Thursday, 22 December 2022

Happy Christmas 2022

2022, we thought the COVID crisis was over, and we could hope for better times but the war in Ukraine then a Tory Government in self destruct mode has made this a terrible year for many.

But let us hope that many of us do get the chance to spend the time with  friends and families over the festive period and that in 2023 we get closer to the end of this terrible Government.

Monday, 17 October 2022

Do they live in the real world?

We now have a Prime Minister, who has had to sack her Chancellor after just a few weeks in power,  and then appoint a new Chancellor - who has scrapped nearly all her economic plans within 72 hours.

Most of the plans he has scrapped are the same plans she won the Tory leadership election on! Must wonder why she is still sitting in Number 10.

It would be funny if it was not the fact that her disastrous plans have meant millions will now be playing more for their mortgages, household bills and basic foods.

So what do the local Ipswich Tories think?

Nadia Cenci, has gone from supporting Truss to saying she must go , another leading Tory just seems bothered that she may now lose her seat and Tom Hunt continues to tweet and post about anything other than the economy.

Maybe no surprise to go into hiding when their party is in such trouble, but then today they post an amazing review of their recent conference on their own website - you do wonder who pressed the publish button - we know they have issues with the use of social media with one councilor expelled and another suspended for some of their previous posts.

Their latest post may not be racist, or supporting Putin but it does make you wonder what parallel universe the local Tories live in, they now need to come out of hiding and start talking to residents, they may then start to understand the concerns of may of our constituents.

Here is a sample of what their latest post states:

"As Liz Truss so well demonstrated in her closing speech"  

"That is the overwhelmingly positive message emanating from the entire conference."

When talking about two national journalists - "Their attempts to talk down the Prime Minister’s speech failed so spectacularly by the supportive and positive crowd around them, meant that they were unable to talk above the cheering and applause and therefore those particular scenes from their intended slamming commentary could not be used. They in turn omitted to mention the exceptionally long standing ovation the PM got at the start of the speech, let alone throughout and at the end."

"It’s time for growth and we do that by cutting taxes for everyone."

"We finally have a Prime Minister and Chancellor whose laser focused aim is on destroying the anti-growth coalition"

Remember this was posted after Kwasi was sacked and just hours before Hunt tore up the whole Liz Truss economic plan!!

We are now all going to suffer thanks to a 32 days Far Right Tory economic experiment!

Time for a Labour Government and this local Tory posts, also indicates that the local Tories do not understand (or care about?) the issues that are worrying our Ipswich residents.

Friday, 23 September 2022

If you wish to play politics, maybe best to check the facts first.

On Wednesday, the Tory Group on Ipswich Borough Council proposed a motion asking the Council to lead on the production of a comprehensive knife crime strategy for the town.

Who could disagree with that? However the Tory Group knows as well as anyone else, that much of the power to fight knife crime lies with the Suffolk Police and the Tory run County Council. Any strategy we produced would be reliant on the Police and County doing much of the work.

They also seemed to forget or not admit that the police struggle at times to carry out their tasks due to underfunding of the service over the last 12 years of Tory Government.

That does not mean we do not need a strategy, however if the Tories had asked or just opened some of their own council papers, they would see we already have a strategy. A strategy to fight the rise of drug supply in the town, a strategy that looks to stop 'County Lines' drug operations working in the town. The Police are quite clear in both their messages to the public and to elected officials that most cases of crime involving knives are linked to this drug trade.

Our Labour run Council led on the 'County Lines' strategy and we have worked with partners to ensure it has the funding and resources to defeat the drug gangs. It works because the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner, the Tory County Council and ourselves are not 'playing' politics, but just getting on with the job - together - a job that is producing positive outcomes. 

The strategy has seen a drastic reduction in the number of 'County ;Lines' operating in the town, and the police continue to crack down on those involved in the trade, so much so that in the last 12 months in Eastern Ipswich (that is the whole of the east of the town plus Felixstowe and Woodbridge - there has been a 39.5% reduction is crime involving serious violence or knives. I call that a good start and something we can work on.

The Tories accused us of playing political games, however they submitted a motion that did not stand up to the facts that they all should of been aware, two of the Tories who spoke at Council had been sent the North East Area Committee papers, that highlighted the latest statistics on crime, showing the reduction in knife use. Had they read the report?

That does not mean we can't do something to help in the fight against knife crime, it is obvious that we (and the police) need to get the message over to the public that we are cracking down on violent crime and getting good results, and it is obvious we can do more with our partners and those involved in education to get the message across to our younger residents, that carrying a knife could lead you to spending a considerable time behind bars, or even losing you own life.

So maybe if the Ipswich Tories want to bring another motion to Full Council, they should check their own facts first and maybe try and work with us rather than playing 'politics' - a type of politics that seem to come straight out of the Trump 'Playbook'. 

Monday, 25 July 2022

Ipswich secures Safer Streets Funding to combat and prevent crime

More good news for Ipswich - and this would not have happened with a Tory Council - it happened as we have great Officers and staff at Ipswich Borough Council and that in conjunction with good political leadership from Ipswich Labour, has allowed us to bid for more Government funding.

The final piece of the jigsaw, is working with partners and we had great support in securing the money from Ipswich Central, the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore and Ipswich Police. Our bid also had the backing of the County Council plus our neighboring districts.  

Ipswich secures Safer Streets Funding to combat and prevent crime

Ipswich Borough Council is pleased it will be becoming an even safer town, with new improvements to be made in respect of the safety of women and girls and a reduction in anti-social behaviour, such as violence, theft and criminal damage.

