At this week’s Ipswich Borough executive meeting the representatives of users of the crèche service which Ipswich Labour seem to be completely hell bent on closing, presented their case and a petition. The users proposed to keep the service running till January 2018 and they would use this extension to work with the council to promote the service more widely. Conservative Leader Nadia Cenci proposed that the funding for this could either be found from the council’s £500,000 underspend in the current year or from unspent area committee funding. But the heartless, stiff necked Labour councillors were unwilling to entertain the idea.
Labour’s proposal is that the council will meet all regular users to talk about alternative options & advice. They will look at commencing a short term additional exercise class at no actual cost to new mothers. Ipswich Labour leader David Ellesmere said that they will attempt to ask Suffolk County Council and the NHS to pay the cost of providing ongoing services in future, especially for mothers who cannot afford to pay. So what Ipswich Labour plan to do is pass the buck to Suffolk County Council and if the funding does not come, they plan to insinuate in their election leaflets that the Suffolk Tories are closing the facility instead of them. They are that callous and disingenuous.
Nadia Cenci said after the meeting
“This apparent half-promise of providing additional exercise classes has a complete lack of substance and detail, and the Leader made it clear that the basic crèche service will close in July as planned. In the event that SCC or the NHS are unable to provide funding, Ipswich Labour will simply blame someone else for closing the service, like they do for every other difficult decision to be made.”
Councillor Eddy Phillips, Conservative Finance Spokesman, who observed proceedings, says
“They are attempting to pass the buck to Suffolk County Council and the local NHS and asking them to pay for a service that IBC has provided at Crown Pools for the last 25 years & at 2 sports centres since 1983. The Leader talked about cost shunting in the public sector, and now he is doing just that. If Labour had listened sensibly to my alternative budget proposals in February, the crèche service at all 3 sites would have been assured for the remainder of the current 4 year budget plan period.”
At next weeks Full Council meeting, I am asking a couple of questions in regard to this.