Thursday 6 June 2024

Never forget this generation

D day, 80 years ago - we must never forget the sacrifices this generation made to give us peace in Europe - We will remember them

Friday 3 May 2024

I hold Rushmere Ward

 2024 Ipswich Borough Council Election result:

Result for Rushmere Ward:

Lib Dem - 146

Reform UK - 188

Green - 221

Tory - 626

Labour, Alasdair Ross - 1,163

Turnout - 38.2%

A great night for Ipswich Labour, with 5 gains off the Tories

Friday 8 March 2024

Cutting out the truth

Slightly shocked this week to find a Tory leaflet arrive through my letterbox, normally we are lucky to even get one just before an election but to receive a leaflet in early March is a real shock.

What was less shocking was that the leaflet had very little to do with the truth. The main story (fiction?) was focussed on the reasons why the Tory County Council are now cutting our verges in Ipswich. Debbie Richards, our Tory candidate, decided to tell Rushmere residents that the Tories were now mowing our verges after we had refused because our a 'black hole' in our finances.

Our Tory candidate, Debbie Richards forgets to mention a number of things, including that it is their statuary duty to maintain our roads and verges. The County used to pay the Borough to do it for them, but each year they reduced how many cuts they would pay for, so the Labour run Borough Council had to subsidise the service. In the end we could no longer go on like this, so we gave the County 12 months notice that we would not continue with the contract. 

Debbie Richards also declares that the County has purchased new equipment that will do the job of weed removal better, however one of her fellow Tory County Councillors has already declared the new procedure does not work.

Seems Debbie Richards may be great at cutting out the truth but has little knowledge on cutting out weeds.

I am sure Rushmere residents would have been more interested to hear why she has chosen to stand in Rushmere, rather than in either of the seats she represents on the County Council?

Just think, only 13 months till our next local Tory leaflet!!

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Has he?

Homelessness is a big issue throughout the UK, and Ipswich is no different to other similar towns in having such a problem, made worse recently, by more people struggling to pay rent or mortgages and others unable to get the support for mental health issues or substance misuse.

In Ipswich, helping people keep off the streets is one of our key priorities and we have been very successful in not only gaining funding from central Government but then using that funding to assist many residents to gain accommodation.

Not that you would know that if you have received the latest email newsletter from our Tory MP, Tom Hunt. He talks bout other local authorities sending many of their homeless people they're responsible for to Ipswich. This is not something new, it has been happening for a number of years, we even had other neighboring authorities block booking bed and breakfast accommodation, even if they did not need all the rooms at the time. The local authorities may be seen to be shirking their responsibility, but they are doing nothing illegal - only people who could stop them doing this - are the Tory Government .Mr Hunt does seem to forget to mention that none of the local authorities sending people to Ipswich are Labour run. 

When we assist homeless residents, we do our upmost to keep them in Ipswich, that is not always possible and if we do have to accommodate people outside Ipswich, we ensure we speak to our neighboring authorities and explain why and where these residents are being housed. It is called working in partnership!

We currently have an old hotel in the town being used by others to accommodate those who otherwise would be without a roof over their heads, we do not use it as we do not believe it is the right place or that the accommodation is suitable, we have made sure other authorities area ware of our opinion about the location. 

According to Mr Hunt, we are not concerned about the situation and are doing nothing about it. Mr Hunt states: " The Labour led, Ipswich Borough Council are aware of this al and have done nothing to stop it. I have encouraged them to make their opposition clear to neighboring authorities, but they have refused to do so."

Now this is news to me - and I am the portfolio holder responsible for housing and assisting those who are made homeless, and i have never received any correspondence from Mr Hunt- so who has he spoken to? Not that I am surprised about his comments, he often made similar claims about the Borough response to fighting crime, when he had never spoken to me once, when I was portfolio holder for Public Protection. 

So if you are fortunate/unfortunate enough to receive a weekly newsletter from Mr Hunt, I would suggest you tale what is written with a pinch of salt as it seems Mr Hunt does not always have his facts correct and would rather use his newsletter to bash the local Labour run council than give residents the true facts about the situation.

What his newsletter fails to mention is that the Tory run County Council is proposing cuts to their budget that will see Ipswich lose over 300 bedspaces, those that are used by some of our most vulnerable residents, it may be that it will be the Ipswich council tax payer who will have to pick up the bill, and some of those 300 may find themselves without a home - maybe something Mr Hunt, would wish to take up with the failing County Council rather than bashing a council, doing their best to help those who are made homeless. 

