October 24 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, November 25, 2012
IN one or two places around our town, the name of Waveney District Council is starting to appear – suggesting we are now being governed by a council 40 miles away.
Should we be getting hot under the collar about it?
Town and district councillor Mike Sharman thinks we should – and has been appalled to see Waveney’s name alongside that of Suffolk Coastal.
“I don’t think people in Ipswich would be very pleased if there were signs on the Cornhill saying Ipswich Borough Council and Babergh District Council,” said Mr Sharman.
“It’s as if we are losing our identity.”
WHAT our town lacks is some prominent public art, something interesting, iconic, contemporary and controversial.
Felixstowe needs a notorious scallop, a question mark, a granny or a strange major swatting flies to stir up some discussion, attract new visitors, and give us a focal point.
Or perhaps a statue to some well-known local figure – Sir John Mills has been suggested in the past.
All we have at present is a black metal donkey outside the library, a gift from our twin town.
Public art has been included in several planning documents, but unfortunately always seems to be bottom of the list where the money does not stretch – and that is not likely to change in the current economic climate.
The two councils are working in partnership now – sharing council officers, resources and services, all in the name of saving money.
And so far the arrangements have saved more than £4 million.
The partnership is going to carry on and hopefully continue to save us money.
So should we bothered by a few words on some council signs? Will it really take away our identity?
Suffolk Coastal says adding the name of Waveney means staff from both councils can carry out enforcement work – ie issuing on-the-spot fines for people dropping litter or not cleaning up after their dogs. In Waveney the officers are pretty hot on this and in the past year have issued 150 fixed penalty tickets for littering and 26 for dog fouling and other incidents. Suffolk Coastal have only issued a handful.
Perhaps having Waveney officers operating on our patch will solve some of the awful litter and dog mess problems we have in Felixstowe and get that message to hit home.
There has always been frustration at Felixstowe being governed from Woodbridge with little power over its own affairs, but the town council could have the opportunity to take on more services as Suffolk Coastal does less in the years ahead.
Surely there are bigger things to worry about and take issue with than a different name – however far- flung – on some council signs that few people will ever read.