In the Spring of 2013, we went into the County Council elections with 5 key messages for the voters:
1) On Education – We need to invest in the future, & Labour councillors will fight to build up the School Improvement Programme & other measures to boost young people in education.
2) On Travel – Concessionary Fares help people play an active role in society, & Labour councillors will back the reintroduction of concessionary travel for people in education or training or doing voluntary work.
3) On Unemployment – Labour councillors will promote County investment in construction and other projects which will create economic growth and properly paid jobs in Suffolk.
4) On Privatisation & Divestment – Labour councillors will speak up about the risks of loss of accountability, failure of private companies to deliver safe and adequate services, and the loss of well-trained and well-motivated staff.
5) And on Care – warning about the effect of massive cuts to this Council’s expenditure on the most vulnerable people in our County.
Continue reading Cllr Martin County Council Annual Meeting Speech 2015
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
I understand that Suffolk County Council’s administration intends to introduce the Living Wage as a minimum for all its direct employees, and our party welcomes and supports that. The vast majority of council workers on less than the Living Wage in 2010 are now outsourced, which makes the decision a bit irrelevant, but nonetheless, for the handful of directly-employed staff who will see their pay rise as a result, this is an important step forward. And it shows that the Conservative administration recognises the validity of the concept of the Living Wage. I would like this motion to be seen firstly as an affirmation of that policy decision from the whole Council.
Continue reading Living Wage motion speech – Cllr Sandy Martin
The following is a copy of the speech given by Suffolk County Council Labour Group leader Cllr Sandy Martin to full council in proposing the motion to end investment in tobacco companies by Suffolk County Council’s pension fund.
Continue reading Tobacco divestment speech by Cllr Sandy Martin
The following is Suffolk County Council Labour Group leader Sandy Martin’s speech to the Annual Meeting of the Council, delivered on the 30th May 2014.
Mr Chairman, congratulations on your election.
On 2 May last year, 79 thousand Suffolk residents voted Conservative, 54 thousand voted Labour, 40 thousand UKIP and 22 thousand Lib Dem. That may not look like an overwhelming endorsement for one political party, but it was enough to elect more Councillors for the Conservative Party than for all of the other parties put together.
Continue reading We won’t play shabby back-room politics
Mr Chairman, fellow Councillors, I would like to start by making it clear that this is an amendment to the administration’s budget, and not an alternative budget. Setting a budget for a local authority is a very difficult task, and involves many hours of expert work from experienced local authority officers. Most administration parties find it difficult to put their own stamp on a workable budget. For an opposition party to presume to be able to draw up a workable budget without the resources and level of cooperation that are afforded to the administration would be the height of folly. I well remember the Conservative amendment to the Labour-led administration’s budget, drawn up by your then finance spokesman Colin Barrow – it was less than one side of A4, and the figures on it didn’t even add up – but that was no bar to Cllr Barrow going on to lead Westminster City Council.
Continue reading Budget amendment speech – Cllr Sandy Martin
Chair, fellow councillors and colleagues I am moving the motion to support an improvement in the level of educational attainment through the improved attendance of pupils in Suffolk schools.
Because in Ofsted`s letter to Suffolk County Council on the 6th November, 2013 Sean Harford for Ofsted said “It raises the question .. why the Local Authority has not done more to effect improvement.”
Continue reading Educational Welfare Officers Speech
Chair, fellow Councillors and colleagues I am seconding the motion to support the adoption of a lifelong strategy for people with Autism Spectrum (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to ensure that Suffolk County Council meets its duties in a fair and transparent manner.
Continue reading ADHD motion seconded speech
Too many construction workers and their families have suffered just because they had concerns over health and safety in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries, or just because they belonged to a trade union.
Blacklisting is a national scandal and the trade unions are determined to stamp out this practice because it ruins lives and has no place in a modern society.
Continue reading Blacklisting summing up
Mr Chairman, for the avoidance of doubt, and because I am sure that some Conservative councillors will seek to indulge in party-political point-scoring, I should tell you that I am a member of the Unite union, and my colleague Cllr Patience is a member of the GMB union. I do not regard this as a prejudicial interest, any more than I regard being a resident of Suffolk as a prejudicial interest, in seeking to ensure that this council does everything it can to uphold the law and fair employment regulations, and protects those working for it – whether directly or through contracts – from abuses in the workplace and from dangerous practices.
Continue reading Blacklisting motion speech