Cornhill – The Verdict

Cornhill E

We have all eagerly awaited the unveiling of the work to transform the Cornhill, a vital cog in the fortunes of our Town Centre.

Early opinions have been mixed and to add to the debate I think it is wonderful and could be a real boost to the fortunes of our Town. It gives us a focal point to be proud of and it’s modern look should serve us well in the coming years.

Let’s not forget this project was started after the Cornhill was described by Lord (Stuart) Rose (who knows a thing or two about the viability of Town Centres), as ‘depressing’.

As wonderful as it does look Conservative Councillors have the responsibilty of holding the Labour Council to account as we are all aware the project hasn’t been without its problems.

Did it come in on budget?  The answer we got was; No, all costs are not yet in and we are already £50k over budget.

Were the Contractors fined for not completing it on time?   NO, despite us checking before the work started that penalty clauses WOULD be paid if the Contractor was late

How many accidents so far?   We were told of 3, we asked if this was because the Contractor rushed the work to finish on time or was it because we had to cut costs to save money?

Why weren’t the plinths finished (the concrete is yet to be ‘polished’) after they were installed?    Because they were late being delivered on site – again, NO penalties were paid.

This is our job, to ensure residents get the answers they deserve after so much of your money was spent on the project.

We must remain a strong opposition and hold the Council to account, if you want questions asked on your behalf get in contact and we will find the answers for you.

 

 

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Rat activity in our Town Centre & No activity by the Labour Council!

Rubbish 261018(1)

Businesses & residents of our Town Centre have been contacting us and reporting the increasing sightings of rats.

Town Centres are a breeding ground for rats with food readily available and if not tackled swiftly this problem can, and will, turn into an infestation.

Over the past few years your Labour Council has given Planning permission to, and licensed, a huge number of Restaurants, Take-aways & late-night convenience stores, all of which produce waste on a daily basis, and wait for the Council to clear this waste.

Labour boast of the increase in our night-time economy but absolutely no changes have been made to their waste collection & street cleansing routines.

At the Council meeting Wednesday we put forward several suggestions to combat this but all were ignored.

All cleaning & collection finishes at 7pm, some areas in the Town Centre get no service after 5pm. Rubbish overflows in bins (see pic) and some smaller establishments have to use thin, green bin bags out overnight waiting for the morning collection.

Conservative Councillors suggested a change of times for the collection – Labour ignored us.

Conservative Councillors suggested using Sea-gull proof bin bags (used by other Councils) to stop the food waste being made available to the rats – Labour Councillors laughed, and did nothing.

The Labour spokesman for the Environment Cllr Smart suggested it was down to the Businesses to tackle the problem and offered NO hope of action to our hard-pressed business owners – despite them paying huge amounts in business rates.

Rats are a health hazard and a terrible advert for our Town. Conservative Councillors will keep pushing the Labour Council to take the action they should have done when this problem started.

The Hold will transform people’s ability to engage with Suffolk’s history.

Work has started on the £20m project to transform Suffolk’s Record Office service. The Hold project is a partnership between Suffolk County Council and the University and will see a new flagship heritage facility located close to the Ipswich Waterfront. Cllr Paul West, Cabinet Member at Suffolk County Council with responsibility for Heritage said      “the transformed Record Office Service will be more than just a new building. Plans to actively engage a greater number of Suffolk residents in the county’s rich past will be at the heart of the new service”.
The service will be audience focussed and reach out to all parts of Suffolk through activity and digital programmes. Young people and those people living with dementia will be two groups that the service will aim to engage with.
The new building which will be open to the public in 2020 will hold 86% of the county’s vulnerable archive material. The current Ipswich Record Office in Gatacre Road will close and move its service to the new building. The new service will maintain a record office service in a building in both Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft.

Above is SRO’s oldest exhibit: Henry I’s charter to the monks of Eye Priory.

Defibrilator at Ravenswood

A question was raised by a resident about where defibrillators were located in the area. Me being the curious person I am, began to research numbers and I was faced with very limited information on where they are located. I did however,  discover the shocking statistics on how crucial AEDs are.

According to the British Heart Foundation, there are approximately 60,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest in the UK per year. Sadly, only a small proportion of people survive. A major factor for the low survival rate is the limited access to a defibrillator in time, ideally within the first few minutes and with each minute that goes by the chances of survival are reduced by 7-10%.

Soon after the initial question was raised,  at the beginning of April, tragically a resident experienced a Sudden Cardiac Arrest and passed away. As ever with this community we all wanted to make sure we are not left without the right equipment should we need to act in the future and began to look into how we can get a 24 hour AED on the development. Having already done a little bit of investigation into this I asked to take the lead and was able to co-ordinate the various parties to achieve the objective. The money for the unit was provided by Eastravel Limited who by making such a generous donation made this task possible. I discovered a local charity Heart2Heart who have already supplied 2 defibrillators in Ipswich town center and touched base with them. They offered me all the support and advice needed and were able to order the defibrillator for us. Finally it was the location we needed to secure and was the most time consuming part. I received a few knock backs but persevered and approached the Ravenswood McDonalds who had only recently extended their opening hours so they are open 24 hours. The McDonalds management were on board immediately and after a meeting to thrash out the finer details, they agreed to not only house the machine but to cover it on their insurance and replace the battery and pads every 4 years. The Ravenswood Residents Association also offered some words of wisdom and support to make sure this task was successful. They managed to secure another location, being that of the Co-op and so we were in a great position to choose where best to house this defibrillator.

