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1000 properties encouraged to evacuate on the Suffolk coastline ahead of tidal surge

Residents living in approximately 1000 properties on the Suffolk coastline are being encouraged to evacuate as a tidal surge travels down the county this evening.

Where possible, people living in the 14 severe flood risk areas, as identified by the Environment Agency, should make arrangements to stay with friends or family outside the affected areas.

Alternatively, the Suffolk Resilience Forum has identified four rest centres in the county for people who are likely to need to relocate as a result of flooding. The locations are as follows:

  • Water Lane Leisure, Water Lane, Lowestoft, NR32 2NH
  • Leiston Leisure Centre, Red House Lane, Leiston, IP16 4LS
  • Brackenbury Sports Centre, High Road East, Felixstowe IP11 9JF
  • Carlton Colville Village Hall, Hall Road, Carlton Colville Lowestoft NR33 8BT

Waveney District Council consider closing parks, footpaths and promenades

Waveney District Council and their operational partners Waveney Norse are considering the closure of parks, footpaths and promenades as the threat of flooding escalates. Closures under consideration include:

  • Nicholas Everitt Park and the Mutford Lock footpath in Oulton Broad
  • Beccles Quay and Fen Park
  • Lowestoft beach promenade

In addition, signage will be placed in various locations, such as Southwold Harbour, warning people to keep their distance from areas which may be susceptible to flooding.

"We must take every precaution to ensure public safety. This weather event is not a show for people to watch and enjoy, it is a serious situation which needs to be managed very carefully and the wellbeing of our communities is a top priority."

– Council Leader Colin Law

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Christmas Day swim cancelled after 35 years

A Christmas Day swim in Suffolk which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity over 35 years has been cancelled, organisers have said.

The annual festive dip in the sea at Lowestoft attracts dozens of swimmers willing to brave the icy waters as well as hundreds of spectators each year.

"It is very, very sad and not a decision we have taken lightly.

"As organisers there is quite a bit of preparation and then we are on the beach by 7am on Christmas morning, and we don't get back to (our) families until about 1.

"We have been pleased to do this, but now enough is enough.

"We have let this difficult announcement as late as possible in the hope that we would find a solution, but there is nothing forthcoming."

– Joint statement from Lawrence Chapman and Mark Attenburrow, Christmas Day swim organisers

Organisers have urged people not to take it upon themselves to swim at Lowestoft on Christmas Day as there will be no lifeguard cover.

Christmas Day swim cancelled

Christmas day swimmers at Lowestoft

A Christmas Day swim in Suffolk which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity over 35 years has been cancelled. The annual festive dip in the sea at Lowestoft attracts dozens of swimmers willing to brave the icy waters as well as hundreds of spectators each year.

But the event will no longer take place after the organisers announced they have withdrawn because of work commitments.

  1. Malcolm Robertson

Iconic Suffolk holiday firm celebrates 70th birthday

One of the country's leading holiday firms is preparing to celebrate its 70th birthday.

As the Second World War was coming to an end, Wally Hoseason set up his business from a small boatyard in Suffolk.

Little could he have imagined that almost seven decades later, it would be one of the Uk's best known names.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson

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Protest group formed over part closure of pier

Part of Lowestoft South Pier shut to public Credit: ITV Anglia

Protestors angry at part of the closure of the South Pier in Lowestoft have launched a campaign to try to get it reopened.

The owners say the section owned by Associated British Ports - at the far end of the pier - has been shut amid concerns over maintenance and insurance.

Campaigners have formed a group called Pier Pressure and are collecting signatures on a petition. They claim the closing this part of the pier will hit anglers.

Businesses on the pier are stressing they are unaffected by the closure and are operating as normal.

Gathering signatures in support of Pier Pressure's petition Credit: ITV Anglia

Paramedic reunited with baby girl he saved

When Jessica Pearce-Sylvester was born at home in Lowestoft, 12 weeks premature, the signs were not good. Jessica was not breathing, and it was only the speedy arrival of paramedic Jamie Springford that saved her life.

Today Jamie met Jessica again, to celebrate her first birthday. And as it turns out, she is not the only member of the family he has treated.

Click below to see Jim Rice's report:

Fresh criticism of jail closure decision

There has been fresh criticism today of the government's decision to close a Suffolk jail.

Blundeston Prison, near Lowestoft, is due to close in the next few weeks following an announcement by the justice secretary earlier this month.

But today the prison's own monitoring board described the decision as ill-judged and wrong.

The local MP has also expressed concern that he was not even consulted ahead of the decision.

Click below to watch Malcolm Robertson's report.

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