The Northern Route consultation

This is your chance to comment on Suffolk County Council’s proposals on the Northern Route proposals, up to 13 September:
https://ipswichnorthernroute.org.uk/have-your-say/consultation/?fbclid=IwAR2YKrUw8YB7nY6qJGetewlpE3v0BHHPTQVD3pYn-LL5iHBm-AJSVbnYUuk

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Calling out Ipswich Labour’s campaign lies (1)

This is the first article of a series about the announcements that Labour make every spring, a few weeks before the local elections, in the hope that voters forget about it soon afterwards. We will not let these falsehoods be forgotten any longer!
This year gives us a good example in that they alleged that there was a Conservative policy to charge householders further for brown bins – we already all pay through our council tax. Not only was there no evidence to support this assertion but it soon exploded in the Labour group’s faces when their disposal contractor (Anglian Water) decided that food waste couldn’t be processed any more for the same price, but the council tax element for this was unchanged.

So householders will now pay the same for less recycling, which is effectively an extra charge being introduced just after they falsely accused the Conservatives of it.

“Ipswich in 60” service launches – by Tom

Commenting upon the launch of the new Ipswich in 60 service, Tom stated:

“This is clearly very good news and a step in the right direction. I pay tribute to the hard work that has been put in by a number of MP’s in Suffolk over a number of years to make this a reality. Particularly the former MP for Ipswich, Ben Gummer, who was instrumental in securing both the Ipswich in 60 service and the new trains that will be introducing over the coming months.

“My main focus now will be on campaigning for a regular Ipswich in 60 that operates at peak times. This really would make a massive difference for Ipswich commuters. The aim should be to have an hourly Ipswich in 60 service.

“Having a reliable train service that can get between Ipswich and London in under an hour will make life far more convenient for commuters will also make the Town more attractive for increased jobs and investment.

“Clearly at this time the new Ipswich in 60 service doesn’t run as frequently as many of us would like. I can see how the 7pm service from London Liverpool Street to Ipswich could really benefit commuters coming back from work but appreciate that two services a day in each direction should only be seen as a starting point and something to build on.

“To get to the stage where there is the capacity on the rail network to support a frequent Ipswich in 60 service there need to be a number of significant interventions by the Government and Network Rail to improve our rail infrastructure. Frankly many of these interventions are overdue. Haughley junction, Ely north rail junction and the doubling of the line between Ely and Soham. These are the key three rail infrastructure challenges that need to be overcome to enable Ipswich to benefit from a frequent Ipswich in 60 service. A third track between Witham and Chelmsford would also make a difference.

” I was glad to be able to discuss these issues with the Rail Minister when he visited Ipswich train station a couple of months and to follow this up with a meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport a week later.

“In the next few weeks I will be meeting with the Strategic Director for Network Rail in the East of England to gain a greater understanding as to the interventions that are necessary to ensure a frequent Ipswich in 60 service. I look forward to receiving updates on where we are at regarding the key rail infrastructure challenges in the region that impact Ipswich.

“So on the whole the introduction of the Ipswich in 60 service is good news but it must be seen something to build on. Unless its frequent, it won’t be the game changer for the Town we all want it to be.”

The Real Nature of Anti-Semitism Today By Karen Harradine

Thanks to Corbyn and his cult we are witnessing the worst epidemic of anti-Semitism since the Nazis came to power in the 1930’s. Labour have effectively legitimised anti-Semitism. So far the Tories are proactive in disciplining members who indulge in anti-Semitism.

Labour and Conservative candidates deselected in Birmingham after separately opining about Jewish conspiracies

But worryingly they are not immune to increasing pockets of hatred against Jews. Conservative peer Lord Sheikh attended the same foul conference in Tunisia as Corbyn where a wreath was laid in commemoration of the jihadists who slaughtered innocent Israeli athletes in Munich. Yet he is still a party member.

I have also seen Tory members post anti-Semitic memes on social media – these would not look out of place at a local CLP meeting.

Anti-Semitism takes many forms. Once it takes hold, and if left unchecked, it mutates and spreads. The most proliferate form of contemporary anti-Semitism stems from anti-Zionism. The trope that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism was born from the hellish marriage between the Left, Islamism, Nazism and conspiracy theories.

Ancient blood libels and old fashioned anti-Semitic tomes, like the Tsarist forgery ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, have been resurrected by those seeking to proliferate the lie that Jews are bloodthirsty and seek to control the world. Updated for the 21stcentury this has now been extended to include Israel.

