We are saddened to report that the site of The Ness - the UK’s most easterly park, has been vandalised.
The site, on Whapload Road in Lowestoft, has been vandalised through spitting, urination and criminal damage. Workers have also been verbally assaulted over the past few weeks.
We are disgusted at this behaviour. Any incident of vandalism is disappointing however this incident is particularly upsetting as it threatens the safety of those working on site during the coronavirus pandemic.
Contractors Blakedown Construction Ltd are working hard to progress the project as much as they can during these challenging times. In line with government guidelines, they are only undertaking work which can be carried out whilst adhering to social distancing.
Those involved in delivering The Ness - Lowestoft Town Council, East Suffolk Council, Concertus Design and Property Consultants, Blakedown Construction Ltd, Allen Scott Landscape Architecture, Immersive Solutions and J P Chicks & Partners Ltd - are deeply upset by these incidents.
We know that the majority of people are doing all they can to prevent the spread of the virus, by staying at home, working from home if possible, keeping 2m apart if they go out and washing their hands regularly.
The nature of this vandalism is horrible and to do this during a pandemic is abhorrent.
Suffolk Police have been informed.
We are also aware that a small number of people have been breaking in through the fencing to visit the play area. Please don’t. Breaking into the site, even just for a look, endangers those working hard to transform this area into a family-friendly space for local people and visitors to enjoy. It is also an active construction site.
Work at The Ness will continue despite these incidents and once complete, and when it is safe to do so, we look forward to welcoming you all to the UK’s most easterly park.
Groups in Lowestoft may like to consider taking part in this weekend's Big Lunch. Head over to their website, https://www.edenprojectcommunities.com/thebiglunchhomepage, for more details.
The Town Council is today writing to business organisations regarding measures which can be taken to help shops reopen safely.
Members of the public are welcome to submit any constructive views on social distancing, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
East Suffolk Council is now processing the discretionary business grants for local businesses provided by the Government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
On 2nd May 2020, the Government announced that extra funding would be made available to local authorities to enable them to support small businesses outside the scope of the existing business grant fund scheme.
East Suffolk Council has been allocated £3,866,250 to fund the discretionary business support grants, and eligible businesses can now apply for grants of up to £10,000.
Due to the limited funding available and the need to assist as many businesses as possible, the District Council will not be paying grants above £10,000 initially, however, this may be reviewed as the scheme progresses.
The District Council has identified six areas as priorities at this stage, aimed at businesses which were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, in line with the Government’s requirements. These are:
Eligible businesses must have less than 50 employees, have been trading on 11 March 2020, and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income as a result of the COVID-19 restriction measures.
District Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We know it has been exceptionally tough for those businesses which have been ineligible for any grants or funding so far.
“While this money is very welcome, it is limited, and we know it will be a lifeline for many small businesses. Therefore, we have taken the decision to cap grants at £10,000 initially to ensure we are able to help as many businesses as possible. This may be reviewed as the scheme progresses, but right now our main priority is to get this much needed financial help to our small businesses as fast as possible.”
The online form and full details about how to apply with full eligibility criteria can be found at: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding/
Further information on other support packages available can be found at East Suffolk Means Business here
In response the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town Council's standard grant awarding policy has been suspended until April 2021. Grant awarding funds have been further increased and allocated to be entirely dedicated to COVID-19 support and recovery. Groups and organisations who are helping with support and recovery from the 2020 pandemic - including the heritage and culture sector - and wishing to apply for a grant should read the revised policy carefully. Decisions will be made as soon as practical following receipt of a fully completed application. The post COVID-19 grant application form can be downloaded via the following link: Post COVID-19 Grant Application Form and Policy
OneLife Suffolk would like to support your family, members and staff during this difficult time by offering their free services, accessible from the safety of home. Their children’s team also have many fun informative activities for families. The accompanying images outline exciting ways OneLife Suffolk is delivering their free services in a safe, convenient way at this time.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week the Kooth.com website and app offer emotional wellbeing support for 11-25 year olds.
Following the Government's announcement that tennis is one of the activities which can be enjoyed whilst social distancing measures are still in place, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has released guidance for venues, players and coaches on how this can be done safely and in adherence to Government guidelines.
The guidance is available via the following links:
Lowestoft Town Council's tennis courts at Normanston Park, the Denes Oval and Kensington Gardens are open and available to the public during the day, free of charge. Users of these facilities will be expected to adhere to the guidance issued by the LTA and the latest Government advice.