This lifesaving piece of equipment has now been installed and registered and I am now working on arranging CPR and defibrillator training for the residents. This will empower the community to have the confidence to help neighbour in need and use the defibrillator should a future Sudden Cardiac Arrest take place on the development.   My responsibilities will not end here now that this has been installed. I will be the point of contact if there are any issues and I will check on the machine once a week/once a fortnight to make sure it’s still working. This responsibility I will take on for as long as I live in the area.

This was a massive win for the community and I look forward to the next project to better the area I live in.

defib2

Conservatives grant £1 million to support rough sleepers in the Ipswich area

We all see rough sleepers around Ipswich and some of you may wonder what is being done to help them.

You may remember back in August our Prime Minister Theresa May, promised £100 million of government funding to tackle rough sleeping. She said, “Nobody should have to sleep rough, and that’s why we must do all we can to help the most vulnerable in our society to get the support they need.” We thought you might like to hear how some of this money is being spent in the Ipswich area.

The Conservative government granted £986,500 to Ipswich Borough Council to tackle the issues surrounding homelessness, this is being spent in the following ways:

Firstly, there has been an increase in the number of emergency beds provided. This means if those sleeping on the streets wish for a bed for the night more are available.

However, the reasons why people are sleeping on the streets are complex and a number of interventions are in place to help support rough sleepers into long term solutions. Rough sleeper outreach workers go out and meet people who need help where they are. These outreach workers can support with many problems. In addition to this a special Mental Health Link worker is provided who can help those rough sleepers who suffer with mental health difficulties and two drug and alcohol outreach workers, for those who have addiction issues.

According to Ipswich Borough Council’s official count the number of rough sleepers in Ipswich is falling since funding has come into the town. In the first measurable period, the Conservative government’s funded programmes have helped over 50% of those they have worked with move into some form of accommodation. The programmes continue but this is a very good start.

2018-10-19 17.27.47 editedIf you are worried about someone sleeping rough, send an alert to StreetLink by visiting www.streetlink.org.uk or call 0300 500 0914

 

Votes for women

 

When the first British women gained the right to vote in February 1918 celebrations were very muted because the Great War was still raging. Sylvia Pankhurst in her book The Suffragette Movement said: “the sorrows of the world conflict precluded jubilations”

So a century later we should celebrate the triumph as fully as we can. However women were not given the vote on the same terms as men until a decade after the act was passed – on 2nd July 1928 the Second Representation of the People Act was passed into law.  In a cruel twist of fate, Emmeline Pankhurst the leader of the militant WSPU died on the 14th June 1928 just 18 days before equal suffrage rights were granted.

One victory led to another. The bar to women running for parliament was quickly removed, and the first female MP was elected that year (though, as an Irish republican, Constance Countess Markievicz chose not to join the Commons). The next year, Nancy Lady Astor was the first woman to take her seat in parliament.

Yet progress for women has often felt painfully slow. In 1982 when Harriet Harman was elected there were still only 19 female MPs. The 2017 election was the first time more than 200 women were elected, 208 out of 650 seats. If you speak to female MPs many worry about the murder of Jo Cox, the climate of vitriol on social media, sexual harassment and it is still so hard to balance child caring responsibilities with a political career hence women who have no children are often over-represented at the top.

Here in Ipswich Women’s Votes, Women’s Voices are a group of women’s organisations who have come together to plan a Festival on the 6th October at Suffolk University and are organising  EqualiTeas as part of the events leading up to the festival.  The festival will highlight and provide women with an opportunity to have access to local politics and democracy and to encourage women to get involved and most importantly to register to vote.

So true to the spirit of the suffragettes – who came from all kinds of political traditions – let us celebrate 100 years of the suffragette movement and all that achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

WE HAVE A CONSERVATIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE AT LAST

When the opportunity for a new Association Chairman arose at the beginning of 2018, I jumped at the chance to be elected for this role. Part of my “manifesto” commitment to Ipswich members was to get a Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in place as soon as the central party gave the green light. I pushed our central office to do this, and was delighted that once the local elections were out of the way, we commenced this journey.

The Conservative Party has prescribed candidate selection procedures which have to be followed. These take a while, but culminated in our Special Members Meeting on 27 September, which was moderated by former Suffolk Coastal Conservative Association Chairman, Graham Dines .Our 3 candidates were Alex Deane, Joel Charles and Tom Hunt.

I asked the members to make a good choice for candidate, and they certainly made an excellent decision in voting for Tom. My thanks to Joel and Alex who were also very high quality candidates, and we wish them the best of success. I am sure that they will both make excellent Parliamentary candidates and MPs elsewhere.

Tom has fantastic experience in fighting for what local people want in their communities, as a district councillor and now working for the elected mayor of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, where they are pushing for investment in this region.  His proficiency will now be brought to Ipswich.

The current MP for Ipswich is failing to stand up for what this town needs and does little but complain about what the Conservative government and County Council are doing, and telling the electorate that he knows better than the 38,655 (or 58%)of Ipswich electors who voted for Brexit. Tom is a breath of fresh air and will work constructively with the Councils, Government and Tim Passmore.

John Howard

Ipswich Conservative Association   -Chairman

DSC00153Ipswich Conservative Association   -Chairman

The proposed Anglesea Road 20mph zone

After the long awaited 20mph zone was given approval on 11 June, Cllr Lee Reynolds and I have been told that the final designs are currently being worked on before being implemented. We expect to see the scheme in operation early next year, after all the bureaucracy has been negotiated.

It’s a bit frustrating that the process has to be gone through, but at least we know it has been signed off and is going to happen – albeit after a few years of waiting!
Since the scheme was given the go ahead in June, Lee and I have received many calls from residents expressing approval at the news.