Posts Tagged ‘Suffolk’
Tory Judy Terry is Out: The Heavens Cry their Joy!
Suffolk Election Results leave the Tories in Charge.
Labour and Co-operative 3
Liberal Democrat 7
UK Independence Party 9
This is a good result for Labour and their candidates who have worked really hard, year in and year out, on the County Council (where they were only 4 till today) and have fought against austerity and privatisation tooth-and-nail.
It is a good result for the labour movement more widely as Suffolk Labour Parties have worked closely with the union and left campaigners against the Tory-led Council cutters and floggers-off.
One result brought great joy to the progressive Suffolk masses: the defeat of Judy Terry in Rushmere (figures and intro from Ipswich Spy).
“The Conservatives have LOST the Rushmere Division, previously held by Cabinet Member Judy Terry, to Labour’s Sandra Gage.
Ellis, Peter (UKIP) 401
Gage, Sandra (Labour) 1117
Jackson, Dale (Ind) 34
Jones, Garath (Lib Dem) 90
Terry, Judy (Con) 628
Wilmot, Kirsty (Green) 94″
As a County Council Cabinet member she has pushed through the privatisation agenda, notably creating a so-called Industrial and Provident Society (private ‘charity’) for the Library service. This has caused great damage.
Overall Labour made gains in urban districts, notably Ipswich, which has more in common with parts of London (including the ‘inner city’) than rural Suffolk.
In my own ward there was a very a good result (I campaigned for Mandy – Labour),
Labour have GAINED the St Helen’s Division from the Liberal Democrats, who were pushed into last place, with UKIP second, two votes ahead of the Tories, and the Green’s in fourth.
Gaylard, Mandy (Labour) 900
Lockington, Tim (Lib Dem) 155
Parkinson, Katherine (Con) 359
Tinney, Mark (UKIP) 361
Wilmot, Tom (Green) 201
There was also a by-election,
Labour have taken the Borough Council by election in Alexandra, a gain from the Liberal Democrats. Turnout was 27.6%.
Cook, John (Labour) 772
Cotterell, Stephen (UKIP) 279
Phillips, Edward (Con) 274
Toye, Kenneth (Lib Dem) 126
Wilmot, Thomas (Green) 193
“So the Liberal Democrats have gone from first to last in what was a bastion of Liberal Democrat power in the town – just three years ago they held all three Borough Council seats, plus the County Council seat. It means the Liberal Democrats are reduced to just three councillors on Ipswich Borough Council.” So says the Spy.
In fact it was not so much as a Liberal Bastion but a freak base, created by boundary changes, and a protest vote against the Labour government, which was always going to go back to Labour when real politics kicked in.
The worst result is in Whitehouse and Whitton where UKIP slipped in.
9 UKIP councillors on the County Council is a disaster.
They did well elsewhere though not enough to win.
Note that in the area I live (St Helen’s/Alexandra, which cover the town centre and is largely working class or employee, and highly ‘mixed’, including a substantial migrant worker population) UKIP came above the Liberals and even the Tories with hardly any local activists whatsoever.
Or indeed none...
Their vote comes from a ‘virtual’ campaign of leafleting, and the full-time agitation of the far-right daily press, the Mail, the Express and the Sun.
They beat poor old Kevin in his vain attempt to win Chantry for the Tory (Holy Roller) Party.
UKIP put the Tories into 4th and 5th (no guessing which Tory came 5th) and the Liberals, way out on the margins at Monster Raving levels of support. (Algar, Kevin (Con) 1043 Armitage, Helen (Labour) 2169 Broom, Barry (Green) 404 Cenci, Nadia (Con) 1096 Fletcher, Julie (Lib Dem) 243 Gardiner, Peter (Labour) 2051 McHardy, Stuart (Lib Dem) 146
Newton, Robert (UKIP) 1301)
Across the County UKIP have pushed the Liberals out to the fringes (7 seats) and are not far behind Labour.
