Monday, 26 January 2015

Snippets from the week of a Stoke Park councillor

The last week has just flown by:

Starting with last weekend where I entertained the troops who were out in force for Ben Gummer.
We are now in the long election campaign and some serious hard work has gone up another level.

It's just so much more fun when all Tory councillors and activists from all over Suffolk, create synergy by coming together to focus on just Ipswich.
We covered a lot of ground delivering our latest leaflet - The most important election of our lifetime?

Last Friday Ben Gummer, myself and Mark Bee - the leader of Suffolk county council met with Paul Geater to discuss the state of our car parks. You can read all about it in the Ipswich Star but basically we think cheaper car parks, better use of technology and better quality of car park services will help to attract retailers and footfall. If IBC can show the way, starting with the bomb site that is Crown Street car park, then other companies will also be forced to compete on price.

This weekend (saturday) we started the day early with Ben G cooking breakfast for us all before spending another full action day in 2 wards. We were a bit side tracked by the beautiful face and sounds of Ben's baby boy. He is just so gorgeous and a real little thinker - starting politics early by joining us in our pre-meet!

Last week I attended the SW area committee - and on the agenda was the parking issue at Pinewood where residents are suffering from student parking to attend Suffolk one. This is not in our borough but we invited the SCC transport portfolio holder - Graham Newman to discuss solutions.

It turned into quite an ugly affair which was stirred up by the UKIP candidate, who seems pleased he has a campaign to shout about. Ben Gummer has been involved for a few months now and is in agreement with residents that a NO Access road should be considered which would help alleviate the problem greatly.

I understand people's frustrations but heckling a councillor by not letting him answer the questions is not something I'm prepared to stand by and watch in silence.
Councillors are there to serve but we are not a dart board to be used to vent frustrations. Politeness and respect costs nothing. I had to intervene and in very strong terms told them that it was not acceptable behaviour and that I would intervene again, if it continued. The chair tried his best to calm them down too and we eventually got some decorum.

Some action points have been taken away by Graham and I know that Ben Gummer has sent a letter to him also outlining his preferred options.

I was very sad this week that one of my favourite tweep who followed on twitter since I opened my account several years ago, died at the age of 23 in Thailand whilst on holiday, of natural causes. She was a beautiful and clever girl, very popular in the political world as a great libertarian. It brings home that most of us deal with trivia all day long and should be grateful for what we have in this country. She will be missed by many.

Rest in peace Christina Annersley

(If you tweet - please follow me on @stokeparkcllr and i will follow back)

Coming up this week - full council meeting on Wednesday where we will be discussing council rent increases above inflation for the 3rd year in a row.

Also coming up is Chinese New year and Ive booked my tickets at the Wolsey for 7th February because I enjoyed it so much last year. I'm taking my mum this time as it falls on her birthday.

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