COVID-19 NEWS

Beccles Town Council asks for ideas for events in Beccles Town Centre

Following the temporary closure of New Market in Beccles, Beccles Town Council is inviting residents, community groups and businesses to submit ideas as to how to use the town centre space.

The council initially asked Suffolk County Council for the emergency closure of New Market, from Co-Op to Barclays Bank to allow for social distancing, following on from the Government, county and district councils advising that towns should be implementing measures to allow for safe reopening after lock down.  After the emergency closure expired, the council agreed to the implementation of an Experimental Traffic Order.  The council conducted an initial survey to ascertain the views of the public in respect of the closure of New Market.  Whilst there was a small majority in favour of the closure, it was acknowledged that there were also strong objections to the closure, particularly from some businesses.  The town council has therefore agreed a compromise and to try a second experiment, which is the reopening of the road from Monday to Thursday, freeing up a further 23 parking spaces. This means that the market area will be closed to traffic on Friday (Market Day), Saturday and Sunday.  Again, this is an experimental measure which will be trialled for a few months.

‘We are asking the public for suggestions for what this space could be used for over the weekends whilst it is closed to traffic,’ said the mayor, Ashley Lever. ‘COVID-19 has changed the way that many of us behave and this includes our shopping and leisure time habits. This gives us an opportunity to try out new ideas to attract visitors and residents to the town centre. If we can get people in and encourage them to linger, then this would help boost local retailers and hospitality businesses as well. If events such as themed markets, art exhibitions, community open days etc. are successful, then they could become a regular feature.’

Councillors recently met with officers from Suffolk County Council (SCC) regarding the new experiment for New Market, and SCC have put forward some suggestions as to how this new experiment can be achieved, including leaving the existing planters in place and installing gates between two of the planters at both ends of New Market.  This would allow for easy opening and closing of the road and would be a more attractive solution than barriers and road signs.  Lower, narrower planters could then potentially be used to widen the pavement between Greggs and Barclays but still allow for the parking spaces opposite to be used between Monday and Thursday.

The mayor said ‘We had a very positive meeting with Suffolk County Council Officers, and they have now gone away to draw up draft plans and start the legal work that will be required to make the change to the Experimental Order.’

If you have ideas about how the town centre space can be used during this period please contact admin@beccles.info or call 01502 712109.  Any events taking place will need to comply with relevant Government guidelines in respect of the Coronavirus.

 

Assistance for Beccles Residents

District and County Councillors are working together to assist those that have been advised to self-isolate.  Leaflets will soon be posted through every letter box in Beccles.

The following contacts can be used in order to sign post you to the practical help and support that you need:-

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw 07738 264091

elfrede.brambley-crawshaw@suffolk.gov.uk

Caroline Topping  07825 421117

caroline.topping@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Graham Elliott 07824 821515

Graham.Elliott@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Mark Bee 07932650085

mark.bee@suffolk.gov.uk

The link to the Facebook page is here

Further Information

As you will be aware, Government advice regarding this outbreak is changing all the time.  For the most up to date information, please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Here is the link to the dedicated page on the East Suffolk Council’s website https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/features/coronavirus-covid-19/ and the link to information on the Suffolk County Council website is here

Mindfulness Sessions

Message from Access Community Trust Social Prescribing Team

A series of mindfulness based relaxation and stress management sessions are now available to view. Alexis is our wellbeing practitioner who will be delivering the mindfulness courses to patients, but we wanted to offer those supporting the community opportunity to access some wellbeing support too.

Session 1  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v2PVDw0YVI

Session 2 www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AiyS2PShzg

Session 3 www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtnX5amk5VM&t=168s

Session 4 https://youtu.be/UylO1f85Rv4

Information regarding Beccles Town Council Services

As of 25 March, the decision has been made for the Town Council staff to work from home as much as possible, to comply with the Government’s latest advice for everybody to stay at home.

The office will still be staffed on an ad hoc basis to deal with urgent matters, and so a message can still be left on the Town Hall number 01502 712109 and we will respond as soon as we can.

Alternatively, all staff have been issued with mobile phones and numbers are as follows:-

Town Clerk, Claire Boyne  07907 635088

Deputy Town Clerk/Facilities Manager, Charlie Middleton 07798 871039

Administration Assistant, Candice Turner  07907 635082 (working hours 10 am to 1pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)

Town Council and Beccles Fenland Charity Trust meetings can now legally be held online.  Click here for agendas and minutes.

 

Beccles Friday Market

In line with Government guidelines, the Friday Market will continue to operate, selling essential items only.

Blyburgate Hall

Given that the majority of regular user groups have now cancelled classes over the next few weeks, the decision has been taken to close Blyburgate Hall until further notice.

Beccles Bell Tower

Easter Bank Holiday opening to the public for the Bell Tower tours will now not take place.  The Bell Tower will remain closed until further notice.

Beccles Yacht Station

The Yacht Station re-opened on Saturday 4th July 2020.