The voice of Ipswich Labour in the local blogesphere, Alasdair Ross is up in arms about the Conservative run Suffolk County Council freezing council tax. As Gavin Maclure puts it over two blog posts, Labour hike up Council Tax in Ipswich while Tory-run Suffolk County Council freezes council tax – for next four years!
As Gavin puts it so perfectly
Now that’s the difference between what you get from a Labour-run council like Ipswich Borough Council and a Conservative-run authority like Suffolk County Council.
Here Alasdair Ross has managed to write an entire post based on something Councillor Jane Storey said out of context.
Alasdair claims the county is falling to bits with some bullet points. Let’s look at the bullet points.
So we are at the bottom of league tables for Education, but Tory run Suffolk are not intending to increase education funding over the next four years?
Education in the county is suffering because nobody is taking responsibility. Yes the county are responsible. As are teachers, parents and school governors like Alasdair Ross.
Highways – the plan to hand over to Balfour Beatty is in pieces – but the County still know that extra funding for roads will not be needed?
Ipswich Borough council was given the entire concrete roads budget by the county last year and yet certain roads in Sprites and Gipping Wards are death traps.
Libraries – Community Groups are already struggling to find the £100,000 they need to keep the library service open – will there be even less county funding over the next four years?
All 44 of Suffolk’s libraries have a secure and sustainable future focused on community needs and with county council funding. Contrary to the claims of Andrew Cann and the Loathed One over at Ipswich Spy, all 44 of Suffolk’s libraries are thriving, under new management, with services tailored to local community needs. Suffolk County Council was praised in a Parliamentary debate for its innovative library development programme. If Alasdair Ross doesn’t like the model, he needs to tell the central committee of the Labour Party whose Policy Review talks about ‘Building innovative partnerships with community groups, charities and businesses’
Mobile Library service – down to just one stop in Ipswich (in Tory run Bixley ward) – sign of things to come?
As most library users in Ipswich are capable of getting to a library, that is a non issue.
The difference between the Conservatives and Labour is that while conservatives at Suffolk County Council take the government’s Council Tax Freeze Grant, Ipswich’s lousy Labour Council have refused it.
The Council Tax Grant would have given the borough an extra 1% but David Ellesmere’s Ipswich Labour didn’t want to get some of the people’s money back from the government and find 0.9% savings. Instead they have refused the money from central government and risen council tax by 1.9% to fund their programme of nationalisation. So far their nationalisation programme has lead them to insist on running Gainsborough Sports Centre instead of allowing the Ipswich academy to run it, evict Ransomes Sports Club to run it themselves and they also plan to take over the Ipswich Arts Centre.
If they had not done any of this and sold Ipswich Buses they could have given us a significant cut in council tax, but they are real socialists and for purely ideological reasons they want to control everything and somebody has to pay for their ideological folly and that someone is the Ipswich council tax payer.
This 1.9% rise is merely to soften up the electorate and they will steadily increase the increase every year so when they put it up by 5% it won’t sound so bad.