“We live in stirring times – tea stirring times” (Christopher Isherwood).

He never was a member of our Committee but I wonder what he would have made of our lively September meeting. We were joined by Angela Wilson from East Coast Community Health (ECCH) who reported on the progress of the Out of Hospital Team. This is now staffed to provide a weekday service between 7am and 10pm, offering a variety of nursing skills, to help patients in their own homes. We queried the status of the phlebotomy service at the Sole Bay Health Centre which is still not entirely predictable. It is hoped that this will have settled in November and in the interim there are advance notifications of “missing” clinics posted at the Centre. ECCH is now working with the Ambulance Service to include an occupational therapist when called to “falls”, as many of these have, in the past, led to unnecessary hospital admissions.

We discussed a number of planning applications, old and new. These included the St Felix application where the draft S106 Agreement (social amenity contribution) still awaits approval. The present draft does not alter our view that the development should be refused.

The Station Road development has been the subject of lively debate over the summer. As you will know, the Society initiated and still fully supports the “Gateway” project. Whilst we applaud the fact that Southwold Town Council has responded to the public debate with amended designs and work on a business plan, all our reservations about the details still stand. The news of proposed developments on the Police and Fire Station sites persuaded us to ask the Town Council to hold back the existing plan for radical review so that, as far as possible, a cohesive approach to the whole area (which is fundamental to the original concept) can be considered.

We also reinforced our objections to the proposed restaurant development at 37 High Street (ex Purdeys) and will always scrutinise change-of-use, particularly when it impinges on existing retail premises and residents.

We discussed the future management of the Harbour which, again, has been in the news. Whilst appreciating that this is a thorny problem of some years standing, our view is unchanged: we support the call for a return to the agreement made in 2015 for a Harbour Trust with local representation.

Where would we be without sewage? In early October we will meet Anglia Water to discuss shortcomings in the existing plant and the need to provide adequate treatment facilities for at least 200 new households within the next 5 years.

By the time you read this much of the above will have been overtaken by events, but thank you for your attention.

Ridley Burnett,