Sunday, 6 December 2015

My week ahead, 7 - 12 December 2015

Monday 7 December, 4pm – NE Agenda setting meeting
6pm – Labour campaigning

Tuesday 8 December, 6pm – Audit Committee

Wednesday 9 December, 10am – Planning Committee
6pm – Early Warning Group

Thursday 10 December, 6pm – Area Committee Chair’s meeting

Friday 11 December, 11am - Opening of Barnes Square , with members of the Barnes family and soldiers from 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment
6pm – Ipswich Labour Christmas Party

This week we have our last surge of council meetings before the Christmas break, there will also be a good opportunity to meet Labour members and discuss our plans for 2016.

There is no hiding from the fact that the last few months have been very difficult for the Labour Party and there are a number of internal battles within our ‘broad church’ and i will be blogging about those battles and discussions over the next few months.

But whilst the party may be split on an number of topics the Tories are not having a great time themselves, climb downs on police cuts and Tax Credit cuts are two examples where they have not been in step with the public.

On Saturday it was great to join Labour comrades campaigning in North East Ipswich, I found myself with our Suffolk group leader, Sandy Martin. We ended up in Britannia Road collecting signatures for our joint petition with the Fire Brigade Union to try and stop the savage cuts being imposed on our Suffolk Fire Service by the Tory run County Council. What we found was quite interesting, residents were very keen to sign the petition and also talk about other concerns, with the main topic being the cuts now facing Suffolk Police that are being imposed by our Tory Police and Crime Commissioner.

In brief residents did not mention once to me;

1.         Jeremy Corbyn – good or bad points
2.         Syria (surpisingly)
3.         Railways
4.         Town Centre
5.         Europe – in or out

What they did mention, and often in long conversations;

1.         Cuts to Fire Service
2.         Planned cuts to Police, lack of PCSOs and why do we have so many senior Police officers
3.         Threat to NHS
4.         Poor education results in Ipswich
So that may be a foretaste of what the May election will be about, but there is no doubt that by May we may find Europe ripping the Tory Party apart, on Friday the Tory ant- Europe group were out at Ipswich railway station. Unless you recognised the people you would have found it hard to realise they were a Tory run group- they wore uniformed red t shirts and there leaflet, was anti EU but the leaflets said leaving EU was the best way to save the NHS, not sure many of those present were in truth great defenders of the NHS!

Good to see that almost all Labour MPs and the whole Front Bench have signed up for the Pro Europe campaign that will have the indomitable Alan Johnson as our lead. I am also pleased we will be running our own Labour campaign not a joint one with any other pro Europe group. But you do wonder if the Tories have any pro-Europe group, we believe Cameron, Osborne and Ben Gummer are pro Europe but there is no evidence in Ipswich that Gummer has had much luck encouraging his own Ipswich Tories to join him, as the Ipswich Tory leader seems like many of the local activists very keen for us to opt out. No wonder the Tory Vote Out campaign thought Ipswich would be a good place to start their campaign! Wonder if they told Ben they were coming (the Tory Vote Out and Ben Gummer campaign seemed very similar – railway station venue, bright t shirts (change of colours) and giving out leaflets but not really wanting to talk to residents.

No comments: