It’s time to stand up for Suffolk schools

Shrugging your shoulders is not good enough; it’s time to stand up for Suffolk schools

Labour Councillors are calling for tougher action from the Suffolk County Council administration after it was announced that under changes to the Government’s school funding system, Suffolk faces a real-term cut in pupil spending from 2018. Labour are deeply concerned that this significant cut will lead to a drop in educational outcomes for the children of Suffolk.

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What now for the Befriending Scheme?

Statement from Cllr Kathy Bole on the Befriending Scheme

I took part in a phone discussion on BBC Radio Suffolk this morning to discuss Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet decision to withdraw funding to some features of the Befriending Scheme.

I am very disappointed that the council has taken this action despite the importance to people with learning difficulties. However, I am not surprised. This action, is another attack on the lives of disabled people which has been on the agenda since the inception of austerity.

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Goodbye Sandy and welcome back Sarah!

Sandy Martin stepped down from Suffolk County Council on 20 July, after being elected Ipswich Member of Parliament in the June General Election. He had been the St. John’s County Councillor for 20 years, as well as being an Ipswich Borough Councillor from 2002 to 2014.

Sandy served on the Council during the Labour adminstration, focusing on Environment and Transport. Sandy worked to put environmental sustainability at the heart of the Council’s priorities. He helped drive the change in the Council’s approach to waste disposal which led to the ‘three-bin waste collections’ across Suffolk – to this day regular reminder of Sandy’s personal contribution. A keen advocate for sustainable transport, Sandy also led the campaign to secure the cycle contraflow lanes in the centre of Ipswich.

Continue reading Goodbye Sandy and welcome back Sarah!

Suffolk Roadworks Need to Catch up with Everywhere Else!

Letter from Sandra Gage, Leader of the Labour Group on Suffolk County Council

Dear Editor

On Saturday 2 September the Government Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, announced plans to charge Utilities and other highway contractors lane rental by the hour to close our busiest roads in much of the UK to carry out utility or road repairs.

Though this is expected to only apply to Motorway and Trunk roads, it is long overdue and welcome. It will not though, regrettably help us much in Suffolk. Here there are no Motorways, and only the A14, A11 A12 south of Ipswich and A47 in Lowestoft Trunk roads where these new, stricter rules could apply. The rest of the road network and therefore the responsibility of keeping the roads free of over-run roadworks rests with Suffolk County Council.

Continue reading Suffolk Roadworks Need to Catch up with Everywhere Else!

Oulton Broad By-Election Labour Candidate Len Jacklin Supports Lowestoft Third Crossing

 

Dear Editor

This is a rarity, I want to wholeheartedly agree with Peter Aldous MP, Cllr Colin Noble Leader Suffolk County Council and Cllr Mark Bee Leader Waveney District Council.

Getting David Cameron to come and support Peter Aldous and then to get him to promise our Third Crossing was an act of desperation. It was a cynical move to get Mr Aldous re-elected in 2015 and this year, but it worked and as a result we are well into the process of achieving our aspiration of a third crossing. I was a cynic I was a doubter but I am now confident that even people whose judgement I have questioned in the past are now serious.

The plans just announced by Suffolk County Council will not be welcomed by everyone, there will be moaners that say it shouldn’t be a lifting bridge, or that they don’t like the design, there will be people who will say it will never get built, there will be those who want it sooner.

In the current financial climate getting this amount of funding is a real achievement and the top up from Suffolk County Council, not usually willing to actually use it’s, (our) reserves is to be lauded. The design is better than I had reason to expect given the constricted area for access and is pleasing to the eye and the height will mean fewer openings than our existing bascule bridge. Yes, it will take a little longer than some people expected, I myself though am very impressed that an engineering project of this size and complexity which by comparative standards should usually take ten years will be completed in just over six.

The consultation process is soon to begin, should be supported by everyone who ever complained about the existing bascule bridge. Everyone will get the ability to take part, we need to encourage friends, neighbours and family to use this opportunity to show our support and reply to the consultation, yes “they” should know, but this consultation is a procedural requirement by central government, we need to make sure they know.

For years Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia LEP had refused to respond to public demand to build a third crossing, and ease Lowestoft’s traffic congestion. The Suffolk County Council Local Transport Plan 2011-2031 for Lowestoft talks about there being ‘a need in the longer term to secure funding’ and New Anglia LEP, described the project as an afterthought in a three-line paragraph as “A third Crossing over Lake Lothing in Lowestoft remains a long term aspiration”.   In 2013, in response to lobbying from newly elected Lowestoft (Labour) County Councillors this changed, and two years ago in response to more lobbying, a ridiculous proposal to put another bridge next to the current one was seriously proposed by Peter Aldous, Colin Noble, and Mark Bee was dropped in favour of the one proposed now. I am so glad that pressure by the citizens of Waveney have made them all see sense, I’m now convinced they have.

Yours sincerely

Len Jacklin

Labour Candidate for Oulton Broad

Waveney District Council By-Election

Oulton Suffolk County Councillor 2013-2017

 

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.

Thank You ‘Save the Ipswich Shuttle Bus’ Campaigners

I would like to give my thanks to all those who signed, got involved with, and followed the efforts of our recent ‘Save Our Ipswich Shuttle’ campaign.

1090 people signed the petition and sent in comments. Many described limited mobility, need to make quick shopping trips, the easiness of jumping on and off, the undoubted friendliness of the drivers and fellow passengers as reasons why they regularly used it. I surveyed both the peak morning and lunch time journeys and found that in peak times 350 to 400 passengers travel from within the town itself on it. Not just to the Public Sector campus, but various places on the route. Lunchtimes between 90 and 150 travels daily into town; I estimated that this could add annually as much as £390,000 to the Ipswich town centre economy.

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Ipswich Shuttle Bus – Labour Councillors Stepping in to Save it

Suffolk County Council announced a month ago that it intended to cut the Free Ipswich Shuttle bus at the end of July. Transferring the funding received from County Council staff car park charges to a trial free Park and Ride fares for County Council staff travelling into Ipswich by car.

Continue reading Ipswich Shuttle Bus – Labour Councillors Stepping in to Save it

‘Labour campaigning to save the Ipswich Shuttle’

We believe Suffolk County Council’s decision to cut the free shuttle bus is undemocratic. It will hit the town centre’s economy, disproportionally affect the less mobile and disabled, people who cannot afford a car, and all Ipswich residents who use it.

This petition is organised by Ipswich residents and Ipswich Labour Councillors. It will be presented to Suffolk County Council, asking them to reverse their decision to cut the Ipswich Free Shuttle.

Click on the link to download the petition: Shuttle Bus Petition – July 2017

Please send any completed forms back to Cllr Sandra Gage – sandra.gage@suffolk.gov.uk – by no later than Tuesday 18 July. The petition will then be presented to Cllr James Finch on Thursday 20 July.