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

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Conservative Response to Labour’s Borough Budget

20190301_133725The following speech was made by Cllr Eddy Phillips, Shadow Finance Portfolio Holder & Deputy Group Leader of IBC Conservative Group, on 27 February 2019.

Yet another year and the same story we are seeing from Ipswich Labour and their so-called balanced budget. Much of Cllr Ellesmere’s intro was a copy and paste job from last year and the year before.

So I’m going to again do what I do every year as I highlight some of their failings in certain areas where one might expect income to be improving and closing the gap on expenses. Yet the Regent Theatre income is now £13k down and £90k down on 2 years ago. Sports and leisure cost £1.45m last year, now it has increased to £1.85m.

Income from corporate properties is down £300,000.

Car park income is down by £100,000.

Income from HEARS is down by £50,000.

New homes bonus income from govt is down, hardly surprising when Labour run IBC is not building the homes it promises either by its own target or even for private developers due to its inability to engage with developers in a positive manner .

In the year 2017 to 2018, the private sector delivered 80 homes, housing associations 10 and IBC 7. In 2011-12, private developers delivered 200, housing authorities 90 and council none. Cllr M Cook indicated 221 private sector homes are expected to be delivered this year, and up to 467 in 3 years. How when the numbers are so low? It was this Conservative government that tore up Labour’s restrictions on council house building.

So how does Labour intend to balance their budget this year: they have allocated a challenging £5.3m of savings in their big ticket programme, of which two thirds comes under the rather unclear title of Service Efficiencies and income.

As usual, Labour are increasing their portion of council tax by the maximum they can. OK, so SCC and the PCC are doing so also, but I can’t imagine in their election leaflets, Labour will point out that the SCC has a budget of £519m against IBC of about £19m, 27 times smaller, therefore hardly surprising that your contribution to SCC is bigger.

Nor will Labour tell voters that 75% of SCC funding is spent on adults and children’s services nor will they tell them highways has a budget of £46m.

But back to Labour, always increasing CT by as much as they can get away with. Let’s not forget their 33% increase in SCC CT between 2002 and 2004, and on IBC 23% in the same period.

Thanks to Conservatives being in government since 2010, we have kept CT increases at capped levels to help out hard-working families across the country, which has been 2 or 3% excluding the social care levy.

Labour tell you how hard up they are. Yet they keep over-estimating how much they intend to spend and when it comes it at substantial underspends, they squirrel the money away or give it to their arms length companies, where all transparency ceases. And pat themselves on the back for their way of manipulating their spending.

There is scope to improve income but their attitude of protectionism and inadequate co-operation with other local authorities, creates their sense of doom and gloom.

Why have we not presented any alternative budget this year? Well Cllr Abbot came up with a single proposal at SCC’s budget meeting, but our view is that we don’t want to waste officer time on something that will be voted down ! We would simply start afresh from top to bottom if we were running IBC.

I was pleased to hear Cllr Carole Jones thanking the CONSERVATIVE government for granting £10m for infrastructure work at the garden suburb development (Northern Fringe).

Cllr McDonald commented on the delayed development at Ravenswood UVW and blaming us. However the housing WOULD have been delivered years ago if Labour had worked with the Ravenswood Residents Association on coming to an agreed consensus on the tenure mix.

 

Do you remember? …

our campaign to save head and neck cancer services at Ipswich Hospital in 2008, when Labour planned to close them? After Ben‘s petition, the closure was duly cancelled in 2010.
Now be ready for the additional £20 billion per annum that is programmed for the National Health Service. That is more than £18.2 million.

Liz on Planning

When you first become a Councillor, apart from the great honour and excitement you, feel it changes your life completely.  Suddenly, residents are asking you for help: some with very private and sad issues, others asking for help on matters that involve, perhaps, a whole area.  When I was first elected, back in 2002, one of the biggest issues that came to light was a planning application for building on the area known as the Woodland off Mitre Way.  This application and subsequent ones failed, which was purely because the residents came together to fight the applicant and even this year we have been successful again.  In Holywells Ward we have had some really testing issues over the years:  traffic lights at the top of Bishops Hill; the proposed large bridge so close to Cliff Lane and still ongoing; a proposal to put a supermarket where Holmes Oak Court is now right next to the Park; not cutting the grass along Nacton Road and Clapgate Lane and many more.  So working together the Power of the People is a very successful tool.

Often services are improved in the area you represent because of your work with the community – pavements, grass cutting, road improvements including calming measures, parking issues, the need for more buses, bus shelters, more police the list is endless.  Councillors just have to be persistent.

In Holywells Ward, Associated British Ports is very important.  Not only does it employ local people it plays a big part in the community.  This is also the case with the University and Suffolk New College and having students living amongst us is a great asset locally and for the rest of the town.  It is also important to involve local businesses, restaurants and to promote local charities in their work in the town and in the Ward you represent.

I have to say over the 16 years I have been a Councillor I have found residents are keen to improve their local areas and to help where they can by taking part in community events.  I have also found that the schools, churches, Friends Groups, charities, Community Interest Companies and businesses all pull together when there is a need and I have been very proud to help and to represent them and the residents in Holywells Ward.

More Money in Your Pocket!

money in pocket

Ipswich is the County Town of Suffolk and, although the Borough boundary is small, its economy supports a far wider area. Already there are thousands of people coming into Ipswich every day of the week and this will only rise as other smaller areas, outside of our control, grow in size.

We offer the major employment opportunities in the area.

We offer the biggest & best culture and leisure in the area.

