Lib Dem County Councillor for Woodbridge, Suffolk; Elected 2008, 2009,2013; LD spokesman, Transport; Vice-Chair Education Transport Appeals; Speed Limit Panel member ; Campaigns for Rural Transport, Buses, Rail, Cycling, Young People, Libraries, Disability, Epilepsy & Carers
On 1 November 1918, Private Arthur George Pryke of the 13th (Kensington) Battalion, London Regiment. was killed at Etaples, aged 27, and was buried in the military cemetary there. He was the son of Walter and Kate Pryke, of Mead Cottage, Drinkstone near Bury St. Edmunds, and was one of fifteen Drinkstone men to make the ultimate sacrifice in World War I.
Private Pryke’s devastated family had a commemorative embroidery made in memory of him . Nearly a century later this has been restored and reframed and, after an official unveiling by Cllr Penny Otton, it will be on display in the Village Hall, which is Drinkstone’s official War Memorial.
” It is only a few months to the centenary of the start of WW1. So meny local men – 10,000 from the Suffolk regiment alone – died either in France or later from their injuries. And for each family these deaths were not mere statistics, but individual tragedies. The family of Arthur Pryke had this embroidery specially made in his memory,” said Cllr Otton. “I was delighted to help with the cost of the restoration of this powerful piece of history from my locality budget, and was quite humbled to be asked to do the unveiling.”
The embroidery was ‘unveiled’ in a simple ceremony at the Drinkstone Village Hall at 2pm on Saturday 2nd November 2013, 95 years and one day after Private Pryke was killed.
Suffolk Lib Dems are deeply critical of proposals to toll the A14. “We are saying to government “You have got this wrong! Listen to us and to what the people of Suffolk are saying and revisit your decision to toll the A 14.” And the majority of Suffolk organisations, both private and Local Authority-led, are with us, ” Leader David Wood told October’s full council meeting last Thursday.
The Lib Dems amended the Conservative motion (to persuade the government to reconsider the need for tolling on this much-needed infrastructure project) by adding in reference to Suffolk’s pressing need for investment in sustainable transport from Felixstowe to Cambridge and beyond.
” The A14 is an esssential conduit between East Anglia and the heart of England – and yet for years there has been underinvestment by various governments in major infrastructure projects in East Anglia. Imposing a toll on the new road would be a further tax on Suffolk,” said Cllr Wood. “We have the largest port in the country, major industry that is expanding, a growing tourist economy – the two AONB’s alone are worth £300m annually- and yet we are being told that if you want this highway (its not even a motorway) you must pay for it!! We wouldn’t mind so much if this were government policy across the country, but it isn’t. Of all the current planned road-building schemes, only the A14 is planned to generate income, ”
“We recognise that Suffolk must be at the table when this subject is being discussed if we are going to put the point across successfully. This is why we were unable to support a Labour motion to withdraw the £1m funding SCC’s putting towards this major project. A million pounds is a huge amount of money but Suffolk County Council must be at the forefront of every discussion – putting the case for the people and industry of Suffolk to have its say and obtain a fair deal.
Investment in major infrastructure projects for East Anglia are long overdue which is why we are insisting that rail links between Felixstowe to Cambridge and beyond must also be looked at. Suffolk is an important player in the UK’s recovery and deserves investment without taxation,” said Cllr Wood.
Lib Dem spokesperson for Transport , Caroline Page, who seconded the amendment, adds ” years of underinvestment in Suffolk railways has left us with rail services from Ipswich to Cambridge and Peterborough which fall well short of what is required for effective day-to-day operation. In its current state the rail system is unable to provide a viable alternative to a tolled A14. This makes any decision to toll doubly unfair, because there isn’t the capacity for a reliable public transport alternative. ”
Councillors in Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House received an impromptu lesson in Anglo Saxon from LibDem Group Leader Dave Wood today, when they agreed to name the Council Chamber ‘King Edmund’s Chamber’.
Edmund King and Martyr was king of East Anglia from about 855 until he was killed by the Danish Great Heathen Army in 869AD. He was initially patron saint of Suffolk, but then went on to become patron saint of England, before being deposed by St George.
While other group leaders were reduced to describing Suffolk’s Anglo Saxon patron saint in terms of his geographical location, origin and community spirit, Cllr Wood quoted the maxim by which King Edmund lived:
Gif þu eart to heafodmen geset, ne ahefe þu ðe, ac beo betwux mannum swa swa an man of him (which, roughly translated means: If you become a ruler, don’t be puffed up, but be amongst people as one of them.)
This, said, Cllr Wood, was an excellent maxim for all elected officials to live by.
And after he had translated it, the other parties agreed.
Caroline Page Lib Dem Group Spokesperson on AngloSaxon
Views and News from Suffolk County Council Liberal Democrats