Felixstowe town and around news
The festive season has started. The Town looks lovely with the Christmas lights – great work from The Lions – the shops are displaying delicious Christmas food – late night shopping on the Fridays leading up to Christmas about to start and a pile of Christmas cards sitting on my dining room table waiting to be written!
The headline news this month is the report about to go before Suffolk Coastal Cabinet to approve a new scheme of charging and tenancies that will have a detrimental effect on many beach hut owners if it goes ahead. The rental charges are scheduled to increase by 10% year on year reaching a maximum of £7k at the end of the suggested 1 year license and 9 year lease period. There will be many, many hut owners who cannot meet this type of financial demand as many are pensioners but add to this the change from the £32.60 transfer fee when a hut is sold now to 3 times the annual rent for the same service again if this scheme is approved. As you can imagine the inboxes of all Felixstowe Councillors are full of angry comments at the proposals as well as letters coming through the post in a similar vein. Those of us on the District council will be doing our best to persuade Cabinet members against voting for these proposals. By the time you read this it will have happened one way or the other.
The subject of the indiscriminate parking in the Town was discussed at a Safer Neighbourhood meeting in December. The Police agreed with all the comments made but admitted that lack of staff made it impossible to “police” the town on a regular basis. However, when possible special constables and a PCSO are doing their best to monitor the situation. I got caught up in a gridlock situation trying to exit Victoria Street into Hamilton Road to be faced with a large lorry parked on the corner by the café. A stream of cars – including a taxi – parked on the left hand side (not allowed) and restricting the flow of cars trying to turn into Hamilton Road from Wolsey Gardens, with traffic trying to drive down the road to Bent Hill unable to move! Some drivers are so thoughtless at times.
An online conversation has started about the condition of the shelters on the seafront. I hear that there is some plan to do work on these in the future – but what that is and what it entails I have no knowledge. An update on the Wetherspoons site from that which I gave you last month is that it is not just the gas main across the site that is holding up progress but certain planning requirements that have yet to be agreed with the District Council.
The Post Office has now moved into W.H. Smith. A controversial planning application was received to remove the doors and replace with automated bi-fold doors painted white. This application was vehemently opposed by Felixstowe town Council as the shop is in a Conservation area and the proposals would be intrusive, out of character and the insertion of a proposed ATM would combine to destroy the very essence of the current frontage. We have already lost some of our traditional shop fronts – most famously Westbrooks (now Hughes). I hope we win this battle.
Happy New Year to everyone.