Campaigning on an openly racist basis, against the threat of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, they join a sorry list of European far-right populist parties.
The left has long shouted about the menace of the tiny and irrelevant English Defence League.
Dealing with UKIP is going to be a lot harder than shouting ‘nasty Nazis’ at them.
But this is a start,
St Matthew’s Street Station. A Basse-Lag Christmas Tale.
The latest Tower Rampart Worker was rubbish, thought Merk. On the front-page was the news that sales of the paper had been “brilliant” at a Unite the Unite Meeting, and that three Cactae/Cacti had joined. He turned to Travailleur Hebdo. In thick print they denounced the ‘Ramp’ Central Committee’s “bureaucratic centralism” and the formation of the 214th ‘Democratic Opposition’ to the CC. Comrade Dream-Weaver Alex’s predictions of permanent revolution in New Ipswich came in for some stick.
Merk had no more time to look through the left press. It was the Yule Eve. He had three days off from his job tending the Sphagnum Moss Garden on top of the Waterfront University. There was an illegal bottle of cold Vodka, but no truffles, in the fridge….
Outcast Oliphant-people grew the tubers just outside the City. They brought them to the market to sell, by stalls offering pungent curry-wurst, kaki fruit, and piles of ruby-olives. He would have to go there as soon as possible.
The route from Merk’s flat passed by the HQ of Mayor Benedict the 2nd.Twenty stories high the lower floors were decked in video-posters of the Municipal Chief and his Deputy, Andrew ‘Coco’. They read, The Community Program Makes Free! In the narrow road a gang of the unemployed was cleaning the pavement with tooth brushes. A small child was watching them, clearly terrified.
On the Corn Hill there were no traders. A rally was taking place. On the steps of the old City Hall the leader of the Progressive English Patriots, a Remade with a twisted mouth cut out of a large pumpkin head, was holding forth. He caught only a few lines. “The Malignant Cult of the Absent Without Leave – AWL …” he ranted, lips covered with spittle. “I scorn their pathetic minions…” “We need a Wall, an anti-Fascist Wall, to stave off …” So this was the New Man!
Merk would have laughed. But on the edges of the tiny audience hovered, menacingly, the Patriots’ Allies, the Green Shorts militia of Lord George ‘Gallows’ Spode.
At 15 o’clock there was still time to get the fungi. It was too expensive to take a sky-taxi and the Montgolfière was too slow. Yet St Matthew’s Street Station was not far away. It would take him to directly to the Oliphants. The Subway at the Roundabout led to the intersection of the Meridional Line to London, and the Septentrional Line to their Tuddenham settlement. The Moss Gardner bought a cheap return Metro ticket and was soon on the way.
The Underground came to the surface at Westerfield. The train paused at the crossing with the Lowestoft railway to let pass a long succession of Goods Wagons, carrying prisoners to the Kessingland Holiday Camp. The Mayor had ordered a pre-Yule vagrant-sweep of the streets. The Official City Paper, the Ipswich Stella, had said that they were to undergo mentoring and training. Rumours in the last two local pubs where drinks stronger than 3% were permitted were already circulating that another batch of undesirables were to be ‘remade’. The groans from the rail carriages did not indicate much enthusiasm at this prospect.
Merk alighted at the village. The Oliphant Greenhouses were stacked along the side of the Finn Valley, gleaming in the winter sun. There was no sign of anybody selling their produce. He would have walked into the market gardens. But warning against this were notices saying, “Private Property. Trespassers will be Eradicated.”
How could he get the truffles? Obviously, one could ask a villager. In front was the Holy Lamb Inn, where caffeine free espresso, soda drinks and warm real ale (not more than 1%!)” were for sale. From the whooping sounds and ‘Praise the Lords’ there must be a prayer meeting going in inside. Merk was registered under the new ‘religious registration law’ as a non-believer. He would not approach the Tavern.
