Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics

GymnasticsToday amidst all the doom and gloom about the Brexit aftermath I received the following e-mail from Kelly Mires, Head Coach at Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics:

Dear Mr Riley
I’m writing  to say thank you so very much for the news I received today that you have awarded Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics a grant of £1000.
This is a huge amount of money for the club and it means we can now look to purchase the safety mats we have been fundraising hard to buy .
Thank you once again from myself and all 285 Children in Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics.
Kelly Mires
Head Coach
The locality monies will help fund the purchase of a tumble run and two safety landing mats.
The Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics are holding a club competition on Saturday 23rd July at the Hadleigh Leisure Centre. This is their biggest annual fundraiser and they will be serving refreshments and holding a raffle. All the coaches volunteer their time so that every penny raised goes into the fundraising pot to buy equipment. So if you have a free moment on the 23rd, please drop in on the Leisure Centre and support the Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics.
The monies came from my County Councillor’s Locality Budget. As readers of this blog may know the Locality Budget amounts to £12,000 a year and is distributed in Hadleigh to promote ways in which Suffolk County Council can make life better for its residents. I like to direct the monies to game changers. So in the past I have given support to (among others)  Hadleigh Diamond Lites (Drum Majorettes), an ecotherapy allotment project for Suffolk Mind and Surviving Winter in Hadleigh whose funding was to cover the initial expenses in establishing the charity and to provide such ongoing support as necessary.

Hadleigh Year of the Sheep

Sheep Gambolling 2015Readers of my blog, will be aware that as a County Councillor I have a Locality Budget of ₤12,000 a year to disburse as I see fit on worthy projects and activities in my area. So far just under ₤36,000 has been disbursed ranging from helping Scouts and Guides to attend their world jamboree in Japan to funding Hadleigh’s Loyalty Cards. So my interest was tweaked when I was asked to see what I could do for Hadleigh’s Year of the Sheep (since Hadleigh was a wool/woolen town). I was happy to allocate ₤1,500 to assist in the costs involved in establishing, promoting and underwriting the activities of the Year of the Sheep, which aimed to put Hadleigh on the map as a busy, historic and vibrant wool town. The programme of activities and events aimed to~
attract visitors
promote business
engage the community.
This was a community engagement opportunity to get Hadleigh people to celebrate the town and its heritage, enable local charities and town groups to raise funds/awareness for their work and help businesses develop and attract different customers. The year concluded at the end of September and by all accounts was judged as a very successful community event.
There are a number of legacies from the year, but one I particularly like is the provision of new equipment for one of the public playgrounds in Hadleigh. (My budget also funded some the new equipment). But I just love the sheep which will serve as reminder for a good number of years that Hadleigh was and can be leader in economic adjustment and development.

Hadleigh Library Unfettered

SteacieLibrary7A good example of unleashed creativity is the Suffolk Library Service and Hadleigh Library in particular. Ever since the library service was hived off and mutualised they have got used to the idea that they can influence their own future and turn their operation from a cash starved Cinderella service into a highly valued and widely used community asset. Now being able to focus on their customers and stakeholders, the Hadleigh Library has consulted the community on their needs and wants. The outcome is friendlier hours and a broader spectrum of activities.
The staff and Friends of Hadleigh Library are to be congratulated on their initiative and it’s great to see a community service being proactive in identifying needs and responding to those needs. Here I must declare my interests. From 2007 to 2015 I held my monthly constituent surgeries in the Library. I have also allocated funds from my County Councillor’s Locality Budget to fund contributions to:

  • upgrading the Seminar Room,
  • sponsoring book tokens for the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge and
  • helping to purchase a sofa – thus enhancing a less formal area for parent/child interaction.

It’s incredibly satisfying to see what happens when people are free from the “dead hand of government” and more power to their elbow!


Hadleigh & District Angling Society (HADAS)

HADAS 140712 aFishing is the largest participatory sport in England. In Hadleigh we are blessed with a number of nearby commercial sporting fishing ponds and we also have the Hadleigh & District Angling Society (HADAS). I allocated £500 from my County Councillor’s Locality Budget for the purchase of fishing tackle for the junior section of the club. They were used for a taster event held on the 12th July. The taster was very successful. Over fifty children turned up along with their parents and guardians to enjoy a nice gentle day in the fresh air. The fishing tackle will be retained for use at future organised matches and events for juniors.
The HADAS committee is full of hands on people who value their heritage and wish to pass it onto future generations. Hence my willingness to use the Locality Budget to support the junior fishing activity and to part fund their (previously enjoyed and lovingly restored) grass cutter.
The Society was established in 1929 to bring together people with a common purpose to preserve, and try and keep available fishing for local people. Membership of the Society in its first season numbered twenty two. The Society was temporarily disbanded during the Second World War, and was reformed in 1947. Over the years the Society has expanded their fishing rights along the Brett River and over local ponds and reservoirs.