We offer the best shopping in the area (despite the issues with the Town Centre)

Thousands of people from outside Ipswich benefit from the services operated and paid for by Ipswich Borough Council. Why shouldn’t you, as Council Tax payers benefit from this?

Conservative Councillors believe we should all benefit, to take a share in the success of our Town.

It’s a simple policy really, Ipswich residents should get a discount on services operated by the Borough such as Car Parks, the Regent, the Corn Exchange, Sports Centres etc. The cost for this would be met by non-residents paying extra to cover the costs.

As tax-payers we all shoulder the responsibility if things fail, why shouldn’t we share in their success.

A vote for a Conservative Councillor in the next local elections will help make Council Tax fairer for all of us,

 

 

 

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

Employment in Ipswich -Which way is it going?

EastOfEngland_Employment_July2018_TW.png

What is happening with employment and unemployment in Ipswich?

Across the country, that the number of people in work is at a record high. Here in the East of England, employment is up 341,000.

But the claimant count in Ipswich has been going up ever since Sandy Martin replaced Ben Gummer as our MP.

5 years ago, the claimant count was 2515, in June 2017 it was 1745;  now it is 1910.

Down the road in Will Quince’s Conservative Colchester, the equivalent figures are 1830, 1380 and 1395.

For young people under 24, the figures had reduced from 550 to 285 but now it is up to 360. In Colchester, the figures are 450, 300 and 265.

Whilst some of the increases in claimant count is the result of the roll-out of Universal Credit, which does not reflect a deterioration of the local labour market, the ONS says we must treat some of the increase with caution.

But having said that, what is clear is that since Ipswich opted for a Labour MP, more people are now having to claim unemployment benefits. This is so disappointing after all the hard work which Ben Gummer put into improving the prospects for people and now young people especially are being affected.

Whilst we cannot blame Mr Martin directly, what I would suggest is that since he was elected, there is less confidence in Ipswich businesses. The Labour party are happy with this state of affairs as more people having to claim universal credit or other benefits, fulfils their self-fulfilling message of economic doom and gloom.

However despite Labour’s best efforts, it’s not all bad news and the total number of people employed in Ipswich rose from 65,700 in 2014 to 67,300 now, so more people are earning a living. Colchester was 84,500 5 years ago, it now has 96,200 people working, an incredible increase with an ongoing Conservative MP.

Here in Ipswich, we do have a lot of low paid workers, as it is known as a source of cheap labour for East Anglia.  Hundreds of people are sent out on buses every day to Cambridgeshire to do menial jobs.

So to conclude, Ipswich with a Labour run council and now a Labour MP is being left behind the pack in East Anglia. Whereas across so many other areas across the region and country, we are able to celebrate the annual increase in employment of 388,000 and unemployment down 84,000, things are not going completely to plan in this town.

What we need in Ipswich are more Conservative councillors to be elected to the Borough Council. Conservatives have a natural instinct to run organisations effectively and efficiently, and we can help build back the confidence and vision into Ipswich businesses that this town is the ideal place to invest and grow businesses, and excellently placed to take advantage of the promising new opportunities of a globally trading United Kingdom outside the EU.   Let’s develop and grow well paid jobs for our people here in Ipswich.

All data sourced from https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/

 

 

 

NHS Week

The NHS was created seventy years ago.
Here is something you may not have heard: an interview with Henry Willink, wartime Secretary of State for Health, in March 1944, about the White Paper that set out his detailed plans for the Service.
For those too young to have watched “Pathe’ News”, it was shown at the cinema in the interval during a film, in the days before people had televisions.

Following this White Paper, the 1945 Conservative Manifesto proposed:

“ The health services of the country will be made available to all citizens. Everyone will contribute to the cost, and no one will be denied the attention, the treatment or the appliances he requires because he cannot afford them.

“ We propose to create a comprehensive health service covering the whole range of medical treatment from the general practitioner to the specialist, and from the hospital to convalescence and rehabilitation; and to introduce legislation for this purpose in the new Parliament.

“ The success of the service will depend on the skill and initiative of doctors, dentists, nurses and other professional people, and in its designing and operation there will be full scope for all the guidance they can give. Wide play must be given to the preferences and enterprise of individuals. Nothing will be done to destroy the close personal relationship between doctor and patient, nor to restrict the patient’s free choice of doctor.

“ The whole service must be so designed that in each area its growth is helped and guided by the influence of a university. Through such a service the medical and allied professions will be enabled to serve the whole nation more effectively than they have yet been able to do. At the same time Medicine will be left free to develop along its own lines, and to achieve preventive as well as curative triumphs. Liberty is an essential condition of scientific progress.

“ The voluntary hospitals which have led the way in the development of hospital technique will remain free. They will play their part in the new service in friendly partnership with local authority hospitals.

“ Motherhood must be our special care. There must be a large increase of maternity beds and convalescent homes, and they must be provided in the right places. Mothers must be relieved of onerous duties which at such times so easily cause lasting injury to their health.

“ The National Insurance Scheme will make financial provision for these needs. All proper arrangements, both voluntary and State-aided, must be made for the care of other young children in the family, in order that the energies of the male breadwinner or the kindness of neighbours and relations, which nevertheless must be the mainspring, should not be unduly burdened.

“ Nursery schools and nurseries such as have grown up during the war should be encouraged. On the birth, the proper feeding and the healthy upbringing of a substantially increased number of childre

n, depends the life of Britain and her enduring glory.”

This model varies very little from what we have today.