News From The Village Hall

The big news is that The Charity Commission has approved our application to amalgamate the Village Hall and Playing Field into a single entity, with full charitable status. This means that a single management committee will be formed to look after the operation, maintenance and development of these two important village assets.

We are looking for volunteers who would like to serve on the new committee and are prepared to be actively involved in all aspects of the work. If you would like to help, please contact me on the telephone number at the end of this article.

About 60 villagers and friends enjoyed the annual Christmas Party on 6th December, which is a smaller number than in previous years. Everyone had a great time with a licensed bar, excellent food and dancing to a live band. Planning is now under way for the Summer Ball in June and we’ll keep everyone informed once the date has been fixed. Since the official opening last May, it feels as though some of the enthusiasm that built up for the Hall has been lost. Hopefully that can be rekindled and we’re looking for ideas for events which can be organised for the enjoyment and benefit of everyone. Let’s not forget that the Hall will be 100 years old in 3 years time!

Regular maintenance is essential and the committee will be asking for your help during the year with regular working parties to keep the hall in good order and look after the surrounding landscape. Please try and support these requests so that all the work doesn’t fall onto the same small group of people all the time. Finally a reminder to all users – please make sure that you clean up after you ready for the next user and turn off all lights and appliances so that we can minimise our energy usage and keep control of our costs.

Any suggestions or ideas – please give me a ring.

Nigel Suckling – 688317.

Blaxhall Roads Update

At the September 2008 Blaxhall Parish Council meeting the condition of Blaxhall’s roads were discussed. Guy McGregor the Suffolk County Councillor responsible for Roads & Transport came along with the Highways Officer responsible for this area to explain the policy regarding rural roads.

The Parish Council made it very clear to them that it was unhappy with the current condition of the roads, in particular the large amounts of water that collect in various points on all roads leading into Blaxhall. It was agreed that efforts would be made to improve drainage along Station Road so that at least one road would remain passable at all times. This work has been undertaken and to date the work has proved effective, we do however keep a close eye on this.

The problems experienced along Rectory Road, passed Stone Common of water run off from fields & track behind the Church have been addressed by Mr Kerr after discussion with Parish Council Representatives. The soakage ditches dug beside the track have stopped the large stones & other debris being washed out & left on the junction of Church Road/Rectory Road. At the January meeting roads again featured, this time the emphasis was on the increasing number of potholes that have appeared & the amount of dirt & other debris that have built up. The Parish Council is pursuing these matters & hope that repairs & sweeping will soon be undertaken.

The Parish Council will discuss these matters again at the March Meeting to be held 4th March 2009 at the Village Hall 7.30pm.

The Patronal Festival of St Peters Blaxhall 27th and 28th June 2009

There will be a short meeting at 7:30pm in the Village Hall on Wednesday 11th February for anyone interested in helping with the flowers for the Church Patronal Festival. The main propose is to agree the theme for this year and how to fill the church with a mass of flowers.

Please come along, but if you cannot make the meeting but want to help please contact me, Clara Jenkins, on 688558.

Playing Field Work Party

The Playing Field committee are looking for volunteers to help with the annual work party on Saturday 7th February at 10.00. The work is likely to involve general tidying up and hedge planting. No specific skills or previous experience required just a willing pair of hands, everyone is welcome just turn up at the playing field.

Blaxhall Allotments & Common Yards

Allotment holders met last November for a seed exchange, tea and cake, (one allotment holder even brought some lovely home-made wine) to discuss issues that had arisen during the year.

Now there are two allotments still available on Stone Common, but otherwise all allotments are occupied. If anyone is interested in taking up an allotment, please contact Lyn Gash or Maggie Grenham – contact details below.

Some Stone Common allotment holders have been finding people they don’t know wandering into their land or not controlling their dogs along the footpaths. To help address this issue, new way- marking posts have now been ordered to ensure footpaths are clearly marked and copies of the Countryside Code are being put into all short let properties with a copy of a simple bit of guidance about Blaxhall allotments. The guidance can also act as a good reminder to local people too- to keep dogs under control in the village and on footpaths (this is especially important for the allotment holders with animals and poultry), and to treat people’s allotments in the same way they would a person’s garden.

Our next meeting is on April 1st – after midday so there shouldn’t be any practical jokes! On the other hand, people are being encouraged to bring their spare seedlings for a ‘seedling exchange’ at the beginning of the growing season. It was a real joy to see Blaxhall allotments and gardens last year, despite the wet weather, and so I hope many of you will think of coming along (Blaxhall gardeners as well as allotment holders) at 7.30 in the evening at the Parish Hall; everyone is truly welcome.

For further details – or to take up an allotment contact: Lyn Gash 01728 746425 or Maggie Grenham 01728 688611

Local Development Framework - Consultation Document

Suffolk Coastal District Council is drawing up a new Local Development Framework (LDF) which sets out the planning policies, proposals and actions for the future development of our district to 2025.

A number of documents make up the LDF, each of which must go through various consultation stages, and will include comments from local Parish Councils. The LDF Core Strategy sets out its preferred approach towards the future development of the district, covering such subjects as housing, a settlement hierarchy, economy, environment and community well-being.

The site specific proposals document contains all the suggestions that have been submitted to the Council as part of the LDF process for changes to the current town or village ‘envelopes’, or land suggested to be used for specific purposes that are different than currently agreed.

The Parish Council will be discussing the LDF proposals and any implications for Blaxhall, at an Extraordinary Meeting on Wednesday 4 February at 7.30 in the Village Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.

SWT Blaxhall Heath Work Parties

Terry Peake, Volunteer Warden for Blaxhall Heath leads work parties on Blaxhall Common to manage the heathland on the 2nd Saturday of the month during the winter months.

Please let him know if you hope to go along by calling him on 01728 746004. The work parties are fun and healthy. Please call before hand to check on the exact location, bring boots, gloves and refreshments and warm clothes. The next dates are 14th February and 14th March.

Your Parish Councillors

Gary Borrett 687562
Graham Bowles 688192
Phillip Dunnett 688273
Valerie Fenwick 688266
Lyn Gash 746425
Shirley Leeks 688220
Steve Smedley 688715
Nigel Suckling 688317
Rodney West 688611