Party Political Broadcast at Council for Ipswich Labour

Here Conservative Group Leader, Nadia Cenci says

Well, we wait months for a full council meeting in order to ask questions and discuss important papers and what do we get from the huge beached whale that is the Labour group but opportunist party political posturing by the leader of the council.

Never one to let his ego take second place to proper democracy, we Conservatives had to put up with Councillor Ellesmere blowing his own trumpet completely out of context of the discussions.

Relying on old jokes and becoming even more predictable, he used every opportunity NOT to answer our questions, instead immediately switching to anything that suited his one and only mission – to become Ipswich’s next MP.

I think he will always have an opening as a stand up comedian should he choose to do Ipswich a favour and have a change of career.

Our questions were good valid ones, some of them were asked on behalf of residents and yet still they think it funny to respond in a most offensive way. Cllr Smart was one of the exceptions last night and in fact gave some good responses. On car parking free on a Sunday, which a resident brought up, I think I probably agree with his sentiment that we have to balance the income as well as make it attractive.

Cllr Bryony read out a very bland and uninteresting answer at treble the speed on my question regarding the large loss made at this years beer festival. I’ve asked for it in writing because I missed most of it and want to dissect it, but I don’t hold much hope that it actually answered my concern of how we will learn from the mistakes.

Councillor Ellesmere continues to avoid any answers – he doesn’t so much as move the goalposts as to change to a completely different game to one where there is only one player. Me, me, me.

Having complained to the Mayor – who did absolutely nothing about the long ramble, I feel that the people of Ipswich deserve better for money.

Councillor Cook continues to be on a mission to see if I can keep up with the detail, often just spewing accusations of ‘illegal’ when everything I’ve put forward has been looked over by our legal department. I think this just proves they believe people are stupid and will take as gospel all their little soundbites.

Councillor Jones, although patronising, at least answered the questions in a thorough and passionate way but didn’t answer my questions about how we are going to proactively engage the public on the Local Plan. What’s the point of extending the consultation to 12 weeks if the public don’t even know it’s there. Invisible in week 1 will be invisible in week 12.

The rest of the group – and it is massive, do not stand up to speak on anything unless it is to second a paper or thank someone – I am starting to think they have been instructed by Ellesmere not to do so in case they put their foot in it OR they do not have the confidence to voice an opinion. They never used to be like this. Which is why en masse they remind me of a motionless beached whale.

This is probably my harshest summary of the full council meeting but I’m afraid it needs to be said.

With regard to the apprenticeship pay rises for Ipswich Borough Councils, this administration proves again they do not respect taxpayers money and do not care about businesses in our town.

Retention of apprenticeships is not about money – it’s about team comradery, enjoyment of the job, prospects. Young people are delighted to be awarded an apprenticeship and for us to award 40% above the national minimum wage is unnecessary, costing a further £64k of taxpayers money.

Apprenticeships have doubled under this government and this is down to anything but the money. By making IBC more attractive than private companies, is not so much about competition but a path to the death of apprenticeships, if companies cannot afford to take them on.

They cost a lot of money, time and energy and it has to be a win/win situation. It can even be years before the full benefits are paid back to the company and there has to be an attractive proposal to both parties.

I also don’t understand why we haven’t filled all our vacancies – again another question I asked that went unanswered. Ipswich companies are inundated with requests for apprenticeships, some even offering to work for nothing just to get the experience! Does that sound like people are motivated just by money?

I’ve had many businesses say that if they had to pay more than they currently do, they would not take on an apprentice and that would be a crying shame.

I think paying all 3 years of an apprenticeship scheme at the minimum wage is a perfectly acceptable situation and I know the business world would agree with me, in the main.

The living wage is for another time, but I also think that is the road to less jobs, and unnecessary pressure on those companies who don’t apply it.

But as I’ve already said – Labour love public and hate private enterprise.

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