Report for Box Vale Ward from Cllr Bryn Hurren April 2024.

9 Apr 2024
Photo of Bryn

Report for Box Vale Ward from Cllr Bryn Hurren

April 2024.


As hoped and predicted, the result of the appeal by Catesby Homes against the refusal by Babergh District Council to grant permission for them to build 64 new homes on good farmland on the edge of Boxford has been published and the government inspectors findings were that planning permission should be refused on multiple grounds, including that it was against the villages own Neighbourhood plan and Babergh’s joint local plan, also that the proposed walkway down Ellis St to allow traffic and pedestrians to safely share the narrow space was unworkable and not safe at all.

There were many other detrimental reasons for refusal for me, including the huge danger of building 64 houses at the top of sandhill without a secure drainage system to pump all the run off water straight down to the river avoiding the village of Boxford along the way.

Also the fact that this development did not secure any local affordable housing for the lower waged and new young families looking to rent or buy for the first time in their home or surrounding villages. However I am pleased with the verdict and hope that the village can now move on to plan and build a smaller project to house the next generation as we have aways done.

It is no coincidence that during the past 25 yrs that I have been a councillor for this area that over 50 affordable and social houses have been built in Boxford/Groton and many more in other parts of the Box Vale Ward.

I would like to place on record, my thanks to all Parish Councillors, past and present, along with constituents who have stood with me in opposition to this development.


Our much debated Babergh budget has now been set for the coming 24/25 years work and provision of services throughout our district. It shows the smallest increase we could manage to enable us to still provide good services and we needed to plunder £1m from our reserves to even achieve  that. For clarity, although Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councills are tasked with collecting the local taxes, we only take a little under 9% of your money to run everything that we do, the other 91% is shared between SCC 78%, police and crime commissioner 12% and parish and borough precepts around 2% .                                                                                              We are really at a crossroads now, in years gone by, we were financed and trusted by national government to do all the local stuff and given the finance to do so but under the present regime, we are expected to finance ourselves by raising the local council tax yet more. and a mixture of extra charges and new homes bonus from more extensive house building, my response to that is, if only our present national governing regime, worked as hard and were as frugal, caring and careful with their finances as we have to be, at the District with ours, we would not be in such a dire financial situation as we are nationally.

Maybe the latest 10m bung donated to the Conservative junta, along with all the others, should be spread across the whole nation at the lowest tiers of government, to promote growth in business’s, infrastructure and facilities from the bottom up. We would help spread the ill gotten wealth and not waste a single penny.


Although I am not a great fan of awards and gongs, it is with some pride that I can announce that Babergh and Mid Suffolk were last week announced as the UKs Best Council of the Year, this is a prestigious award and was given for the way the two sovereign councils work together with a joint workforce, creating vibrant communities, developing a green and low carbon strategy with our incentives in providing finance and electricity from solar panels installed on our council house roofs, along with on our leisure centres and the conversion of our vehicle fleet to run on vegetable oil instead of diesel. We have led on most of these things and were the first District Council in the uk to do most of them.

If only our national government could be even one quarter as good at serving our electorate and giving such good value for your taxpayers money.

What is the answer? Maybe Devolution to regional Parliaments whose elected representatives  would serve their regions and constituents and not just themselves.

Maybe you should all tell me what you think, I am easy to catch now while limping through our villages or having a quiet pint in one of our brilliant public houses.

Also our local business need support, we have brilliant Post offices, Butchers, Garage, Village Shops and all the one man/woman self employed run enterprises which serve us well.


If you need your local District Councillor, call 01787 210854.  Mob 07771 508348.

Email  or just holler across the road. All Best Wishes. Bryn.




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