Report for BRN from Cllr Bryn Hurren August 2023.

17 Jul 2023


Tough times to be your local councillor at this moment, with the cost-of-living crisis still badly affecting most individuals and those that provide public services, life has certainly got harder.

It is not hard to notice that fuel prices remain high despite the barrel price paid by the fuel giants coming down considerably, another example of profiteering I am afraid. This should have been a golden opportunity for pioneering work to set our sights differently with a move away from fossil fuels and more onto wind, wave and water-powered generation, but I am afraid this dreadful government we are still stuck with seems joined at the hip with the large corporations who continue to milk the population dry. This is not to mention the Quasi Quatastrophy Trash budget that has impoverished householders and businesses alike.

Maybe one day we will get back to being able to get our teeth fixed and hips and knees (oooch) replaced so that our potential workforce can get out of their sickbeds and back to work.

It would also be so nice to take our children and animals for the occasional bathing and splashing trip along rivers and beaches but no, the shareholders' moneyfest has meant that there is no money left to build and replace old infrastructure and now raw sewage is allowed freely out into our water systems and the government appointed regulator seems powerless or just too lethargic to stop this. This is a very serious man-made disaster and no one should even let their pets near the water at the moment until this is sorted out. I just pray that in the upcoming by-elections that an even clearer message is sent to those that have misgoverned, and have obviously profited from us for so long now.

Nearer to home, dealing with things that I do have direct influence over in my local capacity, myself, along with Boxford PC have managed to bring a stay of execution to the 91 Sudbury to Ipswich bus service. If anyone reading this column uses this service, please make it known that you would like it to continue. While enough people using this service should keep it going and make it financially viable, it seems that commercial companies still struggle to break even without subsidies, Babergh along with CC have invested money to buy an electric 18seater bus, although we cannot take delivery until maybe early next year, this may just be the place where we could try it out. Watch this space.

The lack of affordable housing and homelessness is becoming ever more evident within this current mess we are in but every effort is being made by BMS to build or purchase more homes that people can actually afford to rent or buy, if anyone is known to be in difficulty, please let the council or myself know about this.

A gentle reminder that with the mass exodus of banks throughout our region and market towns, we do have a local replacement at our wonderful network of post offices, where you can do almost any transaction previously carried out by our once well-known banking system who are now regrettably too busy making too much money, to offer us a service.

The hierarchy that now run the post office are not great either and could not organize a rice pudding to go cold in a freezer but the wonderful postmasters and mistresses are very capable and will explain what can be done in their facilities, footfall, local and afar also helps keep local trade and facilities going as well, why get in the car.

Much work is also going on with our tourist strategy which will help local businesses as well, we live in a lovely area and should open it up and aim to share it as well, for the benefit of local trade, B & B's, guest houses, pubs, restaurants and even churches whose historic past still attracts visitors. I am also continuing to campaign to restore our decrepit road signage and get the vegetation cut back to reveal them. Not everyone has sat navs, especially from overseas and better signage might stop visitors crashing though the same potholes 16 times on the same journey.

Also now looming fast on the horizon is the appeal by Catesby to build 64 houses at the top of Stationfield, with all its traffic and water run-off problems. We do desperately need another affordable housing scheme in Boxford along with an improvement in infrastructure to accommodate the sons and daughters of the village along with those that wish to downsize into smaller properties, but another tranche of unaffordable houses is just what we do not need at all. Now is also the time to ease the traffic problems in Boxford by providing our school with some much-needed parking facilities and updating the pool, so that our young generations can access proper facilities along with all people in the village and those around who need to. Another win for the environment and more fossil fuels saved.

Some positive moves now being made locally despite the total ineptitude of the national 'dieselheads' and their shareholders and cohorts.

If you should need the help and services of your hard working local councillor, I can be found at 01787 210854 or mob 07771 508348

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