Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Abbeygate news - Home

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Trees saved
Thanks to a decision by the Development Control committee this morning (to reject the YMCA extension) two mature pear trees at the back of gardens around 43 Whiting Street will now not be felled.It is rather alarming to think that I had to call in this application from being delegated to an officer, and yet I think the vote in committee was unanimous!

Is SID on his way?

I have just been telephoned by Suffolk County Council to say that an assessor is to visit Southgate Street to determine whether there is a safe and appropriate place to leave SID (Speed Indication Device?) following my recent request. For the record, the job number is 753433!
Let's hope this space is worth watching.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Abbeygate Street new barriers am delighted to report that the new style gates at the top of the street will be replacing the worn out temporary "road closed" sign. These will be more suited to the Bond Street of Suffolk than the Old Kent Road trappings of cones and temporary signs.Full report and pictures in the link above.
Saturday, 1 September 2007

B***er the begonias!
One of my electors (not the first) has been asking me about safety improvements for children crossing Westgate Street at the Bridewell Lane end. Those from the Southgate Street/Saxon Gate area walk up Maynewater Lane and have difficulty in crossing to reach the Guildhall Feoffment school. Their only safe alternative is to walk all the way to the Catholic church end and use the crossing there - and walk all the way back.
As David has said in my previous post, such improvements are always difficult to obtain, and in this case funding for a refuge has not been forthcoming from SCC this year.
That's not much use to my elector or other mums/dads, and after a few polite exchanges an email finished:
'We need to protect our children and provide a safe environment for them to get to school and back. I am not willing to see a middle class and mature population shape the future of Bury St Edmunds, to be honest Paul I do wish to say "bugger the begonias and look after the children of Bury".'
This was a reference to an earlier post of mine about floral improvements to the junction of Maynewater Lane and Southgate Street, which look even better now:
This gentle (and I think justifiable) chastisement led me to discuss the subject again with the officer concerned, and I hope there may be a way forward - albeit a long way.
Anyway, my elector (who is extremely pleasant) got my attention and action. It was a better ploy than calling me boastful (see BFP letters).
Thursday, 30 August 2007

Queens Head - the result

At this morning's hearing the application was amended substantially by the applicant - who was represented by my fellow councillor and serial blog commenter David Nettleton (right).
Instead of extending the closing time by 1hr 20mins the applicant requested an extension of just 30minutes on Sundays, Thursdays and weekends.
Despite this climb-down the application was still rejected by the sub-committee, who seemed to recognise my simple argument that:
1. There is inevitably outside noise and disturbance created when any pub closes
2. This is predominantly a residential area and the law upholds the rights of residents
3. Closure at 12.30 Fri/Sat would mean residents (woken at 5 by refuse collection) would have their opportunity of sleeping further reduced.
4. This constitutes a public nuisance under the 2003 Act
5. Therefore the sub-committee had no option but to reject the application.


Ruby in Bury said...

I totally agree that there should be priority places given to the disabled in town, but I agree with you that a lot of people won't like that.

From what I can see, however, the multi storey has generally has plenty of spaces available (tho it didn't always over the Christmas period) and the able-bodied can easily use it.

What I saw in the multi-storey on one occasion, and it saddened me, was a very elderly couple who had parked and were slowly making their way down for the walk into town. I thought at the time how wrong it was that spaces in town were most likely taken up by people who could much more easily have done that walk.

I am very keen on a permanent park and ride scheme for Bury as well as a *much improved* public transport system. What are your thoughts on a park and ride?

Steve Williams said...

I think it is a very good idea to have disabled spaces outside shops. I think there should be a space reserved for people with young children too. Anyone with a baby or a small child will understand!!

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

I wonder if I have created some confusion (not unusual!). The space in the photo is not intended to be created for cars with disabled badges, but for NO cars, so that those in wheelchairs and on buggies can cross the road using the dropped curve.

We do of course have quite a lot of disabled-only on-street parking spaces in town, and plenty at the Nelson Rd/Risbygate St car park - which is now given over entirely for this purpose. There are also the temporary (and I think quite satisfactory) WCs there, which is handy. But the advantages of our loo situation is rarely trumpeted in the press!

Park and Ride is something that we have been experimenting with (successfully) and are looking into in depth. I would add that during the five weeks around last Christmas we accomodated 3.4% more car parking events than in the same weeks in 2005. This is partly due to the electronic signs and partly the change to more short stay parking nearer the town centre.

But then I would say that, wouldn't I?!

Amy Taylor said...

Are middle schools being abolished throughout the whole of Suffolk then? If so, when? I think it would be a great shame.What do you think?

Ruby in Bury said...

I did indeed misunderstand. Have just re-read your post and now I see.

I think it's a good thing to have some space just there - it gets too chocca with cars. As I have said elsewhere, I'd like to see cars completely out of the town centre - particularly off Angel Hill.

