Report from County Councillor Robert Lindsay
Lavenham PC 6.8.20
Cycling wins funding thanks to revised cycle strategy
Two years ago, my motion to set up a cycling working group to draw up a prioritised, costed list of cycle routes in the county received unanimous support. After much delay the working group’s recommendations were approved by cabinet last month, just in time for some emergency funding for cycling and walking from the Government. The Government has just awarded the county 112% of the money than it originally allocated to us because of the strength of the county’s bid. The money will not fund all the cycle routes on the list but having a list means we are more likely to win bids when they arise. Babergh is working closely with Suffolk to refine the list and there is an opportunity for communities to put in their own suggestions for routes for investment using emergency money that is coming for Government for this purpose.
Funding and pandemic
Suffolk County Council agreed its budget before the pandemic. Since then it has received extra funding from the Government to cover some of the considerable extra costs of the crisis. However the council says this is unlikely to be enough when budgets, particularly for social care, were already strained even before.
Test and trace Suffolk
I have been assured by the Director of Public Health that he is now getting the data on local community testing from central Government that he needs to enable local lockdowns should there be a local outbreak. However, I am not clear whether enough testing is yet being done, outside care homes, to pick up outbreaks in time.
Earlier in July a motion to end support for Sizewell C my group brought to Suffolk county council was defeated by Conservative and Labour councillors. They argued that they first wanted to absorb the arguments from EDF in their application.
Due to social distancing rules, no spare seats will be offered on school buses for those starting school in September. I have had three families in the area raise this as a problem for them – since the fares on commercial buses seem to have risen dramatically - which I have passed on to the cabinet member in charge of education and school transport and the press.