Thursday 21 April 2011

Will Bee save the Tories?

This week Mark Bee took over as Leader of the Tory group on Suffolk County Council, his appointment has led to a number of posts in the local politics blogosphere and a number of pages in both the East Anglian Daily Times and the Evening Star.
Most seem happy that Bee got the nod over Colin Noble - that is all but Ipswich Spy who must have a mole in the County Tory ranks, many of us thought Noble would happily continue with NSD and work alongside/under Ms Hill but it seems that Noble dedicated much of his speech on how Ms Hill's days would be numbered under his leadership, where Mark Bee just said Ms Hill was an HR matter.
Now I am not a fan of Ms Hill, but feel she has become an easy target when it should be the County Tories (the whole group) who employed her, paid her and then let her lead on NSD that should take the brunt of the criticism. Unlike two certain Tory blogs, I do not just print rumours, but in this case I feel it is relevant, some Tories believe the recently called inquiry into the suicide of one of the County Officers will lead to the acting leader to be able to get rid of Ms Hill before Cllr Bee takes over as leader of Suffolk County Council.

But will Cllr Bee and his handling of NSD, save the Tories? Maybe too late for them in Ipswich and Waveney and the Labour vote will increase on most rural parts of the County but most Tories will hold onto their seats, but for all the good press Cllr Bee is currently getting on halting/thinking about NSD, the County still needs to make cuts, but any time they come under pressure (waste sites, school crossing patrols) they just delay it. I hope that Cllr Bee will force a change in the direction the County was going but I feel though many School Crossing Patrols will be saved, the threat to Suffolk libraries is still very real and for that reason I think Cllr Bee will have to pull quite a few hot coals out of the fire to stop the Tories losing a number of seats in 2013 when we vote in the next County Council.

Nationally the Tory vote is holding quite well but it is their coalition bed mates, the Lib Dems who seem to be suffering the most, it will be interesting to see how they fare on May 5th. In Ipswich it might be the start of the road to nowhere for the Lib Dems, 7 councillors at the moment by almost certain that they will not have that many come May 6th.

Sunday 3 April 2011

No 2 AV - Nasty campaign!

For once in my life, I can be described as 'undecided' - still to be convinced one way or the other on AV. Part of me wants to give Clegg another bloody nose and vote 'No2AV' but then part of me thinks that AV may be a way of getting the trust of the electorate back.

But I may now be voting 'Yes' and the reason? The nasty campaign being run by the Tory Party/ 'No2AV' campaign.

The latest advert below was the last straw, soldiers do need body armour (not bullet proof vests) and they will continue to get them issued, but there is no doubt that our Forces will face a shortage of equipment (and men) over the next few years, but not because of the cost of funding AV. No, the lack of equipment will be down to the severe cuts that Cameron and Dr Fox are forcing upon our Armed Forces, that coupled with an ill thought out plan for Libya are the reasons why our men and women on the front line will go short of vital equipment, not implementing AV.

Next they will be blaming AV for the scrapping of School Crossing Patrols!

'Save Suffolk Libraries' March - Ipswich, April 2nd

The sun was out on Saturday and thanks to Abby Barker and friends, Ipswich witnessed hundreds of people walking peacefully though Ipswich protesting against the Tory County Councils plan to shut a number of Suffolk Libraries. The march saw hundreds of residents both young and old from all over the county converge on Endeavour House to start the march. they were joined by Trade Unionists, authors, and over 30 members of the Suffolk Labour Party, it even attracted a number of Lib Dem councilors and activists!

Abby, the brains behind the march

A Tory Council candidate also watched the march but there was no sign of Cllr Stewart and Harsant or their Tory colleague Jan Rawlings, who are meant to be campaigning hard to save Rosehill Library?? Ben Gummer also missed the march, this may be because he had handcuffed himself to the railings at Rosehill Library like he promised.

Best bit of the march? When the hundreds of protesters, walked through Ipswich Central Library, with banners flying but to the sound of hushed whispers.

Well done to Abby Barker and also the 'Save Libraries' groups at Rosehill, Whitehouse, Stradbroke, Leiston and the many more in Suffolk villages that have been hit by these severe Tory cuts.

Tracey Grant - our Rushmere candidate - looking angy about Tory cuts!