Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Ipswich Old Labour Back to Spend, Spend, Spend

  By Cllr Judy Terry  

I’m very much a glass three-quarters full type of person, and strongly believe that solutions can always be found to the most difficult problems.

However, the key is having a very thorough understanding of the problems in question, and good relationships with colleagues and the wider community. It also requires creative thinking and leadership.

 I never believe in doing something for purely political reasons; I want to achieve the best outcomes for the long term and work tenaciously to ensure that if I make a commitment, I actually do something positive to deliver.  

For these reasons, I am increasingly surprised and shocked at the cynical hypocrisy of Labour’s new administration in Ipswich. This is Old Labour in action.  

Last May’s campaign was purely focused on County issues, because they couldn’t criticise the Conservatives in Ipswich, who had restored the town’s finances, leaving £7.2m in the reserves (soon to be squandered by Old Labour). So instead, they concentrated their efforts on ‘save our libraries’. Yet, apart from the vitriolic rhetoric and highly personal attacks, they did nothing other than to offer £95,000 against a £2m budget ‘should they be elected’. Of course, they were elected to run Ipswich Borough Council, but did nothing constructive to engage in the process of ‘saving libraries’ either before or since!  

Instead, it is the Conservatives who have created an Industrial and Provident Society into which all libraries are being transferred, to be run by the people, for the people, whilst also making significant savings.  

In contrast, however, Labour have dismantled the Area Forums and park Management Boards in Ipswich to create a large, uncosted, bureaucracy of Area Committees, which will not allow the same public engagement.  

At the same time, Cllr. Ellesmere, the Council leader, writes in his regular Star article about the importance of creating new jobs, but since May he continues to make staff redundant whilst spending many thousands of pounds on agency staff! In just six months.  

Meanwhile, Cllr. Bryony Rudkin has taken on the Culture portfolio. However, when she was Leader of SCC, she refused to give Ipswich any funding whatsoever to help with reviving The Regent and Museums, following 25 years of neglect under the previous Labour administration. So what is her commitment to this portfolio?    

Labour also promised financial probity, yet they are already committed to borrowing another £100 million, and their very first act was to commission ‘an independent panel’ to review councillor allowances. Hardly a priority when most people are struggling to make ends meet, and it is local residents who will have to pay for any increases.  

Despite the economic climate, ‘spend, spend, spend, regardless of the consequences’ is embedded in Old Labour’s DNA.

Councillor Judy Terry

Footnote from Cllr Cenci - this blog invites posts from all Tory Councillors and welcomes any comments from the people of Ipswich. I do not edit or change wording from any of the guests offerings or subsequent comments (unless rude or against the law of course!)

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