The Lowestoft Annual Town Meeting will take place at 7.00 pm on Tuesday 3 March at the Town Council Office’s in Hamilton House, Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. This is a meeting of the electorate of the Town and not a Town Council meeting. All are welcome to attend. Organisations who wish to make a report at the meeting MUST contact the administration team (email@example.com or telephone 0330 053 6019) at the Town Council to book a place on the agenda. If you have not booked you will be welcome to provide a written report which will be appended to the minutes only, published on our website but not read at the meeting. The evening will commence with speakers from Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Lowestoft Climate Action Group giving presentations of their work and the Mayor of Lowestoft will give an overview of the Town Council’s work during the last year and aspirations for the future as well as a report from the Arnold’s Bequest Charity Board.
Please note that due to circumstances outside our control the lift to our offices on the first floor will be out of action for this meeting. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Work has officially started at ‘The Ness’, the most easterly park in the UK.
The site of the park, next to Birds Eye on Whapload Road in Lowestoft, will be regenerated with £1m secured from the Coastal Community Fund in 2017.
The Ness, which is being delivered by Lowestoft Town Council, East Suffolk Council and Concertus Design and Property Consultants working in partnership, will celebrate Lowestoft’s maritime heritage and feature a picnic and play area, a bespoke bridge to the sea wall as well as interactive and educational information. The site, which will be sensitively landscaped to protect the area’s unique flora and fauna, also includes the seafront walkway and the most easterly point in the UK, Ness Point.
An official ‘sod-turning’ event was held on Wednesday 22 January to mark the beginning of the works, which are being carried out by Blakedown Landscapes and are expected to be complete by early summer.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration said: “I am delighted to see work underway at The Ness; the park will provide an exciting new space for residents and visitors to enjoy and create a focus for the most easterly point in the country.”
Alice Taylor, Mayor of Lowestoft said: “Lowestoft is moving forward with several great new projects starting up and this new Ness Park is the first of many that will brighten up the town and improve the quality of life for all of her citizens. This park is a permanent improvement for a patch of disused land and will enhance the health and wellbeing of everyone, young and old, while celebrating our rich heritage."
Annett Thompson, Senior Project Manager at Concertus Design and Property Consultants said: "Concertus Design and Property Consultants are very pleased to be involved in this project, it is a unique site with a fascinating history that should be recognised as a British landmark and a place to visit."
The contractor, Blakedown Landscapes, is a multi award-winning landscaping company with 50 years of experience. Their projects include Hunstanton Park in North Norfolk, Camden Active Spaces and the historic restoration of Brockwell Park Gardens in London.
The Ness sits within the boundary of the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone, which will bring further funding to the area to uplift North Lowestoft through heritage led regeneration.
Whilst construction is underway, the area is not accessible to the public for safety reasons. Access to the seawall is available via Ness Point and Tingdene.
Photo Credit: Kate Ellis, East Suffolk Council
At 10.00 am this morning, on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz people gathered at Lowestoft Train Station to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Before the annual service took place, drama students from Ormiston Denes School gave a moving performance of Suitcase 1938 in which they conveyed the separation, loss of family and isolation the children arriving on the Kindertransport Train at Lowestoft Station in 1938 experienced. The Mayor of Lowestoft, Councillor Alice Taylor, gave an address to a large audience and wreaths were laid by both the Mayor and Desaray Parish, the Chairperson of the Waveney Youth Council. A minute’s silence was led by Ben Parish from Lowestoft Community Church who concluded the service with a prayer from the Holocaust Memorial Trust.
There is a Councillor vacancy within the Elmtree ward of the Council following a resignation. The notice for the vacancy is displayed below.
Holocaust Memorial Day is on Monday 27th January, and at Lowestoft Train Station children and adults will gather to remember the Holocaust and the role the people of the town played 75 years ago. Over 500 children arrived at Lowestoft station with the majority leaving their homes in Vienna and being separated from their families who they would never see again.
Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, as well as in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. The Holocaust Memorial Trust has designated at theme of Stand Together for the 2020 and the Town Council hopes that is what people in Lowestoft will do on Monday 27th.
The commemoration will commence at 10.00 am with drama students from Ormiston Denes delivering a promenade performance of Suitcase 1938. At 10.30 am, the Mayor of Lowestoft, Councillor Alice Taylor, and Ben Parish from Lowestoft Community Church will lead a service of reflection with words and prayers being shared as well as a minute’s silence being observed. Wreaths will be laid by the Mayor and the Chair of the Waveney Youth Council. The Mayor commented that “we want to remember and reflect that even in the darkest of circumstances, there are shining examples of what is best in the human spirit”.
The event organised by Lowestoft Town Council is taking place at Greater Anglia Lowestoft Railway Station and is supported by the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership and the Lowestoft Central Project who have made the newly restored Parcels Office available. All are welcome to attend.
The Bascule Bridge will be closed the evenings of the 20th, 21st and 22nd of January 2020 between 8pm and 6am for repair works.