Anonymous said...

Your apparent dedication to the disabled is formidable Cllr Farmer. This blog (and your former blog) is testiment to your hard work. Having lived in many areas in the past, I am very impressed with your apparent close relation with those of us who live within your ward. I suppose what I am trying to say is thanks :)

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

For info about Sufolk school organisation:

Phone: 08456 031 842

Sara Brinkley said...

My children have been to middle schools and I cannot praise them enough. Suffolk County Council has always been at the forefront of educational philosophy and I feel that the loss of middle schools would be a great backward step. They provide a means of prolonging childhood which passes all too quickly. Children have enjoyed the opportunity to be creative which is so often denied them when they attend seconary school.

What do you think?

Susan Hemmingway said...

I agree with you completely Sara. I taught in a middle school many years ago.Perhaps you'd like to e-mail me about this. It's

sara brinkley said...

It`s late and I am tired - sorry email is I will email you tomorrow Ms Hemmingway. In the meantime what are other bloggers` views on middle school education:

P. Hillingdon said...

Am I the first this year to hear a cuckoo in Bury St Edmunds?

I was in the Abbey Gardens yesterday evening and one flew over!

Sara Brinkley said...

I have been reading through your Blog while I have a break from my work. I am very concerned about the loss of middle schools as you know. I am still waiting to hear your personal views on this subject.

I also note that Cllr Nettleton and "Hoffy" no longer leave comments on your new blogging page. Why do you think this is? There isn`t the debate now that occurred on your previous site which is a pity.

Sara Brinkley said...

I am disappointed that you have not yet given your views on Middle School Education.

It is a very important issue. I have voted Conservative for most of my life, but I need to know your opinion on this topic before I make my decision this time.

I see from your web page that you have had a career in education and I am sure your views will be well founded.

Thank you.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

Having taught in the two and three tier system, I believe there is much to be said on both sides; but I stress this is a COUNTY council decision. It has nothing to do with the local DISTRICT/BOROUGH and PARISH/TOWN council elections on 3rd May. Anybody who says it is is either misguided or mischievous. Voting for the country elections will be in May 2009, so I suggest you consider your opinion then. I have enough on my plate in the way of controversy, without adding to the middle school debate; and I therefore do not intend to add to it here. Others are welcome to.

I am intrigued that you notice that Hoffy and Nettleton do not contribute to these pages. The former implied that its because I don't comment on his and the latter says he is too technically challenged.

Sara Brinkley said...

I am disappointed in your response. You seem to be sitting on the fence and not prepared to give your opinion.

Although this is not an issue for the forthcoming town elections, I would like to know your views and whether you will be keeping to the party line or using your personal integrity. I prefer to give my loyalty to someone who is (to use your own words) prepared to put his head above the parapet.

You say that you do not want to debate this issue now but at the same time, you would like Cllr Nettleton to join in the debate. I see that you have commented on his football blog and that he has not responded there because his site is not dedicated to parochial issues. Why are you not prepared to give some of your time to this very important issue?

I look forward to learning your views on the possible closure of middle schools. Did your own children receive the three tier education and, if so, were you satisfied with it? If not, what were the advantages of the other system?

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

1. See my last comment above.
2. There is no "party line": the current proposal was put forward unanimously by an all-party panel, including LibDems and Labour.
3. I have no opportunity in this debate to "use my personal integrity".
4. I do not know what opportunity you have to "give (your) loyalty" to me, nor do I understand what you mean.
5. I simply thought DN would be interested to comment on my description of his stance. I am not losing sleep that he hasn't.
6. What the three tier system did for my own children is not as important as getting the system right for all children in the future, whether that be in the two or three tier system.

Susan Hemmingway said...

I agree with all the points above but I feel point 6 is a little harsh on your own children!!!

Susan Hemmingway said...

Just out of interest, whether out of the two or three tier system has the education system as a whole succeeded your children? Did they go on to higher or further education? Did you ever consider home education? What are your views on this?

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

I see that you have joined "Sara Brinkley's" facintion with middle schools and my children. How interesting!

I do not intend to comment further on these subjects, and am unlikely to allow others to.

Susan Hemmingway said...

It is not a fascination. I am merely interested to find out what the views of my local councillor are. I am also interested in getting to know him as a person, rather than just a political figure. That's all. Sorry if my questioning has caused offence. It was not intended.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

Thank you for your kind apology, which was neither needed nor expected.

I can find no Hemmingways in Abbeygate Ward. If you think otherwise by all means let me know your address confidentially via email:

Sara Brinkley said...

I am very disappointed by your comments and, like Ms Hemmingway, find point six strange, to say the least.

I am pleased that "Hoffy" is now making some comments. Perhaps other contributors may have something to say about the loss of middle schools even though you are not prepared to.

Anonymous said...

Your printer sounds very much like my children!!