Woodbridge: Key assets handed over to town council

A DECISION to transfer ownership of a number of assets – including open spaces and sports facilities – to the local community has been welcomed.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is handing over Woodbridge Community Hall, Broomheath, Fen Meadow and the Kingston tennis courts to Woodbridge Town Council.

It will give members control over the future of the facilities and they will now be able to decide how they should be run.

Last night Chris Walker, clerk to Woodbridge Town Council, said the move was very welcome.

“After four years of negotiation with the district council we are very pleased to be able to take these areas on,” she said.

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“We have all sorts of plans for Broomheath and Fen Meadow, which are both very fine open spaces and which we feel should be used more by the local community.”

Meanwhile land at Holdan’s Lane, Sweffling, near Saxmundham, will also be transferred to Sweffling Parish Council by the end of the month.

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All assets are being transferred at zero cost and grant funding has been tapered over five years to allow the town and parish councils to get their schemes up and running.

Suffolk Coastal District Council will continue to monitor the projects and be on hand to offer advice.

The authority has been reviewing its assets for a number of years in an attempt to save money and where appropriate has been keen to try and transfer them into the hands of local communities.

Robert Whiting, Suffolk Coastal District Council cabinet member for resources, said he was pleased to be able to give people more control.

“Both Woodbridge Town Council and Sweffling Parish Council had expressed an interest in managing these particular areas,” he said.

“These agreements are a great boost for local communities that want to deliver services for the community, run by the community and I am glad the council has been able to help them achieve this.

“Local communities can often be in the best position to manage and look after local assets, making use of their knowledge and experience and having an expert understanding at a grass roots level.

“This is a further example of Suffolk Coastal’s support and contributions to the ‘Big Society’.

“It is great news that we can continue to support our local communities to increase their capacity to deliver even more services and projects.

“I hope that residents will continue to make the most of using the facilities on offer and will benefit from them being managed by local people, giving them a chance to have an even greater say in how they are run.”

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