£500,000 has been awarded to Ipswich Borough Council from the Home Office’s latest round of Safer Streets Fund. The Council with its partners Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Ipswich Central and Suffolk County Council are also supplying a matched contribution of officer time and funding totalling £432,000 leading to a combined total project of £932,000.

These improvements will be in the town centre and Waterfront areas, including the main retail, hospitality and business districts as well as at the university area. Our consultations identified these locations as where members of the public and community groups wanted improvements. The focus will be on countering Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) with initiatives will target crime related to sexual assault and harassment and ASB including violence, criminal damage and theft.

The remedies will include smarter CCTV with improved monitoring that will lead to swifter responses but also greater coverage for the cameras. Along with better signage, lighting and landscaping these will act to deter crime and give people more confidence when traversing the town, particularly at night.


Safe spaces/hubs with help points will be created and the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign will be enhanced to include all town centre licenced premises and publicly accessible buildings, including libraries, retail & food outlets. Barwatch is a scheme that helps pubs and bars share information about the perpetrators about anti-social behaviour and this will be enhanced.


There will be better lighting in the subway at St Matthew’s Street. Townlink radio coverage, used by retailers and others to keep in touch with the police and security, will receive new radios for new premises. Personal Safety Alarms will be given out and Body-Worn cameras for door supervisors will be distributed.

Cllr Alasdair Ross, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, says:


“This winning bid by your Council will mean we can make many improvements in Ipswich that will make people feel more confident, particularly at night, in some of our central areas. We have overseen many improvements to make Ipswich  safer but we can always do more and these new anti-crime measures will make Ipswich better for all – except criminals.


Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, says:

"I am absolutely delighted to hear we have been successful in our bid for Safer Street 4 funding.


"It's really important that people feel safe in their homes, businesses and their communities, so I am pleased to see this investment in our county town, which will help reduce crime and the fear of crime.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

How much longer can this man embarrass our town?

Ipswich Labour are currently in the process of selecting their candidate to fight the next General election in Ipswich, the short list contains 3 strong candidates- all with a strong link with the town and all proven campaigners. Alex Mayer, Elizabeth Hughes and Jack Abbott.

I am supporting Jack, however I know all three would make great MP's for this town - and that is what we need now. Never before has this great town had such an embarrassing Member of Parliament.

Someone who would rather be on GB News ranting about migrants crossing the Channel or on the BBC Politics show embarrassing himself when he seemed confused where exactly Rwanda is rather than dealing with matters that Ipswich residents are concerned about.

Even when Mr Hunt does decide to talk about Ipswich issues he often quickly seems to wish to blame certain communities, to cause division instead of building bridges.

Yesterday he decided to join two East Midlands Tory MP's for a stupid photo stunt - one that has backfired, I think that he chooses to spend time with Lee Anderson, a person who was suspended by the Labour Party, tells you all you need to know about Tom Hunt.

Once we have selected our Labour candidate, we can then get out on the doorstep to pass on our positive message to Ipswich residents - and start the process of getting rid of this embarrassing MP 

This is what Ipswich needs > 

Not this >

Then again , other versions may make you smile, but unfortunately still embarrassing to think he is our MP.

Friday, 25 February 2022

Ukraine - Ipswich stands in solidarity

We knew Putin was dangerous, however Johnson and the Tory Party got closer to him by taking more Russian money, The Far Left of my own party found it hard to be critical of anything Putin did and most others just thought it was idle threats.

Now we have seen a major European country invaded, similar to World War 2? Possibly, but certainly it has the possibility of being far more of an issue for the whole world than the Balkan crisis was.

I visited the Ukraine , not long after it gained independence and spent two weeks in the Crimea, the Russians certainly never left that part of the country. We can't do much as individuals and now rely on our Government to act - however I fear that Johnson/Truss/Wallace are incapable of doing the right thing.

In Ipswich, we can show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Cllr David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, says:

“Lit by blue and yellow from tonight will be our Town Hall in the heart of Ipswich. I know many Ipswich residents are deeply concerned about what is happening in Ukraine and worried about the safety of its people as they fight back against the illegal invasion by Russia. We are joining with councils around the world as we stand in solidarity by displaying the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag.”

Unfortunately, one local Tory Councilor decided to post on Facebook his support for Putin and the invasion of the Ukraine. He had formerly been a UKIP member, and it just indicates again that the local Tory Party now acts just like a branch of UKIP. 

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Please listen - the last words of Rifleman Thatcher (RIP)

In 2009 in Sangin, I was always impressed by the bravery and humour of the young Rifleman. Maybe as I was a stranger to many of them taht seemed happy to chat, in the queue at lunch or waiting for the weekly phone call, running round the helipad or looking for a book in the makeshift library. one thing i did notice was that even if the type of conflict had changed, the weapons and the threat - Rifleman are still rifleman and for every young man I met in 2009, I could see in them the same attributes taht I had seen in young Rifleman I had served with in Cyprus, Germany, Belfast, Crossmaglen, Bosnia or Kosovo. The same willingness to question, to laugh, mischief always close but also you knew taht your could depend on them.

I never wrote a letter like Rifleman Thatcher did, I did not need to, most of my time was spent in the slightly safer surrounds of the Operations Room in Sangin, but if I had I am not sure my words would have been as passionate, eloquent or thoughtful as those of this young man.

Please listen here as Benedict Cumberbatch reads the last letter from Cyrus to his family, no doubt that if he ad survived taht summer of hell, he would not have been a senior NCO within the Rifles, our Regiment lost a future leader, his family lost a son and brother.