Category Archives: Localities

West Meadows residents get first chance to buy the site

Labour Councillors were delighted to have ensured a U-turn by the Conservatives on Suffolk County Council after the council approved plans to sell the West Meadows Gypsy and Traveller site to those that live on the site rather than simply to the highest bidder.

Previously Suffolk County Council were just going to put the site up for sale without consulting those that live at West Meadows and without any concrete guarantees that residents would have any say in who bought the site.

Continue reading West Meadows residents get first chance to buy the site


Library Services return to North-East Ipswich

North-East Ipswich is unique in the town for not having a library in any of its three wards; Rushmere, St.Johns and Bixley. So when the County Council cut its mobile library service in Ipswich in 2013, North-East Ipswich residents lost their fortnightly access to Suffolk Libraries.

Cllr Sandra Gage Rushmere County and Borough Councillor said, “I became aware in early summer this year that ‘pop-up libraries’ were being trialled in three villages in Suffolk, and immediately approached Alison Wheeler and her team at Suffolk Libraries to see how North-East Ipswich could have one. With our new Ipswich Borough Council Ransomes Pavilion literally sitting in the heart of North-East Ipswich in Sidegate Avenue, we now have the perfect venue to offer a one-day-a-week library with activities and sessions for children and adults of all ages.” Continue reading Library Services return to North-East Ipswich

‘Wheel by Lamplight’ event illuminates Ipswich transport history

It was a great evening on Saturday at Ipswich Transport Museum, when it held its annual ‘Wheels by Lamplight’ event. The event turns the museum into a magical nostalgic oil lamp lit space, packed full of the towns transport history. There are trolley buses parked alongside old fire engines, Cooperative Milk floats, Ransomes ploughs and lawn mowers to name just a few.

Around 200 paraffin oil lamps were on display, with Victorian and Edwardian as well as some very unusual wartime aircraft lamps all helping to light the main hall. Continue reading ‘Wheel by Lamplight’ event illuminates Ipswich transport history

County Council postpones gypsy and traveller site sale

Following a challenge by Labour Councillors on Suffolk County Council the decision over the planned sale of the West Meadows gypsy and traveller site has been postponed until the next Cabinet meeting on the 7th November.

The postponement is an admission that a full consultation with the residents had not taken place and at no stage had the council listened to the concerns of the residents about the planned sale. We can be sure that the gaps in the paper presented to the Cabinet highlighted by the Labour Group were the reason for the decision not to discuss the paper.

Continue reading County Council postpones gypsy and traveller site sale

Rosehill Library re-opens

Rosehill Library in Tomline Road, Ipswich has been reopened following a full refurbishment of the interior. A disabled toilet has been installed and a small extension built to the rear of the building. Having been run in a private house in Alston Road from 1895, the library was the first purposed-built branch in Ipswich and was opened in 1905.

Councillor Mandy Gaylard, speaking at the re-opening ceremony, said: “It is with mixed feelings that I attend this event. On the one hand, it is a celebration of the library refurbishment and, after much lobbying of Suffolk County Council by residents and myself, the painting of the exterior. On the other, tribute has to be paid to Rosehill Readers who campaigned to keep the library when it was threatened with closure in 2011. If it were not for the campaigners, the library would not be here today.”

The recent news from S.C.C. of further cuts in funding to the library service (run for the council by Suffolk Libraries I.P.S.) will lead to the loss of over 50 jobs to the equivalent of 15 full-time staff.

Labour Councillors provide over £5,700 to Cruse Bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Care has been providing support to bereaved people in Suffolk since the 1980s. Suffolk Cruse was formed in April 2009 to bring together the four branches: Suffolk Coastal, Ipswich, North Suffolk & Great Yarmouth and West Suffolk. The four branches still operate at a local level and the overall strategic direction of the charity is administered by an Area Committee.

Continue reading Labour Councillors provide over £5,700 to Cruse Bereavement

Mandy Gaylard’s Speech on Libraries during Budget debate

I am speaking in support of the amendment.

Suffolk County Council (SCC) is the legal Library Authority required to “provide a comprehensive and efficient library service”. Suffolk’s Labour Councillors consider that the County Council acted unreasonably in pushing through its unnecessary divestment policies in 2011. In response to a ‘Consultation’ about the library service in 2011, 83% of respondents said that the libraries in Suffolk should be funded, managed and wholly run by the County Council as required by law. SCC, who still claim to listen to the people of Suffolk, ignored these respondents.

In December 2011 the library service was divested to Suffolk Libraries IPS (Industrial and Provident Society).

We still believe SCC should provide the Libraries as a public service, but we recognise the hard work that the IPS has done to provide a continuing library service under difficult circumstances.

However, we fear for the long term future. Each year we have opposed the cuts to the library service funding only to be ignored by the Conservatives. But they cannot afford to ignore the Suffolk Libraries IPS which is providing the service. The Suffolk Libraries board have designed a scheme which will save the County money and continue with the excellent services which our Libraries provide. But the County Council has not listened – the £200,000 cut in funding for Suffolk Libraries proposed by the Conservatives for next year is completely unsustainable without seriously damaging the service that is being offered.

