Sunday, 30 January 2011

What to cut next?

What to cut next?
Libraries, School Crossing patrols, Day Care Centres, Front Line Police, Forces Pensions, Nimrod, and now forests and woods.
No one thinks there should be no cuts, we are in debt as most of the world is – but it is the severity and speed of the cuts that is so shocking.
It is also seems that every level of tory government is happy to join in, coming up with there own list of cuts.
Now some Tories in Ipswich are saying, ‘well what would Labour cut?’ It is hard to answer that as John Carnell the Deputy Leader (Deputy in name but the real leader) of the Tories in Ipswich keeps the budget very secret, so secret that most Tory portfolio holders have not got a clue how much their own departments will get. This was highlighted last week when Cllr Cenci was not her usual happy self when the Scrutiny committee asked he to go back to Cllr Carnell to ask for £90,000 towards a project that all 3 political groups agreed deserved to be supported by the Council now Government money has ceased.
If all Councillors had been involved in the budget planning (as they are at many other Councils) the Labour Group may have been able to offer advice, alternatives, and ideas – but no it is all down to one man.
The other thing that I have noticed about the cuts (or out sourcing, or some other new-fangled name the Tory County Council has come up with) is that the cuts are being made to projects that the Tories would have liked to seen cut/sold off/privatised even if we were awash with cash. That is the point most of these cuts are being made on ideological grounds combined with the Ipswich/Suffolk Tories (Carnell) mantra of low council tax, no matter how much the Council services are need by many of this great town.
This path being blazed by the national Tory Party with Pembroke and Carnell following makes it hard for me to understand how Cllr Harsant the Tory leader in Ipswich can tell a local paper that Ipswich is not doing enough for homelessness when she knows that the problem will get worse thanks to the likes of Osborne, Pembroke and Carnell.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sidegate School Crossing Patrol- possible good news.

Some of you may have read in the local paper this weekend that Sidegate Primary School in Ipswich may be in line to have our School Crossing Patrol re-instated within the next two months. A local firm has come forward to offer sponsorship which will enable the County Council to lift their recruitment ban and recruit and train a new Road Crossing Patrol for Sidegate Lane.

It is great that a local firm has come forward but there in no doubt in my mind that the reason that our Tory Councilor has been so active in her efforts to recruit a local firm is due to the pressure put on the Tory run County Council by the efforts of the the staff and Governing body at Sidegate School and the campaign by parents, local residents , and the Ipswich Labour Party.

But this is just the start, the full details of this sponsorship deal needs to be known, and the campaign must carry on as the Tory run County Council still have plans to scrap all the other School Crossing Patrols in the county at the end of the summer term. If the County do not continue to fund the crossings, it will take more than one local firm to come forward to help fill the funding gap.

It is also good news to see that Mrs Terry now believes that a Crossing Patrol is needed in Sidegate Lane after she was quoted in the local paper before Christmas in stating that now there is no Crossing Patrol, motorists are driving more carefully. so maybe a Crossing Patrol was not needed.

Thank you again for all of you have signed our petition to get the County to re-instate the Crossing Patrol, but the campaign needs to continue till all the Crossing Patrols in Ipswich and Suffolk are safe.

p.s. Does anyone know any firms who want to sponsor Rosehill Library? If so contact the Tory run Suffolk County Council.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Why do the Tories hate young people?

Rosehill Library - under threat from our own Mrs Terry

The Tories (with the help of the Lib Dems) seem to be on a crusade against the youth of today. So many of the first Tory cuts seem to be aimed at the youngest in our community - EMA, Building schools for the Future, Explore Card, Road Crossing patrols and now libraries. The Tory run Borough council in Ipswich also seems to want to get in on the act with Maidenhall Sports Centre also under threat.

It seems a systematic attack on the youth of today by National Government, the County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.

I was amazed during my time in Afghanistan in 2009 by the bravery shown by many British soldiers, many of them under the age of 20, and it is that same youth the Tories now want to attack. It is good to see youngsters not just siiting back but organising peaceful protests in Ipswich and this Saturday will see another protest march from the Regent to the New Wolsey in Ipswich.

The Tories may seem to not care but we have seen here in Rushmere Ward, Ipswich that the public are very upset that the Road Crossing Patrols outside our schools will be removed (or already have been as in our Ward, outside Sidegate Primary school). They might have just gone one cut too far this time with their latest plan - shutting Suffolk libraries.

This is an attack on all our communities, but it is mainly the young, the old, the unemployed that use and rely on the Suffolk Library Service. The Tories and the Lib Dems on the Ipswich Borough Council cry out that we should not blame them as it is Cameron's government or the County Council that are imposing these cuts but it is Mrs Terry our own Tory Borough Councilor in Rushmere Ward, Ipswich who is the person responsible for the Library service in Suffolk, ask her when she knocks on your door before the election - 'why is she shutting Rosehill Library?'

You may have heard about the attempt to shut the Stoney Stratford Library in Milton Keynes by the Lib Dem run council (see here), this led to the locals drawing out all the books in the library on Saturday, causing the campaign to save that library even to be mentioned in the news media in New York.

No books left in Stoney Stratford

So Mrs Terry, we will fight you as you attempt to close Suffolk Libraries, in particular the Rosehill Library in Tomline Road, Ipswich. The Nazis burnt books, the Tories (and Lib Dems) just aim to hide them!