Last night’s full council meeting in Ipswich was the Budget meeting. Ipswich Conservatives had put forward an amendment to save the borough crèche services involving less editions of the Ipswich
Pravda Angle and unspent money from Area Committee’s being used..
Conservative group leader, Nadia Cenci said that Area Committee’s waste money. Some who use the Borough sports and leisure facilities do not have anybody to help with child care meaning that I Cards will not be renewed if the crèche closure takes place. Councillor Cenci also said that bringing the
Pravda Angle to one issue a year was right because only 24% of Ipswich people receive it and actually read it. She also spoke of better forms of advertising like radio and poster advertising. She also said that they should scrap allowances for chairs of Area Committee’s and that the current model does not work as well as locality budgets. Hence Labour County Councillors don’t want it.
Shadow portfolio holdder for Finance Eddy Philips said that it was right to keep the crèche’s going and that Area Committee’s could be more open and transparent.
After this the Labour Council leader, David Ellesmere came out with a lot of party political squit. He said that in one year out of four we have a budget and no elections. Mentioned that Councillor Cenci was on editorial board of the Ipswich
Pravda Angle and made the claim that it would cost the Borough £20,000 if they advertised without the Pravda Angle. He then proceeded to waffle about Area Committee allowances, claiming the Tories are against them because Labour councillors chair them. Then as is his tradition he came out with a lot of Tory bashing, boring crap and slagged off Tories with the usual ‘alternative facts.’ we have come to expect from the Ipswich Politburo General Secretary. David Ellesmere ended by saying that it doesn’t matter if crèche users give up their I Cards. So the leader of the council is saying that borough facilities are likely to lose revenue and it doesn’t matter. So Ipswich Labour’s budget is likely to bring a reduction in revenue. Ipswich Labour know this and they don’t care. Hardly my idea of good financial management.
Lib Dem councillor Inga Lockington said that she was surprised by the cutting of the crèche service and gave a story of being a foreign mum learning to speak more English due to a crèche.
Then there was some really pointless bogus, party political point scoring attempts by Labour councillors. First of all, councillor Martin Cook claimed that the amendment was opportunistic and said of the
Pravda Angle that it doesn’t make business sense to cut something we don’t know what income it generates. Later in the meeting Conservative councillor Ian Fisher said that if it was the case that all came from the Angle, sports centre’s would be empty this year because there hasn’t been one. I would like to add that the idea that not cutting something when we don’t know what income it generates is good business sense because for all we know the Pravda Angle might not generate any. As a matter of fact, it is highly probable that it doesn’t. So it seems that money should be spent on market research rather than a propaganda sheet that 76% of residents put straight into their blue bins.
After this Labour councillor Jeanette Mccartney talked about the responsibility of chairing an Area Committee. She said that Area Committee chairs also attend NPG’s. Readers may wonder why a borough councillor needs to attend the National Portrait Gallery, but in this case that’s not what NPG stands for. It’s a meeting that involves councillors, borough officers and the police. As all councillors can attend the said meeting, I really don’t know what the big deal about it is. Councillor McCartney also mentioned that Area Committee Chairs also have to attend a meeting of all chairs and a meeting of agenda setting of the meeting. So time and money is spent on meetings to discus meetings to discus meetings. Don’t you just love the public sector way of doing things?
After this Labour councillors indulged in some asinine whataboutery. Alasadair Ross started ranting about Meredith Road children’s centre being closed by the county Tories. A bit later Councillor Gaylard continued the whataboutery, saying that two years ago cuts to children’s centre’s were made and then said that Quay side was in is an area of deprivation. £250,000 for a flat in that area and she thinks it’s an area of deprivation? Talk about being out of touch! But anyway, back to Sure Start Centres. One Sure Start Centre costs £125,000 a year. I know this because I had an idea Ipswich Labour were going to bring them up, so I put in a Freedom of Information request. This means the two in Ipswich cost £250,000 per year. Six closed across Suffolk making a saving of £750000, that is three quarters of a million pounds. Yet Ipswich Labour talk as if £60,000 for all Crèche facilities is a huge amount of money. They are comparing apples with oranges. Labour councillors also made the claim that Tories were not speaking against Children’s centre closures back then. But it just so happens that I was a Tory candidate at the time and I had THIS to say about the matter.
Conservative councillor Robin Vickory mentioned that there was no consultation with sport and leasure working group and that it goes against the borough policy to have a better healthier Ipswich because of the inevitable reduction in numbers.
Labour councillor Shelley Darwin said that it was an example of priorities and talked about what Labour councillors voted to waste money on at the farcical meeting that I reported on here.
Conservative councillor Richard pope said that there is no denying that publicity is being put over people and that Labour have put a cost on well being and decided the cost is to high and mentioned why Labour councillors had voted to waste money. Then Councillor Cenci talked about free advertising on the radio and on social media.How they always bring up what the County Tories are doing and that SCC haven’t a say. She also mentioned that none of them said they wanted to keep the crèches open.
Then David Ellesmere said that the amendment was madness. Claimed that Labour are looking to the future because of government cuts and said that users of the crèches cost the council £76 a month as if £76 a month is a massive figure.
Then came the vote with the Liberal Democrats backing the Conservatives and Labour voting against the amendment because they like being mean and heartless and insisting that the Tories are wrong even when they know that the Tories are right and they know that it is blatantly obvious to everyone else that the Tories are right.