Sunday, 27 November 2011

Bannerman's Top Ten EU Myths - Myth 1

Following a really interesting evening with David Bannerman MEP, I thought I would look at the main points within his book and share them with you.

I have long felt that proper debate with all views should be televised. The whole EU monster is complicated and difficult to analyse when details are not at the voters disposal. It has taken me several years to mull over what I learn before concluding that we must leave the EU as soon as a good exit strategy allows.

So it was good to hear points from David that reflected my view and I start such discussions using his neat little booklet:

So Myth 1: we would lose 3 million jobs, if we left

The EU sells much more to us than we sell to them and so the 4 million jobs that the EU would lose by not trading with us (and this would be the worst case scenario) would put us in a good leveraging position on negotiations. The Lisbon Treaty requires EU to have a trade agreement, even if we left, as they do with Norway and Sweden, so this is highly unlikely to happen.

So to conclude on this myth. They need us more than we need them...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cllr Judy Terry and her take on China and signs on the A14!

The following is the opinion of Cllr Terry and does not necessarily reflect my own. In fact jury is still out for me on China. However I do agree with the last paragraph.

Today I was honoured to meet the Chinese Transport Minister, when he visited Hutchison Ports at Felixstowe, to see the £350m recent investment and learn about the port's huge importance to our local and national economy. I also had the opportunity to talk to Hutchison's senior directors about how the public and private sectors can work more closely together to deliver benefits to Suffolk.
The County Council recently held a seminar to alert local businesses to the tremendous opportunities for exporting services and products to China, as its own economy expands. The Chinese Government has a five year plan to create new cities, with all the infrastructure that will involve, from schools and hospitals, to factories, service industries and leisure. So exciting! But, such expansion demands good fiscal management.
On the way back from Felixstowe in the fog, I was reminded how lax the last Labour government was when it came to fiscal management. The overhead signs all the way along the A14 cost more than £70m of our money; a legacy of former Ipswich MP, Chris Mole, who was a Labour transport minister, these signs are still not connected three years after installation!  
It appears no-one thought to consult with the adjacent landowners to ensure access to the required electricity supply. At this rate, they will be obsolete long before they are working - proving that they weren't needed in the first place.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

councillor Judy Terry's latest

Today (17th November) at a packed NE Forum meeting, Labour's Cllr. Sandy Martin announced that 'this will probably be the last Forum meeting', much to the surprise of the audience, including 6th form political students from Northgate
Plans to introduce 'area committees' are still in the consultation phase, indeed it was extended because of so many complaints at its inadequacy, and neither Executive nor Council have made any decisions as to the way public engagement can be managed in the future.
Now we know that the new Labour administration in Ipswich have no intention of listening to the people, and any future 'consultation' will also be a total sham.

another one
Although he works at Ipswich School, Labour's Alasdair Ross opposes any sharing of best practice, or even teaching and facilities, with the state school where he is a governor. Why? Perhaps he's ashamed to be a Labour councillor working at a private school, yet it is one of many private and state schools which have excellent outcomes for vulnerable and less talented youngsters.
These schools identify what children are really good at, whether it is art and music, or science, sport or Geography; not all children can be good at everything but, by taking the time to support and encourage them, they can make great progress and achieve whatever their ambitions may be. It is having ambition, and confidence in that ambition, which brings results.
Tony Blair launched his 1997 campaign on 'education, education, education'. He recognised, as do the Conservatives, that a good education is the foundation for anyone's future. It brings pleasure in knowledge, and helps even those with the most modest qualifications to be employed.
Alasdair Ross is up for election in Rushmere next year. We can only hope that he develops a passion for universally good education, and makes an attempt to bring the public and private sectors closer together in the best interests of our children, rather than to think that a good education is somehow 'elitist'.

The above is solely words of cllr Terry and does not necessarily reflect my own opinion.

Busting the myths

I felt compelled to write this blog post after reading a post in Ipswich Spy.

I have a lot of time for Ipswich Spy as I believe most of the time, they are observant and entertaining.

However some of the writers are too biased and obviously labourites. The recent post assuming that Spy knows how we feel about our group leader, John Carnall was, quite frankly a load of rubbish.

So for the record, John has always shown utmost respect to all the members, women and men. He has always listened to what I have had to say and respected my opinion. His experience is vast and he understands only too well, the politics and antics of the labour group.
His passion and knowledge of IBC finances is second to none and he has clear ideas of what should happen with taxpayers money.

Quite desirable I should think!

So Ipswich Spy, please don't make wide, sweeping accusations or judgments on our members until you get your facts right. Play fair and in return, you will be taken seriously by all parties.

As for St Margarets or any election, we always give support and mentoring to any new member and IBC have a quality training programme for new and existing Councillors. This is borne out by the fact we won an award! I was one of the Councillors, across party that helped to put it together.

Those elected are not left to flounder but perhaps the reality of the hard work, commitment may be too much for some. There can be no true planning for expectations. We can only impart our own knowledge and experience for this rewarding work.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Letter to Paul Geater on Golden Key

​9th. November 2011
The Evening Star.
This morning the planning committee of Ipswich Borough Council considered the future of the Golden Key in Woodbridge Road. As I felt that the issue was open to misinterpretation I abstained and it is this action that I wish to explain.
In my time on the committee I have come to respect the robust, open, good natured and essentially non-partisan conduct of our debates. This is the key to the strength of the decision making process and it is born out by the number of appeals that are resolved in favour of the committee’s decisions.
The unhappy effect of a recent canvas of local opinion by the Labour Party has the potential to undermine this strength. It comes about, firstly, because of the doubt that must inevitably fall on our future decisions. This follows from the fact that the survey was conducted under the auspices of the party rather than by ward councillors. Ward members have the right to represent residents and, if appropriate, to speak about their concerns. It does not imply from this that any wider group shares the opinion expressed. In the present case the involvement of the Labour Party opens the result of the survey to the interpretation that it is the considered view of all their supporters and of all of their councillors, whether it is the case or not.
Secondly, and possibly more importantly, is the naming of Tesco as the operator of the store if the application should be approved. It transpires that this misleading information is quite without foundation.
Thirdly, another matter that bears on the security of the result of the survey is the lack of any information about the scope of the survey, the size of the population canvassed and the results of the process. It is open to argument that without this data the process is not a survey at all because it is impossible to verify the statistical significance of the results.
It is but a short step from here to the erroneous view that more (possibly all) planning decisions are open political bias. We have no purchase on the opinions of the general populace. If we, the councillors are to protect the perception, as well as the realty of what we do, we must be like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion. As it is, the standing of the council as a whole and its officers is by inadvertence made less secure. There is no case for a repeat of this action.
For all of the above I felt that I had no option but to abstain; an action that cannot be assumed to reflect my views on the merits of the application.  

From Cllr Stewart