Report from Cllr Bryn Hurren BDC Lib Dem Member Box Vale Ward: November 2022

30 Nov 2022

After the grief and sadness of September and into October due to the passing of our dear Sovereign, local government has quickly got back to as near normal as it can be with so much turmoil thrown our way. The cost of living crisis seems to get more evident and frightening by the day and even upper middle waged earners are beginning to suffer and feel the pinch now.

To help with this Babergh mid Suffolk have bid for and received an additional £170,000 to help those that are seriously affected by the rising costs and just do not have enough to pay additional costs of food and fuel etc.

A quick visit to the Babergh website will give pointers to apply for this and to see if you qualify.

Also, the Citizens Advice Bureau in partnership with others, are once again running a surviving winter appeal fund. This one works by appealing to recipients of the winter fuel payment of £200.00 which is given to folks of a pensionable age, to donate their payments to the fund, set up to collect monies to donate to help others more in need than themselves. We have collected over £400,000 on previous occasions and this has helped many low-income families and indeed single people living alone to at least keep the lights on and some basic warmth in their homes. I will give more details in this column next month as details are finalised and hopefully before the real bitter weather sets in.

It seems so strange in these modern times for the District Council to be the main lifeline for so many disadvantaged and struggling individuals but it seems it is now the reflection of our times and on those in government who have taken so many bad paths and made so many hideous decisions. The latest mini budget catastrophe could have been forecast by the average schoolchild in their first year in high school. The Robin Hood reversal of robbing the poor to give more cash to the very rich financed by borrowed monies has met with the condemnation it deserved and has even woken up some of the previously "how high would you like me to jump" Government back benchers from their complacency, maybe there yet is some hope.

If anyone reading this feels that in the near future they can help myself and other LibDem councillors to turn the Tory tide of cuts and wasted expenditure, then please do get in touch.

We are seeking good like minded people to stand for election at the District Council elections next May and to turn the tide at the next General Election in two years time.

This country and its people cannot afford to risk the presence of a Tory government for another five years. There will be nothing left untouched by their ravages, greed and incompetence.

What is certain, is that this Trash government of idealists with very little talent, drawn from the very privileged cannot be allowed to carry on any longer in this manner. As a nation we are now being condemned by former allies and even the financial bodies who regulate us and our unpayable debts are beginning to take notice and warn us of the consequences of our lack of financial nous and competence. Due to its recklessness, family mortgage repayments have doubled and our cost of just basic living has jumped ever higher. The Kwasi Kwatasthophi has now reached epic proportions, let's hope that Jeremy Hunt's lack of experience in the treasury at least compels him to listen to the civil servants around him and that those who are left standing will guide him well and stop any more disastrous experiments with our money.

While it has always been accepted that if a Prime Minister resigns, dies or as in this case is disgraced and thrown out, another one must be elected by the ruling party to take their place, I think that this protocol should now be revisited and changed. While Tom Tugendhat did have some credibility, all the other contenders certainly had very little and the fact that a tiny percentage of very unrepresentative folk managed to take six weeks in which the Country was left rudderless during a time of crisis, to elect the very worst candidate on offer, just because she appealed to their way of thinking in various venues across our once genteel nation was nothing short of a disgrace and something that should never happen again.

A deputy Prime Minister should be nominated and automatically step up as each prime minister falls, which is happening ever more regularly now.

The worst side to all of this is that politicians are losing the trust of the people who elect them and even the hard working and honest MPs and Councillors who work long hours to help their constituents are being tarred with the same brush and I am afraid that some of the electorate may be put off voting at all, which could mean that we will continue to get the very worst of a bad system with ever decreasing regulation and laws.

Is there hope? Yes, there is always hope and I feel that the anger in this nation is subsiding now and the feeling is turning to desperation and maybe the need to work together to take back control from the right wing idealists and to work together to create something better and more democratic for all of us.

In the Babergh area it will have been noticed that work has at last started on the council's old HQ at Corks Ln Hadleigh, this is five years after we moved out but at least we will no longer be paying out the monthly sums of £1,000.00 for security on the now vacated and gutted buildings. This was and still is a bad decision but at least 57 new homes will be created and maybe if the economy ever recovers, we might just break even on the financial outlay of building and converting them.

More of a success for the council is the collection and distribution of the CIL (community infrastructure levy) monies. Since it's inception in 2018 BaberghmidSuffolk have collected just over 12m from developers and this money has been redistributed across all of our area and has made a difference in all villages who have had a project financed in this manner. I have not been in favour of much of the development that has been forced upon us but at least the levy has brought in monies to help rebuild new infrastructure.

Another good initiative now coming though ever more strongly is the recognition of the importance of the environment and biodiversity and the council's efforts to turn away from fossil fuels and our efforts to increase hedge and tree planting across our land, housing developments and parks. While this is laudable, we must also remember that our farmers and the land that they are now custodians of, must also provide us with food to eat which is best done locally to save road miles and keep produce fresh. With thought this can all be done in conjunction and there can be room for everything.

Terrifyingly we have a terrible outbreak of Avian flu amongst many of our egg laying flocks at this moment, please report any diseased wild birds to Defra and try to stick to recognized footpaths and away from farms with fowl at this present time. I am sure all our thoughts are with those trying to keep this horrible disease at bay for all our sakes.

Please keep well and treat everyone else with kindness.

If you need your councillor, I can be contacted at

Tel 01787 210854 mob 07771 508348.

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