Kyms entry below reflects only his own opinion and experiences. The diary entries have not been edited by me, in any way.
Sunday 13th November
Remembrance Sunday was particularly well attended this year in Christchurch Park. I don’t know if it is the continuing involvement of our brave forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere, or the wonderful example set by ‘Royal’ Wootton Bassett on how to acknowledge those who pay the ultimate price, or something less tangible, but whatever it is, it was on show today. It was also on show at 11am on Friday when I sat with my class at Claydon High School for an immaculately observed two minutes silence. Lest we forget.
Monday 14th November
The local area forums might not be the perfect answer when it comes to informing people about decisions that directly affect them, but they are an important way for local residents to share their concerns and feed their ideas directly into the political process. At tonight’s Conservative Group Meeting we discuss Labour’s ‘Taking Decision Making Closer to the People’ report, which ironically appears to be doing exactly the opposite. We also spend time considering Labour’s campaign to save their local drinking hole, the Golden Key, from becoming a Tesco. Mmm.
Wednesday 16th November
I don my hard hat and high visibility jacket to take the Crown Pools Project Tour. Councillors climb ladders and duck under scaffolding in their efforts to inspect the work going on; from the ceiling above the leisure pool to the basement below the competition pool. Strengthening the roof, retiling walkways and a repaint, appear to be the main tasks on the agenda. I am assured that the work being undertaken can be guaranteed to add at least 10 years to the life of our premier leisure complex.
Thursday 17th November
I enjoyed last night at the pool, but tonight’s specially arranged visit to Ipswich’s Art School and Museum trumped it. This evening was a further reminder of the high level of resources this town has to offer. To my mind visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding how best to fill their time, and there is no better place to start than the Ipswich Museum. It is a Victorian Spectacular! I was excited to hear about future plans to enhance this already impressive complex and intrigued by the restoration work that volunteers lovingly carry out behind the scenes. I’ll be back again – soon!
Sunday 20th November
In my first year as a councillor representing the good people of Bixley, I’m taking part in as many local events as I can. I want to be able to have as broad an understanding as possible of what makes this town tick. With that in mind, and although I am not a religious man, I attended the Mayor’s Multi-Faith Celebration at the Town Hall. I listened to contributions from the local Sikh, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities. It was wonderful to observe that co-operation is so obviously possible between good people with moderate views.
Tuesday 22nd November
Much of the interest in tonight’s Executive Committee meeting was surrounding a decision on a way forward for Broomhill Outdoor Pool. Sherrington Road Residents site congestion, pollution, noise and eating into Crown Pool revenue as reasons to return the site to parkland, whilst Broomhill Trust supporters wish to refurbish with a fitness suit, change rooms and café. Cllr Rudkin’s decision was to contact private investors and begin assessing the business case for re-establishing Broomhill as an outdoor swimming complex. This could cost the borough up to £1 million. I do hope that the decisions made going forward are based on sound business logic not just nostalgia, but as yet I’m not convinced.
Wednesday 23rd November
For the most part my membership of the Human Resources Committee has been to nod agreement to the various changes to posts on the Ipswich Borough Council. From what I have witnessed so far, many decisions reach general agreement after brief discussion. Tonight was no exception. We worked through an agenda including extensions, redeployments and establishing of various posts within the council.
Thursday 24th November
The key responsibility I have as a Broke Hall Primary School Governor is to monitor behaviour. Tonight was a meeting of the monitoring committee. It was clear from the various governors reporting back about their observations relating to teaching and learning, that Broke Hall is the kind of school to which any parent would be proud to send their children. I am creating a perception survey to look at the use of rewards across the school – much more fun than always focusing on sanctions.
Saturday 26th November
I was proud to attend the launch event for ‘Ipswich Town of Sanctuary’ – designed to add our town to a growing list of cities and towns around the UK that welcomes and supports asylum seekers and refugees. We were entertained by song and dance, and listened to heart-breaking stories that illustrated all too vividly the need so many unfortunate souls have for compassion and understanding. The evening was brilliantly hosted by the wonderful Melissa Day, whose tireless efforts are helping give Sanctuary the status it deserves. For more information contact www.cityofsanctuary.org
Tuesday 29th November
Tonight the Ipswich Central Management Board celebrated the clear and absolute mandate handed to the team by local businesses to continue their efforts to improve the town centre for another 5 years. I really enjoyed the discussion we had about changes we would like to see to our town. It demonstrated to me that Ipswich Central is represented by people with the business know-how, creativity and detailed local knowledge, to really make a difference. Also, on a personal level, I felt that I was being listened to and my opinions were valued – which means a lot when you’re surrounded by some of the most respected businessmen around town.