29 OCT 2018

East Suffolk Extra Column - 26th October 2018

"I was delighted to attend the official opening of the new Deben Leisure recently as Chairman of the Council, Cllr Nicky Yeo, did the honours by cutting the ribbon. Congratulations to Leisure Portfolio Holder, Cllr TJ Howarth-Culf and all at Suffolk Council District Council for bringing state of the art gyms and an updated swimming pool to Woodbridge. The new facility is fabulous and I'm sure will be well used by its existing and new customers.

Talking of Woodbridge, as the Thoroughfare has been shortlisted for this year's Great British High Street award I visited a number of independent stores recently, whose owners work so hard to make the Thoroughfare such a success. The Thoroughfare is up against 25 other streets in the Champion High Street category. You can show your support for Woodbridge by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using both #MYHIGHSTREET and#GBHSWoodbridge to register your vote. Unusually, you can vote as many times as you want.

As a result of my letter, the Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart MP, has offered to meet me regarding HMP Hollesley Bay, to hear first-hand the concerns of residents on the inclusion of sexual offenders. Open Prisons are extremely important in helping facilitate a prisoner's transition back into normal life but considering the close proximity of the primary school I share local concerns, especially in relation to certain categories of sexual offender. The Chairman of the Parish Council has agreed to accompany me to that meeting – and I will continue to press the case to try and effect a change on behalf of residents.

Finally, my department launched a consultation this week on banning the distribution of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds to protect our oceans. In England, it is estimated that we use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds each year. Items that are used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down. We are taking action to turn the tide on plastic pollution and ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it."

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