Today is Suffolk Day, the longest day of the year, and the day we celebrate everything that is great about our county.
We have so much to be proud of in Suffolk, and after two very different Suffolk Days in 2020 and 2021, we can now join together again and celebrate all that makes Suffolk great. This year Suffolk Day is also part of the Festival of Suffolk, to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and it has been fantastic to see so many people hosting street parties and other community events to recognise this historic event.
The proclamation of Suffolk Day will be read this morning outside Framlingham Castle, and I look forward to seeing many of our county’s mayors gathered outside the famous Castle on the Hill for this.
Mark Murphy was inspired in 2016 to set up an annual event to recognise everything that makes Suffolk great. Since then, Suffolk County Council has supported Suffolk Day. One of the ways we continue to do this is by looking after www.suffolkday.co.uk, and I’m pleased to say that we have been able to launch a new version of the website in time for this year’s celebration. You can find details of all the events being held today on the website, as well as promotional materials and information about Suffolk Day.
If you can’t make it to a Suffolk Day event today, you could visit one of the 25 ‘Icons of Suffolk’ that have been announced today from Newmarket Racecourse to Landguard Fort, the Suffolk Punch horse and Sutton Hoo mask, Benjamin Britten to Ed Sheeran - so many great symbols of our county.
We also proudly fly the Suffolk flag at Endeavour House and have replaced the majority of the ‘Welcome to Suffolk’ road signs with new signs displaying images of the local area, showing the beauty of our county as you cross the border.
Councillor colleagues and I will also be out and about visiting Suffolk Day events and marking the day.
As an example, Cllr Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, will be spending the day visiting Trading Standards at Landmark House before heading to the Port of Felixstowe to spend time with the Imports team, then making his way to Ipswich East Fire Station.
Suffolk Day is not just about our wonderful places, but also our incredible people, including those who work tirelessly to protect our county’s residents.
As another example, Cllr Bobby Bennett, our new cabinet member for Equality and Communities, will be attending a coffee morning at Beccles Library where they will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Suffolk Libraries. She will also visit the Long Shop Museum in Leiston, where they are offering free entry on Suffolk Day, as well as hosting local charities and community groups to showcase their services.
Today we are also holding the first of our ‘Local Matters – We are Listening’ events at The Triangle in Felixstowe from 11am – 1pm. I will be there, alongside other councillors and officers from Suffolk County Council, talking to local people to find out what matters to them and their local community. For the past two years we haven’t been able to get out into the community to meet Suffolk residents in this way, and I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say.
We will also have information on what Suffolk County Council is doing in the Felixstowe area and across the county, as well as talking about ‘Our Ambitions for Suffolk’ which we launched at the Suffolk Show. These will be our guide as we build back better, build back stronger, and build back greener, and focus on four ambitions: looking after our health and wellbeing, strengthening our local economy, protecting and enhancing our environment and providing value for money for our residents.
Our next event will be in Ipswich on the Cornhill on Thursday 23 June from 11am – 1pm, and the full list of events around the county can be found at www.suffolk.gov.uk/localmatters. Please do join us at any of our 13 Local Matters events around Suffolk.