Sunday, 2 February 2014

My week ahead, 3 - 8 February 2014

Monday – 3 February, 3pm – Deliver an Electric Organ to Dundee House
6pm Labour campaigning

Wednesday – 5 February, 10am – Ipswich Borough Council Planning meeting

Thursday – 6 February, 5pm – Area Committee Chairs meeting, Grafton House

Friday – 7 February, 5pm – North East Area Committee, agenda setting meeting

Saturday 8 February, 10am – Labour campaigning – South West Ipswich

This week we had our latest Ipswich Borough Full Council meeting, the Tories accused us of hypocrisy as we put up council house rent. These attacks have been continued by our Tory MP Ben Gummer and he has joined other local Tories is also attacking us over housing developments in Ipswich. They are accusing us of putting in too many obstructions to developers and demanding far too much money from the same developers through 106 requests.

They call us hypocrites as we have campaigned about the rise in the cost of living and that of course will not be helped by us having to put council house rents up. We are only following government guidelines on the rent increase, of course we could have ignored them but we already struggling to make ends meet with the severe cuts being made by Pickles –and it is hard to plan our budget as we still have not had the details from Pickles on what rise we could put on council tax without needing a referendum. It is very difficult to make these important decisions when you are not given the full facts.

So on Wednesday we had the Ipswich Tories and Lib Dems voting against their own government, so will they support us at the next council meeting if we have to raise council tax to secure front line service?

So they call us hypocrites – but when their government introduced the ‘Bedroom Tax’ did we hear them attacking their government – of course the answer is no.

No one in Ipswich is going to be fooled into thinking that if the Tories were still in power in Ipswich they would not have followed the governments guidelines and raised rents, you just have to remember how much they raised them in their last year running the administration.

Tory MP, Ben Gummer mentions that some Labour run administrations like Doncaster did not raise the rent as much as Ipswich but he forgets to mention that two neighbouring Tory run districts in Suffolk are raising them.

But even at the meeting the Tories were showing their own form of hypocrisy, Mr Gummer was concerned that us building council house may become a vanity project but at the meeting Mr Carnall was keen on us buying the St Clements site and turning it into a park – when houses are needed in Ipswich. So we have some Tories blaming us for stopping the St Clements development because we asked for the developer to pay a large amount of 106 money but at the same time we have one speaking against the development at the planning meeting and another senior Tory wanting to turn into a park!

On the Northern Fringe, the Tories and Lib Dems seem to be getting cold feet about building on there. We should not build till all the infrastructure is in place – well who is going to pay for it? Their own government or Tory run Suffolk County Council? I do not think so – 105 moneys is the only way.

Again this week our neighbouring Tory Mid Suffolk just turned down a development after the developer would not pay the full 106 request or build a set number of affordable homes. So OK for Tory run Mid Suffolk but not Labour run Ipswich.

There are hypocrites on Ipswich Borough Council – but they are in the blue corner.

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