Sunday, 24 January 2016

My week ahead, 25 - 30 January 2016

Monday 25 January - 6pm, Labour Group meeting

Wednesday 27 January - 6pm, Ipswich Borough, Full Council meeting

Thursday 28 January - 7pm, North East Ipswich Labour meeting, speaker from the Refugee support centre - Old Times Guest House, Cauldwell Hall Rd

Friday 29 January - 8am, Culture portfolio meeting

Saturday 30 January - 10am, Labour campaigning in Rushmere Ward

A fine sunny Saturday and great to join 20 other Ipswich Labour members back on the doorstep, we have been campaigning all year but now their is an added bounce in our step as we start to focus on the elections in May (with a possible Euro referendum in June also on our minds).

Yesterday we were in North West Ipswich, and as well as canvassing we were also collecting signatures for our joint campaign with the FBU to stop the savage Tory cuts to our fire service.

I got an interesting response on the doorstep and one that highlights a problem Labour has got nationally. Everyone was keen to sign our petition against the Tory cuts to our fire service, even Tory voters and that is the issue. Many people are happy to vote Tory in the General Election are are very unhappy with the Tory County Council and would not want a Tory run Borough Council. What they seem to be unaware of or happy to ignore is the fact that many of the proposed cuts are due to the way the Tory Government are slashing funding to local councils.

I can understand their concerns about the Tories taking control in Ipswich - they would look to freeze council tax (even if the Tory Government is expecting councils to now raise council tax by 2%) so without Government support a Tory council in Ipswich could lead to the closing of sports centres, swimming pools, cuts to to grants to local charities and a start to charging for your bins.

What we have to do as the Labour party is to persuade voters that they can trust a Labour run Government just like they already trust Labour Councils over Tory run administrations.

This week we also saw one more Ben Gummer column where there is no mention of Europe - with a possible referendum under 6 months away, is it not about time our MP tells his constituents if he wishes us to stay in Europe?

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