While pondering this somebody came out of the Lamb. He was grey, tallish and wore unusually heavy spectacles, but all that Merk registered was that he had a large snake coiled around him, and he was uttering “I am Healed” It was hard not to recognise Vek, the Holy Roller, who had stood on the Benedict Slate for the last election and had finally won Gippeswick Ward after 20 years of standing. Vek cried out, “The Lord’s a-comin’, it’s the Rapture!”
It was at this moment that the heavens split asunder and the Interplanetary Revolutionary Communist-Marxist Federation sent down its ships to liberate the City of Ipswich….
Document original received in Rendlesham Forest Sunday 19th of December 2012.
Passmore: Likes Hanging and Roses.
“Tim Passmore, a Conservative candidate, beat Labour’s Jane Basham in an extremely close contest yesterday.
After second preference votes were counted, Mr Passmore polled 36,946 while Ms Basham had 35,005.
Independent candidate David Cocks received 14,217 first choice votes and UKIP’s Bill Mountford 11,179 but neither went through to the second round of vote counting.” Reports the East Anglian Daily Times
Ipswich Spy makes an important point,
What will concern the main two parties is the fact that, where people voted for an independent or UKIP, they were more likely to give their second preference vote to the other minor candidate than to give it to either the of the main two parties; 9,284 of their second preference votes were not for either of the Tories or Labour.
This is the percentage of how it initially played out,
Winner: Tim Passmore
34.99% of first preference votes
Second: Jane Basham
35.07% of first preference votes
Turnout, 15,36% – in the top half of the country-wide turnout.
The Spy claims that Jane Basham campaigned “from the centre”. In fact she had a broader constituency, from those simply attracted to her presentation, the liberal minded, community activists, the Labour Party, and what the Spy calls the “far left”, that is trade unionists and socialists. Trades Council members in Ipswich were amongst those who distributed her literature house-to-house.
Mr Passmore complained about “ridiculous” aspects of the election, that there was no free postal address, and that it was held in dank November.
We are more concerned about other issues.
Passmore is a career Tory politician.
Commenting on his role as the leader of Mid-Suffolk Councillor, Andrew Stringer, leader of the Suffolk Green group has said,
There is a clear conflict of interest here and not only that the time needed to work on behalf of not only the tiny minority of citizens that voted for Tim but everyone in Suffolk will mean that the time needed to conduct the role of councillor will be seriously reduced.
“If Tim does not see his way to resigning as a district councillor perhaps he would like to consider his position as Police and Crime Commissioner.”
He faces this (BBC):
Suffolk Police has announced it will cut 300 uniformed and civilian jobs.
The force has been outlining how it will make £13.6m of savings over four years when it has an annual budget of £130m this year.
Chief Constable Simon Ash said it had to work within a 20% cut in the grant from the government.
Passmore has also called for a “debate” on the death penalty,“I do feel it is something that should be back on the agenda.“I think it is something that should be considered by the judiciary in certain circumstances.”
Tim Passmore is also director of a public / private partnership with BT and the County Council for “improving public access and back office functions”. This cosy deal is notoriously costly. It is not hard to see how he will act over privatisation of police functions, regardless of the long-term price it will mean and the kind of poor service private companies in public service always bring.
Like all the candidates he claims that the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner has is not the place for politics.
Here are some more of his very political right-wing views,
- Problem families are a huge cost and they can disrupt neighbourhoods and nothing is done about it
- Why don’t the council and police get together to sort out some of these disruptive families
- Some older people don’t feel they receive a proper response when they raise an issue
- We need better contact details for our local police especially during the night as it is difficult to get hold of anyone
- Rogue traders are a problem but they don’t seem to get prosecuted – just a slap on the hand and then they carry on
- Response times are not good enough – sometimes it takes several days before anyone comes round
- What will your relationship be like with the Chief Constable
- We need a much greater emphasis on educating children and families on respect for law and order. This includes parenting skills and what responsibilities a parent has for bringing up children properly
- Should the death penalty be brought back for murder of a police officer.
