Over the last two weeks I have outlined the challenges Ipswich Borough Council is facing as a result a £6m cut in Government funding and the savings we are looking to make in response to this.
As a result of our sound management of the Council’s finances this will enable us to protect frontline services in future years.
We will keep brown bin collections free of charge where all other Suffolk councils charge up to £50 a year.
We will continue to provide free access to the Council’s sports facilities for young people over the summer holidays.
We will continue to provide an out-of-hours noise nuisance service so we can stop anti-social noise quicker.
We will continue to support bus services in Ipswich so that there is a comprehensive bus network which operates late at night and at weekends.
We will maintain the level of financial support we provide to voluntary and community groups such as Citizens Advice, ICENI Ipswich and Lighthouse Women’s Aid to continue the good work that they do.
And we will continue to provide a full range of events throughout the year such as Music Day, Global Rhythm, the Maritime Festival and the Indian Summer Mela.
We are also looking to introduce a number of targeted improvements.
In keeping with the climate emergency, there is a strong environmental focus to these. Priority has been given to projects that are not only good for the planet but also save either the council or residents money.
We will expand our programme of purchasing new electric and low emission vehicles to replace old operational vehicles. This will reduce maintenance costs, lower the council’s carbon footprint and reduce NOx emissions, which cause poor air quality, by at least a third.
We will upgrade the insulation of more “hard to heat” council homes.
We will start a rolling programme of solar panel installation on council houses that are having their roofs replaced.
We will make our support for the Number 4 bus on Sundays and Bank Holidays permanent.
And we will do all this while still levying a lower council tax increase than Suffolk County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.