It cannot be stressed enough that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Those who claim that they are only anti-Zionist, and not anti-Semitic, fool nobody but themselves. As the earth goes round the sun so does Judaism revolve around the land of Israel. Jews originated from this hotspot in the Middle East.

Zionism is the self-determination of the Jewish people. Jews have had a continuous presence in Israel for over 3,000 years, including my own ancestors. To deny them their historical homeland is deeply anti-Semitic.

Israel is tiny – the size of Wales. Strangely, another country created around the same time, Pakistan, is not perpetually made to justify it existence like the Jewish state is, even though its creation caused millions to be displaced and just as many to suffer and perish, as this testifies.

There are also over 50 Muslim countries, yet the world tuts its collective tongue at the idea that Jews have the temerity to have a homeland of their own. Israel is the only country in the Middle East to hold regular and free elections. It’s a vibrant democracy with equal rights for all enshrined in law, regardless of religion, race or sexual preferences.

The Palestinian territories – West Bank and Gaza – are run by the Fatah dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas respectively. Mahmoud Abbas, an ex KGB spy and the Palestinian president, has been in office since 15 January 2005. Since then he has continually delayed elections in his fiefdom, preferring instead to attack Israel and embezzle financial donations, including those from the incorrigible Department for International Development (DFID).

Abbas’ claims of wanting peace are deceitful especially considering he wrote a PhD thesis denying the Holocaust.  His government also has no problem in teaching Palestinian children to hate Jews. Thanks to his antics and neglect of the people he is supposed to govern, Abbas is now distrusted by Palestinians living on the West Bank.

Islamist terror group Hamas is even worse. In 2007, after an election which included throwing their Fatah political opponents off roofs, Hamas seized control of Gaza and imposed a tyrannical rule on Palestinians living there.  In their jihadist war against Israel Hamas uses Gaza as a base to launch missiles from and exploits their own people as human shields. Hamas also persecutes Christians, executes gay men and tortures journalists.

Despite all this the evidence the libels, myths and half-truths persist and dominate the narrative on Israel. The rhetoric that the Palestinians are oppressed by Israel is rendered false when knowing who the true oppressors are.

These lies were accelerated when the KGB and Yasser Arafat collaborated in the 1960’s. Between them they cooked up the concept of the Palestinian movement and established the terror group Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). Motivated by revenge because Israel defeated its Arab allies in the 1967 war, the Soviets saw this as perfect way to destabilise the Jewish state and simultaneously hurt the US, an ally of Israel and their arch enemy.

This unholy collusion between the USSR and Islamists sparked the Left’s campaign of hatred against Israel. Further damage was caused when Resolution 3379 – ‘Zionism is racism’ – was outrageously passed by the United Nations in 1975. Sponsored by the Soviets and their Islamist allies this libel was finally revoked in 1991. But it was too late. The on-going campaign to destroy Israel was left unchecked and so has proliferated.

The 2001 World Conference Against Racism was ironically littered with putrid racism against Jews. The rhetoric heated up against Israel. Blatant comparisons of Israel to the Nazis were made – a particularly hurtful lie given the Shoah. The slur that Israel is an Apartheid state gained traction. I grew up under the Apartheid regime in South Africa and can categorically state that with its equality laws Israel bears no resemblance to the Apartheid regime.

These libels have fed the fanatical Boycott Disinvest Sanction (BDS) campaign, ubiquitous in it’s drive to destroy Israel. BDS is riddled with hypocrisy, not least because it excludes evidence and reality. Its founding member, Omar Barghouti, repeatably calls for a blanket boycott on Israel yet studied at Tel Aviv University in 2009. Given that Barghouti, a Muslim Arab born in Qatar, was free to study at an Israeli university negates claims of so-called Israeli discriminatory policies. But anti-Semites aren’t known for their intelligence.

Contemporary anti-Semitism, epitomised by the desire to destroy Israel, has its roots in Islamism and socialism. Those who join in the hate fest should aware that they are steeping their metaphorical hands into the blood of millions of Jews, persecuted and murdered for their faith. Conservatives should know better than to follow this dark trend.

Delivering Results – by Sam Murray, Priory Heath Candidate

During a run up to an election, you will probably see a number of leaflets hitting your doorstep containing promises of what the candidate WILL do if elected. You will have to go on blind trust some of the time as you may not have even heard of the candidate. This where someone like me is different. Most of the residents will have seen my in touch leaflet introducing me as the Priory Heath Candidate. Details of who I am and what I am about, and most importantly what I have delivered so far before even being a candidate. As the leaflet is only small I cant go into too much detail, so thought I would write this blog as a further breakdown of some of what I have already delivered as a community activist.

