Sunday, 22 September 2013

My week ahead, 23 - 28 September 2013

Monday 23 September, 6pm – Labour campaigning, East Ipswich

Tuesday 24 September, 5pm – Sidegate Primary School, Steering group

Saturday 28 September, 10am – Labour campaigning, South West Ipswich

A not so busy week as the main two political party’s join the conference season. So it gives us the chance to campaign in our part of town.

This week we will be out collecting signatures for a petition asking Suffolk County Council to change their mind about their refusal to subsidise a bus service in the East of the town. We will also be informing residents about the public meeting to be held next month at St Clements Hospital. The meeting will hear about the latest plans to turn the site into a large scale housing development. The meeting has been organised and will be hosted by the North East Area Committee.

This is the second public meeting that the Area Committees have organised after one was held in the South West about wind farms. The ability of area committees to be able to organise these meeting is just one more example where area committees are far more beneficial to residents than the old area forums.

We held a very successful Area Committee in the North East this week, we managed to agree to fund a number of projects, but what was more of a surprise (after previous meetings) was how all the councillors agreed on most subjects and even if views differed were willing to listen to others and come up with a compromise. So at St John’s we had held a meeting which was very different in its feel to the Full Council meeting held the night before. At Full Council we had a series of very poor questions from both Tory councillors and Tory activists. Such questions included should we let Bury St Edmunds be the County town and why is Ipswich closed on a Monday. Other questions were just repeats of questions already asked (and answered) at both Scrutiny and Human Resources. I am sure that the Tories soon realised that the questions they were asking were both poorly researched and in many cases meaningless. They were also not very clear and in most cases the Labour front bencher had to use his first answer to ask the opposition to explain the meaning of the question! I am sure the tone of questioning may have led to Cllr Pope reacting in the way he did when he was pulled up about his spelling. Richard Pope quickly informed us all that in fact he had dyslexia, this was the first we had heard of this and of course if we had known beforehand we would have not highlighted the spelling errors. I know that Cllr Jones has since apologised to Cllr Pope.

But you do wonder why the Tory questions are not checked by the Leader of the Tory group in the first place. The comment on bad spelling and then the revelation that Cllr Pope suffered from dyslexia was not handled well by all sides but was certainly blown out of all proportion by Cllr Cenci and her ‘attention seeking’ walk out. Best thing was once she left all other council business went very smoothly with the opposition happy to second a number of Labour proposals. The following day at the Area Committee, Cllr Pope was very involved in all aspects of the meeting and his views and comments were all of high quality and I for one took on board a number of his points. Then again I feel the North East area meeting was far more productive than normal due to the absence of Cllr Judy Terry – her not being their made the meeting run much smoother in fact her absence had the similar effect that Cllr Cenci had when she walked out of Full Council!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is it only Cllr Cenci and Cllr Terry that hold up meetings, or is it any Tory woman? Do you have something against women councillor?