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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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.

 

 

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

Has Labour Council Leader misled the public?

The project on Cornhill has struggled to get the public behind it from the start, and with recent tragic event, trust in our council is at an all time low. Concerned by safety of the new work carried out, Ipswich Conservatives have been questioning if the Labour led council are doing all they can to make the area safe. The most recent being on 30th Jan 2019 where at full council meeting Conservative Group Leader Cllr Ian Fisher asked

“Does the Leader agree that we missed a vital opportunity by not ordering an independent investigation after the initial accident had taken place and after the Conservative Group asked for one back in November?”

In true Ellesmere fashion the response was as follows

“Could I just gently remind Councillor Fisher and indeed all Councillors of the previous answer that I gave to Councillor Cook. We do not currently know the circumstances leading up to the tragic accident on the Cornhill (number one), and we have been advised that no additional precautionary measures are required to be installed in advance of the full independent advice being received”

As unsatisfactory as the answer may have been the answer was clear, that it was felt there would be no changes required with immediate effect. Interestingly just 2 weeks later, up pops large planters clearly marked with the instructions of “step down, use handrail”. This to me poses a number of questions, did the Council Leader know that these had been ordered when he informed the public that no additional precautionary measures will be required? Is he intentionally misleading public? If not, what has changed since then and why haven’t we been made aware of new information? What is Cllr Ellesmere hiding from the public?

With many unanswered questions around this project, one thing I know for certain, this type of behaviour by the Labour Council leader is why people don’t trust politicians.

ellesmere design

News from Stoke Park by Councillor Nadia Cenci

I have always maintained that the South West of Ipswich is the most under-rated part of our town. I’ve lived in Stoke Park area for 40 years and have loved it.
We have the most beautiful views in the South West with some looking across to the Orwell Bridge as well as areas such as Spring Wood and beautiful parks like Chantry and Bourne. Trees and other green areas are abundant and much appreciated by those who use them. We have easy access to A12 and A14 which can quickly take us on our way to London or Felixstowe.
Our residents in Stoke Park are diverse and from all ages, backgrounds and culture. It is a pleasure to walk round my ward on a regular basis chatting to you and finding out what, if anything, is causing you a problem.
The best way to find out what you’d like to see is for us to knock on your doors, which we do regularly all year round. Most people are very happy where they are and do not need our help but sometimes it’s just about knowing that we are there and that we represent you at the council on policy and making a difference to the whole town.
Sometimes help is needed and can be anything from assisting with benefits to representing interests on one of our committees, such as planning. If in doubt, just ask!
The most common queries tend to be highway and tree issues and that is why I arranged for an officer in this department to speak to residents at one of our SW Area Committees. This proved to be very useful and resolved many of the issues that had been ongoing, although not all.
If there are any issues that you would like brought up at our Area committees then please do let us know.
Speaking of which, we still have some community money in the pot so if anyone has any great ideas for improving their area or for projects that would improve lives, then please do contact us.

Councillor Bob Hall and myself have been surveying Fountains Road to establish who would like to see a Twenty’s Plenty to combat speeding. We started a petition which nearly all residents were happy to sign. We will be presenting this to the council and will be requesting consideration for this measure.
We did the same survey 4 years ago but the appetite then was not evident as many thought that this would involve humps. That is not what we are asking for in this petition, just some Twenty Plenty signs to show that the winding nature of Fountains Road should be travelled through safely and slowly.
The main role of a councillor is to be the bridge between the residents of the council. To ensure that your voice is heard and that we represent those voices at full council and committees.
Having now been a councillor for over 12 years, I know every road, pathway and bump and try to keep an eye out for anything I can help with but we do rely on intelligence to combat issues promptly, so please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail, telephone, letter or social media.