Why not make one of your new year’s resolutions to spend more time outside? The Town Council has recently completed the refurbishment of the play area at Nightingale Road, is now looking at options for installing adult outdoor gym equipment at Normanston Park and funding has been applied for to revamp the Whitton Green area. We want our open spaces to be enjoyed by all as places to be active, to socialise or for quiet relaxation. Whether it be the installation of new benches, play equipment or planting schemes, the Town Council is improving facilities in Lowestoft for all to enjoy. We are continuing to consider public toilets, how they can be improved and when they should be open. Your ideas on all the above are very welcome.
The Town Council has to submit its precept request to the billing authority by 24 January. The precept is the amount of money received by the Town Council from household Council Tax bills. At the Full Council meeting at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 21 January, the Council will finalise the budget for 2020/21 and agree the level of precept to request. Any views on this should be submitted to the address below before this date please and members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting.
Other dates for your 2020 diaries:
Monday 27 January – Holocaust Memorial Day service at 10.00 am at Lowestoft Train Station
Friday 8 May – VE Commemoration events in Sparrows Nest including Swing Band in the evening
A seasonal message from your Mayor
As we leap into the 2019 holiday season, it’s a good time for all of us to reflect on the high points of the fading year and look forward to a bright new future. Lowestoft Town Council is no different and we can look back at a very busy year of accomplishments achieved by the hard work by the entire Town Council team. Every day in 2019 brought new challenges, new ideas and new projects - all for the people of Lowestoft.
In May, we had an election and with that a change in the Town Councillors elected by you, but that didn’t slow us down a bit. The business of the council that you don’t often see, like setting budgets, dealing with contracts, consultations, researching new projects, serving the people of Lowestoft and contributing to the civic life of the town continued without a pause for breath.
Lowestoft Town Council has responsibilities for managing our parks and assets, putting on events and civic ceremonies, and advocating for the town. Lowestoft is a wonderful place to live and work and our aspirations are high. As always we are grateful to the work of our Friends of Groups and were delighted for the Friends of Kensington Gardens when they were awarded Gold in the Lowestoft in Bloom awards.
Working towards those high aspirations, the Town Council has a systematic plan to rejuvenate our play parks and this year we upgraded Nightingale Road and Stoven Close so that our young people have nicer places to play. In our major parks we have been working steadily on upgrades and maintenance, such as replacing the heritage columns on the bowl club in Kensington Gardens and undertaking a tree and bulb planting programme.
Next year we’re working with East Suffolk Council and are applying for a grant to improve the Whitton Green, and we’ll be exploring possibilities for Denes Oval, Sparrow’s Nest, and you’re going to see some much needed repairs in Belle Vue. The much-heralded Ness Park is just weeks away from breaking ground and the new year will see this major seaside park opening up.
We have been working with the Marina Theatre (Lowestoft Town Council owns the building) and have worked on a plan of repairs. Next year you’ll see more repairs and a major commitment to replacing some very technical theatre equipment that we hope will allow the Marina Theatre offer a better range of shows. The Town Council has also supported the arts in Lowestoft through grants and other support. We were the only local council to contribute to the First Light Festival and other events have been staged, such as the successful Christmas Fair at Sparrows Nest and the Waves and Wheels Festival which were both part of awareness raising for the forthcoming Ness Park by Britain’s most easterly point.
In June, the Town Council were the first local council in Suffolk to declare a climate emergency and as part of this we formed a Climate Change Committee and facilitated the Lowestoft Climate Action Group. Our work on the Lowestoft Neighbourhood Development Plan continues, and following earlier public consultation, draft policies relating to the future development of the town are being written. The Plan will also protect some of the limited areas of green open space the town has. Something we know our residents are particularly keen on and something which will work to addressing some of the goals of the Climate Change committee.
Civic events we organised this last year included Holocaust Day Ceremonies, D Day Commemorations and, in November, very well received Remembrance Day events. Next year we have already committed to supporting the First Light Festival and Armed Forces Day and we have plans to expand our events profile to create even more opportunities for the people of Lowestoft to enjoy the arts, get together with their neighbours, and support our great community.
We are continuing our goal to support and preserve our unique Lowestoft heritage. We supported Lowestoft’s very successful Heritage Open Days through grants and opening the Town Hall and other venues. The Town Council’s commitment to our Heritage Action Zones, and local heritage initiatives can’t be downplayed. For instance, this year we repurposed the Kensington Ammo Bunker on the promenade and will be offering that as a pop up arts venue. Next year we will be an active supporter of the South Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone and our mission to rejuvenate the iconic Town Hall will continue.
We were awarded a grant from Historic England for emergency repairs to the Town Hall, and those have successfully been completed. We have completed the first step (a feasibility study) in our journey to fund the massive repairs needed to bring this grand old building back to full use and in January that study will be released to the public. We will then work towards the next round of grants for the architecture and technical work needed for major, multi-million pound grant submissions.
The Town Council offices will close at 5.00 pm on Friday 20 December and reopen at 9.00 am on Thursday 2 January. If you have an urgent matter relating to one of our assets during this period, please contact East Suffolk Norse on 0345 402020.
Wishing you a peaceful holiday and a happy new year.