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Village Newsletter - January 2020

3 February 2020

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The following Stonham Parva Parish Council News Letter was recently distributed to the village.

Your Parish Council has been busy in 2019 to move the village forward on several areas that we would like to share with you as we move into 2020.

Speed Indicator Signs – You will have noticed a speed indicator sign that the Parish Council purchased and installed at the end of April. Suffolk County Council provided two posts, situated at the south and north of the village on the A140 inside the 30mph zone. They require such devices to be moved every 3-4 weeks, arguing drivers become complacent after that period and ignore the signs. Our plan was to move the device between the two poles every few weeks. The headline figures show 10% more drivers keeping to the 30mph limit entering the south of the village. And a 26% improvement by drivers entering the village from the north. Daily average traffic both ways is circa 13,000 or 4.6 million per year. Some 830,000 additional vehicles will be doing 30mph or below as a result of the device. There is a lot more data and detail published on the parish website. The data gathered over the past seven months does not show a drop off in effectiveness with the volume of vehicles travelling at 30mph or less being consistent and in fact increasing. As a result of the big improvement of reducing speeding through the village and in order to achieve this at both posts at the same time, the Parish Council has purchased a second device which was deployed in December. Ironically, on that same day, the A140 was once again shut due to a tragic accident north of the village involving a lorry and other vehicles. The devices are only solar powered and are currently suffering from a shortfall in power charging due to the short daylight hours, dull days and our busy road, we are working to address this by reducing their sensitivity and display output during the winter months.

Play Area – After more than four years of effort when most of our existing play equipment was condemned as unsafe, we have finally secured funding of £13,500 from Viridor Waste Management Limited. We also earlier secured funding of £1,650 from Suffolk County Council which the Parish Council has matched. So, we have a total of some £17,000, towards a project cost of £22  ,000. There are some savings we can make by clearing the existing equipment and ground ourselves. But at present there is additional funding to find - but still great news and progress. We plan to hold other fundraising activities over the year following the success of the Open Garden last August which raised £300 – so look out for a Quiz Night, Plant Sale, Auction of Promises and a Raffle – watch this space!

Defibrillator – The Parish Council secured “locality” funding of £1250 from District Councillor Suzie Morley towards a Defibrillator. The Parish Council funded the remaining (£250 + installation and electrical work). The Baptist Chapel have kindly agreed to have the device attached to the front of their building and to provide power. This location is the most logical in the village. Now if you call 999 for someone who is in cardiac arrest the ambulance service will be able to give you access to the device and you don’t need any training to use it as its voice guided. That said if we have anyone trained as a first responder in the village who would be willing to respond in such an emergency please let the Parish Clerk know. The device will be fitted during February.

Recent fatal accidents / Speeding Traffic / Signage– The Parish Council is increasingly concerned about several recent fatal or life-changing accidents that have occurred along the A140 in or near the village. We raised this with our Suffolk County Councillor Matthew Hicks at our January meeting.

The Parish Council will formally request several changes via Matthew Hicks which will then be considered by Suffolk Highways.  It was noted that speed limit changes are extremely difficult, and initiatives are rarely successful. A140 – improved road line markings (centre and edges), since the current ones are worn/non-existent between Mickfield junction and 30mph zone. Debenham Road - the bend near Town House has had a number of accidents, it’s a 60mph zone but with a tight bend, we are asking Highways to consider signage to indicate slowdown sharp bend. HGVs / large vehicles using Church and Clockhouse Lanes – following recent A140 closures there have been a lot of unsuitable vehicles using the ‘back roads’ in our village. We will ask Highways to consider signage either end of Church and Clockhouse Lanes to indicate single track road not suitable for large vehicles and HGVs.

Village Sign - A parish councillor was stopped and asked by a village sign enthusiast where the village sign was located, to which he replied we haven’t got one! At the time the sign was completely covered in ivy and part hidden behind a hedge. After this embarrassment it was decided that action needed to be taken.  The sign was locally made approximately 45 years ago by Richard Bloomfield at a cost of £138 following a village competition to design a sign.  The dirty and corroded sign was removed 6 months ago, and sand blasted free of charge by Gill Industrial Cleaning in Stowmarket. Mrs Esther Baldry the wife of one of our councillors with her artistic talents did a fantastic job of repainting it and with the help of Mr Ian Apps and his companies hydraulic hoist it was placed back on its original post. A truly local restoration project - Situated behind the parish notice board in the lay-by on the A140 when travelling north just prior to the Baptist Chapel. The long-term plan is to re-site the sign in a more prominent position so it can be seen from both sides and not be hidden by bushes and trees.  

Neighbourhood Plan – As with many villages we feel we should develop a plan that will influence planning activity going forward. This is a long consultative process that requires sign off by the village on how we want it to develop. We cannot develop a plan that is against national or regional policy, but we can within that framework set out our agenda on how the village develops. This will need to consider the age and style of the village and our very limited local resources and services. But without one we will have less say and influence on developments within the curtilage of our village. The Parish Council propose to develop a Neighbourhood Plan over the next 12 – 18 months and will need your input.

Streetlights, Church Lane – The village has just three streetlights in Church Lane at the top, middle and bottom that the Parish Council is responsible for. The one at the A140 end works fine, the one at the other end by Clockhouse Lane / Lambeth Way was not working at all. The one in the middle was mostly on during the day and off in the early morning. They are now all working as they should be but only after several e-mails and finally by including the Suffolk County Councillor for the parish Matthew Hicks who become Suffolk Council Leader in May. The light was fixed the same day and on a Saturday!

Parish Council – We now meet monthly rather than bi-monthly as we feel this is more productive at moving matters forward. Everyone is welcome and they are held on the second Monday of each month at 7.30pm at the Baptist Chapel, Social Room on Norwich Road.

Vacancy - The Parish Council has a vacancy and would encourage anyone willing to help move the parish forward by becoming a councillor to contact the Parish Clerk.

Our website is https://www.stonhamparvapc.org.uk/welcome-to-our-website/

Our e-mail is  clerk@stonhamparvapc.org.uk or telephone 01449 711178