Big issues resolved at ‘historic’ Stradbroke council meeting

Stradbroke, Suffolk. Stradbroke Community Centre ANL-140813-125643001
Stradbroke, Suffolk. Stradbroke Community Centre ANL-140813-125643001

Key issues of a north Suffolk village have been resolved at an ‘historic’ parish council meeting earlier this month.

Dozens of people attended a packed Stradbroke Community Centre on August 11 for the village’s meeting, which attracted a bumper crowd.

It was the first meeting of the parish following a recently-passed Parliamentary order which will allow people nationally to film, record, blog and tweet the proceedings of meetings.

Controversial issues, centred around the village’s magazine and websites, were resolved at the meeting. A working party, led by parish councillor Lynda Ellison-Rose, had been formed to ‘take forward’ The Stradbroke Monthly, which is currently run by four editors and was formed in 1980 by then vice-chairman Les Carter, under the auspices of the parish council. However, some had called into question the ownership of the magazine.

Cllr Ellison-Rose suggested the idea of having the magazine as a Community Interest Company, which she said would “help protect the magazine for the future.” Gerald Jenkins read out a statement for a proposal he dubbed ‘resolution one’, by which the parish council would, ultimately, have control of the magazine.

In the end the council voted to allow the magazine to continue on as normal.

An issue surrounding the ‘official’ website for the parish council was also on the agenda.

Chairman Nick Stones said the issue had been agreed at a previous meeting that the two village websites, (Stradbroke Village Website), run by councillor James Hargrave, and (Stradbroke Online), managed by Cllr Jenkins, and village residents Don Darling and Roger Turkington, would be treated “equally.”

A couple of councillors had expressed concern the Stradbroke Village Website was being perceived as the ‘official’ view of the parish council. Cllr Stones received three letters from councillors, complaining about the Stradbroke Village Website, with Cllr Jenkins describing one post about councillor Peter Smith as an “appalling assault” and in “bad taste,” which has since been removed.

Cllr Hargrave responded: “I am more than happy to put something up saying it’s got nothing to do with the parish council - to be honest, of late, I wouldn’t really want the site associated with them.”

The council voted to adopt the Stradbroke Online site as the official website of the council.