I am struck by the utter hypocrisy of the Conservative administration. Over the past 4 years I have heard Conservative Councillors boast about what a good decision they made, and praise Suffolk Libraries IPS for their excellent service. And yet now they totally ignore the advice that is given to them by the people who have the best interests of the Library Service and the people of Suffolk as their guiding principle. The Conservatives have shown complete disregard for the Suffolk Libraries board, the hardworking library staff, the volunteers, and the people of Suffolk.

The Library service is valued and held in high regard, both by Suffolk people and nationally. “In terms of relative cost – for every £1 spent by the Council, less than 1 penny is spent on the library service.”

35,000 Suffolk residents campaigned in 2011 to save the Libraries Service.

Now the Conservatives will not listen to the Suffolk Libraries IPS Board, nor to the 44 library community groups, 1400 volunteers, 170 thousand people who attend events and a further 140 thousand regular users of the library service. The people of Suffolk will be able to decide in May through the ballot box whether they are fed up with being told by the Conservatives that they listen to them when obviously they do not.

Rosehill Library

Labour Councillors provide over £3,000 to women’s leadership project in Ipswich

WoW! is a free community development and leadership programme designed to support women who may be interested in running events or community projects in the Whitehouse area.

Set up by Kim Trotter, from the community interest company, Future Female Society, WoW! will help local women to lead their projects, developing their confidence, leadership skills and their ability to network with professionals in the community who can provide inspiration and support for their ideas.

Kim Trotter, Managing Director of the Future Female Society and founder of WoW! said, “This project is designed to empower the Women of Whitehouse and enable them to become active members of their community and support them to develop their own projects. The programme will work with a cohort of women to develop their confidence and self-belief alongside communication, project planning, event management, and interview and presentation skills.

Miss Trotter continued, “WoW! is running for 6 months, starting this week, and will aim to recruit 10 women. The skills they learn, and further developed through the growth of their own projects, are all transferrable into the work place, with the women being actively supported to become work ready.”

Labour County Councillor for Whitehouse, Kathy Bole, said “In Whitehouse, we can often feel left out, with most facilities and community projects so focused on the centre of town. WoW! is precisely the sort of project that will make a big difference to the Whitehouse community. Not only will local women gain valuable skills that are easily transferable to the workplace, but their ideas and projects will be of continuing value to the area for many years to come.”

Cllr Bole continued, “The opportunity to support a project that can really benefit people in my division is one of the reasons I put my name forward to represent the area as a Councillor 4 years ago. I look forward to seeing the fruits of this project’s labour in coming months.”


Labour Councillors provide over £2,500 for Ipswich night shelter

Since 2010, the Selig Trust has been running the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter (IWNS), which provides an overnight shelter during the three coldest months of the year, hosted each night by one of seven town centre churches.

Throughout the coldest months of the year, the shelter provides 12 guests with a hot nourishing evening meal, a warm and safe place with friendly company, a clean and comfortable bed and a good breakfast in the morning. The shelter runs 7 days a week, including Christmas and New Year.

For the first time, Selig are employing a full time, year-round Support Worker to help their guests rebuild their lives. The Support Worker will work to identify suitable Night Shelter guests, provide signposting and follow-up for each individual case, and liaise with other key agencies that also work with the homeless.

As part of the continuing process of maintaining and improving the Night Shelter, Labour County Councillors have provided the charity with £2,500 of their Locality Budget funds to buy bedding, laptops, desks, chairs and first aid equipment.

Julia Hancock, the Night Shelter’s Manager said, “The IWNS was formed 6 years ago by a group of people who wanted to meet the needs of those people who are homeless. This group included a social worker, a vicar and a school registrar. Since then, our organisation has grown. We now have 7 trustees and over 300 active volunteers from across the whole of Suffolk.”

Miss Hancock continued, “We work to ensure that people who are homeless have somewhere warm and safe to stay throughout the winter months. And we work to help them to get off the street and rebuild their lives.”

Mandy Gaylard, Labour Spokesperson for Communities said, “The number of people sleeping rough in Ipswich has hit its highest level for at least five years and the funding for important charities that provide relief for this problem – be it from Government or the County Council – is only getting lower. The dedicated volunteers at the Night Shelter provide a vital service, supplying shelter and comfort during the harshest months of the year. More than that, by helping their guests to get off the streets, they work to lower the numbers sleeping rough in Ipswich.”

Cllr Gaylard concluded, “Councillor Adams, Armitage, Clements, Gage, Gardiner, Martin, Quinton and myself are delighted to have been able to support this charity and hope that it continues to deliver the services and support that are so important to many people across Ipswich and the County.”


(Photo caption Councillors Mandy Gaylard, Helen Armitage and Sandy Martin with volunteers at night shelter)

Cllr Sandy Martin Budget amendment speech

This budget is about the money that this Council has to spend and the ways in which it decides to spend it or not spend it. But the important issue is not the money itself but the effect that it has on people’s lives. We are not bringing this amendment because we have a pathological hatred of financial reserves, but because we have a deep-seated hatred of ill health, and poor education, and unsafe situations for children, and freezing homes for elderly people, and the despair that goes with a life where everything seems to be getting worse. And we resent seeing the Council sit on the financial means to deal with those issues, but do less and less each year.
Continue reading Cllr Sandy Martin Budget amendment speech