event in late November. Sadly, the cancellations and delays are inevitable as these events require a lot of advance planning.

This month I want to highlight the work of one of the organisations I belong to. The Stowmarket Relief Trust is a charity that provides relief to those facing hardship in Stowmarket and the surrounding villages.

I am one of ten trustees who, along with Philippa, our clerk, administer the work of the trust. We can provide essential items, equipment and access to key services to families and individuals in need.

The trust works alongside Stowmarket Foodbank, Mid Suffolk CAB, health visitors and others who refer applicants on to us. Not many people know about our work, which continues through this pandemic at apace!

Late in January, we approved a donation to Stowmarket High School to help with the desperate lack of laptops for use at home by pupils. We also agreed to continue funding support for Citizens Advice to help with benefit advice and other issues.

This brings me to funding. As a trust, we rely on rental income from a single commercial property and dividends from investments that were made many years ago. As a result of the financial climate, rental income is very unpredictable and dividends have taken a nose dive. We have, therefore, had to significantly reduce our support to CAB which is very disappointing.

To counteract this, we are launching an effort to attract funds from other sources and were fortunate to receive grants from MSDC and from Stowmarket District Councillors locality funding.

If you are thinking about donating to a local or national cause, perhaps you would consider a donation to assist the work of the trust? You can contact us at: [email protected].

That’s it for this month, keep safe and warm,
Mayor Keith Scarff

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