First published in The Felixstowe Flyer, July 2020.
Supporting local shops and businesses
Felixstowe is so fortunate to have independent retailers who have been an invaluable lifeline to many of our residents during the coronavirus crisis. The bakers, fruit and vegetable sellers, fishmongers and butchers, and many others, have all played a part in ensuring access to supplies.
A short walk to the shops is more palatable than the boredom and risks associated with queuing at the supermarket. Shopping locally has many benefits. Cooking from scratch with fresh vegetables, better cuts of meat and fresh fish is healthier for all of us, including independent retailers who hope that they can retain some of those new customers when the lockdown restrictions are relaxed.
Whilst many of our non-food shops have reopened, sadly some will be lost due to the financial impact of Covid-19. The Government has announced a £50m Reopening of High Streets Safely fund and East Suffolk Council is consulting with local Town and Parish Councils to identify activities and local measures which may be supported by the fund.
Hamilton Road made safer for shoppers
We have called for the share space in Hamilton Road to be closed to traffic to ensure a safer environment for shoppers who are observing social distancing whilst waiting their turn to shop. There are people queuing outside shops, people walking in both directions, with cars and cyclists moving through the shared space, not always seemingly aware of pedestrians. Plans for a temporary closure of the shared space area traffic from 10am to 4pm is welcomed. Blue badge holders will still be able to park and shop before or after closure. It will be much safer for pedestrians.
Solving parking problems
The new Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) scheme has thrown up some problems. Residents in Seaton Road who have for many years parked their cars on single yellow lines are now getting parking tickets. Over the years the police have ignored this offence claiming that the parked cars act as a speeding deterrent. We believe that there should be a complete overhaul of parking restrictions right across the town. In Walton the CPE is working well, with frequent visits from traffic wardens. This should help to alleviate the difficulties caused by vehicle sparking illegally, especially at the entrance to King Street.
Good news for junior football
Junior football is to return to Seaton Road playing field after many years, with the Trimley Red Devils moving there subject to planning consent in late summer. A recent planning application for changing and toilet facilities was recommended for approval by the Town Council Planning Committee, and we have requested that the plans are revised to include a disabled toilet.
Promoting low carbon housing
The site of the Deben High School has been put forward for a new housing scheme which we feel is a good use of the brownfield site and preferable to more housing in the greenfield countryside. It is our ambition that most of the housing should be low carbon social housing on a model similar to a development in Norwich.
Local sports clubs to benefit
Felixstowe & Corinthians Cricket Club are exploring the opportunity to make the former school’s playing field their long-term home. This will solve a problem for the Cricket Club who were badly let down by the former owners of Felixstowe Academy. The old sports hall will be upgraded with the intention of providing a new home for the Indoor Bowls Club.
Whilst the Covid-19 (coronavirus) is active, our surgeries remain suspended but we are continuing our work across various committees and you can continue to contact us at: