Tag Archives: Sandra Gage

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.

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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.

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‘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.

Ipswich Shuttle Bus is Axed

Suffolk County Council has today announced the end of the Ipswich Free Shuttle, without any public consultation or like for like replacement bus for Ipswich residents.

Suffolk County Council collects £300,000 a year from its staff car park charges and this funds the Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St. Edmunds free shuttle buses. Ipswich shuttle bus 38 costs £73,000 a year to run and offers a free round town bus ride for everyone from 7am to 7pm Monday -Friday. Originally set up in 2004 when the County Council moved from County Hall St. Helens Street to Endeavour House, Russell Road, it is popular with residents and employees of both Suffolk County and Ipswich Borough Councils.

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Labour’s call to introduce a ‘Permit Scheme’ to make roadworks more efficient and reduce congestion voted down at Full Council

Conservative Councillors vote down Labour’s ‘Permit Scheme’ Motion for faster and more cost effective roadworks at today’s session of Full Council.

The County Council Labour Group brought forward a motion on Thursday 16th March calling for the implementation of a new ‘Permit Scheme’ for highways maintenance – a programme that is already used by 85 Local Authorities across England and proven to increase the efficiency of roadworks, while reducing costs for the Council. More importantly, the use of ‘Permit Schemes’ is shown to reduce congestion caused by road works, improve journey time and reliability for all road users, and augment the information available to the public, including advanced warning and duration of works.

Under a Permit Scheme, anyone intending to carry out works on the road has to make an application to the relevant Local Authority for a permit. In addition, the Authority’s power to grant or refuse a permit, as well as applying conditions to the timings and/or work activity, is significantly increased. Through such capabilities, any Authority operating a permit scheme will be able to coordinate and control works on the road, with the aim to improve both the planning and preparation of works.

Labour Spokesperson for Transport, Sandra Gage, said “As a County Councillor, one of the most consistent concerns that residents have raised has been around roadworks. Whether they drive, bus, cycle or walk, all have come across the poorly organised, sometimes unoccupied, badly signed and often over-run roadworks. In towns and villages across Suffolk, journey times to work, college, school, doctor and hospital appointments are made unpredictable. This is deeply inconvenient for the public and costly for our local economy.”

Cllr Gage continued, “Permit schemes already in place elsewhere in this region – in Norfolk, Essex, Bedford, Hertfordshire, Luton and Southend – have been designed to ensure these councils can successfully undertake their ‘duty to manage’ and therefore minimise the disruption the public experiences. Currently in Suffolk, we have a longer duration of closure within which there will be some days of actual working on site. Sometimes, a stretch of road will be cordoned off for a whole week for maintenance that only takes half a day’s work to complete. By issuing permits only for the planned actual duration of works, these Councils across the East of England have been able to drive up efficiency and reduce inconvenience to the public. A Permit Scheme in Suffolk will also cost the Council nothing to run and stands to save the Council around £4.5million in highways maintenance costs after 3 years.”

Cllr Gage concluded “I am deeply disappointed that the Conservatives have decided to let political pettiness get in the way of their duty to Suffolk residents. Reduced congestion and fewer delays caused by roadworks is what I believe Suffolk residents are asking for. It seems that it’s just this Council’s Conservative Administration that is stopping Suffolk becoming the 86th Council to adopt a roadworks Permit scheme, and rid this County of poorly managed roadworks. If the Labour Group take control of the Council on May 4th, we will listen to residents and implement a highways permit scheme.”

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Affordable housing letter

Sir – While there is a shortage of homes that people can afford, tackling this issue will be a priority of the Labour Ipswich Borough Council. Our decision to build new council houses for rent was an easy and obvious one to take. It has long-since been clear to us that ‘the market’ alone doesn’t and cannot meet the need.
And, it seems, now that the message is getting through to others. The warnings of the housing crisis from across the spectrum –from Shelter to the National Housing Federation – have been loud and clear for some time. At last, there is evidence of recognition of the problem on the part of Conservative councillors and councils in other parts of Suffolk (EADT, 30 May).
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Letter to Lowestoft Journal – Carlton Colville road safety

The following is a letter published in today’s Lowestoft Journal.

Dear Sir,

I have noticed in a recent publication of this paper that there has been a misleading account of who has brought about the planned works to resolve road safety at Carlton Primary School.

It has taken a long time to get where we are now, and much pressure has been brought to bear by local Labour Councillor Sonia Barker on Suffolk County Council to firstly acknowledge the problem they left the school with after School Organisation Review, and secondly that they would need to propose new and improved footways and crossing points, encouraging walking and cycling to stop the gridlock outside the school from parked cars.
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Labour calls on the County to take control of Suffolk roadworks

Labour Councillors have successfully won a review of how Suffolk County Council manages the roadworks on the County’s roads after a month of unprecedented multiple road closures and diversions have almost brought Ipswich to a standstill. At a County Council Scrutiny Committee meeting today, the County highways contractor Kier tried to tell Councillors how they were now doing things much better than before they first took over repairing the roads in October 2013.
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Lowestoft Third River Crossing is a Labour Commitment

Lowestoft’s third river crossing was first mentioned in the 1960’s statutory town plan, as part of the protected route for what was to become the South Lowestoft Relief Road (Bloodmoor Road & Tom Crisp Way), Northern Spine Road (Peto Way & Millennium Way) and A12 Kessingland bypass. Collectively these provide the traffic relief the town centre needs. They were built with the clear understanding that a third river crossing, the last part of the jigsaw, would be constructed across Lake Lothing to join Peto Way and Tom Crisp Way.
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