News

With Brexit taking up most of the Government’s energy, and news programmes focused on the latest Brexit news, you might be forgiven for thinking that there is no other serious crisis that requires urgent Government action, writes Sandy Martin MP.

But as the Independent Panel on Climate Change warned recently, we now have less than 12 years to avoid a catastrophic global temperature rise.  And pollution is also a threat - in Britain alone our dirty air contributes to around 40,000 deaths a year and recent research found bits of plastic in every single UK marine mammal surveyed.

Government must act on environment now if we are to have a future

With Brexit taking up most of the Government’s energy, and news programmes focused on the latest Brexit news, you might be forgiven for thinking that there is no other serious... Read more

The Leader of the Labour Group at Suffolk County Council has slammed the Conservative administration after it was revealed that £70,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent on a fourteen-page report.

The report, entitled ‘Suffolk’s Strategic Housing Role’ and produced by the think tank ResPublica, cost the council £5,000 per page, a rate of £11 per word.

Cllr Sarah Adams, Leader of the Labour Group, described the threadbare report as a ‘bad joke’ saying that the council’s reputation and economic credibility had been undermined, once again.

County Tory report costs Suffolk taxpayers £5,000 a page

The Leader of the Labour Group at Suffolk County Council has slammed the Conservative administration after it was revealed that £70,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent on a fourteen-page... Read more

Rough sleeping is a problem all year round, but it is even more acute during the cold winter months, writes Ipswich Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere.

Across the country, homelessness and rough sleeping has been rising.

Government cuts to benefits are largely to blame. The problems with Universal Credit are well known but the punitive sanctions regime can leave people without funds for weeks or even months. The value of housing benefit has been frozen so that it no longer covers the cost of rent for many houses.

Caption: Council Leader, David Ellesmere, and Housing Portfolio Holder, Neil MacDonald outside Ipswich's new homeless unit.

Ipswich is reducing homelessness and rough sleeping, but we need government policies to change

Rough sleeping is a problem all year round, but it is even more acute during the cold winter months, writes Ipswich Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere. Across the country, homelessness... Read more

Written before the latest Brexit votes on Thursday evening, Sandy Martin MP sets out the UK's position, six weeks prior to 29th March.

There are now just 42 days left until the UK leaves the European Union. Some readers might want to add “unless we annul Article 50, or delay it”. But the only “we” that can do that is the Government, and Theresa May has made it very clear that she has no intention of doing any such thing.

Labour called a vote of no confidence in the Government because we wanted to get a grip of the Brexit shambles and the only effective way to do so was to form a new Government.  The result of that no confidence vote makes it clear that the only Party which can possibly be held responsible for the way Brexit is being handled is the Conservative Party.

Latest Brexit news from Sandy Martin

Written before the latest Brexit votes on Thursday evening, Sandy Martin MP sets out the UK's position, six weeks prior to 29th March. There are now just 42 days left... Read more

Last week I detailed how Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council is keeping Council Tax bills down while protecting frontline services from cuts, writes Ipswich Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere.

Because of our sound management of the council’s finances, despite £8m a year cuts from the Government we can not only do this but also make some targeted improvements to services as well.

You certainly pay less with Labour. But you also get more for your money too.

Last week I detailed how Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council is keeping Council Tax bills down while protecting frontline services from cuts, writes Ipswich Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere. Because of... Read more

Last week, I was picked to question the Prime Minister, writes Sandy Martin MP, and asked her about an Ipswich resident who is suffering from terminal illnesses and who has had part of her benefits removed until an assessment has been made.

She could not possibly work, but could have some quality of life in the time that is left to her if she is able to afford a carer.  Everyone who is sick or disabled and is receiving disability benefits has to undergo regular assessments to decide whether they are eligible, unless their condition fits a few very tight categories. 

I have spoken to someone who has cerebral palsy and who told me how frustrating it is to have to go through this uncomfortable and erratic process for no possible justifiable reason.  As he said, if he had been less in need of disability benefits now than last year, he would be the first person in the history of humanity who had “recovered” from cerebral palsy. 

And there are lots of other life-limiting illnesses and genetic conditions which are quite clearly not going to improve – once someone has been assessed as being in need of help it makes no sense for them or for the state to waste time and money and effort in regularly reassessing them.

Sandy puts Prime Minister on the spot over how Tory policies hit Ipswich families

Last week, I was picked to question the Prime Minister, writes Sandy Martin MP, and asked her about an Ipswich resident who is suffering from terminal illnesses and who has... Read more

The recent Centre for Cities study confirms what we all knew – that areas like Ipswich have been hit hardest by Government funding cuts, writes Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, David Ellesmere.

Ipswich Borough Council now receives around £8m less each year in real terms than it did in 2010.

This is the context in which councils across the country are deciding their budgets for the year ahead.

You get more and pay less with Labour

The recent Centre for Cities study confirms what we all knew – that areas like Ipswich have been hit hardest by Government funding cuts, writes Leader of Ipswich Borough Council,... Read more

On Monday, the Ipswich Star published survey results showing that Ipswich was hit worst in the whole region by cuts, writes Sandy Martin MP.

We have all seen the effects of cuts in police numbers, in our hospital and other health services, in our schools and colleges, and even in our firefighters.  This doesn’t just leave us all less safe – it also has an effect on the wealth of the whole town. 

This fall-out from austerity is hitting the whole of Suffolk, but Ipswich has been hit hardest.  Not only have public sector pay and jobs been frozen or cut, but there has been a fall in pay and in the number of jobs in the private sector too. 

Independent survey shows just how badly Ipswich has been hit by austerity

On Monday, the Ipswich Star published survey results showing that Ipswich was hit worst in the whole region by cuts, writes Sandy Martin MP. We have all seen the effects... Read more

I’m convinced there is a book to be written about the sorry tale of The Upper Orwell Crossings, writes Labour Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere.

The problems began almost from the very start.

There are two competing large transport projects for Ipswich – a bridge across the wet dock and a Northern Bypass. Both require Government funding. It is unlikely that we would get the money for both.

The obvious course of action would be to write a business case for both and back the one that brings the most benefits.

Tories wasted four years on doomed bridge; Now they need to get behind bypass

I’m convinced there is a book to be written about the sorry tale of The Upper Orwell Crossings, writes Labour Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere. The problems began almost from... Read more

The Tories running Suffolk County Council have finally bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the Upper Orwell Crossings project to prevent a huge overspend.

The writing was already on the wall for the project after huge local opposition when residents discovered that Ben’s Big Bridge would generate over 1,000 extra vehicles an hour on roads like Cliff Lane and Station Street.

Ben’s Big Bridge Ditched – now for a Northern Bypass!

The Tories running Suffolk County Council have finally bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the Upper Orwell Crossings project to prevent a huge overspend. The writing was already on the... Read more

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