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After the General Election, there was talk that the Tories were going to abandon austerity, writes Ipswich Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere.

They realised that people were fed up with the endless cuts and that this was a large part of the reason why they did so badly.

So far it looks like this was only just talk. For all her warm words, Theresa May has changed nothing. Public sector pay is still capped. Public services are still facing large cuts. Austerity looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Why does this matter?

One example shows the corrosive effect austerity is having on life in Britain.

Since 2010 the Tories have made huge cuts to police budgets. There are now 20,000 fewer police officers than when they took charge.

They tried to say that the number of police has no effect on crime and indeed crime did continue to fall for a while. They also tried to imply that “physical” crime – robbery, violence, sexual assault etc. – had essentially been sorted and cybercrime is where the problems were.

That’s no longer the case

The latest statistics show a large increase in reported crime. And it’s not cybercrime that is causing this but old-fashioned “physical” crime – the sort of crime that was supposed to be under control.

In Suffolk robberies have gone up by 21% in the last year and violence by 18%. There have been many stories in the Star about drug and gang-related crime.

How can anyone be surprised by this?

There are far fewer police officers out on the streets. Community Support Officers now stop work at 6pm.

The vital community intelligence links that take years to build up are slowing being dissolved.

Drug taking and dealing is happening in broad daylight because offenders realise that there is little or no chance of being caught.

Our police are doing a fantastic job trying to tackle drug and gang crime but there are just too few of them.

We need more police officers and we need them now.

The longer criminal behaviour is allowed to go unchecked, the more entrenched it will become and the harder – and more expensive – it will be to turn the tide.

Tories stick with failed austerity plan as crime soars

After the General Election, there was talk that the Tories were going to abandon austerity, writes Ipswich Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere. They realised that people were fed up with...

New analysis by the House of Commons Library has revealed that 7.6 million people will lose out by nearly £10,000 each under the Government’s plans to bring forward changes to the state pension age. 

The change will affect all men and women currently between the age of 39 and 47, who will be forced to work a year longer before they can access their state pension entitlement.

The Government’s announcement of their plans to bring forward the state pension age last Thursday came more than two months after their legal deadline, 7 May 2017, evading debate on the issue leading up to the General Election.

The announcement was heavily criticised, as it followed evidence from the renowned expert on life expectancy, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who just days before had described how a century-long rise in life expectancy was “pretty close to having ground to a halt.” Professor Marmot pointed to 2010 as the turning point, when the Government began its austerity programme. 

Just over a week ago, the Government’s own advisory body, Public Health England, had published data showing significant disparities in Healthy Life Expectancy. For example, it showed how on average a man living in Nottingham would be only be expected to live in good health until the age of 57, a full eleven years earlier than the Government’s newly timetabled state pension age increase to 68. 

A Director of Public Health England described how the average pensioner will now have to deal with a “toxic cocktail” of ill health throughout their whole retirement, and for some years before. 

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: 

“This is a disgraceful and unjustified attack on the state pension by this Government, who are asking millions of people to work longer to pay for their failing austerity plans. 

“The latest research on life expectancy, published days ago, shows that there is no evidential basis for bringing the state pension age further forward. 

“That’s why Labour want to take a measured approach, leaving the state pension age at 66 while we review the evidence emerging around life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, considering how we can best protect those doing demanding jobs and the contributions they have already made.”

Over seven million people will lose out by £10,000 each under Government’s plans for state pension age change

New analysis by the House of Commons Library has revealed that 7.6 million people will lose out by nearly £10,000 each under the Government’s plans to bring forward changes to...

Sarah Adams, who served for four years as County Councillor for St Margaret's & Westgate division has been selected to contest St John's division in the forthcoming County Council election.

Sandy Martin MP is due to resign his seat on the County Council following today's County Council meeting.  It is expected that the by-election will be held on Thursday 7th September, meaning his successor will be elected a week before the next scheduled County Council meeting.

In a letter to St John's residents, Sandy said: "It has been an honour and pleasure to serve as county councillor for St John's for the past twenty years.  Now that I am your Member of Parliament, it is right that I should step down as your councillor."

"Sarah served with me as a county councillor, and as my deputy leader, until 4th May.  Four years ago Sarah became the first ever Labour county councillor to represent St Margaret's, and came very close to repeating this feat in May. Sarah was brought up in St John's ward, living in Trafalgar Close, just off Spring Road.  As Labour spokesperson on Adult Social Care, Sarah held the County Council to account for its poor record."

"Sarah will receive my vote on 7th September, and I hope that she will receive yours too."

Sarah Adams selected to stand for Sandy's County Council seat

Sarah Adams, who served for four years as County Councillor for St Margaret's & Westgate division has been selected to contest St John's division in the forthcoming County Council election....

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