Coastal voters give their views

YOUNG people, affordable homes, and safer communities are the top three priorities in a new project aiming to improve life in the Suffolk Coastal area.

YOUNG people, affordable homes, and safer communities are the top three priorities in a new project aiming to improve life in the Suffolk Coastal area.

All the key organisations in the district have signed up to a partnership scheme in which they will all work together to create more jobs, make it a place people want to live and work in, and protect the environment.

"The partnership has agreed a vision that will shape the way that we all work in the future," said Ray Herring, chairman of the partnership and leader of Suffolk Coastal council.

"There are agreed goals and real targets that will result in improved services and facilities, helping to make this an even better district for all."

Members of the Suffolk Coastal Local Strategic Partnership include the county council, police, Primary Care Trust, Suffolk Learning and Skills Council, Suffolk ACRE, town and parish councils, voluntary bodies and businesses.

Their vision states that the district should be a place where people want to live and to invest, and where people care for others and for the environment.

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"The partnership's Community Plan builds on this district's strengths – more than nine out of ten residents like living here and are able to say many good things about their district," said Mr Herring.

"Important measures like unemployment, mortality and crime rates are all much better than the national, or even the county, average.

"However, residents and businesses do have genuine concerns and we want to address them – issues like poor public transport, especially in our rural areas, or a lack of things for young people to do. Our strategy will tackle these issues.

"The Community Plan we have produced is the result of this district coming together and sharing its hopes and recognising the challenges it faces."

Five main action areas were agreed after taking the views of residents: the need to tackle relating to young people; provide extra affordable housing; improve access to services and jobs, especially in rural areas; reduce the fear of crime; and support development of voluntary and community groups.

One of the goals set is to maintain and increase the retail and service floorspace in Felixstowe and the district's market towns, while the strategy also wants to encourage healthy lifestyles, improve access to care and treatment, and make health services more responsive to local needs.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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