Sunday, 26 January 2014

My week ahead, 27 January - 2 February 2014

Monday – 27 January, 3pm – Ipswich WW1 Centenary steering group
4pm – Culture portfolio meeting
6pm Labour Group meeting

Tuesday - 28 January, 5PM – Sidegate Primary School, Finance committee

Wednesday - 29 January, 6pm – Ipswich Borough Council meeting

Thursday – 30 January, 10am – Visit to Dundee House

Saturday 2 February, 10am – Labour campaigning – Central and North West Ipswich

A busy week ahead but the good thing is as well as a number of meetings there is also the opportunity to meet a number of Rushmere residents with visits to Dundee House in Renfrew Rd and Inverness Rd planned for this week.

It will also give me further opportunities to inform residents of the planned Suffolk County Council consultation on the next 3 proposed projects to be undertaken under the ‘Travel Ipswich’ banner.

The project with the most interest for Rushmere residents I believe will be the Argyle Street/ Woodbridge Rd junction but many residents will also be glad to hear that the proposed removal of the mini roundabouts on Norwich Rd seems to have been shelved.

Some would say the exhibition on the road schemes (the exhibition will be located in the Tower Ramparts shopping centre from the end of the week) is more about information than consultation. We already have one senior Ipswich Tory seeming to claim that the decisions have already been made by the Tory run County Council and that the consultation may be a waste of time.

At first it was quite amusing to see Tory blaming Tory but all it does show is taht Tory run Suffolk has little concern or interest in what happens in Ipswich.

At the Area Committee this week in North East Ipswich we had a Tory County Councillor come along to talk about their budget proposals, there was much talk again about consultation but when the use of an opinion poll was mentioned residents asked who had been surveyed. It seemed very few people had been asked and the County Tory could not say how many in Ipswich had been asked about what they wished money to be spent on.

The Senior Officer and the Tory Councillor answered a number of questions, but it did not seem that residents were very enthusiastic about the Tory budget plans, some of the questioning was quite critical including questions from at least one Ipswich Tory councillor.

I had the alst questions and asked about how much money the County had in Reserve- no exact figure given but over £150 Million and I also asked about the two biggest concerns I believe that effect North East Ipswich residents, highways and Education. The Tory councillor said he would pass on my concern about the state of road repairs and commented that it seemed to be the main concern of most communities in Suffolk. His answer about the failure of the County to support Education? None given!

Wonder what the four Year 12 Northgate students thought his failure to answer the question on education?


Ben Redsell said...

To be fair to SCC, the figure you quote on reserves is their committed reserves including for capital schemes they have already agreed to, such as new school buildings and road schemes. The amount in uncommitted reserves is about a tenth of that, some £17 million, and you know as well as I do that there is a minimum level at which it is safe to reduce reserves to.

By contrast IBC, although having a budget of about a fifth of the county council, currently holds £14 million in reserves. Will you be spending this to cut council tax? Or will you once again be increasing the cost of living for people, adding to the cost of living crisis?

Alasdair Ross said...

It was strange to be consulted about a budget that had already been decided, residents did not seem happy with what was being told us, and the Tory Cllrs who had turned up did not seem that impressed either.
The failure to answer the question about education says it all about this Tory run CountybCouncil.

The promise to not raise council tax has taken away the opportunity to react to such issues as failing schools.

Though the Tory Cllr seemed to be saying that holding a teferendum made it so difficult and the ability to only raise it 1.5 % (Pickles figure seems to be used by many Tory run councils) would make little difference to money raised.