Saturday 11 November 2023

A community remembers

Yesterday, I was given the privilege to speak at the unveiling of a mural to remember a Westbourne Academy pupil, and a  Whitehouse Estate, Ipswich resident, who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2007

Aaron McClure will be remembered by his comrades from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, but also by his friends and family from this close knit part of Ipswich.

Well done to his mother, his friends, and the school for keeping his memory alive.

Friday 11 August 2023

500th solar panel installed on council home in Ipswich

Ipswich Borough Council has this week installed its 500th solar panel as part of its commitment to providing its residents with sustainable energy solutions.


Installed on a home in Maple Close, the news demonstrates the Council’s ongoing effort to use more renewable energy in the town, using local firms for the scaffolding and panel installation.


This initiative is part of Ipswich Borough Council's dedication to combat climate change, supporting carbon neutral ambitions, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future for residents, whilst helping to reduce energy bills.


By reaching the 500 milestone, this shows the great strides forward being taken by the Council, harnessing the power of renewable resources on its housing stock in Ipswich.


Solar power offers numerous benefits, including decreased dependence on fossil fuels, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and cost-effective energy solutions for community benefit.

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Is it worth commenting?

The last few weeks have seen the Tories continue to focus on immigration- or illegal immigration as they would call it, however without addressing the failings in the asylum system. Happy to promote their willingness to accept refugees from the Ukraine and Hong Kong but remaining silent on the Tory Government's  failure to secure a 'safe route' for those who served alongside  British troops in Afghanistan and now wish to flee the Taliban.

Here in Ipswich, it seems Tom Hunt, our Tory MP could not be happier, it seems to be his favourite subject and he was quick to jump onto his Facebook page (where most critics, even if constituents are blocked). Happy to highlight his visits to refugee camps in Bangladesh but at no time willing to accept some of those in the Ipswich Novotel may be legitimate refugees. 

In the last week he has criticised Labour politicians by using unsubstantiated comments from others, maybe  thinking he is being clever. If he can not factually back up the comment/accusation, he should not have repeated it.

He has got into needless spats about the failed right wing demo at the Novotel, I have not commented on the demonstration as I was not there as I had spent the morning talking to residents in Bixley Ward, he has also found time to be critical of Gary Lineker. Then yesterday, I became the subject of one of his Facebook rants. 

I was not going to reply to his rant but in the end there are a few facts that need to be highlighted, after that he can continue his Facebook discussions/rants with those he has decided not to block.


Mr Hunt has highlighted his concerns about public safety in Ipswich on various social media platforms, but has not once asked to speak to the Borough Community Safety Partnership, to ask for our views or for him to highlight his concerns.

Mr Hunt has attended a Night Time Economy Visit, when we requested but it took a number of requests before he could/did attend

However it is one of his comments in his recent emails to residents that I need to reply to. - he has been critical about the CCTV system in Ipswich - 

Mr Hunt wrote in February: "There also some issues with CCTV in certain areas. I've spoken about this with a  number of business owners and constituents and have specific examples that i will be raising"

Well 6 weeks later, and neither myself or the Community Safety Team at the Borough have heard from Mr Hunt - so when is he going to pass on his concerns? He claimed to residents he would!

The point is to help make Ipswich safer, we all need to work together and I think most of us understand that and do work together, the Labour run Ipswich Borough council, Tory run Suffolk County Council, the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner - all have supported our 'Safer Streets' bids and along with the Suffolk Constabulary continued to work hard for our residents, the only person who seems happy to continue to just be critical without offering any assistance, is our Tory MP.

I would not expect to agree on much with Mr Hunt - my views on the refugee system are much closer to Gary Lineker's than to his, but I do understand that many of our residents have concerns about the perceived levels of immigration. However when it comes to public protection in Ipswich, i am willing to listen to anyone, to understand their concerns and then work together to improve public safety in the town, but we are not helped, when our Tory MP would rather rant on Facebook or make statements on important issues such as CCTV reliability but not inform us of those concerns.

I would ask that if he has concerns  - come and speak to the Community Safety Partnership, if he believes our CCTV system is not 'fit for purpose' - tell us, so can look to see if we need to improve our service. However, please do not just rant on Facebook for selected audience.