Suffolk Village of the Year 2023

From Our County Councillor

A good deal of my time this summer has been spent thinking about how savings can be found to help the County Council to balance its books over the next three years. We are only half way through the process of cutting over £200m from our budget due to cuts in grant funding from the Government and increased demand for our services. Looking for savings is not a particularly pleasant task, and so it is good to be able to report two good news stories.

I recently visited the new Energy from Waste facility at Great Blakenham for the first time. I was worried that I would not be able to find it, but there was certainly no danger of that. It certainly presents a major feature in the landscape. The facility is now in its commissioning stage, most of the construction work on the site having been completed. In addition to waste from Suffolk, SCC recently entered into an agreement with Norfolk to take 40,000 tons per annum of their waste. This is a good deal for both sides. We will benefit from greater economies of scale and Norfolk will save money due to not having to pay landfill charges.   Once the Waste facility, which, it is anticipated, will be officially opened next year, is fully operational only about 3% of Suffolk’s waste will go to landfill. This is not just cost effective for the County, but also good for the environment

The beginning of August marked the second anniversary of the transfer of the county’s library services to the Suffolk Libraries Provident Society. Freed from the ownership of the County Council (although we still give grant support) our libraries have in general gone from strength to strength in their new independent guise. Representatives from other councils have visited Suffolk to see what has been achieved. Successes include the installation of WIFI into all libraries in the County and a greatly enhanced offering of e books and free legal music downloads. We have also twice been able to run the Suffolk Reading Challenge for children, and I enjoyed going to Lavenham Library recently to give certificates to children who have taken part in our area.

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