Hundreds to take part in protest

FELIXSTOWE: Hundreds of people are now expected to take part in the Protest on the Prom on Sunday to demonstrate against the proposed closure of Felixstowe's treasured Blue Cross centre.

FELIXSTOWE: Hundreds of people are now expected to take part in the Protest on the Prom on Sunday to demonstrate against the proposed closure of Felixstowe's treasured Blue Cross centre.

There has already been a phenomenal response to the Evening Star's Save the Blue Cross campaign with thousands of people signing petition forms and coupons - and the protest will include a chance for more people to add their signatures.

People are invited to start gathering for the protest in the Spa Gardens at 10am ready to set off at 10.30am and should bring placards and banners, and can bring along their pets, too.

The aim is to reach the prom opposite Charles Manning's funfair around 11.30am.


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Former manager of the animal welfare and adoption centre in Walton High Street, Tom Crowley said: “We will not be racing along the prom - it will be a slow march and a chance for us to chat to people on the way about what we are doing and why.

“It will be a chance for everyone to show their support for the Blue Cross in Felixstowe and the wonderful work done at the centre.

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“It will also be an opportunity for people to show how they feel and demonstrate against the proposed closure.

“We hope to have a huge crowd and really show the charity's governors the opposition to their plans.”

Copies of posters are available at The Evening Star offices in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, and Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, for people to use on their placards.

Blue Cross officials want to close Felixstowe to set up a new centre in the north-west because they claim this would help more pets.

Send us your messages of support for the Save the Blue Cross campaign - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

FELIXSTOWE: Two years ago Blue Cross bosses drew up a blueprint for modernising and revitalising its Felixstowe animal rescue centre on its current site.

Town councillors had some concerns but were broadly in favour with the proposals for the development - but Suffolk Coastal refused them after one person whose garden adjoins the centre site objected.

Planning officers felt the project would be “unneighbourly” and “seriously detract from the amenity of neighbouring properties”.

It would have also meant the loss of a protected willow tree and put a significant oak, also under a Tree Preservation Order, at risk of serious harm.

The project suggested demolishing the current Blue Cross centre - offices, kennels and cattery - and replacing it with modern facilities around a courtyard exercise area, with parking and new offices and show there was a definite need for it work in the area.

The shame is that the Blue Cross did not revisit its ideas to see if changes could be made - if the design and layout could not be altered to move the animal areas to the side of the site furthest from homes, or whether materials could be used to stop dog noise being heard.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Sign the Evening Star Save Our Blue Cross petition today - you can sign it in 40 vets and shops in Suffolk and Essex, on-line or download further copies from our website www.eveningstar.co.uk and get friends, family and neighbours to pledge their support.

You can also leave your comments on-line about the closure proposal.

Display a poster in your window - collect one from the Evening Star's Ipswich and Felixstowe offices.

Write to Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton at Blue Cross head office, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF.

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