The Car Clean Up

Back in early 2018, Ravenswood was gifted another burned out car sitting next to the Primary School. I had reported it to the council and the police and then the council and it remained sitting there where the community play bus parks. I felt it was a safety concern. This was the first time I had properly encountered Cllr Liz Harsant who though this wasn’t her ward arranged for the car to be removed for me. Finally someone listened and helped me! Unfortunately this still left debris laying around which I raised at a few public meetings. Sick and tired of being ignored I roped a friend into helping and we swept up the entire area, bagged up the melted car and debris and I personally delivered it to the Councillors at a south east area committee meeting. Some may say this was an extreme measure but I simply did this in order to make sure children weren’t at risk of being injured. Its amazing what impact a boot full of car pieces could make on a meeting and the following day the area was professionally swept up and my boot was cleared of the debris.

Gainsborough Community Fun Day 2018

Ah the fun day which should have been oh so straight forward. Plans made, suppliers arranged, date agreed by IBC what could possibly go wrong?! Well IBC have a way of not being able to work with communities and decided to cancel the day after the tragic murder that happened. Their reasons being that the clash of dates with a Donald Trump visit to London meant that appropriate safety measures couldn’t be provided. The handling of this decision was poor to put it politely so I personally challenged this, first by using my blog, then by raising it at a public meeting and then speaking on radio Suffolk and to the Ipswich Star. All we wanted was to be able to work with IBC, our fractured community needed some relief from the pain and tragedy. IBC eventually agreed to allow the show to go on, but at a different date and a compromise was agreed.

Heating issues in Social Housing

IBC are constantly pushing for more social housing and would love to have a large cluster of social housing on the UVW site of Ravenswood. However, there has been a failure to keep the already existing tenants at a good standard of living. I was made aware of a row of homes on Fen Bight Circle having heating and hot water problems which were at their worst over the peak of winter in 2017. To try and get a solution and support I contacted our MP Sandy Martin. For almost a year I brought this up continuously with Mr Martin and our local councillors. I worked with the Ravenswood Residents Association who also became involved as concerns raised on the impact of the residents health who lived in this row of homes. A year later, I was so pleased to find out that new heating systems were installed in all of these homes and I was proud that I never gave up until my neighbours had a warm home to live in.

Public Meetings

Because of how engaged I am and my high level of attendance at local meeting such as the South East Area Committee Meeting (which shockingly a paid councillor doesn’t have the same attendance rate) I am now generally recognised by the councillors and certainly by our MP. I read the majority of public papers including the Full council papers that are released. I have raised the issue with the bus services in the area and the disproportionate funding for the South East vs the South West, and though I have not managed to get direct results of this, councillors have become aware that when I do ask a question for the community I have done so after extensive research. Some may at times call me a difficult woman just like our dear PM has been referred to at times, but I will say I am simply driven and determined to make sure this town is the best town it can be, and in particular Priory Heath sees the results it deserves.

When you go out and vote on 2nd May, consider this. Do you want someone who has demonstrated they can deliver results and has the determination to never give up? If so then I am the candidate for you because I have already demonstrated I have what it takes to be a councillor for Priory Heath.

For more details about me visit my site http://www.sammurrayipswich.com

Tom’s survey on the Northern bypass

Very strong support for the northern bypass clear from my transport survey returns, unsurprisingly. I was busy working my way through the responses to my transport survey on Sunday. The survey had a question about the northern bypass. I’ve now completed some number crunching in relation to the returns from Rushmere ward. Overall, 84% support the northern bypass. Residents were asked to rate their support for the northern bypass on a scale of 0-10 (10=strong support, 0=strong opposition). On the whole, the average numerical score for those who responded was 8.8. It will be interesting to find out what the average scores are from the other wards that have been surveyed. I appreciate that this will hardly come as a surprise to many however the strength of support is particularly significant. Campaigning for the northern bypass was already my number one transport priority, these survey returns tell me that this should absolutely remain the case.

Play equipment ordered for St Margaret’s Ward

We listened – and now we have action! Our Councillor for St Margaret’s, Lee Reynolds having spoken with residents in Brettenham Crescent was informed their children missed the old play equipment following its removal some time ago. Having worked with Officers, Lee is now pleased to confirm that not only will new play equipment be installed but the shrubs and fencing will be tidied up too.

Are you aware of any other play areas that need improvements in your area? Lee said ‘outdoor play areas are great to encourage our children to play outside to help keep them healthy and happy’. So please let us know if we can help your local park improve too!

