Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Ipswich supports our Armed Forces

Monday night (27th June 2011) was a good day for politics in Ipswich. The Tory group on Ipswich Borough Council had put forward a proposal that if passed would have allowed members of our Armed Forces who live in the Borough free entry to Borough owned sports facilities such as Crown Pools and also free entry to events held at 'The Regent' and the 'Corn Exchange'.

The ruling Labour group put forward an amendment that I was proud to second, our amendment was to remove the original target date of August 1st. This was not done out of spite, this was so that we could make sure that when the scheme is implemented, we would have ensured that serving members of our Armed Forces living in the town would have received their free i-card and were aware of the benefits that ownership of that card entitled them to.

Though it would be great to offer free 'Regent' tickets to all our Armed Forces living in the town this would have been hard to implement, we are looking at joining in with the military charity - 'Tickets for Troops', by working with them it would not only enable soldiers who are resident in the town to apply for free tickets but also those who call Ipswich their home but are based in other parts of the UK or even abroad.

This seems to be the way ahead, and after this was mentioned in the 'Evening Star' on Tuesday, I have already had a mother of a local soldier approach me and tell me how excited he was that he would now be able to use the Borough owned gyms in the town.

Many councils and private firms have offered troops similar benefits but I aim to use my links with the military community to help Council Officers introduce a scheme that will see the soldiers and their families use our swimming pools and gyms and that members of our forces come to Ipswich to watch shows both at the ‘Regent’ or the ‘Corn Exchange’.
Why was it good for politics in Ipswich? The amendment was voted through unanimously and with an obvious desire on all three sides to make it work.


Ken Bates said...

Unanimously? Really? Though I don't doubt that members of the armed forces deserve recognition for the work they do (My father served in the RAF), I don't remember our Mayor using the word "Abstain" as an option at Monday's full council meeting... Does that mean that Cllr. Le Grys is going to spend the rest of his term being completely biased towards yourself and your Labour colleagues? You might want to mention to him that political bias IS NOT allowed by the Mayor.

Alasdair Ross said...

I would have hoped that all three groups, and all Councillors would have been able to support the motion, not sure why you would have wanted to abstain? I am sure the minutes of the meeting can be ammended so that your vote is recorded as an abstention