Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Locality budget freeze

Labour run Ipswich Borough Council agreed tonight to freeze the new locality budgets which were introduced by the last conservative/lib-dem adminstration.
This is totally unnecessary as Suffolk County Council have already agreed verbally that they will keep the libraries and the school crossing patrols.
Let me guess what is going to happen here - ah yes, Counc Ellesmere is going to say they saved the libraries. This, of course, is nonsense and well they know it, but freezing our locality budgets, in case they need the money, has happened despite this reassurance from SCC.
So folks in Ipswich if you were hoping that you could go to your ward councillor with valid requests for some of their £ 5k locality budget to help your local community, then you will just have to wait. And I think that is totally unreasonable and unjustified.
Let's see what happens to this freeze, if the money is not needed, as I expect will be the case (Counc Ellesmere would not let me ask this question in a supplementary.)
Keep watching this space...............

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Big Society Fund

I see the new labour administration is keen to dissolve the Big Society fund put in place by the last Tory/Lib Dem administration to aid voluntary organisations to do their great work in Ipswich. The promise by the leader Counc David Ellesmere is that his group would prefer to use it to pay for the libraries and school crossings, something which is not the responsibility of Ipswich Borough but Suffolk County Council.

I'm not sure the tax payers of Ipswich would agree with this and I think its the first sign that this new administration is going to show off and dictate what it thinks Ipswich people need rather than letting them choose where the money is spent - a crucial part of teh big society idea.

This also means the  freezing of our new locality budgets - Not a Good idea. I know in my ward Stoke Park, organisations were looking forward to asking me to help out with my budget of £ 5k.

This is just spite for David Camerons idea and one I was passionate about as portfolio holder. Watch this space....