- The interference of the ECHR on the extradition of Abu Hamsa is unacceptable. We should have our own British Bill of Rights
- Why don’t we have a crackdown on untaxed and uninsured vehicles
A major criticism of introducing Police Commissioners is that it will politicise the function.
Attention will focus on the office-holder, and her or his views.
It will make the Police look like an arm of a politician, liked or loathed, and will weaken the Police’s consensual standing.
Clearly it Tim Passmore this will happen sooner rather than later.
Suffolk’s Libraries general manager Alison Wheeler: Does not Like Criticism.
On Tuesday night we had a meeting of the Suffolk Coalition for Public Services.
High on the agenda was the deepening crisis in Suffolk libraries.
A representative from the library campaigners updated us.
A letter from Alison Wheeler Suffolk’s Libraries general manager was read out – in full.
It was in reply to a statement, published here, by the Coalition and the Ipswich and Direct Trades Council expressing concern about the future of Suffolk libraries.
I am too embarrassed to cite any sections of her letter, which is two pages long.
The gist is this that criticisms of the transfer from a publicly owned service to the Industrial and Provident Society are highly unwelcome.
It is peppered with what may be called, politely, strangulated,and vaguely threatening, language.
We would suggest that in future Alison Wheeler before sending them off, shows copies of her letters to somebody with some basic common sense.
Now the meat.
LIBRARY staff in Suffolk feel “stressed”, “belittled” and “intimidated” a strongly worded letter to their bosses has revealed.
The missive, written by Suffolk County Branch of Unison and addressed to Suffolk Libraries general manager Alison Wheeler, is highly critical of proposals to reorganise the services’ staffing structure.
Union bosses voiced concern that new senior positions would be created while vacancies in front line services remain unfilled and claimed that some proposals would “decimate” parts of the library service.
Gummer: Give Businesses the Vote!
“A Conservative MP says many local councils are “self-governing oligarchies of mediocre people”.
Ben Gummer, who represents Ipswich, was speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference organised by the 2020 group of Tory MPs.
The group sees itself as a factory for radical political ideas.
He suggested shaking up local government so that councillors solely representing local businesses could be elected to town halls.
Mr Gummer acknowledged the idea “had no hope of getting into a manifesto” but pointed to the City of London, as a model for how his idea works in practice.
Mr Gummer described his own local authority, Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council, as all too often “getting in people’s way” and “frustrating ambition.”
“The calibre of many councillors often leaves something to be desired,” he said.
“Most of them can’t read a balance sheet. Business councillors could release aspiration.
From the BBC.
Our so-called rivals in Ipswich Spy comment that this report is unfair.
Perhaps it only Labour councillors who are “mediocre”.
Shining Ipswich councillors such as “Coco the Clown”, Andrew Cann (Liberal), “Throws a Wobbly Daily” Judy Terry (Conservative) and John Carnall (Conservative) , “Flog off everything cut-price to our mates”, certainly showed what a Business-led Council could achieve during their long period of Coalition.
The Blue-Bottle sculpture on top of the Major’s Corner Toilets is a beacon to local enterprise and a monument to the ousted Liberal-Tory administration of the town.
Ipswich Spy goes on to state,
Mr Gummer’s suggestion that businesses should have votes in the same way as the public does is certainly interesting, but he isn’t wrong when he says it probably won’t make it into the manifesto. Ultimately any votes given to businesses would be portrayed as taking away democratic representation from the voting public. What we need instead is some answers to hard questions. Why do we need so many councillors, for instance, and why aren’t those leading our business sector coming forward to stand for election?
Indeed, it would be “portrayed” in this way: that’s because it is anti-democratic!
The City of London may be the democratic model of Benedict Gummer, but not, one suspects, many people.
The Ipswich MP is already Editor of the Ipswich Evening Star (see pages, 2,3,5,6,7,11 for daily photos and articles about Benedict), Cabinet Minister for Ipswich, Mayor of Ipswich.
Now he wants to be the Voice of the City as well.