 

lee

Labour’s Shocking Failures in our Town Centre

1 cornhillbThe Labour Council have just announced they are to spend nine months refurbishing the old Post Office building on the Cornhill, which has stood empty for four years.

In itself this piece of information seems positive but a closer look at the details reveals a shocking catalogue of expensive errors and missed opportunities.

Lloyds Bank closed their branch in 2015 and had a lease until the end of 2018 but made it clear they were willing to surrender the lease early, which they did a year ago.

The deal was a great one for the Council, rent was paid up till December and a huge sum was agreed as part of the fully repairing lease. All of a sudden the Council had a prime empty building, in an area that was undergoing a £3.8million upgrade, with money to make it attractive to potential tenants.

Your Labour Council was gifted a ‘Golden Ticket’, it could not have been scripted better, but this is where the story turns into a nightmare.

Last March the Labour Executive promised that it was  close to agreeing a deal to rent the property, the negotiations were nearly complete we were told. The Labour Executive also agreed to use the money from Lloyds to bring the building up to standards.

Poor negotiations led to the deal collapsing – this was not announced – the Labour group tried to slip this bad news under the radar. They also made the fateful decision not to spend the money they received from Lloyds.

Why did the negotiations fail at literally the 11th hour?

Why couldn’t they find a tenant?  Were they too busy negotiating deals to buy expensive out of town retail parks?

The Labour Council knew in July last year that the deal had fallen through – why didn’t they order the refurbishment then?

Let’s not forget that this Labour Council is now a major retail landlord, with a property portfolio approaching £100 million – they are supposed to be professionals – these decisions show that they are out of their depth.

 

 

Tom on Port Development

Earlier this month, I visited the Port of Ipswich for the first time to be taken on a tour of the site and to meet with the leadership team from Associated British Ports (ABP). I’m prepared to say that I think I underestimated both the size of the operation and its massive importance to the region’s economy.

The Port of Ipswich covers over 280 acres of land in total, but it’s the 21-acre island site at the heart of it that has been the subject of the majority of discussion over the past few years.

The island site presents a huge opportunity for the Town and its very important that its fully utilised. Developed in the right way and it could take the Waterfront and the Town to the next level.

From the meetings I had, its clear that ABP are very serious about bringing the site forward for development. I very much hope that the County Council will bring forward the two smaller bridges to connect with the island. Clearly certainty over this would be the catalyst to accelerate activity.

Ideally in future, the island could be a real centre point of activity. My preference would be for something that creates a real buzz! Perhaps an arena?

Holywells Park

People sometimes say “I’ve never been into Holywells Park” and, because I see it every day, I look with utter surprise that they consider to be the most beautiful park in our town – or indeed in the whole of the UK! Although a lot of money has been pumped into our Park, it still remains that beautiful, peaceful, restful place.

Moreover, it is a very busy Park and has a very active Friends’ Group. I am the secretary and have been for a long time. I first joined the group back in 2000 and we have gone from strength to strength. All of us have a deep love of the Park and have become long-lasting friends.

This year we started with a Wassail event. Very low key but it was held on January 6th (the Twelfth Night) and it took place in the Orchard, which was given to the Friends years ago by the Council. We held hands and walked around the apple trees, singing and giving thanks to health of the trees, in the hope that they will provide a bountiful harvest in the autumn.

The Friends have a full schedule for this year, starting with a Spring Event on 23rd March, which will be a great event with nature trails, an egg roll and other interesting activities – all a little secret at the moment. Come along and see what we have to offer and what fun it can be. The Welcome Spring Event is from midday to 3 pm.

Whilst the Friends’ Group are busy with events, so are the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. By the time you read this article, they will have run weekly Wild Tots sessions in the Park, allowing young children to explore. They also run practical conservation activities for young people aged 11 to 14, including surveying skills and citizen science projects.

So back to how these events are run:
The Friends’ Group make a very minimal charge for refreshments and admission and only ask for donations. Everyone gives up their own time to prepare for these events and behind the scenes it really does take a lot of organisation. At the same time, Ipswich Borough Council run events and the Friends will help with these days by providing refreshments – this includes the Well event which is in April and always very popular.

Do look at our website to see what we are offering in the Park and come along.

FRIENDS OF HOLYWELLS PARK EVENTS:
Saturday 23nd March, 12:00-14:00:             WELCOME SPRING
Sunday 7th April, 12:00-15:00:                      HOLI (FESTIVAL OF COLOURS)
Saturday 22nd June, 14:00-16:00:                SCARECROWS AND BLOSSOM