19 MAR 2018

Coastal Scene Column - 16th March 2018

"Regular readers will know that I have been working hard with local councillors to try and minimise the length of time Woods Lane is closed - and last year I called for longer working hours to shorten the closure period. It was originally anticipated by Bloor Homes that the road would be out of action until mid-April but by the time you read this it should now be re-opened or very shortly re-opened. Ahead of the phase two closure which started in January, Bloor committed to those longing working hours, which has shortened the closure. To their credit, the County Council has been in regular contact with Bloor and their contractors to ensure they kept up with the pace of work required. Late last year I met Cllr Jane Storey about the need to assess transport infrastructure for the future. The roads into Melton, Woodbridge and the peninsula from the A12 are clearly at capacity and will need to be addressed.

The latest round of the Government's £40m Coastal Communities Fund is now open for projects and organisations in Suffolk Coastal to bid into. In previous years Suffolk Coastal District Council and Felixstowe Forward have benefitted from the scheme to help promote tourism on the East Coast and to help rejuvenate Felixstowe. As in previous bidding rounds, the aim of the fund is to support economic development, delivering sustainable growth and jobs. The deadline is April 30th though the Government are also looking to fund a small number of projects which are ready to go and can be fast-tracked, with a closing date of April 2nd. For more information see - https://www.gov.uk/.../publi.../coastal-communities-fund-round-5

Finally, I'm pleased to see the significant strengthening of the LINK cash machine programme, set out in their annual report, which will help ensure consumers in remote and rural areas will get access to the cash they need. Last month, the LINK Board announced a series of measures designed to maintain and rebalance the UK's ATM networks – shifting incentives from deploying multiple ATMs in city centre to rural communities. This includes protecting free ATMs one kilometre or more from the next free cash machine - important for residents along the Suffolk coast."

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