Thursday 30 July 2015

How Green are the Tories?

When Cameron first became leader of the Tories he reached out for the green vote, here was a Tory who actually believed in global warming- he even travelled out to the arctic. We then had re-branding of the Tory logo with a dash of green and some sort of childs drawing of a tree thrown in.

Seems time now for a further re-brand – throw away the green bit, the tree and just have a St George’s flag and the drawbridge being drawn up with the slogan ‘I’m alright Jack’.

Since May we have had the scrapping of the ‘Green deal’ – we know it was not working but replace the scheme do not just scrap it. We have also seen the Tories state it should be easier for residents to refuse wind turbines but with a large dose of hypocrisy, Cameron informs us residents should not let their views get in the way of fracking- which will be the saviour of our nation!

This Tory dumping has hit Ipswich, making it more difficult for us to place solar panels on council roofs, we are going ahead with placing more panels on roofs but this should have been done over 2 years ago and every time we start we are always left worried that Osborne and the Tories will change the rules at any time.

As the East of England has a number of businesses involves in the off-shore wind farm industry this state of uncertainty over the industry does not help.

This ditching of any sort of green policy has now reached the Tories in Suffolk, with their latest proposal (remember the Tory slogan – the ‘Greenest’ County) to charge residents £50 for their brown bins – and they think this will help recycling!

What it will lead to is more waste in the black bins, more anti-social bonfires – remember this is on top of green waste no longer being taken in at the Foxhall waste site and big queues at Portman’s Walk after the Tories shut other waste sites including the one on the way to Shotley.

Good news for Ipswich residents is that Labour run Ipswich are not willing to charge residents £50 for their brown bin and we may also be joined in this action by Tory run Suffolk Coastal. The strange thing is that some of the Tory Cabinet who are for charging £50 for the bin may vote in their own District Council to not charge residents £50! The reason for this strange decision? It seems to me all they are interested in is moving some of the costs that the County has to pay to District Councils, making it easier for them in 2017 to come out with their one and only policy- no council tax rises for the next 5 years ( they will also fail to mention you will also have no schools, no bin collection and no care homes!)

What it does show both nationally and locally that the Tories only care about now and those who ‘have’. They have no concerns for the future of our planet- for our children or grandchildren – it is just self, self and more self.

What can you do? Write to Ben Gummer and Dan Poulter, your local Tory Councillors – ask them do they support the £50 charge on brown bins? And if they do not are they going to lobby the Tory run County not to implement this badly thought out plan!
Good news for at least one advertising agency- they will get to design a new Tory logo , no tree or any green needed this time.

Sunday 26 July 2015

My week ahead, 27 July - 1 August 2015

Monday 27 July, 6pm – Labour Group meeting

Saturday 1 August, 10am – Labour campaigning, North Ipswich

Back into full time campaigning again after a very short Summer break, we have also had a number old new members join the party and it has great to see many get involved with the local party so soon after joining.

A number may join just to vote in the leadership election but i have found that all the new members I have met who have joined since May have become Labour members to help campaign for a better country. We had over 70 members turn up to hear Tom Watson, one of our Deputy Leader candidates speak at the Kingfisher pub in Ipswich.

When it comes to the leadership contest I have still not decided who I am going to vote for, the right wing press are having a field day in the support that Jeremy Corbyn seems to be gaining from Labour members, I understand his appeal to many members in particular his anti-austerity stance but I will not be voting for him because of his non-committal stance over Europe and because I am still not sure that his views have changed much from when he voiced opinions over the future of Northern Ireland.

But I am not surprised that many members may support him, but it does make me laugh when local Tories mention it and indicate it is sort of display of weakness within the Labour Party, imagine if we asked Tory activists to vote for a new leader? I am sure anyone who said get out of the EU now and bring back hanging would gain plenty of support from Tory activists but that does not mean that person could lead them to power.

The leadership election will continue to get the right wing press into a state of hysteria but we will just ignore their partisan views and I am sure Labour members and supporters will make the right choice.

Monday 20 July 2015

My week ahead - 19 - 25 July 2015

Monday 20 July, 4pm – Culture Portfolio meeting
6pm – Labour Group campaigning

Thursday 23 July, 6pm – North East Ipswich Partnership group meeting
7pm – North East Ipswich Area Committee – St John’s Church, Cauldwell Hall Rd

Saturday 25 July, 10am – Labour campaigning, East Ipswich

Another week of traffic chaos in East Ipswich and both councillors and residents being kept in the dark by the Tory run County Council. The Tories have little political representation in Ipswich but at least the new Tory leader, Colin Noble has appointed a cabinet member with responsibility for Ipswich. Maybe he should attend a round of area committee meetings, he then might find out what Ipswich residents think – our meeting this Thursday would be a good opportunity to speak to Ipswich residents about the unacceptable service being provided by Keir, the contractor employed by the County to look after our roads.

Thursday 16 July 2015

No road problems in East Ipswich???

When our local Labour County Councillor, Sandra Gage asked Suffolk County Council why local Councillors did not receive a weekly update on traffic issues in Ipswich (like we used to when Labour run Ipswich was in charge of the highways) she was informed there was no need for updates as there was little going on currently in East Ipswich until work starts on the Argyle Street/Woodbridge Rd junction.

What a load of rubbish!

I drove home from town yesterday evening at 8pm and in the two miles to my house I witnessed:
Christchurch Street - closed - major roadworks
Duke of York Pub - Woodbridge Rd down to one lane with 3 way temporary lights
Rushmere Rd/Woodbridge Rd/ Cauldwell Hall Rd roundabout - gone! Road dug up, part of Woodbridge Rd closed
Cauldwell Hall Rd- down to one lane, 3 way traffic lights
Whitby Road - part of it down to one lane on a busy junction.

So plenty of work going on but the Tory County Council do not feel they need to inform local Councillors. Also many residents would have noted that many roads in Ipswich have black pipes at the end of them, these are used to count traffic - an important collection of data - but why are the County collecting this data? To help plan a northern road that is much needed so we can get on with building homes on the Northern Fringe? No it seems the County have been given a very short time frame to come up with a plan to gain more funding from the Government for the Gummer proposed wet dock crossing!

Gummer and local Tories accused Ipswich Labour that our plan of building council homes was a vanity project, well building a wet dock crossing when a northern road is needed is the biggest vanity project I ever heard of in this town.

I am sure Mr Noble the Tory County leader would not be happy if he had not been informed of local roadwork schemes in his own leafy village then why is it acceptable for Ipswich Councillors to be kept in the dark about roadworks in our town?

Going back to the Argyle Street junction - what is the plan? The first one wa saw over 2 years ago, seemed to have been designed by map only as there was no mention of the pedestrian crossing 30 metres further up the road outside St Helen's School!