The Tory Council Tax Freeze and the Labour Council Tax Rise

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.

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4 Responses to The Tory Council Tax Freeze and the Labour Council Tax Rise

  1. IS/BR says:

    Firstly I object to the characterisation that anyone at Ipswich Spy has suggested that the Libraries are not just as safe as they have ever been. We have repeatedly said that the £100k community contribution is money that the IPS has required from community groups from the outset, but that the IPS themselves are trying to find ways to reduce the amount they need. Between the 44 Libraries this doesn’t amount to a hill of beans and if it wasn’t found it wouldn’t require the closure of any libraries. We have never suggested that any library was under threat. We have instead reported that some libraries campaigners were concerned about the sums involved.

    Secondly you suggest that Ipswich Labour run IBC will steadily increase the sum they increase the council tax by over time. We don”t know what Labour will do next year because unlike previous administrations they are only unveiling a one year budget, despite several more years of this CSR to run. But I can confidently predict that they will not put it up by 2% or more, because that would require a referendum vote. If there is one thing you can predict about this Labour council, it is that they will do everything they can to avoid the democracy of putting ideas to the people. Otherwise they’d be happy to propose a referendum on the wind turbines, or a referendum on Northern Fringe. Indeed when many of these same councillors last held a referendum – on whether to build Crown Pools (yes many of the same people are still around today) they lost the vote, but just ignored the people and did it anyway.

    • Ipswich Spy insinuated that community groups had to find £100,000. I understand that you were just causing mischief on behalf of Andrew Cann and any information in the post was at least two years out of date, but it was designed to scare people in to thinking that libraries were under threat.

      • IS/BR says:

        As you know Kevin, our information came from a libraries campaigner, not Councillor Cann. This point has been made repeatedly to Cllr Terry and to you, but for your own reasons you continue to make comments about an opposition councillor that are not attributable to him. One might consider that electioneering. However if these comments are malicious, and are made in public, and cause him damage, you might find a judge looks badly on them. Thankfully they are made on your little blog that nobody reads, so they’re unlikely to be causing him much damage, and no doubt you could even argue they aren’t made in public, since so few people read this tripe.

      • So let me get this. A libraries campaigner, gave you some information that was at least two years old and you decided to run it last week?

        And there was us thinking the Morning Ipswich star was slow on the uptake.

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