Friday, 27 July 2012

Report on North East Ipswich area Committee, 26 July 2012

Last night we had a good attendance from local residents at our latest North East Area Committee. The meeting started with a presentation from Hopkins Homes about the Colchester Rd/Fire Station development.

The main meeting started at 7.30pm and it became quite obvious that the Tory councillors were more interested in scoring cheap points than contributing anything positive to the meeting. Cllr Carnall asked for an amendment to the minutes to show that it was their idea to back the Cherry Tree Park request for funding. We accepted this but this then led to Cllr Pope wanting a number of amendments made to the minutes, including an attack on myself. Cllr Stroet then joined in the attacks on me, and informing me that I should attend a course on how to Chair a meeting.

Why their concerns with the minutes were not raised before the meeting you will have to ask them but it became obvious afterwards that the public had not been impressed with attempts to play party politics at the meeting.

We then had a number of questions from residents, many on parking issues in the streets near the hospital. The state of the pavement next to the Cemetery was also debated and will be an issue that I will be raising with Officers and Portfolio holders over the next few months.

Officers reported that work continues on a play scheme for Cherry Tree Park and also on the plan to solve traffic problems in Pearce/Orwell Road.

Cllr Alan Murray the Conservative County Cllr for Bixley then spoke about the bus service to Broke Hall, he thanked Ipswich Bus Company for stepping in with the new Number 4 round. Wonder what Cllr Carnall thought of this as if he had won the election two years ago we would have seen the Ipswich Bus Company sold off by now.

I finished the meeting by giving a verbal brief on our action plan for the North East, the plan had been worked on and agreed by Officers and two Labour and two Tory Cllrs but this did not stop Cllr Pope from setting that he had refused to attend the meeting as he did not believe in Cllrs setting the action plan. Cllr Carnall and Stroet just sat on their hands and said nothing.

Even with the antics of the Tory Cllrs the meeting seemed to go down well with residents. Our next meeting will be in the same location, St Johns Church Hall, Caudwell Hall Road on the 20th September at 7pm.

Ransomes - Still safe under Labour

This week there have been further developments over the future of Ransomes Sports Ground.

After a number of months of discussions and meetings the council has been left with no other option than to serve notice on the current management.

A Labour run Council bought the property in Sidegate Avenue in 1994, saving the sports ground from being sold off to developers. The sports and Social Club was given a 15 year lease to run the club but since 2009 have been running it on an ad hoc basis. Since the start of 2012 the Council have been seeking major changes to ensure that all sports continue to thrive at the club.

There have been a number of bloggers (Tory) and others stating that this because the council wish to build houses on the site. But the Labour Council wishes to stress that they are going to keep the council-owned facility open. They are not – I repeat not, going to close it. The council are going to save it for a variety of sports.
A number of residents have contacted me about the loss of Suffolk County Cricket, the way St Margarets Cricket Club have had to change venues at short notice, and the loss of the bowls club.

There have also been other comments made to me about how the club is managed but as we are led to believe by a leading Tory councillor that the club are taking legal advice it would not be appropriate to discuss these comments at this time.

Ipswich Spy and certain Tory blogs have attacked both myself and the Labour run council and have even called on myself to resign. I will not be taking their advice but I will continue to campaign and work with the council to ensure that Ransomes remains the premier sports facility in the town.

Borneo - a life changing experience


I am just back from 16 days in Borneo, a fantastic experience. The people, the culture, the food and the wildlife all were unforgettable.

The most satisfying part of the trip was to see how the young adults blossomed under what at times were difficult conditions. The highlight of the trip was the time spent in the local Sarawak village of Long Terawan.

We helped them paint their local church, danced with them, and even attempted the use of the blowpipe, slightly disappointingly we lost 1-3 in a Football match with the village.

I am sure the experience gained by the young adults (and teaching staff) will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

My week ahead 2 - 7 July 2012

Monday 2 July 4pm - Culture Portfolio meeting
4.30pm Elections Working Group

Wednesday 4 July 4.10pm - 'Crash of the Elysium, Crown Street Car Park
6pm - East Ipswich Housing Working Group

Thursday 5 July 4pm - Olympic Torch arrives in Ipswich

Friday 6 July 6pm - 'Mayor at Home' Christchurch Park

Saturday 7 July 2am - Depart for Borneo, taking a group of teenagers to SE Asia to work on a community project.

Last week I managed to experience Ip-art for the first time this year. Wednesday I was in Christchurch Park to watch the ‘Pantaloons’ preform ‘The Importance of being Earnest’. The backdrop of Christchurch Mansion made a it a superb venue and other than every church in Ipswich seemed to want to ring their bells on that evening it was a great evening of entertainment. Two years ago I visited Cambridge to watch one of their Shakespeare ‘open air’ plays – no doubt to me that this was far better. Make sure you go next year.

This show was just one small part of Ip-art, this week I am off to the Dr Who show with a group of school kids! Then Thursday is a day I never thought I would see – the Olympic Torch coming to Ipswich. I have tickets for a number of events and the torch arrival now makes me realise how close we are now to the whole event.

This week we continued with our Operation ‘No safe Tory Ward in Ipswich’ – with canvass sessions in Bixley and Holywells. It now seems the Tories are using the same slogan! Trouble for them is that we have never taken any seat in Ipswich for granted.
We continue to have large numbers of members and supporters out campaigning each week, but we also have time to play and on Saturday we held a fundraiser at Roundwood Bowl’s club- somehow my daughter and boyfriend managed to beat/hammer me!

On Saturday I am off to Borneo taking a group of teenagers to work on a community project. So when I return the Olympics will be about to start we may have had an English ‘Tour De France’ winner and the rain may have stopped!