Aldeburgh celebrated the installation of the town's new Mayor, Councillor Jocelyn Bond, at a Civic Service on Sunday May 21st.
Led by the Leiston Branch of the British Legion Band, Councillor Bond and fellow town councillors joined representatives from a large number of organisations in parading from the Moot Hall to the Parish Church for a Civic Service. The Reverend Nichola Winter led the service and the Very Reverend Christopher Lewis preached the sermon. Councillor Julian Worster read from Acts and Councillor Bond read from John.
The Mayor's Parade included the Deputy Mayor of Aldeburgh, Councillor John Digby and town councillors and their wives or partners, representatives from the RNLI, the Coastguards, the Fire Service, 653 Squadron Army Air Corps, the Aldeburgh Carnival Committee, Aldeburgh Brownies, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, the Mayor of Woodbridge and a variety of other organisations.
Following the church service, the Parade returned to the Moot Hall where Councillor Bond addressed well-wishers. She said it was a great honour to be asked to represent the people of Aldeburgh.
"The first thing I must do is to thank our outgoing mayor, John Digby, with his wife Jenny for all their hard work - there’s not a day I don’t see John out and about, transporting essential things from place to place (Aldeburgh’s Jason Statham!) or appearing in the national papers -raising Aldeburgh’s profile by his contact with the great and the good. John, your association with luvvies and Royalty this year is going to be impossible to beat.
"Councillor Digby has done such an outstanding job, which is why I have asked him to be my deputy so that he can pretty much carry on uninterrupted, with all the things he is so good at.
"Nowhere can remain completely static, however charming; it is vital to never stop investigating and embracing the new, but I hope that the Town Council is allowed to continue to do this while protecting what makes the Town so special. A large part of this is to retain and support the people who make it work - some could say they ‘are’ the Town, and also draw in new people – fresh blood – who bring with them ideas that help contribute to keeping the essential Aldeburgh apparently unchanged.
"As most of you are probably aware, Adrian and I chose to move to Aldeburgh with our daughter about 15 years ago. I was immediately charmed by the gentle feel of the place, the kindness of our neighbours, and Rosa has grown up in a town she actually occasionally says is ‘quite cool’. I’m sure you agree, an accolade from a mid teen.
"The Moot Hall’s transformation, alterations to the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan, continuing to action the Town Plan and an almost certain appeal against the Brick Pit application are all going to be challenges of one sort or another for this year.
"The 75th Aldeburgh Carnival; celebrations marking the life of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the Men’s Cycle Tour, Sports Week, High Tide Festival are among many high points. As is the provision of some affordable homes for local people as part of the redevelopment of the old Police Station site, the application for which is now looking close to being concluded, around 29th June.
"As a pro-active, united and forward-looking Council, I am sure we all look forward to continue being efficiently and well represented by our two Ward Members, Cllrs Haworth-Culf and Jones, and by our newly elected member for Suffolk County, Russell Rainger, who I am sure will continue the very hard work and close involvement of Richard Smith.
"Personally, I would like to thank all Councillors and particularly Councillor Worster for all their help and their hard work,, and our Town Clerk Ruth, together with Lori and Roger for all their much needed help and advice, particularly recently. I think we should take time to consider quite how lucky we are to have such a strong team in place, and to take care of and respect them, as they do us. With my background (in HR) I know that such structures don’t come about just by accident and are perhaps rarer than we like to think!"
Invited guests then enjoyed a reception at the Moot Hall.
Aldeburgh Sports Week
It kicks off on July 31 and ends on August 4, with a whole host of things for everyone to get stuck into - street dancing, tennis, cycling, football, bowls, darts, fitness training, rugbyand lots more. Councillor Sally Jones is putting the finishing touches to the week's programme which will be published very soon.
Watch this space!
Tour of Britain Cycle Race comes to town!
The world's top cyclists will be in Aldeburgh on September 8th at the end of Stage 6 of the 2017 Tour of Britain Cycle Race.
The stage starts in Newmarket and winds its way through Suffolk, finishing in Aldeburgh's High Street where riders will be greeted by thousands of townspeople, school children and visitors. The tour will be passing 49 local schools on their route through the county and school children will play a massive part in the celebrations.
The tour, one of the biggest cycling events in the world, attracts the cream of riders and is worth millions of pounds to the local economy. A whole host of special celebrations are being planned for the Race, one of the largest sporting events in the UK.
More details will follow soon - but put the date in your diary now!
Aldeburgh has got a new Visitor Information Centre.
Suffolk Coastal District Council in partnership with the Aldeburgh Cinema Trust opened a new self-help service in the cinema foyer. From Saturday April 1 2017 the cinema will now open between 10am and 5pm or 6pm (depending on the time of the year).
The new service features an interactive terminal for visitors to use to access key tourist information websites. Cinema staff and volunteers are on hand to help.
Sally Irvine, Chair of the Aldeburgh Cinema Trust, said: "As a community cinema, we're delighted to be integrating the Visitor Information Service with our film entertainment. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the new service."
Aldeburgh Town Council is pleased to report on two substantial grants to improve sporting and cultural activities in the town.
Sport England have awarded the Town Council an £82,000 grant to improve drainage at King's Field recreation ground. The town's largest recreation ground is close to the marshes and over the last few years most of the land has become unusable after heavy rain. Now, the Town Council, in conjunction with Sport England, will improve drainage to create better facilities for rugby, football and a host of other sports. Councillor Sally Jones, who led the project to land the grant, said: "We can't thank Sport England enough for this money. It will make a huge difference to sports facilities in the town."
The work, which will start in the summer, will involve digging up a substantial section of King's Field, installing a network of drains and then re-laying the entire surface. The field will be out of action for some considerable time.
The Moot Hall and Aldeburgh Museum
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £77,000 to Aldeburgh Museum who will work in partnership with the Town Council to redevelop the 16th century building and museum. Project leaders will start work on the plan to massively improve the museum before applying for a full grant of around £800,000. The Moot Hall is the home of Aldeburgh Town Council and is one of Britain's oldest buildings to be used continuously for local government. The Mayor of Aldeburgh, Councillor John Digby, said the town council was delighted to be working with the Museum Trustees on a project that would better showcase the building, it's artefacts and the town's history. The Museum trustees hope to use digital technology and virtual reality displays to overcome a shortage of space.
For more information about the redevelopment project, click here.
Sunday May 21 - Mayors Sunday. Morning service at 10.15am at Aldeburgh Parish Church, followed by a procession to The Moot Hall led by the new Mayor, Councillor Jocelyn Bond, and accompanied by the band of the Leiston Branch of the Royal British Legion. The band will be playing on Moot Green on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday May 27 - the annual RNLI Treasure Hunt. Starting at 2pm at the Railway Inn, Aldeburgh and finishing at the same place for a light snack. Tickets are £5 per head (under 18s £2). There's a treasure chest prize for the winners plus medals. All proceeds to the RNLI.