Tuesday, 11 October 2011

councillor Harsant At Large

latest from the former Leader of the Council,

Levington Road
So tomorrow we will know the outcome of another application which has been submitted to the Planning Department for a bungalow at the rear of 34 to 40 Levington Road and using part of 36 and 38 Levington Road.  A precedent was set back in June this year when an application for a bungalow was approved further up Levington Road towards Felixstowe Road in spite of the residents fighting against this for over 6 years – can you imagine their dismay when this was agreed.  So my prediction that this would happen again is about to come true – we shall soon have another street between Levington and Salisbury Road!  The site in question had some lovely trees on it and suddenly overnight the developer cut them all down.  The residents are very distressed by this as many of them saw what they believed to be a bat roost in there.  I am told by the Planning Officers that it is the Wildlife and Countryside Act that offers protection to any protected species and any offences under the Act are criminal offences to be dealt with by the police rather than the local planning authority.  So we shall see but it is strange that biodiversity is important along the greensward on Nacton and Clapgate Lane but not important at the rear of these properties.  Let’s hope the Planning Committee listen to the residents’ concerns this time. The application will be heard tomorrow Wednesday October 19th at Grafton House.
I have sent a picture but will send one of a bat as well!
Talitha Koum
The other Friday I was very honoured to be asked to attend the laying of the first bricks of a women’s sanctuary to be called Talitha Koum and which is situated on a beautiful farm in Witnesham.  The sanctuary will become a lasting legacy to the five women who were murdered by Steve Wright now nearly 6 years ago.  The Patron of this wonderful Christian based charity is Bishop Nigel Stock and we watched as he laid those first bricks. It is amazing the support that has been received, ISG Jackson have named Talitha Koum as their community project and a local company Clear Fields have donated to the charity ground workers to lay the footings and other skilled individuals who are committed to using their skills to make the project a reality. As a Trustee of Somebody’s Daughter Memorial Fund a charity set up by the Evening Star in response to those terrible murders we have already donated £20,000 which is money your readers so kindly donated.  So at last we can see what we have all been striving for a sanctuary which will offer support to women who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and how we hope to turn their lives around.  Would you like to help or even buy a brick then please contact: Talitha Koum c/o John Cobbold, Chief Executive, Talitha Koum, 20 Back Hamlet, Ipswich, Suffolk. IP3 8AJ or visit the website www.talithakoum.org.uk 
Some photos of Bishop to follow
Bus Shelter
We have a very unique bus shelter in Holywells Ward situated on an island site on the junction of Nacton Road and Clapgate Lane. Sadly it is often vandalised and costs the Council money to maintain it.  However we have the most marvelous and knowledgeable Conservation Officer at the Borough Council who tells me that this is probably the only bus shelter of its kind surviving in Ipswich.  He believes it was probably designed by J S Corder who did the big shelter (largely destroyed by arson in 2005) at the northern gate of the Old Cemetery and a similar one at the Cemetery Road end.  Was this shelter the end of the tram run and a turning point for the trams?  It would be really interesting if you could recall why this was built and it certainly seems to fit in well with the adjacent cottages.  Please email me if you know its history but I am sure you will agree that we must keep it we don’t want it replaced with a modern contraption.  Come on Ipswich Borough Council protect your inheritance.
Picture to follow
There has been a wonderful response to my article about the greensward and thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to write to the Council.  The Council is listening and they will be putting a questionnaire onto their Website and also delivering one to all the residents affected by their proposals.  However we have a By-Election in St Margaret’s Ward and the residents there are also affected by this grass management scheme so nothing will happen until after the 11th of November.  I will keep in touch with you all but keep sending in your representations.
This is a busy time of the year for our University with the arrival of lots of new students and I am afraid lots of complaints about noise late at night.  I just wanted to say that the University is taking this very seriously as are your Councillors.  This Friday 21st of October we are holding a Meeting at the University in Lecture Theatre 1 from 6-7 at which our MP Ben Gummer will be present.  This is what you asked for and the University will be represented, as will the Council and the Police.  So please come along it’s only an hour.

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