Come on Suffolk, have belief!

THERE is little pride in Suffolk as a county.That may sound harsh, but travel around England and you will find that towns and villages proudly display on their name signs county heraldry while in Suffolk there is nothing.

Graham Dines

Are we too modest about the county?

THERE is little pride in Suffolk as a county.

That may sound harsh, but travel around England and you will find that towns and villages proudly display on their name signs county heraldry while in Suffolk there is nothing.


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In Kent, the rampant white horse or a red background can be found on most “welcome to” village signs, as well for larger communities including the county town Maidstone. In East Sussex, everywhere displays the six footless martlets, and of course as you enter most Essex villages, you'll find three seaxes above their names.

In Suffolk, there's zilch - just a bland sign telling drivers they're in East Bergholt, Rickinghall Inferior, Brantham, Rendlesham, Horringer, or wherever. Suffolk does not have a recognisable corporate symbol, but surely the Viking ship or the sunburst could be taken from the county's coat of arms.

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County town Ipswich, which has a love hate relationship with Suffolk, has civic pride a plenty, its coat of arms proudly displayed alongside all street and road name signs.

Of course, I'm not suggesting Suffolk county council raids the mint to replace all village and market town signs. But this lack of cultural identity in the county breeds apathy, which may explain why there has been no general uprising of the masses to prevent its destruction by the Boundary Committee in the local government review.

And can you imagine anyone writing the Suffolk equivalent of Noel Coward's nostalgic wartime morale booster:

“London Pride has been handed down to us, London Pride is a flower that's free. London Pride means our own dear town to us; and our pride it for ever will be.”

JUST as the ink dries on the Boundary Committee's report to Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, the county's Tory MPs have at last stirred themselves.

Tim Yeo (Suffolk South), Richard Spring (Suffolk West), Sir Michael Lord (Suffolk Central & Ipswich North) and David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds) have held talks with the leaders of St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath and Waveney councils to discuss their concerns about the proposals to split the county in three - Ipswich-Suffolk, Suffolk rural, and Lowestoft-Norfolk.

Now, I have nothing but respect for our worthy Members of Parliament. But this proposal was published in July - why wait until just days before she receives the report to march down Victoria Street to Eland House to confront Ms Blears over the issue?

THE return of Ken Clarke to the Tory front bench is long overdue and is the last piece of the jigsaw which will bolster David Cameron's shadow team. Mr Clarke, 68, has promised not to rock the boat in his new role of shadowing new business secretary Lord (Peter) Mandelson. In typical Ken speak, he says: “I don't think Peter has made any difference to the rather wandering aimlessness that is their (the Government's) economic policy.”

Ouch!

graham.dines@eadt.co.uk

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