Sunday, 17 January 2016

My week ahead, 18 - 23 January 2016

Monday 18 January, 4pm – Culture portfolio briefing
6pm – Labour Group training

Tuesday 19 January, 5pm – Early Warning Group

Thursday 21 January, 7pm – North East Ipswich Labour campaigning

Saturday 23 January, 10am – Labour campaigning in South East Ipswich

On Thursday at the North East Ipswich Area Committee, we had a briefing by senior Fire Officers on what can only be described as a plan for savage cuts to our Suffolk Fire Service with Ipswich seeming to be facing the brunt of the cuts.

The tow senior Fire Officers were very honest in the answers they gave the public and councillors (not surprising but most of the questions came from the Labour councillors as only one Tory councillor out of the 4 present asked a question – are they happy with the planned cuts?)

We had been promised that the Tory Cabinet Member responsible for the Fire Service would attend but he had ended up remaining at Endeavour House trying to explain the cuts to the Fire Service Staff, but we would have hoped to have seen at least one Tory County Councillor present but we had none. Cllr Murray the only Tory County Councillor in Ipswich sent his apologies and there was no sign of Cllr Hudson.

Who is Cllr Hudson you may ask, well he is the supposed Tory solution for Ipswich having no representation on the ruling Tory Cabinet but not sure he spending much time on Ipswich matters, he has been given the dates of all the 5 Ipswich Area Committees but so far has failed to attend any and I am almost certain that he been at no other meetings held in the Borough – Full Council, Executive or Scrutiny.

So maybe he should just give up the role as it becomes more obvious by every meeting he fails to attend that his appointment by Tory leader, Colin Noble was just a simple PR stunt and even more evidence (if it was needed) that the Tories have no interest in what happens in Ipswich – the County town of Suffolk.

One test of the County will be the building of the Wet Dock Crossing, the original plan by Mr Gummer did not seem to me to stack up and just seemed all talk as I could not see how a crossing involving the Island would help alleviate traffic congestion in Star Lane, but I do see some merits in the new plan that was presented this week but Mr Gummer may not be so keen on the new price tag, over £100 million and almost twice the original budget - £100 million may seem cheap when you try and work out what the Tories spent £20 million on with ‘Travel Ipswich’ budget!

The new Wet Dock project would require a financial contribution from local Government, not sure how Mr Gummer will have to cheek to ask for anything off us when his Government has just slashed its direct grant to us. The Tory County Council may also struggle to help pay for the crossing when it also has to contribute to the second crossing in Lowestoft which seems to be above the proposed Ipswich Wet Dock crossing in the major project pecking order.

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