Introducing

I was delighted to move into my new flat just off the Waterfront a couple of months ago. Never before have I lived by the water, so it makes a pleasant change. However, I see it as my job to campaign for things that will make Ipswich an even better place to live.
One of these priorities is transport. For me, the overriding infrastructure priority needs to be a northern bypass! When it comes to campaigning for this I plan to leave no stone left unturned. So far I’ve met with officials from the Department for Transport on two occasions and the County Council leader, to make clear my strong support. Interestingly, I also had a long chat with the Secretary of State for International Trade about it as well. Stressing to him the importance of a northern bypass from the perspective of our country’s largest and busiest sea container port: the Port of Felixstowe.
This issue needs to be covered from multiple angles and I will not shy away from being robust in calling for significant financial investment from the Government. Ipswich needs and deserves better transport infrastructure and less traffic. Rest assured, I’m on the case!
TOM HUNT
Conservative,
Prospective
Parliamentary
candidate for Ipswich
http://www.tom4ipswich.com

IMPROVEMENTS TO BE MADE TO ST PETER’S WHARF ON IPSWICH WATERFRONT

Works to improve St Peter’s Wharf in Ipswich are due to start in the new year. The work,
which is being delivered by Suffolk County Council (SCC) in partnership with Ipswich
Borough Council (IBC), will provide a better experience for pedestrians and cyclists travelling through the wharf and will further improve the Waterfront area.
The aim of the scheme is to enhance the area by introducing footways and a clearly defined
carriageway. A seating area will be created along with the installation of trees and bicycle
parking. The addition of trees and seating area will provide an area for people to relax and take in the Waterfront surroundings and with the footway on the southern side raised to
allow views across the New Cut.
The works, which will begin on the 7 January 2019, will take place along the wharf between
Stoke Bridge, Bridge Street and Foundry Lane, opposite Dance East. The scheme has been designed to cater for the high number of pedestrians and cyclists that use the area as well as accommodating large vehicles accessing the Port. Funding for the scheme, which will cost in the region of £750,000, was secured via a bid to the Coastal Community Fund by Ipswich Vision.
Paul West. Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, communities and waste
said; “I am delighted that this work is taking place, a lot of development has taken place on
the waterfront over the past few years and St Peter’s Wharf has become a much-used route
for road users. These vital improvements will mean that visitors to the waterfront whether
it be pedestrians, cyclist or motorists have the opportunity to enjoy the St Peter’s Wharf area.”
Terry Hunt, chairman of the Ipswich Vision board said; “This is an incredibly important
gateway to our wonderful waterfront and these enhancements will enable this prominent
part of our town to give a much-improved impression to residents and visitors. This
scheme is another crucial example of the exciting regeneration of our county town.”
It is predicted that the scheme will take up to six months to complete due to improvements
that will need to be made to underground infrastructure. The work which will be delivered
six days a week (Monday – Saturday between 7am – 5pm) must also be completed in stages
to ensure full access is maintained for all road users throughout the work.
For the duration of the scheme, there will be an out-bound lane closure in place and
traffic exiting the dock will be required to exit via Foundry Lane. Temporary traffic signals
will also be operational at times throughout the scheme. The signals will be manually
controlled, including peak times from 7am to 7pm each working day. This is to alleviate
delays and traffic queues.

Thankyou for doing your bit in 2019

It’s at this time of year we make our resolutions to be happier, healthier and do something good for the environment. Myself and Suffolk County Council’s Waste Team wish to say a big thank you to each and every one of you for thinking about our environment. To help you keep your resolution to protect the planet, we’ve come up with some easy to follow tips and information.
Did you know that one of the best ways to reduce the amount of rubbish we have, is to try and avoid it in the first place? The first thing we can all consider is whether something needs the packaging it is often presented or if there is an alternative with less packaging.

FOR DOING YOUR BIT IN 2019
You can re-use single use plastics, like plastic cutlery, straws, cups and bottled drinks.
Try buying fruit and veg loose when doing the weekly food shop.
Use washable lunchboxes, water bottles and coffee cups instead of disposable
options.
Christmas and New Year festivities generate more cards, wrapping paper, plastic and
glass bottles waiting to be recycled. So at this time of year it’s particularly important
to make full use of your recycling bin and local Recycling Centres. Your closest ones are
Ipswich Recycling Centre on Portman Walk and Foxhall Recycling Centre.

Still unsure about what can and can’t be recycled?
Check out http://www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk for a wealth of information and an A – Z guide on
what rubbish needs to go where. Thank you for caring about your environment.

PAUL WEST
Suffolk County Council
Cabinet Member for Ipswich, Communities and Waste.